The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

16 Jul

On Saturday the hotly anticipated preview and panel interview of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey took place at Comic Con. Attending the conference was director Peter Jackson, actors Sir Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis, plus other crew members. Despite being filmed at 48 frames per second in 3D, director Peter Jackson decided to show the four preview clips at the normal 24 frames per second in 2D due to the controversy at Cinema Con earlier this year. 24 FPS has been used since the 1920’s, naturally something was bound to replace it but unfortunately for Jackson, The Hobbit will be the first film to use this new technology and therefore will take a lot of flak until audiences adapt [1].

This higher frame rate is said to make the film look more realistic and reduce motion blur and flickering. Some critics and fans however, complained that it was too life like! So Jackson decided to keep this preview at the normal frame rate to keep the focus on the actual content of the film rather than possibly stirring up another debate. It worked! Fans and critics were almost entirely positive. [2] This video below is a funny example of what 48 frames per second might look like.

The second surprise was that a previous rumour (that the second film The Hobbit: There and Back Again could be split into two movies but it was denied) could be somewhat true. Jackson confirmed that there was extra material that he wanted in the film and was negotiating with the studio company to go back and film it. However he doesn’t know what the end product would be. It could be two movies but it could also be footage added to the film to make an extended version. [3]

Also briefly discussed was the addition of a new character, a female elf played by Evangeline Lilly which caused some uproar among the hard core Tolkien fans. [4] Co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens stated that it was to counter balance the predominately male characters and she believes she is a good fit with the story. [5]

Please join our discussion Tuesday: 7/17/2012@7pmE/12UTC

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[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_rate#cite_note-11

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/peter-jackson-the-hobbit-director-48-fps-comic-con_n_1674177.html

[3] http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/will-peter-jackson-turn-the-hobbit-into-a-trilogy-director-pushing-wb-to-let-him-shoot-more-footage-in-2013-20120715#.UAL8fPU0-Sp

[4] http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/gossip/2011/06/evangeline-lilly-the-hobbit-peter-jackson.html

[5] http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/07/15/comic-con-peter-jacksons-the-hobbit-tours-the-shire-rivendell-and-beyond/

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54 Responses to “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

  1. Open Book July 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM #

    Great article Oz! I like Fry Fix it. LOL!!

    Here’s the panel discussion from Comic-Con.

    • ozzie20 July 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM #

      Ah ha! You found a clearer video. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Comic Relief July 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM #

    Here’s the trailer but not at 48 FPS.

    Can’t wait for the discussion.

    • ozzie20 July 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM #

      It looks good! I know already this will be bought when the DVD comes out (not sure if we’ll all make it to the cinema). I’ve got a number of Tolkien fans in my family!

      • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

        Ozzie-

        Do u like the way PJ has adapted this material?

        What were the most memorable moments to u in previous films that stayed true to the narrative?

        • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM #

          Oh God, its been a very long time since I’ve read the books, lol! I’ll have to re read them as my memory is terrible and I don’t remember much! I remember being very overwehlmed by the amount of information in the books and the film overwehlming me with information. I was blown away by the amount of detail! I thought Peter did a very good job, everything looked like I thought it would. I’m now very frustrated with my brain!

          • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:10 PM #

            Ozzie,

            You are not alone noggin frustration department. I think I should invest in a Ginko farm as insurance for next year. In the short term I think I’ve just agreed to not panic about it.

  3. Comic Relief July 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM #

    Ozzie,

    What keeps filmmakers or the studios from wanting to embrace this technology?

    • ozzie20 July 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

      The main complaint seems to boil down to two things. One being that what is being shown looks too realistic and not cinematic. The other is nostalgia. It seems that some people like the flickering that you get when viewing it at a cinema. Many are hesitating for that reason. I think the deciding factor is whether the general audience will like it. I did read that one director wanted to go higher than 60fps but unfortunately I’ve forgotten his name and I cant’t find the article that said it at the moment!

      • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM #

        Yeah! More realism the better. Lets test drive it before panning it IMO!

        • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

          I agree OB. In the cinema it could be an entirely different experiance.

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

        Ozzie,

        I’ve been confused about what the film actually looks like. When someone says the image looks “too realistic” I don’t know what it looks like.

        When someone says it looks like a soap opera; I wonder does it look like video?

        Since then I heard you need a special kind of software to see what 48 fps looks like over the Internet. I guess we have no other choice but to wait into we are in the theatres.

  4. Comic Relief July 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM #

    Ozzie or OB,

    Do theaters have to adjust in any way to support 48 FPS?

    • ozzie20 July 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

      Yes, cinemas will have to upgrade the software. Unfortunately it’s quite expensive, around $10,000.

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM #

        Ouch.

  5. Open Book July 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM #

    Hi Ozzie!

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

      Hi OB! 🙂

      How are you?

      • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM #

        Good! Wow! I was just looking at the panel discussion. I’m interested in seeing it the way PJ visualized it. That’s too bad.

        • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

          I know! I really wanted to see the new footage. 😦

  6. Open Book July 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

    Ozzie-

    CR-Will be late to the discussion but he will be here.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM #

      That’s ok. I keep being drawn back to rewatch the Comic Con video, lol!

  7. Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

    Hi Ozzie.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM #

      Hi CR! How are you?

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

        Great, thanks for asking.

  8. Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    There are a few movie series that others swear by but I have never seen. “The Highlander’ movies are one series and the “Resident evil” series is another. I did see the LOTR movies I did see and I think I understand why people are absolutely crazy about it.

    Ozzie, (I don’t believe it was mentioned in the article) was it crazy to try out this technology on this content, or should they have just waited.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:35 PM #

      Good question! I don’t remember coming across anything. I’ve just found this article though and they say it was tried in the 70’s and it didn’t work. Anyway, this site has a 25fps and a 50fps video clip so you can compare them. The 50fps is sharper. Of course it will be different in the cinema but going off that video I don’t see too much of a problem, imo.

      http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/28/editorial-48-fps-hobbit-preview-high-frame-rates/

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

        Thanks for the website Ozzie, I think I need to see the film in action.

        • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM #

          You’re welcome!

  9. Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

    I understand that frequently directors have enormous ego’s, is this an example of directors making expectations on the audience that just are not realistic.

    Directors like Jackson and Cameron are contemporary giants in the field, are they demanding or expecting too much?

    On the ground, I don’t know how much the recession matters in terms of most peoples lives but movie theaters here appear to be on the ropes.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:38 PM #

      Another good point about egos! The James Cameron video you posted, I thought he came across as a big egotistical. Kind of like “I’m going to do this and you’ll just have to get used to it!” But as he’s good at this new technology stuff, I’ll let him off that for now, lol!

      • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

        I know I thought the same thing. LOL!! I was thinking. I will be the judge of that Mr. JK!!!…..:)

  10. Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

    LOTR was a spectacular trilogy and is so much better than (writing wise) so many series that basically create sequels based on buying audience interest alone.

    Do you think this technology campaign will hurt the franchise permanently or not?

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM #

      Nope. Alot of poeple love Tolkien so they’re going to see it no matter what. From what I can gather the 2d version is going to be at 24fps and the 3d version will be at 48fps so people will have a choice.

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

        Excellent.

  11. Open Book July 17, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

    Sorry Oz!

    I had to step away for a second. CR and I are still at work and sharing a computer. LOL!!

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:39 PM #

      Oh dear, lol!

      • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 8:46 PM #

        Yeah!I know. We are commenting during our dinner break.

        • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

          Oh no, you poor things! I’m dragging you away from your dinner! 😦 We can discuss this at another time if it would be better for you both?

          • Open Book July 17, 2012 at 8:52 PM #

            No I’m eating he’s working then we switch. We are use to it. Its all good!! LOL!!

            • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

              Ah, ok! I don’t feel as bad now!

              • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM #

                Ozzie,

                To be honest you’re doing me a favor, by distracting me from the meal. I keep ordering from this Indian food restaurant that I don’t even like.

  12. Open Book July 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM #

    Something I wanted to say about the “fear of change” in regards to the 48fps debate. IMO change is good if it does not overwhelm the story. I think these directors are trying to be innovative which is AWESOME!!! However, I think change needs to occur slowly or at least moderately so audiences can adapt. In this case we are talking about PJ and I think he has proven himself to be a reliable filmmaker. No? So perhaps audiences need to sit back and see the finished product before they start rejecting it.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

      *claps* I agree with you 100%!

      • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM #

        OB,

        Actually I agree. But sometimes the appetites of obsessives tell you more than you want to

        Neither Tolkien nor Peter Jackson should necessarily be blamed, but sometimes the sociology of these individuals really show through when there’s a glitch in the system.

        In sports I guess I would have another response but for cultural stuff it gets kind of crazy when fans act so strangely.

        • I used to hear how individuals how went to rap concerts and would get into huge fights, with individuals being maimed, paralyzed and sometimes mortally injured.

        • Then there were all the American racists who freely expressed themselves on the Internet about “the Hunger Games earlier in the year.

        • Now Twilight fans are tripping into accidental suicides.

        • Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM #

          I should have mentioned the death threats promised to critics who wrote negative “Avengers” and “The Dark Knight rises” reviews.

          • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM #

            Wow, there are some really agressive people out there! It’s not that serious!

  13. Comic Relief July 17, 2012 at 9:19 PM #

    Night Ozzie. Great article.

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 9:27 PM #

      Night CR! Thank you!

  14. Open Book July 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM #

    Everyone-

    I’m going to say goodnight as well. Ozzie, very informative article and discussion as always. I learned a lot.

    TC!!

    • ozzie20 July 17, 2012 at 10:08 PM #

      Night OB! Thanks for both of you for being here! I’ve had fun!

  15. littlebells July 18, 2012 at 1:45 AM #

    great comments everyone!

    Sorry I missed the discussion. I’m not going to admit that I haven’t seen all the LOTR and that I have them on my netflix. 🙂 No not at all.

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