Peter Jackson Live-Blogs Final Day of Shooting THE HOBBIT Films


Ever since he started on the first Lord of the Rings movie, Peter Jackson has been wonderful about preparing video blogs of what’s going on on his sets. He has continued this practice through the Hobbit movies, but last Friday he tried something new for the final day of shooting: blogging throughout the day. With pictures!

Here’s his first entry, and a sampling of the photos. For the full day’s entries, which include some really interesting explanations of “music spotting” with composer Howard Shore, a reference to Andy Serkis currently shooting Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (“with Andy Serkis busy being a monkey at the moment”), mention of a “Film 3 extended cut”, and some very cool insights into what a day as Peter Jackson is like, check out Jackson’s Facebook page.

Our last day of shooting.

Ever since starting these blogs, there’s been something I thought I’d like to try one day (as well as answering the other 19 questions I owe you!) – blogging throughout a shoot day in real time. Try to give you all a feeling for what we deal with on an average day.

Today is not exactly “average”, given it’s our last day of shooting, but if I don’t do it today, I never will!

So here goes … I’ll try to update as much as I can during the day. At least with a quick photo. Text will depend a little on how busy it gets.

Right now, it’s just gone 6.30am here in Wellington. I’m in bed, about to get up! I didn’t get much sleep – too stressed about how we’re going to get through everything we need to shoot. I kept running it over in my mind.

We’re shooting scenes for Film 3 today. Stuff you will see in Dec 2014, so I’m going to try and make this honest, but spoiler free.

I’ve been lying here in pitch darkness, watching fight rehearsals over and over again. Our stunt co-ordinatior, Glen Boswell, worked with the actors last weekend, designing some climatic battle moments. He filmed them, and I have them on my iPad, in an application we wrote called “WingNut TV”. It’s a program that allows a huge amount of material to be catalog used and updated each day over the Internet. It contains all our dailies, edited films, previs, music, and much more. I’m looking at the fights, figuring out the angles I’ll need to film them today. A huge amount to do, and it needs to get done.

Our shoot day starts at 8.30am, and is supposed to finish at 7.30pm. I suspect we’ll be working late. Whenever we work a long day, I joke with the crew that I’m just softening them up for when Jim Cameron shows up in Wellington to shoot Avatar 2 and 3. Well … It’s not really a joke.

I’ll try and update often today.

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And here are two more pics that Jackson posted earlier this month, taken on the last day of shooting for Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman, one of which includes the man who provides the voice of the dragon Smaug (and who happens to play Holmes to Freeman’s Watson on Sherlock), Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness).

Hobbit Bilbo and Smaug set picHobbit Bilbo's last filming day

The Hobbit films star Ian McKellenMartin FreemanAndy SerkisRichard ArmitageCate Blanchette, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Sylvester McCoyAidan TurnerGraham McTavishJohn CallenKen Stott, Mikael Persbrandt, Ryan Gage, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ian HolmStephen FryRyan Gage, Conan Stevens, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Barry Humphries and Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released Dec. 13, 2013.

The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will hit theaters December 17, 2014.

Erin Willard
Written by Erin Willard

Erin is the Editor In Chief and West Coast Correspondent for