Some movie-goers who have seen the new 3D action/adventure fantasy, “The Hobbit,” got more action than they bargained for. The movie is causing some to feel dizzy or even nauseous. The culprit may be an unexpected byproduct of a new technology.
Director Peter Jackson tried to give the film some extra pop in 3D with a new technique that involves a high-speed camera.
The high-speed 3D cameras film at twice the normal speed, capturing up to 48 frames per second compared with about 24 frames per second.
Martin Freeman stars in the fantasy film as Bilbo Baggins along with Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Ian Holm as old Bilbo Baggins and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
It’s the first of three highly anticipated films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels. The film premiered November 28 in Wellington, New Zealand, where some who watched it complained of ill side-effects.
“My eyes cannot take everything in, it’s dizzying, now I have a migraine,” one film goer told London’s Sunday Times.
“It works for the big snowy mountains, but in close-ups the pictures strobes. I left loving the movie but feeling sick,” another who watched it Tweeted. The illness was described as something akin to the tumult caused by a roller coaster.
“You have to hold your stomach down and let your eyes pop at first to adjust. This is not for wimps,” another theatergoer told The Times.
Ironically, the new film technique is designed to sharpen and smooth out the 3D look to prevent the kind of side-effects theatergoers complained about, according to Matt Cowan, chief scientist at RealD, which developed the technology.
“What you will experience is smoother motion. The effect you get for things like explosions is much more real,” he said in an interview in New Zealand.
The film is expected to hit the United States in mid-December. Fortunately, “The Hobbit” will also be released at 24 frames per second in theaters that do not have digital projection.