Peter Jackson interview: The Hobbit, 48FPS, Cumberbatch

Interview Ryan Lambie 13 Dec 2013 - 06:08

Ahead of The Desolation Of Smaug's release, Peter Jackson chats about The Hobbit, 48 frames, Cumberbatch casting and more...

For most of us, Peter Jackson needs little introduction. Having adapted Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings as a blockbusting, Academy Award-winning trilogy of films, he's become one of the most recognisable and popular filmmakers currently working. And as he entered the room for a roundtable interview on a rainy Berlin afternoon this week, a respectful hush greeted him - a sign, perhaps, of just how well-liked his movies are.

But as Jackson sat down with his gigantic mug of tea (something he takes with him everywhere, an effervescent Evangeline Lilly would later tell us), it became clear that if Jackson's considered geek royalty by many fans, he doesn't think of himself in those terms at all. As he began chatting to an assembled group of writers about his latest instalment in The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation Of Smaug, he talked about how lucky he felt to have been given the chance to adapt Tolkien's work - a job his younger self could only have dreamed of.

"I’m just a lucky guy," Jackson told us. "I’m the kid who got his parents’ Super 8 camera when he was eight or nine years old, and loved Ray Harryhausen, loved Jason And The Argonauts and King Kong, and dreamt of making fantasy movies. I never, ever thought I’d be the adapter of Tolkien. I never even allowed myself to have that thought. I just wanted to invent my own stories."

In a brief yet illuminating interview, Jackson argues the case for 48 frames-per-second, and casting Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug...

Why do you think Tolkien remains so popular?

It’s a good question, and quite a personal question. I don’t think there’s necessarily an intelligent answer I could give you. He’s popular because he writes well, he writes good stories, he creates good character, he creates mythology.

You know, people have asked me what meaning I’d put on the movie today, with the dragon and the gold - what the dragon means today. And I think that’s why Tolkien is so successful, because he studied mythology. He was a professor at Oxford. He loved the Norse sagas. He loved Greek mythology.

And he tried to create a mythology for England, because England essentially lost its mythology in 1066, when the Normans invaded. Their oral stories - because all mythology originated as oral storytelling long before they were recorded on paper - were lost. England lost whatever mythology it once had. And so he set about trying to create a mythology for his country.

He knew the rules of mythology. He knew the way those stories become timeless. And they are timeless - they have appeal no matter what country you live in or what era, whether you read The Hobbit in 1936 or 2013. You still get the same entertainment value from them.

Swedish fans have been waiting for Mikael Persbrandt and Beorn for a long time now. And there’s not very much in this film, and I’d like to ask you, why was there just that short appearance, and also I’d like to know what more we’ll see of him in the next film.

His character does do more in the third film, in ways I won’t explain. But he does have more to do, and he does come back into the story. We almost set him up in this one, for things that are going to happen in the third film. Because what’s really great about that character - we kind of took from Tolkien and went a different way - is that we made him a fairly enigmatic figure. He’s not necessarily a good character or a bad character. He lives by his own rules; as he says in the movie, “I don’t like dwarves, but orcs I like even less.”

That’s how he chooses which side he’s going to be on. And there is going to be a little bit more of him in the extended cut of this film. We shot scenes with Mikael. But when we cut the film together, and looked at the length and things, we shaped it and structured it for the best way we thought it would work for the cinematic version.

So you’ve got a couple more things to look forward to: you’ve got a couple more scenes in the extended cut of this film, and some more of him, which I won’t be describing, in the third movie!

Does current technology allow you to put all your ideas on the screen, or are you still limited in some ways?

No, anything you can imagine can now be put on film. Which is interesting, because the responsibility becomes storytelling again. It becomes about entertaining audiences. Audiences are only going to be entertained to a certain point by visual effects technology, and what you ultimately engage with are characters and emotions. So it’s a good thing and a bad thing, technology.

But because it’s unlimited now, because you can imagine anything and put it on film, hopefully it’ll make everyone put their focus back on story and characters again. 

How has your approach changed from Lord Of The Rings to The Hobbit, in terms of technology?

I don’t think I have a different approach, but I do have a little bit more freedom, I guess. I use a lot more handheld cameras now. In this movie, in the last 20 minutes or so, I pretty much shot it all myself with a handheld camera in a digital space. We created the dragon spaces in a digital environment, and even though we had actors and we cut to the actors, I was still able to go into this environment with a camera - it’s kind of difficult to describe - it was a motion capture stage, and I had a camera that was being tracked by a motion control system. And I was able to look at the screen and I was literally in the movie. Smaug was walking over my head, and I’d position myself to be exactly where I wanted when his feet hit the ground, and I was able to choose which lenses I wanted to shoot him with.

So the technology allowed me to get inside the movie itself, and shoot it like a documentary, like a combat cameraman. A handheld cameraman.

What made you choose to shoot The Hobbit films in a high frame rate, and how do you feel about the accusation that audiences find it tiring to watch?

Well, 48 frames is by far the best way to see this film. I think we screened it to the press in 24 [frames per second], but that was a decision we made because we wanted people to respond to the movie as a movie. Last year, people were talking about the frame rate as well as the movie, and the debate got a little bit confused.

Look, 24 frames is not a perfect frame rate. It’s an arbitrary frame rate which was born in 1927 when sound movies first started to come in. Cameras used to be hand cranked, which was usually about 16 or 18 frames per second. But because with sound, they had to have a constant speed, a perfect speed so the sound didn’t wow and go up and down. And also film stock was very expensive, so they came up with the slowest possible speed they could, which still maintained the fidelity of the soundtrack as it existed in 1927, which was optical. But it was the fewest number of frames they could get away with, because they wanted to save money on every foot of film.

So 24 frames was arrived at in a very arbitrary way, and it’s become the way we’ve become used to seeing things. But 24 frames isn’t very good, especially with 3D, and especially with action, because it strobes. It flickers; every time you move the camera, it judders. When you’re shooting in 3D, both eyes are getting hit with different degrees of these artefacts, which is what gives you eye strain; that’s why you get headaches watching 3D movies. 48 frames makes it much smoother.

There are twice as many screens in 48 frames this year than last year. It’s by far my preferred way to see it. It looks really great at 48 frames. 

Why did you choose Evangeline Lilly for this movie, and why did you create this role in the first place? Also, what is the appeal of Benedict Cumberbatch?

In a novel like The Hobbit, Tolkien is the narrator. It’s Tolkien that’s telling you the story, almost like he’s reading it to you. It’s very much his voice describing the characters and what’s happening to them. In a film, you can’t do that. In a movie, you don’t have that ability to have a narrator, unless you want me on screen talking about the movie - which you don’t, believe me!

So in a film, the only way to tell a story is through the characters’ dialogue and the decisions they make. The Hobbit doesn’t have characters with an enormous amount of depth, particularly, and so we had to create a lot more story for characters like Bard, who was in the book, and when it came to the Elves, we had the Elvenking, who doesn’t even have a name in The Hobbit.

He’s named in The Lord Of The Rings, retrospectively, Tolkien refers to him as Thranduil and gives him a son, Legolas, but he’s not even given a name in the book. But we needed to tell the story, and we needed characters to tell that story, to be able to give dialogue to them and create relationships and conflict. So we mapped out, right at the very beginning, that we needed Thranduil and we needed his son Legolas, and we deliberately set out to create a female character. The Elves gave us the opportunity to create a female character in a book which had none.

Casting Elves is very difficult. Elves are ethereal, they’re beautiful, they’re timeless. We always have tremendous difficulty casting Elvish characters, and Evangeline was someone who we had met. We hadn’t worked with her before, but we had met her over the years. And she was terrific in the book. And because she’s such a Tolkien fan herself, she was a little bit worried about taking on the role. But I knew that if she did accept the role, I knew we’d be in good hands because she wanted to help create the character in a way that would honour Tolkien, and a way that is in the spirit of the books and the characters. Which she did.

As for Benedict Cumberbatch, we auditioned for that character about two or three years ago, because we did all our auditioning before we shot a single frame of film. It goes way, way back, before the shooting of the first film. I hadn’t seen Sherlock, and I didn’t know who he was. He was a pretty unknown actor to me, and he just had such a great voice, and again, he loved Tolkien. 

He had a great, intelligent take on the character. You always want to work with people who want to make the same film as you, so when you meet with an actor, you talk a lot about the character and the role, and making sure they want to do the same thing as you. And Benedict had such a wonderful approach towards Smaug, as this huge, intelligent, psychopathic dragon. He is essentially a psychopath [Laughs]. And it’s a great way to approach a dragon. There have been so many dragons in movies, so how do you do it differently? It was scary.

Ever since I started doing The Hobbit, people would say, “What’s Smaug going to look like? What’s Smaug going to look like?” It was pretty scary, when there’s so much anticipation out there. You want to do the best job you can, so we took this approach of making him as dangerous as we could. As intelligent as we could. We interviewed a lot of actors, and Benedict was the guy who impressed us the most.

Peter Jackson, thank you very much.

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug is out now in the UK. Our review is here.

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3 rings were given to the elves, 4 to the dwarves.... and 9 to the Gluglart Glemlings of Galgamon ;)

"The Hobbit doesn’t have characters with an enormous amount of depth, particularly, and so we had to create a lot more story for characters like Bard"

Well, what he should've done was, instead of making three overly long and boring movies, just made one movie, instead of padding it all out like the madman he is.

He should have kept it at two movies at most, or three but with a normal duration for something based on a children's book, not two hours and a half. Although it's true that the characters in The Hobbit are mostly too simplistic. I like how they change a few characters, making them more complex. Kids can understand complex characters.

I saw "An Unexpected Journey" in HFR and thought it was horrible. As reluctant as I am, I have agreed to see "The Desolation of Smaug" with a few friends, so that they may judge the format for themselves. I can't wait to say "I told you so".

When I saw An Unexpected Journey I was intending on seeing it in 24fps, as I didn't think 48fps would look good at all. But the screening I went to was with a friend who had won tickets, and the cinema hadn't bothered to tell us it was going to be 48fps. So when the movie rolled and the first shot opened, I was initially horrified, and though it would completely ruin my experience.

As it turned out, Jackson was completely, utterly right. The film was quite simply gorgeous in a higher framerate. The detail was amazing, by far the clearest thing I've seen in the cinema, including seeing films like The Dark Knight in IMAX. If Avatar's 3D was like looking through a window, The Hobbit in HFR 3D was taking away the glass. The smoother motion also helped the CGI massively, and instantly improved how realistically things moved Creatures like Gollum suddenly felt like they had real, physical weight to them, and CG environments like Goblin Town and Erebor were an utter delight.

I will be seeing The Desolation of Smaug in the same format, and expect nothing less than a repeat experience. If James Cameron can achieve the 60fps he's talking about, cinema is in for a completely new standard of visuals.

"The Hobbit doesn’t have characters with an enormous amount of depth, particularly, and so we had to create a lot more story for characters"

...because making a 300ish page young adults novel into a single 90 minute film was just too damn easy.

There Peter, finished that for you.

Not sure I'd pay £10 and have 2 hours of eye strain to be condescending. :)

Online you can do it for free!

I'm not paying.

I actually agree with you, though it doesn't seem to be a popular opinion. I saw Unexpected Journey at both frame rates, and the 48fps was much, much better. The entire climactic fight in the caves was just a murky blur of CGI at 24 fps; at 48 fps, I could actually make out each individual dwarf.

"He shoulda done this"... "he shoulda done that"... no offense guys/gals (take yer pick!), but I'll trust Peter Jackson's storytelling abilities over anyone else's right now!

I'll admit I had moments whilst watching DOS where I was trying to spot the seams in the narrative from where two films became three, but it's a futile gesture and I ultimately just went with the flow! Enjoy these while you can, because as of next year, there'll be no more Peter Jackson Tolkien adaptations... EVER!!!

I had mixed feelings about making 'The Hobbit' as a trilogy, but if the occasional and momentary stretch mark in the narrative is the price for telling the fullest and most complete story, that's a pitifully small price... and one I've no problem with!

Go P.J.!!!

He actually did want just two movies. The studio smelled cash and pushed for 3. As for the characters in the book, it was mostly archetypal rather than deep, complex lives. The story is the character... which gives the Hobbit appeal for both young and old. The covetousness of the One Ring, the evil dragon, the greedy dwarves... all set-pieces for the bigger story of the Journey itself.

I think now (after seeing Desolation Of Smaug) the story fits pretty well in 3 films. I didn't think so after the first one, because I couldn't conceive of what could be in the third... but now I know what's coming, and it's going to be great. :)

This is nonsense. It was Jackson and his team that went to WB. The studio had 24 hours to decide whether to make 3 movies and they chose to trust Jackson - as do I.

I couldn't disagree more. The combination of 3D and HFR results in an awkward blend of the hyperreal (actors in dodgy make-up and costumes on sound stages) and the grotesquely artificial (overtly obvious CGI that looks poorly composited and colour matched). With the exception of the riddles in the dark scene - which worked due to low light levels masking the aforementioned problems - HFR only serves to distract from the story, rather than enhance it. I sincerely hope it remains a bespoke gimmick and is not widely adopted.

You're reducing a brilliant new technology and way of filming movies to a "bespoke gimmick"? Permit me to disagree with you. 24fps only became the standard because the 17 or 18 fps used before the introduction of sound wasn't quick enough to sync with the sound, which forced people to adopt 24fps, as it was the cheapest format that moved fast enough. We've had that standard since 1927, it's time to explore different ways of making movies.

And to me the makeup and CGI looked *better* in the higher framerate. And to call it dodgy is in my opinion, quite frankly an insult to WETA's sterling work. I know this is ll a matter of opinion, but to me cinema is about faking it: using tricks to put impossible things on screen, and rotely sticking to a rigid and limiting 24fps does ot reflect the possibilities cinema is capable of. Once Avatar 2 rolls around in glorious 60fps, the benchmark for film visuals will have a new standard.

I'm certainly not the only one to hold scornful views about the HFR version of "An Unexpected Journey". Google it, and you'll find plenty of criticism. From what I've read, "The Desolation of Smaug" is a much better watch in HFR, which is why I've decided to give the format a second go. I may even end up eating my words.

That said, it's still a gimmick. The biggest gripe I have with the format, is that it simply isn't cinema. It's high resolution video tape on the big screen. Tarantino likened it to "TV in public". I happen to agree with him.

HFR does feel very TV to me, and I think that set design and CG needs to now play catch-up with the new technology. I loved An Unexpected Journey, and thought they did a brilliant job with it - but 48fps acted as only a distraction to me. It gave a slightly more artificial edge which I wasn't impressed by, and the CG looked less lifelike - that I was able to forgive, as I'd always envisaged The Hobbit as more of a colourful animation than its gritty Lord of the Rings counterpart.

I'm glad that people like Jackson are investing in new technologies to advance cinema, rather than letting it stagnate in a pool of direct-to-DVD sequels and remakes.But as it stands I don't think I'm ready for the jump to 48fps yet, I don't particularly think films in general are quite ready for it yet, and I think that's a shame as it means that all my friends who want to pay above and beyond to see the film in 3D HFR will refuse to see the films in a more traditional way - I'll be waiting for the Blu-ray.

It depends upon who you believe. Since neither of us were there during the negotiations, I suspect we'll never know exactly who said what.

I have read many articles from many publications that said it was WB who pressured Jackson, in so many words. Then the Comic Con interview Jackson implied there'd be a 3rd, but didn't come out and say so. It was because he had lots of footage in the can after the filming was done for a 3rd. WB wouldn't have to pay $250 million for another movie, like they did for each of the first two. So WB likes the profit potential, and MGM (since they're emerging from bankruptcy.)

Remember, Jackson wasn't the first director. Guillermo Del Toro was the first choice. Del Toro's direction was 1 movie at first, when it was announced... then as it got closer before Del Toro stepped down, it became 2 movies. (Jackson was co-writer throughout the process, mind you.)

There will always be people who say 'Hey, thats CGI! It looks bad!' even if it's the most photoreal image ever. If they know they call it. It's also like with gaming graphics, gameplay or story goes over visuals.

Also, what's up with those cinema's that are asking extra money for viewing in 48fps?! I mean, it's often a flipping firmware update for the (already 3D) projectors!

I almost entirely agree with you. Personally, I don't feel the big screen is a suitable place for HFR features. If there ever comes a point where it's as prevalent as 3D is today, I'm giving up on cinema and sticking to literature.

So you are blaming bad makeup on the frame rate? What a goofy argument.

so what do you think is the perfect frame rate for movies? It certainly isn't 24 because that was arbitrary.

And yes it is a "gimmick" just like 3D is a gimmick in Avatar and Gravity.

There is no such thing as the "perfect frame rate". Any such preference is highly subjective. That said, 24fps is a crucial part of creating that cinematic look.

If you want to see cheap looking TV movies on the big screen, that's fine. Go ahead and champion HFR. Personally, I enjoy the glossy look and feel of 24fps. It makes a film look like a film - even if it was shot digitally.

I loved the use of 3D in "Avatar" and "Gravity". I felt it worked well with their space/ Sci-Fi themes. I don't get why you ham-fisted them into your retort?

And no, I am not blaming bad make-up on HFR. I am saying that HFR exposes every detail and imperfection. It doesn't have the soft "distance" that 24fps offers. Thus, everything onscreen is essentially naked.

hi- i just saw 'desolation '- my first hfr film-sorry to say it was rubbish in terms of look so bad it took a lot from the film- i really liked the hobbit an unexpected journey (to my surprise) and i saw that on bluray and it looked so much better in 2d on a 'normal' home flat screen

hfr clearly helps perception of 3d as i thought the whole film felt more 3d (the only 'good' 3d i have seen is avatar,life of pi and gravity btw)
Unfortunately they clearly either do not know how to grade hfr 3d yet or the colour range is crunched in someway that inhibits a good digital grade.
it looked like raw footage like a lot of films do before a decent colour grade- (hence sets & make up and cg to a degree looking ropy)

it was so bad i do not feel i can pass comment on the film as i suspect i will like it when i see it again (in a nother format obviously)

imo-it shows poor judgement on the part of the film makers to release that sort of imagery and take money for it -

it may well be much harder to get the film look , with hfr but they should of waited till they can

i find it a bit hard to believe that anyone would defend it - perhaps the cinemas are set up poorly - but i would think that with it all being digitally calibrated etc etc i should all be as intended

Thank you. I'm getting the sense people don't appreciate new and innovative technology in cinema for some reason. I mean, a lot of people are still arguing about digital over film (digital wins for me, you can only ever keep improving resolution). I'm seeing Desolation tomorrow, absolutely can't wait for it.

Well, you're welcome to have your own opinion (this is the internet after all, no one has the exact same one). What exactly did it take away from the film for you? As it only adds to the experience for me.

Plus I'm pretty sure Pete and his editing team know how to digitally grade a HFR film to the highest possible quality, they have been working with the technology for over 3 years now. No offense, but you thinking it looked bad is simply your opinion and nothing more.

I thought Journey looked spectacular, and as Jackson has reportedly softened Desolation to achieve a more "filmic" look, I can't imagine it being in any way bad quality. I will continue to defend and champion this format, as it's about time cinema had a shake up. 80+ years of keeping the same frame rate is just not healthy for a medium with as many possibilities as cinema.

When it comes down to it, I think you should see a film the way it was intended. Otherwise it's like watching Ben Hur broadcast on 4:3 TVs back in the day...

I'll never understand how people who've actually read The Hobbit could think it would fit into a single film of less than 2 hours. Each chapter is like a separate adventure, and the climax with the dragon is followed by a whole other climax before the end. Not to mention the stuff going on in the background with Gandalf. Not saying the films aren't a tad padded, but just because The Hobbit is fairly slim it doesn't mean that not a lot of stuff happens in it.

It's actually far more suited to a miniseries format if you ask me. But then that's true of many books.

Not seen Desolation yet, but going to do so in old-fashioned 2D like I saw the first one in. Some of the CGI was pretty shabby in the first one, curious if the higher framerate may have rectified matters there, but oh well.

I actually did the opposite. I accidentally attended a 24fps 3D viewing instead of the HFR one I wanted to see. While I enjoyed the film, the 3D was predictably straining on the eyes at times. I usually have to take off those damn glasses about halfway through a film for a moment or two anyway, and this sucker was nearly three hours long! Anyway, I went the next day to a 48fps showing and I was absolutely flabbergasted. The visuals were wonderfully crisp and, without the eye strain, the 3D was engrossing. People keep telling me "it doesn't look like a movie" but that look is arbitrary.

24fps is only crucial in "creating that cinematic look" because cinema has used 24fps for decades. There's no such thing as a "cinematic look." It's a 24fps look, and if you want a 24fps look then obviously 24fps is crucial.

If you are going to be super pedantic about it, yes, 24fps helps create a look and tone that has long since been 'associated' with cinema. While higher frame rates are 'associated' with TV and cheaper production values. My aesthetic preference is for 24fps - clearly. Higher frame rates produce an image that appears third-rate and jarring - IMO. This has nothing to do with the fact that HFRs have been established as a televisual standard. I simply loathe the look of HD video in its higher frame fate form. I don't want to see an image, on the big screen, that is not too dissimilar from what my iPhone captures. Adding 3D into the mix merely emphasises the, already, overtly electronic look.

Cinema started out as a novelty fairground attraction with low frame rates - 18fps, sometimes less. It is inevitable that it will evolve. HFRs may indeed be a future standard. But it currently looks cheap. For studios to promote it as a superior presentation method is suggestive of the emperor's new clothes.

Outside of turning this into a philosophical debate about beauty and aesthetics, or qualia, there isn't much more to add. It boils down to subjective preferences.

There's nothing inherently cheap looking about higher frame rate footage. People simply convince themselves that it looks cheap because their only common reference to it is traditionally cheap productions shot on video. If films had always been shot at 48-60 fps, no one would consider them cheap looking. They'd simply look like what people would associate with films. Its entirely psychosomatic. That is why I said there is no such things as a 'cinematic' look inherent in 24 fps. That's just a tautology people fall back upon when they want to criticize hfr without simply saying that they are simply used to 24 fps and don't want it to change. There's nothing wrong with that.Change isn't inherently good, and hfr filming has a very different, more true to life aethstetic which people aren't used to seeing in a feature film. Lots of people said the same thing about color vs black and white, and color productions weren't saddled with such a perjorative association. I imagine that if hfr was simply never used before now, the majority would flock to it as a much more pleasing, engrossing way of watching a film. 3D is another topic entirely, because of the selective, gimmicky way it can be employed in a film, as well as the poor quality of post production 3D visuals and thethe dimness and significant eye strain that is associated with the medium in its current form (polarized 3D with images broadcast alternatively to each eye), made much worse by the low standard frame rate. I agree with the late Roger Ebert that if the technology isn't going to be used well, it is better left out all together. That means actually shooting in 3D and avoiding those ridiculous 'coming right at you' gimmicky shots that are only suited to b grade horror and children's flicks.

Either you seek to define the term 'cinematic look', or you wish to deny me of my own subjective experiences.

The "cinematic look" originates from shooting on celluloid at 24fps. This combination has been a staple for decades. Lighting, lenses, filters, film stock, etc, all serve to alter the image to varying degrees. However, it is the complementary use of format (35mm celluloid) and frame rate (24fps) that is primarily responsible for creating a particular aesthetic associated with cinematic feature films, and with quality.

Advances in digital cinematography have pathed the way for cameras which aim to capture an image reminiscent of 24fps celluloid. However, as celluloid image capture is a chemical process, and digital is exclusively electronic, you end up with an image that is simply different. Nevertheless, the aim is to recreate the look of celluloid capture and projection, as that's what audiences have come to know as 'cinema'. And the fact that they are using 24fps in digital capture, merely emphasises its integral role in creating the cinematic aesthetic.

Electronic images at high frame rates have been a staple of television and home video recordings for decades. High Def image capture at HFR is readily available on most sports channels etc.

There are your definitions.

So, there is indeed an established cinematic look - which modern digital cameras (Arri Alexa, Red) aim to replicate. And there is indeed an established televisual look. HFR cinema is the same as the established televisual look, or HD TV, as it has come to be known as. The only difference being, studios would prefer to market the format as "HFR", rather than HD TV, in your local multiplex.

As I said, unless you wish to debate the value of beauty and aesthetics, or qualia, there isn't much more to add. It boils down to subjective preferences. If you want to see HDTV on the big screen, fine. I don't!

As I said, there's no reason you should feel you have to like it. It is obviously a matter of opinion. My only point is that there is no 'cinematic' quality independent of 24 fps that the particular frame rate enhances. The quality people are talking about is the frame rate itself, and its a byproduct of the distortion inherent in that low speed of image production. So folks should simply say they like 24 fps without assigning it a value that does not exist. It would be like if I said that oranges were critical to creating the flavor orange juice. The statement is true but pointless, as is talking about the 'cinematic' quality of 24 fps footage. It's just a crutch people cling to in order to bolster an argument that really boils down to simply not liking change.

Dude, you have turned this into a discussion about logic and semantics, and claim that I and others would probably enjoy HFR if it had been a cinematic standard from the outset. You are just arguing with yourself.

And you have twice implied that I, and others, are simply stubborn, and unwilling to embrace change. Wrong.

I have worked with celluloid, analogue and digital video for years. I know which image I prefer, and I have experimented with many, if not all, moving picture formats. I am not "used to 24fps", I genuinely prefer it to the other alternatives. Stop denying me my own experiences and preferences, thank you.

Well I certainly agree that logic is involved in the discussion, but I never said you would or would not enjoy anything. I simply stated what the argument boils down to when you remove the tautology. And I certainly didn't mean to say that you didn't like all change, but it's obvious you don't like this one. That's totally cool. As you said, it's just a personal preference. I agree. But whether you prefer a higher or lower quality image doesn't give your preference any extra 'cinematic' bona fides. It's just the way things have always been in the theater. Everyone is used to it, regardless of whether or not they have seen other frame rates (we all have, plenty of times. As I stated, that is part of the problem).

I think we are viewing this through totally different lenses. You want an über precise, detailed, and exclusively logical explanation to help you understand my position. Whereas I feel that such preferences fall in line with all other aesthetic values. Like, why do some people prefer blondes to brunettes? Now, that could lead to a discussion about childhood, evolution, or culture. But would we get any concrete answers? And what would be the goal? Would we aim to alter these preferences through reasoning? If so, why?

Absolutely not. I just enjoy pointing out the illogic of claiming one is more cinematic than the other, just as I'd say that arguing blonds are more attractive than brunettes because of their inherent blondness gets folks nowhere. It's simply a matter of personal taste.

Which was my point all along. Are you finished trolling?

Well, someone's uplifted nose is in a twist.

Either we are going to get to a clear cut point, or we are just going to accept that I like blondes and you like brunettes.

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