All Hobbit fans who had purchased the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey received an exclusive code to watch the exclusive worldwide sneak peek of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on March 24th, 2013. The event was scheduled for 3pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and was being hosted by the maestro director Peter Jackson (PJ) himself.
It was early morning in New Zealand, when PJ and Jed Brophy (playing Nori the dwarf) welcomed millions of Hobbit fans from around the world. They started out by touring the studio and its various departments where the motion picture was being brought to life.
The first was the department where technical artists were busy developing the movements of Orcs in battle. Electronic nodes where pasted to their bodies as they engaged in coordinating planned moves. The finished product was visible on a computer screen where you could see an actual Orc engaged in battle. I instantly thought of Andy Serkis and how he was perched on a rock with the same electric nodes and was playing Gollum.
Going up the stairs to other departments, PJ showed how he had framed posters of movies he was fond of. They reminded me of the corridors of my Media Sciences school. I had grown so fond of looking at the artwork on the corridor walls.
Smaug was being designed by graphic designers! This was the part I was looking forward to. It seems like Smaug is not quite ready yet, and PJ is very particular about his dragon. One of the versions we were shown looked like "T-Rex with very small wings" as PJ commented comically.
Finally, when PJ and Jed sat down (PJ barefoot, of course) on comfy-looking sofas in a room with a 103" television screen, the bit about answering the video and Twitter questions began. Cast guests came up on video as well which was a pleasure to look at. Merry and Pip were there, asking questions. Orlando Bloom sent in a greet as well. There is a good bit of Legolas that we'd be seeing in the next movie. New characters were introduced. I'm looking forward to looking at the Robin Hood-like character of Bard the Bowman, as PJ described.
There are a couple of locations that I am super excited to see and they have been built for the second film. Mirkwood Forest has been illustrated as a dark, cursed, looming wilderness, and there are underground caverns with Elvish touches. Nobody can forget the grandeur of Rivendell and Gondor, and the horror of Mordor and Minas Morgul. I expect to be blown away yet again by the grandeur of the sets and graphics.
Besides some other sneak peeks of scenes from the movie, there was also a glimpse of the dark tomb that Gandalf goes to explore to find out how the Morgul Blade, sword of the Witch King Angmar, got out into Middle-Earth. I tell you, that tomb is right out of one of my nightmares - winding staircase (square) and a big pit in between which doesn't seem to have a bottom.