Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie ACS has revealed the 3D set-up that is bringing The Hobbit to the big screen.

The long-delayed 3D adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic fantasy book started filming last month at Wellington's Stone Street Studios and on location in New Zealand.

It is the first major movie overseen by Jackson to be shot on RED-manufactured cameras after Lesnie and the director flirted with using the RED ONE on 2009-drama The Lovely Bones.

In an email to IF, Lesnie said The Hobbit is:

  • being shot on 30 RED EPIC cameras;
  • using Zeiss Ultra Primes, Master Primes and Optimo zoom lenses;
  • shooting at 47.96 frames per second;
  • using 3ality Digital rigs.

RED boss Jim Jannard has previously revealed that the production would use its new, smaller EPIC digital cameras, which can shoot at 5K resolution and up to 120 frames per second.

A number of other major 3D blockbusters are also reportedly using the EPIC including the Spiderman reboot and Underworld 4, while director Bryan Singer has said that he will use the cameras to shoot the 3D film Jack the Giant Killer. Last week, the first independent 3D feature film to shoot with the EPIC was announced Hellbenders – using Element Technica's new lightweight ATOM rig.

Australia-Singapore 3D co-production Bait was recently filmed using RED ONE M-X cameras with Element Technica Quasar 3D rigs, supplied by Panavision.

The Hobbit, which will be released as two films in late-2012 and 2013, is again set in Middle-earth, some 60 years before The Lord of the Rings.

The films reunite much of the same team which created the record-breaking The Lord of the Rings trilogy, including Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, composer Howard Shore and make-up and hair designer Peter King.


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  1. (disclaimer: I work for 3ality Digital)

    Just fyi – Spiderman is also using 3ality Digital systems exclusively… between The Hobbit and Spiderman, we have learned an awful lot from the talented people on these productions. For anyone interested, please check out http://www.3alitydigital.com.

    Best – Lucas

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