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Production has started on The Hobbit and director Peter Jackson presents his first video blog from the set in New Zeeland. Feels like visiting a good old friend.

Read more below:

“Director Peter Jackson’s first video blog from the New Zealand set of The Hobbit. The ten minute video takes us into Hobbiton and Rivendell, and shows some very cool, behind-the-scenes footage of costume creation, set construction and a peek at some cast members including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman.”

An interesting fact is that Peter Jackson is shooting The Hobbit with similar 3D technology as James Cameron used in Avatar and is also shooting the movie in 48 frames per second instead of the usual 24 frames per second. The reason behind this is because it will give the movie a much more realistic and clearer picture. James Cameron, who convinced Peter Jackson to shoot The Hobbit this way, described it as:  “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality.”

Peter Jackson also give this explanation to why he made the choice of shooting in 48 fps:

“Film purists will criticize the lack of blur and strobing artifacts, but all of our crew–many of whom are film purists–are now converts. You get used to this new look very quickly and it becomes a much more lifelike and comfortable viewing experience. It’s similar to the moment when vinyl records were supplanted by digital CDs. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re heading towards movies being shot and projected at higher frame rates.

Warner Bros. have been very supportive, and allowed us to start shooting THE HOBBIT at 48 fps, despite there never having been a wide release feature film filmed at this higher frame rate.

We are hopeful that there will be enough theaters capable of projecting 48 fps by the time The Hobbit comes out where we can seriously explore that possibility with Warner Bros. However, while it’s predicted that there may be over 10,000 screens capable of projecting THE HOBBIT at 48 fps by our release date in Dec, 2012, we don’t yet know what the reality will be. It is a situation we will all be monitoring carefully.

I see it as a way of future-proofing THE HOBBIT. Take it from me–if we do release in 48 fps, those are the cinemas you should watch the movie in. It will look terrific!”