Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Andy Serkis Joins Hobbit as 2nd Unit Director

Andy Serkis, Gollum in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, is getting a second job title for the two movie production. According to The Hollywood Reporter he is joining The Hobbit as 2nd unit director for both films. Generally speaking 2nd unit directors and their teams provide a way to film multiple scenes at the same time in multiple locations. Normally their job involves extras, interstitials (say camera panning across a desert), shots needed for special effects work and the like. Rarely work with principle actors on a film but with something the scale and expense of The Hobbit, it is likely that they will be doing the whole spectrum of directing making this a perfect training ground for someone wanting to do their own feature film in the future.
“I think I understand Peter’s sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth,” Serkis told The Hollywood Reporter. “A lot of the crew from The Lord of the Rings was returning to work on The Hobbit. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic."

Serkis has already done some directing, including performance capture on a couple video games including Heavenly Sword. But, he said, “When Peter asked me. There was this email out of the blue. It was a fantastic surprise.”

As for his return to Middle Earth, details are being kept under wraps, but Serkis told THR that his directing responsibilities would go beyond performance capture. “It is wide ranging and encompasses a lot of directing aspects of filmmaking and story. Yes, there is some performance capture, but I will be very much on the live action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story."

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