If you thought The Hobbit was going to look just like The Lord of the Rings movies, think again. Because Peter Jackson’s announced that The Hobbit will be filmed in 48 frames per second… twice the normal frame rate for movies. The higher rate is designed to make the film more lifelike and realistic, which might be handy for a movie about Dwarves going to rob a Dragon.
As Jackson posted on his facebook page:
“We are indeed shooting at the higher frame rate. The key thing to understand is that this process requires both shooting and projecting at 48 fps, rather than the usual 24 fps (films have been shot at 24 frames per second since the late 1920’s). So the result looks like normal speed, but the image has hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok–and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years–but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or ‘strobe.'”
With Jackson using digital filmmaking, there’s none of the cost of shooting in a higher frame rate, as he doesn’t have to pay for extra film. (While that might seem a minor quibble, the thousands of extra feet it can add to a film really adds up.) Jackson’s also not the only filmmaker upping their frame rate, as James Cameron recently announced that Avatar 2 will be shot between 48 and 60 frames per second. But frankly we don’t think adding any more frames of annoying blue cat-people is really going to help that film at all.