Is it the Real Deal? – Your Responses to the Controversial Picture of a Hobbit Hole…

by Oct 21, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Altogether, we received quite a few emails, with some pointing out that this photo probably wasn’t of Bag-end. Marcus said, “speaking of gardening, I do not believe this is Bag End, as it does appear to be on the smallish size to be so. It is a set of a Hobbit Hole – possibly the Old Gaffers and Sam’s?”

Me? I think the photo is valid–anybody out there able to verify this photo with an eyewitness account of the set…?

Here’s a sampling of some of the other responses we’ve received.

The shadow falls appear very consistant. What I believe is throwing people
off is the roof and ground slopes where the chimney shadow falls. Also, it
appears that the path has a slight uphill grade from left to right in the
photo. Also remember that they are CG Shinking the actors, so the Hobbit
Hole is big. It appears that they built it for the right size of the Hobbit
actors for better visuals when Gandolf is not present. What makes me think
this is the size of the door in respect to the gentleman who is apparently
working on the gardening of the set. This photo has magenta lines drawn in as
best as possible to show that the shadow fall angles are accurate for each
item I was able to discern a distinct shadow from.

Mr. Mewlip: Looks to me like a legit shot of a landscaper at work during the day… note
the potted plants, irrigation lines, and temporary netting. The organization
of the job is exactly what you’d find in “real world” site. Plantlife too –
the grass above the embankment is a laid sod lawn, the smooth grass below the
fence is seeded.

The shadows issue…..
The chimney shadow is convincingly wrapping around the underside of a new sod
lawn. The shadow near the gate – there is planting going on, I would assume that
means watering is happening. I don’t think that dark area is a shadow – it’s
a wet spot! The fence shadow (texture issue) – the lighting works, since on the left side
it blends with the lighter fence area. The right side is darker because it is
set back from the front. It’s actually behind the foreground fence post. As
for texture; texture detail in shadow areas is always very faint because
there isn’t any light reflecting off of the textured surface.

Micah: the idea that the photo is a fake simply because of the lighting doesn’t
add up. On a movie set, there are multiple light sources, including very large reflectors, to light the set and
the actors evenly. Even in the painting stage, it is often necessary to flood the set with light to see how it
will look on camera.


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