Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Production Diary

Doug Adams, the author of the music of LOTR films, takes the viewer inside the Howard Shore Music Studios in New York. I am a super big fan of the LOTR soundtrack and The Hobbit equals the same majestic sound score. I've always wanted to explore how the music is written, compiled, played, and incorporated behind the cinematography. The production diary, this time, explores just that.
We hear about the process from Howard Shore, the man himself. He discusses how the music of the sequel to The Hobbit expands, similar to the progression in LOTR: The Two Towers. The theme is dark, full of mystery.
Peter Jackson and Howard Shore sit together and collaborate their view points while a scene plays before them. PJ directs the mood and feel of the music. Once Shore composes a piece, it is printed to be sent to the orchestra to be played, and then to production to be incorporated into the movie.
PJ speaks in the diary from Wellington Town Hall where a fabulous orchestra is set to record the phenomenal music score. I adore how the Director sits on a prime sofa, barefoot, in the Control Room directing everything while the orchestra plays Shore's compositions. This guy has such a dynamic filmmaking mind. Conrad Pope, the fellow whose commanding the orchestra, explains how PJ can switch from listening to the music to thinking movie editing and working simultaneously on musical score and editing to view the big picture of the finished effect in his mind. In fact, he's working on editing the third Hobbit movie at the same time.
Haha! Merry and Pip are there too!
Conrad Pope, the commander of the orchestra, is a pretty good humor end fellow and I actually wanted to be a violinist suddenly. He's bringing personality and feel to the music, motivating the players at every track. Page after page they play, Howard Shore's masterpieces.
There are several themes to Shore's music but they remain around the basic feel of Middle Earth. Each character has its own theme, even places have their own musical theme. The main theme of Smaug is sinister, and psychological - as Shore describes. I was totally waiting for this one. The music for Smaug takes an Eastern twist. I felt like listening to something that would play behind a Sindbad movie, Arabian Nights, or so. Some very interesting musical instruments, even weird ones, were experimented with and used.
At the end of the deal, PJ humbly steps up and thanks the orchestra for making "our movie sound so incredibly good" - that is always super sweet of this guy. He loves his team.
This was the last production blog of 2013. I remember last year when I watched PJ's last blog of 2012  when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was being filmed. It was super emotional!
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug has already released and I watched the last video late. I haven't seen the movie, but I know I am going to and I'll be going overboard with tears at the cinema.
"See you in 2014" as PJ said at the end of the blog.

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