Warner Bros. / MGM
Apparently filming in 48 frames per second (fps) was not a good idea.
“The Hobbit” won’t be playing in the U.S. for another week but it has screened in New Zealand, and some people are claiming to feel sick afterwards.
According to the Daily Mail, viewers told the Sunday Times the controversial high-frame rate version of the film left them nauseous and dizzy and compared the viewing experience to that of motion sickness.
“My eyes cannot take everything in, it’s dizzying,” said one fan. “Now I have a migraine.”
It’s not the regular 2D versions of the film that are bothering moviegoers.
Rather, it’s Jackson’s revolutionary decision to show the film in select theaters at 48fps (frames per second). Normally, a film is shown at 24fps, so audiences’ brains will be processing double the amount of images in the same amount of time.
Jackson has admitted the high-frame rate – which Warner Bros is referring to as HFR 3D – takes a little bit of time to get used to, but he backs it as a critical leap forward in film making (essentially HFR is to movies what CDs and mp3s were to vinyl records).
Audiences won’t be able to see the controversial higher frame rate everywhere. Instead, it will be offered in an estimated 450 theaters.
Some of the high-rate footage was shown to viewers earlier this summer at San Diego’s Comic Con, and, though it was received to mixed reviews, no one reported feeling queasy.
One person who embraced Jackson’s endeavor is Bryan Singer, director of “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” who tweeted:
The big question: Will your eyeballs be able to handle the 48fps?
Probably. We imagine your eyes may feel strained when there are too many characters to focus on up close from previous reports we’ve read.
However, we imagine it will be similar to watching an enhanced HD television.
Here’s a list of all the theaters in the U.S. that will be showing “The Hobbit” at the high definition rate.
Warner Bros. has since released a statement in response to the claims defending its high-frame rate:
“We have been screening the full-length HFR 3D presentation of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY extensively and feedback has been extremely positive, with none of thousands who have seen the film projected in this format expressing any of the issues described by two anonymous sources in media reports. We share the filmmakers’ belief that by offering filmgoers the additional choice of HFR 3D, alongside traditional viewing formats, they have an opportunity to be part of a groundbreaking advancement in the moviegoing experience and we look forward to having audiences everywhere share in this new way of storytelling.”