Jun 6 2012, 8:45am
PJ: Hi, so welcome to our new blog. We've taken you away with us on location, but we thought that today you might enjoy having a little look into our studio, Stone Street. The public obviously aren't allowed in here while we're shooting. "Morning!" but we thought it would be great to give you all a private little tour around the world of The Hobbit here at Stone Street and Miramar, New Zealand. Used to be an old paint factory. We got hold of it just before we started Lord of the Rings, we built one sound studio for Lord of the Rings, we built another one on King Kong, and we built a couple more here for The Hobbit. And it's actually a great place to make movies right now.
Helene Takacs: Hi! This is Lot 4, the production office. Come on in. This is office, and our boss, Brigitte Yorke.
Brigitte: ?, must get the ? for Howard Shore.
Billy Connoly: I'm working very hard on this folder here.
Brigitte: Have you got some filing skills?
Uncredited man: It's Top Secret. You can't see it.
Billy: Yes, I'm learning how to open it and close it.
Brigitte: Emma, processing contracts, and the mother frater? of 3-Foot-7. Kate Mulligan will find you whatever crazy thing you need, and this is Rache, she coordinates and distributes all our script revisions.
Rachel Gilkison: Hi there, I've just got some urgent script revisions to go out to all cast immediately so I'm just going to hand these ones over to Mike, he's going to take them over to Jimmy Nesbitt for us.
Mike: *knocks on trailer door*: Jimmy, pages.
James Nesbitt: Yeah, don't look me directly in the eyes. Oh, hello! *looks through pages* Thorin...Bard...Gandalf... *tosses pages* Nothing for me. Come in! And see the world that we inhabit here for the last 25 years. Decorated the trailer with things that remind me of home. Villages, and the seaside in Northern Ireland where I'm from, my horse Riverside Theatre, that was Martin, he plays, um.....one of the characters in this. And there's the main character, me, Bofur.
Luke Evans: Hi everybody. My name's Luke Evans and I play Bard. I'm going to take you on a little trip round the trailer park. We have 21 trailers, where we've been living for the last seven and a half years. This is Aidan, Kili, he's my neighbor.
Aidan: Oh, look at this. Who the hell are these guys?
Luke: I don't know, they're just...I'm trying to show them round. .... Steven?
Steven Hunter: How are you?
Luke: It's a long time we spend here sometimes, isn't it, when they're setting up scenes and things like that it takes a long time, so...
Steven: It's like flatting, isn't it?
Luke: Basically. What's flatting? .... Deano! They keep all the young, goodlooking lads at one end, see. All the ugly buggers, they just don't want to mess with us.
Dean Gorman: *nods*
John Callen and Mark Hadlow *scowling out the trailer door*
Mark: Ooh, that was rubbish! Where's the green ?
Peter Hambleton: Good morning! And welcome to Stone Street, I'm just off to my prosthetics. Morning, all. Ok, so this is my spot currently, with the lovely Rachel. Now we're about to start the process. Come and see me again in a couple of hours, when I'll look radically different. Two hours later...here we are!
Byron Darling: Hey Peter, we are travelling in 5.
Byron: Hey guys, come with me, I'll take you to the ADs Portacom. Home for a lot of us.
Guy Campbell: So down here in the ADs Portacom, we've got 11 ADs who work on Main Unit. We come up with a bit of a plan and then we run it from here. So, on with the show!
Byron: Locations department decided to put some beautiful pictures up of sunny New Zealand. Here in Wellington, we get sunny days, but they are few and far between. We get a lot of rain.
Bombur, getting out of cart: "I've got a wet ass!"
Byron: ...but we also get hail. Lots of hail. Come on in to Block 3, there's some busy little bees down here.
Stunt Portacom - stunties fighting with green swords.
Steven McMichael: Hey guys, how you doin? Welcome to the Hobbit stunt department. I just died. Ok, so this is the intensity we like to bring on set every day. Hopefully you enjoy it. Ok, come on guys, let's go! We're on set, let's go!
Peter King: Hi, welcome to the Hair and Makeup Department. Here we on Day 5,953 of shooting and we're now actually trying to repair the wigs that have been doing the barrel sequence for the past three days. As you can see, this wig's a lovely natural blond colour, whereas the other wigs that I've got here, which have been bleached and so now I have to try to turn these wigs back into this wig. So that's my job for the rest of the day, to get all the wigs ready for Monday.
Ann Maskrey: Here we are in the costume workshop, and we've got racks lined up here for all our dwarves, because we've got to do constant repeats for the stunt doubles, the photo doubles. Then we've got our flesh
factory, where three people have been making the dwarf fatsuit components.
PJ: So this is A Stage. This is the stage that we built in time for Lord of the Rings. It was our biggest stage then so we did things like Elrond's chamber at Rivendell where the Council of Elrond took place. B Stage, amazingly enough, has been used for a lot of shooting. There was a lot of Lord of the Rings; Bag End was built here in B Stage, you can hardly call it a studio, really, it's just an old tin shed. Kind of feels a bit like I'm driving the tram at Universal Studios, I guess. Over here we do have our biggest sound stage, which is called K Stage, K being named after King Kong.
Jared Connon: We've had some pretty big set pieces in here recently. Mirkwood Forest, and some of the Trollshaw Forest scenes. Here we have F and G, these are our two newest stages, being built specifically for The Hobbit. They've pretty much got the latest technology inside them and rather large extraction units for all those fires and flames and smoke.
PJ: At the very end of the studios, is the Art Department, the home of Dan Hennah, Alan Lee and John Howe.
Jack Tippler: Morning guys, welcome to the Art Department. Come on in, I think the Prodcution Designer is in. G'Day, Dan!
Dan Hennah: Hello, dear boy. We've got six weeks and two days of principal photography left. We're shooting the sluices at the moment, which is Film 1 sets. We're very busy.
Jack: And this over here is our Set Decorator, Ra Vincent.
Ra: Hi. Come with me, I've got something very cool to show you. This is my favorite place. It brings into play all of the ideas from all the individual contributors in the Art Department and they get to share all their ideas in here. And this is where the first spark of inspiration begins. ...and in this office is Alan Lee and John Howe.
Alan: I'm Alan.
John: I'm John. Good afternoon.
Alan: We basically sit here all day long doing drawings.
John: Three years of it. Couple of thousand drawings each, and amazingly enough, we're still having fun. We see the light at the end of the tunnel. We thought for a second, "Ooh, it might be a train" but it turns out it's a dragon.
Simon Bright: Come through this way, I'll take you to the Model Makers. Our calligrapher, Daniel Reeve. And this way, to the model makers. So we have many models we have to make. We've done approximately 115 sets to date, and each one of those sets we try to make a model to show Peter before we begin construction.
PJ: That kind of thing is nice.
Simon: We've got this model we showed Peter this morning, there's a few adjustments we have to make for it and then we'll be straight into construction of this. We shoot this in one week's time.
Bruno Du Bois: Welcome ? on the F Stage, come on. That's where Main Unit is shooting today. We're doing a scene here for Film 1, it's a scene in the troll cave. So follow me, we'll come here...Zane, our lovely producer, Ian and Richard leaving, and follow me we'll go on set, but quietly. They are rehearsing there.
Corrin Ellingford: I'm Corrin, I'm the boom swinger, and this is Tony, the sound recordist. These are some of the newer stages, have soundproofing, which makes it fantastic for us, being as there's an airport just over the hill that way.
Ants Farrell: This is the first production that's been in here, and one of the biggest things is this head room up here now so the guys can walk all the way down these walkways without bumping their head on stuff.
Matt Andrews: I'm a specialist roof-dweller. It's handy if you don't have a fear of heights. Very embarrassing if you drop something; cost you two dozen beer.
Bruno: But now we just gonna "Shh!" walk away...they're gonna shoot.
8:53, Martin being pushed in a barrel around the lot.
Dion Hartley: Hi, my name's Dion, I'm Head of Technology on The Hobbit. Just going to show you through my office and my space, known as The Tin Shed. Come on in! We look after the technology. Rigs, cameras. This rig here is a surface rig for shooting on water. Going in the next couple of days to shoot a very exciting sequence with the dwarves. She's all wireless and made here in Wellington over the last couple of weeks.
Dave Brown: Well, G'day! You've seen some pretty good technology back there in the Tin Shed, I understand. Come have a look out here, because this is pretty basic technology. This is where we built a humongous greenscreen. This is called the Back Lot. Now, the Back Lot is where we shoot all sorts of the outdoor scenes. They can be battle scenes, they can be wet sets, and obviously, being a green screen the backgrounds can be changed later on in post production. Have a look down here. Well now you can see we're on top of the green screen. This rig up here is a rig designed by Tony ?, the Key Grip. This rig holds huge shade cloth to block the sun off when we're filming. We don't want the sun coming in and out of the cloud all day. Crikey, what's going on down here?
This is 9-square.
It's pretty complicated.
Get the ball, hit it to the next player, get it out of your square as quickly as possible.
Anything on the line is always contentious.
It's all about attitude. Do not give in, do not make eye contact, make your call with pride.
You lie your way through.
It's always the umpire's call.
The Ref is always right!
All: *can't make this out*
Jamie Wilson: Guys, please, I'm trying to do some...*stabs ball* This is where we store the Lead weapons. You can see a multitude of boxes. Each box is one lead character's weapons. This is Gloin's box of beauties and they belong to Gimli in LOTR and Gloin his father for The Hobbit.
Jamie: They are in fact the same axe, they've just been made in two different sizes. I think we've now reached about four scales for every weapon we make. Probably about time that you went down to see who made all these weapons. Weta Workshop. Very easy, just round the corner. Out the front drive, make sure you take a right. You go past the Thai place, then turn left. Go all the way down the end of the road, don't stop till you get to the end. The road is 90 degrees turn, you need to turn otherwise you'll hit Weta Workshop.
Richard Taylor: Hi you guys, come on in. It's pretty crazy at the moment. Come on down here. It's all cast weapons end up and clean up and this young chap Alec is madly trying to get the axes finished. Bowstrings, weapons lined up for the day's painting. So Kelly's just putting the aging pass on quite a decent croquet hammer. Another painting area. This is models, the milling department, injection molding, out of this gun, spraying, trimming, sanding, *riding white beast - warg?*, engineering, bending, cutting, dyeing, sculpting, mold-making, flashing, baking, foam filling. And then for every one of the lead actors that has a full prosthetic, and of course with Bifur, his axe. We also make scale doubles of these.
Welcome to the Scaley Portacom.
Hi, I'm Cally.
I'm Brendan, and this is Bifur, the hopeless romantic.
Cally: We're scale doubles, so we spend a lot of time being short.
Brendan: We're paid to be short.
Cally: They wanted us for our bodies.
Brett Beattie: Have you guys seen the behind the scenes team yet?
Kiran Shah: I know where they are! Follow me!
Doubles: See you later! Bye!
PJ: What are you doing?
Orlando: I've been filming the blog. It's like a pet project.
PJ: Filming the blog. Well, that's very good, but shouldn't you be killing orcs or something?
Orlando: Shouldn't you be directing a movie?
PJ: Yeah. Right, so here we are at the end of the blog. Hope you've enjoyed this tour around our little world down here in Miramar New Zealand.
Orlando: I hope you particularly enjoyed the camera work.
PJ: I thought it was terrific.
PJ: In fact, I think we should take that wig off and get you behind the camera. I'll take over the role, don't worry.
Kiran: What can I do now?
PJ: You want to be Legolas?
Orlando: Yeah! We should put Kiran on as Legolas!
PJ: Kiran as Legolas. It's a done deal. Hey, so we're going to come back with another blog when we wrap in a few weeks' time, or shortly after we wrap, so look forward to our final blog of our shooting period. Coming up soon!
Orlando: The bitter end.
PJ: The happy end!
Orlando: The happy end!
And...Kiran as Legolas!
"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you." -On Fairy Stories