Back to Middle-Earth with Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson has posted a production video blog about the upcoming Hobbit films: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again.

The segment features interviews with everyone from Peter Jackson himself to the Craft Services Manager (the guy who feeds the cast and crew), and boasts lots of insight into the production and casting process, along with the set scouting and design, as well as many other aspects of the production.

When we watch films like this, it’s quite easy to forget just how many individuals it takes to make a AAA film. You realize a small town’s worth of is actually needed to sustain a production and keep everything working smoothly.

IMHO, the best part here is getting to see the grand vistas of New Zealand. The beautiful country is perfect for Jackson’s vision of Middle-Earth. Videos like this really make me want to visit the country and take a few helicopter tours, just to see all the amazing views.

Jackson also gives us another reason to visit New Zealand, however: Hobbiton is permanent.

Last time, for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hobbiton set was built out of painted plaster and foam, so had to be taken down at the end of shooting. This time, the entire villiage of 48 Hobbit homes is being built of permanent construction grade materials.

True, it’s only the facades of each home as the interiors are build on a sound-stage, but that’s still an incredible feat, and would be an amazing place to visit. Fortunately, the owner of the property plans to keep the facades intact, and allow paying visitors to peruse the film set.

I can see the location becoming a pilgrimage destination for hardcore Tolkien fans over the next generation. Likely, it will bekept indefinitely now that it’s built.

We only recently got our first teaser for this first of the two films.

An Unexpected Journey hits theaters December 14, 2012. There and Back Again arrives a year later.