Peter Jackson Figured Out the Problem with the Hobbit Footage, and It’s You


Remember last week how all the critics who got to see The Hobbit footage in its glorious 48 fps said it looked less glorious and more like a BBC soap opera from the ’70s? Well, Peter Jackson has figured out the problem, and your poor, unevolved eyes. Via the Hollywood Reporter:

“It does take you a while to get used to,” he said. “Ten minutes is sort of marginal, it probably needed a little bit more. Another thing that I think is a factor is it’s different to look at a bunch of clips and some were fast-cutting, montage-style clips. This is different experience than watching a character and story unfold.”

Because of that, he isn’t planning to release a 48 fps trailer for the movie. “I personally wouldn’t advocate a 48-frame trailer because the 48 frames is something you should experience with the entire film. A 2 1/2 minute trailer isn’t enough time to adjust to the immersive quality.”

Jackson himself has grown accustomed to watching 48fps imagery. He watches dailies in 48 frames every day, sometimes two hours worth.

“You get used to it reasonably quickly,” he said, commenting that now when he views traditional 24 frames footage, “I’m very aware of the strobing, the flicker and the artifacts.”
“We have obviously seen cuts of our movie at 48 and in a relatively short amount of time you have forgotten (the frame rate change). It is a more immersive and in 3D a gentler way to see the film.”

I’m kind of inclined to trust Jackson on this sort of thing, but holy shit do I get mad when people say “Everyone else is wrong and I’m right.” I know this isn’t exactly the same thing, but it’s close enough that my nerd-rage is tingling. Hey, Pete — if it still takes people 15 minutes of your 150 minutes film just to find it acceptable, it still might not be worth it, okay?