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McKellen Spots Bilbo in 3D

Sir Ian McKellen Blogs about Hobbit shooting.

By Jarrod Sarafin     March 08, 2011
Source: Ian

Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) and Frodo (Wood) deal with Moria in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING(2001).
© New Line

Leave it to Sir Ian McKellen to give Lord of the Rings fans their first blog from the set of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. The actor who's returning to his Gandalf character has been one of the few who have kept fans up-to-date on what was happening during the numerous delays these past few years. Here, he is also the first to describe what it was like seeing Martin Freeman as young Bilbo in the 3D dimension courtesy of his official website.

I've seen Bilbo — in three dimensions.

I was visiting old friends in the Stone Street offices and heard Martin Freeman was just round the corner by the permanent greenscreen, done up as Bilbo, testing his costume in front of the 3D cameras. Indeed, there he was in the open air, mostly oblivious to the camera, though turning this way and that as required. Martin improvised a hobbity gait, padding back and forth, testing his big hairy Hobbit feet, pointy ears and little tum.

Beneath the shade of a tent, in a sun hat, Andrew Lesnie was remotely controlling the two lenses within the mighty camera which digitally records in 3D. His screen showed the familiar 2D image but next to it, above the director's chair, was a large colour screen in full magical three dimensions, much as it will appear in the cinema — courtesy of the spy-glasses that transform the blurred outlines onscreen to the high definition exactitude of the 3D effect.

Three Bilbos simultaneously, two performances on screen and the actor beyond: which was the real one? Martin Freeman was transmuting into a character whose reality will soon be as authentic as his own.

Sound off with your thoughts on McKellen's reaction down below.


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elrushbo 3/8/2011 9:56:41 PM

Maybe when Peter Jackson is done with The Hobbit he can make the Star Wars sequels, everyone knows he'd do them justice. George Lucas could just sit in the background and collect the cash

mlaforce 3/9/2011 1:22:07 AM

Elrushbo...As cool as that might be I don't ever imagine Peter Jackson jumping on board a universe he did not create. He is one of those guys who has to do his own thing from beginning to end...We all know what Lucas can do even sitting behind the scenes collecting cash, just think back on how much of an impact he had on spielbergs set when filming the last indy movie, it was terrible because of all the input he had...Now if he gave Peter Jackson free riegn to do his thing, then it would be awesome but we all know that's not happening...GO HOBBIT!!!!!

krathwardroid 3/9/2011 1:59:11 AM

Sir Ian's description of htis is making me eager to see Martin Freeman in full Hobbit mode. The Hobbit films will kick ass.

mlaforce: ...I don't ever imagine Peter Jackson jumping on board a universe he did not create. Ahem, he did film the Lord of the Rings trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien created that universe. :P

hanso 3/9/2011 4:22:58 AM

 3D sucks balls.

Calibur454 3/9/2011 4:23:12 AM

The origional lord of the rings trilogy was not in 3d so why bother with a hobbit in 3d as well? I will watch the hobbit but not in 3d

and I have to agree with mlaforce about jackson staying origional. Unless he adapts a comic book into a movie from start to finish I dont see him doing anything thats already been done.

@krathwardriod- I think mlaforce means from start to finish. Not jumping on board at the tail end of a project.

HudsonTaco 3/9/2011 5:32:45 AM

OMFG!!! Enough with the 3D hate, it will be avaliable in 2D you bunch of giant babies. If it was only coming out in 3D then you would have a point, but it will be avaliable in both so shut up already, Sorry about my rant but I hate waking up to pointless bitching,

The Hobbit is my favorte book ever, Jackson is the man, this movie will be amazing.

jedibanner 3/9/2011 6:02:41 AM

The issue Hudson Taco is that, more movies are advertized as 3D and the movies themselves are adapted to be filmed and photographed having the 3D dollar signs in their mind.

And the fact that the ''industry'' is pushing this 3D crap on us means they want to get rid of the 2D eventually. BUt the more the 3D TV's don't sell, the more the 3D movies don't sell out, the better it is for us and that's the point...3D ain't working, it's not that popular and people don't want it.

Ryodin 3/9/2011 6:19:57 AM

I don't know about where you live, Hudson, but here in NYC it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find 2D showings of movies being heavily promoted as 3D vehicles for the theaters. Locally, the huge 3D movies go to the theaters that support 3D, whereas the 2D versions are hard to come by if at all. Say there are 20 movie theaters in total locally (there's actually way more than that), and only 10 of them are equipped with 3D projectors. 8 out of 10 of those theaters will show the 3D version only. The remaining two that somehow have the screens to spare to show both versions, will show the 2D version much more infrequently than the 3D one.

So, I don't mind people bitching about the 3D. I hate it too, and more and more as of late it's becoming increasingly difficult to find 2D versions of a 3D movie anymore in this town. It's very annoying.

shadowprime 3/9/2011 6:42:11 AM


I realize we are all going through the "3D learning curve", and I am sure that, some day, maybe not too far off, we will have a 3D product that is flawlessly clear, convincing, and doesn't require those big chunky glasses. Which may be fun. Maybe.


I guess I am in the cranky minority that just isn't that "into" it, except as a gimmick that applies almost only to action sequences. If two characters are having coffee in a diner, does 3D add much to that (or ANYTHING to that?)? Would the scene of the Joker meeting the gangster-bosses in the beginning of the last Batman movie be better, in any meaningful way, in 3D? When Gandalf was talking to Frodo at the start of the first LOTR movie, starting to figure out the meaning of the ring Bilbo had gifted him, does that scene just scream out for 3D treatment? I just don't see it. Would 3D enhance some of the action sequences in any of those movies? Maybe. Maybe. But frankly, I don't think 3D is 'there yet" - I prefer, sorry, well lit, well filmed, clearly projected 2D to the dim, clunky, wearing glasses experience that is 3D to me.

And I have to second the comment above - there is only so much theater space, the industry thinks 3D is a big cash cow, so there is inevitably 3D/2D competition. You can see the handwriting on the wall - 3D is crowding 2D.


markeetundra 3/9/2011 6:51:13 AM

Dont you just wish they never forced color on us.  Or sound for that matter.  Who needed that crap.  Take them back.  We dont want it

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