Defending ‘The Hobbit’

Peter Jackson gives direction on the set of elf village Rivendell.

For years, film industry insiders have been following the making of “The Hobbit” with as much enthusiasm as fans of the original J.R.R. Tolkien novel about Middle Earth. As the prequel to the immensely successful “The Lord of the Rings” films, production of “The Hobbit” was mired for years in studio budgeting issues and a changeover of directors to helm the films. Add to that director Peter Jackson’s decision to split the story into three films and to use the new technology of filming at a higher frame rate (double the standard 24 frames per second) and you’ve got a story that goes far beyond the tale of Bilbo Baggins and his quest to the Lonely Mountain. As the cast and crew came together to promote the first of the new series, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” they addressed the choices that went into the making of a new franchise.



Peter Jackson on his reluctance to direct ‘The Hobbit’ after Guillermo Del Toro left the project:

“I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy it, is the truth,” says Jackson, who directed the film adaptations of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” “I thought I’d be competing against myself to some degree. I thought it would be interesting to have another director. Guillermo Del Toro was involved for a while. But after Guillermo left, because of the delays we were facing, it was still another six months or so before we got the green light. During that period of time, I just thought, well, I am actually enjoying this a lot more. … I’d come to realize that there’s a lot of charm, a lot of humor in ‘The Hobbit’ that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ didn’t have. … I thought, you know what? This is not ‘Lord of the Rings.’ I’m not going to try to make another film exactly like that. This gives me the opportunity to do something different.”

Stars Andy Serkis and Sir Ian McKellen defend Jackson’s decision to split ‘The Hobbit’ into three films:

“Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces rather than artistic imperative doesn’t know the guy and hasn’t really examined the body of his work,” says McKellen, who reprises his role as Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings” series.

“It definitely warrants three films,” Andy Serkis asserts about the slim children’s novel. In addition to returning to the role of Gollum, Serkis is  the director of the second unit for all three films. “These films are underlaid and textured with incredible detail. The dwarf characters in Tolkien’s book are very thinly sketched. … Every single dwarf, [in the films] you will get to know throughout the course of this journey… Condensing it into two films seems almost impossible now.”



Peter Jackson discusses using the high frame rate technology, which is a manner of shooting at double the speed of regular film and is said to make 3-D technology easier on the eyes:


“It’s the 48 [frames per second] that actually allows 3-D to reach the potential that it can achieve because it’s less eye strain and you have a sharper picture, which creates more of a three dimensional world,” Jackson says. “The thing to realize about it though is that it’s not an attempt to change the film industry. It’s another choice. The projectors that run at 48 frames can run at 24 frames. It doesn’t have to be one thing or the other. … For me, it gives that sense of reality, or immersiveness, that I love. It makes you feel like you are leaving the cinema seat and actually becoming part of the experience of the adventure of the film.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.