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

     January 22, 2012

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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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