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Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

MrCere talks NZ, Weta, Hobbit, trailer on SUVUDU

Sohaib Awan from the radio show Fictional Frontiers also does a segment on SUVUDU that focuses on fantasy and science fiction books, movies and comics. He spoke with our own MrCere this week about his trip to New Zealand including Weta Workshop and Richard Taylor. They talk Hobbit of course, Hobbit trailer insights and a lot about travel possibilities for anybody. Listen to the segment right here.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Richard Taylor, Tours, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

‘Lord of the Rings’ tours sparkle in Wellington

Our story so far: Peter Jackson made three Middle-earth movies and people loved them. Now he is making two more and people already love them too. MrCere, Senior Staff, Writer and Photographer at (Forged by and for fans since 1999) went to NZ to see what he could see. Landed in Queenstown, found lots of LOTR stuff, drove north to see the people of the ring, visited Hobbiton set and now is in Wellington, center of NZ’s cinematic empire.

It is pretty important while in Wellington for me to participate in what any visitor might and especially activities with a Lord of the Rings slant. The city is one of my favorites around the world, situated as it is on a bay of great natural beauty. I like the size because it feels pretty easy to get to know, but it has the advantages of a big city’s variety with excellent food and lots of travelers and plenty of full-time residents and all kinds of attractions.

This trip I enjoyed walking around the city and thumbing through vinyl records (ask your parents if those foreign objects are unfamiliar to you) checking out a variety of automobile dealerships including an upholstery shop with some interesting old cars, a comic book shop and a burrito joint with great architecture and melted candles. The nightlife here is crazy, including the Saturday morning I woke up early and discovered the Friday night revelry with its thumbing bass and cocktails hadn’t ended as I sought out breakfast.

It also, with its proximity to Peter Jackson’s filmmaking empire, was an important area in the making of The Lord of the Rings, but not just because of the production and effects studios across the harbor. I ended up heading out with
Wellington Rover
on its half-day tour to make a visit to filming locations. (more…)

Posted in Fans, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, LotR Production, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, The Hobbit, Tours

LOTR still found in the fabric of Queenstown, Hobbit next

QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND — Queenstown is the kind of place where people come and never leave. In fact, talk to a few dozen folks in town and chances are good a few of them wandered into the place and never found their way out.

If it isn’t already, get it on your bucket list.

The mark of the Lord of the Rings films are still indelibly written here and to a degree that might surprise. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with majestic mountains on either side, this busy adventure town looks a good bit like cinematic Middle-earth because many times this regions served as such in Peter Jackson’s films. In fact, the list is too long to include comprehensively here.

With a town big enough to have good food, amenities and lodging suitable for stars, it is also on the frontier and a gateway to much of the South Island. But, cultural and financial residue from the LOTR films is still readily apparent and especially to a writer who wears a “One Ring” jersey around town. (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie The Two Towers, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, The Hobbit, Tours

Crew (and possibly cast) Arrive at Golden Bay – Pictures!

Ross was able to snap quite a few photos of the crew arriving in the Golden Bay area to begin filming. He provides more info: One passenger said they were heading to Golden Bay for a week and were to start work today(Sat) however it has been raining there so far this morning. They arrived in Nelson at 4pm Friday and left in rental cars and vans. Nelson helicopter companies have also been providing plenty of air support. Filming from the 3D rig also took place over the Pelorus River area on Friday.

Pelorus River

The Pelorus River is a river at the northern end of South Island of New Zealand in the region of Marlborough. It flows from the Richmond Range into Pelorus Sound. This area is fantastic for camping and is renowned for its magnificent river swimming where the Pelorus River runs through a gorge.

Click here for the photos! (more…)

Posted in Casting Rumors, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Rumors Spy News, Tours

Bid on a Guided Tour of PJ’s ‘Park Road Post’

Nikki writes: Plunket are an iconic NZ charity and Park Rd Post have very kindly donated an exclusive guided tour of the facilities and lunch for 4 in our current charity auction on NZ auction site Trade Me. Great opportunity for your NZ members to see behind the scenes of the Academy Award winning facility! More..

Posted in Events, New Zealand, Tours

Dominion Post: Hobbiton Visitors Sworn to Secrecy

From the Dominion Post:

The skeleton that remained of the set has been a very popular tourist attraction. We also know that it has since been rebuilt for The Hobbit – and that this time it won’t be removed once filming is completed. It’s been designed to last 50 years.

But what surprises me is that the public can visit the rebuilt set right now before the cameras roll.

Ian Brodie, author of the detailed and very handy Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, is the media and communications manager for the Hobbiton movie set.

He told me that multiple tours continue to visit the set each day. “The only thing they [visitors] have to do is sign a non-disclosure agreement.

They can take as many photos as they want, they just can’t post them up online or do those sorts of things. Certainly they are seeing it at its best.”

[Read More]

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, New Zealand, Production, The Hobbit, Tours

Avid fan ready for the Hobbit’s return

The man in charge of communication between Hobbiton and the outside world wears many hats, but he promises none of them belong to a hobbit. Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours media and communications manager Ian Brodie has read The Lord of the Rings 40 times, but he said his fan level had not crossed into the fanatical – he never dresses up in character. Mr Brodie, who moved to Matamata from Wanaka two years ago, was tight-lipped about when Waikato could expect to have movie stars in our midst again for the filming of The Hobbit.

“You know I can’t tell you that,” he said. “That information will come out of Wellington.”

Mr Brodie was just 14 years old when he first read The Lord of the Rings and, on a roadtrip with his family at the time, he decided New Zealand would make a perfect Middle Earth. More..

Posted in New Zealand, Tours

Middle-earth Madness – A Night to Remember!

Middle-earth Madness lived up to its name last night as hundreds of fans gathered at the Best Buy in Los Angeles, CA to celebrate the release of The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy on Blu-Ray. Actors John Noble (Denethor) and Sala Baker (Sauron) signed copies of the Trilogy as fans snatched up the brand new high-def version of the films.

Nicole Roberts walked away with the Grand Prize trip to New Zealand with her inspired and creative ‘Showgirl Balrog’ costume. (pics below) As you will see in our photo gallery, the competition was challenging and we’d like to thank all of the contestants for their talented entries!  Nicole’s costume was judged as the best by Academy Award Winner Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop with help from Lead Designer Daniel Falconer. (We recently interviewed Daniel here)

The LA wing of staff was out in full force, and for those of us who could not attend, we’d like to thank them for their tireless efforts to make everything go smoothly! These volunteers spent nearly 15 hours yesterday! So a special thanks to Quickbeam, Cathy, Josh, Suvi, Justin, Peter, Alyse, Catherine, Michael, Echo, Alex, David and Cat from!

We’d like to thank Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Weta Workshop and Best Buy for making this event possible!

Click the ‘continue reading’ button to view all of the photos from the event as well as some videos. We’ll be updating them as more come in!



Posted in Blu-Ray, Contests, Creations, Events, Fans, John Noble, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Other Events, Sala Baker, Tours

Middle-earth Madness: Sauron, Denethor, Grima, Fireworks, Laser Light Shows, Goblin Ball!

So we have a few more details to share with you concerning the Middle-earth Madness celebration taking place right now at the Best Buy in Los Angeles. (1301 W. Pico. Blvd) First off, we can confirm that John Noble (Denethor), Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) and Sala Baker (Sauron) will be attending this evening’s festivities! Secondly, there will be a Laser Light show and Fireworks starting at approximately 11:45. (How awesome is that?!) And of course, what Tolkien can be had in LA without a game of Goblin Ball! (You know, you knock the heads off Goblins for fun). We’ve also got loads of shirts, posters and other swag to hand out throughout the evening. And of course, we are streaming events live as they happen on our Stickam account. You can see it on the homepage of TORn, or through the following link. [Stickam] If you are following along on Twitter, our hashtag is #MEMadness, and of course, we’ll be posting pics on Facebook throughout the evening. If you want to have your chance at winning a Grand Prize trip to New Zealand, make sure you get to Best Buy BEFORE 7pm PT. And we can’t forget the whole reason we are throwing this party today…the release of The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Trilogy on Blu-Ray is tonight at Midnight! The countdown continues!! [Live Stream] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Event Details] []

Posted in Blu-Ray, Brad Dourif, Events, Fans, John Noble, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Merchandise, MGM, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Other Events, Premieres, Sala Baker, Studios, Community, Tours, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

Middle-earth Madness has Arrived!

Middle-earth Madness invades LA today and will be hosting the activities throughout the day!  For those of us not able to make the event in LA, we will be occasionally streaming live from the event as the more exciting events happen, and as our amateur internet connection allows. For those of you lucky enough to be attending at the West LA Best Buy, you’ll be competing for some great prizes with the LA TORn staff, including everyone’s favorite Tolkien emcee, Quickbeam! We also have late word that FRINGE star and LOTR vet John Noble, as well as Sauron himself, Sala Baker, will be in attendance. There are also rumors a few other cast members might just drop by for fun! Of course the real countdown will be to the midnight release of The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition on Blu-Ray and the awarding of the costuming Grand Prize – a trip to New Zealand! Follow along all day through Facebook, Twitter and our live stream at Stickam. [Live Stream] [Facebook] [Twitter] [Event Details]

Posted in Blu-Ray, Costume Design, Events, Fans, Headlines, John Noble, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Merchandise, MGM, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Other Events, Premieres, Sala Baker, Studios, Announcements, Community, Tours, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Join us Monday, June 27th for the ‘Middle-earth Madness’ Launch Event!

We are just days away! Get your costumes ready and join and fellow Ringers at Best Buy in Los Angeles on Monday, June 27th for the midnight launch and celebration of The Lord of the Rings The Motion Picture Trilogy Extended Edition on Blu-ray! The party starts officially at 12 noon on the 27th at Best Buy’s West side store at 11301 W. Pico. Blvd. [Best Buy Store Info/Map]

The first 150 guests in line at the store on Monday, June 27th at Noon will have the opportunity to get an autograph from cast members of the films. Costume Contest entrants will be judged by your friends here at and finalists personally selected by the four-time Academy Award(R)-winning Sir Richard Taylor, co-owner and lead creative at Weta Workshop.


Posted in Blu-Ray, Conventions, Creations, Events, Fans, Headlines, John Noble, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Merchandise, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Other Events, Richard Taylor, Sala Baker, Studios, Announcements, Community, Tours, Warner Bros., WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

‘Middle-earth Madness’ Costuming FAQ

‘Middle-earth Madness’ is coming to Los Angeles on Monday, June 27th. For those of you competing for the trip to New Zealand and other great prizes, we thought we’d share a few insights about the competition. Check out the official rules over at the and look forward to seeing you on Monday!  [Event Details] [Official Rules]

  1. Handmade costumes are preferred over store bought costumes, except for the very creative use of store bought items and how they are used.
  2. Try to keep true to Middle-earth fashion sensibilities. In other words, leave the sneakers and jeans in the car Elves. Try for a ‘tip of the head down to your toes’ look for your character.
  3. Weapons should be peace bonded, meaning they should be rendered inoperable. Swords and knives tied down, arrows should not be able to be drawn, etc. Other items, such as spears and pikes should be treated like a walking stick, rather than a weapon, and used simply as a prop. You are strongly discouraged from brandishing your weapons, even in jest or on stage, as there will be people and equipment in close proximity to the costume contest. Any deviation from this will see you disqualified from the contest and removed from the premises.
  4. This contest is a solo entrant event, but feel free to come with fellow costumed friends, as long as each person enters separately.
  5. There will be no performances on stage. The first round will be en masse in the staging area near the stage, where the judging staff will wander through looking at everyone and promote those who will earn a pass into the second round. This will be the Semi-finalist round and will include a walk across the stage, with lighting, but again, no performances. Judges will convene and decide upon those who will move on to the third round. The Finalists will be called up to the stage, and if there is time, each will be asked to briefly describe something about their costume to the crowd. Sir Richard Taylor of WETA will skype in at this time, already having in hand photos of all the Finalists, and he will make the final determination of the 6 prize winners.
  6. We are making the Registration and Waiver form available online, so if you are able to, please print and fill it out and bring it to the Best Buy with you. Also, if you have any existing photos of you in your costume, that would be excellent for the judging staff to be able to attach a photo to your entry form. This is not a requirement, but will help our judges out immensely.
  7. When filling out the entry form, please be specific about any aspect of the costume you want judges to know about, such as hand beading, leather tool work, hand knitted scarves, etc. Please use extra sheets of paper to describe details, using large font. Remember to put your name on the upper right corner of each page used
  8. If you do end up in the second round and get to participate in the stage walk, please inform contest staff of any special needs you might have, or if your costume might create difficulties managing the stage unassisted. We want to notate any requirements for assistance on the entry form, so just let us know if you think you’ll need help. There will be staff stationed on either side of the stage to help prevent accidents, so your attention to this detail is appreciated.
  9. Once you turn in your registration, we will need to get a photo of you in costume holding the number you will be issued. While this is not required the moment you register, it is required to be complete no later than 7pm. These are the photos that will be sent to Sir Richard Taylor at WETA if you make the Finalist cut, so make sure your makeup and hair and costume are ready to go when you get your picture taken.
Posted in Conventions, Costume Design, Creations, Events, Fans, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Meet Ups, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Other Events, Studios, Community, Tolkien, Tours, Warner Bros.