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

Motion-Capture recording from the ninth Hobbit production video

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.

Motion-Capture recording from the ninth Hobbit production video
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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