When the first installment of The Hobbit debuted last year, Peter Jackson used a new technology, 48 frames per second, which many hailed as a great new innovation. But the technology didn’t fly with the public, who complained of headaches after watching The Hobbit in that format.
48 frames per second also made The Hobbit look too slick and unrealistic, which wasn’t the initial goal. So we figured the technology would be dead in the water after this one film, even though James Cameron wants to shoot his Avatar sequels at much faster frame rates. Yet could it be possible the technology has improved by now?
Variety just ran a report that tells us The Desolation of Smaug is playing on 812 screens in high frame rate, even more than the first installment. Jackson learned from his first time using the technology, and he says it will look much better from here. “48 frames per second is a way, way better way to look at 3D,” he said.
As for the unrealistic look of 48 frames, “I spent a lot of time experimenting with ways we could soften the image and make it look a bit more filmic,” Jackson continued. “Not more like 35mm film necessarily, but just to take the HD quality away from it, which I think I did reasonably successfully.”
Whatever format audiences choose to watch Smaug, the reviews tell us it’s a much better movie than the first Hobbit installment, and we hope this goes for the high frame rate of the film as well.