Hi- tech Hob­bit form­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - TA­MARA MCLEAN, AAP

SIR Peter Jack­son is a film­maker known for push­ing bound­aries and his lat­est cre­ation, The Hob­bit, will be no ex­cep­tion.

The ac­claimed Kiwi di­rec­tor ( pic­tured) has re­vealed the much-an­tic­i­pated pre­quel to The Lord of the Rings will go where no film has gone – into the realm of ul­tra-fast film speed.

For al­most a cen­tury films have been shot at 24 frames a sec­ond, enough to al­low rea­son­ably smooth and seam­less view­ing for most shots.

The Hob­bit, how­ever, will use 48 frames a sec­ond, a con­sid­er­ably more ex­pen­sive op­tion that Jack­son prom­ises ‘‘ looks much more life-like, and it is much eas­ier to watch, es­pe­cially in 3D’’.

‘‘ It looks great, and we’ve ac­tu­ally be­come used to it now, to the point that other film ex­pe­ri­ences look a lit­tle prim­i­tive,’’ the di­rec­tor said on his Face­book page.

This ‘‘ hugely en­hanced clar­ity and smooth­ness’’ erad­i­cated the ‘‘ blur­ring’’ or ‘‘ strob­ing’’ ef­fect seen when the cam­era panned or moved quickly, he said in his blog.

He pre­dicted many film purists would crit­i­cise the shift but sig­nalled it was the way of the fu­ture.

‘‘ It’s sim­i­lar to the mo­ment when vinyl records were sup­planted by dig­i­tal CDs,’’ Jack­son said.

‘‘ There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re head­ing to­wards movies be­ing shot and pro­jected at higher frame rates.’’

He’s not the only con­vert. Last month di­rec­tor James Cameron an­nounced he too was plan­ning to shoot his se­quel to Avatar at a higher frame rate.

Jack­son said his de­ci­sion would ‘‘ fu­ture proof’’ the $ US50 mil­lion two-film pro­duc­tion, one of the most costly and widely an­tic­i­pated Hol­ly­wood re­leases of all time.

The prob­lem, how­ever, is whether the­atres will be able to up­date screen­ing tech­nol­ogy in time for the first film’s re­lease in De­cem­ber 2012.

Jack­son said he was ‘‘ hopeful that there will be enough the­atres ca­pa­ble of pro­ject­ing 48 frames a sec­ond by the time The Hob­bit comes out’’ but con­ceded ‘‘ we don’t yet know what the re­al­ity will be’’.

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