Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated Lord of the Rings prequel, based on the book of the same name, has been attracting buzz over just about every single element of the filming ever since we first heard that it was going ahead. Now a little bit of controversy may be breaking over the technical way in which it has been filmed, according to reports coming out of CinemaCon.
Allegedly, the footage shown was “jarring”, and likely to put off “casual movie-goers”. The reason? Jackson’s decision to shoot in 48fps rather than the industry standard 24fps. He claims that this method offers smoother, more natural visuals where motion is concerned, but viewers described it as unbalanced in contrast and “too clear”. The magic of cinema is apparently taken away when this quicker frame rate is used, making the sets look like sets rather than the real places we are supposed to believe in.
Jackson however is adamant that he has made the right choice to switch to 48fps. He says in reaction to the critics that “nobody is going to stop. This technology is going to keep evolving”. It is certainly true that there have been adverse reactions and criticism in the past to HD filming techniques and 3D, both of which we as a viewing public seem to have settled into nicely. It is possible that these negative reports so far are simply a reaction to seeing something new and strange.
Time will tell whether this directorial decision will pay off, and while it is already certain that ticket sales will be high when The Hobbit opens, the true test of the film is going to be the reviews from the average cinema-goer on the street. Will we love it, or hate it? At this stage there’s only one thing for sure – and that is that Martin Freeman just looks ridiculously adorable as a hobbit, doesn’t he?