Of course, we all know about Peter Jackson and how he brought the Lord of the Rings trilogy to life with a lot of research going into the adaptation, superlative acting on the part of the cast he had gathered for the movie and, most importantly, plenty of special effects to make the world of Middle-Earth and so that the audience can fully immerse themselves in its wonders and terrors. Indeed, it is quite baffling how they made full-size actors like Elijah Wood who portrays Frodo Baggins and Martin Freeman who plays as Bilbo Baggins and are both well over five feet become one of Tolkien’s “little people”.
Well after the resounding success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson has decided to up the ante with his latest film series The Hobbit, starting with Unexpected Journey in 2012. It is however apparent that the upcoming second installment, Desolation of Smaug, will take things to an even further level now that he has included special effects veteran Joe Letteri who will be supervising the project and was known for some of his other works in big budget films like Jurassic Park and Avatar. With high frame rate cameras with 48fps, rigs of motion controlled cameras and a new way to capture the performances of the film’s actors; one can only imagine the marvels awaiting audiences this year with Desolation of
While the special effects team gathered for The Hobbit has worked extensively with Andy Serkis while he portrayed Gollum in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, it seems that they are focusing on improving the performance of actors and their 3d character roles with the new motion capture cameras available to the crew. It seems that this time around, they plan to capture the finer movement details of actors, giving characters more realistic appearances and movements.
Other improvements on the film include making use of two cameras to follow a single scene in order to make the effect more believable. For instance, as Gandalf moves through Bag End with the dwarves in tow, they are actually followed by two cameras with one designated “master” and the other “slave”. The “slave” camera only follows the “master” camera in order to give actors the size difference needed for the film proper while the actors like Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage are equipped with earpieces in order to hear one another and, most especially, the direction of Peter Jackson.
48fps which actually stands for 48 frames per second is a method by which a camera can capture the more subtle details of an actor’s movements. For instance, their small gestures and slight movements can be more thoroughly captured than with 24fps. It is this filming technique that has made the movies challenging but worthwhile for the crew. Not to mention the fact that they are using the same technique
to capture the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch who will portray the dragon Smaug, for Desolation of Smaug. While normally reserved for more humanoid roles like Gollum or Azog, the idea of using 48fps cameras on Smaug only forces one to wonder what to expect when Desolation of Smaug finally hits theaters this year.