A man with dark, unkempt hair and a beard that can only be called scruffy stepped through the rounded doorway. The sand colored walls and wooden trim were dimly lit, although the rounded hallway, or tunnel, from which he had come stretched back to reveal a patch of sunlight. His button down plaid shirt and baggy gray sweater lent him a casual, professorial appearance.
"Hello. Welcome to the first of our blogs on the making of The Hobbit," said Peter Jackson, the director of the long awaited prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The approximately 10 minute video, released to fans via Jackson's Facebook page, had Jackson giving a tour of some of the most iconic sets from the Lord of the Rings, according to Terri Schwartz for the MTV Movie Blog. Bag End and Elrond's Chambers were recreated exactly for The Hobbit, so nothing new there to fans of the Lord of the Rings, but Jackson has also promised new bits of Rivendell in the film.
One new set is partially revealed--the goblin tunnels under the Misty Mountains, where main character Bilbo Baggins has an "infamous encounter", according to New Zealand's TV3 News.
The vlog also gave viewers a glimpse of other behind-the-scenes tidbits--props, costumes, fight-training, and a look at Andy Serkis all decked out in his Gollum motion capture suit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
If that's not enough, fans were also treated to an excerpt from the Maori welcoming ceremony, or Powhiri, that was conducted at the main sound stage on the first day of filming. Although there have been some disagreements between the filmmakers and the indigenous New Zealanders who, according to Blastr, refused to allow Jackson to shoot scenes at Mount Ngauruhoe (which depicted Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings) for The Hobbit, the relationship is apparently still sound.
The Hobbit will be the first film to be shot at a rate of 48 frames per second--double the rate of every movie that has been made since the 1920's, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This will give it enhanced clarity and smoothness, Jackson said.
Only 10,000 screens worldwide have the capability of projecting at 48 frames per second, however, although Jackson hopes that will have changed by December 2012 when the first Hobbit film is due to be released. (The second one should hit theaters by December 2013.)