‘The Hobbit’ Shooting With James Cameron Future Technology.

A couple of months ago James Cameron was blabbering with his babbling lips about the future of movie technology lying in shooting at 48fps. I dismissed Cameron’s blathering because he’s in that rarefied league of blowhards like George Lucas who just gab and spew bullshit. At the time, “shooting in 48fps” translated to “creating 3D that didn’t look like strobing, dark, bullshit.”

But Peter Jackson is now shooting ‘The Hobbit’ with these cameras, so I’m sort of paying attention.


The basic gist is this: Cameron proposes that future movies should be shot and projected at either 48 or 60 frames per second. All of the digital film cameras are able to shoot at that speed, and all of the second generation digital cinema projectors (2010 on) should be able to project at that speed with a software upgrade. The result is a lot smoother movement, less of the strobing effect, which gives the impression of an enhanced resolution. And of course, the higher frame rate will help with the discomfort some experience with 3D. The footage I screened during Cameron’s presentation, shot/screend at 48 frames a second in 3D, looked incredible. The best way to describe it, is to quote Cameron: “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality.”
Our friends at Marketsaw have learned that Jackson is shooting The Hobbit in 47.96 frames per second with the previously reported 30 RED Epic cameras.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the film will be distributed in 48fps.Who knows if New Line/Warner Bros is going to pay to have the visual effects rendered at 48 frames per second (While some claim it would double the price of rendering, Cameron argued during the presentation that smart pipeline software could choose which motion heavy footage would require the extra rendered frames, resulting in only a 10% increase in price). And if the studio is on board, then movie theaters would need to make sure their equipment is upgraded for 48fps presentation.

Until this post, I had forgotten that The Hobbit was going to be in 3D. Fucking bummer. However, if it’s going to be, I hope this new futuro technology works. I am a victim of the strobing effect, and the muddied colors, so let’s upgrade that bullshit.