Comic-Con 2012: Peter Jackson reveals new footage from ‘The Hobbit’
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' (Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)
Judging by the applause, it seems fairly safe to say that when Peter Jackson unveiled 12 ½ minutes of "The Hobbit," many of the patient fans in Comic-Con's Hall H got what they were waiting for.
Before giving them the goods though, Jackson wanted to get one more shot, using his camera to film the entire Hall H while, on the count of three, we chanted, "Hi From Comic-Con!" After which, Jackson said, "No need for take two, that was bloody good."
And without further ado, Jackson asked for the lights to be dimmed so some footage could be screened.
The presentation started with a featurette examining the last five days of principal shooting, an epic that lasted 266 days all told. The featurette starts with Jackson introduces the labor of love, with stunning pillars beside him, and a green screen behind him. This captures the feeling of the shoot, as all the sets were glorious — particularly the giant pile of gold in the dragon's lair — and all seemed to be shadowed by green screens.
There was a lot of footage of the dwarves, in fact, each of them was given a moment to introduce themselves, all while in various forms of heavy makeup and prosthetics. There was a particularly funny sequence where one of the dwarves, hiding in a barrel, is covered in actual dead fish.
One of the cool aspects of filming shown was the way they built the set for Bilbo Baggins' house, using gigantic tables and chairs, in an effort to make the dwarves and hobbits look smaller.
The featurette also showed Andy Serkis's efforts, not just in usual role of Gollum, but also in his new duty as the director of the second unit. He seemed to be well-loved by his crew. But love was pervasive in the featurette, and from the panel itself. At the end of 266 days, there was a lot of hugging, but none that lasted longer than Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Jackson.
The lights came up and Jackson introduced the illustrious panel: Philippa Boyons, co writer/ producer, Serkis, Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), McKellen (who received a standing ovation and the biggest applause of the whole day), and Elijah Wood (Frodo), who upon entrance bear hugged Serkis.
Jackson didn't want to waste any time getting to the footage, but he felt compelled to say that the music was held in place by temporary tracks, as Howard Shore hasn't started recording with the London Philharmonic yet. Jackson also made sure to preface the fact that most of the effects shots weren't finished. And also, as a nice added bonus, not all of the footage would be from part 1, "An Unexpected Journey," but also some glimpses of part 2!
The footage itself starts in the Shire, at Baggins' home, where the dwarves have assembled around a large table. There is talk of ominous signs, of dragons. Gandalf is there, and it is agreed that the time has come to take back the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the treacherous dragon Smaug. But how? Gandalf unveils a mysterious key, which he says Thorin's father entrusted to Gandalf. Now Gandalf gives the key to Thorin.
The crew agrees they need a burglar to sneak into the lair. Someone stealth and courageous. All agree that's not Bilbo, especially Bilbo. But Gandalf insists in a very grand and menacing way. The dwarves agree. They hand Bilbo a contract that includes payment plans and funeral arrangements. Bilbo faints.