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Gandalf Has Seen Bilbo — in Three Dimensions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Famed movie blogger Sir Ian McKellen caught a peek of the future of Bilbo Baggins -- in 3D!

    McKellen, the wizard Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy who is repising his role for two-movie saga "The Hobbit," recently stopped by to visit some friends at the films' prodcution offices. While there, he spotted Martin Freeman, aka Bilbo Baggins, trying out his new threads in front of a greenscreen.

    He then did what any blogger would do--he blogged about it:

    I was visiting old friends in the Stone Street offices and heard Martin Freeman was just round the corner by the permanent greenscreen, done up as Bilbo, testing his costume in front of the 3D cameras.  Indeed, there he was in the open air, mostly oblivious to the camera, though turning this way and that as required.  Martin improvised a hobbity gait, padding back and forth, testing his big hairy Hobbit feet, pointy ears and little tum.

    Beneath the shade of a tent, in a sun hat, Andrew Lesnie was remotely controlling the two lenses within the mighty camera which digitally records in 3D.  His screen showed the familiar 2D image but next to it, above the director’s chair, was a large colour screen in full magical three dimensions, much as it will appear in the cinema — courtesy of the spy-glasses that transform the blurred outlines onscreen to the high definition exactitude of the 3D effect.

    Three Bilbos simultaneously, two performances on screen and the actor beyond: which was the real one?  Martin Freeman was transmuting into a character whose reality will soon be as authentic as his own.

    The first installment of "The Hobbit," which also stars Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Saoirse Ronan, among others, is due to be released in December of next year, with the second half coming a year later.