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Exclusive: Barrel-Riding Test Photos at Aratiatia Rapids



News from Bree
spymaster@theonering.net

Feb 26 2011, 7:30am


Views: 2649
Exclusive: Barrel-Riding Test Photos at Aratiatia Rapids

A few weeks back, we posted a story from the NZ Post about how the Aratiatia Rapids, a popular tourist destination, would be shut down for four days during peak tourist season for The Hobbit filming. Adding further credit to that report are these images from Ringer Spy Hobbitwatch. In the photos, you can see a crew performing some kind of tests with pink barrels at the Falls. Here is the full report from Ringer Spy Hobbitwatch:
Just sending you a few pics of the activity going on at the Aratiatia Rapids where they have started filming for the barrell scenes in The Hobbit, they had heaps of safety people there as pretty dangerous stuff, mostly all wound up when I took the pics, but shows the barrels they were using for when the Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves, rode the rapids in barrels to get away from the orcs I think it was. the barrels are pink so as to allow for them being digitalized apparently. the hyab truck was in place to maybe film up the rapids, anyway, they used both ends of the rapids to do the job, as you will see. there are big barrels on the truck, plus a small one, I guess for scaling for Hobbit size?? A couple of pics also of the crew, both safty and filming by the looks of it having smoko.

Dont' forget to see all the photos after the break!



(This post was edited by calisuri on Feb 26 2011, 1:14pm)


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Feb 26 2011, 1:39pm


Views: 1640
COOL!

Neat to see. I bet those holes fill water into a chamber to keep the barrel down weighted so it won't roll over.

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<<<<There is a long road yet>>>>


Bound
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 1:49pm


Views: 1604
Awesome...

I reckon the fear that there will be too much stage work can disappear ... I reckon they'll try shoot as much on location !

the man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 1:53pm


Views: 1574
Yay! Thanks for the pics! //

 


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 26 2011, 1:53pm


Views: 1892
The last picture is awesome //

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Snulle
Bree

Feb 26 2011, 2:01pm


Views: 1612
Agree

The last picture gave me goosebumps! Heart
I love this time with spy photos and preproduction news. Sly


smokerings
Rivendell


Feb 26 2011, 3:09pm


Views: 1567
very, very, very

COOL! Anyone else making some loose assumptions with the pink barrels? Are these for motion capture, CG in post, or do you think they will CG Bilbo on one? Or this may simply be testing where they will CG in post to see the limits that WETA has Evil

If you look closely, you will see a smaller scale barrel (most likely for perspective) as well as some actual real barrels in elvish wood!


rings7
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 3:37pm


Views: 1571
I'm confused

Isn't Bilbo wearing the ring at that point and does not need to get into a barrel and just sent the dwarfs? I need to read the book again. Evil


Crunchable Birdses
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 3:44pm


Views: 1525
Yeah

All of the above I think. I see the pink barrels have black triangles stamped on them, which look like reference markers so they can track the motion accurately for the CG barrels that they will replace them with in post.

* crunch *


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 26 2011, 3:44pm


Views: 1533
*frantic geeky hand-clapping* OMG! Here we go!

I know we've had a few other pics here and there... but this is SO WAY AWESOME!!!! OMG!!!! *spins in chair* What a great location!!! TRUCKS OF BARRELS!! WOOHOOO!!!!!! :D

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 26 2011, 3:50pm


Views: 1522
Lets hope they don't put Bilbo in a barrel.

He rides on top. Who is going to let them all out if not Bilbo? Maybe they were just checking the action on a smaller model barrel.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
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Carne
Tol Eressea

Feb 26 2011, 4:00pm


Views: 1539
Bilbo and barrels

I really hope they don't leave Bilbo with the ring on throughout the whole barrel ride. I'd rather get to see him, instead of the camera focusing on a barrel. Maybe have him almost lose the ring as the barrel ride starts, then he puts in on before they get to land?

And I'm assuming the small barrel is so they can make the surroundings look bigger.


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 26 2011, 4:01pm


Views: 1520
Riding a barrel

I agree Kangi but, could that not be pretty dangerous for the actor (Freeman)? I mean Viggo almost drowned (true) when he was floating in the river



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 4:04pm


Views: 1516
Why not both?

Why not show Bilbo wearing the ring while on the barrel? They showed Frodo wearing the ring plenty of times in the trilogy.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 26 2011, 4:21pm


Views: 1511
Well It could be dangerous

But I would think they would not put an actor (or even perhaps a stuntman) on the barrel. They ca do that by digital insertion for the long shots and put Bilbo/Martin on a barrel top against a green screen for closeups.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
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(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Feb 26 2011, 4:21pm)


Vellamo
Rivendell


Feb 26 2011, 4:32pm


Views: 1493
I wonder what the real barrels are there for? //

 


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2011, 4:47pm


Views: 1490
Woohoo

How cool to say they are working on the movie.

And what a gorgeous location. They sure know how to pick the best spots in NZ.



Auraran
Lorien

Feb 26 2011, 5:06pm


Views: 1517
Is this a clue where the movies divide?

I and several others before me have always felt that the logical dividing place between the two movies is when Bilbo and the dwarves are escaping from the Elves' prison – with the dwarves inside barrels, and Bilbo riding on top of one. Then, just before they arrive at Laketown, the movie shows Bilbo looking up at the distant and foreboding Lonely Mountain, where the next part of their adventure will take place in the second movie.

Maybe not, but there has to be some reason why PJ is starting off doing filming tests on the barrels scene, which occurs quite late in the book.

I realize that they don't need to film the movie in any particular sequence, and maybe this is simply tech stuff can be done without actors, but still, doing the prep work on filming the barrels scene at such an early date makes me wonder if for some reason they're doing a test run on the last scene of the first movie.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 26 2011, 5:25pm


Views: 1481
WHEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I feel like going out and riding a barrel Tongue This is the most substantial and definitely-Hobbit spy pic we've got to date. And how awesome is the location!? Cool



Daisy Gold
The Shire

Feb 26 2011, 5:37pm


Views: 1460
Pink Barrels?

Does this mean the elven king enjoys rose wine? Maybe one with redcurrant and strawberry fruit flavours!!!!Wink


Eruonen
Valinor


Feb 26 2011, 5:39pm


Views: 1436
Just glad to see work starting!

 


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 5:54pm


Views: 1457
I looks like...

they're not filming anything and just testing the mechanics of getting barrel-shaped objects down the river...thus, the barrels in the film probably won't be CGI...

Anyhoo, very cool too see the early stages of the production commencing!

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER!!!


rings7
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 7:00pm


Views: 1415
I know

I was thinking that. I was like "yay! we'll get to see the barrels scene in the first movie!" Wink


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 8:02pm


Views: 1414
The don't film a movie(s) in chronological order...

The Gray Heavens was the second scene Ian McKellan shot on the production. They shoot scenes according to when actors, sets, locations and effects are available, not when the scenes take place in the story...IE, we still have no idea whether the barrel-riders will appear in Film 1 or 2.

Logically, if they end Film 1 that late then Film 2 won't have enough for Bilbo and the Dwarves to do. My money's on Film 1 ending soon after the escape from the Eagles...

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER!!!


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 8:20pm


Views: 1383
"ON the Eagles"

unless the 1970's musical group will be appearing as antagonists in some capacity...

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER!!!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 26 2011, 8:35pm


Views: 743
Mmm, rose Elvish wine.

I'm sold. :D

When it comes to marketing the films, I really hope that a vineyard gets on board and offers limited edition Dorwinion wine. I'd crack open the wallet for a couple of cases!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


mwirkk
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 8:45pm


Views: 745
Yes, you are right, of course...

just as Liv Tyler wasn't really riding a horse.

The Black Knight Always Triumphs!!

-mwirkk :)


mwirkk
Rohan


Feb 26 2011, 9:09pm


Views: 780
I hope you are right -- I don't much like the look...

I don't much like the look of this location. It doesn't match the descriptions of Mirkwood I remember in my mind's-eye while reading the Hobbit, or Tolkien's art of the barrel riding scene from the book.

Towards this eastern side of the forest is supposed to be marshy in areas just to the south of their location, and in the areas not far inland from here the forest is still quite tall and dense. The habitat pictured here reminds me of scrub forest you see in areas with low rainfall. But there are no terrain features through which the river runs which should cause this (a rain-shadow effect).

However, something like what is pictured here might be useful for close-up shots, with the surrounding forest filled in by CGI.

But I'm also thinking, if nothing else, this is primarily for testing out early concepts in the mechanics of shooting the scenes themselves.

The Black Knight Always Triumphs!!

-mwirkk :)


pandoraziki
Rivendell

Feb 26 2011, 9:28pm


Views: 729
Brillliant

The reports are starting to roll in and March is almost here. I love getting those little glimpses of the movie production. Smile


DrDeath153
Lorien

Feb 26 2011, 9:33pm


Views: 742
The thought i had about the pink barrels

Is that perhaps they're made out of pink Styrofoam to aid buoyancy. Seems like they're prototypes before they film fully painted versions- i see no reason why they would have to do the scene digitally necessarily since it's basically a bunch of barrels flowing down a river: the only complications would be if PJ wants to do something special with them (which is quite a possibility- hence the river rapids location), and even that could probably be managed practically.

The last shot of the location is the best, though i do agree with others about it being not quite how i'd imagined it, but i daresay it'll look quite different once it's gone through the cinematic process, and i daresay this will only be for a small part of the scene- much like the anduin journey it's likely to be a bit of a montage scene by and large with small interjections and elements of physical drama/comedy chucked in.

Dr Death


Anteor
Bree

Feb 26 2011, 9:57pm


Views: 727
one concern

did anyone notice the mention of "when they are running from orcs" in that article. Is that just an error and should say "Elves" or have they changed it so that they actually ARE you running from Orcs?

if more of us valued food and good cheer above gold and jewels. it would be a merrier world.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 10:07pm


Views: 739
The "insider" guy on Reddit...

who seems to be legit claimed that the barrel-riding remains as it was in the book, but the lead-up to it is different. I THINK the reference to escaping Orcs in the OP was a mistake, but I wouldn't be surprised if our characters are captured by the Necromancer instead of Thranduil, in order to help tie the A and B plot together...

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER!!!


Hermoor
The Shire

Feb 26 2011, 10:22pm


Views: 708
No way!

THAT would suck...


Carne
Tol Eressea

Feb 26 2011, 10:32pm


Views: 702
I hope not.

The Necromancer should not be the one to capture them.

I'm going to guess they will be chased by the elves, as opposed to the book where they had no idea the prisoners were escaping.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Feb 26 2011, 11:28pm


Views: 701
Why, other than it's different from the book...

which we know the films will be?

I think they're going to have trouble selling the Elves to the casual audience as "hostile isolationists" after the Vulcan-like ethereal Saints, (including Legolas), they were in the OT!

Samuel L. Jackson for Bilbo, Woody Allen for Thorin, Lewis Black for Bard and Gilbert Gottfried for Smaug!

MAKE IT HAPPEN, PETER!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Feb 26 2011, 11:35pm)


pandoraziki
Rivendell

Feb 26 2011, 11:54pm


Views: 675
Elves

I think the certain distrust between Elves and Dwarves is well established in the LOTR as well as elvish tendency to closely guard their well hidden realms. If I remember correctly, the fellowship is not exactly welcomed to Lothlorien with open arms at first, although they have Aragorn and Legolas with them and only one dwarf.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 26 2011, 11:55pm


Views: 666
I will take that bet

Movie one Bilbo track ends with Bilbo on barrel. I have not one guess how they will lay out the Dol Guldur stuff.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 27 2011, 12:00am


Views: 694
I will take a bet on the capture by Elves...

Necromancer is a couple hundred miles away playing with Gandalf and Company.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket


KAOS82
Rohan


Feb 27 2011, 2:43am


Views: 668
cool!!!

I'm just smiling thinking at the dwarves inside
howvere they have to find a big river to shot cause these barrels are HUGE! Laugh

TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA & NIENOR NÍNIEL


Kiwi
The Shire


Feb 27 2011, 3:21am


Views: 638
My Guess...

...is that they're shooting background plates, and the pink barrels – complete with tracking markers – will be digitally replaced in post. The wooden barrels on location could possibly be for lighting reference.

With no actors required on set, and the post-production schedule on these films likely being very tight and long, it makes sense that they'd be shooting something like this at this time.


Vellamo
Rivendell


Feb 27 2011, 1:19pm


Views: 607
Ditto!


In Reply To
I'd crack open the wallet for a couple of cases!

Om nom... Me too. Tongue

Also, imagine what a great market niche ent-draught would have in the sports drink business!


bookgirl13
Lorien


Feb 27 2011, 2:04pm


Views: 583
The Forest River

There are some indications that initially the main water of the Forest River flowed faster than Tolkien's illustration showed, which was closer to the opening in the Lake. The book describes how the water flowed down in haste, sweeping away the casks and barrels, and eating out a wide bay on the north side. So the photographs here are not too far from that image.

Plus of course, PJ loves making things bigger - battles, mumakils, etc - so having a more dramatic scene with the barrels would not be too unexpected.


Vellamo
Rivendell


Feb 27 2011, 2:11pm


Views: 577
Yeah I bet the dwarves would rather fight wolves and gobblins than listen to Eagles ;D //

 


(This post was edited by Vellamo on Feb 27 2011, 2:15pm)


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Feb 27 2011, 3:05pm


Views: 589
One possibility

Perhaps the Elvenking's halls will be attacked by goblins? Bilbo and the Dwarves will take advantage of the chaos to escape in the barrels. The goblins' attack allows for a climactic action sequence at the end of the first film, with Legolas getting a piece of the action. It may also be possible for the filmmakers to also work the attack into Thranduil's motivations for helping to fight against the goblins at the Battle of Five Armies?


macfalk
Valinor


Feb 27 2011, 3:15pm


Views: 557
Flagg, I think your goblin-attack theory is spot on. //

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


bookgirl13
Lorien


Feb 27 2011, 3:17pm


Views: 545
Attacked by orcs

Your suggestion is an interesting way to combine orcs with the escape from the Elves. It would be a climatic end to the first film, and have the coda of seeing the Lonely Mountain as a lead into the second film.

But the inclusion of orcs in this sequence is based on the hesitant context given by the original blogger for the barrels sequence. He was not sure of his facts and therefore could just be mistaken.

I would rather the films followed the book fairly closely. The descent of the Elves on the Lonely Mountain was to gain a portion on Smaug's treasure. The arrival of the orcs meant that these warring factions had to band together to fight a common enemy. I am not sure that additional motivation to fight them was needed by the Elves.


Hermoor
The Shire

Feb 27 2011, 3:26pm


Views: 579
No!

I hope that is not true, they should follow the books. Elves can be selfish too, I would like to see elves acting bad...the contrast between the good and bad sides of the story need to be blurred for more interesting storytelling.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 27 2011, 3:57pm


Views: 558
No...no Goblins here.

The means of escape must be Bilbo-centric.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Feb 27 2011, 4:09pm


Views: 589
A goblin attack does not preclude Bilbo-centricism.

Bilbo could take advantage of the Elves' preoccupation with the goblins to free the Dwarves himself. The sequence could play out fairly similarly to how it occurs in the book. Bilbo would still be the one who uses his quick thinking and stealth to rescue his friends.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 27 2011, 4:26pm


Views: 549
Thranduil's motivations for helping to fight against the goblins at the Battle of Five Armies

The Goblins attack at the Battle of Five Armies. That is Thranduil's motivation to fight. His motivation for being at The Lonely Mountain is a share of Smaug's stolen treasure. He comes assuming the Dwarves are dead.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket


Hermoor
The Shire

Feb 27 2011, 4:29pm


Views: 461
Dude...

The books were never black and white, that is what lord of the rings was criticized for. There is never bad and good guys, just reaction to events. I think it would be intersting to see the bad side of the elves. See how easily their pride is hurt...

The reason the Goblins goes for the treasure should be because of a combination of:

-Necromancer's wishes
-Gandalf killing Goblin King

And also you are suggesting the goblins would hunt them inside mirkwood? The goblins would never enter Mirkwood, they hate the forests. Especially when they are inhabited by elves.

Elves should hunt the dwarves and Bilbo!


Flagg
Tol Eressea


Feb 27 2011, 4:52pm


Views: 415
How about spiders instead of goblins?

That would take care of the objections raised about Thranduil's motivations and about the goblins' aversion to Mirkwood.


sphdle1
Gondor


Feb 27 2011, 6:23pm


Views: 456
Interesting

Brings back memories of when I was a dwarf in the play where I had to roll barrels and say a few short lines.

sphdle1

"You shall not pass!"