Dec. 07 - The Hobbit director hopes the film's technology will entice people to see the film in the theater. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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STORY: Film maker Peter Jackson wants to scare the children with his latest movie, and perhaps even a few grownups.
The first of the Hobbit movie trilogy, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", is about to hit theatres, and Jackson says he has tried to hold true to its roots as children's fantasy story, with scary bits.
The film is the fourth in Jackson's box-office hit "Lord of the Rings" film franchise, based on the books of British author J.R.R. Tolkien.
It follows the journey of hobbit Bilbo Baggins and how he comes by the ring that he later passes onto kinsman, Frodo Baggins, which was the core of the "Rings" trilogy.
It shows a young Bilbo reluctantly pushed into a journey with 13 dwarves to help them regain their homeland.
Jackson says he's worked to keep the distance between the Hobbit, written in 1937, and the much darker Lord of the Rings, which followed 20 years later.
Audiences are also getting more visual bangs for their buck, with the movies filmed in 3D and at 48 frames per second (fps), double the industry standard.
This delivers clearer pictures, and in 3D you want to dodge the flying rocks and touch the fluttering butterfly, but opinion is divided with some critics calling it cartoon-like and jarring.
Jackson says he wants to drag the iPad generation back into theatres and the romance, excitement and mystery they offer.
"We've seen in the 10 years since the Lord Of The Rings, we've seen the advent of digital technology now, though we are not shooting on film anymore. But at the same time we've seen the arrival of iPads and iPhones and so there's a generation of children today who kind of think, well, lets not bother going to the movies, lets just watch it our iPads when it comes out. I mean, that's just a, I think that's tragedy. I mean, I love cinema because I love the event, I love the romance and the mystery and excitement of going into a huge dark cinema and being absorbed into the adventure on the screen and to me 48 frames per second is using the technology we have available now to try to enhance that movie going experience. It's more realistic, it's more immersive and I almost feel a responsibility as a film maker to try to do my part at encouraging people to come to the movies, watch the film in the cinema, don't wait for it to come out on DVD."
The second film, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", will be released in December next year, with the third, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again", due in mid-July 2014.
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