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Happy Birthday to Andy Serkis!

Andy SerkisToday, our favorite master of motion capture performance – Andy Serkis – turns 50!

Born on April 20, 1964, Mr. Serkis has long held a special place in all our hearts. The extraordinarily talented actor was originally brought in to supply the voice of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, Andy became a much more integral part of Gollum’s creation than he could probably have ever imagined. Re-imagined through the use of motion capture technology, Gollum became much more than a digital creation. Those of us who sat in theaters on December 18, 2002, witnessed the birth of a new form of performance. What we saw was Andy, transformed into Tolkien’s iconic character. (more…)

Posted in Andy Serkis, Calendar, Hobbit Cast News, Miscellaneous

Warner Brothers clarifies ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Bonus Feature confusion

DofS blurayWith the release this past Tuesday of the Blu-ray and DVD Editions of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, there was a bit of confusion concerning several video advertisements and the bonus material on the discs.

The videos embedded below – “Beorn the Shapeshifter” and “Laketown – Entering the World of Men”, as well as a “Giant Mirkwood Spiders” video on the L.A. Times website – contained snippets of behind the scenes video and interviews that many could not find of the discs.

Warner Brothers has now informed us that these are promotional pieces created to promote the release, and do not include material from the discs themselves.

The Bonus disc on both the Blu-ray and Special Edition DVD releases do, however, contain the following content:

- Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set (In the Company of The Hobbit & All in a Day’s Work) ~ 41 minutes
- Production Videos ~ 37 minutes
- Live Event: In the Cutting Room ~ 38 minutes
- New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2 ~ 7 minutes
- Trailers & Previews ~ 12 minutes
- Music Video “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran ~ 6 minutes

 

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

‘Lake-town – Entering the World of Men’ Featurette

Bard_Bain.jpgWarner Brothers UK has posted a short new featurette on YouTube showcasing Laketown and Bard. Curiously, while the video appears to be meant as an advertisement for the new Blu-ray/DVD release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the video itself is not present in any of the bonus features on the set.

The same is the case for the previously posted video “Beorn the Shapeshifter“. The Blu-ray/DVD releases do, however, feature an all new 40 minute documentary titled “Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set”. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Luke Evans, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

Beorn the Shapeshifter: Sneak Peek at ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Blu-ray/DVD bonus features

Beorn_Blu-rayIn addition to the featurette posted earlier – showing Orlando Bloom practicing a Laketown fight scene – Warner Brothers UK has posted another sneak peek at the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD releases of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

This clip examines the design of Beorn, with interviews from actor Mikael Persbrandt and Hair/Make-up Designer Peter King.

The Blu-ray/DVD of The Desolation of Smaug will be released this coming Tuesday, April 8. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM, Mikael Persbrandt, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

Blu-ray.com reviews ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ 2D Blu-ray release

DofS blurayBlu-ray.com has posted their review of the 2D Blu-ray release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. High marks are given for both video (4.5 out of 5) and audio quality (5 out of 5) – and we also get a closer glimpse at what bonus features are offered on this Theatrical Blu-ray/DVD edition.

Of particular note is the inclusion of last year’s The Desolation of Smaug Live Event, as well as a collection of trailers for the film (both of which were previously unadvertised for this release). (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ now available on iTunes!

Hobbit iTunes 3The Blu-ray and DVD editions of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug won’t be released for another two weeks – but for those of you who just can’t wait any longer, the film is now available on iTunes.

Along with the film, you’ll also gain access to the bonus features “Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set” (In the Company of The Hobbit & All in a Day’s Work) and “New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth: Part 2″. (more…)

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros.

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ Visual Effects Reel from WETA Digital

The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-FX-046WETA Digital has released a new video on their YouTube channel, showcasing the multitude of visual effects work done on the second chapter in Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy – The Desolation of Smaug.

The elements covered range from the Kingdom of Erebor, Laketown and the Woodland Realm to Smaug, the barrel chase, and the CG character animation. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros., WETA Digital

WIRED goes behind the scenes of ‘Desolation of Smaug’ Barrel Escape — VIDEO

Barrels out of Bond artworkIt became one of the most talked about scenes in Peter Jackson’s second Hobbit film (for both fans and detractors). Now WIRED has posted a new video that gives a behind the scenes look at the construction of the seven minute barrel sequence from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The two and a half minute video discusses the complex editing process as well as the visual effects work done for the sequence. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, WETA Digital

Bringing Smaug to Life: New Making-of video from Weta Digital

headWETA Digital has released a brand new two and a half minute video exclusively to the The Hollywood Reporter detailing the creation of the dragon Smaug. Thanks to Ringers Makaw, Brandon, Will P., and Jesse for notifying us about the video!

The Hollywood Reporter also spoke to Smaug VFX artist David Clayton (who is nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film) about the process of translating actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance into the fire-breathing creature you see on the screen in The Desolation of Smaug. (more…)

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Crew News, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Miscellaneous, Other Crew, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, WETA Digital

Reminder: Rewrite Tolkien February contest ends February 24th

Jane_Austen_coloured_versionJust a reminder to everyone – February’s Rewrite Tolkien contest (The Hobbit in the style of Jane Austen) comes to an end this coming Monday, February 24 at 12 PM (Eastern Standard Time). That means you have just under 3 days to submit those entries – so there’s not a moment to lose!

Contest information and submission guidelines can be found here. Happy writing! (more…)

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit

Oscar winning visual effects artist Joe Letteri speaks with the L.A. Times

Joe LetteriIf you’re a die hard fan of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth adaptations, chances are you probably know the name Joe Letteri. Winner of four Academy Awards, Mr. Letteri has been an instrumental part of bringing the magical world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books to life through the art of visual effects.

Now Mr. Letteri has once again been nominated for his work – this time for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Los Angeles Times’ Cristy Lytal took some time to ask him some questions ahead of the Oscar ceremony – which will be held on March 2nd. Naturally, the interview focused mostly on the creation of the film’s visual centerpiece – Smaug. (more…)

Posted in Crew News, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joe Letteri, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, WETA Digital

How would ‘The Silmarillion’ fare as a film trilogy?

The SilmarillionIt’s the film project that many of us fear we may never see. Yet surely, with time, all may be possible. In this article, Rud the Spud takes a look at how a trilogy based on Professor Tolkien’s The Silmarillion might be constructed – should such a project ever come to fruition – and discusses whether or not it could possibily live up to the Professor’s massive collection of stories. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Fans, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family