November 27, 2011

Where's Thorin?..Is he Visible in Eric's Photo? + THORIN'S DILEMMA: Excerpts--Latest Report by Eric Vespe(see below link) from The Hobbit Set

NEWS: Excerpts from Eric Vespe’s latest report from The Hobbit set. It’s titled “Thorin’s Dilemma”..(Read entire article at below link)

THORIN'S DILEMMA by Eric Vespe...Published at: Nov 27, 2011 11:23:04 PM CST

Welcome back to Middle Earth!..

This day was fairly unique as far as location shooting goes. Typically you go out in the wild to get big establishing shots, which is why a whole lot of the footage I’ve seen so far involves running. With the quickly changing light, fast moving clouds, uncooperative weather getting anything but quick bits is often difficult and will make even the most adventurous director long for the controlled confines of a studio.

However having a real meaty dramatic scene shot amongst this kind of backdrop gives even the most fantastic movie a sense of grounded reality that a stage simply can’t replicate. .

So it was a great pleasure to see one of the location days on The Hobbit that wasn’t an action beat.. The scene shot this day was a hefty bit of character work as Thorin and Gandalf’s friendly consultation turns heated.

.. they were getting close ups, the background barely edging into frame because the focus was now on the drama, not the scenery.

..all 13 dwarves, Bilbo and Tall Paul ride their horses and ponies through some rocks to the hill where the derelict farmhouse sits..Two giant Technocranes were set up to catch this action..
It’s late in the day and the idea is that this is a suitable place to make camp, but Gandalf wants to push on and seek Elrond’s council at Rivendell.

This scene is all about Thorin and my first real chance at seeing Richard Armitage craft a layered performance with the character. Thorin’s a stubborn dwarf, very much a leader, but is smart enough to heed the council of Gandalf.

He is a man torn in this scene. His deep resentment at the elves (he believes they have betrayed his ancestors by not stepping in when they needed their help) pulls him one way, but his respect for Gandalf pulls him the other.
Sir Ian had to be here for this moment since a full performance was required from both men..

Armitage does a great job with Thorin’s inner struggle. The look on his face isn’t someone locked into a decision. Gandalf urges him to seek Elrond’s help, for the good of the quest. Instead of playing it like a stone-faced general, Armitage does weigh his options and mostly in reaction to Gandalf’s words, not in his own dialogue.

In other words he conveys the struggle with his face, giving Thorin a depth I was anticipating. I’m sure the inclination would be for Armitage to play it stubborn and he does, but he layers it with some real emotion.
This location served as Peter’s Birthday spot. The man came to work on his birthday without much fanfare until the dwarves surprised him with their present… a calendar that featured each dwarf in some inappropriate position. Think of it as a Hunky Firemen calendar but instead of hunky firemen it was all hunky dwarves in the most ridiculous romance book cover positions imaginable.

I know of some fans on Twitter that would kill to have a look at that calendar. There’s a mighty large Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner contingent on social media sites I’ve recently discovered.

Since most of the Weta Digital team on the ground at main unit is American we’ve kind of turned the VFX tent into the American Embassy on the set, with discussions of how we’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving and how we miss simple things, like 24 hour stores, free refills, actual Mexican food, unlimited internet and other such American topics.

Read also at below link:  An Unexpected Journey Part 1 – Concerning Hobbiton
 Part 2 – They Call Me Mr. Chubb
Part 3 – Beginnings and Endings
Part 4 – A Palaver of Istari
-Eric Vespe”Quint”

Entire article here

Although barely recognizable in Eric Vespe's panoramic version, can you see Thorin in this enlarged segment?...what to our wondering eyes should appear, but Thorin with his back against the stone wall?

Quote from Empire Magazine article in following July post:

"Armitage's Thorin especially exudes a steely conviction...."





Sue said...

Interesting report about Thorin. Sounds like Richard has created yet another character struggling with his inner self, something he seems to be getting infamous for these days.

I hope his next character is a little more happy-go-lucky with not a care in the world. Would love to have him return as the VOD's hubby, Harry. It must have been like a breath of fresh air, after playing Sir Guy in RH and going around with a face like a "slapped ar*e" to quote RA himself.

Anyone know how long each film is likely to last? I hope it isn't as long as LOTR. I got half way through watching that (around two hours in) and got fed up and switched over. It was just too long (as the actress said to the vicar!!!!)

RiCrAr said...

LOL..haha..obviously not the same vicar as the VoD, Sue;) That actress certainly must be a 'hard' woman to please..(pun unintended until it triggered a snicker)

Can you see Richard in the enlarged pic above? It's a segment from one of Eric Vespe's panoramic photos from the hobbit set.

Yes, Eric's assessment is very complimentary of RA - especially his comment that he isn't playing Thorin as a stone-faced general, but rather adding layers of emotion. Isn't that exactly what RA's fans knew he'd do with the character?

It would be absolutely wonderful if RA chooses a light-hearted role after TH. While typing the paragraph above, I remembered the RH interview when Richard started to reply to the interviewer with the words "I think of Guy as somewhat comment on the acting style please" haha That sweet sense of humor would make for the yummiest romantic comedy in the history of cinema:) *wibble*

Anonymous said...

Heyo! I believe that is Kili in the shot of the dwarves on horseback. Looks much like Thorin from a distance.

RiCrAr said...

Welcome dark-jackal, your comment sent me scrambling to find the pic of all 13 dwarves for comparison.

Doesn't Aidan's costume look to be all charcoal & black shades? unless he has another one with blue in it. I can see a distinct blue color in the actor's costume on the enlarged portion of Eric's photo. Granted the fur doesn't seem to be visible on the photo..maybe it's Thorin's less formal costume, less formal:)

You make a good point as far as Aidan & RA looking somewhat similar. Their beards are very different - isn't Thorin's much heavier and longer than Kili's? Is the beard visible for you? It looks quite thick to me.

Perhaps the pic fragment can be enlarged even more, although that will probably only serve to make it more blurred at this point.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the welcome!
Quite sure about the pic. I increased the contrast and sharpened it here just to make out the forms better

The colors of the promos are darker than for filming. The 3D cameras do poorly at picking up color, and they have to compensate in the real life costumes so that in the final film it will look like subtle shades. Though if you look at this pic you can see there is some blue in Kili's tunic and hood. He also has the same bow and quiver slung over his right shoulder (which is extremely hard to see in the location shot if you're not looking for it). The "beard" is actually hair coming over the left shoulder. Sometimes he wears it pulled back with only the front loose, as the video log shows

And yes, I have spent waaayyy too much time analyzing dwarf costumes.

Sue said...


I can't tell whether the photo above is of Richard with his back against the wall (in more ways than one I think!)

I do believe Thorin's costume is similar to the one worn by Richard as GOG in RH3 don't you think?

I thought Richard did a great job as Harry in VOD and was pleasantly surprised at how easily he slipped into the comedy genre. Maybe a comedy show beckons for the future Mr. Armitage?

RiCrAr said...

Thanks for the detailed explanation darkjackal:)

I've asked a few fans for their opinion whether they believe it's Thorin or Fili - have received a split vote. Someone even suggested it might help to ask Eric Vespe if he can make a definite ID for us. Perhaps he will do that. In the meantime, we know both dwarves will appear in that scene and - best of all - Richard has very dramatic dialogue w/Gandalf.

Very much enjoyed discovering your blog - please drop by for more Thorin discussion in the future. *Thorin Rules!* ;)

RiCrAr said...

Hi Sue,

Darkjackal explained the dwarf in blue is astride a horse, as are all the dwarves in that scene. Here's hoping the man who took the photo will let us know which dwarf is visible in that shot.

Yes, Thorin's costume does resemble GoG's broad-shouldered "American footballer" as Richard described it:) Wonder if he has the same problem needing to enter all doorways sideways as he did for Robin Hood series3.

I'd be one very happy RA camper if Richard would accept a rom com role for his next project. Perhaps along the lines of 'Holiday' - that movie is so romantic and lovely in every way..including gorgeous UK landscape panoramas and the main character's holiday in a cozy cottage. Our fav actor would be so charming & funny in that type of scenario.