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The Hobbit HFR Review - my verdict on 48 frames per second

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

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Peter Jackson - The Hobbit - Camera department

Above: Peter Jackson in the camera department of "The Hobbit"

Peter Jackson chose to take a controversial step away from the cinema look and shoot The Hobbit at 48p HFR. I've now seen it in glorious 48 frames per second and that isn't the biggest problem. Jackson is shooting The Hobbit like an epic but the material this time is not of epic proportions, and the action sequences are typical popcorn schlock. The Lord Of The Rings was an allegory tale with the horrors of Word War II echoing throughout, an epic heartfelt piece of art with gravitas (and a huge leap in CGI technology at the time the film was shot). The Hobbit is simply 6 chapters of a thin children's book stretched to 3 hours.



#2
Chris Mann

Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

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I haven't seen the Hobbit movie yet, but when I heard that Peter Jackson was planning to stretch it to two films (let alone three) I was dismayed - so I totally agree with you that it's too little material spread out too far.

 

Also The Hobbit as a book is a much lighter (some may say slighter) work than Lord of The Rings - it's a kid's book whereas LOTR does have a grander feel and a much more serious tone, which lends itself better to the epic stye of filmmaking.

 

3D I'm not keen on either, but it may be the way of the future in which case we're stuck with it.

 

Whether 48fps will catch on is an open question - from what has been said in various reviews it does seem as though in conjunction with HD digital filming it is possibly too revealing and too much like "reality TV" to work for the movies.

 

I know my clients appreciate the soft look I get with 25fps and shallow DOF - this may just be what we are all used to seeing over the last 90 years of watching films shot that way, but although 48fps may make action sequences look clearer I feel the trade-off of losing the slightly dreamlike quality of 24fps may not be worth it.

 

Perhaps the answer is for action movies to be shot in 48p and everything else in 24?


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#3
Bruno

Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:42 PM

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"Regular cinema goers want Drive, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, The Master. Let the consumerist masses stay at home and watch their crap."

 

I wish that was true, but the truth is that the consumerist masses are the ones going to the cinema the most, and watching the crappiest movies around. And that's why they keep making them, that's what drives the industry.

Beasts of the Southern Wild made 11 million while Battleship made 300 (and it was considered a massive failure). It's a shame Drive or Moonrise Kingdom can only cost 15 million when Battleship gets a budget of 200 million, on the other hand, they're perfect just like that, I just wish studios would fund 10 Moonrise Kingdoms instead of one Battleship.

 

Proven directors still need to struggle to get budgets of 30 million dollars while they give huge 200 million dollar franchises to upcoming directors, it's not about filmmaking, it's just plain old moneymaking.



#4
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

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We live in a new world order driven by unthinking godless consumerism, where idiots consume massive amounts and vast industries produce shlock for them.

 

The idiot industries are incredibly powerful and our future cultural direction will mostly be defined by idiocy, mediocrity and stupidity on a grand scale.

 

If you look at social changes around the world, the big growth industries are related to serving idiots.


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#5
johnnymossville

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

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By any chance can this film be watched in a non 3D version?   



#6
Kingswell

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:47 PM

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Thank you writing that Andrew. My past career was Projection and then Cinema managment. I've since left that completely having been deeply dissatisfied with how cinemas are now run. Everything is run for profit and nothing for love of Cinema. I think David Lynch said it best in an interview with the Hollyword Reporter: "....the world of cinema is changing so drastically, and in a weird way, feature films I think have become cheap. Everything is kind of throwaway.  It’s experienced and then forgotten. It goes really fast."

 

Sort of sums up the world for me too: everything done fast and on the cheap

 

http://www.hollywood...lms-have-395849


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#7
Jean-Marc Abela

Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:49 PM

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I agree with your conclusion. I'm happy to have seen it in 2D/24fps as i'm sure the 3D would have bugged me out after a short while. It isn't suited for the storytelling and i think storytelling is what they forgot about.. How to best tell the story of the hobbit. But perhaps 12 year old kids would love it, but 2:45 running time seems long for kids. Too bad, lost opportunity... where as perhaps the next TRON in 48fps 3D would be fantastic.. as long as it has a good story. Story Story Story. 


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#8
tony wilson

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

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<p>dese words are rubbish innit i finks youse is an old geezer yeerrr<br />
doze arty fillums are for old pervurts and day is borin init<br />
im gonna love der hobbit it will be brill &nbsp;der directer is a jeaneeous much better dan spielburg or jj abrahams or der bloke dat directed der last 10 twilight films</p>
<p>my filum studie teecher says michael bay is der best directer in hollywood and the 5 transformers films &nbsp;is a masterpeaces.</p>
<p>but i found dem all a bit gay innit</p>
<p><br />
i fink roberty patison should of played der hobbit and der girl from twilight shud have played golam.<br />
robert patison is a proper actor and i fink havin a vampire in der hobbit wood have been excitin innit<br />
everyone luvs vampires just looks at de der respact and beleef wee av in are queen liz and her nazi husbend
der movies are not changin day are gettin betterer and betterer all der times<br />
der old folks just do not udderstand fast and furrious directin and der pictures are to clear for dere old brains to process we kids fink it is brillient.
eye have not red der book hobbit but if it is thick why not 4 movies it is better 4 short movies so we dont falls asleep.

get vinn diesel and der rock in hobbit number 2 eye says
old farts say we are gettin dumber cos of der mcdonalds the chem trails and der flouride in der water<br />
we young uns are gettin cleverorer.<br />
old folks are der dumb ones i see dem in der street talkin to demselves like nutters,<br />
i hope beyonce or adele sings der song in der next movie i surprised adele was not in der film as she looks like she is a goblin innit<br />
use idots shud stop moanin and get wid der tavistock programme innit.</p>
<p>der governments want good &nbsp;digical technolgy for us wiv good stories.</p>
<p>der peeple here who says dis is all a satanick mind control are ike mentalists</p>
<p>predictive programmin blah blah<br />
der tv der olympics der cinemas der music it is all der bestest ever.<br />
brillient amazin everyfink is der best it can bee.<br />
are leeders love us havin so much choice all part of spreedin der democrutsy love around der globe.<br />
my dad told me to reed aminal farm and 1984 cos he said der future is here<br />
but he just stupid and ugly and borin innit</p>



#9
Axel

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

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3D I'm not keen on either, but it may be the way of the future in which case we're stuck with it.

 

I saw most of the 3D movies (I hesitate to call them 'films', as, not sure about idiomatic niceties of english language, I feel that the term 'movie' refers to a clichéd genre piece, like in 'scary movie'), and I never loved the technique. We will overcome the need for glasses in the not-too-far future, and we will use vector data for compression, allowing to embed parallax-shift instead of primitive stereoscopy. Meaning, that when you move your head, the vanishing point in the screens (or displays) image will shift ever so slightly. 3D will have depth, but no 'layers'. No objects will jump off the screen like in the Harry Potter living paintings. 3D will be nothing sensational, like surround sound is nothing sensational, but as with better sound, it will get you involved faster and deeper. Perhaps.

 

Perhaps the answer is for action movies to be shot in 48p and everything else in 24?

 

Or the other way around. Download the comparison of the same action scene, once in 24p, once in 60p, from the RED site here (right click safe as, small zip-folder). In my view, though the 60p version seems to run faster, it looks lame. So this is a big jump, as scrupulously recorded by the camera. Sport coverage, so what?

 

EDIT: The 24p version is not typical for 24p, since the exposure time is too short, and there is less motion blur than usual, yet imho it looks more dramatic.


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#10
MOONGOAT

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

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Now I feel terrible for not going to see Argo when it was playing...



#11
sfrancis928

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

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I wouldn't be quite that hard on the movie itself, but I do agree the 3D is a much bigger concern than the frame rate. I'm seeing it in 2D 24p tonight. I also think they didn't get the shutter speed right. I really don't think it was the frame rate.



#12
tony wilson

Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

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Now I feel terrible for not going to see Argo when it was playing...



why?
well made anti brown people bullshit.
george clooney angelina and brad neo liberal or neo con shit.
clooney in africa angelina on the syrian border matt damons twatter friend direction with the help of the cia.
anti iranian shit disguised as a munich an all the presidents men,a parallax view,a marathon man.
a clever piece of work but with a filthy rotten aim to demonise the lovely people of iran before the next oil and bank wars.
all of these tavistock medicated tools are working for the cia and nato

#13
Sean Cunningham

Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:39 PM

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We live in a new world order driven by unthinking godless consumerism, where idiots consume massive amounts and vast industries produce shlock for them.

 

The idiot industries are incredibly powerful and our future cultural direction will mostly be defined by idiocy, mediocrity and stupidity on a grand scale.

 

If you look at social changes around the world, the big growth industries are related to serving idiots.

 

Where I disagree with your article is your letting Jackson off the hook.  The Hobbit, like King Kong, like the LOTR trilogy are not the product of corporate film making, whether they foot the bill or not.  There is no influence, no choice, no direction that isn't pure Jackson.  His supervisors, producers, etc. are figure heads even.   He's making the films he wanted to make the way he wanted to make them.  Like Lucas.  Like Cameron. 

 

With this in mind the problems with the action sequences and animated hordes are not the result of any deficiency in the armies of people it took to create them.  Or have we all forgotten all the boring, repetitive chase sequences in King Kong.  110% of this is Peter Jackson.  Just like the self-mutilation of the Star Wars saga by Lucas, this is an "auteur" with total control, no limits and no one telling them "no."  

 

The artists that worked night and day, more often than not seven days a week, for months (or years, in the case of Cameron and Avatar) on end, are execution.  They're doing their job, often at the expense of their own health, their families and any regard for anything other than the film.  In the case of filmmakers like Peter Jackson and James Cameron or George Lucas there's also the masochistic reality of these people pushing themselves even further, allowing themselves to be exploited even more than usual, due to their futile idol worship.  

 

I used to be one of them.

 

These filmmakers learned from the mistake of Francis Ford Copolla who was only compelled to return from the Philipines and eventually complete Apocalypse Now with the threat of the destruction of the negative he'd already shot.  With these guys,  there is no outside influence, no tampering, no limits and like Kurtz going off into Cambodia, no method, only madness.

 

 

edit: re-reading several posts I've made on this subject I'm gonna try to make this one my last.  I just hate the negativity it brings out of me.  You'd think I was talking about the GOP or whalers, lol.  I'm gonna try to concentrate on positive stuff and enjoy the anamorphic discussions which was what brought me to this forum in the first place.


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#14
Bruno

Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

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The Hobbit, like King Kong, like the LOTR trilogy are not the product of corporate film making, whether they foot the bill or not.  There is no influence, no choice, no direction that isn't pure Jackson.

 

Totally agree, he might have felt some studio pressure in the first LOTS movies, but not after that, and then he just lost it.

Like Zemeckis and Cameron before him, he got obsessed with the technical side of things, which didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing if done right. David Fincher can be extremely technical, but he's always done it in favor of the story he's telling, that's not the case with Zemeckis' mocap adventures or Peter Jackson's 48fps madness.


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#15
Caleb Genheimer

Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:36 PM

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The Hobbit was not shot for 3D! I can only say this so many times. The action sequences you speak of had far too many quick cuts and were too close in on the action. Even in 2D I couldn't make head nor tale of what I was looking at half the time. in 3D, this translates into abstract garbled mush. 

 

I agree with Andrew that the first part of the film was the most enjoyable, mostly because the cuts were less frequent, the motion was tightly controlled; this is how 3D ought to be handled. 

 

**SPOILER ALERT FOR ALL BELOW**

 

There are severe problems with this film even on the script level. So they want to make The Hobbit 9 hours long? I don't actually have a problem with that. I'd love to know what Gandalf is up to when he mysteriously disappears on a rainy night . . . except for he doesn't. Tolkien's The Hobbit is a tightly written masterpiece, primed and ready for a faithful film adaptation.

 

There is more than enough room in 9 hours for both the original intact narrative and plenty of epic additives ala Gandalf's away time. Instead, the best aspects of every original chapter were altered, leaving the charm of Tolkien's style dead and lifeless. 

      There's something charming about Bilbo inviting the wizard to tea and ending up with 13 dwarves in his home. 

 

      There's something charming about Bilbo signing the agreement, then waking up and thinking it was a dream, only  

      to be rushed out the door by Gandalf without even a pocket handkerchief.

 

      There's something charming about a cold, rainy night river crossing, when the rain has got into their clothes and  

      the wizard is suddenly nowhere to be found. There's charm in the elves teasing the dwarves with song as they

      enter Rivendell. 

 

      And there's something scary about running through completely dark, cramped goblin caves with nothing but the    

      light of your swords, which are only lit because there are goblins on your heels. Where did all the light in the

      underground scenes come from anyway?   

 

      Surely Gollum's eyes don't give off all that light in his cave.

 

      They have nine hours in which to tell this story, the least they could do is include all the riddles.



#16
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:18 PM

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Caleb there's cinematic gold in everything you describe, instead all of that was handled in a hack like way, giving a roughshod treatment and replaced with 3 hours of waffle and CGI. I've lost faith in Jackson as a good filmmaker. The Lord Of The Rings was obviously some kind of fluke.



#17
Caleb Genheimer

Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:30 AM

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My ultimate dream is to have the opportunity to someday do one of Tolkien's works faithfully as a TV drama for A&E, AMC or the like. The Hobbit itself (like I said) is almost succinct enough to be a long feature film screenplay without much work. If you read it, Tolkien has pretty clear scenes, montages, bits (small jokes) and even directions for production design. The pace at which it moves along is anything but slow, and not a single bit of dialogue in it is superfluous. Jackson was 100% successful in disrupting Tolkien's original flow. 

 

What is most unfortunate is that the 48fps HFR business has gone mass-media, and I fear that the mediocre nature of the film as a whole will color the public's opinion of HFR filmmaking techniques. I see no reason for 48fps to be a deal breaker if the storytelling is good and the cinematography is done in a way that plays to 3D's strengths.



#18
Germy1979

Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:49 AM

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Totally agree, he might have felt some studio pressure in the first LOTS movies, but not after that, and then he just lost it.
Like Zemeckis and Cameron before him, he got obsessed with the technical side of things, which didn't necessarily have to be a bad thing if done right. David Fincher can be extremely technical, but he's always done it in favor of the story he's telling, that's not the case with Zemeckis' mocap adventures or Peter Jackson's 48fps madness.



Yeah Fincher's take on that digital vs film movie Neo hosted was pretty straight forward. I'd hate to capture a phenomenal performance where all the stars aligned, only to wait a day to find out something screwed up the shot. He ripped on the Genesis system pretty hard too.... Lol.

#19
tony wilson

Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:47 AM

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Yeah Fincher's take on that digital vs film movie Neo hosted was pretty straight forward. I'd hate to capture a phenomenal performance where all the stars aligned, only to wait a day to find out something screwed up the shot. He ripped on the Genesis system pretty hard too.... Lol.



the the fact is this is about the bankers the money men the faceless demonic shitster psychopaths that run the industry.
it is not about a tool director.
they are whores with expensive tastes and freak sex addictions.
fincher does what his handlers tell him.
he is a good old ex music video player you know another satanist.
but clearly super talented.

i seem to remember a film he did called seven and another interesting one called the game both had supreme cinematography and where excellent movies of the older school.

his quote is complete sell out bullshit about losing rushes if you have good words actors and superb technical people as tony scott once said it kind of does itself.
maybe tony scott was killed cos he did not go digical like his big bruver.

shooting film did not destroy tony scott's little movie or anything about this scene probably enhanced the
mise en scene and the Intensity.

will 2 to 4k twatter fincher ever get performance like this with his safe 40 min hd hi res takes.
and his poxy little movies probably starring bradley cooper and justin timberlake



#20
sfrancis928

Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:27 AM

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Just watched it in 2D. It made a HUGE difference. I wasn't so sure about it after seeing it in 3D, but in 2D, I loved it. I think if you've only seen it in 3D, you should give it a shot in 2D.






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