“…Expectations for The Hobbit just got smaller…”

“…For that director Peter Jackson can blame the reaction from crowds at CinemaCon – where 10 minutes of footage of December’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was screened this week.

The film is the first of a two-part prequel to Jackson’s Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy.

At issue? The idea – pushed by both Jackson and James Cameron – that higher frame rates is the next evolution in filmmaking.

In a taped segment, Jackson, who is in New Zealand editing the prequel, told assembled theatre owners that raising the rate at which film is projected from 24 to 48 frames per second will enhance the 3D experience.

To do that, the owners will have to purchase a software upgrade for digital projectors.

“The movement feels more real, it feels smoother,” Jackson said.

He also argued that by speeding things up the 3D would be “more gentle on the eyes.”

But after the screening, both the owners – who Jackson obviously wanted to convince – and movie bloggers seemed divided about what they had seen.

It should be said that much of the footage Jackson screened still needed effects work – some of it had green screens in the background – but the impact was more Spanish telenovela than Avatar.

There will be plenty for fans to savour.

However, the richness of Jackson’s imagery, while beautiful, was marred because the 48 frames made each scene too crisp, if that’s possible.

It looked more real, in fact – too real.

Instead of an immersive cinematic experience – Middle Earth looked like it was captured as part of a filmed stage play…”


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The Hobbit | Trailer draws mixed reviews | Stuff.co.nz.

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