EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of many set visit reports that will publish weekly from now until the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” We will update this post with photos from the set visit as soon as possible.
WELLINGTON — Thousands of creative hands will have touched “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” by the time it hits movie screens. For those making the film it means long hours, pushing the limits of creativity, people and technology. It is accurate to say every frame is filled with passion, lots of passion.
Despite all the love for the project from every quarter, there is a group that may be the least-heralded, most overlooked, and yet whose passion for the project is surpassed by no man — or woman. They will receive no awards, no fame, no recognition and yet, they loved their work on “The Hobbit,” and legions of fans would have willingly taken their place in a heartbeat.
They are called “extras,” and for these films that meant extra passion, extra time and extra fun.
How would I know? Well, I was one of them!
I am a staffer here at TheOneRing.net (TORn), contributing for over a decade to the all-volunteer, not-for profit website forged by and for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. In that time I formed a bond of trust and friendship with people on all sides of the production.
Warners Bros. and the production team on “The Hobbit,” invited me, as a representative of TORn, to not only visit the set but to be embedded there as a journalist for five weeks. Every working day for a month and a week in 2012, I woke up and reported to set near Wellington, New Zealand where Peter Jackson and his team of filmmakers were putting together the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, “The Hobbit.”
I can hardly believe this happened even though I remember it with incredible clarity. It seems surreal now — as it did every day when I arrived, showed my badge to security and walked into the grounds where Middle-earth would be created for audiences world wide. Each day was appreciated.
For me, it was absolutely life changing.
Repeating for emphasis: Life changing. Continue reading “Set visit exclusive — Extras: Living large in the background of ‘The Hobbit’”