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Archive for the ‘The Hobbit’ Category

Joe Letteri talks VFX on Reddit

Joe Letteri Image WETA Digital director and senior visual fx supervisor Joe Letteri conducted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit a little earlier. Letteri has, of course, worked on a slew of films such as Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Hobbit, King Kong, and Planet of the Apes.

Here’s just a few of his answers. Click the link at the bottom to see the complete thread.

Q: How is Peter Jackson in person?

Peter’s great in person. He’s really collaborative, really open to ideas. And he’s got a LOT of energy. And I think one of the things that motivates Peter, which I think applies to everyone at Weta, is that you don’t give up on the film until you have put every ounce of effort you possibly can into it, to try to make it as best as possible before it goes out the door.

Q: What’s your favorite pre-cgi movie? Have there been any movies that you thought, “Wow, I wish we thought of that?”

There’s 2 that really stand out, pre-CGI – they would have to be 2001 and STAR WARS. Because 2001 was just visually stunning, with its portrayal of space and how you could use FX to take you INTO space, and STAR WARS just applied that with a whole idea of an action movie sequence that just really opened up a whole world of storytelling.

Q: How was your experience working on the hobbit:battle of the five armies movie?

The experience working on those films was great, because we got to really spend another 3 years in Middle Earth, which is a fantastically open environment for us. We had the ability to not only walk through this fantastic landscape of Middle Earth, but help to create large parts of it, and as the series went on, we got to create more and more interesting characters. So it was great in the first film, to be able to bring Gollum back again, because he’s a favorite character of mine. It was great to be able to create Smaug, because he’s such a fantastic character. And, in the end, we created about 130 different characters for those 3 films.

Q: You mentioned that gollum from lotr and hobbit is your favourite character; how did the idea come about to use an actor for the portrayal of gollum rather than use cgi? And what did you think of Andy Serkis as gollum? I thought he was amazing, really brought the character to life!

Well, Gollum is a CGI character. What happened is that Andy was brought in, to record Gollum’s voice. But Andy, being an actor himself, worked with Peter to come up with this idea of having him perform in front of the camera with the other actors.

And that brought a whole new level of drama to the performance, because that meant that the actors could work with Andy as if Gollum were really there with them.

And so we then recorded Andy’s performance, and used that as a guide for creating the Gollum character, on top of the performance he gave on the set.

Now, when we did RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, we made a technical breakthrough where we could use the performance capture at the same time that Andy was performing onset.

And so that really allowed us then to do Gollum the same way for Hobbit, which was fantastic because it really kept Andy’s performance in the moment. And then we were able to take that one step further with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, because then we were able to take all the recording gear to a remote location. So it’s given us the ability to work with actors to create these characters anywhere in the world.

And obviously, a huge fan of Andy. He’s a fantastic actor, and we’ve been fortunate to work with him all these years.

[Read More]

Posted in Crew News, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Production, The Hobbit

TORn Message Boards Weekly Roundup – February 14, 2015

????????????Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week.  If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights.  Just follow the links to some of our most active discussions.  This is the last installment of the Weekly Roundup, but you’ll always find great conversations every day on TORn’s 11 different Discussion Boards.  Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join the fun! (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community

Aragorn and Arwen run romantic rings around Tauriel and Kili

Be my Precious A new UK survey of 2,000 people examining people’s concepts of romance and love in some of their favourite cult television series and films has revealed some interesting statistics when it comes to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. (more…)

Posted in Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit

Going deep with Weta Digital

JoeLetteriThere is a lot to write about and our staff is spread pretty thin these days, but this article about Weta Digital and what some of the processes were for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” is just too good to miss.

Here is a taste:

The new tools implemented for the film included the real-time lighting software Gazebo, technology in development two years ago (see “Shaping Middle-earth,” January/February 2013), new rendering software called Manuka, and a new virtual production pipeline. The scale of shots with the armies made their implementation necessary. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital

The Middle-earth prologues

prologues (header)

 

Do you remember the first shot of every Middle-earth film?

Sure you do.

It’s also interesting to note the similarities of every opening – further reinforcing the connections between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Astounding Tolkien-themed art collection now open in Milan

Hey all, MrCere here. We have a friend in Italy who has been great at promoting some J.R.R. Tolkien related stuff and has been also providing TheOneRing content and ways to reach readers and Tolkienites in Europe.

Gabriele Marconi sent in the following info, I think, with the idea that I could shape a post for TORn from it. Instead, I love his energy and style so and am presenting the info as he provided. It is long compared to many posts, but there is a lot of useful info. And, if this doesn’t want to make you go to Milan, you might not be a Tolkien fan. This is an astounding collection of art with all the names you hope might be included. Anyway, go read!:

Marconi said: (more…)

Posted in Alan Lee, Events, Exhibits, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Howe, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Father says his 4th grader was suspended for talking about using One Ring magic at school

The finding of The Ring - monochrome variationKids telling other kids about how they plan to use rings is making terroristic threats. This seems to have taken place in Texas in the Kermit Independent School District.

The Odessa American reported that the principal said threats against a student – magical or not – are not tolerated.

The boy’s father, Jason Steward, said the family had been to see “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” last weekend. His son brought a ring to his class at Kermit Elementary School and told another boy his magic ring could make the boy disappear. The story is starting to get traction in bigger media arenas but it seems this smallish Texas website started it.

(It is clear to TheOneRing.net that the lad was only trying to be a good Steward — like his father and the whole family needs shirts that say, “I am of Gondor.”)

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

TORn Message Boards Weekly Roundup – February 1, 2015

Gandalf and Bilbo sittingWelcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week.  If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights.  Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most active discussions.  Watch this space as we spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards.  Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join the fun! (more…)

Posted in Fans, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community

Hall of Fire chats The Hobbit chapter 2 tomorrow!

Barliman's Chat Thorin and company set off. Destination: The Lonely Mountain.

Literally shoved out the door by the wizard Gandalf, Bilbo joins them somewhat reluctantly, unaware how doing so will radically change his future — and that of Middle-earth. (more…)

Posted in Barliman News, Barlimans, Characters, Hall of Fire, Hobbit Book, The Hobbit

TheOneRing.net presents Friday at FanX in Salt Lake City

Gandalf & Saruman at SLCC 2013

Gandalf & Saruman at SLCC 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — It isn’t traditional convention season but Salt Lake City, that hotbed of nerddom, has invited TheOneRing.net to present a HOBBIT panel Friday at the Fan Xperience. The official title is: Behind the Scenes of The Hobbit: A Look at Hobbiton :: Room 250A but who knows what might happen? Friends may call, secrets may be revealed, photos might be shown and generally Tolkien mayhem is bound to happen.

We will take a deep look at the book and movie versions of Tolkien’s pastoral Hobbiton. They placed us in a pretty decent sized room so support is much appreciated.

Posted in Conventions, Events, Fans, FanX, The Hobbit

Author George R.R. Martin to gift First Edition “Hobbit” to Texas A&M University

Any Texas residents who live near the A&M University may want mark February 27th on their calendar – particularly those of you who are fans of author George R.R. Martin (the creator of the Game of Thrones universe).

The University has announced that he will stopping by on that date for a ceremony beginning at 11 A.M., which will see him presenting a first edition copy of Professor Tolkien’s The Hobbit as a gift to the university. It will be the University Libraries’ 5 millionth acquisition. (more…)

Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit

A check in with the financials of ‘The Hobbit: BOTFA’

13treasures of erebor

Well, looks like nobody will go broke making Middle-earth movies. The third of Peter Jackson’s films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” squeaked past $800 million earned world-wide last weekend. Jackson can get on with his “Tin Tin” movie and maybe my wish that he will write and direct a World War I zombie film with 100 percent practical effects in conjunction with Weta Workshop can happen. Maybe not.

But it is time to take a little peek at the box office and see how things are going. If you didn’t hear, another Warner Bros. movie, “American Sniper” assassinated the January box office records in the U.S. while the final Hobbit film slid to eighth place after 30-some days of release. Rentrack tells us it made $4 million on the weekend for a grand total of $244,537,115 domestic. It isn’t quite done, so lets call it $250 million but it will be closer to $260.

Meanwhile, overseas, from 63 territories, it has taken $558,600,000. (Speaking of “Taken” the third one of those movies just made an avalanche of money – see gold pile above – so go ahead and bet on number four. With every new sequel, a legion of devils get their wings; but Hollywood doesn’t care.)

One big market, a dragon of a market if you will, China, hasn’t opened the film yet and so that non-U.S. total is expected to reach past $700 million. This puts Jackson’s final Middle-earth movie very close, but not over $1 billion. Now, it is nothing but an arbitrary mark and a game, but something satisfies our lizard brains to know the film made 1/28th of what Bill Gates has donated to charity.

Can China and the rest of the world world push their share to $750 million or beyond? This film was tracking ahead of the previous one, that finished just more than $700 million, so it is going to be very close, but I can’t find the complete data and my bed calls. More updates in a week – or two.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug