MIRAMAR, New Zealand — The director’s tent. Inside a sound stage or outside on location, it is a constant and central fixture on a movie shoot. It is home base for Peter Jackson and his team.
It is sacred ground – well almost.
The decisions made inside it, by the team, under Jackson’s direction, are crucial to the project where it is determined what will later happen in front of the camera.
So every day, whatever happens to a set or a soundstage overnight, the tent is there set up and waiting for the core of the shooting unit.
Editor Jabez Olssen, Script Supervisor Victoria Sullivan and First Assistant Director Carolynne Cunningham call it home during the shoot. Cunningham is out a lot, Olssen and Sullivan less so and Producer Zane Weiner is always near. Jackson’s assistant Sebastian Meek is in and out at all times, bringing badly needed tea and watching the door from outside to eliminate distractions inside.
Jackson lives on tea and Meek has a talent for having it handy at the perfect moment.
SETTING THE SCENE
In April, 2012, as a representative of fandom via TheOneRing.net, to be on set during five weeks of the filming of the Hobbit films. At the time, it was still scheduled to be two movies and the production had just settled in to shoot in studio instead of on location. Much was unknown then, that now is completely familiar to fans.
When I first arrived at Stone Street Studios, the publicity team took me to set, showed me the ropes and left me to my own devices during the rest of my stay to meet folks and get interviews, which was great. No time and no need for babysitting.
I was there to be a good guest and to observe. Two weeks later I was definitely convinced I had no chance of talking to Peter Jackson, except for an occasional, “Hello, how are you getting on?” from him during my time there.
Fans world-wide know from production diaries, how exhausted Jackson gets during the shooting phase of filmmaking. It is important to really understand why.
Peter Jackson is a busy guy. Particularly when he is shooting, there is a lot to do in a day and a lot of people that need to understand his vision in order to do their jobs well; he is the hub of the great spinning wheel.
He is the director, a writer and a producer — each a big job on its own. Many films have one of each of those, or several of some, all working together. But Jackson was all of them at once and combining titles didn’t mean there was less work to be done. Just because he was reviewing shots didn’t mean the script didn’t need his touch or that the art department didn’t need his input as a director or the next day’s schedule didn’t need approval. Others were partners on all of these fronts but they also required Jackson.
In a day he might need to meet with the effects supervisor, set designers, concept designers, costume designers, the composer or see actual costumes for approval or changes to name just a few of the many things that require his time. He will confirm the schedule with his Assistant Director, producers and spend time with the Second Unit Director Andy Serkis to make sure all is to his liking. They need sets built, greens grown, sets decorated, concept guys working ahead, materials guys building everything, maximizing actors’ time, feeding all of those people, screening extras, bringing in the right number of prosthetic artists and on and on. In short, there is never a shortage of people who need Jackson’s input to work on his vision and it takes the logistics of, dare I say, planning a battle with five armies.
In short, he has to sign off on pretty much everything.
Those are the reasons “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and his other Hobbit movies are genuinely Peter Jackson movies. It also means he is booked.
THE FINAL HOURS
And so it was, the last day of my time on The Hobbit set, after several assurances that it would happen — it did.
Lunch happened and on the location set of Dale, up on a hill, I was invited to that director’s tent to sit and talk with PJ, just the two of us alone. (One editor asked me if we ate together in the tent but I don’t think so, but why many memories are crystal clear of that meeting, I just have no idea.)
I had been inside before, but not often. The day I shadowed him, I spent several hours, trying to melt into the background. This was his sanctuary and office.
Posted in Alan Lee, Andy Serkis, Characters, Crew News, Director news, Director Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Fran Walsh, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Production, Silmarillion, Studios, Terry Notary, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.
If you loved the drawing of Young Bilbo from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, then now is the time for you to finally add this to your collection. Young Bilbo is fantastically priced at just US$14.99 and is in-stock, so it will ship to your door right away.
As a part of Weta Workshop’s Advent Calendar this great little art print can now be added to our growing Middle-earth collectibles. You can also, if you haven’t already, enter their contest to win the King Thror on Throne statue, which would be one of the best Christmas presents you could win. Make sure you favorite the Advent Calendar as new items or contests will be announced daily!
Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party
We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.
We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!
Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!
Posted in Artwork, Collectibles, Collectibles, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
On the 31st of October 1961 a bouncing bundle of mischief came into the world in Wellington New Zealand, he grew up to delight millions of Middle-earth fans around the planet.
So from all of us here at theonering.net we would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Sir Peter Jackson!
Thank you for bringing Middle-earth to the big screen.
Now for that one last visit…
Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson
Our friends at Harper Collins Publishers, along with our friends at Weta Workshop, have a new Chronicles book coming out for The Hobbit Trilogy. We’re pleased to team up with them to unveil the cover for the new book The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design. This book, like all the others in this series, is going to be fantastic allowing fans to see the amazing process of bringing this movie to life. You can Pre-order the book right now and have it in your collection on December 17th just before the movie comes out.
Another great book coming out for The Hobbit Trilogy is the The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy Location Guide that will take you from Bag End to Erebor and beyond. Ian Brodie is back taking us across Middle-earth much as he did with The Lord of the Rings Location Guides so expect to add another fantastic book to your collection. You can order this book right now with it arriving on October 28th.
Posted in Books, Books Publications, Collectibles, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Workshop
It only makes sense, with the last of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy coming out this December, to have some kind of presence from Middle-earth at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. You will get that and more to keep you happy, if you are a fan of Middle-earth! You have some of the actors who have been in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy there for various projects, our awesome Laketown Luau sponsors Weta Workshop and Badali Jewlery, and of course the Laketown Luau. So with just eight days left before Comic-Con 2014, we wanted to list for you all the Middle-earth presence you will find at this year’s event.
Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros., WETA Workshop
I love Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. He’s just simply been so outstanding in the role of Bilbo Baggins that jumping on a few collectibles of him playing this character was a no-brainer. Today, I have for you a review of the Mini-Bust by Gentle Giant of Bilbo from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
For me, this is a case of the production piece showing improvement over the pictures on the box, as well as what we saw of the prototype. You can still get this bust from Gentle Giant’s website for just $70, and with an edition size of just a little over 500 pieces, it won’t last for long.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Gentle Giant, Hobbit Movie, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Sir Peter Jackson is amongst the 30 honorees selected to receive a star on Hollywood’s the Walk of Fame in 2015, that the Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced on Thursday morning.
Sir Peter is said to be “chuffed” at this latest accolade.
The full list of honorees for 2015 are:
Motion pictures – Raymond Chandler (posthumous), Eugenio Derbez, Will Ferrell, Jennifer Garner, Peter Jackson, Bob Kane (posthumous), Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Rudd, Snoopy, Melissa McCarthy and Christoph Waltz
Television – James L Brooks, Ken Ehrlich, Bobby Flay, Seth MacFarlane, Julianna Margulies, Chris O’Donnell, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler, Kelly Ripa and Sofia Vergara.
Recording – Lukasz ‘Dr Luke’ Gottwald, Kool & The Gang, Pitbull, Al Schmitt and Pharrell Williams.
Radio – Larry Elder.
Live theatre-live performance – Kristin Chenoweth, Dick Gregory and Ennio Morricone.
Posted in Director news, Headlines, Peter Jackson
I’ve put together another video review for you all today, this time it’s of the second member of the Hot Dwarves duo, with Fili joining the previously released Kili in our collection. Fili, as has been the case with the other statues in this line, came out really well done with a superb overall paint/detail-work as well as a great likeness to Dean O’Gorman. Fili like most of the Dwarves is a limited edition piece with just 1000 pieces worldwide and comes in with a price tag of just $249. He is in-stock so you can get him right now if you’re looking to add another piece from The Hobbit Trilogy. Fili is the eighth Dwarf to be completed in this line of statues and ninth overall to be completed, which is not what I say in the video a couple of times. Nori the latest release is on his way and we should have a review of him up soon!
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Dean O'Gorman, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop