The secret diary of ... Peter Jackson

02:00, Dec 07 2012
Peter Jackson had a big week.

Stephen Braunias takes a look at the secret diary of The Hobbit director Peter Jackson.

Stayed up all night editing the finishing touches to The Hobbit: The Journey Begins.

There's a really crucial scene in the Shire which I just had to get right. It's where the wizard Gandalf stops in for a cup of tea, then bids a merry farewell to Bilbo, Bobo, Bono and Bongo.

He waves, and says, "Bye."

It felt contrived.

Called in Fran and Philippa to try and solve it.


Fran said, "What about if he says, ‘Fare thee well, O hobbits, for I must away.' "

Philippa said, "Or he could say, ‘Oh well, I best be off, for fate's fickle finger beckons.' "

We flew in Sir Ian and used both lines with a pause in-between. How to fill that pause? I racked my brain, and then I got the 3-D out and had the pot pouring tea like no one has ever seen tea poured from a pot before, ever.

I was just about to leave the editing suite when I stopped in my tracks. I would have to go back in. I'd forgotten to film Gandalf pouring the milk.

Stayed up all night editing the finishing touches to The Hobbit: The Journey Continues Anon.

My neighbour James Cameron popped in, and said, "What's it about?"

I said, "So far it's about 17 hours."

He said, "Aha. Right. I see a journey."

I said, "A very long journey."

He said, "Of course. But I also see hobbits."

I said, "Lots of hobbits."

He said, "Yes. Because it's about the hobbit in all of us."

I said, "You've got a hobbit in you?"

He said, "Your movie will release it."

Neither of us said anything for a while. It's possible that neither of us had anything to say. But then James said, "Hey, guess what? I've seen 3-D displays on a laptop with a relatively modest plasma size that works quite well. You just have to move your head to an exact spot so you don't get the double image."

I said, "Gee! That's amazing."

Wellington turns on the sunshine for the world premiere screening of The Hobbit: The Journey Never Ends. The capital looks really beautiful.

The stars fly in. Cate Blanchett looks really glamorous.

The red carpet runs up the length of Courtenay Place. It looks really red.

Only pre-approved media are in attendance. Their fawning is really good reporting.

Intermission at the world premiere screening of The Hobbit: The Journey Never, Ever Ends.

Stay up all night plotting and planning my next movie, Tintin.

It's my vision as a film-maker so I'm determined that it's not going to have anything that made the books special.

It's not going to have beautiful and intricate artwork.

It's not going to have the same fine touch of wit and imagination.

But it's going to have tax breaks, Cate Blanchett as Tintin, Sir Ian as Captain Haddock, and Andy Serkis as everyone else.

It's going to be another journey for New Zealand.

» Stephen Braunias is an award-winning writer and author of four books.

The Southland Times