Monday, August 15, 2011

Movie Stuff Mondays - Hobbiton

Bilbo throws an extravagant birthday party and gives the Ring to Frodo. However, Gandalf discovers it is evil. Meanwhile, its creator, Sauron, learns where it is and sends his servants to reclaim it.

The picturesque home of the Hobbits. (Tom Wuellette)

What the Big Folk Were Saying
"They must have rounded up every short person in the world for this." - A man as Hobbiton is shown
"Why aren't they wearing shoes?" - Several moms when the Hobbits are introduced.
"You said they couldn't do magic!" - A nonfantasy fan to her husband, as Bilbo puts the Ring on

What the Wizards Know
The switch in studios delayed the start of Fellowship of the Ring shooting, allowing the vegetation in Hobbiton to mature and adding to the illusion that Hobbits had lived there for hundreds of years.

Sean Astin attended two auditions for the part of Sam. He was cast after assuring Jackson that he'd have no trouble gaining weight for the part. His father, John Astin (best known for Gomez Addams of The Addams Family), auditioned for the part of Gandalf but was not as fortunate.

When Ian Holm, who beat out Sylvester McCoy for the part of Bilbo, arrived in New Zealand, the Hobbiton set no longer existed. Jackson had filmed the needed scenes without Holm. Jackson had the Hobbit composited into the earlier footage through blue screen work.

The "long expected party" was not shot at the Hobbiton location. It was actually filmed inside a studio.

The party was shot before Howard Shore had been selected as the films' composer. To give the actors music to dance to, some local musicians, collectively called Plan 9, were brought in. It was assumed that their song, entitled "Flaming Red Hair," would be replaced when the "professional" guy came aboard, but Shore enjoyed their performance so much he kept it in the film. (I thought that one song didn't sound like Shore's other music.) 

What the Elvish Eyes and Ears Have Noticed 
Billy and Katie Jackson, the children of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, appear in all three live-action Lord of the Rings films. In this film they can be seen listening to Bilbo's Troll story, along with the daughter of one of my interview subjects.

When the mountains of Mordor are shown early in the film, you can see Osgiliath just beside them.

Notice Gandalf, watching Frodo shove everything into this bag haphazardly, neatly fold a shirt a shirt and hold it out to Frodo - who snatches it, lets in unfold, and shoves it into his bag again haphazardly.

The Foolishness of a Took
When Gandalf makes his big-screen debut, he dazzles us with his magic right away just to show he's a wizard. As he drives into Hobbiton, his silver scarf is hanging on the right and his staff is on the left. In the next shot, the scarf and staff have switched sides. It's as if some film editor flipped the first shot to get the bend in the road to match the curve as Gandalf approaches Frodo.

As the Nazul approahces the hobbit to inquire about "Shire" and "Baggins," the supposedly frightened dog wags his tail. 

1 comment:

Una Mariah said...

I guess Frodo likes stuff untidy... :)