Can 48 Frames Per Second Be Undone?
December 4, 2012 10:15 AM   Subscribe

So I hear the reviews on the Hobbit are mixed, and the biggest issue seems to be that the 48-frames-per second film looks "uncomfortably real." Can this be undone? With enough pressure, could PJ be forced to flip some computer switch that makes the film look "right?"
posted by jefficator to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I believe there are multiple versions of the movie being shown (regular, IMAX, IMAX 3d, IMAX 3d 48fps, and maybe some other combinations) so nobody is forced to watch the "uncomfortably real" movie. And the general recommendation is to only see it in 48fps if you're interested in the technology.

I actually would want to watch it in 48fps, but the biggest IMAX theater around here is only showing it in IMAX 3d, not IMAX 3d 48FPS. And I hear that the 2D versions are all 24fps.
posted by ethidda at 10:19 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Go see it in a regular theater. Pretend this 48 frames per second nonsense does not exist. Sort of like I do with that "other" Star Wars trilogy people keep insisting happened.
posted by Sara C. at 10:21 AM on December 4, 2012 [10 favorites]

The 48fps version is in limited release, so most people won't see it anyway.

For those who don't like it, you might want to get used to it. 24fps is an arachic standard that we've convinced our brains to like. Video will continue to get higher and higher framerates, as we'll soon reach the maximum resolution our eyes can care about, and theaters (and tech companies) will need something to charge more for.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

Yes, films are already shot digitally and filmized (made to look like they were shot on photochemical stock) through digital filters.
posted by inturnaround at 10:24 AM on December 4, 2012

If soap operas had adopted HD before mainstream media, people would refuse to watch The Avengers at anything over 640x480.
posted by CustooFintel at 10:27 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

The 48fps version is the one you should see as it is the format that Peter Jackson intended it to be viewed in.
It's not a gimmick. Douglas Trumbull's research in developing Showscan demonstrated that higher frame rates enhanced viewer's emotional reactions to the film.
posted by Sophont at 10:31 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Hobbit will be showing in 48fps IMAX 3D, 48fps 3D, IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D.

You can see which your theater will be showing here.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:47 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dasein: if you look at the chart, it indicates where all the combinations will be shown, including IMAX HFR (High Framerate) 3D. On an anecdotal note, I have my tickets, and they say "3d IMAX HFR" specifically.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:04 AM on December 4, 2012

So the 48fps biz is only going to be 3D?

posted by FatherDagon at 1:28 PM on December 4, 2012

Ditto, I have a prism, and pretty hefty one, in my glasses prescription so, at least for the only other 3D film I've seen in theater Avatar, so 3D films are actually physically painful to me because I get a pretty decent headache within 20 mins of the lead in.

I may suffer through just to see this one but that kinda sucks...
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:31 PM on December 4, 2012

FatherDagon: "So the 48fps biz is only going to be 3D?"

It probably was the only way to convince theater owners to put up the cash for equipment upgrades, by ensuring that they'd be able to charge their highest ticket prices for showings on that equipment.

For those who can't stand 3D, but want to experience the film in theaters at High Frame Rate, you could always bring an eyepatch to wear under your 3D glasses. Just because they show it in 3D doesn't mean you have to watch it that way. If you can stand to wait, I'm pretty sure that the home video releases will have 2D HFR.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:47 PM on December 4, 2012

Well this might also be an option slightly less invasive than an eyepatch, provided it works...
posted by FatherDagon at 1:55 PM on December 4, 2012

Most recent HDTVs can turn 24 FPS video into a high-frame-rate version on the fly. It's a feature generally packaged with a 120Hz or above refresh rate. Being able to display something that's natively 48 FPS would be a piece of cake.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:59 PM on December 4, 2012

The Hobbit will be showing in 48fps IMAX 3D, 48fps 3D, IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D.

You can see which your theater will be showing here.

Hmm, they left Oakland and Berkeley theaters off that list. You can also use to find out where and in what format it's playing, even if you can't buy tickets online for that theater.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:04 PM on December 4, 2012

I think people aren't liking it because it's a bad movie, not because of any technical reason.
posted by the foreground at 7:14 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

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