Jackson hopes the 48-frames-a-second rate – twice the 24 frames that has been the custom since the 1920s – will help bring about a gradual transition to faster speeds that can bring more life-like images and action to the screen.
Digital cameras allow for shooting at 48 frames or faster, reducing the flickery, blurry effect known as strobing that can come with 24-frame filming.
Jackson talked about his two-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where he premiered the documentary West of Memphis, produced by him and his wife, Hobbitco-writer Fran Walsh.
“You shoot at 48, project at 48 and you get an illusion of life that’s remarkable. You don’t realize just how strobing and how flickery 24 frames is,” The Washington Post reported Jackson as saying.
“You look at something at 48 frames, and it looks gorgeous. It looks like real life. It’s amazing.”
Jackson hoped more directors would utilise the new technology.
“I’m hoping it’ll be just the first gentle step into changing film rates because we can change them, especially with all the digital technology now. Twenty-four is irrelevant. It doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s just a traditional thing.
“It’s far from the best visual way to present a film.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will premiere on December 13 next year in Wellington and the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is set to be released on December 12 the following year.