For years, James Cameron has been telling everyone who would listen (mostly his army of high-priced whores) that a lot of the early problems people had with 3D – that it required slower cuts and camera movements because of strobing and blurring – could be solved with higher frame rates, which is relatively easy to accomplish (your TV is already capable of doing much higher than film’s 24 frames per second, for instance). Peter Jackson explained last year:
Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok–and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years–but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.”
Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D.
Jackson put his money where his beardy mouth is, shooting The Hobbit at 48 fps, and today Warner Bros debuted some of the footage at CinemaCon.
Peter Jackson said in a videotaped message that he hopes his movie can be played in 48fps in “as many cinemas as possible” when it opens on Dec. 14.
In his message, Jackson stated that higher frame rates could make cinema “more attractive,” especially in 3D as it is “more gentle on the eyes.” He added that 2D at 48fps also looks “fantastic.”
The clarity Jackson described was visible in the presentation, but since the clips were described as “a work in progress” Warner did not screen footage that was fully color-corrected, or featuring completed VFX work.
And if I could sum up the collective reaction, I’d say it’s something along the lines of “OH MY GOD A WITCH, BURN IT!”