New TV Spot for THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY; Peter Jackson Talks Smaug and Prosthetic vs Digital Creature Design in Interview

     November 29, 2012


A new TV spot for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has gone online. It features Ian Holm reprising his role as an older Bilbo Baggins. Seen with Elijah Wood, this short spot gives us a glimpse at what is likely to be an opening scene from the picture. If you want more in depth information about The Hobbit trilogy, director Peter Jackson previously recorded a video interview in which he discusses creature designs for the orcs, goblins and a bit about the cameo of the dragon, Smaug, who will briefly appear in the first film. The discussion is well-timed, since The Hobbit was just announced at having earned a VFX Oscar nomination.

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Hugo Weaving, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14th. Hit the jump to watch the new TV spot and to read up on what Jackson had to say. 

Check out the newest TV spot for The Hobbit below:

In an interview recorded at Comic-Con with LA Times’ Hero Complex, Jackson talked about not only the creature design for the humanoid orcs, trolls and goblins, but about achieving an appropriate design for Smaug as well. Be sure to head over to the link for the full three-part interview.

the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-trollJackson commented on the challenges of prosthetic make-up vs digital effects, including a note about the high frame rate of 48fps:

“Prosthetic makeup is always frustrating. At the end of the day, if you want the character to talk, which a lot of the Orcs and goblins do, you can design the most incredible prosthetics, but you’ve still got eyes where the eyes have to be and the mouth where the mouth has to be. That human triangle, two eyes and a mouth, is very difficult to disguise, no matter what you do with the ears and heads and chins and noses.

One of the things we’re doing on ‘The Hobbit’ — which is definitely technology that we have available now that we didn’t have 10 years ago — we often shoot the Orcs as people in suits but they just have a leotard on their head with motion capture dots on it. A lot of the Orcs even though they’re played by performers, the makeup is going to be CG makeup, which allows me to put their eyes further apart. They can open their mouths and scream in a much more dynamic way than they ever could.”

On the topic of designing dragons:

“The trouble with redesigning dragons I’ve found is… you very quickly can go into science fiction territory, and I don’t want to do that. I want to present the most venal, scary, decrepit, nasty dragon I possibly can.”



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