From Quint via Aint It Cool News:

I’ll be kicking off a new, temporary, regular column that I’m calling An Unexpected Journey because that’s exactly what it is.

A little over a month ago an email arrived asking of my interest in embedding myself on the set of The Hobbit for the entirety of their location shoot, spending over 2 months in New Zealand rolled in with the crew and writing up their adventures, hassles, triumphs and tribulations as they traveled all over the country shooting bits and pieces from the upcoming two-parter (sic) prequel to Lord of the Rings.

Quint’s first report, titled “An Unexpected Journey: Quint on the set of The Hobbit! Part 1 – Concerning Hobbiton“, comes from Matamata, New Zealand, the location of Hobbiton, and it is filled with all sorts of Hobbitty goodness… and SPOILERS (so read the report at your own peril!)

Some non-spoiler excerpts follow:

  • There were all manner of animals on the set ranging from goats to roosters, pigs, oxen, horses and all of them had handlers there to make sure they were fed, watered and safely munching on the lush green grass of Matamata. They would quickly duck out of frame whenever shots would go up.
  • If you’ve watched the appendices on the Extended Editions of the Lord of the Rings films you should recognize Kiran [Shah]’s name. He’s a much loved character around the set. He’s an actor, stunt man and scale double. On Rings he doubled Elijah Wood. [In The Hobbit, Shah will be Martin Freeman’s double.]
  • [Kiran] Shah will also be a Goblin in the film.

So what do you all think? Share your thoughts and speculations on our message boards.