EDITOR’S NOTE:This is the first of many set visit reports that will publish weekly from now until the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” We will update this post with photos from the set visit as soon as possible.
Ian McKellen as Gandalf.
WELLINGTON — Thousands of creative hands will have touched “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” by the time it hits movie screens. For those making the film it means long hours, pushing the limits of creativity, people and technology. It is accurate to say every frame is filled with passion, lots of passion.
Despite all the love for the project from every quarter, there is a group that may be the least-heralded, most overlooked, and yet whose passion for the project is surpassed by no man — or woman. They will receive no awards, no fame, no recognition and yet, they loved their work on “The Hobbit,” and legions of fans would have willingly taken their place in a heartbeat.
They are called “extras,” and for these films that meant extra passion, extra time and extra fun.
How would I know? Well, I was one of them!
I am a staffer here at TheOneRing.net (TORn), contributing for over a decade to the all-volunteer, not-for profit website forged by and for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. In that time I formed a bond of trust and friendship with people on all sides of the production.
Warners Bros. and the production team on “The Hobbit,” invited me, as a representative of TORn, to not only visit the set but to be embedded there as a journalist for five weeks. Every working day for a month and a week in 2012, I woke up and reported to set near Wellington, New Zealand where Peter Jackson and his team of filmmakers were putting together the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, “The Hobbit.”
I can hardly believe this happened even though I remember it with incredible clarity. It seems surreal now — as it did every day when I arrived, showed my badge to security and walked into the grounds where Middle-earth would be created for audiences world wide. Each day was appreciated.
They have been holding casting sessions all over the country, including Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Long Beach, and most recently in Phoenix at their Comicon, where this reporter caught up with them. There are two remaining events to earn a chance to be on “The Quest”. The first will be in New York on Wednesday, May 29 at 7pm at Times Scare NYC, located at 669 8th Ave., New York, NY. 10036. For more details and for a chance to attend, look at the flyer image posted with this article. The final casting session will be held at the Philadelphia Wizard Con taking place this coming weekend. For tickets and information about the con, please visit their website at: http://www.wizardworld.com/philadelphia.html
Not much else was mentioned at the Phoenix Comicon event that wasn’t already in the article, except to mention the time commitment. If chosen, you would be given a 5 week block of time to clear, but you would only need to be gone for 3 weeks. The filming will occur sometime during the summer, but not on where it would be, just that you would need a passport. The show will most likely air sometime in the early New Year. The interview process is pretty quick and painless, and the possible rewards endless, so if you live in either NYC or the Philly area, please do try to make it to one or the other.
From the Dominion Post: With more scenes being shoot for The Hobbit’s final two films, Three Foot 7 has advertised on Trademe’s Job Search calling for more extra’s. The application form is available for you to download, print and fill out, again they are looking for people with character faces and if you have already applied you don’t need to reapply as they will have you on file.
Applicants need to be available between this month and August and live in Wellington.
Got what it takes? click here for the Trademe advertisement. [Extras Ad]
What’s with all these new Reality Shows based on geeks, geekdom, and the passion of uber-geek fans? We just heard about THE AMAZING RACE producers launching a new series soon called “THE QUEST” all on the heels of FANBOYS screenwriter getting his new show “GEEK OUT” on AMC. Come with us and explore the next wave of television programming tailored to and inspired by our Sci-Fi / Fantasy audience! Welcome aboard our weekly live webcast (every Tuesday at 5:00pm Pacific Time) filled with all things Hobbity and a good deal more. TORn TUESDAY will begin in less than half an hour, hosted by Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and Justin Sewell, bringing you up-to-date info and all the rumors we can fit into an hour. We have Barliman’s Chatroom ready to go and lots of fun planned on our Live Event Page here. See you at 5pm!
The creative forces behind television’s “The Amazing Race” wants to put Tolkienites, including TheOneRing.net readers, in a competition based reality show with a fantasy flair. TheOneRing.net spoke with casting director Paul Gordon about the new series that is coming to a major television network this year. Expect an announcement and promotion soon.
“There is a potential for people to live out their dreams and we want to give them a platform,” Gordon said.
The concept of the show, called “The Quest,” is to put fans of genre entertainment in a competitive environment tailored to highlight participants’ love of fantasy and adventure.
“It is cool, it is “The Amazing Race” in Middle-earth.”
A “Lord of the Rings,” Executive Producer is also on board. The project has been on the drawing board for a while, but now all the pieces are together – except finding the cast.
“We don’t do profile shows – this is not ‘Jersey Shore.’ This is not ‘Honey Boo Boo.’ The drama here is not, ‘That B!#@% stole my milk!’ There is no contrived drama, we don’t need it.”
Instead, the show wants to find people willing dive in fully and accept the quest to be a hero.
“We want people who are willing to go there with us. We want people who love this stuff. We are definitely looking for personalities – competitive people – not people sitting in a house. You are competing. Where it is LARP or D&D or baseball or basketball, you are going to get revved up.”
TORn tried to find a lead on age or interest or demographic or type that would help land roles but Gordon insisted that on a big network, they were casting a wide net, looking for personality and especially one character trait: “We love people who are competitive – we want this to be important, we want to see them go for it. They might be quiet competitive, might be sneaky competitive, there are many different ways to be competitive.”
He also tried to stress that there are television shows around that poke fun at those invested in niche entertainment and that is not this show.
“Big networks go after everybody (for their audience) and we also look at it as a teaching show. People look at things like DragonCon as unusual – we want people to understand why people do this.
“People laugh at this and say that is not our thing and a lot of what we like to do is teach people.”
“It is so similar, it is shocking to me. It is more familiar than you realize. There are whole sections at Eagles games – people go there and pretend they are something else and think they affect this thing. If they only knew how similar they are!”
Those wishing to enter the selection process can do so by email or by showing up in select cities at early-season conventions to meet with the Emmy winning folks behind the camera. Anybody able to show up in person at the following events, he promised, will be considered.”If you show up to an event, we will look at every single person. ”
The production will be looking in the following cities:
Seattle (coinciding with EMP Fantasy Exhibit Opening) – April 25
Chicago– C2E2 – April 27
Texas – Dallas Comic Con – May 18th
Phoenix – Comic Con – May 25
New York – No event planned yet, will hold VIP invite event for those in the area who apply
Philadelphia – Wizard Con – May 1
This Thursday Gordon will be in Seattle to meet potential candidates, mail TheQuestCasting@gmail.com with the subject RSVP Seattle. They want your name, age, location, a photo, your interest and why you would be perfect for the show.
But anybody in fandom can send in an application to TheQuestCasting@gmail.com, Seattle or no. Include in that email: Your name:
Your hobby/fascination: (Tolkien, Game of Thrones, LARPing, Cosplay) What makes you perfect for a show like this:
If they like what they see, they can schedule an interview or, worst case, they will Skype with candidates.
“We have 13 Emmy’s, nine with Amazing Race. No one (in reality shows) can say that. We are doing award-winning stuff and we never do a show that is fake.”
Profiles Television is behind the show.
So where will all this happen?
“I can’t tell you,” Gordon said, “But it is pretty freaking cool.”
Consider yourself a Hobbit fanboy or fangirl? Then prove it to America, on TV.The first 200 fans to respond to a special email with a photo of themselves dressed as a Hobbit character, will get consideration to appear as an extra in a national TV commercial to be filmed in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday July 24 or Wednesday July 25. (This email address should be used for submissions only. Do not email after you have submitted asking if you will be called for an audition. Only successful submissions will be contacted, so if you are not contacted, your application has not been successful) (more…)
Now’s your chance! The latest casting call for extras has gone out for The Hobbit movies; they are looking for people based in the Wellington area, who are tall and of slender build. That can mean only one thing – more elves! Find details here – and be sure to let us know if you’re lucky enough to be cast!
Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week. If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights. Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions. Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards. Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join in the fun! (more…)
Alienorchid lets us know that The Hobbit production team is once again seeking extras for the films. So, if you’re 17 years or over, legally able to work in New Zealand (ie: an NZ resident or have a work visa) and live in or around Wellington, then this just might be your lucky day!
The casting call is on January 28 from 1pm to 4pm at The Belmont Hall in Hutt City.
Highlights from the Otago Daily Times’ report on the Hobbit casting call that took place yesterday (Sunday 26th September 2011) at Oamaru, NZ:
Hundreds of people of all ages, shapes and sizes came to Oamaru yesterday in a bid to be part of The Hobbit movie being filmed by Peter Jackson… to be one of about 200 extras needed for filming scenes in the Twizel-Lake Pukaki area during November and December.
The casting call was also for “towns people” – men and women aged 30 to 80 years with character faces and men with beards. All shapes, sizes and ethnicities were welcome. That brought out some real characters, especially men of all shapes, sizes and colours of beards, some unkempt through to others plaited and trimmed. Some women dressed in Victorian clothes to enhance their chances of being selected.
They were warned the work was intermittent and often last-minute, work days were “long, changeable” and “patience and flexibility” was essential.
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