Who says that the revolution won't be digitized?
Last night, director Peter Jackson posted a note on his Facebook page entitled "48 Frames Per Second," explaining why he's shooting at twice the industry standard of 24 fps for his upcoming film The Hobbit.
Here's an excerpt below:
"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.'
Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D... Originally, 24 fps was chosen based on the technical requirements of the early sound era... They would have settled on the minimum speed because of the cost of the film stock. 35mm film is expensive, and the cost per foot (to buy the negative stock, develop it and print it), has been a fairly significant part of any film budget. So we have lived with 24 fps for 9 decades--not because it's the best film speed (it's not by any stretch), but because it was the cheapest speed to achieve basic acceptable results back in 1927 or whenever it was adopted.
Actually, if anybody has been on the Star Tours ride at Disneyland, you've experienced the life like quality of 60 frames per second. Our new King Kong attraction at Universal Studios also uses 60 fps. Now that the world's cinemas are moving towards digital projection, and many films are being shot with digital cameras, increasing the frame rate becomes much easier. Most of the new digital projectors are capable of projecting at 48 fps, with only the digital servers needing some firmware upgrades.
Film purists will criticize the lack of blur and strobing artifacts, but all of our crew--many of whom are film purists--are now converts. You get used to this new look very quickly and it becomes a much more lifelike and comfortable viewing experience. It's similar to the moment when vinyl records were supplanted by digital CDs. There's no doubt in my mind that we're heading towards movies being shot and projected at higher frame rates."
Jackson has also recorded a video blog which should be released later this week. While "none of this thinking is new," do you think the old lions that guard Hollywood will change with the times? You can read the entire note by clicking here.
Part One of The Hobbit is scheduled for release on December 19, 2012.