30 April 2012

Peter Jackson Defends 48fps ‘Hobbit’ Footage

Last week, Peter Jackson revealed ten minutes of unfinished footage from The Hobbit, shot at 48 frames per second, to folks at CinemaCon.

And the response was less than glowing. One critic described the footage as “jarring,” while others felt it looked “uncinematic” – more like a made-for-TV movie.

But while the audience seemed surprised by the footage, the director himself was not.

“It wasn't particularly surprising because it is something new," he told the Hollywood Reporter. “Ultimately, it is different in a positive way, especially for 3D, especially for epic films.”

Despite the criticism he has received, Jackson has defended the footage.

“Nobody is going to stop,” he told EW. “This technology is going to keep evolving. At first it’s unusual because you’ve never seen a movie like this before.… It’s literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn’t last the entire experience of the film; not by any stretch, after 10 minutes or so. That’s a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation.… There can only ever be a real reaction, a truthful reaction, when people actually have a chance to see a complete narrative on a particular film.… You settle into it.”

Undeterred by the critics, he plans to continue filming The Hobbit films at 48fps.

“Advocating that we have to stick with what we know, I think is a slightly narrow-minded way of looking at things when as an industry we are facing declining audiences.”

"We have to find ways to make it more vibrant, more immersive - something that will encourage people to come back to the theatres for that experience.”

Fortunately, for those still deterred by the prospect of 48fps, Jackson has no plans to shoot the trailer in that style.

“The 48 frames is something you should experience with the entire film. A two-and-a-half minute trailer isn't enough time to adjust to the immersive quality.”


  1. My concern is more about 3D than 48fps... but both are based on the same issue that is, as mentioned by PJ himself, the marketing frenzy needed by the film industry to catch the attention of the public. I don't like 3D, call me old school, but to me is more like a distraction, an eye candy thing for people to feel something different. If the movie is great, if the story is great it can be told with anything. If 48fps is the next thing because the images are more clear, neat, real... that's fine. I guess we will know by the end of the year :)

    1. I agree. I've only seen a few 3D films, and a) I never liked wearing those glasses, and b) it never really bettered the experience for me. It might be cool to see something like a nature programme or first-person POV cliff jumping in 3D (there you actually get the sensation of being a part of it), but to watch a film in that format is very different. I think it's great that Jackson is looking to the future rather than taking the safe route and sticking to what we know; but where 3D is still relatively new, who's to say if that's such a good idea?