May 25 2021, 8:38pm
For me - and it's purely personal - the big visual difference between the two trilogies is the use of 4K digital technology for The Hobbit. I don't like the crisp, fake feel of it.
I love digital photography. With the exception of early projects made with very antiquated technology (Attack of the Clones springs to mind), I always loved the look of it: Apocalypto, Skyfall and - yes - An Unexpected Journey all spring to mind as good examples of how great digital cinematography can get.
Digital cinematography is clearer, sharper, more vibrant and - generally speaking - more resolute than analog film cameras, and its also more flexible for use. Its effectivelly the equivalent of shooting on large-format film, and yet no one grumbles when films shoot on 65mm, which is just as clean as many digital presentations.
I always wanted Middle Earth to look clear and vibrant: in the analog days, they never could have the Shire look all that green without looking cold, so they actually took green-out to highlight the earth tones of the walkways and the warmness of it. Whereas in An Unexpected Journey it does look warm without having the sacrifice the lush greens. That's something that the RED Epic gives you.
Its also used in a way that's a good ploy in terms of the storytelling: can't remember where I read this, but Jackson and Lesnie wanted to start with a vibrant, clear digital look that would gradually grow murkier and more textured as the trilogy goes on, morphing into the filmic look of Rings and signifying the effect Sauron's rising power has on Middle Earth.
(This post was edited by Chen G. on May 25 2021, 8:40pm)