First look at The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug in 3D HFR

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Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug First look at The Hobbit   The Desolation of Smaug in 3D HFR

Peter Jackson presented a new trailer for The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug, the first showing anywhere in High Frame Rate 3D

Adrian Pennington from IBC

At the Cinemacon show in 2012 Jackson had presented unfinished sequences of The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey and was lambasted by some critics for his decision to shoot at 48 fps, based on the partially finished grade of that material.

This time he was taking no chances. The trailer – which included a first full body shot of the dragon Smaug – looked pristine, and to this viewer had none of the 'video' quality which was a common criticism of the first installment.

The effect of the high frame rate, which is twice the conventional rate, is to allow Jackson to move the camera freely, giving a real sense of the chaos of battle in the climactic scenes.

Interview with The Hobbit 3D camera supervisor Gareth Daley First look at The Hobbit   The Desolation of Smaug in 3D HFR

Speaking in a pre-recorded video Jackson said: “Sometimes people don’t regard imagination and technology as being one and the same, supporting each other. In the case of the film industry – and particularly the films I make – I cannot exercise my imagination without the support of technology.”

He added: “This is a great time to be a film-maker. Just about anything you imagine can be put on screen today. The amount of freedom I have is absolutely incredible.  That is due to all the wonderful technology companies and the innovators out there who keep pushing the boundaries. There is going to be innovation in the entertainment business that we cannot even dream about today.”

On the set of The Hobbit 475x264 First look at The Hobbit   The Desolation of Smaug in 3D HFR

The director was the recipient of the IBC International Honour for Excellence, while Park Road Post Production were garlanded with the Innovation Award for Content Creation for its work on The Hobbit, at the IBC Awards Ceremony.

Despite its's poor reception, James Cameron is expected to release Avatar 2 and 3 in high frame rate, using 60 frames per second to wrap up the story of the Avatar characters.  Speaking during NAB in April, producer Jon Landau said "“There is a strong likelihood that we will use high frame rates for Avatar. Why? Because it is a better experience for the audience. Nobody should dictate to a filmmaker whether they should make films at 24, 48 or 60fps since the technology now exists and can be presented with the same cinema equipment.”

What do you think?  Do you think HFR has a future?  

The Hobbit Part 2 is expected to be released in December this year with the third and final of the trilogy expected to be in cinemas by December 2014.

 Did you know? 

Douglas Trumbull, who undertook experiments with different frame rates that led to the Showscan film format, found that emotional impact peaked at 72fps for viewers.

The Hobbit Part Two Trailer




  • Xenomax

    I felt that HFR-3D created, for me, one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in a movie theatre. The absolute feeling of -presence- is what sold me – I completely felt that I had left the realm of mere mortals and that I was -THERE- in Middle Earth. I saw the film -17 times- in HFR, so it wasn’t as if it were a one-time effect. HFR is the future of film experience, in my opinion – I can’t wait to see the next two installments of ‘The Hobbit’, and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing what James Cameron will do with this technology.