November 26, 2012
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film to be shot in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, which results in amazingly sharp 3D images.
Warner Bros Pictures sought out 3D marketing options to convey the experience of this new technology and tapped Nels Israelson for the role. Since Nels had worked on several recent campaigns with the studio, WB was aware he’d been doing R&D on improved 3D lenticular capture techniques. WB’s SVP of Theatrical Marketing Massey Rafani contacted Nels and within a few days he and his team were set up in Wellington, NZ. Nels worked with the actors and 3D specialist Grayson Marshall to create defining character moments within the restrictions of the 3D capture process. The actors had to hold still for several seconds as up 72 perspectives were shot. Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens participated in the photo sessions with on-set feedback and direction.
A total of 34 characters were captured, many in multiple wardrobes, over 40 days of shooting. Nels’ images appear in a variety of media including lenticular posters and a series of 3D covers for Empire magazine. His photo of the lead character, Bilbo, is the primary image for the Hobbit’s theatrical print campaign. Other assets remain in reserve for promoting the next two Hobbit films.