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.
New Zealand is expected to see a surge in tourism following the release of The Hobbit movie.
Travel websites have reported a significant growth this month in searches and bookings to the country following the launch of the JRR Tolkien-inspired film.
The flight search website Skyscanner reported a 102 per cent increase in worldwide flight searches to New Zealand this month compared to December 2011, including a 117 per cent rise in searches to Wellington, the country’s capital city.
The travel booking website Expedia had an 84 per cent increase in flight bookings to the country in December.
Bookings for New Zealand in 2012 went up by 30 per cent last month for hotel booking website Laterooms.com, with a 100 per cent rise in bookings for the small town of Matamata alone, where much of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and its prequel were filmed.
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.
“One does not simply walk into Mordor.” It’s one of the classic catchphrases from Lord of the Rings. But is it true?
To celebrate the release of The Hobbit this month, Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais, two members of Rooster Teeth Productions (the creators of the acclaimed machinima series Red vs Blue*, as well as Immersion, and Achievement Hunter), decided to find out for themselves. They’ve set themselves the task to complete in just six days the 120+ mile journey across New Zealand from the filming location of Hobbiton in Matamata to that of Mount Doom on Mount Ngauruhoe. (more…)
A cute little article about some of the people on the Red Carpet tour. You’ll see their faces and costumes on just about every pic of the party, the red carpet and general fan madness in Wellington. I’d like to give a big shout-out to all the people who have visited NZ for the premiere due to TORN and Red Carpet (amounts to the same thing, with most Red Carpet clients discovering the tours through TORN. Their costumes and enthusiasm added hugely to the atmosphere of the Premiere week in Wellington.
Weta’s Ben Hawker is a brilliant guy and he worked with the creative and fun folks at Air New Zealand to create the ideas that became perhaps the most popular airline safety video in the world, collecting 8 million hits since it was launched a week ago. TheOneRing was honored to play a part with Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway and I (Larry “MrCere” Curtis) appearing to help represent fans from across the globe. Well, they also asked us to chime in on the behind-the-scenes video which features J.R.R. Tolkien’s grandsons Royd and Mike, the genuinely excellent and beautiful airline employees Kara, Mark and Will (plus others not in the video), the film’s director Josh, the soon-to-be superstar Dean O’Gorman, Peter Jackson and that Hawker guy. TORn may have its own version of a story and photos from that set before long but Air New Zealand has a great video to follow up last week’s starting off with a familiar face. Also fun, many of the crew making this video also worked on The Hobbit. Check out the short clip on the next page! (more…)
Welcome to our latest “Getting to know” questions that need answering. This month we’re talking to the one and only Balrog Showgirl, Nicole Roberts.
Hi Nicole and a very big thank you for taking part and for being so patient with me.
This first question is from Rosie-with-the-ribbons who’s latest costume for RingCon has been inspired by your Balrog Showgirl costume.
R-w-t-r: Do you make your costumes yourself?
Nicole: Rosie – that is awesome! Yes, for the most part the costumes I’ve been running around in for the past several years have all been of my own making. I only started sewing back in 2004, after I moved to Los Angeles and started hanging out with even more LOTR people. The first costume I made was to wear to Comic Con that year – I was the Mumak Mahud (the guy with the black and white painted face who steers the oliphaunt in ROTK), so you could definitely say I’ve always leaned towards costumes that were a little off the beaten path! I’ve done some costumes that were direct recreations (“Barf” from “Spaceballs”is the most well-known one), but as I’ve gotten more into the sewing, I really like doing things that are more of an original design, like the Balrog Showgirl. As someone who is not of supermodel proportions (and seriously, those chicks look like scary walking lollipops anyway), I like to have the opportunity to design something that I think is more flattering to me, and I always like to learn how to do something new, like dyeing feathers for the showgirl headdress.
New Zealand Tourism is getting into full swing with this promotional video: “100% Middle-earth 100% Pure New Zealand.” by PureNewZealand ahead of the release of first Hobbit film “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“. [NewZealand.com] UPDATE: We have confirmed that Ian Holm is the wonderful voice behind the beautiful images.
There is just one week until Comic Con 2012 starts with Preview Night on Wednesday, July 11. But aside from the TORn panel and WB’s panel for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, you may be wondering what else there is for a Hobbit fan to do. The Official SDCC website has put up schedules for panels, autograph sessions, films and portfolio reviews (aspiring artists, please take note). So here is your handy, dandy TORn guide to all things Hobbit and Lord of the Rings related at comic con this year (after the break)
Red Carpet Tours is making a final call for fans planning to make the pilgrimage to New Zealand for ‘The Hobbit’ Premiere. This is the deluxe 14-day tour covering both islands of New Zealand, with visits to all the major LOTR and Hobbit film locations as well as automatic inclusion at the Hobbit Premiere Party in Wellington on November 26th. If you are travelling half way round the world for the event, you need to ‘Make the most of the time given to you’. Red Carpet Tours has been running these tours now for 10 years, and this year was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, as well as stellar ratings from Rankers. There is only limited space available, so book soon!
The biggest question received about the TORn Hobbit Premiere tour has been whether or not people living down in New Zealand, or already traveling through the region, can attend the Red Carpet/TORn premiere party. The answer is yes, but the tickets are not on sale just yet. Everyone thought it best to wait until after the madness and mayhem of comic con was over before returning our minds to Middle-earth er, New Zealand. Once Red Carpet Tours has their Party ticket registration form live and online, we will post that link. For everyone else who isn’t a local resident or already traveling through the region, feel free to conside Red Carpet Tour’s full tour, or our little Middle-earth week long getaway. Follow the link for Tour Details.
We are now finally able to take deposits and start booking excited fans to join TheOneRing.net in New Zealand for what promises to be a party to remember. You will find all the details and proposed schedule for the tour here TORn Hobbit premiere tour. Please do take the time to read the schedule and all the terms before committing to the Non-Refundable Deposit of$300 per person. Once you’ve read through everything, asked all the questions you need to ask, you may fill out the Registration Form Space is limited, so this will have to be on a First Come, First Served basis. And if we are unable to accommodate you on the trip, you will be contacted and offered the choice of a refund or being put on the waitlist. You may email me at Garfeimao@TheOneRing.net or Cathy.U@Travelstoreusa.com
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