(Luke Evans as Bard The Bowman and John Bell as his son Bain.)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Ever wonder what you gave Luke Evans for his birthday? Few realized it, but the staff and readers of TheOneRing.net gave him a present back in April of 2011.
Evans celebrated his 32nd year with a party at Gas Works, a bar and grill just walking distance from Stone Street Studios, the movie lot where Peter Jackson makes movies, including the forthcoming “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”
In the mess tent of that set, on the white refrigerator that holds cream and milk and sundry items, near the always playing iPod, there hung a solicitation for all eyes to see: An open invitation from Luke Evans to celebrate his birthday on a Saturday night. (Regrettably I didn’t take a photo of the fridge.) The invitation was right there in perhaps the most trafficked spot on the lot, available for all, specified for none.
Are on-set reporters invited to cast and crew events? Advised by somebody from costume that it was absolutely okay (Jasmine I think, a real favorite), I decided to go only if could find a suitable gift from all of us, readers and staff of TORn. What would you buy an actor on behalf of the largest online Tolkien community? What does a guy making a living acting in New Zealand and away from home really want or need anyway? (more…)
Part one of this spotlight on Evangeline Lilly and her character Tauriel was published yesterday. Click here to read it.
(Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel.)
In the first part of this story, Evangeline Lilly discussed her childhood love for “The Hobbit,” and her decision-making process that led her to move her family to New Zealand and work with director Peter Jackson as a character not found in J.R.R. Tolkien’s 75-year-old classic. She plays an elf in the forest kingdom of Thranduil where his son Legolas also lives.
How does an actor differentiate her character in a set of films stuffed full with grand, immortal elves?
“Somebody asked me, ‘Did you study a lot of the other elves? The performances of the elves from Rings to do this role?’ I said distinctly ‘no.’ I intentionally didn’t re-watch the movies because I was afraid of trying to copy someone’s performance and I wanted it to be original.”
“All the other elves you’ve ever seen in these movies are at least twice my age, at least twice Tauriel’s age, so they are very wise and they’re very well established in their power and their understanding of the world. I’ve intentionally tried to demonstrate that she’s not there yet. She’s young, she’s only 600 years old and in elven terms, that is so young. She’s just a baby.”
Lilly is even playing some layers of the role in a way she wants those diehard fans to understand.
“I like the idea of playing with a young elf, how would they behave? How would they be different from the aged elves? And I hope that it doesn’t come across as wrong, you know what I mean? I hope it doesn’t come across to people who really know the world as she’s not quite got it down. Because that’s my goal, to not quite have it.
“She wants to be as wise, she wants to be as much of a presence as all of her elders but she’s not. She’s a kid and there’s a part of her that is always a little too excited about things or maybe a little too engaged in the world, the way kids can get. And I think that was something I wanted to tell the really diehard fans.
“I want them to know that she is young so that when they look at the performance and they look at the character they understand the context.” (more…)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Those outside of the movie making business often don’t understand what The Producer does on a film. The quickest answer is: They get the movie made. They get things done.
In the case of Zane Weiner on “The Hobbit,” it meant getting in touch with someone nobody was meant to get in touch with.
Living in Hawaii, she was a month removed from the birth of her child, email turned off, not taking calls about work and still confined to bed rest.
“So I was still in bed with the baby,” she told TheOneRing.net in full Tauriel outfit and gear during a lunch break on a full day of filming on “The Hobbit.”
This lunch tent, while perhaps not glamorous, is an essential part of Stone Street Studios and making Peter Jackson movies, designed to feed and shelter quite an enormous crowd. Breakfast was served there for anybody wanting to start the day off right. Coffee and tea were available on any sound stage but also in the tent — a first stop for many on a shoot. (more…)
(The outdoor Lake-Town wet set with extras and crew assembled for a night shoot on “The Hobbit.”)
WELLINGTON — The great cities of history have risen up around rivers, lakes and on coasts. Water holds vast and replenishing stores of food, improves transportation of people and goods, encourages trade, and of course keeps a population hydrated. Paris. London. Hong Kong. New York. Tokyo. Moscow. Boston. On and on.
Lake-town benefitted from excellent transportation and presumably a wealth of fish and food and clean, fresh water but it was built on water for a different reason.
One dragon in particular: Smaug The Terrible.
Tolkien’s Lake-town, like real-world Venice, was built on wooden pillars sunk into water. The lake men — with the destruction of Dale seared forever into their memory — built on water for safety. We watched it in the prolog of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” while they had to live with the fear of dragon every day. Water-based living provided at least a chance against the great and terrible worm if he ever attacked again.
Survival was the challenge for the city builders in Middle-earth but for Peter Jackson’s film version of Lake-town, dragon-sized demands included creating visuals to sell a water-based town to the audience and to provide a playground to let actors fully realize characters and moments. (more…)
Long-time friend of TheOneRing.net, Sohaib Awan, has kicked off a new Fictional Frontiers podcast and invited our own MrCere to talk all things Hobbit. Long a radio program, Fictional Frontiers, with Shotglass Digital, is reaching a new audience with a new format that allows for a longer, more in-depth discussion. Awan has championed “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” and loves both the realms of Tolkien and the work of Peter Jackson. He has used MrCere (Larry D. Curtis) as a frequent guest and in this episode they discuss both the upcoming second installment of the film and the success of the first and Curtis talks big picture about his time in New Zealand. The podcast can be found right here! Awan says MrCere will return in future episodes to talk more Hobbit.
EDITOR’S NOTE:This is the first of many set visit reports that will publish weekly from now until the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” We will update this post with photos from the set visit as soon as possible.
Ian McKellen as Gandalf.
WELLINGTON — Thousands of creative hands will have touched “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” by the time it hits movie screens. For those making the film it means long hours, pushing the limits of creativity, people and technology. It is accurate to say every frame is filled with passion, lots of passion.
Despite all the love for the project from every quarter, there is a group that may be the least-heralded, most overlooked, and yet whose passion for the project is surpassed by no man — or woman. They will receive no awards, no fame, no recognition and yet, they loved their work on “The Hobbit,” and legions of fans would have willingly taken their place in a heartbeat.
They are called “extras,” and for these films that meant extra passion, extra time and extra fun.
How would I know? Well, I was one of them!
I am a staffer here at TheOneRing.net (TORn), contributing for over a decade to the all-volunteer, not-for profit website forged by and for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. In that time I formed a bond of trust and friendship with people on all sides of the production.
Warners Bros. and the production team on “The Hobbit,” invited me, as a representative of TORn, to not only visit the set but to be embedded there as a journalist for five weeks. Every working day for a month and a week in 2012, I woke up and reported to set near Wellington, New Zealand where Peter Jackson and his team of filmmakers were putting together the film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved children’s book, “The Hobbit.”
I can hardly believe this happened even though I remember it with incredible clarity. It seems surreal now — as it did every day when I arrived, showed my badge to security and walked into the grounds where Middle-earth would be created for audiences world wide. Each day was appreciated.
Beginning last Saturday and running through to September 4, TheOneRing.net is hosting a Pledge Drive (see the banner at the top) as well as a bunch of auctions for some really cool memorabilia and collectibles.
The day-to-day operation of the website, and the events we host, require a lot more resources than when we first started nearly 15 years ago. We sometimes find it hard to ask our readers for the help we need to keep running, so we began discussing what it is that makes TheOneRing.net worth helping out. It started out as a search for the Top Ten Moments of TORn, but the list got so long because each staff member had their own idea of important moments in TORn history. Here, instead, is something more encompassing: Ten Ways TORn helps serve Tolkien and Lord of the Rings fandom (listed in no specific order).
And, if you enjoy what we do, consider a donation (no amount too small, because every bit does help!) to keep us running!
If you can’t, that’s fine as well — keep reading, commenting and contributing. Because TORn is as much you as it is us!
Today join us again for our weekly webcast TORn TUESDAY, as we our big presence at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con as we present all the juicy dish on THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG!
Let’s have a closer look at what brings such huge interest and different fandoms together at this amazing show — and prep you for what we will reveal during our presentation! Bring your questions and comments to the chat!
We launch TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Make Excellent T-shirts” Sewell — 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.!
WE APOLOGIZE that there is no available archive of this particular installment on our YouTube channel —- it was a “sneak preview” after all!
Follow us on Twitter: @theoneringnet
Follow Cliff Broadway: @quickbeam2000
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We have several special guests on our innovative live webcast TORn TUESDAY today at 5pm Pacific Time — including the fangirls Kili & Fili from HAPPY HOBBIT who went viral last week with their splendid reaction video to the D.O.S. teaser trailer (which was in turn shown by P.J. to his Elvish cast members) – supporter Dwyna visits us from Las Vegas; and our very own reporter who was embedded on the sets of New Zealand, none other than MrCere himself Larry Curtis! Join us TODAY as we discover what makes fandom come together in this modern age of shared electronic media — is it instant frenzy feeding or casual community building? And what’s with the “fleeting nudity” slap on the PG-13 rated Extended Edition of The Hobbit: AUJ?
We launch TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “They Shouldn’t Have Shown Smaug” Sewell — 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.!
After the show has completed broadcast you can always watch the archive later at TheOneRing.net’s official YouTube channel:
Follow Cliff ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway on Twitter: @quickbeam2000
The fans are agape at their 1st full-frontal view of Smaug the Terrible, not to mention the ladies seem to be universally trembling over Thranduil’s eyebrows — and of course this kind of ephemera makes for a juicy fun live webcast! Join us TODAY as we pick apart all the details we can see, hear, or smell in this newest piece of marketing for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.
We launch TORn TUESDAY every week at 5:00PM Pacific: brought to you by host Clifford “Quickbeam” Broadway and producer Justin “I Promised Royd I Would Read It” Sewell — we will even have special guest Larry Curtis (“MrCere” on TheOneRing.net) join us, the man who was stationed on the New Zealand sets with Peter Jackson, WETA, and all the creative forces behind the camera! 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.!
After the show has completed broadcast you can always watch the archive later at TheOneRing.net’s official YouTube channel:
Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen started filming the last block for ‘The Hobbit’ Monday, May 20 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Peter Jackson updated his personal Facebook page today to let fans know that filming for “The Hobbit,” has begun. He called the block of filming, “Our last ever Tolkien pick ups,” He also promises a new video blog soon although that could mean a day, a week or a month.
Stuff.co.nz tracks the production carefully for its New Zealand (and worldwide audience) and they recently posted a story explaining that Monday, May 20 would be the first day of shooting. They were even kind enough to cite TheOneRing.net as a source. The story also updates with info from social media channels including Luke Evans and Adam Brown. TheOneRing.net did a five-week stint on the set for reporting on the second film. We will release them, to use a Jackson declaration, soon.
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