In Production News

Peter Jackson’s First Video Diary for The Hobbit

Filming has got started on The Hobbit and director Peter Jackson has released the first video diary from the set.

The Lord of the Rings prequel follows the early adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and will be released in two parts, with some of the old characters returning.

Jackson introduces us to the set, some pre-production meetings (with key art-work blurred out) and the first day of filming which involves the blessing of the soundstage in Wellington.

With the original trilogy and King Kong Jackson bucked the tradition of secrecy that some studios have had over their productions by being quite open with the fans via video journals.

It was a smart move as increased excitement and expectation for the films.

He announced earlier this week on his Facebook page that he would should the film in 48fps (see here for a video explanation by SFX maestro Douglas Trumbull) and in 3D using Red Digital cameras.

We are indeed shooting at the higher frame rate. The key thing to understand is that this process requires both shooting and projecting at 48 fps, rather than the usual 24 fps (films have been shot at 24 frames per second since the late 1920′s). So the result looks like normal speed, but the image has hugely enhanced clarity and smoothness. Looking at 24 frames every second may seem ok–and we’ve all seen thousands of films like this over the last 90 years–but there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame, during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly, the image can judder or “strobe.” Shooting and projecting at 48 fps does a lot to get rid of these issues. It looks much more lifelike, and it is much easier to watch, especially in 3-D.

After all the pre-production difficulties, which involved various delays and Guillermo Del Toro leaving the project, Jackson must be relieved to finally start shooting.

The Hobbit Part 1 is scheduled for release in 2012 with Part 2 to follow in 2013

> More on The Hobbit films at Wikipedia
> Peter Jackson’s official Facebook page


Peter Jackson Ten Years On

Lord of the Rings fan site The One Ring has posted two photos of director Peter Jackson, which show how the director has changed over the last 10 years.

On the left is a photo from June 2001, where Jackson posed on the set of Bag End with a pipe for ‘Women’s Day’ magazine from June 14th 2001.

On the right is Jackson on the set of The Hobbit, which has just started shooting in New Zealand, ten years on.

[Click here for a larger version]

> The One Ring
> The Hobbit film project at Wikipedia

Interesting News

Peter Jackson on The Hobbit dispute

Peter Jackson recently gave a lengthy interview about whether or not upcoming film version of The Hobbit will be filmed in New Zealand.

Speaking to TV New Zealand he gave his side of a dispute which involves local acting unions who threatened to boycott the production.

Guillermo del Toro was initially going to direct but left the project in May (due to delays caused by MGM’s financial situation) and Jackson replaced him in July.

Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving, who all appeared in in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, will reprise their roles, even though the films are a prequel.

> Official blog for The Hobbit
> The Hobbit at the IMDb


Trailer: The Lovely Bones

This is the first full length trailer for The Lovely Bones, an adaptation of the Alice Sebold novel directed by Peter Jackson.

It is scheduled for release in the US on December 11th and the UK on 29th January

> The Lovely Bones at the IMDb
> More about the original novel at Wikipedia

Directors Interesting News

Peter Jackson and James Cameron at Comic-Con

Peter Jackson and James Cameron took part in a ‘visionaries’ panel at Comic-Con recently where they discussed the future of films and filmmaking.

Here are video extracts from the session:

> Peter Jackson and James Cameron at the IMDb
> Official Comic-Con site