How Star Wars influenced Peter Jackson's decision to make a 48-FPS Hobbit

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Peter Jackson has caught a lot of flak for his decision to make The Hobbit's at the high speed of 48 frames per second. And now, he's explaining that his original inspiration came from... Star Wars. Or more specifically, the Star Wars ride.


While at the press conference Hobbit director revealed that one of the sources for putting Hobbit in the crystal clear world of 48 frames per second was Disneyland's Star Tours:

"I'm fascinated by reactions. I'm starting to see that anyone under the age of 20 or so doesn't really care, and thinks it looks cool and doesn't really understand it. They often just say just that the 3D looks cool. I think 3D at 24 frames is interesting, but its the 48 that actually allows the potential that it can achieve. There's less eye strain and you have a sharper pictures which creates a more three dimensional world. It's interesting how the frame rate changes the 3D, as well as making it more comfortable to watch.

The history of it, I had seen a couple of high frame rate movies. I'd seen a tourist film when I was young in New Zealand that was playing in a ski resort and I was pretty impressed by that. I remember going to Disneyland and seeing the Star Tours ride that George Lucas did, which is a high frame rate. You're speeding in the Star Wars spaceship. And then I had direct experience with it about three, four years ago. I directed a King Kong attraction for Universal studios in California which was 60 frames a second 3D short surround film. And I just thought wow, this is so cool. I wish we could do a feature film like this. But of course while there were mechanical projectors around the world they were locked into 24 frames. It was an infrastructure since the 1920s that existed that was never going to change. But the advent of digital projectors that allow all this development to happen."



I applaud Jackson (and Cameron) for going for high frame rates. The 24p must die. There's nothing "magical" about it, as some filmmakers claim. It was just for financial and technology restraints in the early '30s that we got 24p. The problem is that when you see all movies in 24p and then you watch them in 48 or 60 fps, it looks off. But that's just a matter of getting used to it, there's nothing inherently "good" about 24p, only bad judder and eye strain. I hope more directors will go for high frame rates.