Monday, November 28, 2011

AICN's The Hobbit Set Report Part 4

Quint of Ain’t It Cool News returns with another set report from The Hobbit that shifts from filming at Hobbiton to the town of Te Kuiti in northern New Zealand (part 1 | part 2 | part 3). The location is being used for several different forest scenes including the discovery of Sting. Below are the highlights, click here for the full article and more images from the location.

- The town of Te Kuiti, residents allow cast and crew to stay at their homes.
- Denize Bluffs, forest near Te Kuiti area will be Trollshaw in Middle Earth where Bilbo and company confront stone trolls. While most of the scenes were done in studio, this will provide the real woods to make those moments more authentic.
- The location scenes involved Gandalf as he orders Bilbo and the dwarves around to keep them on task of finding a troll cave and its treasures (including Sting, which Frodo inherits in the Trilogy).
- Gandalf is sometimes played on screen by "Tall Paul" Randall, who at 7 feet, helps provide that contrast between the tall wizard and shorter characters that surround him when the landscape doesn't allow for Sir Ian McKellen to do it. When not on screen, Ian is nearby to provide Paul with direction on how to physically act and speak lines for the other actors to act off of.
- Also on hand is Sylvester McCoy for a chat between his Radagast the Brown wizard and Gandalf The Gray.
- Because of 3D, the use of force perspective (to show a human sized cast as being wizard vs. dwarf sized) is often given a digital upgrade. The example provided is a simplified version where the wizards stand in the forest talking while Bilbo and dwarves react in the background only this is done as two separate but identical shots. One is shot is the wizards talking, outlined by green screens. The second is the wizards talking off camera while Bilbo and co. react. Later Weta will merge the scenes for the 3D perspective (enlarging the wizards) so looks like all dozen plus actors were on screen in the correct proportions to each other all at the same time for the scene even though could not be. The film will likely be full of these all but invisible and necessary digital tricks. And this is just a simplified version of it in action.

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