Don’t ask me why, but the quickest way to get people on the internet riled up is to either misidentify some piece of comic book trivia or to start talking digital video formats. Case in point, at least for the latter, a Cinemacon event back in April where Peter Jackson presented some footage from The Hobbit in 48 fps, which was either the look of the inevitable future, or the stupidest thing since pet rocks, depending on which side of the strictly-enforced, binary hate-matrix you fell. Sadly, it seems Comic-Con won’t have the opportunity to host the latest battle in the Great Frame Rate War of 2012, as Peter Jackson and Warner Bros have decided not to screen their Hobbit footage in 48 fps at all. Hope you’re happy, nerds, now you’re on time out.
From an interview with LA Times’ Hero Complex:
Jackson: I think it’s more about protecting the downside, rather than helping the film in any significant way. There is a huge audience waiting to see “The Hobbit,” and any positive press from Comic-Con will truthfully have little impact on that. However, as we saw at CinemaCon earlier this year, with our 48 frames per second presentation, negative bloggers are the ones the mainstream press runs with and quotes from. I decided to screen the “Hobbit” reel at Comic-Con in 2-D and 24 frames per second, so the focus stays firmly with the content and not the technical stuff. If people want 3-D and 48fps, that choice will be there for them in December.
Right, because a 10-minute show reel at a comic book convention is a perfect showcase for the content and story, not a place for people to dork out on eye candy. It’s amazing how quickly studios have gone from pandering to the Comic-Con crowd like it was the end-all, be-all bellwether of mainstream movie tastes, to treating it like the lose-lose collection of amateur and professional cynics that it is. Trust me, I am that audience. Studios should never listen to me. About anything. You’d hope that if Jackson was going to shoot the movie in 48 fps, he’d believe in it enough to screen the footage in 48 fps, but I can’t say as I blame him. At Comic-Con it seems like you either get bad buzz, or good buzz that’s largely meaningless. If Comic-Con buzz translated to box office, Scott Pilgrim would’ve made more than Avatar. I wish it would have, but me flailing my flabby arms around spazzily doesn’t make it so.