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‘Hobbit 3D film wizardry left us feeling sick’ | Mail Online

December 2, 2012

From Mail Online by Becky Evans on 12/2/12

Pioneering: Some fans have complained the way The Hobbit, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins (pictured), has been filmed made them nauseous

Cinema-goers have complained of feeling sick and dizzy after watching early screenings of The Hobbit. Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited new film is the first to be shot using high-speed 3D cameras that capture twice the normal number of frames per second. But some viewers said the filming techniques made them feel nauseous and even caused migraines.

The Sunday Times reported one ‘avid Middle Earth fan’, who had flown to New Zealand from Australia for the premiere, said: ‘My eyes cannot take everything in, it’s dizzying, now I have a migraine.’ Another fan tweeted: ‘It works for the big snowy mountains, but in close-ups the pictures strobes. I left loving the movie but feeling sick.’

The Sunday Times said one fan described having motion sickness similar to being on a rollercoaster. They said: ‘You have to hold your stomach down and let your eyes pop at first to adjust. This is not for wimps.’ However, others praised the way the film – starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins – had been shot.

Hollywood director Bryan Singer wrote on Twitter after the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Wednesday: ‘Having some serious frame rate envy. Amazing and involving. Loved it!’

The 3D company that worked with Jackson on the shoot said the new technology should actually stop people feeling ill. Matt Cowan, chief scientist at RealD, told stuff.co.nz: ‘What you will experience is smoother motion. ‘The effect you get for things like explosions is much more real. ‘It is a great experiment and kudos to Peter Jackson for doing it.’

The movie – the first in a trilogy – is shot at a camera speed of 48 frames per second – double that normally used.Critics did not react warmly to an unfinished version of the film describing it as looking like a ‘made for television BBC movie – so uncompromisingly real, slightly sped up, that it looked fake. It was jarring.’

The movie came under fire earlier this year after critics who had seen ten minutes of the unfinished film compared it to a made-for-television film. Ian McKellen, who reprises his role as Gandalf in the film, defended it as ‘more exciting’ and said the 3D brings fans into Middle Earth.

Thousands of people crowded into central Wellington, New Zealand, for the chance to see some of the films stars including Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is due to be released in the UK on December 14. The second film The Desolation of Smaug will be be released in 2013 with There and Back Again released the following year.

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