‘The Hobbit’ Set Video #9: Post-Production On ‘An Unexpected Journey’

Published 2 years ago by

Some four months have passed since Peter Jackson released an installment in his production diary video series for The Hobbit, focusing on their presentation at Comic-Con and completion of principal photography on the filmmaker’s return trip to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Last night, Jackson unveiled a ninth set clip that depicts the whirlwind experience ongoing after shooting wrapped.

The new Hobbit featurette offers a clean impression of post-production, with Weta employees in New Zealand working overtime as they enhance the raw footage with CGI backgrounds, panoramic 3D shots, digitally-rendered lighting, foley effects and much more. Simultaneously, thousands of miles away, composer Howard Shore is shown recording his score for the film (performed by The London Philharmonic).

Post-production is nearing completion for the feverishly anticipated first entry in Jackson’s trilogy, An Unexpected Journey; though, between confirmation that there is indeed going to be a third Hobbit movie and the release of a new trailer for An Unexpected Journey, the project has continued to make headlines and generate fanboy fights passionate discussion all throughout the interim before its release.

Fans continue to debate the pros and cons of the decision to combine Tolkien’s Hobbit source material with the author’s supplementary notes about the history of Middle-earth – culminating in three separate features, rather than the two that were originally planned. Jackson’s storytelling approach to Lord of the Rings and his King Kong remake seems almost short and simple by comparison.

Still, it’s near impossible to not be dazzled by the sheer amount of time, effort, and attention to detail being poured into these Hobbit movies. Not to mention, Jackson and his collaborators are working on a whole other level – when you compare the craftsmanship of An Unexpected Journey to the less-impressionable fantasy world and inhabitants from fellow fantasy blockbuster Jack the Giant Slayer.

hobbit post production The Hobbit Set Video #9: Post Production On An Unexpected Journey

Motion-capture recording session for ‘An Unexpected Journey’

There is the concern that all three Hobbits films could end up being lumbering monsters, bloated with sophisticated spectacle and plot elements (basically, what those who dislike Jackson’s Rings trilogy accuse it of being). The pre-release journey has been enough fun that we’re keeping our fingers crossed – in hopes that we can indeed come home again to Middle-earth.

For those who haven’t already: be sure to check out the other entries in Jackson’s self-documentation of making The Hobbit – which include his time at Comic-Con, a virtual tour of Stone Street Studio, shooting around the New Zealand countryside and much more. These clips are as informative and entertaining as behind-the-scenes material one would expect on a DVD/Blu-ray (if not more so).

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in theaters on December 14th, 2012.

Its sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, follows on December 13th, 2013.

And the final installment, There and Back Again, releases on July 18th, 2014.

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  1. Ool video

  2. Awesome

  3. Whenever I hear someone say that they think The Hobbit is being milked for a cash grab bye the studio I tell them to watch these videos. Now I’m not being naive, I realize all films are made for profit but when you see the time, manpower, effort and money being spent on these films it shows IMO that these films are labors of love for us fans and the filmmakers.
    A cash grab IMO is the Twilight films. Not to beat a dead horse but look at the money those films have made and compare it to the quality. Not just the story. A bad story could be made into an amazing looking film but the quality of those films are terrible. The effects alone are worse than I’ve seen on TV shows. That’s a cash grab to me.
    End of rant… 😉

    • Amen, brother.

    • Well said, Kevin7.

    • Nailed it!

    • I’d say splitting it into 3 movies is indeed a cash grab. doing the film itself and even in 2 films is fair. but 3 Is not IMO

    • @ Slappy
      I find your comment ridiculous. You question my “manhood” because I’ve watched a few films that are targeted for a different demographic? I watched Magic Mike last week, does that mean I’m secretly a male stripper??
      Now I usually don’t find the need to defend myself to “trolls” but I will here…
      I’ve seen the Twilight films because I have a 17yr old daughter who’s read the books so I took her to see the films. I would also watch Disney films with her when she was younger. Does that make me a child???
      Grow up!

      • Watching Disney films is the greatest thing adults can do, everyone needs a little reminder of their childhood. agreed with everything you said Kevin.

    • @ Slappy

      The next time you leave a comment being blatantly rude and immature towards someone like that, it’ll be deleted and you’ll be put on moderation (or worse). Consider that your fair warning.

    • You’re a father, and you’re still calling people “gay-ish” behind a keyboard? Wow.

    • I agree Kevin7, and also the fact that they didn’t just say “hey, let’s stretch this book into a third movie”. They actually have other material from the author that they’re going to base it on, so it’s really more like it’s still 2 hobbit films but there’s a supplemental film they’re making with other material and tieing it in to this series.

    • It’s a sincere labor of love on the part of PJ and crew, and it’s a cash grab for the studios. They’re more than happy to let him make as many marketable LOTR related movies as he wants.

      Name another instance where a studio approved financing for three movies, for one, roughly 250 page book. He had to struggle to get financing for LOTR. Now there are no limits. Nobody telling him “no.” Now it’s “sure, how much?” I’m skeptical about how good these movies will be. I believe they’ll be good because he’s a good storyteller and director. I don’t know if they’ll be great. They could be overkill. They could be bloated and burdensome. We’ll see.

      • But they’re not stretching one book to 3 movies (not sure why everyone keeps saying that). The third is based on supplemental material Tolkien wrote.

        • I don’t know for certain, but I think the idea you are referring to is an older disregarded plan. My understanding is that it was originally going to be two movies, with the first being the Hobbit, and the second being the original “bridge” movie (and would have Aragorn and Gandalf). Later I thought that changed to it being two movies, all the Hobbit, with the supplemental material mixed in. The third movie was announced only a short while ago, so I don’t see how things have changed since the second plan, and I imagine we’d have heard clarification if they were returning to the initial plan.

          The second movie is called the Desolation of Smaug. In the book that is an area on the map that describes where Smaug,… desolated things I guess. So the movie won’t necessarily deal with Smaug entirely. Anyway, I’d bet that the third movie will, at the very least, deal with the battle of the five armies.

          We already know that There are more characters and supplemental material in this first movie than there was in the book. I think they’ll all tell the Hobbit story and mix in the supplemental material. Do you have any information that they’ve returned to something more like the initial plan? I’m sure others may know for certain.

  4. The one common theme through all of these production videos…the immense amount of fun everyone seems to be having. Really looking forward to the films. Less than one month to go for the first of the trilogy.

    • less than 20 days!!!!!

  5. can’t frakkin wait

  6. And THAT my friends is just part of the many reasons why these films cost 200+ million to make.

    Makes you wonder though how so many people can work on a project and come out with nothing better than mediocrity or worse (*cough* Green Lantern *cough*)

  7. I love these videos, especially since they never put special features on dvds anymore!

    • buy the blu rays, tha i what got me away from DVD’s because of all the extras that were on the Avengers Bluray compared to the DVD, so I had to go out and buy a Blu ray player just for the Avengers, now since that came out I have about 6 movies on blu ray and will evetually replace all my Marvel DVD’s with BLU Rays…. UGHHHH but the quality is unbelievably better,,, NOW my 500 DVD’s are quality lacking compare to the blurays

  8. I’m perfectly alright with Hobbit divided into three films, the more I see of Middle Earth, the better. Loving it. Can’t wait.

    • I’m inclined to agree with this, and give the geniuses that created the LOTR trilogy, from Tolkien to Jackson, the benefit of the doubt. Just as the longer versions were great news, so too I hope the Hobbittrilogy is great news. Of course it’s good for business to keep milking this franchise, but if we get another tremendous story to enjoy then my first thoughts will not be about the profit motives that may have affected production. Let’s not assume that these greedy bastards have slapped together some cynical trash to trick us out of our cash, when evidence suggests that this is really inspired work by great artists in their fields. Lucky us!

      Much as I love the first trilogy, the films’ spectacle outweighed the characters and story more and more. RotK was amazing, but it was also the worst offender by far in this category. The extended editions alleviated this greatly, and gave more spectacle as well, naturally. Considering how much better the story was served by taking more screen time, I am hopeful that Jackson has made the best possible decision by stretching the story out. We’ll start to see if that’s true soon enough. I am optimistically looking forward to the possible extended home versions of all of them, but maybe that’s unrealistic considering they are already stretching it to three films at the last minute… Will there be any footage left on the cutting room floor this time? Can the Bilbo narrative really be compelling for years of films to come? Hopefully. At the very least we have Weta doing what they do best, and that alone should be worth admission. I can’t wait.

  9. This is awesome. You have to admire Peter Jackson and his desire to be transparent in releasing these behind-the-scenes pieces.