The Hobbit is currently underway in full production mode in New Zealand which means its about time for another video production diary from Peter Jackson. These videos are actually quite interesting to watch and informative about the movie without giving too much away. Which beats the usual studio hand outs of overly produced, publicist approved drivel we normally get. So sit back, relax, and learn a few things about your upcoming favorite two movies:
1. We haven’t seen all of New Zealand. They covered a lot of ground in Lord of the Rings. Quite literally. As the eloquent Randall stated, “all it was was a bunch of people walking.” But they haven’t gone everywhere and there are still corners of Middle Earth to be discovered.
2. Gollum is calling the shots. Besides playing Gollum, Andy Serkis has stepped into a new role on the set of The Hobbit – 2nd Unit Director. Now the 2nd Unit Director is a mighty important but often over looked. When the principle characters aren’t in the frame or the shot would be too expensive to send the main unit to the location, the 2nd Unit is sent in to free up the director and the main unit’s time. It’s a big responsibility and pretty cool to see Serkis take up the chair.
3. They’re filming in three chunks. Once again director Peter Jackson is filming multiple movies at one time to ease continuity issues but to save himself a bit of trouble he’s filming these two movies in three chunks. They just wrapped on the first block and as Jackson admitted, he has found himself simultaneously in pre-production, production, and post-production all at the same time. How he hasn’t pulled all his hair out in stress is still a mystery.
4. The crew really likes to drink on their break (they’re just like us!). Most of the crew got a month vacation off to go do what they like while the rest of the crew set everything up for the second block of filming. Most of the actors and crew are heading home to visit friends and family. Sir Ian McKellen is even jetting off to London to do a play because he’s an acting knight and that’s what acting knights do. A few actors were more candid in their response and told the truth: they’re getting sloshed.
5. Martin Freeman is pretty much the best casting ever. We get to see a few brief glimpses of Freeman dressed as Bilbo and yeah, it’s as great as you would hope.