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A dizzying journey: The Hobbit's first screening leaves viewers ill

A dizzying journey: The Hobbit's first screening leaves viewers ill

There's another cause for concern in Middle-earth, and it isn't orcs or dragons.

The world premiere of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last week arrived amid much fanfare, but the reaction wasn’t completely as expected.

Ever eager to embrace the latest filmmaking technologies, director Jackson opted to film his new trilogy at 48 frames per second, creating a picture that's twice as smooth as a standard film. However, the effect has left many cinemagoers feeling queasy.

The film, which opens on Boxing Day, has been hailed for embracing this new technology, optimised for smoother 3D effects sequences.

The trade-off for some viewers is increased sense of motion sickness. One fan, speaking out on Twitter, commented that the technology "works for the big snowy mountains but in close-ups the picture strobes. I left loving the movie but feeling sick".

Another added it was like "being on a rollercoaster. You have to hold your stomach down and let your eyes pop at first to adjust. This is not for wimps".

Cinemas traditionally run films at 24 frames per second. The newer technology forces the human eye to process twice as much image information, and this in turn can cause dizziness, nausea and headaches in some cases.

At this stage, only 1000 cinemas globally will be capable of displaying The Hobbit in its native 48 frames per second, so dizzy patrons may be the exception rather than the rule.

Check out the The Hobbit trailer above. While you won't be able to notice the frame rate effect here, head to participating cinemas on Boxing Day for the full experience.

In pics: The Hobbit world premiere — Amazing fan outfits!

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User comments
The Hobbit is making people nauseous because high speed action in simulated 3D is just not natural. The eyes can't adjust & it causes havoc with your equilibrium. Maybe this will finally kill the stupid 3D trend.

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