Peter Jackson is making a push for higher film speeds with The Hobbit by doubling the speed of standard filming to 48 frames per second reports The Washington Post. The logic behind this is that the faster film speed improves the images and gets rid of blurr.
Speaking at the Sundance Film Festival Jackson said, “You shoot at 48, project at 48 and you get an illusion of life that’s remarkable. You don’t realize just how strobing and how flickery 24 frames is. You look at something at 48 frames, and it looks gorgeous. It looks like real life. It’s amazing.”
Jackson went on to say, “I’m hoping it’ll be just the first gentle step into changing film rates because we can change them, especially with all the digital technology now. Twenty-four is irrelevant… It’s far from the best visual way to present a film.”
Of course, it’s easy to see why film-makers would want to present their films in the best possible light, but what of the cinemas? Just how many will have the digital projectors required for showing the faster film speeds come next December when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released? When you consider that the number of people going to the cinema is declining, will the cinemas be investing in the new projectors? Well, we shall see. But it may be that the economics of the cinema means this “gentle step” could well falter and many of us will be viewing the film at the standard rate and wondering what we’ve missed.