For 4 years, ever since The Hobbit was given the go-ahead to start production, and actors were cast – way back in December 2010 – I decided to keep a countdown of the days left to each one of the film’s releases.
The first I ever produced contained 732small boxes (one box = one day), marking the start of countdown (on December 21, 2010) until the release of An Unexpected Journey.
Back then, it was still two films and called The Hobbit: Parts I & II … and there were no official logo titles of either. Hence, notice the use of the graphic featured during the Jackson/Del Toro ‘Unexpected Party’ online chat, way back in May 2008!
Since December 2010, on a day-to-day basis, I have ticked off ever single box as I watched my pen getting closer to each day of release.
In total, I have produced 3 of these sheets and as you may have guessed, completing the first was the most arduous of all.
It is now practically an antique …
During that time, each paper has endured dust, coffee spills and other scribbles. Yet, for every film, that hand-made calendar sheet was always on top of my desk ready to greet me every morning to cancel out another day passed.
Now, with only 73 days left till the third and last Hobbit film (December 12), ticking boxes is coming to an end.
Some may argue that thinking about The Hobbit in such a way, on a daily basis, makes the passing of time feel extremely dragging.
And I wouldn’t blame them.
At times, it felt like an eternity – especially at the start of every new sheet. Seeing all those unchecked boxes was a poor sight – not least, the first two years before An Unexpected Journey.
You look at the countless, unmarked rows and how each row is equivalent to 20 days. You feel desperate and overwhelmed.
Yet, as the days go by and a week turns into a month, it’s a nice sight to see chunks of boxes marked with a nice “X”.
Best of all is when a particularly busy week puts my countdown on hold and I forget to tick off the boxes.
To pass the time, I even listed some other anticipated films in order to break-up the long chain of waiting: thereby creating stages of film release excitement that lead to December of that year.
And now, here I am … with you all; waiting for the final installment.
4 years down the road and 1389 days gone, it’s hard to believe we’ve come this far since before filming began 2011 – when any hope of seeing The Hobbit in cinemas was just a dream.
(My current calendar sheet:
notice the use of “There and Back Again” back in the day when it was still called so)
Remember these days of waiting, for once December comes, you’ll only be able to look back at these times with nostalgia.
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. And I’m sure, you all know too. For we’ve already been through this with The Lord of the Rings.
We’ve got our DVDs and our Blu-rays; and whilst we relish our revisit to Middle-earth, long gone are the days of anticipation and excitement.
They only exist now through the heart and the mind – so make the most of these two months while they last! 🙂