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Behind-the-scenes of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit."
June 7, 2012 5:10 AM   Subscribe

THE HOBBIT Production Video Blog
posted by crunchland (42 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Am I the only person who's kind of dreading "The Hobbit" just because the 48fps frame rate is going to look really weird?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:18 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The most recent one, #7, is basically just 14 minutes of moviemaking porn for me. Costumes! Art department! Wacky made up lot games! Whirlwind WETA tour! Wig repair! I am honest to god drooling involuntarily a little bit.
posted by Mizu at 5:30 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can answer that with a resounding "NO!" Maybe it's my inner nerd coming out, but it will take much, much more than that to make me dread this movie's release.
posted by genekelly'srollerskates at 5:34 AM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just hope it will be in this new "talkies" format everybody has been signing about...

But seriously, the new Legolas looks exciting.

What is amazing is that NZ's largest movie studio is still working out of an old paint factory and a bunch of trailers. We are known for that. My apologies for any kiwi humour you might have detected.
posted by arzakh at 5:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like all the strategic blurring of production models and sketches they don't want public yet.
posted by hippybear at 6:13 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing I never really got an answer to: are they splitting up The Hobbit into 2 films and adding additional content throughout, or is the second film going to be the one with content not in The Hobbit (book)?
posted by littlesq at 6:17 AM on June 7, 2012


Can't this be a thread about how we're never going to find out what happened to Sherlock unil this damned movie comes out
posted by carsonb at 6:17 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sherlock deduced that his boyfriend John Watson was about to have a psychotic break and enter into a magical fantasy land called Middle Earth where he would undertake the trials and tribulations of one Bilbo Baggins. Using his super amazing observation skills, he found a breach in the reality matrix hovering halfway between the roof and the sidewalk of St. Bart's. Suddenly understanding what he must do, he leapt off the roof, allowing his consciousness to detach from his body, and using his extremely advanced smartness managed to control its landing location. He traveled through the multiverse to Middle Earth and took residence in the mind of one Smaug the Dragon. Wherein he managed to manipulate the turn of events in Middle Earth experienced by Bilbo to resolve the narrative and allow John Watson's mind to naturally heal itself by way of a hero's journey. Three years later, he pops back up in London to find that Molly had been using his corpse as a way to flout carpool lane laws, John had gone crackers and married a lovely woman named Mary, and that he really needed a bath. All in a day's work for the world's only consulting detective!
posted by Mizu at 6:26 AM on June 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


One thing I never really got an answer to: are they splitting up The Hobbit into 2 films and adding additional content throughout, or is the second film going to be the one with content not in The Hobbit (book)?

The former. Warner Bros has given a high-level overview of the the two films. Basically, the first one ends not long after the discovery of the ring (probably with the capture of the dwarves by the wood elves, in my opinion, since the summary also mentions wargs and spiders). The second one begins with Thorin & Co reaching Laketown.
posted by jedicus at 6:36 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having watched the other video blog things and shown them to my young sons, we are all pretty stoked. I actually noticed this new video yesterday but I was saving it: the more of these I watch, the more I wish I had been born in New Zealand! :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:43 AM on June 7, 2012


Probably just me , but really - do they all -have- to be epics? Five hours across two years or so?

Isn't there a place for brevity in storytelling?

I liked the books, etc too but it seems like the feeling is that movies are like Old Country Buffet - the value is in being able to get five pounds of mashed potatoes on your plate, not the quality of said potatoes.
posted by lon_star at 6:56 AM on June 7, 2012


lon_star the value is in being able to get five pounds of mashed potatoes on your plate, not the quality of said potatoes.

I think that the secret is they use lots and lots of really good NZ butter.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:03 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ian McClellan is no potato.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:07 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't there a place for brevity in storytelling?

There and Back Again.
posted by Pendragon at 7:13 AM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


"and in this office is Alan Lee and John Howe." Drawing all day for months.

Oh to be a fly on that wall.
posted by rahnefan at 7:26 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I want this film to come out now please.
Going to Stone St and Weta last year was exciting enough.
I touched Golem and an Orc and stuff.

This makes me not so wary of the Dwarves moving and such, but do they all have hypertension or is the red colouring of their faces to do with the new fangled cameras and digital colour correction?
posted by Mezentian at 7:28 AM on June 7, 2012


Brocktoon: Ian McClellan is no potato.

Ah, but isn't he?
posted by gilrain at 7:33 AM on June 7, 2012


rahnefan: "and in this office is Alan Lee and John Howe." Drawing all day for months.

Oh to be a fly on that wall.


One of my favorite details from the production vlogs, so far, is that Alan Lee and John Howe are actually drawing the concept art in 3D... one sketch for the left eye, one sketch slightly offset for the right eye. Thus, even the concept art takes the 3D nature of the film into consideration. The scenes are truly designed for 3D from the ground up.

This will be the first movie I see in 3D. (I'm still skeptical, but I figure this has the best chance of winning me over. And I can always see it in 2D later, if it fails to satisfy.)
posted by gilrain at 7:36 AM on June 7, 2012


Isn't there a place for brevity in storytelling?

Are you not familiar with Tolkien?
posted by Hoopo at 7:42 AM on June 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mezentian the red faces are to correct for fading of color with 3D - they say it will look normal in the theater - there's a bunch of discussion about it in one of the earlier videos.

Not an unalloyed fan of 3D but if anyone can do it and make it an integral part of the storytelling it's Peter Jackson.
posted by leslies at 7:55 AM on June 7, 2012


lon_star:
"Probably just me , but really - do they all -have- to be epics? Five hours across two years or so?"
If they had made The Hobbit first, a smaller, tighter movie would have been fine. It would have served that same purpose as the book - a light, fun thing that somewhat relates to a much bigger thing that comes later. There are no expectations as it is the introduction to the world.

However, The Hobbit as a prequel made now has expectations. A small little movie would really disappoint a lot of people who aren't as familiar with the material.
posted by charred husk at 8:16 AM on June 7, 2012


Mezentian the red faces are to correct for fading of color with 3D - they say it will look normal in the theater - there's a bunch of discussion about it in one of the earlier videos.

Actually, from the video it sounds more like it's just an issue with the way the Red Epic cameras render color, not 3D specifically. (The big issue with 3D in theaters remains brightness, but I don't know if that's something anybody tries to address on set.)
posted by Joey Bagels at 8:37 AM on June 7, 2012


They really should have called the two parts: The Hobbit: There and The Hobbit: Back Again.
posted by kmz at 9:50 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


The former. Warner Bros has given a high-level overview of the the two films. Basically, the first one ends not long after the discovery of the ring (probably with the capture of the dwarves by the wood elves, in my opinion, since the summary also mentions wargs and spiders). The second one begins with Thorin & Co reaching Laketown.

A lot happens in The Hobbit - it makes perfect sense to break it up into two movies.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:54 AM on June 7, 2012


And boy, Peter Jackson is all porky again.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:55 AM on June 7, 2012


I will probably see the films because hey, Tolkien; however, they will probably get the feel of the book hilariously wrong. The Hobbit is about silly songs like Down, down to Goblintown, an 'adventure' where being tied and hungry is a prospect equally dreaded to facing a dragon and far more common, especially since you left your snug hobbit hole without your handkerchief. I don't think it's a coincidence that The Hobbit is his shortest and arguably best book.

Is there any Tolkien/Atonement fanfiction? I can see that.
posted by ersatz at 10:00 AM on June 7, 2012


The blog is fantastic, by the way. Thanks for posting.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who's kind of dreading "The Hobbit" just because the 48fps frame rate is going to look really weird?

Yeah, it's as if Jackson did it just to conjure some cheap ... tricks ...
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:10 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


> The big issue with 3D in theaters remains brightness

I've seen exactly one modern-process 3D movie (Avatar, of course) and it was so dim through my own prescription glasses and the 3D glasses that I had to take the 3D glasses off. (No, no tint or polarization or anything in my own glasses.) I discovered that there is always one point in the simulated depth that's in focus, 3D glasses or not - the subject (tightly defined) of the shot. The tip of the speaking character's nose. Managed to get through the movie by finding the in-focus point in each shot and concentrating on that to the exclusion of everything else on the screen. I'll try another 3D movie when I hear they've found a way to make them as bright as regular movies even while you're wearing 3D glasses.

I wonder how long before there's a 2D Hobbit release. No matter how much I might be drooling over it (a lot) I won't be going if it's 3D or nothing.
posted by jfuller at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


But seriously, the new Legolas looks exciting.

Still the prettiest.
posted by daveje at 2:00 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Still holding out for FARMER GILES OF HAM in Smell-O-Vision.]
posted by newdaddy at 2:02 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


A lot happens in The Hobbit - it makes perfect sense to break it up into two movies.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:54 AM on June 7 [+] [!]


This is spot on. The book is quite telegraphic in its treatment of action scenes, it's all 'then they hid up a tree from some wolves' which in a movie is code for TWENTY MINUTES OF CRAZY WARG CGI AND EXPLOSIONS.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:09 PM on June 7, 2012


I wonder how long before there's a 2D Hobbit release. No matter how much I might be drooling over it (a lot) I won't be going if it's 3D or nothing.

With the exception of U23D, I can't think of a single 3D movie which hasn't received a 2D release. Even Pina and Cave Of Forgotten Dreams both had 2D releases, despite the 3D being pretty intrinsic to the design and concept of those movies.

When it comes to blockbuster movies, it's really REALLY common for movies to get 2D releases, often in the same cineplex as the 3D version.

Now... what might be a complicating factor is the 48fps in which The Hobbit is being filmed, which certainly not every theater is going to be able to play. I don't really know much about how much this is going to affect 2D vs 3D release, but it will certainly affect digital vs. film releases, and older smaller theaters in smaller markets will certainly not be getting it if they aren't equipped to handle the new format.
posted by hippybear at 3:01 PM on June 7, 2012


It's just amazing what Peter Jackson has been able to accomplish in New Zealand, and for New Zealand. The guy ought to be a national hero.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:10 PM on June 7, 2012


KokuRyu, it's funny you should mention that. Peter was just made a member (companion?) of the Order of New Zealand.
posted by Paragon at 3:33 PM on June 7, 2012


He did, however, threaten to film instead in Eastern Europe to pressure the International Federation of Actors into backing down on their contracts. The tourism has been great for New Zealand as a whole, I believe, but there's a lot of resentment from some camps who accuse him of choosing New Zealand simply to avoid union contracts in other countries.
posted by gilrain at 3:38 PM on June 7, 2012


(Note: I really like Peter Jackson as a director, and I realize the issues with acting contracts is very complicated and an industry-wide problem. Just noting that not everyone in New Zealand feels that he's exactly a hero.)
posted by gilrain at 3:39 PM on June 7, 2012


there is always one point in the simulated depth that's in focus

jfuller, you should go and see Tintin - they made the noses extra large, just so you'd have something to focus on. (Actually I think they did it for the humour value, but it helps make the 3D tolerable.)
posted by sneebler at 7:12 PM on June 7, 2012


TWENTY MINUTES OF CRAZY WARG CGI AND EXPLOSIONS.

No. That's Bay. Jackson would be 20 minutes of WARG CGI surfing.
posted by Mezentian at 1:17 AM on June 8, 2012


He chose NZ because he loves it. I'm convinced of that.

You only need to go there and see what he and Richard Taylor have invested into the local communities.

The Roxy Cinema in Mira Mar, which is near Weta has been stunningly renovated, or example. It's an art deco utopia. They've saved other buildings and done wonders for the tourism industry.
posted by Mezentian at 1:20 AM on June 8, 2012


> He chose NZ because he loves it.

Not for no reason, especially if you're filming LOTR. Is there any other place on earth that actually looks more like Middle Earth, from the Shire to the Misty Mountains, in a reasonably small space than NZ North Island?
posted by jfuller at 11:12 AM on June 8, 2012


> they made the noses extra large

You mean extra large compared to normal people? Or extra large compared to the TinTin comics? Inconceivable!

(But I'll try it. Thanks for the rec.)
posted by jfuller at 11:14 AM on June 8, 2012


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