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Hollywood Acts Warily At Comic-Con

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the taking-it-slow dept.

Lord of the Rings 273

gollum123 writes "Peter Jackson wowed the crowd with 13 minutes of highly anticipated footage from the first of his two ultra-expensive Hobbit movies. But he also played it safe — very safe — by not so much as mentioning, much less demonstrating, the filmmaking wizardry at the heart of the project. That left big questions about the movie industry's future unanswered and added to a theme of this year's Comic-Con: Hollywood has come to fear this place. Mr. Jackson is shooting his two Hobbit movies, the first of which is to arrive in theaters in December, at an unusually fast 48 frames a second, twice the standard rate. But an estimated 6,500 fans did not have that experience when they gathered in Comic-Con's cavernous Hall H moments earlier to see the new footage. Still, Mr. Jackson, one of Hollywood's boldest directors, made the unexpectedly timid decision to present The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in a standard format here — it was not even in 3-D — because he feared an online outcry that could hurt box-office results."

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273 comments

More like Peter was angry (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#40664267)

Reading all press it sounds like too much generalisation - in fact, it *feels* like Peter Jackson was more angry about backslash and calling a "cheap TV movie" just because you are used to different frame rate. So he decided that discussion about "be or not to be 48 fps" could actually overcome discussion about movie itself. I think it was wise decision and not Hollywood fear about CC. Come on, they *love* CC - it's amplified publicity with fans all around the world. What a better way to get movie going buzz rolling?

Re:More like Peter was angry (4, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40664443)

Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

Re:More like Peter was angry (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#40664531)

Ya it is just something that will take time. People have decided that shitty framerates look "cinematic" and thus that is the right way to do things. In time, they'll come over. I shoot video at 60fps (progressive) for instructional videos and it looks amazing. We don't host them at 60fps since there aren't any video services that'll let you that I know of, but I wish we could. They are just amazingly smooth.

We've been after higher spatial resolution with video for some time, it is time to look at the temporal resolution as well.

High Framerate + CGI = extra fake (4, Interesting)

Requiem18th (742389) | about 2 years ago | (#40665177)

I remember when I first saw a Blueray Disc movie, it was that godawful G.I. Joe movie, I dunno what the frame rate was on that but the image looked absurdly crisp and sharp. It was the clearest cleanest image I had seen on a movie, and it looked disgustingly fake.

For a moment I thought it was because the lack of camera artifacts made it look unauthentic, kinda like how lens flare is now added to movies because people expect it. However after a while I realized that I only had problems when there was CGI on the screen. So in fact it wasn't the sharp image what was bothering me, is the that, the sharper the image, the more obvious CGI imperfections are.

Image quality reveals fake scenes for what they are.

For a movie with a shitload of fake imagery like the Hobbit, I can already see why people would complain. I'm pretty sure those 60fps instructional videos you shot didn't have any CGI in them did they?

Re:High Framerate + CGI = extra fake (1)

gorzek (647352) | about 2 years ago | (#40665329)

That's exactly what I've heard from articles about The Hobbit: that you can tell just how fake and orchestrated things are, because the image is too clear and perfect.

Re:More like Peter was angry (3, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#40665283)

Ya it is just something that will take time. People have decided that shitty framerates look "cinematic" and thus that is the right way to do things. In time, they'll come over. I shoot video at 60fps (progressive) for instructional videos and it looks amazing. We don't host them at 60fps since there aren't any video services that'll let you that I know of, but I wish we could. They are just amazingly smooth.

I must admit that part of me wants to agree with this. But I also wonder if the fact that 24 to 30 fps footage somehow looks more "distant" and less "live" is part of why people prefer it, the "distance" it puts between the viewer and the action subconsciously aiding suspension of disbelief.

This might be wrong, I don't know- it's just a guess. I do know that I much prefer higher frame rates for my own "real life" footage though- for precisely the opposite (or rather, same) reason- even to the point of running an interpolation filter on the footage.

Uncanny valley (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#40664671)

I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point?

Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley [tvtropes.org] .

It's supposed to look real.

I thought it was supposed to look just real enough (and conversely, just unreal enough) for your brain to suspend disbelief.

Re:Uncanny valley (4, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40664741)

It's supposed to look real.

I thought it was supposed to look just real enough (and conversely, just unreal enough) for your brain to suspend disbelief.

from what I've read about 48fps, that's exactly the problem people ran into. people said things like "my brain was not processing what I was seeing as 'two hobbits walking up a hill' but rather 'two actors in hobbit costumes walking up a hill'". They were having difficulty suspending disbelief.

I'll have to wait until I see it in person, but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

Re:Uncanny valley (1)

krakelohm (830589) | about 2 years ago | (#40664929)

but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

I think its distracting as hell for just a short time, once I was used to it, I can't even tell its on.

Re:Uncanny valley (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40665257)

I'll have to wait until I see it in person, but native 48fps will have to be a whole other world better than what the 120hz tv's software intrapolation does to 24fps film, cause that's distracting as all hell.

The main difference will be that they can pan sideways smoothly. Apart from that I bet you'll have to look very closely to see a difference.

Re:Uncanny valley (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | about 2 years ago | (#40665295)

Yeah I was wondering about that. The 120Hz stuff seems really strange like it moves really smoothly. That's good you'd think but it's still strange as heck.

Re:Uncanny valley (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40665189)

Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley.

But if that is the case, why isn't the same true for the many TV shows shot at the even higher rate of 60 fps? Or the countless video games that run at that frame rate or its rough equivalent?

Re:Uncanny valley (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40665225)

Perhaps 48 fps pushes the animation into an uncanny valley [tvtropes.org] .

Nah. An increase in frame rate isn't going to change the film's subject matter (which is what the uncanny valley is about).

3D is a *much* bigger change than this is and nobody brought up uncanny valleys for 3D.

Re:More like Peter was angry (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#40664727)

Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

Dude. If you have to tell people over and over that it's better because they don't see it in your demos, then you probably ought to think twice before spending a whole lot of money on it. If I were a theater operator, and Pete comes in and tells me I should spend tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade my equipment, but the buzz on social media is "I wouldn't pay more to see it in this format" why would I do it?

This seems a lot like the studios and Samsung screaming at me that I should buy a 3D TV and blu-ray player, even though the ones I've tried at Best Buy are fairly craptacular.

I'm with you on the CD / AAC thing, though. If you want to add MP3 sizzle to them, that's a straightforward problem. Going the other way, not so much...

Re:More like Peter was angry (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#40664997)

That's not always true. When iPhone first came out most people were very worried about how well the keyboard would work, and if you were used to going a mile a minutes on a BB it didn't work great at first. Based on that it could have been a big mistake.

But we now know it wasn't. Some people have a preference, but for most people the software keyboard works great, or at least well enough, to trade it for the other improvements like the larger screen.

I'd reserve judgement on 48fps until people have seen two or three movies in it. This may be the initial hump before people realize that it's much better.

Film should NOT look 'real' (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664967)

48fps is awful because the objective of film is NOT to look 'real'. The objective is to create a dream-state.

The dream metaphor for film viewing is one of the most persistent in both classical and modern film theory.

Think about it: Nothing about film is particularly 'real': Sudden cuts, temporal jumps, non-linear sequences. Film doesn't simulate reality, it simulates the dream state. Everything that technology is now doing to 'improve' the cinema experience and make it more 'realistic' is destroying the dream-state of the medium. Movies are getting less absorbing the more 'realistic' they become.

Regular, traditional 24fps gives everything a subconscious dream-like quality. But 48fps makes everything look like television - or worse. It breaks us out of the dream-state.

The same goes for high-def and 3D. These so-called 'improvements' to film actually wreck the medium because they present a reality that has no analogue. What other reality that you know of looks anything like HD film – where in reality can you see people's pores without a magnifying glass? Where in reality do you see the equivalent of the kind of 3D shown in modern movies?

Shooting a 'movie' in 48fps is like shaking a dreamer awake and shouting in their face, "The dream is over!!"

Re:More like Peter was angry (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#40664973)

Well who can blame him? I couldn't make any sense of the comments on /. about how 48fps looks "too real". Isn't that kinda the point? To make the TV show or movie look like just a window on another world? It's supposed to look real. (This reminds me of those persons who claimed CDs or lossless AACs were too perfect, and they'd rather hear the sizzle of downloaded MP3s. Illogical.)

I could not care less about the technology .. I'm glad I wasn't there and didn't see some spoiler footage.

Re:More like Peter was angry (3, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 2 years ago | (#40664505)

Fear is a poor choice of word. They want the publicity of CC, and they can't help but make a showing. But they do understand that this crowd has particular likes and dislikes, one of which is around, what I hope, is actually a dislike of technology gimmicks for sales $$$ sake.

It's hard to understand sometimes, since 3D in particular, generates such an angry outcry, and these statements of "cheap TV movie" sound like knee-jerk ludditism. From the director's perspective, his boss wants these gimmicks in since it boosts revenue (particularly weekend gross numbers). From our perspective they are just cost adders that sometimes detract from our enjoyment (if 3D makes you sick). But that's not what ends up being put in the press, from the geek crew you just hear bitching about 3D being some sort of unformed evil being silently served in our cereal, and 48fps being a dark stormcloud on the horizon that will poison all our crops.

It's not unreasonable for him to want to avoid that, since he's more focused (I hope) on the movie content itself. All I know is if the movie makes me want to vomit due to technology, or just poor camera technique (i.e. "shakeycam"), I'm going to hold that against him. But 3D movies look just fine on my 2D bluray or dish network spigot. I suspect 48fps will manage to work just fine too.

Re:More like Peter was angry (3, Insightful)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40664515)

It can also generate Internet levels of hate. Which the traditional media loves to report on.

Re:More like Peter was angry (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40664517)

>>>Come on, they *love* CC - it's amplified publicity with fans all around the world.

Not according to the article. I quote: "But the Comic-Con crowd is a discerning one and frequently refuses to cooperate. This can create difficult sometimes impossible messes [on Twitter/Facebook] for studio marketers to mop up." For example: "The Host, a new movie project from Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books, was greeted with puzzled expressions and tepid applause. That sent a publicist for its distributor, Open Road Films, scrambling to point a reporter toward positive reactions from bloggers. "

Or... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664277)

did the place just lack the tech needed to show it to those 6500 fans in 3d at 48fps? The later seems more likely imho.

Re:Or... (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 2 years ago | (#40664463)

Sounds the most plausible to me. Bringing in the most advanced projectors available, and supplying the mass chaos of a convention with 3-D glasses does not seem the most practical. The "Fear of an outcry" makes even less sense to me. I'm worried the fans will complain about the picture quality... so I'm going to provide it in lower picture quality? That arguement dosn't really make much sense to me. If you believe that the extra's improve the film, then the rational response to avoid negative reviews is to put the best possible foot foward. Unless we think Peter Jackson himself see's the 3-D and the 48FPS as a gimic that if anything hurts the film, but he went with them anyway to encorage the investors to let him make the movie.

because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664283)

WE come there.

fear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664307)

Or maybe the projector on the cart only does 720p at 30fps?

Enough with the gimmicks. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664327)

Just give me a great story with great acting in the old school format and I'm fine with that. No 3D, no 48 fps.

People will go back to theaters when the social experience is positive again. No cell phones, more comfy seats, etc. Maybe I'm getting old but the experience these days seems to have been taken over by thugs.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664369)

I'm sure the theater owners ought to be able to block signal to cellphones, so it's not a question of intent any more - you just can't use them.

You're right though, the experience isn't what it once was. Aside from anything else, some of the theaters in my area don't seem to employ projectionists who have a damn clue what they are doing. As a result the picture slips out of focus, among other irritating glitches. I might not have as big a screen at home, but I get a nice sharp picture all the way through, and nobody kicks the back of my chair.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40664487)

You have no idea how radio comms work do you? Expecting private enterprise to be able to block airwaves is retarded in the extreme, not to mention completely illegal.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664537)

different Anonymous Coward here:

two words: Faraday cage

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 2 years ago | (#40664749)

Two words: Federal Law

ref: 47 USC 333 [cornell.edu]

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40665231)

My impression was that only active jamming (broadcasting an unauthorized interference signal) was illegal. A Faraday cage isn't actually jamming anything, it's just creating conditions where reception will be poor or nonexistent.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40664809)

and to make a complete solution for a new Theature you need 2 more words

Plausible Deniability

So its not your fault that your grand decorating scheme just happens to put each theature in its own Faraday Cage (i didn't know that the fancy mesh all over the walls was that much metal).

All those enjoying a performance that are "On Call" should leave your paging device with the Front Desk if you are needed an Usher will Inform You.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (2)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about 2 years ago | (#40665085)

The Alamo Drafthouse [drafthouse.com] came up with a cheaper solution - zero tolerance. If you can't go a couple hours without using your phone, the theater is not for you.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40665163)

Apparently you can get magnetic paint. You could use it to stick movie posters and signposts to cinema walls.

[innocent look]

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | about 2 years ago | (#40664867)

Three more words in response to those two: first responder "concerns"

What theater owner is going to want to invest in retrofitting their structures in a way that WILL generate negative attention from the fire inspector? ("So, you're telling me that you want to upgrade your building in a way that makes our radios not work inside?") Sure, repeater systems would allow firefighters/police/EMS radios to work inside such structures, but that's something that would need to be included in the initial installation, and don't think anyone but the theater owner is going to wind up footing the bill for that. (OK, customers eventually, but that's cold comfort when you're writing the check. Cash flow, you know?)

We should all remember that a Faraday cage will restrict/eliminate wireless connections, but won't do anything to the local resources of the device. Texting, email and calling? No, won't work. Angry Birds and video camera? Yes, work just fine. Oh, and guess which one of the examples I gave is the one that the MPAA/Hollywood want to block? No theater owner is going to be able to get financial help from those entities for installing a system that can't shut down cellphone cameras.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#40665067)

Your post advocates a

(X) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

approach to fighting cell phones. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(X) Emergency calls and other legitimate cell uses would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
( ) It will stop callers for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(X) Users of cell phones will not put up with it
(X) Motorola will not put up with it
(X) The police will not put up with it
(X) Requires too much cooperation from cell phone users
( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many cell users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(X) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(X) Profit-minded mentality of wireless carriers
(X) RF uses beyond cell phones
(X) Asshats
(X) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
( ) Huge existing infrastucture investment in cell technology
( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than TDFM to attack
( ) Willingness of users to install Flash games on their phones
( ) Armies of worm riddled SMS-hacked cell phones
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of cell phones
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who use cell phones
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Facebook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever
been shown practical
(X) Any scheme based on forced failures is unacceptable
( ) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve phone fraud or credit card fraud
(X) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Sending text messages should be free
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your phone company?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time phone numbers are cumbersome
( ) I don't want the government listening to my calls
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(X) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 2 years ago | (#40664511)

Blocking cellphone signals (in the US, anyway) is illegal everywhere except hospitals (who block them to keep them from interfering with medical equipment).

The reason is because if an emergency happens, people need to be able to dial 911. At the hospital, dialing 911 is moot since you're you're already there.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664635)

That's a terrible law. At any place of business, there are going to be phones of some kind.

To call 911 is free from a payphone, isn't it?

Law needs to change, cellphone signals need to be blocked at least some places.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40665103)

The only appropriate answer is 'Fuck you, sit down and shut up, the adults are talking.'

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664657)

Theaters have phones with which to call 911.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664673)

Jamming is illegal; blocking not so much. A little bit of EMF insulation (Eg. Tinfoil on the walls, or emf insulating paint) would be enough to keep cellphone signals out of a theater.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

GNious (953874) | about 2 years ago | (#40664689)

really? So lining the theater with with whatever to create the equivalent of a faraday-cage (I saw something elsewhere, showing a "wallpaper" that blocked radio-waves) is actually illegal? Also if you put up big signs telling people to not enter in case they need emergency phone-service and noone are able to reach the doors out?

hmm.. Was actually liking the idea of building an RF shielded home, just for the heck of it.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 2 years ago | (#40664797)

Well, you can faraday your *home*, since it's your private space and not open to the public. You just can't do it to publicly-accessible spaces. Sorry that wasn't clear.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (2)

jafiwam (310805) | about 2 years ago | (#40664699)

Blocking cellphone signals (in the US, anyway) is illegal everywhere except hospitals (who block them to keep them from interfering with medical equipment). The reason is because if an emergency happens, people need to be able to dial 911. At the hospital, dialing 911 is moot since you're you're already there.

No it isn't illegal. Blocking with passive construction means is fine. Hell, half the big-box stores do it accidentally by building steel supported steel trussed steel walled buildings.

Blocking using ACTIVE equipment that broadcasts something is illegal.

For a theater, it's a simple matter of decorative wall coverings made from proper metals and grounded. Of course, they'll have to do a good job of it or it'll be "Hello? Hello! HEELLLOOO I AM IN THE THEATER ENJOYING A MOVIE! HOW ABOUT YOU? YOUR SISTER POP THE BABY YET? WHO'DA DADDY?"

Get your fat ass up and go to the front desk if you need to make an emergency call.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

MBCook (132727) | about 2 years ago | (#40665041)

That's the current legal state. It wouldn't surprise me if someone died in a big box store and sued because their friend couldn't get a signal to call 911 and it suddenly became the law (or at least what you had to do to avoid negligence liability) to make sure phones worked in your building.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 years ago | (#40664659)

I'm sure the theater owners ought to be able to block signal to cellphones, so it's not a question of intent any more - you just can't use them.

The tech has been available to do this for some time now. But the law does not permit it. On one hand I can understand why you should be able to keep you phone on vibrate. Particularly in the case of parents who want their sitter to be able to contact them in case of an emergency. Or for someone who is taking a break from caring for a terminally ill family member. Unfortunately this is not something that you can differentiate from the idiot who feels the need to yell the details about their vasectomy into the phone during a movie.

You're right though, the experience isn't what it once was. Aside from anything else, some of the theaters in my area don't seem to employ projectionists who have a damn clue what they are doing. As a result the picture slips out of focus, among other irritating glitches. I might not have as big a screen at home, but I get a nice sharp picture all the way through, and nobody kicks the back of my chair.

It's funny that you mention that. I have a fairly decent 5.1 home theater setup with a decent LCD. The last time we went to the theater I was a little shocked at how much better our home setup was. My wife generally doesn't notice the difference between the sound of mono and 7.1 HD-DTS. OK, that's a slight exaggeration. But even she commented on how much better our home system sounded. For what it costs for me, my wife and daughter to go to a movie, it's much cheaper to buy it on blu-ray when it comes out. As a bonus we don't have to put up with obnoxious people either.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40664695)

I'm sure the theater owners ought to be able to block signal to cellphones, so it's not a question of intent any more - you just can't use them.

The use of any cell phone jamming device is expressly prohibited [fcc.gov] by U.S. federal law. If a movie theater tries to jam cellphone service, they will receive a warning letter from the FCC ordering them to stop.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664883)

I didn't use the word 'jamming' - I used 'blocking'. There's a difference. To jam signals means to broadcast radio noise on a specific frequency, and thus disrupt signals. If you notice, the relevant law talks about transmitters. Of course that would be illegal. I think it should be. Blocking signals on the other hand refers to placing metal around your building in order to form an approximation of a Faraday cage. A lot of buildings do this unintentionally. I've walked into countless stores where I suddenly saw my cellphone signal drop to nothing. In those cases the metal is part of the construction of the building, but any build can be retrofitted for signal blocking in this way. Another post (not by me) mentioned the use of tinfoil or EM blocking paint.

I assure you I never meant 'jamming' - I do admit though that when I got responses telling me that 'blocking' was illegal I became unsure. Maybe blocking is illegal, for all I know. I'm certainly not advocating jamming though, for the simple reason that it often has effects which reach beyond the intended scope.

CAPCHA = "debater"

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#40665259)

Sorry I misunderstood your original statement, and I think you're right – there is no affirmative obligation to ensure that your construction is signal-friendly, it's just that you cannot actively jam communications by sending out signals of your own. All the enforcement actions on that FCC page involved active jammers; none involved Faraday cages or any other form of passive signal-unfriendly construction.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664377)

48 fps isn't the gimmick, 24 fps is. Reasonable framerate should be standard, not exceptional. And yes, you're already old.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 2 years ago | (#40664489)

Funny how people expect better frame rates from their *games* than their movies. I expect some of these people crying about how 48fps looks "too real" or "video-like" would have a shit-fit if their game was anything under 60.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664697)

Cinema gets an extremely high quality temporal anti-aliasing effect (i.e. motion blur) 'for free'; video games don't.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#40665207)

Funny how people expect better frame rates from their *games* than their movies. I expect some of these people crying about how 48fps looks "too real" or "video-like" would have a shit-fit if their game was anything under 60.

As far as I'm aware, part of the issue with games is that movement isn't blurred, which would mean that if you showed *that* at 24fps, it would look noticeably jerky.

I have a digital SLR with movie facility, and one of the annoying drawbacks with the video mode is that it in bright light, it frequently sets a very short exposure time (in 25 or 30 fps mode), meaning that each individual frame exhibits little or no blurring. Perversely, this actually makes the result look *more* jerky, even if it blurs less. (This is probably made much worse due to the fact the camera can only shoot "movie rate" 24, 25 or 30 fps, not 50 or 60 fps, along with the fact it wasn't designed primarily as a movie camera in general).

Recommended exposure times are given in this article [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 2 years ago | (#40665267)

My point still stands though. They expect more realism out of their games then they do live-action video.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Grekan (2349348) | about 2 years ago | (#40664397)

I'm with you on this one, it'd be nice if people could turn their gadgets off and watch what they paid to watch. I caught a showing of Pulp Fiction in theaters earlier this year (having been too young to see it in 1994). It was incredible, except the twinkling lights of people playing with their cell phones. What's the point of going to a movie if all your going to do is text and otherwise generally be a douche bag?

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664491)

I was at a Cinemark yesterday, and they play a video before the film warning people not to illuminate their cell-phones or they will be ejected. I didn't see a single phone after the feature started. The movie was substandard, Prometheus, but the theater was fine.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#40664449)

Theater owners could start by offering reasonable prices. I don't know how that is in the US, but here in Europe you may have to pay up to 5 Euro for a bag of peanuts. Usually I bring my own stuff, but it's still insulting.

I'd also be grateful if Hollywood could stop ending almost every movie with a 20-30 minute long horribly exaggerated CGI action-movie sequence and instead return to normal timing and a reasonable storyline. Not every climax has to feel like an extended fake-orgasm. Just sayin'...

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | about 2 years ago | (#40664755)

Here in the US, nearly all of a theater owner's profit comes from those extortionately priced snacks. If he charged a non-insulting amount for them, he couldn't stay in business.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40664701)

Just give me a great story with great acting in the old school format and I'm fine with that. No 3D, no 48 fps.

No dragons, no magic, no Gollum?

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40664751)

Just give me great story with great acting in the old school format and I'll wait for the DVD to come out so I can watch it at home.

Give me 3D and 48 FPS and IMAX and 12000W of audio and I'll buy tickets to see it in the theatre.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#40664879)

the last couple times I went to the theater, I went at odd times where there wasn't much of a crowd. They sounded good from reviews and actually were - action movies with cool FX but plenty of other elements.
and don't forget smuggling in munchies (I did bulk candy poured into empty prescription containers)
I did remember to put my own phone on vibrate.

The Hunger Games and The Avengers, FYI. Battleship I didn't see because the reviews sounded mediocre.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40664945)

"People will go back to theaters when the social experience is positive again."

I don't care to burn fuel, hunt a parking spot, etc. when I can watch anything I like at home. I can hit Pause and go pinch a loaf or grab a snack while missing nothing.

"Maybe I'm getting old but the experience these days seems to have been taken over by thugs."

Loud-ass poor trash ARE more common, civility is dead, and it ain't coming back. Unless you are in a theater whose content doesn't interest losers, expect losers.

Re:Enough with the gimmicks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40665253)

Yes, this.

I seriously have no idea why he is bothering with 48FPS.
What the hell is going on this film?
Constant forest-chase scenes at 100MPH? Look at those legs move. That horse is going to have triple arthritis when he is older.
48FPS is only needed for fast-action. Having it for a whole movie is silly.
There is nothing wrong with doing variable-FPS filming, slow and fast-action scenes SHOULD be treated differently in almost all cases anyway, they require different techniques to make them look appealing and clean.

High frame rate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664357)

It seems like everyone who complains about 48 fps is over, say, 35 years old. Are they the same people who were against HDTV because seeing the host's wrinkles took aware from the experience?

I never hear anyone complain about HD, and the frame-rate-haters should die off, too. Or they'll pull another "warm vacuum tube" snob and annoy us forever.

Come on, people. This isn't a "found footage" film, where crappy cameras make sense. It should actually look good.

yeah, making it artificially bad sucks (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#40664919)

this goes for the Hunger Games crew - the shakeycam was one of my few issues with that movie

Re:High frame rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664949)

That's because those under 35 years old are too young to have seen television network videotape productions of the 1960s and 70s when they originally aired. They had incredibly smooth motion. So smooth it was like looking through a window at the action. But it looked really, really cheap. And lo and behold, this same smoothness returns 35 years later, in a new technology and costing a whole lot more money, and is touted as "better" just because it has a larger number attached to it. Because more of anything is always better, eh? But it still looks really, really cheap. Sorry, but I'd like the Hobbit to feel more epic than Barney Miller.

Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40664363)

I don't recall there being 2 books? Of course I haven't read any of them, so I don't know. (Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.)

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

magsol (1406749) | about 2 years ago | (#40664367)

It's two movies in the same way the last Harry Potter book was two movies. Quite literally, more bang for buck.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (4, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | about 2 years ago | (#40664413)

It's two movies in the same way the last Harry Potter book was two movies. Quite literally, more bang for buck.

Or perhaps more buck for bang.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#40664471)

You have it backwards. spreading it out over 2 movies means you get more buck for the bang. 1 story, twice as many ticket sales.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40664587)

>>>last Harry Potter book was two movies

Ahhh. Haven't watch HP 7-1 or 7-2 yet, but I hope it's better than Matrix 2 and 3 which were boring & really should have been just one movie. Likewise I hope Hobbit 1 and 2 is not stretched out.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664615)

Don't you mean more bucks for the bang?

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#40664787)

Remember: If Hollywood makes one movie out of a book, they suck because they cut out all those important scenes. If they make two movies, they suck because they are just trying to cash in.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

sdoca (1225022) | about 2 years ago | (#40664817)

Except that the last Harry Potter book was over 600 pages (over 700 pages in the US version, not sure what was added) and the story line actually justified being split into two movies. The Hobbitt is only 310 pages long and there is no justification for making it into two movies other than pure greed.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | about 2 years ago | (#40665029)

Except that the last Harry Potter book was over 600 pages (over 700 pages in the US version, not sure what was added) and the story line actually justified being split into two movies.

As much as I enjoyed the last Harry Potter Book / Movie(s) I disagree that it couldn't of been told in 1 movie less than 3 hours long. If any of the books deserved the 2 part (or 4 hour) treatment it was Book 4.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664387)

I don't recall there being 2 books? Of course I haven't read any of them, so I don't know. (Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.)

So not to squeeze a whole book into a 2 1/2 hour theatrical release...

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664395)

Because its not always possible to fit 1 book into a single film. They're actually in talks to make it three films. They're adding a lot of stuff that wasn't in The Hobbit itself, but content from the "appendices" (Similiarion?).

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | about 2 years ago | (#40664655)

According to Jackson, film rights to "The Silmarillion" were never sold - and are unlikely to be in the future, given the Tolkien estate's dislike of the LOTR movies.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (5, Funny)

khr (708262) | about 2 years ago | (#40664399)

It's so that after you go there once, you go back again...

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664437)

Thank you, sir, for almost killing me by making me laugh so hard about 10 seconds after I read your comment. May all the +funny mod points be yours.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664631)

There and back again?

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? explains 48fps (4, Funny)

microcars (708223) | about 2 years ago | (#40664789)

That is why Jackson is shooting at 48 fps
He is shooting 2 movies at the EXACT SAME TIME.
Once the first film is "finished" they extract every other frame so they get TWO movies @ 24 fps!
Brilliant!

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40664433)

Because when translating it into a movie, it doesn't make that much financial sense to do what they did with the LoTR movies which is to shoot the entire trilogy but only release a part of it in the theaters and have the rest on an extended cut DVD. Plus, unlike the LoTR books, The Hobbit is fairly straightforward and there really aren't any unnecessary parts.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#40664445)

Yes, and there were only 7 Harry Potter books, but 8 movies. (Goblet of Fire could have used the two-movie treatment as well, so could have been 9.)

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings was 6 books in 3 parts, and 3 movies. (Some of them could have also been split up.)

And then there's the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was 5 books in one movie.

Your point is?

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 years ago | (#40664493)

Money, my dear boy.

If they make twice as many movies, you have to buy twice as many tickets. It also keeps the producers, actors, etc gainfully employed for twice as long.

Re:Why 2 Hobbit movies? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40664523)

(Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.)

I had the opposite experience where the movies were all about the tedious special effects instead of the story and I couldn't handle 12 hours of british accent without starting to speak that way myself. Also I got annoyed at the movie, wheres Tom Bombadil? My guess is to save dough they're also going to leave tons out of the hobbit... bye bye elves, etc.

On the other hand I liked the books.

LOTR dense (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#40664969)

Tried to read LOTR book 1 but got bored during the initial 100 pages.

Me too - I feel LOTR (both books and movies) is a suitably epic storyline, but too dense in its implementation.

Re:LOTR dense (4, Funny)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40665153)

That density is what gives it its gravity.

3d (3, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40664381)

it was not even in 3-D

GOOD!

Re:3d (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40664497)

3D isn't -all- bad, for example the new Spider-Man movie is pretty good in 3D, 3D won't make a crap movie better, but movies shot in 3D and intended to have a 3D release the 3D adds to the movie.

Re:3d (1)

DJ Particle (1442247) | about 2 years ago | (#40664709)

This.

So if you ever see a re-release of an older movie saying "NOW IN 3D!", stay away, because it's going to be crap. You can't reliably translate a 2D-shot movie into 3D. Without that stereoscopic camera setup at the time of shooting, it just doesn't work.

The Toklien family hates Hollywood (2, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40664527)

Thought [blogs.com] Hollywood had butchered the books aiming at teenage action movies and introducing new characters and subplots. Also a terrible fight over royalties.

I admire the one son who spent decades publishing his father's voluminous papers. This may be the son's only major press interview in his life. The rest of family has gotten a free ride on royalties. Especially through the efforts of Jackson.

Re:The Toklien family hates Hollywood (1)

Dracos (107777) | about 2 years ago | (#40664647)

The Tolkien family would have more control and enjoy more royalties if not for Saul Zaentz.

Re:The Toklien family hates Hollywood (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40665165)

The time has long since passed that their copyright should be upheld.

It's not a theater (5, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40664549)

It's a convention hall, not a theater. Bad acoustics, no projection room, no good audio system, folding chairs. Here's what the screens look like. [screencrave.com] Look at the screen size and quality. They have to have auxiliary screens around the room so people in the back can see. Some of the auxiliary screens are dim around the edges. That's a setup for a marketing presentation. Of course you don't introduce a new movie technology there.

Movies with new technologies are typically previewed for critics in venues with ideal conditions, like the Technicolor Theater in Hollywood or the screening room at Dolby headquarters in San Francisco.

Non-Login link to NYTimes article (4, Informative)

milbournosphere (1273186) | about 2 years ago | (#40664567)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/business/media/hollywood-acts-warily-at-comic-con-fearing-bad-publicity.html [nytimes.com] And I was at this panel. The highlight by far was hearing from Andy Serkis, and listening to him act out a dialogue between Gollum and Smeagol. I'm not sure about the rest of the movie, but they showed footage that proved they hit the riddle game scene out of the park.

Edison recommended 46 fps (5, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 2 years ago | (#40664593)

Edison was one of the inventors of motion pictures. The cynic might say that would double his company's film stock sales. But Edison said [techcrunch.com] the film viewing experience improved to that point. Hollywood decided on the less costly half-rate standard.

"Hollywood has come to fear this place." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40664761)

Ooh, hey, look- a paywall. Thanks.

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