Please, stop whining about The Hobbit

Posted by Starr Keshet

So The Hobbit hasn't even hit theaters yet and already there is endless whining about how Peter Jackson is ruining the LOTR franchise because he showed clips of the film at 48 frames per second instead of 24.

My advice to 24 fps purists? Get over it. It's not like Jackson is pulling a Cameron and touting the wonders of all things 3D, forcing the audience to watch his movies in the rapidly evolving format. In fact, there is reportedly going to be 6 separate versions of The Hobbit this December: 3D, flat, Imax 3D - and all of those will be in both 24 and 48 frames a second. 

Please, stop whining about The Hobbit

Seriously, people. We all have to make compromises when it comes to LOTR. Was I happy that both Ralph Bakshai and Peter Jackson dropped Tom Bombadil from The Fellowship of the Ring? No, but I somehow managed to get over it and thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy as imagined by Jackson.

Fortunately, the veteran director shows little sign of being discouraged by the shrill Internet yelping of a few spoiled (and clueless) dissidents.

"It wasn't particularly surprising because it is something new. A lot of the critical response I was reading was people saying it's different. Well, yes, it certainly is," Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter.

 "But I think, ultimately, it is different in a positive way, especially for 3D, especially for epic films and films that are trying to immerse the viewer in the experience of a story."

However, Jackson did acknowledge that the short, ten-minute 48 frames per second clip shown at Cinemacon may have been to brief for viewers to fully understand the new format.

"It does take you a while to get used to. Ten minutes is sort of marginal, it probably needed a little bit more," he conceded. 

"Another thing that I think is a factor is it's different to look at a bunch of clips and some were fast-cutting, montage-style clips. This is different experience than watching a character and story unfold."



The director also emphasized that production wasn't expected to wrap until July, so the above-mentioned clips were basically unfinished, lacking both color correction and visual effects. In contrast, the original LOTR employed  various postproduction techniques to create a certain look for the movies, including "extensive" digital color grading, "added texture, and we took out highlights."


"[Of course], we'll do the same with The Hobbit, to make it consistent and give it the feeling of otherworldliness – to get the mood, the tone, the feel of the different scenes," he said. 

"We are certainly going to experiment with different finishing techniques to give the 48 frames a look that is more organic. But that work isn't due to start until we wrap photography in July."