Welcome to our weekly live webcast — known as TORn TUESDAY — a unique show format where you can come into the chat and participate live. We are now on the 4th part of our ongoing series of discussions on the History of the Dwarves who undertake the Quest of Erebor. Today we switch gears to discuss OIN and GLOIN (father of our Fellowship member Gimli) and learn about the great fate tying up these characters in the House of Durin’s Line! Bring your questions and join us LIVE for what will be a very illuminating discussion of dark Dwarven secrets! We have *JUST* confirmed that our actors playing these roles have been whisked away to the studios in Wellington, where Peter Jackson has commenced new shoots for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug!
Join us for TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Haven’t Read The Books Yet” Sewell — as we discuss the unique characteristics of each Dwarf. We shall learn how they fit into the larger history of Tolkien’s legends — and what Peter Jackson & WETA did to help us distinguish these rough and tumble travelers from each other (using more than just colored hoods). Our innovative live show includes worldwide fans who join us on the Live Event page with a built-in IRC chat (affectionately known as Barliman’s Chat room). Be part of the fun and mischief every week as we broadcast *live* from Meltdown Comics in the heart of Hollywood, U.S.A.!
NEXT WEEK: Bifur, Bofur….. and Bombur, for real this time!
Follow Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
What a fun movie! Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck) came on board to be our wonderful narrator! Actually this film is a time capsule of many decades of pop culture history — giving us the full story on how the world has embraced Tolkien’s masterpiece THE LORD OF THE RINGS over 50 years and more!
Winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival, RINGERS was produced in association with TheOneRing.net — this remarkable little film was forged BY fans and FOR fans, just like our website, with the production/writing talent of Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway (who hosts TORn TUESDAY every week), Jeff Marchelletta, and supercool director Carlene Cordova. It was executive produced by X-Men/Transformers guru Tom DeSanto.
With a wonderful rock-driven score and detailing all the outpouring of love bestowed on Tolkien over many generations, this film is a must-have for your digital collection! Get it on iTunes now for only $9.99!
From the original Sony Press Release:
“RINGERS is comprehensive, entertaining and informative pop culture history.” – The Toronto Star
“…Will always be a salient part of ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ history…
See it, absorb it, love it.” – FilmThreat
Winner of “Outstanding Achievement” Award at the
Newport Beach Film Festival
FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY CAPTURES THE HISTORY, INFLUENCE AND PHENOMENON THAT IS LORD OF THE RINGS
CULVER CITY, Calif. (September 12, 2005) – Sony invites you to return to the Shirewith the release of the feature-length documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS,direct to DVD.In association with the popular fan-site TheOneRing.net, Carlene Cordova produced, directed and wrote this award-winning film with executive producer Tom DeSanto(X-Men, X2: X-Men United and Transformers), which charts the incredible influence and ripple-effect that Lord of the Rings has had on worldwide pop culture over the past five decades.Whether you are a fan or first timer, critics agree, RINGERS, stands as the most comprehensive film documenting the ongoing impact of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary achievement.
Dominic Monaghan (star of ABC’s Lost and the Academy Award® winning Lord of the Rings trilogy) narrates the documentary as it looks behind the curtain between Lord of the Rings andhow it inspired so many artists of different mediums.The film moves beyond “cult classic” and through different generations unearthing the way legendary rock musicians, filmmakers, professors, actors and authors all unite under the banner of ‘Ringer.’Interviewees included in the film are Lord of the Rings trilogy filmmaker Peter Jackson as well as Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin and David Carradine.Infused with a dynamic rock-driven score, irreverent cut-out animation (á la Terry Gilliam), and a centerpiece audience sing-a-long, RINGERS is a genre-busting documentary that shows how a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions.
RINGERS continues the momentum of the motion picture trilogy Lord of the Rings, a winner of 17 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Peter Jackson, who made history as the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously.
From the official synopsis:
Ringers: Lord of the Fans is a feature-length documentary that reveals the ongoing cultural phenomenon created by The Lord of the Rings. Very funny and often moving, Ringers shows the hidden power behind Tolkien’s books — and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time.
Shot with groundbreaking new digital technology in 24P, Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies — the people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer.’ From the hippie counter-culture to the electronic age; from the Bakshi animated film to Jackson’s epic trilogy; this documentary brings together extensive footage from across the globe. With units in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Bonn, Germany, Wellington, New Zealand, and Oxford, England, our cameras capture the most fascinating “Ringers” and Lord of the Rings events.
What began as the private amusement of a tweedy Oxford professor has now become a new mythology for the 21st century. Ringers: Lord of the Fans shows how an adventure story published in 1954 has had dynamic ripple-effects through Western pop-culture. Ringers carefully pulls away the veil between Tolkien’s book and the creations of art, music, and community that have been inspired by it.
Welcome to the latest “Getting to know” – questions that need answering. It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I occasionally post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of self-described Online guy at Weta Workshop and all round top bloke, Magnus Hjert.
Note:A photo gallery follows the text and videos, click for larger versions.
The mill at Hobbiton Movie Set
NEW ZEALAND — During the world premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” New Zealand wisely took the opportunity to show journalists from around the world (and Australia) a lot of the amazing things its island nation has to offer. TheOneRing.net was part of one of the tours and rather than regurgitate all the footage, photos and writing we gathered at once, exactly when all the other journalism outlets of the world did, we thought it would be great to disperse it and share it over the course of 2013 in the lead up to “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
After all, Tourism New Zealand’s motto is “New Zealand is Middle-earth” and this is true in so many ways and for much longer than just the weeks after the debut of the film. For example, above is the video made for TORn by fellow filmmaker Dan McBride who shot and edited the video tour you probably have already watched. We, and a gaggle of other media, toured the Hobbiton Movie Set and witnessed Prime Minister John Key open the new Green Dragon building accompanied by a bunch of actors who reminded us a whole lot of a company of Dwarves. (Incidentally, we had just talked to him the day before so when he showed up again, we wondered why we were being followed and what we had done wrong.)
The video speaks for itself but this remarkable property is, as far as I know, unique in all the world for its ability to transport visitors inside a book, or a movie for that matter. Being there doesn’t feel like walking on a set, rather it feels like immersion. It looks, smells, sounds and feels like one imagines Hobbiton would if you could take a magic wardrobe to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The Hobbit holes scattered about are, more or less, as they were for filming of “The Hobbit,” movies. It seems safe to assume we will see more of The Shire in subsequent movies and in the Extended Edition on home video before the end of the year.
At the Green Dragon
Meanwhile, not far from Auckland, sits this unique and amazing tourism experience. The still functioning sheep and cattle farm where the now-permanent movie set is placed, is owned by the Alexander family, as it was when discovered for “The Lord of the Rings,” films. Their television rugby match interrupted by strangers led to parts of the family farm being among the most beloved locations in fantasy film and literature. Now visitors take tours daily, either by booking directly through the farm or through travel agents, tours or cruise ships. There are several options available, including overnight farm stays, private tours and lunch options. Matamata, as authentic a small New Zealand town as you will find, serves as a gateway to the farm, offering transportation daily and had just opened a visitor’s center when we visited.
Hamilton is also near with more accommodations and an airport. Not far from Auckland, 160 kilometers in fact, visitors can easily manage the two hour car ride. It goes without saying that driving through the countryside is spectacular as well. My dream would be to meet with TheOneRing.net staff and friends in The Green Dragon, which can be reserved for private functions. They serve food and drink and I just bet you can guess what size the ale comes in. Weddings have and will happen here. The atmosphere and the finish on the place are just as good as you hope they are. In truth, for movies fans and Tolkien fans, the entire movie set experience is simply magic.
Waitomo Caves Black Water Rafting
Some tourists will hop off the cruise ship or land in Auckland and make the farm their only stop in the region and in my opinion if you made it all the way to New Zealand and don’t see more of the region you are doing it all wrong. The tour also provided us the opportunity to visit the world famous Waitomo caves. They contain the exceptionally cool glow worms and there are different ways to experience it all, including the black water rafting experience that I couldn’t resist. Hamilton serves as a good gateway to both spots and neither is to be missed. In the gallery below I will drop in a few Waitomo photos but it is an entirely different story to be told and if there is any need to explain the importance of caves to Middle-earth, you might be at the wrong website.
The region is full of food and drink, excellent accommodations and plenty more worth-while excursions. We will tackle them all in a future story. But add the farm visit and Waitomo Caves to your bucket lists. They really are wold-class destinations not to be missed but especially not by Tolkienites.
While you are here, please enjoy other videos from the premiere. First, actors talking about rings:
And Red Carpet highlights.
A map of the New Zealand region with Auckland and Matamata.
A detailed map of where The Hobbit Move Set is located near Matamata.
The door of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
Seems like a good place for a party
An average human male (Dan McBride) stands in front of a small Hobbit door.
The mill at Hobbiton Movie Set
Water at Hobbiton Movie set
They may not like boats but Hobbits have docks.
The visitor’s center in Matamata, New Zealand.
Flower at Hobbiton Movie Set
Actors look on at the opening ceremony of the Green Dragon
Still water, a view of Hobbiton Movie Set
For scale, an average sized adult (MrCere) at a Hobbit door.
A Hobbit window at Hobbiton Movie Set
Flowers and door at Hobbiton Movie Set
The interior of the Green Dragon
At the Green Dragon
By the lake and the mill sits the Green Dragon
The exterior of the Green Dragon
The bar at The Green Dragon
Detail of the carved green dragon in the Green Dragon
Floor plan on the wall of the Green Dragon of the Green Dragon.
Inside the Green Dragon
Door and menu at the Green Dragon
At the Green Dragon
Interior of the Green Dragon
Waitomo Caves black water rafting with glow worms.
HAPPY EASTER and welcome to WonderCon! Join us today as we bring amazing Hobbity goodness to all the attendees waiting for a real insider’s scoop! Today, March 31st, join TORn Staffers Garfeimao and Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, for our special panel presentation at 12:00pm PDT in Room 207. The panel is titled TheOneRing.net’s Unauthorized Sneak Peek: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This will be a wildly fun discussion regarding all things Hobbit… with special insights from those who have been on the New Zealand sets!
WonderCon is one of three conventions hosted by Comic Con International, the others being APE (Alternative Press Expo) and San Diego Comic-Con. Wondercon follows the same general format as San Diego Comic Con, but on a much smaller size, making it easier to attend the panels you wish and still have time to shop. It is returning to the Anahim Convention Center for the second year while the Moscone Center in San Francisco is getting a major renovation. If you have had problems getting into San Diego Comic Con the last few years, this is a really great alternative. See you all on Sunday.
On today’s very exciting *live* webcast TORn TUESDAY at 5:00pm PDT — all Ringer fandom had their eyes on THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG live preview from this weekend — but if you missed it or saw only part of it, we are going to carefully review and analyze every little nook and cranny of it today! Peter Jackson and Jed Brophy have certainly given us much to talk about! What was that stuff on the walls of Thranduil’s underground kingdom while Bilbo was pushing some sort of barrel-releasing lever? What was that place Radagast and Gandalf were investigating? Why does Bard the Bowman look like a new-fangled Errol Flynn ready to swash a buckle at a moment’s notice? Join your host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and co-host Justin “I Love Jar-Jar” Sewell on the Live Event page here, which will provide the video playback of our show, broadcast from the heart of Hollywood at Meltdown Comics, and will also let you access our wonderful Barliman’s Chatroom! There you can join hundreds of fans from around the world and bring your questions and comments to the live show! It all starts in about 10 minutes! Huzzah!
In an interview with lansingstatejournal.com, visual effects motion control operator Paul Maple discusses his work on numerous films and television series and how his programming skills got him work on The Hobbit.
MAPLES is one of a handful of people in the world working as a motion control operator, one of many ways to create visual effects in films.
At its heart, his skill employs computer programming to control a camera crane. And he is good at it, having been nominated for three Emmy Awards.
In the case of Maples’ work on “The Hobbit” and “Star Trek:Deep Space Nine,” the programming can do things like create a twin, make one actor look much larger than another (think Gandalf and Bilbo), and effect different speeds in music videos.
“They’re camera tricks, but it all has to be very precise to work,” he said.
“The 3-D guys can import my camera move data into their computers to recreate my shots in a virtual world. I can also receive moves from them.”
Welcome to the latest “Getting to know…” questions that need answering. Based on the old Getting to know you threads that I used to post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of uber fan from Brisbane Australia, Peter Kenny.
Hi Peter and thank you for joining in
Kelvarhin: What piece of Tolkien ephemera began your collection?
Peter: My very first Tolkien Book was a single volume paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings given to me as a gift in 1976. I still have that original copy in my collection.
Many fans traveled to New Zealand from around the world in the days and weeks leading up to the Premiere, just to be there on that fateful day. One such person is Dr. Lynnette Porter, author of a new book “The Hobbit: The many lives of Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin” (review forthcoming) and previously a speaker at one of TORn’s Lord of the Rings related conventions. She has just posted an in-depth article on why so many Tolkien fans flock to New Zealand and just what made Premiere week so special. You can check out her article at Popmatters to read about ‘What happens when Humans go a-Hobbiting’.
And for those wondering, it is likely that TheOneRing.net will mount another tour of New Zealand, but whether that is in conjunction with a Premiere or not is still to be determined. Wellington would first need to secure one of the two remaining film’s World Premiere to justify the level of activities they hosted this time around. But then, the locations are always there, and if not a tour, a Cruise to Middle-earth is a very relaxing way to see such a delightful and beautiful country. Keep an eye out, we will post something if the omens look favorable.
Discussion board member ceppault has mapped all the known filming locations for “The Hobbit: and Unexpected Journey” on Google Maps. Clicking on each location produces a pop-up with media quotes and information about what scenes were filmed there. ceppault updates the map from time to time and shares it with TORN. Check out his most recent update here.
A decade ago, Matamata was a sleepy country town in the middle of the North Island, well-placed for travellers in need of a comfort stop and a takeaway snack. Today, it is better known as Hobbiton and is one of the country’s star tourist destinations, attracting 1.9 million visitors over the last 10 years. It is poised for a fresh invasion starting this Christmas which seems certain to top that number over the next decade.
It all began in 1998 when movie director Peter Jackson took to the sky in a small plane in search sites to film his planned trilogy of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
His target was a piece of countryside untouched by concrete buildings, power poles and roads that he could transform into Hobbiton, the primitive village home of Tolkien’s small, hairy, Hobbit people.
A family farm outside Matamata, set about halfway between the provincial capital, Hamilton, and the tourist city of Rotorua, and complete with Tolkien’s so-called “party tree” and a lake, proved perfect. (more…)
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