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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Hobbit: in 48 FPS 3D 5K! Wow!

Since I'm a technology fan watching a movie at 48 frames per second and a 5k (double HD) image in 3D was a dream come true. Thank you Peter Jackson for making hard choices. There is no doubt that 20 years from now, anything less will look fuzzy and out of focus.

Of course, I was totally distracted by the detail in the scenes. In fact I was barely aware of the action and the dialogue because there was so much to see and discover around it.

For example:

  • The carved posts on the rocking chair caught my eye and I have no idea what they were talking about.
  • During the escape from the goblins I found myself exploring the endless detail of the cave and from time to time checking in on the group of dwarves as they hacked their way across the hanging bridges. 

There was enough detail to fill two movies; so I will go twice.

At every action scene or when the camera panned  I was ecstatic, remarking as a though awakening from blindness "I can see! I can see!"; oblivious to any narration  that might be going on at the time.

There is no doubt that establishing shots, panoramas and action scenes are much more enjoyable in this format. This technology sets the minimum standard for all sweeping panorama shots for all film. It is so sharp. What a crime to setup beautiful panoramas and then blur them with 24 fps camera strobe.

Much as a director might choose to present a movie in black and white or some other format this new format broadens the pallet of styles a director can use. I expect that future movies, being all digital, will slip from 48 fps to 24, 4k to blur, 3D to 2D as required by the scenario to focus the viewer's attention from the details of a scene, to the action, to the dialogue; removing distracting elements to suit the story line.

I felt much the same with Avatar, the 3D scenes where so full of details, I only turned my full attention to the story once I watched it in the visually less engaging format of 2D.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Masterclass in Why 48 FPS Fails