By Aly Semigran
Updated July 11, 2011 at 07:24 PM EDT

Leave it to Peter Jackson to make a Facebook video as thrilling and breathtaking as any of his films.

In the latest behind-the-scenes clip (which was filmed in part back in June) from the set of The Hobbit, Jackson, along with his tirelessly working cast and crew (it will take a scheduled 254 days to shoot both films) discussed what they’ll be doing with their, well, summer vacation. Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellan will be heading back to London, natch, to appear in a play, while Andy Serkis, who is pulling double duty on this project both playing Gollum and taking on the duties of a second unit director (“I’ve crossed over to the dark side,” he joked) will enjoy time off with family. Most of the cast and crew is set to return to New Zealand by Monday, September 5.

Jackson, however, has been busy scouting and revisiting locations in the majestic Southern Alps of New Zealand. In addition to figuring out the logistics of certain locales (the Lonely Mountain should be by itself), Jackson and his crew need to ensure there’s enough space for everyone: The Hobbit cast and crew brings two rugby fields worth of equipment wherever they go, and as Jackson explained nothing can ruin an otherwise beautiful sweeping shot of Gandalf and the elves quite like “20 porta loos right in front of the camera.” While some of the terrains Jackson and co. visited had some unsavory conditions, it still looks like a spectacular backdrop for the story. And as the Oscar-winning director promised, a New Zealand fans have never seen before, “There’s still a huge amount of beautiful locations still to come.” If the promise of more jaw-dropping cinematography isn’t enough to tide you over for the summer, rest easy, Jackson said there could be another video in the coming weeks. Until then, watch part two of the latest video of the filming of The Hobbit.

Read more:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

  • Movie
  • 170 minutes
  • Peter Jackson