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Fantasy Fans Expect a Treat from Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’

Fantasy fans expect a treat from “The Hobbit.”

Peter Jackson raised the bar for fantasy popularity 11 years ago with the first of three The Lord of the Rings films. With his latest J.R.R Tolkien adaptation, he aims to do the same with a new movie technology.

Directed by Jackson, the LOTR prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (out Dec. 14) is being filmed at 48 frames per second — the first major theatrical movie that’s not 24 fps — to mold a more immersive cinematic world and also create a smoother 3-D that will reduce eye strain.

“The entire industry is in some respect waiting to see what happens with The Hobbit. I’m very happy to be the guinea pig,” says Jackson, who appeared at a Warner Bros. panel for The Hobbit last week at Comic-Con.

Using 48 fps “gives you an illusion of life that’s so much more vivid than 24 frames does,” he says. “You suddenly have no strobing, no motion blur, no flicker.”

Filmmakers and technicians have been interested in higher frame rates for decades, Jackson says. But while 35-mm cameras could film at 48 fps, they were hamstrung by projectors that couldn’t match that evolution. “Unless you somehow got the entire industry to buy new projectors overnight, it was not something that was ever possible.”

Newer digital projectors, however, are capable of projecting 48 fps, and in a heavily computer-generated movie like The Hobbit, there’s an incredible effect on the relationship between a live-action and a CG character, says Andy Serkis, who plays the wrinkled, inhuman role of Gollum in The Hobbit.

“At 24 frames a second, there’s always a sense that they slightly inhabit different worlds, but that’s one of the great moves forward. (At 48 fps) your brain processes it in a completely different way and you cannot help but believe that these two beings exist…

Entire story at: USA Today



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