Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jackson Talks LOTR, Hobbit Extras and 3-D

Now that the first drafts of both Hobbit films have been completed and turned in, Peter Jackson has been making the media rounds to promote the home video release of The Lovely Bones. He recently spoke with WSJ's Speakeasy blog about some material already filmed for The Hobbit home video extras, the Lord of the Rings Blu-ray trilogy release, and 3-D conversion process that may be used on the trilogy.

...[Jackson has] just delivered the latest draft of the script to the studio (”They seem to be happy with it”). And yes, has already begun shooting material for the eventual DVD and Blu-ray release. “We’ve been filming DVD material for about a year,” Jackson said of “The Hobbit,” which he’s executive-producing and co-scripting. “[Director] Guillermo [del Toro] has been doing location scouts and design work, with the DVD people following him around, so we’ve shot 20 or 30 hours of DVD material so far and we’re still a few months away from the first day of shooting.”

What’s your take on the 3-D trend?
Personally, I think if it’s done well, it’s terrific. As a filmmaker, I believe in trying to make movies that invite the audience to be part of the film; in other words, there are some films where I’m just a spectator and am simply observing from the front seat. What I try to do is draw the audience into the film and have them participate in what’s happening onscreen. 3-D can help with that process. But it’s also open to abuse — such as people knocking off cheap conversions where they’re making 3-D films out of 2-D films. If they do it badly, people are going to get tired of that very quickly. It’s in a fragile position at the moment. Filmmakers have to commit to making 3-D films properly like Jim Cameron did and not do cheap conversions at the tail end of the process.

So we don’t have to worry about a bad 3-D conversion of LOTR anytime soon?
Conversions can be done too. About three years ago, we tried converting about 10 minutes of “King Kong” and it turned out okay. We were happy with the results, but it was expensive at the time, certainly too expensive to do the whole movie. But you can do conversions well if you take time. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is an example of one that was done really well. You just have to take the appropriate amount of time, and time is obviously money. So if you do it quickly, fast and cheap, and it’s not going to turn out well. If we were going to convert LOTR, I’d want to do it properly, which would be a very long, time-consuming, and expensive process.

The theatrical cut of the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy was just released on Blu-ray, and dedicated fans are purposefully giving the set one-star reviews on Amazon and other online marketplaces because they want the extended version on Blu-ray. How you do you navigate fans like that?
I agree with the fans. I was heavily involved in the DVD process when the films were being released through New Line, but now that Warner Brothers has taken control over the releasing of the films, they just tell me what they’re doing and don’t involve me in the process. [With New Line,] the one thing we never did with the fans was make them feel cheated. Back in the original release, we always put extra material in, extra documentaries — a lot of added value. I so totally understand why the fans would be upset; I don’t disagree with them.

1 comment: