When making a major blockbuster, wrapping everything up can go down to the wire.
In fact, in Peter Jackson’s latest production diary for The Hobbit, he said the movie will finally be complete two days before the premiere. (“Hopefully,” Jackson added with a smile.)
Post-production, especially when you’ve got a ton of special effects, can be a lengthy bataan death march, with huge staffs of people, and impossibly long hours. In the latest Production Diary from the Hobbit, Jackson takes you inside his post- production facility in Wellington, and it’s a fascinating look at how it all comes together on such an FX heavy film.
In the studio where the motion capture segments are done, no detail is too trivial to look over. Jackson has reiterated thatThe Hobbit was the hairiest movie he’d ever made, and in the motion capture department, they also perfected the technology of “capturing individual hairs of dwarves beards.” There are several beard techs that are interviewed who have substantial facial hair themselves, and at the push of a button, a CGI beard can go onto the right face digitally in the film. (And wonders of modern technology, it indeed looks very good for computer generated hair).
There’s also a scene that’s clearly a goof where a room is opened in the FX facility, and a bunch of sleeping FX artists in their pajamas and underwear are groggily awaking, but they also show at this facility that if you want to stay over, they can cook you three square meals a day, there’s a massage therapist at the ready, and you do your laundry there as well. (One of the conceptual artists for the film says, “Conceptual artists eat when they can,” while quickly grabbing for some grapes in a bowl).
The diary also goes to Abbey Road Studios where the orchestra is recording the music for The Hobbit soundtrack. Abbey Road is of course the old Beatles stomping ground, and in one moment they show a microphone John Lennon used on a Beatles session.
You can only imagine how crazy it has to be to finish up a huge movie like this, I’m sure I’d be completely terrified out of my mind, but not only does Jackson seem as jovial as ever, but you also get the sense that many working on the film are having enormous fun with it, even though it’s clearly an enormous amount of work. (As USA Today reports, the Jackson FX team went from 150 people on the LOTR trilogy to 1,100 people for the Hobbit).
Check out the latest production diary above to see how hectic and rewarding it can be to help bring a major blockbuster over the finish line.