Archive for the ‘Joe Letteri’ Category
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.
Posted in Crew News, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Production, The Hobbit
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
Collider recently spoke with Weta Digital senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about their work on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
According to Letteri, their work is going great, and a lot of material has already been turned over to Jackson. Letteri also indicated that the group are trying to ensure titular battle has significant stakes for everyone, and builds a bridge to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (more…)
Posted in Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital
What do you get people who have everything? The extremely talented folks in front of and behind the camera in the film industry typically have very nice jobs. They get to travel all over the world, they make a decent salary, they are beloved by millions, and they get to create great art. Come awards season, if their work has been deemed excellent by their peers, they are nominated in their respective fields. And then they are wined and dined and gifted until their houses are full of chochkis, or sometimes really cool stuff. So I ask again, what do you get these people?
Well, if you are TheOneRing.net, you simply get them a little Luck, in the form of a pin they can wear at the ceremony, or not, as they see fit. Most of them wait to put their pins on until they get to one of our parties. It always sort of acts as an automatic pass to get in, we don’t have to look their names up on the list.
We wouldn’t have these pins to give if it weren’t for our wonderfully geeky and talented friends at Badali Jewelry, who began this tradition with the Fellowship of the Ring, and above you see the 5th installment of the Good Luck pin. Today several of these pins were delivered to current nominees, through torrential rain in case anyone was wondering. If you find that you are a nominee and you don’t have one of these waiting for you at your hotel, feel free to ping us at Oscarparty@TheOneRing.net so we can rectify the situation.
To the right you see Peter Jackson winning one of his 3 Oscars on February 29, 2004 while wearing the ROTK Good Luck pin. So that might just be a hint that wearing the pin during the ceremony is Good Luck.
Here at TheOneRing.net we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations and wish you the best of luck to everyone listed below. While you are all sitting at the Dolby trying not to bite all of your nails off, we will be over at the Cat & Fiddle cheering you on, and drinking a toast to you, as we always do come Oscar night.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug nominees
Sound Editing – Brent Burge and Chris Ward
Sound Mixing – Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Visual Effects – Joe Lettery, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Middle-earth nominees in other projects
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Short: Live Action – The Voorman Problem, which stars Martin Freeman
Middle-earth personage as a Presenter
Good Luck one and All!
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Jewelry, Jewelry, Joe Letteri, Martin Freeman, Meet Ups, One Dragon, One Party, Oscar Parties, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films has just released the nomination list for the 40th annual installment of the Saturn Awards, and The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug has tied with ‘Gravity’ for the most nominations. Both received eight.
The gongs that The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug is up for are: (more…)
Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Crew News, Dan Hennah, Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fran Walsh, Guillermo Del Toro, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Howard Shore, Joe Letteri, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
If you’re a die hard fan of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth adaptations, chances are you probably know the name Joe Letteri. Winner of four Academy Awards, Mr. Letteri has been an instrumental part of bringing the magical world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books to life through the art of visual effects.
Now Mr. Letteri has once again been nominated for his work – this time for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The Los Angeles Times’ Cristy Lytal took some time to ask him some questions ahead of the Oscar ceremony – which will be held on March 2nd. Naturally, the interview focused mostly on the creation of the film’s visual centerpiece – Smaug. (more…)
Posted in Crew News, Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joe Letteri, LotR Movies, Miscellaneous, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, WETA Digital
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominations
Best Sound Mixing
Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Best Sound Editing
Best Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
for the 86th Annual Academy Awards this morning, and The Desolation of Smaug received 3 nods.
Congratulations to the nominees! The ceremony will be held on March 2nd. (more…)
Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Warner Bros., WETA Digital
This past Thursday night, the Visual Effects branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met to vote for the five VFX nominees at this year’s Oscars. As expected, voters were highly impressed by the frontrunners Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. But the fellow potential nominees were no slouches either. Presentations of the special effects work behind Pacific Rim, World War Z, and others left quite an impression as well. (more…)
Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Miscellaneous, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, WETA Digital
LOS ANGELES — TheOneRing.net covered all kinds of events this week surrounding the World Premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” None was more exciting than the film’s red (black) carpet experience where the stars can greet fans and walk the press line to talk about the film.
Many clips end up on news and entertainment websites but we bring you an edited version with our own Happy Hobbits behind the microphones and in front of the stars including Martin Freeman, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, William Kircher, Dean O’Gorman, Aidan Turner, Philippa Boyens, Manu Bennett, Ryan Gage, Sean Astin, Ed Sheeran and the already-famous pinch from Benedict Cumberbatch.
Posted in Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Ed Sheeran, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Luke Evans, Manu Bennett, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Premieres, Ryan Gage, Sean Astin, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, TheOneRing.net Community, William Kircher
Join the team from Life Flight at The Embassy on the opening weekend of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for a special charity screening supporting Life Flight. Book here.
William Kircher (who plays Bilfur the Dwarf) and Joe Letteri ONZM (Weta Senior Visual Effects Supervisor for The Hobbit) will be attending and there’ll be an exclusive Q&A session with four-time Oscar winner Joe before the film.
Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Terrace, Wellington
Friday 13 December 2013
Event begins 5.15pm. Film starts 6.05pm
Cost: $30 (includes 3D glasses)
Life Flight receives $9.50 from every ticket sold
The 3D film is the second in a trilogy of movies adapting the ever-popular masterpiece The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves on an epic quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor.
Click here to book your tickets today
Please contact Niall Mackay firstname.lastname@example.org or 04 920 2237 if you have any questions.
Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, William Kircher
The new Gollum in The Hobbit is technologically updated from the LOTR trilogy.
Our own staffer Justin brought this excellent chat between Stuff magazine and Weta Digital’s Joe Letteri to light. Letteri discusses some of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the challenges of shooting in 3D at 48 fps, but he also has some interesting things to say about Smaug.
Letteri on Smaug: “Really, we could’ve done Smaug in the traditional way – just ask Benedict Cumberbatch to come into a voice booth and record his dialogue, and do everything entirely with keyframe animation. But when we record what Benedict’s body is doing, it frees him up to give us some idea of the physicality and intimate the poses, so that what he’s got on his mind can come through in how he’s performing it – and we’ll take that and extend it into what we do with the dragon.”
Letteri on revisiting Gollum: “I don’t think so – it’s not something that Peter’s ever indicated that he was interested in doing, and for my mind I’m happy to just have the film be finished as a film. We were lucky to be able to come back and do Gollum now with what we know ten years later – we have the best of both worlds, we can do that in new scenes. But even if that hadn’t been the case, I’m inclined to say a film exists in and of its time – and if you want to see something new, go and make a new film.”
You can read the rest of the excellent article right here!
Posted in Andy Serkis, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, LotR Movies, The Hobbit
With its ceaseless tide of wizards, Wargs, Orcs, Stone-Giants, Skin-changers, Goblins, and, of course, Gollum, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — available on Blu-ray from April 8 — is a feast for fans of fantasy filmdom.
But it proved a challenge of Silmarillion proportions for the visual effects team at Weta Digital charged with bringing Tolkien’s fantastical romp to life. The first blockbuster to combine the dimensional hurdles of 3D and pioneering 48fps HFR technology, it’s arguably the most daunting special effects movie ever attempted. (more…)
Posted in Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital