Just got out of an opening night screening of The Hobbit in 48fps, the first ever major film to release in this new frame rate format.
was a fascinating example to watch from a technical standpoint - just
seeing what 48 fps is capable of (and how much clearer 3D is as a
result) was pretty neat just technically.
though, I'd say the results are at best a mixed bag. There are occasions where it works beautifully (eg the 3D clarity during some
fight scenes, rain looks pretty awesome), and there is some hero
character work that is particularly stunning that all flows together
just fine in 48fps... Gollum's Facial Animation!?!?!?!?!?!?!? OMG!!!
while some things worked in 48fps, at the same time the "stunning
vistas" are often lost because Matte paintings looks very much like
Matte paintings being panned over. It pulls you right out of the movie.
The "watching a play" feeling is strange...
it's a new vibe and not necessarily bad, and I see this movie as a proof
of what can be done and craft that can be honed as the technology
progresses. Those speedy pans though are really hard to get used to. You
get a great "window in on the scene" action, it's really immersive, and
then there is a wide, sweeping or handheld pan that is too fast and has
no motion blur and throws you right into the Soap Opera look. The
lighting and compositing felt like it was disjointed sometimes, it's
hard to put your finger on it. It sortof feels like the 48 fps is so
"realistic" that it sometimes pulls you out of the movie experience,
which is not great. Other times though, it's much more immersive than
24fps 3D could ever be. The clarity is definitely awesome in those
moments. I actually prefer the slow-mo action scenes in 48fps and the
dramatic moments... I thought those were generally more effective than
the faster pans/cuts.
Glad I saw it in 48fps. It's really exciting to see huge technological
changes like this on such a large blockbuster film, and it's worth
supporting the new craft. It's far from perfect, but it shows some
interesting promise and a lot of room for directors and filmmakers to
use it to their artistic advantage as we all start to understand more
about it, and how to optimize visual effects to make best use of it.