The magic of any film production is that it occurs on the borderline of fiction and reality and a set visit offers a glimpse into the strange, wonderful alchemy that transforms one into the other. What accounts for the sheer scale of that magic when it comes to the set of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey certainly has a great deal to do with gargantuan soundstages, hundreds of costumed extras and intricate, state-of-the-art camera rigs designed to capture images like no one ever has before. Mostly, though, Peter Jackson has found something even bigger than all of that, blending into fantasy the impossible beauty of his entire country. To step into New Zealand is to enter Middle-earth.
Earlier this year, ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to visit the Wellington set of Jackson’s massive three-film undertaking that, at the time, had already been in production for more than 225 days. Unfortunately, much of the actual shooting that occurred during the visit must remain, for the time being, a secret, but they had the opportunity to speak with quite a bit of the first film’s talent, including a number of newcomers to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and some very familiar faces.