The Dominion Post has an exclusive behind the scenes report on the filming of The Hobbit which gives a real flavour of what it was like on set.
They take a trip through the studios, look at make-up and costume, weapons and computer wizardry, all with a sense of awe and wonder.
There are some nice quotations too.
Andy Serkis on being second unit director:
“It’s been a huge learning curve for me, because normally for a director’s first film you’re shooting for maybe five or six weeks on a very low budget with a digital camera, or you’re doing something contained and small, not working on the biggest film on the planet. It’s literally like just passing a driving test and then being given a Ferrari. Or not even having passed a driving test and being given a Ferrari.”
Makeup and hair designer Peter King:
“They said, ‘Come and do The Hobbit, it’s much smaller than Lord of the Rings’. It’s actually about five times larger than Lord of the Rings.”
Visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken:
“The Hobbit has many challenges, great challenges. The sort of challenges we love to work on.”
Ian McKellen who plays Gandalf, on the differences between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings:
“Well, a lot of it’s the same and some things are a bit different.” For one, The Hobbit is lighter in tone. “You can tell it’s lighter, and the casting – Martin Freeman is a brilliant comic actor. Barry Humphries, Billy Connolly – wonderful standup comedians. Stephen Fry, whose stock-in-trade is laughter. And that’s infected all of them. And all of the dwarfs, a lot of them had a comical background. So there’s a difference in style. But in texture and in the details of costume and makeup, no, it’s all the same for me.”
Director Peter Jackson:
“…I’m having a blast. I’m really enjoying it. I’m enjoying myself probably more than The Lord of the Rings, in some respect. Because I sort of feel like I know what I am doing a lot more than I did back 12 years ago.”
Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, on the Kiwi’s reputation for leaving the actors alone:
“No, that is self-mythologising bull, I’m afraid. Kiwis don’t leave you alone.
‘Oh, yeah, you’ll love it here ’cause no one will say a thing to you.’ “I went to see Rhys Darby [perform] and this guy was like, ‘Can I take a picture with you?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ ‘Can my daughter take a picture with you?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ ‘Can we get an autograph?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ ‘It must be nice everyone leaving you alone.’ ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ So it’s this Orwellian double-think thing. We leave you alone – while we’re insisting on giving you shots of tequila.”
All sounds great in this, the build up to the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington on November 28.