When “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” opens in theaters Dec. 14, audiences will have the option of viewing the film in a revolutionary 48 frames per second format — a new projection technique that’s designed to offer viewers a hyper-realistic “immersive” experience, according to director Peter Jackson.
But even he acknowledged that it will probably take a bit for moviegoers to become comfortable with the new technology.
Jackson spoke with Hero Complex contributor John Horn at Comic-Con International in July, just before announcing that the two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit” would become a trilogy. Watch the first part of their conversation above, and look for subsequent installments in the coming days.
In the interview, the filmmaker revealed how he selected the footage that was unveiled at the pop culture expo, describing those scenes as “more character based” while still speaking to the feeling of the story and the tone of the film. He also talked about the decision to screen the early footage at 24 frames per second rather than the new 48 frames per second rate he employed for the shoot.
Jackson had screened 10 minutes of the movie at 48 frames per second in April at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas to mixed reviews.
Jackson said he was frustrated by the reaction but remains a fan of the format, though he acknowledged, “48 frames per second is something you have to get used to. I’ve got absolute belief and faith in 48 frames … it’s something that could have ramifications for the entire industry. ‘The Hobbit’ really is the test of that.”
As for what moviegoers can expect from the first of the three films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved tale, Jackson said, “‘I’ve always tried to make movies that pull the audience out of their seats. … I want audiences to be transported.”
– Gina McIntyre
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