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Peter Jackson talks ‘Hobbit: BotFA’ and all Middle-earth with TheOneRing.net

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MIRAMAR, New Zealand — The director’s tent. Inside a sound stage or outside on location, it is a constant and central fixture on a movie shoot. It is home base for Peter Jackson and his team.

It is sacred ground – well almost.

The decisions made inside it, by the team, under Jackson’s direction, are crucial to the project where it is determined what will later happen in front of the camera.

So every day, whatever happens to a set or a soundstage overnight, the tent is there set up and waiting for the core of the shooting unit.

Editor Jabez Olssen, Script Supervisor Victoria Sullivan and First Assistant Director Carolynne Cunningham call it home during the shoot. Cunningham is out a lot, Olssen and Sullivan less so and Producer Zane Weiner is always near. Jackson’s assistant Sebastian Meek is in and out at all times, bringing badly needed tea and watching the door from outside to eliminate distractions inside.

Jackson lives on tea and Meek has a talent for having it handy at the perfect moment.

Jackson7SETTING THE SCENE

In April, 2012, as a representative of fandom via TheOneRing.net, to be on set during five weeks of the filming of the Hobbit films. At the time, it was still scheduled to be two movies and the production had just settled in to shoot in studio instead of on location. Much was unknown then, that now is completely familiar to fans.

When I first arrived at Stone Street Studios, the publicity team took me to set, showed me the ropes and left me to my own devices during the rest of my stay to meet folks and get interviews, which was great. No time and no need for babysitting.

I was there to be a good guest and to observe. Two weeks later I was definitely convinced I had no chance of talking to Peter Jackson, except for an occasional, “Hello, how are you getting on?” from him during my time there.

Fans world-wide know from production diaries, how exhausted Jackson gets during the shooting phase of filmmaking. It is important to really understand why.

Peter Jackson is a busy guy. Particularly when he is shooting, there is a lot to do in a day and a lot of people that need to understand his vision in order to do their jobs well; he is the hub of the great spinning wheel.

Peter JacksonHe is the director, a writer and a producer — each a big job on its own. Many films have one of each of those, or several of some, all working together. But Jackson was all of them at once and combining titles didn’t mean there was less work to be done. Just because he was reviewing shots didn’t mean the script didn’t need his touch or that the art department didn’t need his input as a director or the next day’s schedule didn’t need approval. Others were partners on all of these fronts but they also required Jackson.

In a day he might need to meet with the effects supervisor, set designers, concept designers, costume designers, the composer or see actual costumes for approval or changes to name just a few of the many things that require his time. He will confirm the schedule with his Assistant Director, producers and spend time with the Second Unit Director Andy Serkis to make sure all is to his liking. They need sets built, greens grown, sets decorated, concept guys working ahead, materials guys building everything, maximizing actors’ time, feeding all of those people, screening extras, bringing in the right number of prosthetic artists and on and on. In short, there is never a shortage of people who need Jackson’s input to work on his vision and it takes the logistics of, dare I say, planning a battle with five armies.

In short, he has to sign off on pretty much everything.

Those are the reasons “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and his other Hobbit movies are genuinely Peter Jackson movies. It also means he is booked.

Solid.

THE FINAL HOURS

And so it was, the last day of my time on The Hobbit set, after several assurances that it would happen — it did.

Lunch happened and on the location set of Dale, up on a hill, I was invited to that director’s tent to sit and talk with PJ, just the two of us alone. (One editor asked me if we ate together in the tent but I don’t think so, but why many memories are crystal clear of that meeting, I just have no idea.)

I had been inside before, but not often. The day I shadowed him, I spent several hours, trying to melt into the background. This was his sanctuary and office.

Posted in Alan Lee, Andy Serkis, Characters, Crew News, Director news, Director Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Fran Walsh, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Production, Silmarillion, Studios, Terry Notary, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ receives 2 Critics Choice nominations

wpid-the_hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies_thranduilNominations for the 20th annual BFCA Critics’ Choice awards were announced this morning. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” received 2 nominations in the categories for Best Hair & Makeup and Best Visual Effects, where they face tough competition:

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
Foxcatcher
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Maleficent

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar

Congratulations to the talented crew who worked on “The Hobbit” for these deserving nominations.

Source: Critics’ Choice
(more…)

Posted in Events, Headlines, Other Events, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ music advances in Oscar race

1 howard shore OscarFor the upcoming 87th Academy Awards, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” has qualified and is eligible for nominations in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories.

114 film scores made the cut, including Howard Shore’s score for “The Battle of the Five Armies”. 79 songs qualified in this notoriously difficult category, including “The Last Goodbye” written by Billy Boyd, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh. From these lists, final nominees will be selected and voted on. The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15. View full lists of all eligible films for Best Score or Best Song.
(more…)

Posted in Events, Headlines, Other Events, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug the Magnificent

smaug colbertIn a rare move, Stephen Colbert was granted an interview (er…audience) with none other than Smaug himself on his American television show “The Colbert Report”. As many of you know, Stephen is a great Tolkien fan, and Smaug seemingly left his last press interview of the day just for him.

The two share some of their common political interests, and Smaug discusses some of the difficulties of working on the Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – as well as his distaste for several “pretender” Hollywood dragons. (more…)

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Television, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital

BBC iWonder “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

JRR TolkienBBC Wales have produced an online guide, via their iWonder site and presented by Dr Dimitra Fimi, about how the Welsh language inspired Tolkien, called “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

What does Welsh have to do with it?

JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings combine timeless storytelling with the creation of a mythical world with its own races, history, music and languages.

The invention of new languages went hand-in-hand with the shaping of the characters that spoke them. And while Englishness is at the heart of the Shire, the home of the hobbits, for his other races Tolkien looked beyond England.

Sindarin, the Elvish language used in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, shares many key characteristics with Welsh. How did a proud Englishman like Tolkien become so entranced by the Welsh language?

[Read More]

 

 

 

 

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Dan Hennah talks about the designs for “The Battle of the Five Armies”

MCDLOOF EC211Here’s the transcript of an interview with Dan Hennah conducted with TheOneRing.net and a handful of other reporters during a set visit to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

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Posted in Crew News, Dan Hennah, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, MrCere in New Zealand, Press Conferences, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net Announcements

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ nominated for a SAG award!

Hobbit cast posterNominations for the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced this morning. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” was recognized in the stunt ensemble category with a fairly elective mix of fellow nominees:

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“FURY” (Columbia Pictures)
“GET ON UP” (Universal Pictures)
“THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
“UNBROKEN” (Universal Pictures)
“X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST” (20th Century Fox)

The televised ceremony airs on January 25, 2015. It’s worth noting that “The Desolation of Smaug” and “An Unexpected Journey” were not nominated so this marks the only SAG nomination for any “Hobbit” film. Congratulations to “The Battle of the Five Armies” stunt coordinators and performers for this worthy nomination!

Source: Awards Daily
(more…)

Posted in Events, Headlines, Other Events, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Quickbeam’s HOBBIT THEN & NOW Lecture at Valencia Library

 

hobbit_bbc_radio_4The third time’s the charm as our very own Senior Staff writer Clifford ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway is set to deliver an entertaining scholarly presentation on Dec. 10th on the various adaptations of THE HOBBIT that have been crafted over 76 years. In tandem with the excitement of the West Coast Premiere of “The Battle of the Five Armies” local residents of Southern California are welcome to attend this FREE event at the Valencia Library in Santa Clarita, just a little ways north of Hollywood.

(more…)

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lectures & Education, Miscellaneous, Out on a Limb, The Hobbit, TORn TUESDAYS Live!

Martin Freeman talks ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ with TheOneRing.net

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — TheOneRing.net visited the set for a brief time during the final segment of filming, nearly entirely focused on the third film, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” On the day of this interview Peter Jackson was putting his characters through a highly emotional scene toward the end of the film when one or more characters was in grave peril, perhaps the gravest of peril. In fact, the scene puts the grave in grave peril.

But the production wasn’t filming the action sequence. The camera was on the other half of the scene so instead the camera was focused on Martin Freeman playing Bilbo Baggins watching the grave peril unfold. Freeman’s face and voice spoke volumes about what Bilbo was experiencing. As of press time, I haven’t seen the film so perhaps those who have will know what we watched or perhaps it didn’t make the final cut. Either way, it was an acting lesson from a genuine professional.

The year previous I spent extensive time on set and for a myriad of reasons Freeman was the sole interview of the main cast that I failed to get so I was pleased to finally be able to sit down on set, in a tent on a sound stage and interview the guy who played the title character. There were perhaps five other reporters as well. If any of the following questions from the Q&A are bad, please blame them. A foot massage* for those who can spot the questions for TheOneRing.net (hint, it wasn’t the ones about the ring or feet.) A personal observation is that Freeman is often a thoughtful interview who doesn’t deliver canned answers but I find his words here to be particularly engaging. Sadly, the interview, while reasonable in length left us wishing for more. (more…)

Posted in Characters, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Martin Freeman, MrCere in New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit in contention for the Oscars

Bilbo stingThe awards season is upon us with almost daily news about a critics group or association announcing nominations or awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced the 10 contenders that remain in the running for a Best Visual Effects nomination at the upcoming 87th Academy Awards. The contenders will present an effects reel to Academy branch members who are eligible to vote on January 10, 2015. The final Oscar nominations will be announced on January 15. This is now the 3rd time that “The Hobbit” has made the short list. It was previously nominated in 2012 and 2013 for “An Unexpected Journey” and “The Desolation of Smaug”. “The Lord of the Rings” took this Oscar home in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

“The Battle of the Five Armies” is up against stiff competition with the likes of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “Interstellar”. Here’s the list of the final 10 films:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Godzilla
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Maleficent
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Transformers: Age of Extinction
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Yesterday, the Grammy nominations were also announced. “The Desolation of Smaug” was recognized in the category Best Song Written for Visual Media for Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire”. Congratulations to Ed Sheeran for also being honored with Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album nominations for “X”.

Sources: Oscars.org, Radio.com


Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can get involved!

Posted in Events, Headlines, Other Events, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies review: ‘much to enjoy but a stumble at the finish’

HBT3-fs-348347.DNG Ringer DCole4 from the TORn messageboards was fortunate enough to catch an advanced screening of The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies a couple of days ago.

He posted a bit of a spoilery summary-cum-review that concentrates on the final third of the movie on the boards.

Here he expands on those remarks. Warning for battle spoilers, especially on the second page. (more…)

Posted in Fans, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Update: Variety, Empire and now Hollywood Reporter review ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

BilboBOTFAPosterIt’s that time of the year again…

Following the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, reviews have begun pouring in – and here we have two from Variety and Empire. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Freeman, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.