Bilbo himself, Martin Freeman, posing for me on the red carpet.
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About 6 weeks ago the folks at Weta Workshop and 3 Foot 7 began hauling props and set pieces out of storage and inspecting them for re-use in filming next week. Most of the principal cast from The Hobbit Trilogy have been returning to Wellington over the past few days (some returned quite a while ago to re-train and get back in shape) to begin filming the remainders of The Desolation of Smaug (to be released in December this year) and There and Back Again (December 2014). The special edition of The Hobbit is hoped to be in stores by the time Desolation of Smaug is released.
A variety of clips (known as pick-ups), unfinished scenes and supplements for the special editions will be filmed over 10 weeks. Filming has been scheduled to begin on May 19. Filming will be intensive, beginning with early-morning make-up sessions at 5am and going late into each day.
Park Road Post Production. Though pleasant from the outside, it's surprising how large it actually is on the inside. This is where much of the work gets done after principal filming. Its closed to the public but I did have a lovely lunch inside with a friend at Weta.
Most filming is expected to be done in studios around Wellington; namely Miramar and in the Lower Hutt. However, the outdoor set for the city of Dale has remained in place on the Miramar peninsula since original filming, and it is likely that some additional shooting will be done there.
The set for Lake Town at Stone Street Studios in Miramar.
Its long been known within Wellington that key scenes from The Battle of Five Armies at the end of the films have yet to be completed. It has been rumoured that men with beards and character faces would be in demand for the battle scenes (further confirmed by last week’s extras casting call), and so all year men around Wellington have been sporting an unusual number of long, bushy beards, in hopes of landing a part for the trilogy’s epic finale.
Cate Blanchett on the red carpet.
I'll just say she looks like a million dollars whether she's on the red carpet or out of the limelight.
Best wishes to my friends at Weta Digital, Weta Workshop, 3 Foot 7 and all the cast and crew. If you happen to be in Wellington over the coming weeks, be sure to keep an eye out for hobbits, dwarves, elves, wizards, Laketowners and a ranger or two...
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