THE HOBBIT Being Shot At 48 Frames Per Second

THE HOBBIT Being Shot At 48 Frames Per Second

Lenny Moore
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26 Apr 2012, 00:10 #1

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Jon Norris
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26 Apr 2012, 03:50 #2

Lenny Moore @ Apr 26 2012, 12:10 AM wrote: Article

Ain't It Cool News Article
I will wait and see. The trailer looked fabulous.
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26 Apr 2012, 09:34 #3

Is this such a big deal? A lot of digital is shot at 60fps.
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Rob Peace
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26 Apr 2012, 17:13 #4

Actually, it is a pretty big deal. Motion pictures have been shown in theaters at 24 fps since the sound era began (with the exception of a few Todd-AO movies like OKLAHOMA!, which were 30 fps, and more obscure experiments). Don Iwerks has been pushing to increase the frame rate of theatrical projection for many years now - when Ebert rails against 3D, this is the development he says is better. Digital projectors finally make this possible at minimum cost, unlike film which would have required new projectors and twice as much film.

I'm more eager than ever to see THE HOBBIT and see for myself whether this is a good thing or not. As early reviews suggest, it's going to be a highly subjective judgement. I really dislike the frame rate upconversion processors on modern TVs - they remove a lot of what makes movies look like they do, and the 48 fps system might do the same, especially since it isn't really film at all anymore. But the TVs are highly prone to error, switching between 24 and 120 fps when motion gets too drastic. At least THE HOBBIT will be native 48 fps and not suffer from that technical glitching.

Another issue is home video. There is no native 48 fps delivery format, although it might be possible with a download/streaming file viewed on a computer. Most likely it will be converted to 24 fps for DVD/Blu-ray/cable, etc. This should look fairly normal since it's exactly half the frame rate. Now that 3D is available for the home, this is the new "you can only experience this in a theater" gimmick.
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Bob Lindstrom
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26 Apr 2012, 18:58 #5

The proliferation of fast cutting techniques and jigglecam in modern films has tortured the 24fps format to the breaking point. A faster standard frame rate has been desirable for some time, IMO.

What's we're encountering here is over 80 years of visual conditioning that tells viewers 24fps IS film. In fact, there's nothing magical about 24fps. It was chosen as a compromise between sound sync and film stock economy.

When the silent film rates of (generally) 16fps moved to 24fps sound rates, I'm sure audiences also had the sensation of being in a different visual "space." (You can compare the two rates yourself by watching some recent restorations of classic silent film. While modern technology has allowed us to correct the playback speed to get proper movement speeds, your brain still has the sense that something is not quite in order and the motion lacks fluidity.) Nonetheless, the lure of sound found a willing audience.

As faster frame rates are adopted, the naysayers will whine and come up with all kinds of arguments about how the new frame rates destroy the "magic" of film (see that AICN thread), but after a few years of conditioning to smoother, more detailed, and more lifelike fluidity of movement, viewers will start shunning 24fps classics.
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28 Apr 2012, 21:03 #6

it is a pretty big deal. Motion pictures have been shown in theaters at 24 fps since the sound era began
Right, but what I was getting at was more the other end: haven't films shot digitally been in 30 and 60 fps before (I mean commercial films - I realize there's a distinction between these and peoples' home movies being posted on Youtube)? After all, consumer cameras don't even have the option to shoot in 24. Have no studio films gone non-24p before? Inland Empire, Avatar, The Tourist, Pixar movies... I just assumed most of those would be more than 24 at this point. Am I wrong?
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29 Apr 2012, 03:32 #7

John W McKelvey @ Apr 28 2012, 03:03 PM wrote:
Right, but what I was getting at was more the other end: haven't films shot digitally been in 30 and 60 fps before (I mean commercial films - I realize there's a distinction between these and peoples' home movies being posted on Youtube)?  After all, consumer cameras don't even have the option to shoot in 24.  Have no studio films gone non-24p before?  Inland Empire, Avatar, The Tourist, Pixar movies... I just assumed most of those would be more than 24 at this point.  Am I wrong?
No major feature films have been made at higher than 24 FPS since the short experiment with 30 FPS used for a few of the earliest Todd-AO 65MM features in the 1950s. Films like INLAND EMPIRE shot on MiniDV don't count because they are all converted to and finished at 24 FPS, plus they were shot in standard-definition and interlaced, whereas THE HOBBIT is being shot at 5K resolution.

Re: "consumer" cameras and 24 FPS, you are wrong. It's a big feature of most DSLRs, for example, that they offer a 1080P, 24 FPS video shooting option.

Vincent
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Lenny Moore
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09 Dec 2012, 09:39 #8

Early reviews of THE HOBBIT:

Slate Magazine

Aint It Cool News

Putting aside the issue of 48 fps (which most theatre-goers won't see), if these reviewers are to be trusted, this film may be hobbled most acutely on a level of storytelling.
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Yi Lee
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08 Jan 2013, 09:03 #9

Good morning,

Has anyone here seen this for themselves? An interview article in Le Monde from summer of last year sort of influenced me not to...
Raphaëlle Rérolle, <<Tolkien, l'anneau de la discorde>>

Invitée à rencontrer Peter Jackson, la famille Tolkien a préféré décliner. Pour quoi faire ? "Ils ont éviscéré le livre, en en faisant un film d'action pour les 15-25 ans, regrette Christopher. Et il paraît que Le Hobbit sera du même acabit....

Tolkien est devenu un monstre, dévoré par sa popularité et absorbé par l'absurdité de l'époque, observe tristement Christopher Tolkien. Le fossé qui s'est creusé entre la beauté, le sérieux de l'œuvre, et ce qu'elle est devenue, tout cela me dépasse. Un tel degré de commercialisation réduit à rien la portée esthétique et philosophique de cette création. Il ne me reste qu'une seule solution : tourner la tête."
Wordcrunch in partnership with Le Monde put out an English-language translation entitled "My Father's 'Eviscerated' Work - Son Of Hobbit Scribe J.R.R. Tolkien Finally Speaks Out." To be a part of all the press hoopla and such.

How correct was the younger Tolkien's appraisal? Was the picture entertaining at all? Would love to hear someone's take that has both seen the movie who has read the books.
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09 Jan 2013, 21:14 #10

Yi Lee @ Jan 8 2013, 03:03 AM wrote: Good morning,

Has anyone here seen this for themselves? An interview article in Le Monde from summer of last year sort of influenced me not to...
Raphaëlle Rérolle, <<Tolkien, l'anneau de la discorde>>

Invitée à rencontrer Peter Jackson, la famille Tolkien a préféré décliner. Pour quoi faire ? "Ils ont éviscéré le livre, en en faisant un film d'action pour les 15-25 ans, regrette Christopher. Et il paraît que Le Hobbit sera du même acabit....

Tolkien est devenu un monstre, dévoré par sa popularité et absorbé par l'absurdité de l'époque, observe tristement Christopher Tolkien. Le fossé qui s'est creusé entre la beauté, le sérieux de l'œuvre, et ce qu'elle est devenue, tout cela me dépasse. Un tel degré de commercialisation réduit à rien la portée esthétique et philosophique de cette création. Il ne me reste qu'une seule solution : tourner la tête."
Wordcrunch in partnership with Le Monde put out an English-language translation entitled "My Father's 'Eviscerated' Work - Son Of Hobbit Scribe J.R.R. Tolkien Finally Speaks Out." To be a part of all the press hoopla and such.

How correct was the younger Tolkien's appraisal? Was the picture entertaining at all? Would love to hear someone's take that has both seen the movie who has read the books.
I've read the book two or more times (it's been a while). It's just not 'The Lord of the Rings', it's 'The Hobbit'.

I thought the movie was fine. Saw it at a 3-D "IMAX" showing. The 48 fps was a non-issue. I do think that they would have been better off with one three hour movie or two 2 hour movies. All the movies have been pretty faithful (for Hollywood book adaptions). I don't disregard all of Tolkien's reservations, but some are no doubt shaped by not being a gajillionaire, because of the movies. I'm looking forward to the next movie, but I'm not gonna camping out in line for firsties either.
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Jim Donahue
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10 Jan 2013, 14:07 #11

I thought the movie was fine. Saw it at a 3-D "IMAX" showing. The 48 fps was a non-issue.
I'm pretty sure the IMAX version is 24 fps. (That's what I've read in a few places, anyway.)
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10 Jan 2013, 14:12 #12

Jim Donahue @ Jan 10 2013, 08:07 AM wrote:
I'm pretty sure the IMAX version is 24 fps. (That's what I've read in a few places, anyway.)
That would explain why it was a non-issue ;)

Did they even list theaters where it was showing 48fps?
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Jim Donahue
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10 Jan 2013, 16:23 #13

Did they even list theaters where it was showing 48fps?
Pretty sure the ads in the NY Times pointed out which theaters in NYC were showing it in 48 fps.

I keep meaning to investigate if any theaters on Long Island, where I live, are showing it in that format. I'd kinda like to see it that way, just out of curiosity. Moviefone seems to be separating out the different versions--though that site seems to be such a mess right now, I can't tell if any theater on L.I. is showing it in the high frame rate.

However, I see "IMAX HFR 3D" is an option, so I guess I was wrong about the IMAX version only being at 24 fps. Sorry about that. I'd have sworn...
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Darren Gross
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11 Jan 2013, 00:17 #14

Hi Jim,

The "IMAX 3-D 48FPS" is only for digital Imax (ie: Fauxmax, Liemax) screens, not real 70mm/stadium Imax.

70mm/real Imax is only showing 3-D 24fps from 70mm.

Hope it helps!
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11 Jan 2013, 00:28 #15

Mine was a Fauxmax theater,and I know it was digital, so it must have been 48 fps.
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11 Jan 2013, 05:17 #16

Terry Barhorst @ Jr.,Jan 10 2013, 06:28 PM wrote: Mine was a Fauxmax theater,and I know it was digital, so it must have been 48 fps.
If you saw this projected at 48 FPS, you'd DEFINITELY notice the difference. It's a completely different viewing experience than the 24 FPS we're all accustomed to, and took me a while to get used to. Everything looks like hyper-realistic live TV, or like a soap-opera filmed in Super High-Definition, and it's completely unforgiving of any flaws in the make-up, production design, or CGI. The 48 FPS screenings are specifically designated as "HFR" (High Frame Rate), BTW. Here's a listing of theaters showing it in HFR in the U.S. and Canada : http://www.thehobbit.com/hfr3d/

Vincent
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11 Jan 2013, 13:36 #17

I saw it at the Ronnie in Saint Louis over Christmas holiday. It was 48 fps. The picture was very...clear, but I had no problems immersing myself. I didn't feel like a silent --> talkie moment and I wasn't distracted by it.

St Louis has two theaters showing 48 fps. Austin is probably less than half the size of St Louis and it has almost twice as many theaters showing the movie at 48 fps.
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Marty McKee
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11 Jan 2013, 23:27 #18

Vincent Pereira @ Jan 11 2013, 12:17 AM wrote: Everything looks like hyper-realistic live TV, or like a soap-opera filmed in Super High-Definition
This does not sound like a good thing.
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12 Jan 2013, 00:12 #19

I just wasn't bothered by it. Maybe it's because it was a fantasy and is supposed to look somewhat unnatural. A romantic comedy shot at 48 fps might not go down as well.
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12 Jan 2013, 03:48 #20

Terry Barhorst, Jr. @ Jan 11 2013, 06:12 PM wrote: I just wasn't bothered by it. Maybe it's because it was a fantasy and is supposed to look somewhat unnatural. A romantic comedy shot at 48 fps might not go down as well.
Once I got USED to the look, I was fine with it, but certain things popped out at me- odd things, like maps on parchment paper that were supposed to be ancient artifacts, it was now oh-so-obvious how recently-manufactured they looked. Where 48 FPS shined for me was camera movement, especially right-and-left movement where 24 FPS has always suffered due to the "stuttering" effects of 24 FPS. I feel like the "true" future of filmmaking might be hybrid frame-rates (entirely possible with digital), where scenes with little or no movement are shot at 24 FPS, and scenes with lots of camera movement go to a high frame-rate. As for the type of film I'd LIKE to see shot HFR, I kept thinking a western, with great production design and locations and little to no CGI would be pretty breathtaking shot this way.

Vincent
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