Jackson’s “Hobbit” gets personal with fans

For most highly anticipated films, press releases, paparazzi photos, and twitter rumors serve as the middle man between the production and the fans. Not so with The Hobbit. Director Peter Jackson and his team know they already have a fanbase who salivate at the mere notion of news of Middle Earth. With this in mind, the production team launched a blog detailing the experience and progress of The Hobbit.

The blog includes video updates from Jackson himself, casting updates written by the producers, and photos from the set. The most recent entry titled “Production Video #2,” shows Peter Jackson and actor Andy Serkis discussing the process of filming Gollum’s scenes. The site also features many first looks at cast and costume photos, complete with designs from Weta Workshop, the company that designed Lord of the Rings. It’s a simple site, but the blog serves to cut out the middle man and connect the production team directly to the fans in a way rarely seen elsewhere.

Sir Ian Mckellen also blogs about The Hobbit on his personal site, which he calls his “online autobiography.” Here, fans can read about the filming experience in the words of Gandalf himself. Sir Ian also posts photos of the cast hanging out. To fans, the cast and crew camaraderie is an important, heartwarming aspect of being a fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Those who were familiar with production on Lord of the Rings might remember that Sir Ian appointed himself an unofficial script supervisor of sorts, constantly mindful of ways to make the film as accurate to Tolkien as possible. Having Sir Ian back on set and reporting to the fans via the internet is a promising sign that The Hobbit will once again recapture Middle Earth the way Lord of the Rings did nearly 10 years ago.