April 25, 2012

Could 48 Frames Per Second Ruin The Magic Of Movies?

There is a bit of a technical tempest brewing this week after Peter Jackson screened footage from his upcoming THE HOBBIT.  Utlitizing a new digital technology that shoots 48fps (as opposed to the 80 year old 24fps standard for films), Jackson hopes to revolutionize cinema with this new look.  However, the screening of 10 minutes of scenes from his highly anticipated pre-quel to LORD OF THE RINGS got a decidedly negative reaction at Cinema Con this week.

As reported on the HuffPost and geek blogs everywhere, many people though the footage looked so hyper-real that it lost the magic that the standard movie image has.  There were unflattering comparisons to the film looking like "a bad soap opera" and the sets looking like....sets.  This sounds a bit like the concern 10 years ago when HD was first introduced and everyone thought actors on screen would look too real, and thus ordinary.  But as HD rolled out, that concern appeared to be overstated. However, given the strong reaction to Jackson's screening, it might be longer and rougher road for the conversion to this 48fps format.

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