TODAY | December 06, 2012
>>> as you might expect, fans are anxiously awaiting the release of "the hobbit ," it's the prequel to the " lord of the rings " trilogy. expectations pretty high. that means the pressure's on for the director peter jackson . ann curry traveled to his hometown of wellington, new zealand for a rare and exclusive interview.
>> reporter: you may not recognize his face, but you can't help but know his movies. sir peter jackson . yes, he's a sir, is the creative genius behind blockbusters like " king kong " and " lord of the rings ." now a decade after he directed and co-wrote "the ring's" trilogy, now comes "the hobbit ."
>> why did you fight so hard to keep the filming of this movie, "the hobbit ," in new zealand ?
>> i've always wanted to make my films here. i just regard myself as a new zealand film maker. i don't feel compelled to go somewhere else in order to do what i want to do.
>> reporter: he's been able to build an entire movie-making industry five minutes from his home in wellington complete with high-tech special effect facilities, giant sound stages and a state of the art production house . it's even where "the hobbit " had its world premiere .
>> you were credited with bringing hollywood to new zealand . so much of it wellington is called wellywood. wouldn't it have been easier to go to hollywood than bring hollywood here?
>> not necessarily, it's easier to make your films if you have your own little world. i didn't leave my parents' house until i was 26 years old, and i don't want to leave the country. and if i can make films in new zealand and continue living here, then i think i'm the luckiest guy in the world.
>> the visual power of peter jackson movies have caused some to ask just how did he get that on screen?
>> we came to new zealand to get a glimpse at how he does it. and he took us into a studio and into his world of movie magic.
>> i recognize this scene.
>> he showed us advances in performance capture, which he helped pioneer.
>> as he's moving, that's what's happening on screen. how does that work? exactly.
>> all of these guys are covered in these dots. and you can see the spoon he's got has the points on, as well. so each of these -- and if i take it away, you see, i don't have any dots on me so i'm not being recorded, but the spoon still is.
>> it's floating there.
>> it's floating.
>> jackson also showed us how he captured actors playing characters at vastly different heights. to do that, he invited me on screen with him.
>> oh, you want me to be gandolph. all right.
>> and i'm bilbo and i'm standing here. if i look at you directly, it's not going to work. what i have to do is if i look at the screen and point with my hands and i'm looking -- that's where you are there.
>> i see.
>> so i get a mark up on the ceiling up there. the way that it works, we're being shot with two separate cameras. one camera is a lot lower, so you're immediately looking bigger because the camera's at a much lower height. i'm looking up at you at about there.
>> and i'm looking down at you right there.
>> so this is your purpose.
>> reporter: helped make "the hobbit " one of the most technologically advanced films of our time, building on innovation and creativity he began over a decade ago. he has devoted a fourth of his life to bringing to the screen.
>> reporter: you will have spent 14 years making these " lord of the rings " and " hobbit " movies. do you think you'll look back on these films, these six films eventually as your greatest legacy as a director?
>> well, it's an interesting question, because if i said yes, i'm assuming i'm never going to make anything that people regard quite as good as that. but the realistic question that may well be the case.
>> what a beautiful place. you look at the background, looks fake.
>> it is a movie set . unbelievable.
>> and "the hobbit " opens december 14th . you can see much more of the interview tonight