Remember the halcyon days of the early 2000s when such things as Peter Jackson’s behind-the-scenes video diaries on the making of The Lord of the Rings films seemed shocking and new? That a filmmaker would take so much precious time out of his busy schedule just to let his fans on the Internet know that things were going well, that everyone involved was excited to show you what they were working on, and to see how all the yet-be-seen magic actually worked was basically unheard of back then. After all, YouTube didn’t exist and viral marketing on the web wasn’t really a thing, yet, so making-ofs had been relegated to TV specials and barely watched features on DVDs.
The stir Jackson’s videos caused in the relative digital wasteland basically made him a pioneer for things like the “Lost” Experience and getting Samuel L. Jackson to utter the immortal line “Get these motherfing snakes off of this motherfing plane!” Whether you watched his production diary or not, people seemed to be talking about them all over the net and the real world (though, that may have just been a side-effect of briefly attending film school at the time), and boy did it all make the build up to The Fellowship of the Ring terribly exciting.
Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I had been actively avoiding the latest production diaries for The Hobbit since they began premiering online earlier this year. I did the same thing with most of the LOTR offerings, as well, but mainly due to wanting to be surprised by the movies. Since then, I’ve learned that Jackson is nothing if not a film nerd himself, and absolutely appreciates not unnecessarily spoiling anyone who might not have intimate knowledge of his source material. But I still didn’t want to watch them because, well…
Because there are just too damn many movies coming out in 2012 that I’m already terribly excited for — The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Django Unchained, Looper, The Avengers, etc., etc. — and adding another one to the list just makes me dizzy. But then that trailer hit last week, and now I’m all giddy for a return to Middle Earth, like a hobbit having his first hit of pipeweed after three weeks of “I can quit if I want to” sobriety.
Also, the news is so slow right now… How slow is it? It’s so slow I’m going to use a term from 1998 to express just how slow it is: the news this week is hella slow. See? It’s so slow that it isn’t even funny. But I’ll wager this latest production video, which just so happens to be the last of 2011 from The Hobbit set, will more than make up for my lame sense of humor.
Do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for nosy cubemates who may wonder what the source of all that childlike giggling is. And note that each video is about 10 minutes long, so for those TL;DW people out there, the basic message is “these movies are a logistical nightmare, but they’re worth it,” as best evinced in the first video wherein 13 actors playing dwarves, plus Martin Freeman’s Bilbo and Ian McKellen’s Gandalf (as well as Peter Jackson, and a small production crew) cram inside a hobbit hole to rehearse a scene.
Is it just me, or does Peter Jackson not know what a “blog” is.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He enjoys long walks into Mordor, even if isn’t the sensible thing to do.