Following in the carbon neutral footprints of fellow movie heavyweight James Cameron – who last month explained that anyone not filming at 48 frames per second might as well be sitting in a cave daubing the walls with their own excrement – Peter Jackson has hit Facebook with a diatribe of his own. In it, the man behind The Hobbit goes into the history of film-making, various movie pioneers and the arguments he has had with film ‘purists’ who claim they enjoy the ‘blurring’ of 24 frame per second pieces. The blog itself – which nearly rivals LOTR itself for waffle (we thought he was going to start with the Elve songs at one point!) – can be seen here, but we’ve snatched a few of the most interesting parts for your reading pleasure. There’s also promise of a video arriving over the next few days so watch this space..
“We are indeed shooting at the higher frame rate. The key thing to understand is that this process requires both shooting and projecting at 48 fps, rather than the usual 24 fps (films have been shot at 24 frames per second since the late 1920’s). So the result looks like normal speed, but the image has hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok – and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years – but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or ‘strobe.’”
“Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3D. We’ve been watching Hobbit tests and dailies at 48 fps now for several months, and we often sit through two hours worth of footage without getting any eyestrain from the 3D. It looks great, and we’ve actually become used to it now, to the point that other film experiences look a little primitive. I saw a new movie in the cinema on Sunday and I kept getting distracted by the juddery panning and blurring. We’re getting spoilt!”