Peter Jackson Shares More Thoughts on 48 FPS (frames per second)

by Apr 27, 2011The Hobbit (Movies)

With The Hobbit being shot at 48 frames per second (twice the standard of 24 fps), Peter Jackson is sharing his experience with this type of new filming process with us. Here’s what he noted on his Facebook page:

The news about us filming The Hobbit at 48 frames per second generated a lot of comments. Of course, it’s impossible to show you what 48 fps actually looks like outside of a movie cinema, but there were several interesting and insightful questions raised.

We will be completing a “normal” 24 frames per second version—in both digital and 35mm film prints. If we are able to get the Hobbit projected at 48 fps in selected cinemas, there will still be normal-looking 24 fps versions available in cinemas everywhere.

Converting a film shot at 48 fps down to 24 fps is not a hugely difficult process, but it requires testing to achieve the best results. Some of this involves digital processes during post-production. We are also shooting the film a slightly different way, which is a question several of you asked. Normally you shoot a movie with a 180-degree shutter angle.  Changing the shutter angle affects the amount of motion blur captured during movement. Reducing the shutter angle gives you the stroby (or jerky) “Saving Private Ryan” look.

However, we’re going the other way, shooting at 48 fps with a 270 degree shutter angle. This gives the 48 fps a lovely silky look, and creates a very pleasing look at 24 fps as well. In fact, our DP, Andrew Lesnie, and I prefer the look of 24 fps when it comes from a 48 fps master.

More soon ….

Peter J

I guess I’ve never been a huge fan of that ultra-realistic look–something 120hz HDTVs proclaim as a benefit and I’ve never liked.  I like the feel of film–but, of course, I’ve never seen anything but 24fps on a big screen.  I guess I’ll hold off on judging 48fps until I actually see it..


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