The Hobbit 48fps question - too realistic?

December 2012 saw the release of the Hobbit in a 48fps 3D format, while the 2D version remains in the traditional 24fps format. There is also a non-High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D version available at selected cinemas.

What the deal with 48fps? 

Frame rate: To sum up is the rate at which consecutive images display. Typically this is 24 frames per a second (fps) for motion video, while your home camera will take video at a higher rate allowing you to see Aunt Betsy's yellowing dentures in full detail.

A higher frame rate translates to details that are not readily visible at 24fps being displayed in all there glorious detail or gory detail, depending on how you interpret it. Makeup, weird blue contact lenses and so forth all become visible as every flaw can be seen. Some consider this as "breaking the spell of a film" 

Reviews on 48fps 3D:

Scriptmag described it as follows:

While your eyes will grow accustomed to this higher frame rate, the end result of the crisp and vivid images is actually a lowered level of realism rather than an increased one. To me, everything seemed flat. The depth of field was lost. Instead of being immersed in another world, it feels more like watching CGI cut scenes from a video game.

Gizmondo describes the 48fps as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Masterclass in Why 48 FPS Fails

he's killed a lot of the magic of what makes a film entrance an audience if you will, at least in my opinion. I did find myself become more "immersed" in the 3 dimensional environment and all of these details—but to the detriment of the film and the narrative itself.

The Hobbit Screen writing breakdown described it as follows:

Before I get into the writing side of this movie, I first have to address the 48 frames per second phenomenon. Now maybe I’m wrong and in 10 years every movie will be in 48 fps and we’ll look back at this 24 frames stuff as ancient history, the way my generation looked at Black and White films. And the way that generation looked back at films without sound. But I don’t know. I understand we’ve been conditioned on this frame rate for over a hundred years, and we’ve been led to believe that anything 30 frames per second or higher looks like home video, but that’s what this looked like to me. It looked like home video.
No, you know what it looked like? It looked like those History Channel reenactments, but with like 100 times the production value. I mean for the first half of the movie, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All I kept saying was, “This looks so cheap.” Not only because it looked like video but because it was so smooth and crisp you could see the make-up on the actors. You could see all the imperfections. Now I did start to get used to it as the movie went on, but I’d be surprised if James Cameron decided to shoot Avatar this way after seeing the footage (as he’d been hinting at).
The Vulture describes it as follows
The difference is psychological, not visual — there’s what we are accustomed to, and then there's the new. We’re used to making certain assumptions about what we see on a screen. "Colors are not as rich on TV sets or desktop monitors,” said Banks. “The motion is not as smooth. Brightness is not as great. We've adjusted to that, and we accept it. So when we see a projection that is closer to reality than what we are used to, our brains go, 'Whoa!' and we get this 'hyper-real' sensation. I think that's what's happening to people. Things look unusually sharp [in The Hobbit], and we're seeing something closer to reality.
"If people are frustrated, it's because this seems a violation of what has been considered normal," he continued. "Look at how people reacted when color was first introduced, or Hi-Definition, or Dolby sound. There were negative reactions to all of those at first, too. But now if you don't have them, you feel deprived."

Where can you see the Hobbit in 48fps in 3D in Australia?

Bondi Juncion: Event Bondi Junction
Brisbane: Event Brisbane Myer
Burwood: Event Burwood
Broadway: Hoyts Broadway
Campbelltown: Event Campbelltown
Canberra: Dendy Cinemas
Cannington: Hoyts Carousel
Castle Hill: Event Castle Hill
Chadstone: Hoyts Chadstone
Chatswood: Hoyts Chatswood Westfield
Cheltenham: Village Cinemas Southland
Chermside: Event Chermside
Doncaster: Village Cinemas
Glendale: Event Glendale
Hornsby: Event Hornsby
Indooroopilly: Event Indooroopilly
Innaloo: Event Innaloo
Liverpool: Event Liverpool
Macquarie Park: Event Macquarie Park
Maribyrnong: Hoyts Highpoint
Maroochydore: Event Maroochydore Sunshine Plaza
Melbourne: Hoyts Melbourne Central
Morley: Event Morley
Narre Warren Village: Cinemas Fountain Gate
Norwood: Hoyts Norwood
Oaklands Park: Event Marion
Parramatta: Event Parramatta
Penrith: Hoyts Penrith
Perth: Hoyts Perth with IMAX
Queensland: Cairns Central
Robina: Event Robina
South Yarra: Village Cinemas Jam Factory
Sydney: Event George Street
Tuggerah: Event Tuggerah
Upper Mt Gravatt: Event Garden City
Wantirna South: Village Cinemas Knox

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to burst your bubble, Vulture. But there was only positive reactions to sound, color, Hi-Def, and Dolby sound. And to add culture to the Vulture, black and white continues to be used as an accepted filming style for decades. 48fps does indeed break the suspension of disbelief and magic of the movies.