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.
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.
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!
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…)
Fictional Frontiers, a radio show specializing in genre entertainment and located on the east coast of the U.S., was part of the media assembled at The One Expected Party and checks in with an entertaining look at the weekend’s art show and Oscar night’s biggest geek celebration. It showcases each of the Oscar nominees, a few interviews, selections from the art show and a good representation of the musical showcase from the evening. Checking in under five minutes, it’s an excellent capture of the event.
It is a little difficult to imagine what event might have had more geek credibility on Oscar night than our own One Expected Party. GeekExchange.com certainly managed a solid report complete with the YouTube video above that shows highlights from many of the events that took the stage. They also managed a photo gallery that is definitely worth a look. You can read the entire report if you click this simple link.
Weta Digital is nominated for Visual Effects for its work on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” That means co-founder Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White could all be walking away from the Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday with golden statues. And the competition comes in the form of more folks at Weta Digital for work on “The Avengers,” and “Prometheus.” “The Life of Pi,” and “Snow White and The Huntsman,” are in the mix as well. Pundits say it comes down to Hobbit vs. Pi. Whatever the outcome, Weta Digital has had a pretty astounding year and with the warm glow of Smaug on the horizon, 2013 looks promising as well. You probably knew all that but what you may have missed are the terrific reels Weta Digital has available to help viewers (and maybe voters) understand what went into the creatures, environments and characters it created for the first of three Hobbit films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s 75-year-old children’s book.
One of the six showcases on YouTube, “VFX of The Hobbit: Fantastical Creatures & Lands of Epic Beauty & Darkness,” something of a highlight of all the videos, has been watched more than the rest but for anybody who loves cinema, loves the Hobbit film, technology or visual effects, the whole collection is outstanding. And so, we present them all below, embedded in one place for your viewing pleasure.
VFX OF THE HOBBIT: FANTASTICAL CREATURES & LANDS OF EPIC BEAUTY & DARKNESS
Some of the Middle-earth clothing from Black Milk has made a splash on our Facebook page but with fashion and popular culture taking center stage this week leading up to our own One Expected Party on Oscar night, it seemed a good time to share it here. Will we see a Doorway party dress? How about Witch King leggings? While we kind of want to chastise the company for not hyphenating and not making the e lower case in Middle-earth, its pretty cool to see a company take geek culture in mainstream directions. Its R2-D2 dress is well-known on websites like Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest. The Australian company gets our kudos for making geek, chic. In the meantime, if you want to or plan to be in the Los Angeles area this weekend and want to join us for the party, we would love to have you, even if you aren’t wearing all the names of the dwarves on your leggings. Tickets remain and with food and entertainment like One Man LOTR and Billy Boyd’s Beekcake on the musical menu, and Hobbit Oscar nominations for visual effects, hair and makeup and production design, it will be a night of legend.
The Goblin King from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Joe Letteri has helmed Weta Digital to work on three films with visual effects Oscar nominations in this year’s Academy Awards. Its work on “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is the only film that had all the work done in one place while his team contributed to “The Avengers,” and “Prometheus.” The work done on just Gollum or just The Goblin King would be a great visual effects achievement in any film but it also included Azog and an incredible array of elements.
Letteri talked to The Hero Complex recently and the information is good but perhaps a retread for TORn readers. However, the piece also has three making of videos that are outstanding. The three characters mentioned above each get his own showcase and it highlights the talents of Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman and the digital and design team among others. Anyway, the story is right here and of course the visual effects team must be considered strong favorites on Oscar night. And for 2013 they get to tackle a dragon.
The visual effects nominees are certainly invited to our big-event party that looks to be simply amazing.
Greetings all — as the Golden Globes have upset the table of this year’s Awards season (away from LINCOLN and in favor of ARGO), we have much shared excitement for upcoming HOBBIT: AUJ nominees Peter King (pictured here with WETA’s Richard Taylor), Dan Hennah, Joe Letteri, among others! TheOneRing.net is planning a big to-do here in Hollywood on the night of February 24th, THE ONE EXPECTED PARTY, in the tradition of our grand Oscar Parties of years past. Today on our *live* webcast TORn TUESDAY, your genial host Cliff “Quickbeam” Broadway will discuss the rarified air of Hollywood’s awards season and how THE HOBBIT is performing worldwide as fans eat it up. Our webcast begins in a few minutes at 5:00PM Pacific Time, watch and join our innovative chat here on our Live Event page or here at Stickam (where you can turn on your camera or login with your smartphone)! Everyone join the mischief — we have a party to plan!
Production designer Dan Hennah and Joe Letteri from Weta Digital spoke to Medakdo Murphy from the New York Times about the challenges of bringing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey HFR 48fps to the big screen by using a combination of digital sets and normal sets and merging the two together.
Mr. Hennah supervised the building of a flexible set. “We set it up so that we could make every component something we could move, lift up, turn around, interchange,” he said. They had two studios full of these movable elements, from the rock walls to the walkways and ladders. A digital version of some of those elements was created by Mr. Letteri’s team and blended together with the on-set props to create a seamless environment. Spoilers ahead.
Talking to Shawn Adler from movieline.com, Weta Digital visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri talks about the use of 3D HFR in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He explains why it takes some getting used to, and why he feels it’s a big step forward for films, like the transition from black and white to color.
“If you grew up seeing films in black and white and suddenly start seeing films in color, some people are going to have the reaction ‘Wow, that’s great!’ and other people are going to have the reaction, ‘That’s not moviemaking! Films should be made in black and white! You’re losing the mystery of how to deal with tonality, you’re sacrificing that to deal with color!’” [Read more]
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