QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND — The Hobbit Fan Contest winners and attending media are here in Queenstown and things have been a little busy. It’s a balance of gathering vs. sitting on a computer and typing (although in the incredible Hotel St. Moritz that is pretty sweet) and I am erring on the side of gathering today. So, no great big post but trust me when I say the photos collected from here can make a grown man cry, even if that grown man is me. Something about here touches me emotionally.
In a quick recap we visited Beorn’s realm yesterday, had a scavenger hunt, traveled to get here, had a jeep excursion to the freezing cold, breathtaking top of the world and then flung ourselves off bridges towards freezing water.
But, for now, I wanted to share a video that Tourism New Zealand put together of the fans in Hobbiton and Rotorua from Day 2 of this event. It really captures some of the genuine emotions people felt at the Hobbiton Movie Set. So, enjoy! Oh and you can watch fans watch the new trailer than you can see too in a couple of days.
HOBBITON — A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set for winners of the Hobbit Fan Contest had, all-in-all, a pretty amazing day — and then they saw the trailer.
For readers who don’t know, the shooting set for exteriors of the Shire in Hobbit trilogy is preserved for visitors on the farm where it was originally used for the “Lord of the Rings,” films. It provides a fully immersive environment that fans worldwide agree is singularly special and it runs tours daily.
So besIt also didn’t hurt that actors Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow and Stephen Hunter surprised visitors at a feast inside the full-service eatery on site: The Green Dragon. Nor did the flowing drink, the plentiful food, the expertly guided tours, but what else can be done to delight 150 of the most die-hard fans in the world?
Have Peter Jackson, by way of recorded video, introduce the just-finished, and last, trailer for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It brought the house down.
In the very Hobbity party tent behind The Green Dragon all the gathered fans and media were clearly and repeatedly instructed to turn off our cameras so it was obvious something different was happening. Even the most honored guests, the actors were placed in the front but looking forward with the audience.
Matthew Dravitzki, an Associate Producer on the trilogy and a key figure behind Jackson’s team who usually escapes the spotlight, spoke to the fans and introduced the video. He also required that we viewers not share the details, especially the specifics, so you will not read them here. But I think its okay if I say, it’s serious as a heart attack, gloomy as a storm front and as epic as battle of five armies.
And wow, do my fingers itch to type more.
Afterwards the groups of fans, split up for logistical purposes and took the new (to me) night tour around the set. Under the party tree the groups gathered to finally end a pretty amazing day. In fact, it may be difficult to match during the rest of the trip. To say fans were ecstatic is no exaggeration. There were, at several points, tears of joy and disbelief.
The day started in the rain at the Skyline Rotorua. Fans and reporters were generously offered the opportunity to enjoy various activities that included wine tasting, a zip line, a luge and a skyswing. Then it was off to the movie set for a day that was absolutely packed.
TORn interviewed the four actors together in a group with hilarious results. We will post it at a later date, depending on how quickly we get the video and quickly I can possibly post it but it’s great fan service from four classy New Zealand gentlemen.
The owner of the sheep and cattle farm the set sits on and his son who run it, Ian and Russel Alaexander, were on hand for interviews as well. TORn didn’t catch up with them, but plenty of media outlets did. In the late afternoon, in the guise of introducing The Green Dragon, fans were led into the room where the actors and executives were enjoying dinner and where media was stationed to grab reactions. As anticipated, tears where shed, hugs were shared and memories were made. Staff working on the event expressed a lot of tender emotions while watching fans enjoy the surprise so much.
I was pleased to have time to mix and mingle with fans — and I met a lot of them and enjoyed it every time. Before long it was trailer time. Despite this group’s appointment this week to screen the actual film with director Peter Jackson, the trailer announcement was greeted with great excitement.
Dravitzki promised a triple showing and delivered. All three times fans hushed each other at the start, not wanting to miss any dialog.
Then it was outdoors for the night tour when fireworks were triggered. Then, off to buses and tomorrow, Queenstown.
Readers will remember that Richard Armitage appeared as John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Old Vic theatre this Summer. Many fans were able to make the trip to London to see the show – and TORn staffer greendragon’s review can be read here.
For those who weren’t fortunate enough to see the production live, the good news is that it was filmed and will be shown in cinemas. Currently there are only dates in the UK – December 4th and 7th – but ‘with further worldwide territories to be announced shortly’. We’ll bring you that updated information as soon as we have it!
Sources close to the production of The Hobbit inform us that the Kiwi-based actors of The Hobbit films will be flown to Los Angeles where the very final premiere for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will be held.
It seems that John Callen (who plays Oin) wasn’t told of this plan before the announcement of the London World Premiere — hence his distress that we publicised earlier today. (more…)
Sir Ian McKellen starts this video introduction to announce the World Premiere date for the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle-earth films. We now know for sure that the cast and crew from all six films will be walking through Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London. Sir Ian was joined by Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom and Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman. Check out the video below for more details and start making your plans accordingly. There is mention of a contest, so good luck to anyone who chooses to enter.
We know many of our readers consider the Extended Edition of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies the definitive editions, but what many of our staff really love are the extras on the home editions. Filmmaker Michael Pellerin is the architect and creative force behind the features that give us insight into the movie-making team and experience. In fact his team’s work is absolutely essential viewing.
So, TheOneRing.net is pleased to share with viewers, courtesy of Warner Bros., an exclusive teaser from the edition. This short clip (and please watch it in full screen in HD) is from The Appendices Part IX, from a featurette called “Barrels Out of Bond: The Elven Sluice”. (more…)
Catching up with some of our friends from New Zealand, we learned about a project that involves the efforts of a lot of Kiwis, including Sylvester McCoy of Hobbit fame and Lord of the Rings’ Alex Funke. For good measure New Zealand’s Grammy winner Kimbra (Somebody That I Used To Know) is supporting the project with her voice.
In the age of computer generated effects, the film “Birds” is a throwback. A friend to TORn, Horst Sarubin, who worked on visual effects for the three Hobbit films, is behind the project that uses puppets, shot one frame at a time with incremental movements between frames to create a motion picture. The film, about the struggles of George the bird in the primordial forests of Zealandia (pre-historic New Zealand) to carry on.
McCoy is well known for his bird whistles and humor, which Hobbit director Peter Jackson definitely brought through the former Dr. Who’s Radagast into cinematic Middle-earth. In the film’s kickstarter campaign McCoy presents those whistles and gets a little bird treat in return. In the same video Funke, who is best know for helping make the LOTR bigatures look amazing on screen, explains his role is to make the cinematography great.
The stop-motion technique is being employed to give the filmmakers a hands-on experience and a final project they claim will be alive and organic. Tying closely with the passions of Peter Jackson, these are the same techniques used by Ray Harryhausen and Willis H. O’Brien. The original King Kong movie was made in this fashion, inspiring a generation of filmmakers.
With a team of grass-roots talent with a Middle-earth cinematic legacy efforting the film and a universal appealing story, but set in the ancient human-free land that would eventually become New Zealand, TORn readers may want to know further information is available at georgethebird.com. The grass-roots effort is seeking fan support via the kickstarter campaign above.
This adorable video makes an excellent addition to Air New Zealand’s more lighthearted and fun approach to safety videos shown at the beginning of every flight.
Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi has taken two Middle-earth fans and placed them in the middle of an Epic Journey, surrounded by Hobbits, Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, and some of them are the actual actors from the films. All the bases are covered, seat belts, electronic devices, life vests, etc, but there is a very definite Middle-earth vibe going on. (more…)
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