Thoughts on a higher frame rate

So it’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve admittedly been a bit lax with it of late and a lot of my time at the minute is being spent on all the stuff I had for Christmas.

My days at the moment are pretty much consisting of work, assassins creed 3 (epic), the young adventures of Indiana Jones (hilarious for all the wrong reasons) and reading Tomorrow you Die, the true story of Andy Coogan who spent years on a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the Second World War.

Besides all this I’ve been going through a bit of a Tolkien obsession. Last weekend was The Lord of the Rings extended editions, four hours each night and I’ve now seen The Hobbit four times in the cinema over the past couple of weeks. Which brings me to the whole point of this post really..

As I mentioned in my Hobbit review I was planning on checking out the 48fps version when I went to see it for a third time. Well New Year’s Eve I decided to check it out and here are some of my thoughts on it.

So for those who don’t know what I’m rambling on about, for the past eighty something years, films have been shot at 24fps (frames per second). What Peter Jackson has done with The Hobbit is shoot it on high resolution RED epic cameras which have a high pixel resolution and shot at 48fps, double the amount of what we are used to.

The result of this is a clearer and smoother image, basically a higher definition than high definition.

So does it work?

For the most part, no. At least not with The Hobbit.

The cgi looks even more like cgi and in a few scenes it gives the impression that somebody has hit the fast forward button with characters action being sped up.

This effect adds confusion to big action sequences and I found that I had a clearer idea of what was going on in these sequences in the standard format.

That’s not to say it’s completely unsuccessful and the technology shines when it comes to the real stuff. The ariel shots of that beautiful New Zealand landscape for example look incredible.

I think as a technology it should be explored and the right film could use 48fps to great effect, especially as cgi gets better and better.

For now, however, I am underwhelmed with the 48fps format and think it will be a long time until we really see it flourish in film.

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