The world's greatest SFX man says he's fixed that 48fps Hobbit problem

he world's greatest SFX man says he's fixed that 48fps Hobbit problem
The Hobbit's 48fps experiment wasn't widely loved

The legendary Douglas Trumbull will forever be remembered for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but he's now focused on the next generation of cinema.

Trumbull is now pushing MAGI, his latest digital projection method, and he's hoping it will mean we can all forget the weird-looking 48fps controversy that surrounded Peter Jackson's The Hobbit and embrace a whole new world.

He's actually been talking up the technology since 2012, but is now showcasing his offering with his own short film UFOTOG.

"I invented and patented this new technique, which is how to get 120 frames out of 60," he told Vulture in an interview.

"It still doesn't solve the brightness issue, which is very lousy in a lot of theaters. It doesn't solve the screen-size issue, which is lousy in most theaters. It doesn't solve everything, but it does make the movie completely lifelike without any blurring or strobing. It's just completely liquid, fluid, crisp, lifelike imagery."

Silver screen

Trumbull is obviously a big fan of getting people into movie theaters to experience cinematic majesty, and he thinks that technology is the answer.

"And so my philosophy is that if you want people to go to movie theaters, you've got to offer something that's really, truly spectacular," he added.

"And I'd like to see the movie industry take those multiplexes and un-chop them up. I'd rather have fewer spectacular theaters than tons of cheap little multiplexes.

"That's my philosophy that I'm trying to pitch to everybody, and just about all the major exhibitors are headed in that direction because they realize that the IMAX theaters are making more money per seat than regular theaters."

The whole interview is pretty fascinating, with Trumbull talking through some of his most iconic moments.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.