Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, The Lovely Bones) decided to shoot The Hobbit at a higher frames-per-second rate than usual – twice as high, in fact. Did the audience notice? Yep, and they’re not all happy.
The reaction is mixed simply because it appears to take some getting used to. At least one claim that it now looks a little too real, almost like a soap opera, has emerged, and this must be a little worrying for Peter Jackson – after all, it was his gamble to take.
However, he’s responded to the criticisms levelled at him by those who saw a 48fps (films are usually shot at 24 frames per second) screening at Cinemacon, stating that “nobody is going to stop. This technology is going to keep evolving.”
To translate, he basically means that cinema technology is moving forward, in his eyes, and he intends to move with it whether you like it or not. Quite frankly, I got a similar vibe when filmmakers started using 3D, and that’s now seemingly becoming less and less of an issue, with fewer films in 3D in 2012 than there were in 2011 by a significant margin.
As for seeing The Hobbit at 48fps, it’s something I’ll have to judge for myself – even the videogames I play run at about 30fps, so the difference could be staggering, for all I know. It’s still The Hobbit, though. I’ll live.