No ipads for Hob­bit, di­rec­tor as­serts

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Nick Perry

WELLING­TON, New Zealand — Many fans are ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing a re­turn to the fic­tional world of Mid­dle-earth with next week’s gen­eral re­lease of the first movie in The Hob­bit tril­ogy. Di­rec­tor Peter Jack­son and the film’s stars speak to The As­so­ci­ated Press about mak­ing The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney:

Jack­son on shoot­ing at 48 frames per sec­ond in­stead of the stan­dard 24: “We’ve seen the ar­rival of iPhones and iPads and now there’s a gen­er­a­tion of kids — the worry that I have is that they seem to think it’s OK to wait for the film to come out on DVD or be avail­able for down­load. And I don’t want kids to see The Hob­bit on their iPads, really. Not for the first time. So as a film­maker, I feel the re­spon­si­bil­ity to say, ‘This is the tech­nol­ogy we have now, and it’s dif­fer­ent ... How can we raise the bar? Why do we have to stick with 24 frames ...”’

“The world has to move on and change. And I want to get peo­ple back into the cin­ema. I want to play my lit­tle tiny role in en­cour­ag­ing that beau­ti­ful, mag­i­cal, mys­te­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence of go­ing into a dark room full of strangers, and be­ing trans­ported into a piece of es­capism.”

Martin Free­man (Bilbo Bag­gins) on shoot­ing some scenes with­out other ac­tors around: “I must ad­mit I found the green screen and all that eas­ier than I thought I would.... I found the tech­ni­cal as­pect of it quite doable. Some of it’s dif­fi­cult, but it’s quite en­joy­able, ac­tu­ally. It taps into when I used to play ‘war’ as a six-year-old. And the Ger­mans were all imag­i­nary. Be­cause I was play­ing a Bri­tish per­son. So yeah, I was on the right side....”

On mar­ry­ing his per­for­mance to that of Ian Holm, who played an older Bilbo Bag­gins in the Lord of the Rings tril­ogy: “I knew I couldn’t be a slave to it. Be­cause as truly fan­tas­tic as Ian Holm is in ev­ery­thing, and cer­tainly as Bilbo, I can’t just go and do an im­pres­sion of Ian Holm for a year and a half. Be­cause it’s my turn. But it was very use­ful for me to watch and lis­ten to stuff he did, vo­cal ticks or phys­i­cal ticks, that I can use but not feel ham­strung by.”

Hugo Weav­ing (El­rond) on the dif­fer­ences in tone to the Rings tril­ogy: “This one feels lighter, more buoy­ant, but it’s got quite pro­foundly mov­ing se­quences in it, too ... I think it’s very dif­fer­ent in many ways, and yet it’s ab­so­lutely the same film­maker, and you are in­hab­it­ing the same world.”

Eli­jah Wood (Frodo) on re­turn­ing to Mid­dle-earth in a cameo role: “It was a gift to come back ... what they’d con­structed was such a beau­ti­ful re­mem­brance of the characters from the orig­i­nal tril­ogy.”

Cate Blanchett (Gal­adriel) on the tough­est part of film­ing: “Try­ing to keep my chil­dren off the set.”

Richard Ar­mitage (Thorin Oak­en­shield) on be­ing a 6-foot-2 guy play­ing a dwarf: “It’s amaz­ing how quickly you get used to it. And also, we spent most of the shoot much big­ger than a 6-foot-2 guy. I mean, I had lifts in my shoes, I was wider, I was taller, and big­ger-haired. And I ac­tu­ally think that was quite an in­ter­est­ing place to be, be­cause I do think dwarfs have big ideas about them­selves....”

Andy Serkis (Gol­lum) on tak­ing on the ad­di­tional role of sec­ond-unit di­rec­tor: “There were only a cou­ple of times where there were really, really black days where I went away think­ing, ‘This is it. I can’t do it.’ But on the whole, Pete (Jack­son) was so bril­liant at al­low­ing me to set stuff up and then cri­tiquing my work ... but at least I would have my stab at it.”

On the film it­self: “I think it’s a great story. I think it’s a beau­ti­fully crafted film with great heart. A rol­lick­ing ad­ven­ture, and it feels to me like this really mas­sive feast that ev­ery­one will en­joy eat­ing.”


Se­ries stars Kristin Lehman and Louis Fer­reira on the set of the new CTV po­lice drama Mo­tive, cur­rently in pro­duc­tion in Van­cou­ver.

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