Saturday, November 05, 2011

first glimpses of "the hobbit"

for the fall season, i've moved away from my usual diet of biographies, autobiographies and history books to sink my teeth into the hobbit. now that i'm almost done, mpb says i have to take a nosedive into the lord of the rings and then the silmarillion. anything after that -- and believe me, there's plenty -- is apochyphal, according to him.

it took a sec for me to get used to the rhythm of the language and the names of the characters are a bit clunky but everything was descriptive enough to explode onto my imagination and in no time at all, i was running through the rolling green hills to have tea and toast and good ol' english jam with the hobbit as i rode the subway.

so it was with a great deal of curiousity and some small sense of wonder that i watched the following clips -- glimpses into the creative process behind the film the hobbit: an unexpected journey. (it's in two parts, by the way. it's also in 3D.)

one day in the midst of a bustling tech rehearsal with george wolfe working on harlem song at the apollo -- when we were onstage and inside one of those moments when everything was coming together and falling apart at the same time -- he offhandedly remarked that directing musicals was like storming the beach at normandy. i surmised that this was especially true if you were originating work because you are creating it as you go along. (it takes 7 to 9 years to develop a musical if you're taking the conventional route. george put harlem song together in 7 to 9 weeks.) in this way, contemporary original musicals are a microcosm of what happens on the movie set, especially when it's this ginormous and ambitious and cool. they're basically setting up, feeding and moving a small army from one breathtaking expanse of new zealand after another. it's exhaustive, just thinking about it. and if you include pre-production and post-production, they've been at it for several years, now.

this clip gives a wonderful overview of what's happening on the set and lets the world see the hobbit's little home -- which looks exactly as i imagined it would.

this is director peter jackson's first video blog from the set.

this is the latest production diary/video. it's especially interesting because it delves into the technical aspects of the 3D camera work, what the equipment is like, the renderings and how complicated all of it is to shoot.

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