The Hobbit treads carefully at 48 FPS
As we've previously reported, there's been quite a lot of controversy over The Hobbit being shot at 48 frames a second, which Peter Jackson feels will revolutionize movies.
Shooting at 48 frames a second supposedly adds a new level of realism, but some people who have seen it thought it looked like video tape. (And funny enough, James Cameron wants to shoot his Avatar sequel at an even faster frame rate).
Now several entertainment websites, including Variety and Cinema Blend, are reporting that Warner Brothers are being very cautious in releasing The Hobbit at 48 frames a second. Of course, The Hobbit will also be hitting theaters at 24 frames a second, but again, reports tell us that play dates where The Hobbit will be playing at 48 frames a sec will be limited at first, but it may expand if response is positive.
Collider and Variety also tell us the new footage looks "more polished and less jarring." Still, Variety notes that it may not even be playing at 48 frames a second in some major cities. As previous reports indicate, it can take a while to get used to 48 frames a second, so perhaps Warners wants to let the word of mouth grow before expanding their release in the format.
This indeed could be brave new territory, and maybe we'll really love it once we see it. I assume the trailer that played before The Dark Knight Rises is at 24 frames a second, it looked fine, although for a lot of film buffs like myself, we're still trying to get used to the fact that film is going bye bye soon, and it's all going to be digital in a few years.
In that case, most theaters are going to have to convert to digital projectors, some say by December of next year, but Variety also tells us to play 48 frames a second theaters will only need a software upgrade which will be available in September.
Ultimately The Hobbit is going to live or die on how good the story, actors and directors are, but how a film looks can have a huge effect on how much you enjoy it. There's nothing like watching a mint, pristine copy of a film you love, and we'll see how quickly we all adapt to the new technology when The Hobbit hits theaters on December 14, 2012.