Miscellaneous, Movies

The Hobbit Looks So Good It Kind of Sucks



You may or may not have heard that Peter Jackson is filming the two Hobbit movies at 48 frames per second, twice as fast as movies have been traditionally shown at (24 frames per second) for last 100 years or so. Jackson finally revealed about 10 minutes of Hobbit footage shot in this amazing new way the other day, and by virtue of the fact I’m telling you about it at all you can probably guess it did not do well. Basically, every one who saw it said the footage looked like TV at best, and more people commented how the shots were so clear that the make-up and artificiality of the sets was obvious and glaring.

I feel like /Film puts it best: basically, at 48 frames per second, everything looks so real that it looks fake. It’s goes from “that’s a Hobbit in Middle-Earth!” to “that’s a guy in well-done Hobbit make-up standing in a set made to look like Middle-Earth!” Obviously, a certain amount of realism in a movie is good, even for something like The Hobbit, but it sounds when things look too real they kind of suck, probably because real life sucks.
I actually have no idea how dire this is — if this is something can easily be corrected, or if Peter Jackson can just drop every other frame out and save the day, or what. Maybe the footage just needs some tweaking or something. My question is this: If the regular footage looks this awkward, how will the CG special effects look in 48fps? 

About Author

Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.