The first Hobbit film was on Xfinity On Demand recently, and became my comfort watch through the month of December. It powered me through the mountain...moreThe first Hobbit film was on Xfinity On Demand recently, and became my comfort watch through the month of December. It powered me through the mountain of freelance work that was due before my winter holiday; somehow the constant blood-soaked roar of orcs and dwarves suited my frame of mind (ah, Christmas!).
I am a middling LotR/Hobbit fan; bigger than some, but nowhere near Stephen Colbert levels. But I like Middle Earth, and I LOVE film-making, and have always been incredibly impressed by the artistry and innovation behind Peter Jackson's LotR and now Hobbit trilogies.
This was a library book, although I'd like to get my own copy. It offers a meaty behind-the-scenes look at the characters and the background work on costumes/makeup/dialect & movement/animation/etc. in the first Hobbit film. The balance between visuals and written content is excellent here, and while some of the commentary is vapid, the book overall is worth buying if you love film production, character development, and/or Peter Jackson and Co.'s take on Tolkien. A sample of what I learned:
* Only four or five dwarves have clearly defined characters in the book, so the writers, artists, and actors worked together to create complex back stories and unique personalities & looks for each dwarf (all detailed in this book). *"We did a lot of research into the facial hair on our women." - Peter King, make-up and hair designer; this accompanied a photo of a female dwarf with lovely downy mutton chops. * High-tech cameras have made special effects trickery much harder; for example, eyebrows now must be hand-punched to look realistic; before they were glued. * Wargs look like dogs, but their movements and musculature were modeled on lions for added menace. * The three voice/motion capture artists behind the trolls also played dwarves. The dwarf/troll match-ups are: Bifur/Tom, Dori/Bert, and Gloin/William. * The end of the book has a comparative scale chart of all the main races and characters. Radagast is 5'4".(less)