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48 Frames Changes Everything
December sees the release of Peter Jackson's new epic "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", and with it the first exhibition of a revolutionary new way of shooting, editing and displaying films, HFR (High Frame Rate) or 48fps (frames per second). Combined with "Hobbit" 's state of the art 3D, the total effect has been described by viewers as insanely sharp, bright and lifelike, though many of those same viewers have complained that the experience is somehow less movie-like.
Find out for yourself when the Arclight Cinemas premieres the new technology December 13th at its locations in Beach Cities, La Jolla, Pasadena, and Sherman Oaks. The Sheman Oaks and La Jolla locations will also debut another potentially game changing technology, Dolby Atmos sound processing, for their "Hobbit" showings (Arclight info is here). This article from "Hollywood Elsewhere" is a first person account of seeing scenes from the 48fps "Hobbit" at a special preview.
Excerpt: "It's like watching super high-def video, or without that filtered, painterly, brushstroke-y, looking-through-a-window feeling that feature films have delivered since forever. On one level what I saw this morning was fucking fantastic, and on another it removed the artistic scrim or membrane that separates the audience from the performers. Which gave a little feeling of ''hmmm.'
The effect is that you're not really watching a 'film.' You're watching, it seems, high-def video footage that, in an earlier time, might have been shot simultaneously along with the traditionally captured, more cinematic version that would be shown in theatres...or so you would have told yourself as you watched it in 1998 or 2005 or whenever. Except this is now and the high-def, 48 fps footage we saw this morning is it -- this is how the movie will actually look.
Forget the windowpane. You're right there and it's breathtaking -- no strobing, no flickering, pure fluidity and much more density of information. This makes the action scenes seem more realistic because it looks too real to be tricked up, and the CG stuff looks astonishing for the same reason.
Believe it or not but I, Jeffrey Wells, a Peter Jackson and Rings trilogy hater from way back, am looking forward big-time to The Hobbit now. I really am. This is going to be amazing. Shallow Hal that I am, I'm now into it big-time."
Note: Hunter Communications handles marketing at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, home to Arclight Cinemas Sherman Oaks.