One format to rule them all and in the darkness bind them?
The filmmaker moved quickly to counter the negative perception over his presentation:
"There can only ever be a real reaction, a truthful reaction, when people actually have a chance to see a complete narrative on a particular film," Jackson told EW.
Most of the criticism had to do with the Oscar-winning helmer's pioneering decision to shoot his highly anticipated two-part prequel at 48 fps (frames per second)—making them the first major motion pictures destined for release in that format (and in 3-D)—instead of the standard 24 fps in which films are traditionally shot.
Despite his declaration that the new frame rate would offer up hyper-real visuals with a clarity and depth audiences don't get at 24 fps, providing a richer, more immersive big-screen experience, several film exhibitors and bloggers felt 48 fps wasn't "cinematic" enough in the vein of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, comparing it to the crisp imagery people find on a hi-def television set.
But Jackson isn't deterred by that reaction, noting that moviegoers will get used to it once they see it in its totality the way he has grown accustomed to the 48 fps watching dailies and editing various cuts of the movie.
"At first it's unusual because you've never seen a movie like this before. It's literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn't last the entire experience of the film—not by any stretch, [just] 10 minutes or so," the filmmaker remarked. "That's a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation."
When asked what he would say to people that are having a tough time adjusting to 48 fps, Jackson basically shrugged.
"I can't say anything," he said. "Just like I can't say anything to someone who doesn't like fish. You can't explain why fish tastes great and why they should enjoy it."
The director also told the Hollywood Reporter that the snippets of footage shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas also did not have the postproduction, such as "extensive digital grading," that he utilized on LOTR to enhance the experience and urged fans not to rush to judgment until the work is finished.
"We'll do the same with The Hobbit, to make it consistent and give it the feeling of otherworldliness—to get the mood, the tone, the feel of the different scenes," he said.
The first adventure, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits theaters Dec. 14, while the second, The Hobbit: There and Back Again unspools a year later.