Well, what a day it’s been. Mine started late because I didn’t get to sleep until sometime close to 3 a.m. and was in no mood to rise early. Feverish visions of highwaymen were dancing in my head, I suppose. When the highwayman looks just like Guy, this is not a bad thing.
And then, as I was checking email and Twitter, I saw the news: Sir Peter’s latest videoblog was up! I have the World’s Slowest High-Speed Internet (and of late it seems slower than usual) so I had to allow that video to buffer, watching a few minutes, then allowing more to upload . . . it’s tedious, but some things are definitely worth a bit of tedium, wouldn’t you agree?
I was totally wrapped up in this entry from the word “go.” Often, I must confess, I have mainly been eager for glimpses and sound bites of RA in previous vlogs. Well, this IS called The Armitage Effect, right?
But this time was different. Is it due to having followed along on this incredible journey, getting familiar with the faces behind the making of this huge film project?
Perhaps it is due to all the coverage of Comic-Con and enjoying the interviews with RA and the other Hobbit folks.
Maybe it’s just that I am now like Pavlov’s dog and start salivating at the notion of watching anything remotely connected with Richard Armitage, regardless of whether or not he can be seen or heard.
Whatever the reasons, I was excited and enthused by it all from beginning to end. Multiple sightings of Mr. A as himself and in Thorin guise did not, of course, hurt.
Since this odyssey began, I’ve come to feel a great affection, admiration and respect for Sir Peter Jackson and cast and crew of this film.
And this particular entry is less about Richard—more on him later, of course—and more about my general impressions of the vlog and some of my favorite moments.
I am one of those people who actually likes to read all the credits for a film. It’s sort of my way of paying homage to all the clapper loaders, best boys, gaffers, Foley artists, set decorators, conceptual artists, makeup artists, second second unit directors and all the others who combine their talent, creativity and experience to make movie magic happen.
I really appreciate the fact Sir Peter took the effort throughout the eight vlogs to give us a chance to get to know some of these people and to see their dedication and enthusiasm. As I have said, it takes a village to not only raise a child, but to make a fantastic film such as The Hobbit.
Some (though not all) fav moments:
*Seeing that bowl filled with pencil stubs from all the conceptual drawings from the films and hearing the sense of pride and wonder in the artists’ voices when they speak of going from those drawings to walking within the very sets they have designed really touched the artist within me. And their work and the work of the set builders and decorators is phenomenal.
*Watching Andy Serkis in action as second unit director. I’ve been a fan of Andy as an actor for quite a while; now I am simply a fan of Andy’s, period. One could say he’s learned from the best. He truly seems to exude the same sort of boundless energy and enthusiasm for his work that we see in Sir Peter. And he seems truly grateful to have been given this fantastic opportunity.
We also found out he plays a mean sax.
*Visiting the amazingly detailed and beautiful set for Dale. I could imagine feeling transported to another time and place walking through those streets.
*Lee Pace. I really, really like Lee as an actor and an all-around nice guy. It was wonderful to see the behind-the-scenes footage of him learning how to walk and move like an elf. Another tall, graceful, talented, good-natured, shy guy of whom I am very fond.
*Seeing more of the dwarfs. They really do seem as if they had an absolute blast playing these roles, don’t they?
* “I’ve never worked on such a hairy movie.” It does appear there could be yaks with chilblains in the Himalayas this winter.
Seriously, the amount of materials and supplies that went into costumes, wigs, sets and so much more is mind-blowing.
*The camaraderie. I know it’s easy for the more cynical to dismiss those on camera talking of the sense of family and how much they will miss one another as merely part of hyping the film.
I choose to believe otherwise; I choose to believe they really, genuinely have formed bonds and friendships and they will, indeed, miss working and playing together. I know how much I came to care for my co-workers and those long hours we sometimes worked, literally putting out one publication at night whilst working on a special project, having said publication printed three hours away and returned to our offices the next morning—and we’d never gone home yet. Tiring, oh yes—but such a sense of accomplishment and teamwork, too.
(Damn, I am about to start crying. I miss that, you see.)
*The hug of the two sirs. Sir Ian in his Gandalf guise giving a bear hug to Sir Peter. Really touching.
*Seeing all those people in those final shots. A smiling, happy-looking lot of folks, indeed.
*Martin’s comments about “high-quality people.” I think he’s absolutely right. High-quality people creating a high-quality product.
And I can hardly wait to see the end results of the fruits of their labor! And just think, this isn’t the last of the vlogs! PJ is promising more post-production goodies for us. Bless you, Sir Peter. You spoil us. ( And have I mentioned I find you, your cardigans, disheveled hair and generally rumpled air incredibly endearing . . .)