Peter Jackson Responds To 'Hobbit' Frame Rate Criticism

The Hobbit

Attendees of CinemaCon might not have been fans of "The Hobbit" footage presented in 48 frames per second, but Peter Jackson isn't letting that get him down. In fact, he seems to think that people just haven't gotten used to the new film style. Critics in the movie community seemed to find fault in the way the higher frame rate made the flick seem less cinematic and feel like you're on "The Hobbit's" set, but Jackson has come out and said they just need time to adjust.

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson said that viewers should decide for themselves whether they like the format or not. He also argues that 10 minutes of footage doesn't give consumers enough time to judge 48 fps fairly.

"You get used to it reasonably quickly," he said to THR, adding that now when he views traditional 24 fps, "I'm very aware of the strobing, the flicker and the artifacts."

Films are currently shown at 24 fps, but Jackson and James Cameron (another proponent of the doubled frame rate) hope that this new style of filmmaking will make 3D a more immersive and gentle experience. This also means that "The Hobbit" will be shown in six potential formats, since the 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D screenings will all be available in both 24 fps and 48 fps.

"Nobody is going to stop. This technology is going to keep evolving," Jackson told EW. "At first it's unusual because you've never seen a movie like this before. It's literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn't last the entire experience of the film -- not by any stretch, [just] 10 minutes or so. That's a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation."

Jackson has opted not to show the trailer in 48 fps because he doesn't think it's enough time for average moviegoers to get used to the format, so the first time they see it will be in theaters when the movie comes out on December 14. And if they don't like it then? Well, too bad.

"I can't say anything," Jackson acknowledged. "Just like I can't say anything to someone who doesn't like fish. You can't explain why fish tastes great and why they should enjoy it."

He seems to think it's just a matter of adjusting to the new format, and it seems that 48 fps offers a similar experience as LED screens. Jackson found that critics seemed to like new frame rate more as the footage continued screening.

"A couple of the more negative commenters from CinemaCon said that in the Gollum and Bilbo scene [which took place later in the presentation] they didn't mind it and got used to that," he told EW. "That was the same 48 frames the rest of the reel was. I just wonder if it they were getting into the dialogue, the characters and the story. That's what happens in the movie. You settle into it."

Are you willing to give 48 fps a try? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter!

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