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Profiling the Technology of The Hobbit

November 15, 2012

The Hobbit Production Video #4

CLICK digs into the technology of The Hobbit movies. The magazine highlights 3 significant technical decisions that separate The Hobbit from its contemporaries. Shooting in 5K on RED EPICs — CLICK notes — is one of those decisions.

The other 2 decisions are shooting in 3D and shooting at 48 frames per second. CLICK offers a brief overview and defense of the 48fps decision:

But the biggest technological innovation at work in The Hobbit (and the most contentious) is the decision to shoot the film at 48 frames per second. Since the dawn of the sound era, movies have been filmed and projected at 24 frames for a variety of reasons which all come down to two basics – firstly, it was the lowest speed that allowed for a reasonably smooth illusion of movement and, secondly, it didn’t waste too much expensive celluloid.

Some 80 years later, the legacy persists but Jackson is bucking the trend and argues that the extra frames are significant. Doubling them quite simply equates to smoother and more natural motion and, when combined with the use of class leading 3D and hyper high definition filming, turns the cinema screen into a veritable window into another world.

We’ve written on the history of frames rates and the evolution to high frame rates in detail in this article.

CLICK is absolutely correct that these three technical choices have set the stage for The Hobbit movies’ realistic fantasy. We can’t do any better to explain it than Peter Jackson himself did in the production video blog above.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — the first movie in the triology — opens on December 14, 2012. Tickets are already on sale. Be sure to check 48fpsmovies.com to find a theater near you showing it as it was meant to be seen — in 48 frames per second.