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Archive for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ 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

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

Today in Middle-earth, February 14

The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on February 14th:

  • The Mirror of Galadriel (1419)
  • Gandalf returns to life, and lies in a trance (1419)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

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

‘The Hobbit: BOTFA’ and its shocking VFX exclusion from the Oscar race

One thing that isn’t great about being a fansite: Other outlets and readers treat anything we write as if it were written from a fan perspective. Sometimes that is true, sometimes it is false. As a result of this, we didn’t complain about Oscar Nominations; It just sounds like whining anyway.

For the record, while we are here, there are a few categories that are head scratchers though. The technical category omissions, in my opinion, are a mark against the awards. Films that win these categories generate buzz and these Hobbit films didn’t do that in the right way to win awards. All the folks who work on the film would say they didn’t get into the business to win awards and they are only a bit of extra icing anyway.

But WIRED, not a fansite, has a video series about special visual effects and the series is highly watchable, educational and interesting. (Special effects are things that happen on set.) Staffer Justin pointed out this video from the series where the host expresses real surprise that BOTFA didn’t get a nom. He has some wonderful details about the attack on Lake-town in particular (a favorite set piece of mine, burning or not) and the advancement of the computer program MASSIVE created for the battles in the LOTR films. The folks in New Zealand were pushing boundaries as they do every single time.

It is well worth a watch and it lights a fire under me, at least, to get annoyed that Weta Digital didn’t get an Oscar nom for Best Visual Effcts — except they did get one for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” That does mean Gentleman Joe Letteri will be in Los Angeles so on Oscar night, after he attended previous parties, we will be sure to invite him to our celebration this year. (more…)

Posted in Crew News, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Community

TORn Message Boards Weekly Roundup – January 18, 2015

Conspiracy Unmasked Bathing_at_CrickhollowWelcome 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, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community

Test your Middle-earth knowledge with this quiz!

Tuor Reaches the Hidden City of Gondolin, by Ted Nasmith I think it’s a given that 90% of all online quizzes are just rubbish. Which is why I was really surprised to stumble upon this great Buzzfeed Middle-earth quiz that will may actually stretch your Middle-earth knowledge. (more…)

Posted in Characters, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien

Today in Middle-earth, January 15

Gandalf challenges Balrog w Glamdring

Today in Middle-earth, January 15

  • The Bridge of Khazad-dûm, and the fall of Gandalf (1419)
  • The Company reaches Nimrodel late at night (1419)

(more…)

Posted in Calendar, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Today in Middle-earth

Five of the best Hobbit and Middle-earth posters from LOTRProject

LOTRProject You’ve almost certainly visited Emil Johannson’s LOTRProject website at some point or another, whether to pore over his Middle-earth genealogy page, view the historical timeline of Middle-earth or try out his classic Which Hobbit character are you? quiz.

Over the last 18 months or so, he’s also posted a series of informative and, often, quite amusing posters on his blog. So, without further ado, here are five that I’ve really enjoyed… (more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

Peter Jackson Says Thank You to the Fans

torn staffer mauraMany of you will have seen the video Peter Jackson posted to his Facebook page back in December, as a thank you to and celebration of the fans. What you may not know is that TORn staffer Maura appeared in the video! Here are her thoughts on this epic journey of fandom:

We have all made top ten lists of our favorite Lord of the Rings moments. At the 2014 Comic-Con International a group of fans were given the opportunity to share their memories and hopes for the final installment on camera, including yours truly. The end result was a heart-warming video posted on Peter Jackson’s Facebook page on December 3rd, that has been viewed over a million times.

Despite my donning of the “I *heart* hot dwarves” tee shirt (had to represent for TORn) one of my favorite moments was the appearance of the Prince of Mirkwood in The Desolation of Smaug. I’m not going to lie; it’s a relief that they didn’t use my uncomfortably long gush about the beauty that is Legolas. That’s the kind of embarrassment that can come back to haunt you at, say, company holiday parties or family gatherings. Does anyone else experience this – the “Legolas Effect”? Once I start, I simply cannot stop.

It can’t be a coincidence that many of us believe the movies’ most enduring legacy is the friendships that have resulted. It was a point I myself had made during my interview. That’s why a site like TheOneRing.net is so important. It has been a haven for like-minded people to assemble, discuss, debate and celebrate our common admiration for an author and his books, as well as a filmmaker and his films. So as the campaign for The One Last Party draws to a close, won’t you consider making that pledge, leaving the comfort of your armchair and books, and joining us for one final adventure?

These bonds of fellowship we’ve forged over the years are strong and should be honored by hoisting a glass. Oh, and if you want to have a serious conversation about the silver blue intensity of Legolas’s eyes in the Hobbit films versus the Lord of the Rings films, I’ll be at the bar.

 

 

One Last Party fundraiser!

one last party logo Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo is almost 90% funded and we’re pretty stoked!

If you’d like to join us as a Party of Special Magnificence in Hollywood in February — a toast to all SIX Middle-earth movies, then now is the time to throw in your support! Even if you can’t make it to Hollywood (or if you’ve already contributed), you can help out by retweeting or sharing our fundraiser across social media to get the word out.

Visit our campaign page to see how you can help — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Director news, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Community

The One Last Party – a chance to WIN a signed Battle of the Five Armies poster!

one last party botfa poster  We’re into the final week of The One Last Party Indiegogo campaign, and only 20% away from our goal! With a last push in these closing days we can get there – and hold a celebration of this journey of fandom we’ve been on together!

We’ve been eager, from the start, to provide ways for fans to be involved with this celebration, even if you can’t make it to Los Angeles. The campaign includes signed collectibles and stunning art work available as perks; an opportunity to get access to a live stream of the party; and a special ‘Thank You’ which we will send to Peter Jackson, with the names of all who pledge.  There are also ‘Supporter of Special Magnificence’ tshirts available, which feature the words, ’17 years is far too short a time to party among such excellent and admirable fans’.

The One Last Party is about the Fellowship of Fandom, and we hope that everyone who enjoys TheOneRing.net will feel able to be a part of it in some way. Which leads us to the awesome GIVEAWAY we have to announce!

Thanks to one very generous supporter, who is keen to see the campaign reach its goal, we have got our hands on a Battle of the Five Armies poster, signed at San Diego ComicCon by:

one last party botfa poster2Dwalin – Graham McTavish
Gollum – Andy Serkis
Tauriel – Evangeline Lilly
Thranduil – Lee Pace
Legolas – Orlando Bloom
Bard – Luke Evans
Smaug – Benedict Cumberbatch
Frodo – Elijah Wood
Galadriel – Cate Blanchett

This poster (measuring 13′ by 20′), together with the holographic wristband that was needed to get it at SDCC, will be given away to one lucky supporter, chosen at random from all the pledges of $10 and above that we receive THIS WEEK (Monday 12th to Sunday 18th January).

one last party botfa poster3The poster will only be given away IF we reach our goal! If we get to $180k by (or before!) the deadline on Sunday 18th, one name will be chosen at random to receive this amazing poster and wristband.  Each new pledge of $10 or higher during this final week will be a separate entry into the draw; the more times you pledge, the more chances you have to win!

(If you don’t want to run the risk of not winning, remember, you could pledge for the ‘Gimli, Son of Gloin’ perk and get a larger poster signed by 12 cast members!)

Help us reach our goal, be part of the celebration, and this fabulous signed poster could be on its way to you!

Huge thanks to the generous supporter who has donated this amazing item; and to all who have supported The One Last Party so far. Together we can make this celebration a reality!  Click here to visit the campaign: theonelastparty.com

 

(Please note, the poster is displayed on a frame in the photographs; the frame is not included in the giveaway! Poster will be shipped carefully packaged in a tube.)

One Last Party fundraiser!

one last party logo Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo is almost 80% funded and we’re pretty stoked!

If you’d like to join us as a Party of Special Magnificence in Hollywood in February — a toast to all SIX Middle-earth movies, then now is the time to throw in your support! Even if you can’t make it to Hollywood (or if you’ve already contributed), you can help out by retweeting or sharing our fundraiser across social media to get the word out.

Visit our campaign page to see how you can help — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, ComicCon, Contests, Conventions, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Meet Ups, Merchandise, Orlando Bloom, Oscar Parties, Posters Prints, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Community

Super Awesome Benefactor Matching Donations for 24 Hours! The One Last Party

 

103068An anonymous benefactor has offered to give $5k to this campaign, IF we increase our total by $5k by 12noon EST TOMORROW, Jan 9th.

That means we have 27 hours to go from our current total ($123,470) to $128,470 – if we make it, we’ll get a matching donation of $5k from our generous supporter!

pledge

If you’ve been pondering getting that amazing Movie Guide signed by SIX cast members (Thrain perk), or snapping up the last Mirkwood Elves VIP ticket, or snagging the poster with TWELVE signatures (and which INCLUDES a VIP ticket – Gimli perk), then now is the moment!

(And of course, every pledge received will be entered in the draw to win the amazing Dragon Bodice – see below!) (more…)

Posted in Alan Lee, Christopher Tolkien, Collectibles, Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Oscar Parties, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, The Two Towers, Tolkien