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Saturday’s preview of The Hobbit at Comic-Con will bring fans back to Middle Earth with J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic story and iconic characters, including Andy Serkis’ Gollum.
And it doesn’t appear to be set for a technical discussion, as the footage will be shown in 2D at 24 frames per second, Jackson told The Los Angeles Times.
Movies have been shot and projected at a standard rate of 24 frames per second since the arrival of talkies. But the Oscar-winning director is trying something new for The Hobbit, his two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings. His movie was lensed in 3D at the higher frame rate of 48 frames per second, which proponents such as Jackson believe can result in smoother, more lifelike pictures.
Jackson and Warner Bros. unveiled 10 minutes of unfinished Hobbit footage in 3D at 48fps during theater owners trade show CinemaCon in April. The material had not yet gone through the color grading process and some scenes featured actors performing in front of green screens as the VFX-heavy franchise didn’t have completed effects.
That preview generated mixed reactions and some bloggers criticized the footage for not having a traditional “cinematic” feeling.
Following the April presentation, Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter, “People haven’t experienced it yet in the way it should be experienced.”
Principal photography on the prequels wrapped earlier this month after 266 days of shooting. When The Hobbit: An Unfinished Journey opens Dec. 14, it will be released in both 2D and 3D, and at both 24 and 48fps.
“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,” Jackson told the L.A. Times of opting for a 24-frame preview at the San Diego conference.
“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.”
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