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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Loved the production vid. Except for Gandalf's hat. It will still be Blue, right?


Nov 6 2011, 7:13am

Post #1 of 7 (883 views)
Loved the production vid. Except for Gandalf's hat. It will still be Blue, right? Can't Post

I know some of you will think I am nit picking. . . but the "Tall, pointed, BLUE hat," is a pretty definitive trait for our nearest and dearest Wizard. I understand he is "The Gray" but after an eternity of the hat being blue, I hardly see why it would be altered now. Aside from it being the sole spot of colour in his entire wardrobe, that defining hat also seems very much at home in The Hobbit movies, intended to be somewhat more colourful, and early on brighter in tone than the Rings films. It isn't some obscure point of information either. You don't need to be an Ardaphile to know that Gandalf's hat is blue in hue. The most casual quasi-fans are aware. It is plainly stated in his introductory description in both The Hobbit And The Fellowship of The Ring. . . and its blue in The Fellowship film as well. I wondered if the seeming gray shade might be related to the cameras they are using. I know they were said not to pick up certain colours well, but if that were the case, wouldn't they require, if anything, a MORE vibrant blue for the trademark hat? I don't know. Do you think it will be fixed? Do you know something I don't?

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Nov 6 2011, 12:05pm

Post #2 of 7 (484 views)
I noticed that as well [In reply to] Can't Post

It was gray, and not the blue-gray they used in lotr. They could be taking the same approach that PJ talks about in mirkwood..you could grade the colors as you want them in the post production digital grading. Maybe the cameras, like you say, aren't able to pick up the very subtle blue the hat has in lotr. They probably have done some testing of what colors they must put in later and what native colors they must use to get the wanted color after the grading process.

Social Science's biggest problem, is social science.

"The ring has awoken. It's heard its masters call"


Nov 6 2011, 2:05pm

Post #3 of 7 (410 views)
I know nothing... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but having seen the extraordinary colours they're having to use to achieve normal colour as an end result I'd hesitate before drawing any conclusions about colour from what we see in the production video. They know Gandalf's hat is supposed to be blue and they will be doing lots of work on the colour - that's all we can say at this stage.


Nov 6 2011, 3:25pm

Post #4 of 7 (389 views)
I would imagine so [In reply to] Can't Post

and I agree that colour-grading (of which I too know little), is probably a factor.
After all, Sir Ian is very particular about book details, (see references to the newly acquired 'silver scarf' on his blog). I would imagine that he is the last person who would fail to pick up on the significance of the hat colour - he'll be making sure it's right!


Nov 6 2011, 5:38pm

Post #5 of 7 (367 views)
Alas [In reply to] Can't Post

I had totally forgotten that and didnt pick up on it during the video.

However the cameras they are shooting the film with are not the cameras they are shooting the behind the scenes videos with. for a start the film is in 3D and secondly they dont need the extras in 5k resolution so they wont be using a $200,000 camera for them.

The colour issue they mentioned was with the epic red cameras not 3D in general, the digital capture tended to wash out the reds. Reed is at the opposite end of the colour spectrum to blue, you would expect the opposite effect with blues i.e it everything becomes more blue, so we will probably find the things they do want blue are less blue on set and things they dont want blue will be toned down in post.

Ofc I dont actually know anything about cameras and how they work with colours so this is all a guess.


Nov 7 2011, 12:06am

Post #6 of 7 (248 views)
I think you're on the right track [In reply to] Can't Post

So they can do amazing things in post re: colours.

It is important to separate what they need to do with Mirkwood and what they do with the character's skin tones elsewhere (Dwalin going into Bilbo's house in the vlog).

I think you're on the right track re blue being on the other end to red- if they have to emphasise the red, this means that the blue is heightened.

There was an episode of Doctor Who confidential (basically- a making of for Doctor who) where they showed what they do with the colours in post- it's pretty amazing.

Hobbit firster, Book firster.


Nov 7 2011, 5:55am

Post #7 of 7 (232 views)
Thanks for all the replies, folks, and for your opinions [In reply to] Can't Post

And for not jumping on my head for what some might percieve as nit picking. The blue hat is rather definitive, and though some toy and costume producers have sadly messed up and done it in grey, I cannot imagine the film making that same mistake, let alone an intentional shift, especially after having the hat just right in Fellowship.

Nightingale, your observations are most heartening. And to the poster who mentioned blue being on the opposite end of the spectrum, I think you might be on to something.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


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