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Peter Jackson On Doing Away With Miniature Photography For The Hobbit

July 16, 2012 at 8:00 am by Earl  - 

Given the awe-inspiring miniatures and “bigatures” used for The Lord of the Rings, many of TORn’s members have been questioning (some with a pang of longing!) the decision to do away with miniature photography for The Hobbit, speculating the use of 3D may have had something to do with it.

Whilst poring over the numerous press interviews and Q&As conducted with Peter Jackson over the course of this weekend, we found the answer via in PJ’s response to the question of what the biggest advances in technology have been since The Lord of the RingsHe says:

The technology that advanced the most, in the last 10 or 12 years, is really the fact that we did a lot of miniature shooting on The Lord of the Rings. All the big architectural structures of Middle Earth were really miniatures, some of them quite large. But, you’re limited to what you can do with a miniature because you literally have to have a big camera that has to sweep past it, so you can’t get too close to it and the detail doesn’t hold up too well, if you do. 

This time around, there are no miniatures. It’s all done with CGI.  Everything that we need to build, from a miniature point of view, we build as a CG miniature. I can now swoop in, over rooftops and through doorways. I can do things that I never could have dreamt of doing with the miniatures. For me, that’s actually one of the most profound differences. 

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Director news, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Production, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit on July 16, 2012 by Source: Peter Jackson On Doing Away With Miniature Photography For The Hobbit | Discuss
The Floor Plan from WETA Workshop

15 responses to “Peter Jackson On Doing Away With Miniature Photography For The Hobbit”

  1. this is a TERRIBLE reason not to use models! cgi-assisted models, like LOTR, is the way to go. the original star wars movies look way more real than the prequels, because models look more real than cgi

  2. Timo says:

    nooooooo! weve seen what cgi did to starwars… 🙁

  3. Dom says:

    Uh-oh, Peter Jackson is going George Lucas on us…

  4. Andrak says:

    sounds like a good reason to me. I thought the miniatures were brilliant so if PJ is saying the CGI scenery will make for an even more awesome movie (… how is this possible?) then I’m all for it.

  5. Albert says:

    That really sucks. I loved the fact that I could watch those films and know that it wasn’t all CGI. This is a little bit of a disappointment for me. RIP bigatures, you will be missed.

  6. Robb B. says:

    That makes me very sad. I know it’s probably great for him as a filmmaker and it allows him a great deal more flexibility … but something about that really feels like the death of a very special and unique art form. There’s something wonderful about the fact that the bigatures for LOTR actually exist in time and space — that they are actual, tangible artifacts of the story. So much of our world these days is frittered away into ones and zeroes. I’m just old, I guess.

  7. asdgwerawerq says:

    I really hope this doesn’t affect the visual consistency with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I trust in PJ, but there have been a lot of really scary red flags for The Hobbit that remind me too much of George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels for my comfort. This is another. Just like in the original Star Wars trilogy, the miniatures in LOTR lend to more grounded visuals than the shiny, detached visuals of The Phantom Menace through Revenge of the Sith

  8. Langalot says:

    But that’s exactly part of the problem, Peter. Cameras doing things that just aren’t possible…it SCREAMS “Fake” and takes you out of the movie. The miniature shots in LOTR are the best ones in my opinion. This property just lost a few notches of coolness. This time you are just wrong, sir.

  9. Ichthus says:

    Come firends, Peter is a quite different sort of person than George Lucas, and his whole approach to storytelling is different. Let us not jump to conclusions, but wait and see the film before we pass judgement. Cheers. 🙂

  10. Julian says:

    You’re quoting him out of context. He said “just aren’t possible with miniatures.” And that is largely because miniatures have limitations for camera work when compared to full sized objects. Using CG, having full sized objects are highly possible.

  11. Julian says:

    Not really, George Lucas was never very good at film making. He just did flippy things with light swords that struck a chord with a certain class of people.

  12. ab says:

    They did great work on Gollum back in the day so I’m going to trust in PJ on this

  13. Rob says:

    guys… this is not star wars that came out around the same time as LOTR… did you all not read the part about the ADVANCEMENTS in the last 10-12 years?? personally i loved the miniatures/bigatures but CGI has come a LONG way in the last decade… and i wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the most realistic CGI coming from The Hobbit films!

  14. Bidu says:

    That’s what scares me. Gollum was GREAT work, and even so it looked fake to me. I tend to detect easily speech / lip movement inconsistencies. And some bits just weren’t realistic, like some jump scenes. Same thing with the wargs.

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