Peter Jackson is taking the consternation about how his new movie, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, looks at 48 frames per second in stride. His zen attitude may be bolstered by the fact that another visual effect trailblazer has come to his defense. Douglas Trumbull, who has worked on the effects behind 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and The Tree of Life is fully supportive of the faster frame rates, which apparently give the movie a made-for-TV vibe in the eyes of many viewers. Trumbull has actually been experimenting with movies shot and shown at framerates higher than the standard 24fps since the early 1980s, so it's not entirely a surprise to hear him tell EW that he is "just thrilled that Peter Jackson has done The Hobbit in 48 frames. It’s definitely a fabulous and brave step in the right direction."
Trumbull does admit that the faster framerates can be off-putting and suggests that Jackson might take advantage of technology to vary the framerates depending on the scene — a full 48 for action and vista shots, but a more humane 24fps for closeups. He says that current digital projectors should be able to handle the variability with no issue, and can even ramp all the way up to 144fps. James Cameron is reportedly considering shooting Avatar 2 at 60fps, and Trumbull thinks that audiences might appreciate the higher framerate on that film more because it's "a kind of flying dream adventure."