Peter Jackson and his hundreds-strong production team have been hard at work (among other things) taking a seven week-long trip around the New Zealand countryside; one that requires helicopter rides, carefully setting up their camera/audio/lighting equipment up so as to not disturb the local flora, and even rushing to film a sequence involving dwarfs – and one anxious hobbit – taking a barrel ride down a roaring river, before the area is literally flooded by an encroaching storm.

Yes, it’s time for the latest installment in the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s ongoing behind-the-scenes video documentation of shooting on his $500 million adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Feel free to enjoy some twelve minutes’ worth of interviews and footage featuring spectacular New Zealand vistas by watching the newest Hobbit set video:

While the question “Can You Come Home Again to Middle-earth?” is one that won’t be fully answered until the first of Jackson’s two Hobbit movies arrives in theaters this winter, it’s hard to be too concerned about that matter (for now) when the “journey” involves getting to watch these highly-detailed and fascinating mid-production videos that Jackson and Co. have been churning out. That alone has been tons of fun.

Besides, judging by the preliminary results featured in the Hobbit teaser trailer – combined with the sheer enthusiasm and effort being poured into making this cinematic prequel to the beloved live-action Lord of the Rings trilogy something memorable – there’s good reason to be hopeful that Jackson’s Middle-earth will be just as great a place to visit this second time around.

In case you missed them, be sure to also check out:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on December 14th, 2012.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again will also be released in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters in the U.S. a year later on December 13th, 2013.

Source: Peter Jackson