Did you hear Warner Bros. screened ten minutes of The Hobbit at Las Vegas’ CinemaCon this week? Chances are you did – it didn’t go so well. Complaints weren’t lobbed against the acting or narrative, but how the film looked in 3D when projected at 48 frames per second – a new standard filmmakers like James Cameraon and Hobbit director Peter Jackson are hoping to push on theatre owners. To put it in easiest terms, the concern is that the clarity of 48fps gives films a shot-on-video / soap opera look – not ideal conditions, especially for an event film as prestigious as Hobbit.
Now Peter Jackson has spoken out about the controversy to EW, trying to pour water on the (admittedly small, for now) fire:
“At first it’s unusual because you’ve never seen a movie like this before. It’s literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn’t last the entire experience of the film; not by any stretch, after 10 minutes or so. That’s a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation.”
“A couple of the more negative commenters from CinemaCon said that in the Gollum and Bilbo scene [which took place later in the presentation] they didn’t mind it and got used to that. That was the same 48 frames the rest of the reel was. I just wonder if it they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story. That’s what happens in the movie. You settle into it.”
Last week our very own Renn Brown wrote this piece that puts the entire issue in pristine perspective. If you don’t want to see the film in 48fps, it’s very likely you won’t have to – as some theatres won’t be so keen to adopt such unproven tech (especially after the week’s events).
For continuity’s sake, I would have preferred Jackson shot Hobbit on the same Kodak 200T and 500T stock he shot the original trilogy on. A few bloggers and theatre owners griping about a footage presentation doesn’t diminish my excitement for this film. But, as a fan of the beautiful originals, it does give me pause.
Source: Entertainment Weekly