Why is The Hobbit making some moviegoers sick?

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set to hit theaters on December 14th. Some audience members at advance screenings are reporting nausea, migraine headaches, and general queasiness after watching it. The film was shot at 48 frames per second, twice the normal rate, to achieve an unprecedented  feeling of reality. But that can backfire.

When you watch a film, explains Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, your eye combines "long and fast horizontal sweeps with short and slower vertical movements to process the picture." But this faster camera speed "requires the eye to sweep up and down faster than usual in close-ups to absorb unparalleled detail on a big screen," causing a significant amount of cognitive and eye strain. This technique "works for the big snowy mountains, but in close-ups the picture strobes," said one moviegoer. "I left loving the movie but feeling sick." Another audience member was more blunt: "My eyes cannot take everything in, it's dizzying," he said. "Now I have a migraine."

Read more about it at The Week. Link


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As I said it's a theory. Since The Hobbit is the first movie (I believe) to come out with the higher fps I don't think the jury is out on it quiet yet. I plan on seeing the film and I will be able to form a better opinion then.
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I dunno. When I wave my hand in front of me I see motion blur. I want similar motion blur in my movies. I feel I get the right amount at 24 fps. Not only do I dislike the look of higher frame rates, I feel they are further from real life, not closer to it.
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A teacher of mine in high school used to talk to us all the time about this day. He is a film-phanatic and loved to talk about (strangely enough) fps. He believes somewhere between 30-40 fps the human brain can't process the images quite the same, at +40fps you won't really (or at least in theory) be able to tell the difference between a screen and real life!

On a side note I think all this talk about people getting sick in theaters is a little over-blown. I am an inherent conspiracy theorist but I would put money on it that these rumors are being spread by other production companies that don't want to switch over to 48fps. More expensive.
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