Right Now! Peter Jackson Blogging Final Day Of Filming THE HOBBIT
Over in New Zealand, Peter Jackson ("King Kong") is on the last day of filming the third and final Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: There and Back Again. To celebrate, the director is updating his facebook site with images and information. Check it out.
If you'd like to follow his updates CLICK HERE and you'll be whisked away to his facebook page that already has several updates for today. You will see exciting images like Peter Jackson's pet cat! Meow!
"8.20am. Leaving home. Mr Smudge is waiting on the stairs to say goodbye to me. He does it everyday, and he's usually waiting by the door to welcome me home at night."
Our last day of shooting.
Ever since starting these blogs, there's been something I thought I'd like to try one day (as well as answering the other 19 questions I owe you!) - blogging throughout a shoot day in real time. Try to give you all a feeling for what we deal with on an average day.
Today is not exactly "average", given it's our last day of shooting, but if I don't do it today, I never will!
So here goes ... I'll try to update as much as I can during the day. At least with a quick photo. Text will depend a little on how busy it gets.
Right now, it's just gone 6.30am here in Wellington. I'm in bed, about to get up! I didn't get much sleep - too stressed about how we're going to get through everything we need to shoot. I kept running it over in my mind.
We're shooting scenes for Film 3 today. Stuff you will see in Dec 2014, so I'm going to try and make this honest, but spoiler free.
I've been lying here in pitch darkness, watching fight rehearsals over and over again. Our stunt co-ordinatior, Glen Boswell, worked with the actors last weekend, designing some climatic battle moments. He filmed them, and I have them on my iPad, in an application we wrote called "WingNut TV". It's a program that allows a huge amount of material to be catalog used and updated each day over the Internet. It contains all our dailies, edited films, previs, music, and much more. I'm looking at the fights, figuring out the angles I'll need to film them today. A huge amount to do, and it needs to get done.
Our shoot day starts at 8.30am, and is supposed to finish at 7.30pm. I suspect we'll be working late. Whenever we work a long day, I joke with the crew that I'm just softening them up for when Jim Cameron shows up in Wellington to shoot Avatar 2 and 3. Well ... It's not really a joke.
I'll try and update often today.
Setting up our first shot.
9.15. Should be shooting soon. Two cameras, both with 16 mm lenses. Two huge wide shots of a fight happening on an enormous set that filling most of K Stage. This is going to be hard, posting pics without spoilers. I'll do my best! We have video diary cameras here, so you will eventually see what we're doing today in detail - but not until the Film 3 extended cut, which I guess will be towards the end of 2015!
We have a splinter unit also filming today, directed by Christian Rivers.
The day has a messy start, because the first couple of hours are going to be spent shooting stuff we were supposed to have finished yesterday. But because of the sheer complexity of the choreography, we worked late, and still didn't finish.
The real problem is that we were supposed to be shooting in F Stage today, and splinter was to spend the day in K Stage. But we need a couple of hours in K to wrap up, and then we're going to quickly shift to F, and carry on with our day. It's forced the splinter unit to stay in A Stage shooting green screen this morning, until we clear off K and let them in.
Too much detail! But this is the type of thing we're always dealing with. I do have to get a Facebook filter quickly written, so Warner Bros doesn't read that we didn't get yesterday finished!
Hey, just spent so long writing this, we've just started shooting!!! Runs are on the board!
The photo: yes, we did actually just film this. Please don't ask me to explain! Let's get that WB filter activated! Thank you Hannah and Dusty!
10.30am. Had to race to A Stage to try and explain to Graham and Christian why they were shooting their Dwalin fight against green screen, and not our beautiful expensive set as planned. Graham started sharpening his axe, so I just told them to read my last Facebook posting and I fled.
We've shot 3 shots on K Stage so far this morning. 2 more to go, and we're shifting to F Stage.
Music spotting with Howard Shore
Midday. We're shifting from K Stage to F Stage right now, and I took the chance to spot music with Howard Shore. He's in New York, and busy writing the score for Film 2.
"Spotting" involves talking through edited scenes with Howard, and figuring out everything he needs to do a first pass at the music composition - where music should start and stop, what mood it should have, themes to use, moments to punctuate. That type of thing. To stay on schedule, Howard needs 10 mins of cut footage every week. This week we only have 3 & a half mins for him. Fortunately, he's very good natured about it. It's happened once or twice before!
Next week, when I'm back in the cutting room full time, Howard will be getting a deluge!
The score for Film 2 is going to be terrific. Last year, we were a little frustrated because we had to revisit so many of the LotR themes - The Shire, Rivendell, Galadriel, Gollum, and the Ring - we did this because I'm wanting these 3 Hobbit movies to have great unity with the Rings films in design, wardrobe, story and music, so it meant "An Unexpected Journey" had to acknowledge what had gone before.
But this time around, apart from a couple of Ring moments, it's all new: Beorn, Mirkwood, The Woodland Realm, Laketown, Bard and Smaug all give Howard the chance to write brand new themes, and he's knocking it out of the park!
We've now finished yesterday's work, and can start on today's scenes!
Better race back to set before Caro tells me off! More than she already has ....
Big Richard, Medium Richard and Little Richard.
2.00pm. Just breaking for lunch, with the first shot on F Stage complete. A daunting number to go. I don't want to think about it, but it's probably 7 or 8 set-ups. Splinter Unit have made the move to K Stage and will start shooting after lunch.
I asked the various Thorins to pose just before they headed off to lunch. One of these is Richard Armitage, and two of them are not. It's your guess ... The one in the middle is a little psycho.
I am looking forward to making movies with everyone the same height in the future.
The pressure now goes on. We're going to have to move like the clappers!
With Andy Serkis busy being a monkey at the moment, the directing duties for our action unit have fallen on Christian's shoulders.
Back in 1986, when I was finishing my first movie, Bad Taste, I received my very first fan letter - from a 13 year old school boy, who sent me drawings of wizards and dragons. It was truly my first fan letter, so I wrote straight back to him.
By the time I was making Braindead, this school boy was a couple of years older, and joined us as my storyboard artist. He's gone on to do storyboards for virtually every movie I've made since. He became animation director on King Kong, and won an Oscar. He's now directing our splinter unit, and developing projects of his own.
This is Christian of course. It does prove that fan letters can pay off! I want to say "keep them coming" but I'm not going to.
Christian's now got Dwalin on K Stage and the battle continues on a real set. He's got about the same number of shots as us to get finished today.
We're battling on, shooting Thorin in a climatic duel for the third movie. Finishing the entire shoot with the end of his story. Fitting I guess. It's obviously not the very end of the movie itself. That scene was actually shot about 2 years ago. But it's tough emotional stuff to punch on with into the night. Keeps us on our toes until the bitter end!
4.30pm ... the day is still young.
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
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