Mike Fleming

Peter Jackson has delivered another in a series of video blogs on the making of The Hobbit. This one is a tour of the New Zealand sets where the movie is being made. Jackson has been most generous in letting fans get a glimpse of how he creates the Middle Earth magic. This one, which shows the actors in and out of character and the sets, leads me to wonder: by letting the audience see behind the curtain, is he demystifying that magic at the expense of the film? When I watched this, it made me recall a magazine interview I once did with Daniel Day-Lewis. That actor (who was the first choice for Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings) told me how much he did not like any promotional efforts that reveals the magic — that it’s like a magician explaining a magic trick. Day-Lewis’ process is unique in that he plunges himself into extreme modes of preparation for roles, and then so loathes watching himself on screen (he focuses on the flaws nobody else sees) that the actor doesn’t really get to see the finished product. Still, he makes an interesting point. Does showing the actors as themselves, and revealing snippets of sets and footage rob viewers of the completely immersive experience that made The Lord Of The Rings trilogy one of the great cinematic accomplishments in recent cinema?

Related: ‘Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ To Premiere In New Zealand On Nov. 28

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