HOBBITON — A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set for winners of the Hobbit Fan Contest had, all-in-all, a pretty amazing day — and then they saw the trailer.
For readers who don’t know, the shooting set for exteriors of the Shire in Hobbit trilogy is preserved for visitors on the farm where it was originally used for the “Lord of the Rings,” films. It provides a fully immersive environment that fans worldwide agree is singularly special and it runs tours daily.
So besIt also didn’t hurt that actors Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow and Stephen Hunter surprised visitors at a feast inside the full-service eatery on site: The Green Dragon. Nor did the flowing drink, the plentiful food, the expertly guided tours, but what else can be done to delight 150 of the most die-hard fans in the world?
Have Peter Jackson, by way of recorded video, introduce the just-finished, and last, trailer for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It brought the house down.
In the very Hobbity party tent behind The Green Dragon all the gathered fans and media were clearly and repeatedly instructed to turn off our cameras so it was obvious something different was happening. Even the most honored guests, the actors were placed in the front but looking forward with the audience.
Matthew Dravitzki, an Associate Producer on the trilogy and a key figure behind Jackson’s team who usually escapes the spotlight, spoke to the fans and introduced the video. He also required that we viewers not share the details, especially the specifics, so you will not read them here. But I think its okay if I say, it’s serious as a heart attack, gloomy as a storm front and as epic as battle of five armies.
And wow, do my fingers itch to type more.
Afterwards the groups of fans, split up for logistical purposes and took the new (to me) night tour around the set. Under the party tree the groups gathered to finally end a pretty amazing day. In fact, it may be difficult to match during the rest of the trip. To say fans were ecstatic is no exaggeration. There were, at several points, tears of joy and disbelief.
The day started in the rain at the Skyline Rotorua. Fans and reporters were generously offered the opportunity to enjoy various activities that included wine tasting, a zip line, a luge and a skyswing. Then it was off to the movie set for a day that was absolutely packed.
TORn interviewed the four actors together in a group with hilarious results. We will post it at a later date, depending on how quickly we get the video and quickly I can possibly post it but it’s great fan service from four classy New Zealand gentlemen.
The owner of the sheep and cattle farm the set sits on and his son who run it, Ian and Russel Alaexander, were on hand for interviews as well. TORn didn’t catch up with them, but plenty of media outlets did. In the late afternoon, in the guise of introducing The Green Dragon, fans were led into the room where the actors and executives were enjoying dinner and where media was stationed to grab reactions. As anticipated, tears where shed, hugs were shared and memories were made. Staff working on the event expressed a lot of tender emotions while watching fans enjoy the surprise so much.
I was pleased to have time to mix and mingle with fans — and I met a lot of them and enjoyed it every time. Before long it was trailer time. Despite this group’s appointment this week to screen the actual film with director Peter Jackson, the trailer announcement was greeted with great excitement.
Dravitzki promised a triple showing and delivered. All three times fans hushed each other at the start, not wanting to miss any dialog.
Then it was outdoors for the night tour when fireworks were triggered. Then, off to buses and tomorrow, Queenstown.
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tours
The following event(s) took place in Middle-earth on November 1:
- An angered Smaug searches the mountain (1341)
- Bilbo returns to Smaug’s chamber in the afternoon (1341)
- Smaug attacks Lake-town (1341)
- Lake-town in the aftermath (1341)
- The hobbits rest in Rivendell as scouts search the lands for news of the enemy (1418)
- They are arrested at Frogmorton (1419)
Posted in Calendar, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Hobbit, Today in Middle-earth
On the 31st of October 1961 a bouncing bundle of mischief came into the world in Wellington New Zealand, he grew up to delight millions of Middle-earth fans around the planet.
So from all of us here at theonering.net we would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Sir Peter Jackson!
Thank you for bringing Middle-earth to the big screen.
Now for that one last visit…
Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson
As part of the American Film Institute Film Festival in Hollywood, CA., WETA Digital is doing a free presentation lecture on the evolution of digital technology over the last two decades. Although the blurb explicitly mentions Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it seems inconceivable that they wouldn’t discuss Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films as well.
The lecture is happening at the Chinese in Theatre 1 on November 10 at 1pm. Tickets are free so best hurry to grab yours, one suspects. (more…)
Posted in Events, Hobbit Movie, Lectures & Education, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
Sir Ian McKellen starts this video introduction to announce the World Premiere date for the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle-earth films. We now know for sure that the cast and crew from all six films will be walking through Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London. Sir Ian was joined by Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom and Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman. Check out the video below for more details and start making your plans accordingly. There is mention of a contest, so good luck to anyone who chooses to enter.
Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Orlando Bloom, Production, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.
Over at The Guardian, Sarah Crown discusses why she rates Sauron in The Lord of the Rings as the most frightening and enduring villain of all literature.
I think there could be something to this. I recall vividly just how much Sauron’s unseen — yet uncannily tangible — menace frightened me as a teenager reading The Fellowship of the Ring late into the night, especially whenever I reached the following passage from The Mirror of Galadriel.
But suddenly the Mirror went altogether dark, as dark as if a hole had opened in the world of sight, and Frodo looked into emptiness. In the black abyss there appeared a single Eye that slowly grew. until it filled nearly all the Mirror. So terrible was it that Frodo stood rooted, unable to cry out or to withdraw his gaze. The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing.
Then the Eye began to rove, searching this way and that; and Frodo knew with certainty and horror that among the many things that it sought he himself was one.
Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, The Two Towers, Tolkien