If you plan on seeing “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and wonder why the filmography might look a little off, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.
The Warner Bros. film was shot in high frame rate (HFR) 3D — 48 frames per second, which is twice the current standard — and will be shown in 450 theaters in this format. The Los Angeles Times’ Ben Fritz wrote that the technology is intended to produce a “hyper-realistic image.” Gizmodo’s Andrew Leszewski wrote that it will look like a “TV soap opera.”
Regal Theaters issued a memo about the HFR technology and the differences that movie-goers should expect. It states that the HFR will be “closer to what the human eye actually sees.”
The HFR 3D version of the film will require the same type of glasses used for traditional 3D movies.
Fritz noted in the L.A. Times that the format has gotten relatively negative reviews after it was shown at the CinemaCon convention in April. In May, Engadget reported director Peter Jackson saying it will be an adjustment for audiences.
“It does take you a while to get used to,” Jackson said.
In its post, Engadget showed two videos to give you a sense of the difference between 25 fps and 50 fps. See if you can tell the difference in the videos here.
This video from Christie, a visual technology company, explains more about HFR:
The movie will also be shown in the traditional 24-fps format. Still, high frame rate seems to be where more directors are heading toward. The memo from Regal states that the other films in The Hobbit series will be shot in the high-tech format and that director James Cameron plans on using it for projects as well.
The Hobbit opens Dec. 14 in the United States. Tickets went on sale Wednesday.
Here’s a trailer for the movie, which is not seen in HFR: