'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Featurette Examines Its Score

The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Peter Jackson

Of all the film scores produced in the last decade, the music behind The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies probably rank as the most easily recognizable. The unique, often bombastic scores created by composer Howard Shore (The Departed) have become all but synonymous with Middle-earth and its denizens.

Thus, it's something of a treat that the fourteenth and latest production diary from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug focuses upon the creation of the film's memorable musical score. Featuring interviews with Shore, director Pete Jackson, and the film's many musicians, conductors, and sound editors, the video is something of a glimpse inside the metaphorical sausage factory of film scoring.

The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug Peter Jackson

Though the featurette does touch upon Shore's composition of the Desolation of Smaug score and some of the themes he wanted to convey, the bulk of the preview focuses on the actual recording of said music. Overall, it's a charming look at the process and the massive group effort needed to bring such a body of music into existence.

One of the more interesting elements of the production diary – one that is almost frustratingly brief – is the focus on nonstandard percussion and Eastern instruments to accent the scenes in Smaug's treasure hoard. Such experimental work in an otherwise familiar (though solid) score deserves some more attention.

This will apparently be the last Hobbit production diary of 2013, and perhaps the last for some months before Jackson and company begin the run-up to the release of The Hobbit: There and Back Again – at which point we can be certain that many and more featurettes will be released.


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is currently showing in theaters.

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