TheOneRing.net reports that as of today (3 days before the premiere) The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey is complete!
Park Road Post Production worker Daniel Eady tweeted: ”Done and Dusted on Film 1 – Drink time #hobbit”.
Senior on-line editor Rob Gordon said “it is done” and “Get ready world, HFR (High Frame Rate) is coming your way. Are you ready?”
Press screenings are happening this week (with an embargo date of December 3) so we should be getting the first reactions very shortly. I’m eager for the discussion to begin – the response to HFR 3D and the ensuing debate debate will likely be the biggest movie-related story in years. Even if The Hobbit were shot at 24 fps, the fact that we are finally getting a big budget live action Hobbit movie would still be a gargantuan event. But the fact that this is the first Hollywood movie to be shot and released in HFR puts it over the top into a once-in-a-lifestime type of entertaiment industry event.
So what will the reaction to HFR 3D be? I think it will be split about 90-10 (90% of viewers loving it with 10% disliking it), with very few people ambivalent or apathetic about it. And the negative reactions will primarily think it looks “too real” or too much like behind the scenes. Even the 10% who have this reaction, however will likely ultimately come around to liking high frame rates after they see The Hobbit a second time in HFR, or after they see their 2nd HFR movie (likely to be The Desolation of Smaug). The negative gut response will be because the utilization of high frame rates is the first fundamental change in the cinematic grammar in over half a century. Their brains are accustomed to certain visual artifacts (strobing, motion blur, judder) being associated with moving footage being cinematic, while image clarity and smooth motion have long been associated with high frame rate video games or daytime TV (although soap operas are shot at only 30 fps).
So, as Peter Jackson has said, seeing 48 fps 3D for the first time will definitely be at least a bit jarring. Although most people will get used to it and start appeciating it within minutes, for some it will take a film or two to reprogram their preconceptions.