Peter Jackson certainly seems to be as addicted to Facebook as many of us are. The director took to his page on the social network site this morning to address some fans’ concerns about his shooting The Hobbit at the relatively new frame rate of 48 frames per second and what this may mean if theaters haven’t converted from the century-old standard of 24 frames per second method of projection.
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 ….