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Archive for the ‘Production’ Category

‘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

Weta Digital wins scientific and technical Academy Award

Azog and white warg at the climax of An Unexpected Journey. Three Weta Digital artists have won one of 21 scientific and technical achievements awards that the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday for their work on innovative hair manipulation software known as Barbershop.

Barbershop is hair-grooming software that enables digital artists to literally comb, brush and blow-dry CG hair. Its unique architecture allows direct manipulation of full-density hair using an intuitive, interactive and procedural toolset, resulting in greatly enhanced productivity with finer-grained artistic control than is possible with other existing systems.

Marco Revelant is being recognised for the original concepts and artistic vision, while Alasdair Coull and Shane Cooper are being honoured for the architectural and engineering design of the Barbershop hair-grooming system. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Production, The Hobbit

Post-Hobbit: Jackson to help open WWI museum

Peter Jackson stands on the set of Lake-Town It looks like, in addition to his work on the Extended Edition for the Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson will be investing a bit of his time this year to launch a WWI museum. Is it too much to think this might be a pointer toward that Dambusters project?


Director Peter Jackson said Wednesday he’s putting his energy into helping launch a museum to commemorate World War I after finishing his “Hobbit” movie trilogy.

If he has any plans for future blockbusters, he’s not saying.

Jackson was speaking at his New Zealand post-production facility where he was helping host an event to promote the local film industry. Directors Jane Campion and James Cameron also attended.

Jackson is a World War I history buff who owns a number of planes from the era.

He said the plan for the Wellington museum was to open during April to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli battle.

He said more galleries would be opened over the coming four years to mark other battles in which New Zealanders fought.

The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported earlier that Jackson had been recruited by the government to curate the museum, and he was expected to gather aircraft, tanks and other artifacts from private and public collections.

[Read More]

 


TheOneRing.net’s One Last Party campaign hits $163,000!

Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo has now raised more than $163,000 — we’ve less than 17,000 to go!

We are so humbled by everyone’s support. More than 1,000 people have pledged and scores of people have reached out to donate items or their time to help our party fundraiser. You are all awesome!

one last party botfa poster Pledges of $10 or more could win this signed Battle of the Five Armies poster

One amazing TORn supporter has donated this Battle of the Five Armies poster (see the picture below) signed at San Diego ComicCon by:

  • Dwalin — 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

The 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).

However, the 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. That’s right: the more times you pledge, the more chances you have to win!

Posted in Director news, Director Rumors, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson: “no regrets”

HBT3-bs-343122.DNG This is a really interesting — and sometimes provocative — interview from just after the premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five armies.

The Daily Beast chatted with Peter Jackson about his two decades exploring Middle-earth, his thoughts on Tolkien purists (controversial!), evading the MPAA’s initial R rating on the most recent Hobbit film (I hadn’t heard about that), and his plans for the future (still hoping for the Dambusters film, personally).

I found this quote really interesting…

I don’t mean to undervalue the battle, they could be holding a knife and fork with their hands and be sitting at the table eating, or they can have a sword in their hand and fighting for their lives, it’s still the storytelling and the narrative that these guys are on that you’re really focused on.

Don’t forget to follow the link to read the full interview. (more…)

Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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

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

The One Last Party, new shirt design, new perks and a winner

PrintThere are just 12 days left in our Indiegogo campaign and we have passed the 60% funded mark and are very pleased at this point. We know our goal really is within reach, meaning we will get to throw a Party of Special Magnificence for this wonderful fan community. Here are a few little updates, with more to come in the next couple of days.

1) We are very proud to debut the design for The One Last Party attendee shirt. This shirt will specifically be for everyone pledging for one of the ticketed perk levels. This joins the supporter shirt we debuted two weeks ago, designed exclusively for the 4 T-Shirt pledge levels. The final version of these shirts might look a wee bit different, the design is being finessed in order to print properly, but this is pretty much what you are going to get.

Print2) The very happy winner of the ‘Children of Hurin’ book signed by Christopher Tolkien and Alan Lee goes to Patricia M. up in Northern California. Our thanks to everyone who participated in the lottery by pledging during J.R.R. Tolkien’s Birthday celebration this past weekend. Please look for a new Prize draw starting very soon.

3) The ‘Mirkwood Elves’ VIP ticket perk is back on the list, but just a few of them, we are trying to keep the VIP perk as exclusive as possible. Also, the ‘Gimli, Son of Gloin’ perk with the signed DOS poster does include the ‘Mirkwood Elves’ VIP ticket as part of the perk. So there are currently 5 tickets at this level available, and then 2 more ultra VIP tickets available at the ‘TORn Star’ level, which includes VIP tickets and Sponsor status at the party. Poster A smaller

And finally, we really do want to thank everyone who has pledged at any and all levels for your support. We know not everyone can attend and we truly do hope that you value some of the other perks we have been offering, and will continue to offer. There are some exciting new items coming down the pike in the next few days, so keep your eyes on our website and social media channels and maybe you can take advantage of some awesome opportunities.

 

One Last Party fundraiser passes the 60% mark!

one last party logo Our One Last Party fundraiser on Indiegogo has just passed the 60% funded mark 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. And there is some cool swag you can get if you are unable to attend.

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

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

Peter Jackson’s long goodbye to Middle-earth — and his Five armies cameo

Peter Jackson Stuff.co.nz has this nice little piece about Peter Jackson, including his cameo in The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies.

 


Given how long he has been hanging around Middle-earth, it’s easy to imagine that Peter Jackson finds it hard to say goodbye. (more…)

Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Chef Jamie Oliver had to turn down Hobbit cameo

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES The Sydney Morning Herald reports that British chef Jamie Oliver had to turn down the opportunity to cameo in The Hobbit due to work comittments. Unlucky! (more…)

Posted in Casting Rumors, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

Collecting The Precious: Weta Workshop’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Collectibles

HobbitBotFABardb2The last two days have seen two new items from our friends at Weta that are tied to this, the final film in the fantastic Hobbit Trilogy.

The first item landed yesterday and was something we saw at Comic-Con 2014 to do with a certain Dragon Slayer. That’s right, fans can now get one of Weta’s amazing statues capturing Bard the Bowman. This statue of Bard is so well done, with all the usual great details, as well as a dead on likeness to Luke Evans. Bard is currently up for pre-order for $299 with an expected ship date during quarter one of next year. There is also a small deposit that will be required at the time of order for those who will be one of only 1000 people to own this statue.

One of my favorite moments from the last film was The White Council taking on the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. Now if you’ve always wanted to own Saruman’s Staff, Weta has now released this amazing prop replica for you to add to your collection. Limited to just 1500 pieces worldwide you can snag this replica for $249 with a deposit at the time of purchase, and you should have this sometime during quarter one of next year.

 

 

 

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a toast to all SIX movies, both LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit.

Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to grab your tickets and help make it happen — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop

Help us Thank the entire cast & crew of ‘All Six Middle-earth Films’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe at TheOneRing.net want you all to join us in saying a proper ‘Fond Farewell’ and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all the hard working Cast and Crew of all six of the Middle-earth films. There will be a giant ‘Thank You’ card at our planned “The One Last party: There and Back Again” event on February 21, 2015 in Hollywood. We’ve done this before, back at the Return of the One Party in 2004, so we know how to do big cards.

Now we know that not everyone can join us at ‘The One Last Party” so we have a special Perk on our Indiegogo campaign just for you. In fact, every single Perk level includes your name on the card, but we did create the lowest level Perk just for those who can’t attend, but would like to be included in this special ‘one of a kind’ Thank you greeting. The images here are from 2004, but they give you an idea of what to expect from this year’s Epic card. And for those who do attend the party, you will have the opportunity to personalize your greeting a little bit more at the party. This ‘Thank You’ card will either be given to, or sent down to New Zealand to be delivered to Peter Jackson.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

For the past decade and a half, Peter Jackson, his amazing cast and the equally amazing crew have handcrafted these magnificent cinematic representations of Middle-earth for all of us to enjoy. Along the way, we have created a vibrant fan community where we can be found chatting on the message boards, meeting up at theater Line Parties, attending conventions together, making pilgrimages to New Zealand, and attending Oscar parties. We are a very social fandom who celebrates both the creative and academic side of Middle-earth, where you can find people displaying amazing costume designs right next to people who can recite and translate all of Tolkien’s Elvish poetry, and each can call the other ‘friend’. So while we want to thank Peter and the rest of the cast and crew for making films we can all enjoy, we especially want to thank them for the much more important Fan Community that has been thriving in big cities and tiny little towns all around the world since 2001.

Please join us in sending out our thanks by supporting our campaign for The One Last Party: There and Back Again, or sharing it far and wide with all your friends and family. Let’s all enjoy each other’s company #OneLastTime.

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Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a toast to all SIX movies, both LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit.

Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to grab your tickets and help make it happen — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Old Oscar Party News, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, 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, Tours

‘Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is flowing gold in opening week

moneyThe marketing campaign of #OneLastTime for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” might have been a little short-sighted as now that most readers of TheOneRing.net and other rabid Tolkien fans have seen the film (sorry Australia friends, paddle over to New Zealand) studios are probably thinking they should have gone with #OneDozenMoreTimes.

But the Sting can’t be too great, because the film is creating liquid gold that is flowing from consumers around the world. Rentrack, that tracks such things, shows that it has a robust domestic box office, so the little film from New Zealand has earned $90 million in Yankee coin. That is a more than solid five-day total and while it could have optimally earned closer to $100 million, that number is far from disappointing. In fact, the studios should use it to pour a floor like the one in Thorin’s hall of madness to, you know, impress the other studios.

The film has such white-hot, world-wide appeal however, that unlike some films that rely on U.S. consumers, this film hardly needs them in its march to $1 billion. Now, to be clear, that billion with a “B” sounds pretty nice but should the movie “only” make, say $900 million, all but inevitable now, that is still a pretty incredible figure. Our consumer brains like to hear the “B,” but the movie is a hit either way and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGGlobally, it is on fire, doing great business in virtually every territory, sucking up a figure of $265 million since its open. Both the previous Hobbit movies earned more than $700 million internationally and this film is ahead of those in virtually every market. Domestic tracking would put it at $250 million plus for a conservative total of $950 million. My gut tells me the sentimental “last chance for Middle-earth in the theater” (you are welcome movie studio marketing departments) will give this film a little extra run. So the real question is: Will the Hobbit make more than the last Transformers movie? That shows at Boxofficemojo.com with a total of $1.08 billion. One of those two films is destined to be the biggest financially of the year. I generally dislike movie vs. movie comparisons, but I am both cheering for WB’s fantasy flick and against Michael Bay’s painful, loud snooze fest.

TOTALS: Domestic: $ 90.6 million + International: $265 million = Total worldwide: $355.6 million.

It is funny how big hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “The Lego Movie,” both fall well short of that $1 billion mark and are praised as giant successes — which they are. But, anybody remember some of the negative buzz with last year’s “Desolation of Smaug” being “disappointing?” It only made $958 million. Before that, some folks tried to say “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” was “doomed to failure” and then when it obviously wasn’t doomed or a failure, it was then termed as “not quite so bad, but still has no shot at $1 billion.”

First, that is just an arbitrary mark that looks good on a resume but it did cross that arbitrary mark despite the cries of “failure.” Bad buzz, even when it is fake, can hurt the box office. I got mad and wrote Death of ‘Hobbit’ at box office greatly exaggerated. I will not lie, punching holes in absurd journalism made it one of my favorite pieces I have ever put together for TORn. Also, it is relevant to how BOTFA is kicking some trash. So yeah, I had to link to it #OneLastTime.

PJ_Carrow_Bruno2Guardians will out-earn Hobbit in the U.S., but can’t touch it internationally. Marvel/Disney’s world-wide total will be approximately the same as Hobbit’s international-only money. Warners could have let everybody in the U.S. watch it for free and it would have earned the same as Guardians. #NotAFailure

The latest Hunger Games flick, “Mockingjay: Part 1,” is sitting around $640 million for its world total. Great numbers, but not Hobbit numbers. And Lego, as great a success as it is (and a great movie), isn’t half Hobbit 3’s final — even with Gandalf in it. In fact BOTFA is closing in on it fast.

BONUS TEASERS: While we are here, I will take a second to tease a pretty incredible Ian McKellen interview coming in the next day or so. That sounds immodest of me to say since it is my piece, but it is the journalist getting out of the way and letting Sir Ian talk. I really think it will connect with readers. He spoke at length about a lot of things including who else he thinks could have played Gandalf in The Hobbit films if he decided not to return. We also have some exclusive set photos of Peter Jackson coming in a day or two, one of which I included here in a small version. And if you haven’t heard, we are throwing a party! Details below.

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Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a toast to all SIX movies, both LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit.

Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to grab your tickets and help make it happen — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM, New Line Cinema, Oscar Parties, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Warner Bros.