Archive for the ‘ComicCon’ Category
Benedict Cumberbatch has just officially been announced as attending the 2014 Oz Comic-Con.
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Casting Rumors, ComicCon, Events, Hobbit Movie
For Tolkien fans, 2013 was the year of anticipating the dragon, as fans worldwide grew ever more enthusiastic between the final shot of the billion-dollar “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the opening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in December. The staff of TheOneRing.net has been privileged to participate in many related events, by fans and for fans, and this ‘year of the dragon’ was more exciting than anyone expected! Take a walk down memory lane with us and peruse chapter 2013 of the “fan book of Westmarch” below:
Tolkien Forever “Toast To Tolkien.”
Fans in Los Angeles met at the Cat & Fiddle pub to share a drink and stories of all things Tolkien. The Tolkien Toast is a tradition started by the Tolkien Society to celebrate professor Tolkiens birthday on January 3rd. On that day, fans around the world lift a glass to “The Professor” at 9:00 p.m. local time wherever they may be.
Billy & Dom live fan chat – Merry & Pip reunion special
Our weekly webcast TORn Tuesdays had an exciting January as host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway snagged an exclusive “reunion” chat with Billy Boyd and Dominic Monahan. Dom discussed the launch of his new series on BBC America: Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, and Billy filled us in on the new album, new album, Blue Sky Paradise, released by his band Beecake.
Dylan Sprouse on TORn Tuesday
Another great TORn Tuesday in January included an interview with guest Dylan Sprouse, star of the hit Disney Channel series “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” A Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Award-winner and T.V. star, Dylan chatted about his own, personal love of Tolkien and how generational love of J.R.R. Tolkien is handed down to kids , inspiring them to great things! We hear you, Dylan!
Sylvester McCoy live fan chat
TORn Tuesdays spent a full hour with Sylvester McCoy and he even played the spoons! Of course, he also touched on his role as Radagast, the wizard, in The Hobbit movies. Have a look (or another look) at this great interview.
Kiran Shah live fan chat a week later! (Archive not available)
In early February actor and stunt man Kiran Shah joined us for an exclusive live chat on . Kiran shared his experiences as a scale scale double for all 5 Hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Bilbo) in the LOTR Trilogy and his return to Middle-earth in The Hobbit movies.
Unexpected Art Show – Los Angeles
To kick off TORn’s Oscar Party weekend, TORn held ‘An Unexpected Art Show’ at Lot 613, a blank-canvas special events space in the Historic Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. The show was a unique celebration of artwork from over 30 artists around the world inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Attending in person, and exhibiting their art, were Tim Kirk, who illustrated the 1975 Tolkien Calendar — the first by an illustrator other than Professor Tolkien, and Jerry VanderStelt, an artist producing licensed reproductions for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films. Additional artists include Donato Giancola, Stephen Hickman, and Jay Johnstone.
One Expected Party w/ Dom & Billy and Beecake
Once again, TORn returned to the American Legion in Hollywooed to host the party of all parties on the night of the Academy Awards. Attendees were treated to a live broadcast of the Academy Awards, a photo booth, fabulous food an drink, an amazing auction of LOTR and Hobbit collectibles and the company of Tolkien fans and friends from around the world. Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin, Air New Zealand., Sideshow Toys, The Tolkien Shop, The Noble Collection and Empire Magazine. World-class entertainment at the party included music ensemble Dorian Mirth, Celtic band Emerald Rose, Sir Ian McKellen impersonator Hunter Davis and a grand finale by Billy Boyd’s band, Beecake. Needless to say, a fabulous time was had by all!
AUJ released on DVD
We knew the Extended Edition was coming but fans still bought AUJ on DVD… because we just couldn’t wait to invite Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves into our homes!
DVD press junket (Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Martin Freeman)
While we were all waiting for the release of the AUJ DVD, TORn staffers were able to get exclusive interviews with Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, James Nesbitt and Martin Freeman. In these great interviews, the four talented actors shared their experiences preparing for their roles and filming The Hobbit movies If you listened to them before, they’re well worth another listen. If not, what are you waiting for?!
WonderCon – Anaheim – Panel
On March 31st, at the 2013 Wondercon convention, staffers Garfeimao, Josh and Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway presented a panel
titled: “TheOneRing.net’s Unauthorized Sneak Peek: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Upwards of 600 people attended as our staff showed excerpts from the WB DOS sneak peak gave their insights to the latest Hobbit news and rumors. Feedback from the attendees was mega-positive.
Tolkien Reading Day
On the 25th of March, the same day of the destruction of the Ring of Power in The Return of the King, fans gather worldwide to celebrate the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and read favorite passages to each other. Tolkien Reading Day was started by the Tolkien Society and celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. TORn coverage here and here.
MTV Movie Awards hosted a fan-voting contest for “BEST HERO” and when we first discovered it, Kirsten Stewart, of Twilight and Snow White fame, was so far ahead of Bilbo it seemed hopeless. Beginning in last place, #VoteBilbo captured the hearts of twitter users around the world and, one by one, Bilbo overtook The Hulk, Batman, Catwoman and Ironman and finally led a heated battle with Snow White herself. An alliance was formed with LOTRProject to track voting in real time and while the battle was epic, and Bilbo came out ahead, the biggest reward was the many new friendships forged over twitter.
C2E2 – Chicago – Panel
TORn staffers were crowd-pleasers once again at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in late April. Staffers entmaiden and Corvar offered a presentation and discussion of all things Hobbit and were a big hit!
Adam Brown live fan chat
TORn Tuesday did it again with an exclusive interview with actor Adam Brown who plays dward Ori in The Hobbit movies.
The Fall of Arthur published – New Tolkien book
A rare and exciting thin happened in April of 2013: a previously unpublished work of J.R.R. Tolkien was released: The Fall of Arthur. Like too many of his works, the narrative poem, edited by his son Christopher, was never finished. Still, as it is, it covers much of the Arthurian legend including Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, the sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, Mordred and the tormented Lancelot.
Phoenix Comic Con – Panel
Hitting the con circuit again, staffer Garfeimao brought ‘The Desolation of Smaug: Sneak Peek’ panel to Phoenix.
Trailer 2 released
#Hobbitception Elves reaction video
All the Happy Hobbits, Fili and Kili, set out to do was quickly record their reactions to the 2nd trailer for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” So, still in their pajamas, they set up their camera and started recording their sheer, geeky delight over what they saw. Little did they know that their little recording would be picked up by mainstream news outlets like Entertainment Weekly and Stuff.co.nz. The production and actors also got a kick out of their enthusiasm. From Stuff: “Jackson saw the video and posted it to his Facebook page saying it was “pretty cute”. He then filmed Hobbit cast members Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Lee Pace watching their reaction, saying “here’s what I guess you’d call a sequel to that fan video”. More than 20,000 people liked his video of the video, with many applauding Jackson for satisfying The Hobbit’s avid fans. Way to go, Hobbits!
Emporium of Goods launched
Fans worldwide submitted t-shirt designs for TheOneRing.net Emporium, and we had a tough time keeping up with demand!
SDCC – San Diego – Panel & Booth
San Diego Comic Con was just as epic as TheOneRing.net shared booth space with the fine folks at WETA Workshop and Badali Jewelry. Cosplay was out in full force, impression the likes of Evangeline Lilly, Manu Bennett, and Richard Taylor.
#ThankYouPJ fan video project
The final day of filming on The Hobbit trilogy inspired fans worldwide to say “Thank You Peter Jackson” for creating films we love.
Tauriel “It IS out Fight!” poster
Evangeline Lilly supported our efforts for a 5 Army Solution with an amazing poster designed by Badali Jewelry artist David Powell.
Road To DragonCon
New adventurers Doug, Ryan and Katalena joined the 3rd annual Road To DragonCon, meeting Tolkien fans across the country.
The blurriest pic to ever fire up Tolkien fandom.
S.H.I.R.E Project (Sharing The Hobbit to Improve REading) is a new charitable effort started by TheOneRing.net to provide needy schools with copies of Tolkien’s literature. The inaugural drive exceeded all our expectations so look forward to more book-giving efforts in the future.
Dragon Con – Atlanta – Four days of programming, celeb panels, a booth and an Epic 80′s Dance Party
DragonCon 2013 was yet again, the most Tolkien-centric event in the nation with four days of wall-to-wall programming from the track “Tolkien’s Middle-earth.” With TORn staffers MrCere, deej, greendragon, and Thorongil running the track, running the fan table to sell shirts and to see folks face-to-face and hosting big stars, this year’s edition also drew new attendees from Twitter and social media. The presence of stars was bigger than ever with Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, William Kircher and Manu Bennett delighting fans at multiple panels. In fact, the two dwarf actors appeared on a large-room panel every single day of the convention. But one of the highlights of the week was the first annual Middle-earth Dance Party that created a big stir at a convention with endless entertainment possibilities.
Dragon Con video dance night highlights
Dragon Con ‘Tolkien’s Middle-earth’ track highlights
Baggins Birthday Bash – Los Angeles
TORn’s LA staffers hosted their 11th annual Baggins Birthday Bash in Griffith Park where close to 150 fans ate like Hobbits, drank like Dwarves and generally celebrated Bilbo and Frodo’s September 22 birthdays.
Exclusive set visit reports published
Our exclusive set-visit reports and photos from a lengthy stay with much more to come in 2014
NYCC – New York – Panel & Booth
TheOneRing.net was once again the only Hobbit content at the New York Comic Con and we’re always proud to represent Tolkien fandom! Our booth (complete with a ‘ring’ of dwarves mounted on the top), staffed by Calisuri, deej, Earl, greendragon, ImladrisRose, Justin, and Thorongil drew many folks eager for some Middle-earth goodies, and we were able to satisfy their craving with our own t-shirts and buttons, as well as Weta collectibles.
Sean Astin live fan chat
Sean Astin recalled his time on LOTR and updated us on his life and his projects since.
November brought the long-expected “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” fan event hosted by Anderson Cooper in New York. The event was held live in major cities around the world and also online. Per Anderson: “this global fan event is for fans around the world to ask questions of their favorite Hobbit actors and also to see some never before seen footage from the upcoming film. Go here for the video and a full transcript of this exciting event!
AUJ DVD Extended Edition Bluray release
The release of the extended edition of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in Blu Ray format had fans around the world scratching their heads in confusion: “So, what version is available where and what is included on how many discs?” TORn to the rescue! Our staff put together this comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to help fans zero in on exactly what they wanted.
TORN Book Club – Show launch
November brought about the debut of a new weekly live streaming video chat show for Tolkien Fundamentalists and all book lovers. Sundays 3pm PT at http://theonering.net/live
Premiere – Hollywood – pinch seen ’round the Tumblrs
Although Berlin got the bigger premiere, fans watching Hollywood were most delighted to see a fun moment between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Only TheOneRing.net cameras caught this, inspiring legions of tumblr gifs and validating shippers worldwide.
Plane unveiling – LAX
As part of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s premiere festivities, Air New Zealand graciously invited TheOneRing.net to the red carpet reveal of their new Smaug plane! Joining the Happy Hobbits at the event were TORn staffers Quickbeam & Sarumann, who shared a brief moment with director Peter Jackson and actors Aidan Turner (Kili) and Dean O’Gorman (Fili). Check out the pics and video here!
Press Junket – Beverly Hills
Check out our exclusive “Playlist of Desolation.”
William Kircher live fan chat
Bifur himself stops by and gives the scoop on our favorite Dwarf with an axe in his head.
FORTH EORLINGAS INTO 2014!
“Tolkien Fandom is the most generous, thoughtful and kind fandom I’ve ever seen.”
- Doug Brochu
Posted in Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Cate Blanchett, ComicCon, Conventions, Crew News, Dan Hennah, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, DragonCon, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Exhibits, Fans, Film Screenings, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Nesbitt, Jed Brophy, John Bell, John Callen, Lectures & Education, Locations Sets, Mary Nesbit, NYCC, Oscar Parties, Peggy Nesbit, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Production, Richard Armitage, Ryan Gage, Stephen Fry, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The One Expected Party, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, William Kircher, WonderCon
Forum member Dwalin has returned again this year to give us a thorough review of the second wave of figures from The Bridge Direct. These figures are pretty awesome and, I believe, after reading Dwalin’s review you’ll see why fans are so fond of these figures. Thanks to Dwalin for helping us out with this review.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Bridge Direct, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
One of the most beautiful pieces at Comic-Con 2013 came to us from our friends at Weta Workshop. This statue is a real eye catcher with a great likeness, amazing detail, and a fantastic mix of grace/power. The character that Weta created that mixes all of these together is the King of the Mirkwood Elves Thranduil. This was also a special release granted by Warner Brothers so fans could see the character and start getting pumped for the awesomeness that is to come in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Comic-Con 2013 brought us, at this point, one of the most polarizing characters we’ve seen in The Hobbit Trilogy. Before she ever uttered a line, Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel had fans picking sides. Collectors got a good look at the character when the amazing artists at Weta Workshop unveiled the 1:6th statue of Tauriel. This was a special release granted by Warner Brothers so fans could see the character and start getting us pumped for the awesomeness that is to come in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Late last night our friends at Weta Workshop sent out a special email with information regarding the details on the final new collectible from Comic-Con 2013. The last of the characters fans will be able to get their hands on is the loveable Wizard himself Radagast the Brown. Radagast was sculpted by the amazing Steven Saunders who has already turned out multiple winners from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The Wizard comes in with a price of $275 and an edition size of only 1,000 pieces worldwide, with expected shipping in February 2014. Having seen this in person at Comic-Con this past July I really think fans are going to love having this in their collections. Its a superb looking statue.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
One of the last remaining products from Comic-Con 2013 and one of the Dwarves I’ve been most looking forward to, has finally come up for order. As we know, Gimli Son of Gloin was a member of The Fellowship and had his own statue during The Lord of the Rings statue line. Now, after more than a decade fans of Gimli can add his dad Gloin, who is one of Thorin’s companions in his quest to take back Erebor. Gloin is a limited edition statue of only 1,000 pieces worldwide and comes with a price of $249. You can order him now and expect him to ship in December/January according to his product page. Also, if you’re a fan of Black Friday here in the United States stay tuned to the Weta website for deals starting from November 29th at 12am.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
We’ve started to see more and more products announced and launched tying into The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. One of the companies turning out some pretty cool stuff for film two is our friends at The Bridge Direct. The collectible we’re covering today is Radagast the Brown, from their 6” line of figures. After seeing this piece at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer, I was quite excited to get this; and I have to say this figure lived up to my expectations.
The layout for the box design for Radagast is exactly the same as we saw with wave one of the figures, for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The new figures differ in the graphics, as well as the coloring of the box. The images show the company climbing what I would assume is the Lonely Mountain, with another view of that same Mountain in the background. You also have a blue tone to the coloring, which suggests the darker turn the movie will take, compared to how wave one and movie one matched up.
On the bottom of the box you have a cardboard slip with the character’s name and a picture of the character all rendered in the same coloring. The back of the box has a great little breakdown of the second movie. They not only do this in English but also in French, which I have to say I really got a kick out of. You also get a look at the three 6” figures in wave two: Radagast, Legolas, and Azog.
Radagast is simple when it comes to the number of items you get with him; he comes with his hat and his staff. However, this matches exactly what we see him with during the movie, so you get to create the exact look of what we saw.
The articulation on this figure as a whole is really good. You have great movement in the hands, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. The only area which I found had any kind of limited movement is the head, but that is due to his beard. Overall, you can have some real fun with this figure, creating some of the craziness we could imagine Radagast getting into.
I love the sculpting job on Radagast. I really think the likeness on this figure is pretty darn close to a dead ringer for what we saw on screen. Within the facial likeness, the little bird’s nest is also there and can be shown or not depending on if you have him wear his hat. The detailing doesn’t stop there, as his outfit has some amazing fine points in it, even with little things I didn’t notice in the movie when I’ve seen it several times. Radagast comes with a couple of extras, which are the hat I just mentioned, and his trusty staff with the blue crystal that he uses to save Sebastian the hedgehog.
As I’ve said before in other reviews, the paint can make or break the sculpting work. I really think The Bridge Direct nailed the paintwork on Radagast, giving the character the proper ‘on screen’ look. The skin tone looks like his movie counter part and has a nice natural, alive tone to it. His hair has the proper brown and grey mix as we saw on screen. That’s not my favorite part, though, of what was done to his hair. One of the things I don’t care for with Radagast is the bird poop in his hair – it’s just something I really wish they had left out. Luckily, the way it’s painted on the figure it just looks like a large area of grey hair, and I love it. Much better than what we actually got! His outfit is also painted very nicely, allowing for all the sculpted details to come screaming through.
Radagast is a fantastic figure. You get a great sized figure and tons of detail. You can get Radagast exclusively at Toys R’ Us for $14.99, along with Azog, Legolas, and the Mirkwood 5-Pack. We want to thank The Bridge Direct for this chance to give our readers a look at this pretty cool figure.
Radagast costs $14.99.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Bridge Direct, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
As we march closer to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug more and more products will be announced. Today, our friends at Weta Workshop announced three new products all tied to the character Tauriel. Fans can now pre-order Tauriel’s Bow & Arrow, Tauriel’s Pendant, and the fabulous looking 1:6 statue of Tauriel.
The Bow & Arrow of Tauriel is an awesome looking prop replica of the weapon you will see her carry during the rest of the trilogy. Fans can get this right now for only $350 with an edition size of just 1,000 pieces worldwide. If you order this early you can get in on the partial shipment that is due to arrive in early November.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Hobbit Cast News, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
We recently interviewed Steven Saunders of Weta Workshop who as you know has been responsible for several of the awesome collectibles that Weta Workshop has been turning out. Today, we bring you an interview with another very talented artist who makes her living by helping bring Middle-earth to life. Lindsey Crummett is new to creating collectibles for Weta Workshop but if what we’ve gotten already or saw at Comic-Con is any clue of what’s to come we’re in for a real treat. Some of the pieces Lindsey has sculpted are the Balin Statue, Kili Statue, Bofur Statue, and the statue that stole the show at the Weta booth during Comic-Con Azog the Defiler on Warg.
1. What sparked your interest in art?
I’ve loved drawing since I could hold a pencil. There are some talented artists in my family, so when I saw pictures being drawn in front of me, I became determined to create art as well. I continued to draw from the time I was little, throughout high school, and eventually on into University where I majored in Fine Arts. In University I branched out and began sculpting as well as drawing and painting. I have always been fascinated about becoming better at bringing what’s in my head out into the real world.
2. What medium do you like to work in best (paint, pencil, sculpting, electronic, etc.)?
That is a very difficult question! I have a real soft spot for where I began; simply pencil and paper. As I learned more about sculpting prosthetics I also began to really love learning techniques for creating skin textures through layer upon layer. I came into digital sculpting and painting very late in my art career, but it gives me amazing freedom to be bold like never before in other mediums. So I have favourite aspects to all mediums, but at the moment I am really loving the endless possibilities of digital programs like Z-brush and Photoshop.
3. Can you pinpoint for us any of your work we may have seen in past films or those coming up? Any character or creature design or landscape we might recognize?
Some of my design work can be seen in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in characters like Bofur, Kili, Fili, and Oin. Many characters and creatures have several talented individuals that contribute to the final look of a character. For these dwarves I was involved in the design of their Hair, beards, and prosthetics. I was also involved in prosthetic sculpting for scale doubles, prosthetic hands for the dwarves, Orc Prosthetics, and maquettes for early designs of the dwarven collumns in Erebor to name a few things.
I also had the pleasure to work on District 9. I sculpted on prosthetics for Wikus’s transformation and model made, moulded, and cast the Gas Projector gun. I also helped with model making, moulding and casting of guns in Avatar.
4. What project (book, film, poem, song, etc.) would you most want to help bring to life with your art?
My all time favourite novels are Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. The film Interview With the Vampire did an absolutely amazing job and captured my imagination when I was little it still remains in my top 3 favourite films. In the series, I’ve always wanted to see the second book, The Vampire Lestat turned into a film. It is incredibly epic and spans over centuries- I would LOVE to help bring that to the screen.
5. What tends to be your favorite subject to draw? In other words, if you were offered a million dollars to create a piece of artwork on whatever *you* wanted it to be, what would you create?
I adore any subject matter where you can see the character or creature’s history in its eyes. Anything with depth. Particularly I love predators… tigers, wolves, dinosaurs, these all make me so inspired. I think my favourite subject would have to be dragons, since in my eyes; they are just the summation of all the cool predators that actually exist.
6. You work in a very competitive industry. What’s one tip you have for those aspiring to be in similar positions as yourselves one day?
Persistence and perseverance, both in your artwork and in your career.
7. Do Weta’s artists get to keep a version of everything they sculpt? Say no.1 of every statue? Or would it feel weird to own and display your own work?
I’d love a copy of the piece’s I’ve sculpted! These statues take a lot of hours and time and money, I don’t think it’d be viable to give a free one away to the sculptors. Then you’d have to give one away to the painters and mould makers for their contribution and the company might go broke!
9. If you could choose only one, who would you say is your favorite middle-earth character? And why is this particular character your favorite.
In all of Middle Earth? Oh man, tough questions! …Smaug! (See above dragon comment)
10. You’ve now done several pieces involving The Hobbit Trilogy. What would you say has been your favorite piece to work on or have we not seen it yet?
So far I really particularly enjoyed sculpting on Azog on the Warg. There was a lot of freedom to find a really unusual pose that would be really captivating for collectors. It was the first piece I’d done with that much movement being conveyed, and I really enjoyed that!
11. Following up with the last question. Is there a something you’ve not worked on yet that you would love to work on be it an environment, statue, shield, etc.
I would be really happy with any of the subject matter that will be done from this next film, seeing as there isn’t really any piece I’ve worked on that I haven’t enjoyed sculpting.
12. Could you tell us how you got your start with Weta and what is been like working there?
I started work at Weta in May 2007 as a huge Rings nerd bearing an elvish tattoo on my arm. I was at University when the Rings trilogy came out, and while I was studying to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts in California in 2003, I took a summer vacation in New Zealand where I got a job as an extra being an Orc on set of pick ups for Return of the King. That solidified my determination to one day finish University, move to New Zealand and get a job at Weta Workshop by the time they began working on the Hobbit (which hadn’t even been confirmed yet). Low and behold here I am! I have learned so much from the multitude of talented individuals that work at Weta, and continue learning from them every day.
13. Can you point to any one particular artist who has most influenced you, or the direction your career has taken? And which of your contemporaries would you list amongst your personal favorites?
I’d say Alan Lee, John Howe, and Wayne Barlowe are all artists that inspired my imagination and career choice. I poured over all of their books from a very young age and can definitely attribute my love of fantasy and Sci-fi art to them. I have the privilige of actually being able to say I’ve met all of them as well, and they’re inspiring people as well as inspiring artists.
14. The Lord of the Rings has been around for over 50 years and The Hobbit has been around for over 75 years. These two stories have become huge in many fans lives. When did you first become familiar with Middle-Earth and what have you taken away from reading or watching the happenings in that world?
I’m the youngest of five siblings, and my parents and older siblings all had a love for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy long before the films came out. I’d seen the cartoons and known the story just from hearing my family talk about it when the films came out. After seeing The Fellowship of the Ring, my imagination spun out of control! I don’t know how many times I watched that dvd at home. I loved it so much that it actually motivated me to pursue a career path in art and film. My sister who also lives in New Zealand was on set as an Orc too and met her husband while he covered her costume in mud and fake blood! I met my partner who’s a fellow designer at Weta, whilst working on The Hobbit together. These stories have technically completely changed the course of my life, so they hold a pretty special place in my heart.
15. What is the hardest part for you as a sculptor in order to bring these characters to life? Do you do anything to help make it easier? Say, watch some of the movies to
get things down.
I’d say the hardest thing is capturing the feeling of a character in a pose. If you get the pose wrong, suddenly it doesn’t feel like that character. Yes, absolutely watching the films would help, but at the time of sculpting most of these collectibles, the first film hadn’t come out yet! So I had to go from descriptions of the character and on set photos as they trickled through, taking care not to reference old versions of costume that were outdated. Tricky stuff! In some instances it was very helpful when the actor playing a character would come in to talk about their character and comment on pose ideas.
16. Finally, If you could be any character from within Middle-Earth whom would you choose to be? Following that up why would you choose to be this character?
Well there aren’t a whole lot of female characters to choose from, but I think I’d have to go with Eowyn as I love horses and love that she was a warrior. If I weren’t being gender biased I’d say Aragorn, as being a Ranger he seems to be able to enjoy being apart of several cultures. And he’s just a badass!
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
As we mentioned yesterday the rumors were true and today we got official confirmation of The Bridge Direct’s Wave 2 of figures for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Wave 2 brings us three brand new 6″ figures with Radagast, Azog, and Legolas Greenleaf while the 3.75″ line gets a very cool Mirkwood pack with Legolas, Tauriel, Thranduil, Fili, and Kili. The 6″ figures come in with a price tag of $14.99 each while the Mirkwood pack comes in with a price tag of $29.99. You can find these awesome figures starting today at Toys R’ Us.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Bridge Direct, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again
As you may recall we teamed up with Sideshow Collectibles to give away one of their massive Sauron Premium Format Statues. After many entries its time to finally announce the winner of this contest. The lucky Ringer who will be having one of these 3 foot tall pieces shipped from our friends at Sideshow Collectibles is Ben S. of Gurnee, IL. We want to thank all of you who took the time to enter and be on the watch for the next contest. You can still get Sauron from Sideshow Collectibles and if you’re unsure check out our review of one of the best The Lord of the Rings collectibles you’ll ever find.
Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Contests, Conventions, Events, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Shop, Sideshow Collectibles