Elijah Wood Talks THE HOBBIT, Filming in 3D, and the Film’s Similarity to LORD OF THE RINGS; Says He Was On Set for a Month

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While at the FX portion of TCA Winter Press Tour, on behalf of his comedy series Wilfred, actor Elijah Wood sat down with Collider for an exclusive interview to talk about the Season 2 return, and what fans can expect after the dramatic Season 1 finale. We will run that portion of the interview closer to the show’s June 23rd return date, but in the meantime, we wanted to share what he had to say about his return to New Zealand for his role in The Hobbit.

Even though he only worked on the film a small amount, Wood was there for a month, which gave him time to hang out in Wellington, New Zealand, catch up with old friends and meet a lot of the new cast members. As a result, he was very excited to see the trailer and thought it was awesome. He also talked about the experience of working with 3D cameras that shoot 48 frames a second, and the advancement in technology allowing them to watch the playback in 3D while they were still on set. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

elijah-wood-imageQuestion: What’s it like to go from a TV show, where you shoot an episode in four days, to The Hobbit, where you’re working with 3D cameras that shoot 48 frames a second?

ELIJAH WOOD: Oh, you know what you’re talking about. It’s all filmmaking, whether it’s on a small scale or it’s on a large scale. The thing that’s great about The Hobbit is that, returning to that space, it’s largely the same group of people who had made The Lord of the Rings – a lot of the same crew members and creative heads of departments, and stuff. I was definitely aware of the fact that there were more trucks now and more trailers, and the production feels larger in scale. On a technological level, obviously that’s a huge part of it, as well. But, at the end of the day, it’s still the same group of people, making it very much in the same spirit as The Lord of the Rings, so that intimacy and that family aspect on set is still the same.

That’s a long way to explain that I think the differences aren’t really that different. It’s still filmmaking. It’s still approaching it from the same perspective. One just happens to be on a much larger scale. But, it’s pretty cool. The technology is amazing. It’s funny, you suddenly just except things. I suppose I’ve been working for a long time, so I’ve seen all kinds of filmmaking. I can fit into anything, and it doesn’t feel that weird or that fascinating. For instance, I was on set for The Hobbit, in Peter’s little tent where he has the monitor that he watches, you’re watching it in 3D. That is amazing, but at the same time, you’re like, “Oh, okay, that’s what we’re doing here.”

the-lord-of-the-rings-image-elijah-woodIt’s an odd sense of just tuning into it and accepting it, but it’s totally amazing. And, it’s really cool to see the 3D on set, and to know what the images ultimately look like. The technology is so good now. I remember, years and years and years ago, video assist was really rudimentary and watching playback was so rudimentary. It only gave you a sense of what the image was really going to look like, especially when you were shooting on film and getting a video feed. Until you actually see dailies, you can’t see what the image looks like. Now, because The Hobbit is being shot digitally, we’re seeing a full HD image, in 3D, pretty much exactly as it’s going to look when it’s thrown up onto a big screen. That’s amazing! And, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. They can do a lot of the tweaking on the day, which is really cool.

Have you finished your part?

WOOD: I’ve done my bit, yeah. They’re shooting until June, I think. They’re on a little hiatus now. I think they go back in February.

You guys all commemorated your experience on The Lord of the Rings by getting tattoos. Did you do anything to commemorate your experience on The Hobbit, or was it just too short?

WOOD: It was too short. My involvement is so small. It was a gift to go back and return. I was in Hobbiton again, for the first time in 11 years. I turned 19 in Hobbiton. I’m 30 now. That put a lot of things into perspective. It was beautiful. It was just beautiful to go back. I only worked a small amount when I was there. I was there for a month, and the majority of my time was just going to set every day and meeting a lot of the new cast members, catching up with old friends, and being in Wellington again. It feels like home, and those people feel like extended family to me. It was such a treat to go back. It was awesome!

Was it exciting to get to see the trailer that was released?

WOOD: It was awesome! What’s great is that, especially because my character is so small in this, I can be completely objective. So, I’m excited to see it, as a fan. I don’t have the months and months of months of hard work and experience on the films, and deep knowledge as to what they’re filming, on a day-to-day basis. I have my own little bit, and then everything is going to be a surprise. I was so pumped to see the trailer. The trailer is awesome. I’m very excited.

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  • dogg

    I keep hearing how much the 3D tech is progressing, then I go and see one and it’s the same old crap.

    • Sam

      Its the 5K resolution and 48frames a second im looking forward to more than the 3D. Its a shame I had to see Fincher’s “Dragon tattoo” on 35mm rather than digital as it was filmed in the same 5K quality. I love the look of 35mm filming but i prefer digital projection unless its full 70mm imax.

    • JerJer

      its all a marketing scheme…

      • KevinIndiana

        You are ignorant to say its all a marketing scheme. Sure they make more money if they slap 3D at the end of a trailer, but 3D is becoming a genuine art so except it. It isn’t going to go away, its just going to get better. Technicolor was bashed when it first came out by the critical audience, and the films made more money if they said “In technicolor!” on an advertisement. When films were given sound, when films were given color, and now when films are given a 3rd dimension, they all have made their mark on cinema history.

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    • Caleb The Awesome

      Don’t tell me what to do.

    • buddy

      My buddy’s step-aunt told me your buddy’s step-aunt was a liar.

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      My llama’s PA’s babysitter is God

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  • Daniel

    Hey, it’s awesome, I think he said it’s awesome, that’s awesome. It’s awesome!

    • Debra de Rodriguez

      And I have no doubt… It will be awesome!!

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  • Mark

    ” It’s funny, you suddenly just except things.”

    except?
    accept?

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