The Sunday Salon: The Hobbit Production Video #4

I know I haven’t covered the production videos from The Hobbit since the first one, but the latest shows more of the films than I expected. I promptly alternately melted into a puddle of goo and the best parts of my preteen self—namely, the squealing and the wholehearted adoration. (My friend Natalya and I have already claimed dwarves. She’s got Ori, I’ve got Fili. Expect glitter pen collages by next December, or at least a lady Fili costume.) So I think it’s high time for another incredibly unprofessional shot-by-shot analysis. Take us back to Middle-Earth, Peter Jackson, take us back to Middle-Earth.

  • 0:06 — Bilbo leaning on a tree while the dwarves rush off to battle. That sounds right.
  • 0:17 — The cast playing around. The dwarves look like they’re in their skivvies.
  • 0:27 — Oh, man, the crew, what dorks. ❤
  • 0:31 — GANDALF! (Poor Ian McKellen. I was having one of my “CAN’T ENGLISH” days the other day, and called him Gandalf when I was talking about his role in Restoration.)
  • 0:48 — As much as I’m sighing all over the place that next month is the tenth anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, Jackson’s comment here reminded me that it’s even longer for them, considering how long production was.
  • 0:56 — Gandalf in a pony tail! Looking good. I’m sure this is just so McKellen can get around, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the wizard with this hairstyle in the films…
  • 1:03 — A shot of Thorin’s armored undershirt. He appears to wear it under everything, although I had previously thought it might be fancy armor. This makes me want to have faith in Anne Maskrey, Ngila Dickson’s replacement (she abandoned us for Green Lantern!), but I get the impression that armor is more Richard Taylor’s department.
  • 1:49 — A ruined well on the Mirkwood set? Probably just a neat bit of set dressing, but interesting.
  • 1:53 — Bilbo in the trees at either Rivendell or Mirkwood. When Freeman turns his head, he looks distressingly like Martin Short.
  • 2:19 — Thorin leads the company into battle. Or away from it.
  • 2:24 — …is Bombur holding a toolkit?
  • 2:32 — Gandalf in 3D glasses is never not funny.
  • 2:36 — Well, howdy, Elijah Wood! If you’re at all curious about the bridge between the films, by the way, I recommend you check out this Ain’t It Cool News set report, which explains it.
  • 2:44 — Andy Serkis has such a great laugh.
  • 2:48 — Okay, this piece of music is not from The Lord of the Rings to the best of my knowledge. It’s very short and cuts away to a selection from “Concerning Hobbits”. Is this taken from something else? Some sort of score teaser? (I doubt the latter, although that would be awesome.)
  • 3:12 — The dirty dishes in Bag End!
  • 3:14 — This is either the wine cellar of Bag End or the wine cellar of Mirkwood. The stone walls look distinctly not hobbit to me, so I’m not sure. The shot following includes a rather curvy table, which is more elven than hobbit in this particular design scheme.
  • 3:30 — Martin Freeman, you are perfect.
  • 3:49 — Elrond and the map! Freeman’s wearing socks rather than his hobbit feet, which strikes me as either odd or Richard Taylor having changed that process.
  • 4:29 — Oh, this cast is going to be fun.
  • 4:40 — Bilbo walking out of Bag End and making a hero face. Adventure awaits!
  • 5:01 — Gandalf scratching the rune on Bilbo’s door.
  • 5:08 — Dinner at Elrond’s. Glóin is doing his son proud and being incredibly rude by appraising the glasses. Also: swan dish.
  • 5:11 — Better shot of dinner at Elrond’s. They’ve been separated.
  • 5:15 — Entering Rivendell. I got chills. You never, we’ve never actually seen the entrance proper! And this is the best shot of Gandalf’s scarf, which he left on the cart at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • 5:30 — …is Bilbo eating a banana? Professor Tolkien would not approve.
  • 5:32 — This shot is gorgeous, however.
  • 5:57 — Bilbo’s in trouble. Well, they’re all in trouble.
  • 6:07 — A nice shot of Jackson and the cast.
  • 6:39 — A shot of Mirkwood as it will look in the film, and Ori gets a line! It’s one word, of course, but still, cute.
  • 6:45 — Kili appears to have taken over the role of lookout from Legolas. Thank you, Kili. (Also, you are clearly adopted, you beardless fop.)
  • 6:56 — A very nice shot of Thorin. I know some people were concerned, especially based off the photo of him we were given earlier this year, that Thorin would be too, well, attractive, since Richard Armitage is a fairly good-looking man. But his hair is white and steel grey, and the prosthetic nose certainly helps. He’s certainly an attractive Thorin, but I buy the design.
  • 7:25 — Dwalin in Bag End!
  • 7:27 — Bilbo’s incredibly colorful house coat.
  • 7:43 — Oh, chills, man, chills!
  • 7:54 — Some people are speculating that this random elf getting a fitting is Bret McKenzie (who is reprising the role of Figwit, now actually named Lindir), but I always got the impression that McKenzie was kind of… short? I mean, upon reflection, elf extras were chosen for height and a slighter build, so I probably just have the wrong idea. In any case, I don’t think this guy is him.
  • 8:15 — Dwarf pile!
  • 8:22 — ACTUAL FILM SHOT. As in, this is going to be in the film, barring any cuts. Oh my God. (Also, protecting the hobbit? Adorable.)
  • 10:11 — Title shot.
  • 10:18 — Bilbo gets an accidental kill.

In conclusion, this is going to be amazing.

This week has been an odd reading week. I read The Islandman for class, which was not as interesting as I’d hoped, and I did polish off Goliath, which was fantastic. I’m going to start on A Visit from the Goon Squad, if only to be able to talk to a wonderful professor of mine about a book we’ve both read, and I’m going to try and read The Printmaker’s Daughter quickly this weekend, in between bits of The Vicomte de Bragelonne. I’ll be reviewing it as one novel, but it’s long. Dumas and I understand each other.

Tor Books is giving away five signed ARCs of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamour in Glass until Tuesday. Tor/Forge is giving away five ARCs of Sisterhood of Dune until Wednesday. Author John Lenahan is giving away 20 free digital copies of Shadowmagic to The Literary Omnivore readers; details can be found here. The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) Small Beer Press offers several of their books as free downloads, including Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners. If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!

What do y’all make of the video? Excited yet?

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