The lead actors in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” have done a lot of press so far to support the first of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book. Over and over journalists from around the world hit them with similar questions, all trying to deliver key information for their own audience. TORn friend and Australian film writer Alice Tynan had her shot at Richard Armitage, and wow did she deliver. Their lengthy chat contains some gems such as:
“Yes in the book there are losses; they sustain huge losses. You know Tolkien wrote these books based on his experiences of World War I, and he lost a lot of his friends in those wars. I think taking time to really understand his characters in Bag End was really important. . . . But I think we’ve become quite impatient in the cinema. Gone are the days when you’d sit through 3 ½ hours of Gone With the Wind, and it’s a shame because it’s the director’s prerogative to tell the story that he wants to tell. But I found myself engaged from beginning to end; I find all of the characters fascinating.”
“Years ago I had visited the memorial museum in Hiroshima and I’d seen what happened, and I had a book, and I took it to New Zealand with me. And, I don’t know, just looking at pictures and getting ideas, because it’s all about sensation: just remembering what that fear was, because we were going to go shoot it. So you just have little flashes: I remember seeing a melted bicycle, and I remember thinking, “Oh yeah, the melted bicycle. A child sat on that bike.” So this is what happened at Erebor: there were women and children there that just got annihilated. I wanted to feel the fear for them.”
They cover a variety of topics including discussion of Tolkien, Peter Jackson and New Zealand. Fans of the actor, the films and the books will all likely appreciate the first installment of the interview while fans in New Zealand and Australia finally get the movie on home video. We will post part two when Tynan does, apparently consisting of Twitter questions. She was also clever enough to embed our own video of Dwarves singing in Bag End, a great way to capture emotion from the film again if you follow the link.
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Weta Digital is nominated for Visual Effects for its work on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” That means co-founder Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White could all be walking away from the Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday with golden statues. And the competition comes in the form of more folks at Weta Digital for work on “The Avengers,” and “Prometheus.” “The Life of Pi,” and “Snow White and The Huntsman,” are in the mix as well. Pundits say it comes down to Hobbit vs. Pi. Whatever the outcome, Weta Digital has had a pretty astounding year and with the warm glow of Smaug on the horizon, 2013 looks promising as well. You probably knew all that but what you may have missed are the terrific reels Weta Digital has available to help viewers (and maybe voters) understand what went into the creatures, environments and characters it created for the first of three Hobbit films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 75-year-old children’s book.
One of the six showcases on YouTube, “VFX of The Hobbit: Fantastical Creatures & Lands of Epic Beauty & Darkness,” something of a highlight of all the videos, has been watched more than the rest but for anybody who loves cinema, loves the Hobbit film, technology or visual effects, the whole collection is outstanding. And so, we present them all below, embedded in one place for your viewing pleasure.
VFX OF THE HOBBIT: FANTASTICAL CREATURES & LANDS OF EPIC BEAUTY & DARKNESS
The Goblin King from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Joe Letteri has helmed Weta Digital to work on three films with visual effects Oscar nominations in this year’s Academy Awards. Its work on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is the only film that had all the work done in one place while his team contributed to “The Avengers,” and “Prometheus.” The work done on just Gollum or just The Goblin King would be a great visual effects achievement in any film but it also included Azog and an incredible array of elements.
Letteri talked to The Hero Complex recently and the information is good but perhaps a retread for TORn readers. However, the piece also has three making of videos that are outstanding. The three characters mentioned above each get his own showcase and it highlights the talents of Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman and the digital and design team among others. Anyway, the story is right here and of course the visual effects team must be considered strong favorites on Oscar night. And for 2013 they get to tackle a dragon.
The visual effects nominees are certainly invited to our big-event party that looks to be simply amazing.
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