The Hobbit Movie; Little Folk, Big Changes
JRR Tolkein's The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was an epic tale made into three sprawling movies by New Zealand director and writer Peter Jackson. It was a filmed version of something that many held as being unfilmable, and in truth quite a bit of "envelope-pushing" was required to provide the visual splendor that the narrative demanded.
The Hobbit is a smaller story (no pun intended) about more wee folk from Middle Earth, but in several significant ways may have an even bigger impact on the technology of filming and movie delivery. The project is well underway, with the first of two installments, "An Unexpected Journey", due late this year. Peter Jackson and many of the original production team have returned, along with some actors reprising roles from the chronologically later "Rings" story.
This time, instead of just breaking new ground in the area of digital visual effects, Jackson and his team are using all digital 3-D cameras - which in itself is not unique - but are also filming so that the end result can be displayed at 48 frames per second, instead of the traditional 24 fps; a big deal. Both Peter Jackson and James Cameron, who have sold ungodly amounts of movie tickets between them, are very enthusiastic about the higher frame rates as being the next big thing.
Cameron had previously announced that Avatar 2 and 3 will be shot to be shown at these higher frame rates (HFR). The good news is that many of the already-installed digital projectors in movie theaters can be upgraded to handle the HFR movies, Some new Hobbit footage is expected to shown with The Avengers (although at "normal" frame rates).