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'The Hobbit' will not be widely released in 48 FPS

post #1 of 266
Thread Starter 
It seems that the world isn't ready for 48 frames per second just yet...


Quote:
In a somewhat surprising bit of news, Variety reports that Warner Bros. will not widely release "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in 48 fps 3D this December... When Jackson screened "Hobbit" footage to journalists and film theater owners at CinemaCon in April, the reaction was decidedly mixed. "The footage I saw looked terrible … completely non-cinematic," wrote Devin Faraci at Badass Digest. "The sets looked like sets … sets don’t even look like sets when you’re on them live, but these looked like sets. The magical illusion of cinema is stripped away completely.”

Following the tepid CinemaCon response, Warner Bros. and Jackson decided against screening "The Hobbit" in 48 fps 3D at Comic-Con because of worries that the assembled fanboys would revolt.

Despite the back-away from mass release 48 FPS, Warner Bros. is still fully onboard with the technological revolution. Per Variety, the 48 fps footage from "The Hobbit" has improved since CinemaCon, and the studio is hoping to "test the marketplace" with a limited run at theaters with high-frame rate capabilities. If the audience enjoys what it sees, expect both the second and third "Hobbit" films to get a much larger release in 48 fps 3D.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/the-hobbit-48-fps-warner-bros-peter-jackson_n_1755388.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
post #2 of 266
Damn it.
post #3 of 266
I won't be going to see it if it's not shown in 48 fps in my area. If necessary I'll wait till it comes out on 48fps blu-ray and watch it the way the director intended it then.
post #4 of 266
Epic fail. Even Sweden is upgrading for 48fps in most cities. This can only mean that it doesn't work or look film like enough.
You may think that they would've done some test before shooting a whole movie and bragging about it but I guess not
post #5 of 266
Film is a very literal medium. The more closely that medium approximates reality, the more literal it becomes. This becomes a real problem when we are trying to get an audience to suspend disbelief while viewing subject matter often plucked from literature, which of course is a FAR LESS LITERAL medium.

The most fantastical storyline can seem plausible in text, but completely fall apart once transferred into a more literal medium, where we are required to experience it from the outside (ie watching it) instead of from the inside. Paradoxically, the more we fool the brain into thinking it's looking at something real, the greater this problem becomes.


High frame rates look wonderful on sporting events and on documentaries, where the ability to trick the mind into thinking it's watching something real is actually a benefit. But on a movie taking place in a fantasy world populated by wizards and dragons and Hobbits, the additional visual realism can easily interfere with our ability to appreciate what we are seeing. In other words, we begin to feel like we are watching actors performing on a set instead of characters experiencing life in an imagined world.

Perhaps it could work if the director found a technique for removing some of the realness from the presentation.
Edited by gremmy - 8/8/12 at 12:05pm
post #6 of 266
but doesn't the 48fps enhance 3d viewing?
post #7 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

Perhaps it could work if the director found a technique for removing some of the realness from the presentation.

48fps is just another tool in the director's toolbox. He can choose to present material recorded at 48fps as 24fps by throwing away half of the frames and duplicating the other half, and it'll look exactly like everything today does. That means he can pick and choose, scene by scene, when he wants the added realism and when he wants the classic "film" look. Giving a competent director more tools is always a positive thing. I personally have no interest in "The Hobbit", but I was excited for it only because it was helping push in this much needed additional tool. I say "much needed" because in cases where realism is what the director is after, the archaic frame rate is the biggest thing standing in the way. Camera operators today are accustomed to working around this limitation by avoiding in-focus objects slowly panning across the screen. Giving them back this ability could really change the feel of some scenes.
post #8 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post

but doesn't the 48fps enhance 3d viewing?

In theory.
post #9 of 266
Whatever keeps me in the story and in the film. If 48fps takes me out of the picture, I don't want it, at least not right now. However, I think this may be a case of filmmaking technique needing to catch up with the technology. In the early days of sound (and color, for that matter) the sheer novelty of the new technology was jarring not just to viewers, but the people creating the films--it took a while to make it an effective tool in the arsenal of the filmmakers.
post #10 of 266
I would like to see it at 48 FPS and judge for myself...new technology is fun...I'm sure NYC will be one of those places that gets the limited screenings

is the higher frame rate only for 3D showings or will 2D also get it?
post #11 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

I would like to see it at 48 FPS and judge for myself...new technology is fun...I'm sure NYC will be one of those places that gets the limited screenings
is the higher frame rate only for 3D showings or will 2D also get it?

I imagine one reason why the 48fps release will be "limited" is simply the issue of how many theaters will have that capability.
post #12 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

The most fantastical storyline can seem plausible in text, but completely fall apart once transferred into a more literal medium,

100% agree. It's a tragic irony for a film like this -- the closer to reality the image becomes, the more obviously unreal it seems.
post #13 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

He can choose to present material recorded at 48fps as 24fps by throwing away half of the frames and duplicating the other half, and it'll look exactly like everything today does.
It won't look exactly like everything does today because each frame recorded at 48fps will be exposed for half the shutter speed, meaning less of the natural blur you see when recording at 24fps, thereby giving more of a strobic look when using every other frame.
post #14 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

It won't look exactly like everything does today because each frame recorded at 48fps will be exposed for half the shutter speed, meaning less of the natural blur you see when recording at 24fps, thereby giving more of a strobic look when using every other frame.
And usually shutter speed is 1/24 for 24 fps? Not 1/48? However, I've read shutter speed for Hobbit is 1/64.
post #15 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mounta1n View Post

I won't be going to see it if it's not shown in 48 fps in my area. If necessary I'll wait till it comes out on 48fps blu-ray and watch it the way the director intended it then.

You better rethink that. 48 fps 3D is not a standard for Blu-ray. So don't expect to see it anytime soon - as in years. The BDA isn't going to set a new standard for just a single movie.
post #16 of 266
They would not have made this decision without extensive testing. It is likely what they found was an overwhelmingly negative response. Not a surprise to me.

I'll see it in 2D 24fps and then if I like the film, will see it again at 48fps and 3D.
post #17 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

It won't look exactly like everything does today because each frame recorded at 48fps will be exposed for half the shutter speed, meaning less of the natural blur you see when recording at 24fps, thereby giving more of a strobic look when using every other frame.

That's why they will have to add back in motion blur when they down convert from 48 fps to 24 fps.
post #18 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

They would not have made this decision without extensive testing. It is likely what they found was an overwhelmingly negative response. Not a surprise to me.
I'll see it in 2D 24fps and then if I like the film, will see it again at 48fps and 3D.
Quote:
People who have seen much of the film in 48 frames-per-second 3D tell Variety the picture now looks vastly better than the test footage shown this April at CinemaCon, which had not yet undergone post-production polishing and got a mixed reception from exhibitors.

But the studio still wants to protect the format by going into a limited release for the HFR version, hoping to test the marketplace and expand the HFR release for the second and third installments -- provided auds are enthusiastic. As of now, there are still no theaters ready for HFR projection, though some require only a software upgrade that will be ready in September. Warners is satisfied with the pace of efforts to ready theaters for HFR.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118057587

Would you like to make a Gentlemen's Bet . . . that there will be an even higher premium for 48 fps 3D tickets?
post #19 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomoneh View Post

And usually shutter speed is 1/24 for 24 fps? Not 1/48? However, I've read shutter speed for Hobbit is 1/64.
With film, shooting at 24fps typically meant 1/48th shutter speed. With digital, it varies. If you ever see a video-ish look, even when recorded at 24fps, that indicates a 1/24th shutter speed. Cutting down the shutter speed yields the amount of blur we're used to with film.
post #20 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

You better rethink that. 48 fps 3D is not a standard for Blu-ray. So don't expect to see it anytime soon - as in years. The BDA isn't going to set a new standard for just a single movie.

So about the time the box set with all three of the Hobbit movies appears? (extended edition, of course)
post #21 of 266
Another angle I've considered about this previously is, if Peter Jackson was trying to maximize, or at least make use of, the benefits to be gained by removing the limitations of the 24fps medium, such as being able to use faster pans etc., will it make the movie look like shite in those scenes when viewed at 24fps? Like will there be massive judder in 24fps for some scenes?
post #22 of 266
Looks like a case of the studio execs overriding the wishes of a Director. Gee, that NEVER happens... rolleyes.gif

An important facet that everybody seems to miss is that the footage had NOT gone through post-production. Even just post production, or lack thereof, can have a huge impact on picture quality noticeable to every viewer.

Here's an excellent example which everybody needs to see for themselves. Stargate SG-1 Season 10 "Heroes" parts 1 & 2. Here's a youtube clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIOydxWvdtM

In this episode, a documentary team goes in to interview the various characters about what they do. When the documentary is being "filmed", the entire look of the image shifts, and it really does look like the "soap opera effect". The thing is, the frame rate of the show is not changing for these particular cuts. What is changing is the fact that they did not post-process the video for the "interview" scenes.

If Peter Jackson made a mistake, it was not in showing 48fps footage. It was in showing raw unprocessed 48fps footage.

This may well be why FI on televisions makes movies look bad to many people. It's very likely that footage shot in 48fps requires different post-processing than 24fps footage.
post #23 of 266
GLAD its not going to be in 48fps... "3D" viewing as a whole is a GIANT JOKE for multiple reasons.

-Let alone the fact that only sections of movies are done in it, what is done is not done well. There is the exceptional portion of a movie that is done decently like Avatar but those are few and far between.

-wearing 3D glasses (or really any kind of glasses) for 2 hours is not my idea of fun or entertainment. My 20/10 vision trumps anything they can do any day of the week.

-I, for one refuse to pay movie theater prices for "3D" which is wayyyy too expensive. If they let people bring their own glasses or reuse their own they could eliminate some of the costs and maybe I would go see them more.

Not trying to make this an "I hate 3D" post which I'm sure has been beaten to death. However, it does seem necessary to point out when people bring up the topic of movie makers steering away from 3D technological advances that 3D as a whole still has a VERY long ways to go before its perfect, or for me and many others, even enjoyable. Do I own a 3D tv (2 actually), 1.4a HDMI recevier (2 actually), and a 3D blu ray player or two? YES. But its only to potentially future proof myself and be able to have 3D if and when they make some major improvements.

On the other hand I am SUPER excited about the movie itself. I've wanted more story from LOTR for a long time. Can wait til Dec.!
post #24 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

48fps is just another tool in the director's toolbox. He can choose to present material recorded at 48fps as 24fps by throwing away half of the frames and duplicating the other half, and it'll look exactly like everything today does. That means he can pick and choose, scene by scene, when he wants the added realism and when he wants the classic "film" look. Giving a competent director more tools is always a positive thing. I personally have no interest in "The Hobbit", but I was excited for it only because it was helping push in this much needed additional tool. I say "much needed" because in cases where realism is what the director is after, the archaic frame rate is the biggest thing standing in the way. Camera operators today are accustomed to working around this limitation by avoiding in-focus objects slowly panning across the screen. Giving them back this ability could really change the feel of some scenes.

Agreed.
post #25 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mounta1n View Post

So about the time the box set with all three of the Hobbit movies appears? (extended edition, of course)

LOL - so all you have is three movies. Again, not enough for the BDA to make changes to the specs of BD. Those are the only movies we know of thave been officially announced, shot and to be released in HFR. They are at this time an experiment - nothing more. If the industry embraced it and they started making 20 to 50 films a year, THEN you would see some interest.

Plus you have the issue of storage on a BD - AFAIK, not enough to do 48 fps in 3D using a current 50GB dual layer BD.

You will probably see 4k resolution for BD using H.265 which will fit on a 50GB BD long before you see HFR 3D. Plus there is no standard for HFR. Will it be 48 fps? What about 60 fps - that's what Cameron wants.
post #26 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by ten8yp View Post

Not trying to make this an "I hate 3D" post which I'm sure has been beaten to death. However, it does seem necessary to point out when people bring up the topic of movie makers steering away from 3D technological advances that 3D as a whole still has a VERY long ways to go before its perfect, or for me and many others, even enjoyable. Do I own a 3D tv (2 actually), 1.4a HDMI recevier (2 actually), and a 3D blu ray player or two? YES. But its only to potentially future proof myself and be able to have 3D if and when they make some major improvements.

Major improvements? Such as what? What makes you think any improvements they do make can be added to your equipment?
post #27 of 266
I'm glad to hear about this. Instead of a "we'll force the issue" attitude, it sounds like it's the STUDIO that had a course of action forced on it. Those who are dying to see this ballyhooed technology will have to go out of their way (and pay a big premium) to see it; the rest of us won't have anything forced on us.
post #28 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart View Post

Major improvements? Such as what? What makes you think any improvements they do make can be added to your equipment?

I'm guessing that my equipment is not whats needs to be added to currently... I would have to believe that my hardware can be improved via firmware updating.

As far as non-hardware improvements... I dont pretend to know HOW. Not my job... but I do know that I cant stand it right now and wouldn't spend extra money on it in the theater.

Suggestions for 3D movie manufacturers:

Make an entire movie in REAL 3D
Give me 3D WITHOUT glasses
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

I'm glad to hear about this. Instead of a "we'll force the issue" attitude, it sounds like it's the STUDIO that had a course of action forced on it. Those who are dying to see this ballyhooed technology will have to go out of their way (and pay a big premium) to see it; the rest of us won't have anything forced on us.

Agreed!
post #29 of 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by ten8yp View Post

GLAD its not going to be in 48fps... "3D" viewing as a whole is a GIANT JOKE for multiple reasons.
Any chance you noticed that this discussion had NOTHING to do with whether or not the movie would be distributed in 3D?
post #30 of 266
Anybody happen to know what projectors they had on hand for the comic-con material and, more importantly, if they could natively project 48 fps (or, more likely 96 fps)? I'm holding on to the hope that the negative reactions were caused by frame interpolation and not necessarily the 48 fps. I say this because I have long been looking forward to increasing the frame rates for movies but have also abhorrently despised the dreaded "soap opera" look... I'll take panning blur over the soap opera look any day, so I hope this isn't really the trade-off.
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