ComingSoon.net was at CinemaCon and had a chance to see the footage. Lots of great new stuff, but it seems that Peter Jackson’s push for 48 frames per second (up from today’s films at 24fps), is being met with some resistance. Here’s a bit of their overview (click here to read the whole bit–scroll toward the bottom of their article):
13 Dwarves from The HobbitJackson was at CinemaCon last year pushing higher frame rates. Back when sound was introduced, the standard film frame rate was increased to 24 frames per second, although it was never made higher essentially to save money on film. With digital, there’s no reason to stick to 24 frames, because you have unlimited time when recording footage to a hard drive and Jackson claims that the 3D is much easier on the eyes without the strobing or flicker from the lower frame rate. His decision to screen ten minutes was because that’s how long it takes for the eyes to adjust, and the 48 FPS was noticeable right away, especially if you’d previously seen the trailer on a big screen or even a laptop, but we’ll talk more about that after discussing the actual footage.
It opened with lots of sweeping shots of the mountains and landscapes of Middle Earth set to Howard Shore’s distinctive score leading into an introduction by the older Bilbo, played by Ian Holm, telling the story of his journey to Frodo, and we see a brief glimpse of Elijah Wood as his “Lord of the Rings” character. This then leads into the opening from the trailer of Gandalf approaching Bilbo to go on a journey with the dwarves. We watched a good section of when Bilbo encounters trolls around the campfire early in his journey and they’re trying to decide how to eat him, and as one of the trolls lift Bilbo up, Thorin leaps forward and the rest of the dwarves come forward to save him.
There’s also a significant scene where Gandalf is presenting “the Immortal Blade” to a council made up of Christopher Lee’s Saruman, Cate Blanchett’s Galadriel, and Hugo Weaving’s Elrond as they discuss the sword’s origins and how Gandalf was able to get it from the crypt of the Witch King where he was buried in a tomb covered with spells preventing it from being opened.