'The Hobbit': Peter Jackson posts first video from set, activates our geek receptors

the-hobbit-ian-mckellen-peter-jackson.jpg "The Hobbit" has started production in New Zealand, which is good news for the "Lord of the Rings"-loving masses.

Even better news: Director Peter Jackson is once again providing updates from the set, complete with high-definition video.

Jackson's first video, a walkthrough of several "Hobbit" sets and behind-the-scenes preparations, has us starting to count the days until December 2012, when the first of the two-part story is scheduled for release. He takes us through some familiar sets from the "Lord of the Rings" movies -- Bilbo's home at Bag End, Rivendell -- and shows us a little bit of the work going on in the costume shop.

You'll also see shots of fight preparation, an actor in full dwarf regalia (with his back to the camera, unfortunately) discussing a bit of action and a little bit of blocking with Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and other cast members gathering around Bilbo's table. Jackson is also an excellent tour guide -- he's every bit as excited to be making the movie as fans are.

The release of "The Hobbit: Part 1" is just a little under 19 months away. Here's Jackson's dispatch from the set:

Photo/Video credit: Peter Jackson