Is the third and final Hobbit movie complete? There is some evidence to suggest it is, as social media folks from Weta Digital say they have finished the long, long job of bringing Middle-earth to the cinema.
From as good a source as a source can be, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” is not only virtually done as you read these words, this is the final day of production on the film. Keeping in mind that New Zealand (where, if you haven’t heard, the films are made) is 16 hours ahead of Hollywood, the following quote comes to TheOneRing.net from the future, Friday morning:
“Today is the day!! The last reel goes out the door tonight.”
We have also learned from two sources that Weta Digital delivered its final shot Thursday night, leaving the final touches on the final reel of the final film. Pure speculation here, but that must be an emotional process, knowing that the great big collection of talent is completing the task it set out to do years before. And for Jackson and those around him, it is definitely the end of an era.
A lot of tired workers at Weta Digital will be getting sleep soon but the filmmakers now begin the job of promoting the film around the world, starting with the world premiere in London.
There is of course the extended edition of the final film, but heading directly to the home video market is different from unfurling a film in a theater. But there you have it folks, this is the last work week for the full post-production team on The Hobbit. Fans will feel an era has ended as well. The original, more speculative article follows below.
Director Peter Jackson – who if you paid careful attention to the latest Hobbit trailers, also directed a trilogy based on The Lord of the Rings – likes to push deadlines and make changes on his films up to the last moment. He was clear at the world premiere of the first Hobbit film about how he literally made changes the night before the premiere.
So is the film finished or is just Weta Digital’s work finished? Or is only a division of Weta Digital’s team finished? Nobody who knows is saying for sure (although we have asked!) but it is very possible “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” has had its finishing digital touches added and is complete. All this inspired by the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Typically the director or some combination of the director, producers and studio work on the film until they nail down its moments, beats and running time. Then the digital team finishes the film, working and polishing as much as time and money allow. With Jackson films, Weta Digital finishes parts way ahead and parts at the very last minute, working with the director closely. Concurrently, the score and sound effects are being mixed into the final finished product.
The film is shot in high frame rate, 3D and sound comes in a variety of format choices at the cinema including the most complicated and best sound: Dolby Atmos. All of these processes take time. In other words, there may still be a lot of details to get done before the film is done, but finished or not, the end is near and it is like twilight on the final day of Middle-earth movie making. Only clips for the inevitable extended edition remain and then, Jackson and company will soon say goodbye to Middle-earth forever.