The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is happening! But before you get to the theater to purchase your tickets, there’re some important choices to be made. There are three different ways to see The Hobbit come December 14th: 2D, 3D, and in limited theaters with the brand-spanking new HFR 3D.
What the hell is HFR 3D? I’m glad you asked! HFR stands for “High Frame Rate“. What’s a frame rate? Let’s ask Wikipedia! “A frame rate is is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames.” Think of when you were a kid. Did you ever make a flip book of stick figures? Well, imagine each page of that flipbook is a “frame.”
For example, when you watch a film in a movie theater, you’re likely seeing a film projected at 24FPS, or “Frames Per Second”. It’s something we’re very used to, from about 80 years’ worth of cinema.
Now in the case of HFR, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson wants us to see this movie in a way theater goers have never seen a movie before. Specifically at 48FPS. Some equate this frame rate change to the inclusion of sound in motion pictures.
Here’s an official “The Hobbit” branded FAQ sheet with more info about “HFR 3D”:
Personally, HFR 3D is the way I want to see The Hobbit. This is the way Peter Jackson wants us to see The Hobbit. But early word on a preview of HFR 3D earlier this year at CinemaCon was not so great. Some said the footage looked “too real”, and “very digital looking.”
If any of you have been on Peter Jackson’s King Kong 3D attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood then you’ve seen the super high 60fps frame rate and to me, it truly was jarring and hyper-fast. The higher frame rate is supposed to simulate more realistic looking projected imagery, and for something immersive like that attraction, it makes sense. But again, it was weird looking.
The Hobbit in HFR 3D probably will look weird and might be jarring at first to most theater goers, but Jackson and now James Cameron, who plans on shooting his upcoming endless Avatar series in HFR, would like us to get used to it and welcome this new way of seeing movies, and I for one am all for it!
The fact remains, the movie will probably be epic and amazing whether you decide to see it in 2D (cheaper), normal 3D, or HFR 3D. Bring on the new technology!
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey debuts on December 14th.
Question: Which version of The Hobbit do you plan on seeing?