WETA Digital has released a brand new two and a half minute video exclusively to the The Hollywood Reporter detailing the creation of the dragon Smaug. Thanks to Ringers Makaw, Brandon, Will P., and Jesse for notifying us about the video!
The Hollywood Reporter also spoke to Smaug VFX artist David Clayton (who is nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film) about the process of translating actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s motion capture performance into the fire-breathing creature you see on the screen in The Desolation of Smaug. (more…)
Welcome to the latest “Getting to know” – questions that need answering. It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I occasionally post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of self-described Online guy at Weta Workshop and all round top bloke, Magnus Hjert.
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!
On a day usually marked by celebrations, we are very sad to report the untimely death of our Kiwi friend, Mike Hopkins, who worked alongside American compatriot Ethan Van der Ryn as Sound Editors on the LOTR Trilogy. Mr. Hopkins (pictured on the left with Van der Ryn) would go on to win Academy Awards for Sound Editing on two of Peter Jackson’s films: The Two Towers and King Kong. He and his friends were rafting in the Tararua Range when their watercraft capsized. The complete story can be found here at Stuff.co.nz.
Ringer fans have in the past met Mr. Hopkins at public events and our own Oscar Parties held for LOTR cast & crew, where he showed extraordinary humility and appreciation for the love showed by our unique fandom. The staff of TheOneRing.net are deeply saddened at this tragic news and extend their sympathy and prayers to Mr. Hopkins’ surviving family and friends. We wish him godspeed on his new journey, certain that he can make the thunder of Heaven sound that much sweeter to the ears of the Divine.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” features at least 13 dwarves, a hobbit lead and a Shire-full of supporting hobbits, three wizards, an elven queen and many more characters, and that’s just the first film in the Peter Jackson trilogy; Britain-based designer Ann Maskrey was tasked with creating costumes for them all. Maskrey is new to Middle-earth, but her previous work includes designing costumes for the “Star Wars” prequels, “Clash of the Titans” and Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Hero Complex recently spoke with Maskrey about the challenges of dressing the dwarves and designing the look for a new wizard. Read the full article on the Los Angeles Times here.
Warner Brothers has kicked off their Awards Season website for many of their films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey among them. The page links to the Official Website and trailer, gives a brief synopsis of the story, and then lists all the names of the people who worked in eligible categories, from the Writers to the Sound Effects people, and a few of the actors. And just as a tease, there is a list of screenings, but those screenings are for Academy voters and members of the various Guilds (Screen Actors, Writers, Directors, etc) only. A full list of eligible names and categories below. Hopefully this means we will have a lot to celebrate at our own Oscar Party! [Website]
Welcome to our latest “Getting to know” questions that need answering. This month we’re talking to the one and only Balrog Showgirl, Nicole Roberts.
Hi Nicole and a very big thank you for taking part and for being so patient with me.
This first question is from Rosie-with-the-ribbons who’s latest costume for RingCon has been inspired by your Balrog Showgirl costume.
R-w-t-r: Do you make your costumes yourself?
Nicole: Rosie – that is awesome! Yes, for the most part the costumes I’ve been running around in for the past several years have all been of my own making. I only started sewing back in 2004, after I moved to Los Angeles and started hanging out with even more LOTR people. The first costume I made was to wear to Comic Con that year – I was the Mumak Mahud (the guy with the black and white painted face who steers the oliphaunt in ROTK), so you could definitely say I’ve always leaned towards costumes that were a little off the beaten path! I’ve done some costumes that were direct recreations (“Barf” from “Spaceballs”is the most well-known one), but as I’ve gotten more into the sewing, I really like doing things that are more of an original design, like the Balrog Showgirl. As someone who is not of supermodel proportions (and seriously, those chicks look like scary walking lollipops anyway), I like to have the opportunity to design something that I think is more flattering to me, and I always like to learn how to do something new, like dyeing feathers for the showgirl headdress.
The sword-fighting trainer and choreographer passed away today, at the age of 89.
Bob Anderson was a behind-the-scenes name little known to many fans but who had a tremendous impact not only on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but on cinema itself. Anderson’s many credits include: Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Princess Bride, Highlander and much more. [Read obit from AP]
From thelordoftherings.net: “Bob Anderson, the world’s top sword master who has consulted on such films as Star Wars and trained the legendary Errol Flynn, was also brought in to train the actors in different fencing techniques. An expert in medieval arms, Anderson read the novel and then developed sparring methods based on Tolkien’s descriptions of each culture.”
Fans will recall that prior to Peter Jackson’s coming down with that nasty stomach ulcer earlier this month (the man’s doing fine now, bless him!), filming of The Hobbit was supposed to begin on 14th February 2011, with Ian McKellen’s first day of filming due yesterday, 21st February 2011.
So it only makes sense that with the films’ official start date now pushed to 21st March 2011, the Grey Wizard is EARLY! He consequently took the time today to make his first blog post ‘From the middle of Middle Earth‘ in a neat little section titled Notes from Imladris on his official website. Excerpts follow:
I hadn’t intended last Thursday to arrive in Wellington for The Hobbit filming, five weeks early. Yet, what’s new? Just a year ago I had expected to start shooting in July 2010, with Guillermo del Toro in charge… A year on, filming was to start at the end of February 2011. Then, Peter Jackson had his stomach operation. The insurance company has insisted on five weeks recuperation. Which is why, yet again, I’m here early. Waiting for Bilbo.
In related news, our friend Jack who lives down in New Zealand has updated his ‘Noldor Blog‘ with an interesting post. Between running into Sir Richard Taylor and Peter Lyon, he also ran into none other than Andy Serkis this last Saturday night at a diner in Wellington.
Looks like the place is abuzz with activity with The Hobbit shoot now less than a month away!
Below is the statement just released by Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger over at wetanz.com:
On behalf of all our friends and colleagues at Weta Workshop, we send our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of the people from around New Zealand and the world who have sent us their messages of support.
Everyone here has tried to stay optimistic for a positive outcome but in the darkest days of the past week it has been the amazing support from the fans of LOTR and our family and friends which has given us the resolve to stay cheerful and positive about the outcome for these films.
It is a fantastic result reported tonight by our Prime Minister, the Honourable John Key, and we are grateful for the support of our Government in recognising the challenges our film industry was facing.
We are also very pleased that Warner Bros are happy to continue to see these films made in New Zealand – and thank them for their efforts.
Most importantly our thanks go out to Peter, Fran and Philippa, for their unrelenting efforts to see these films made in our country. We are very lucky to work with such passionate film makers.
All our best and cheers to you all.
Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger
I might add we’re lucky to have such passionate people as our friends at WETA working on these beloved stories too. Our very best wishes are with you as you embark on your journey into Middle-earth once again!
Daniel Reeve, (LOTR Calligrapher, Cartographer and Artist), is leading a 7 Day Tour of Northern New Zealand, October 3rd to 10th,for people interested in developing their artistic talent while enjoying scenic Northland, NZ. The tour includes an overnight cruise in the beautiful Bay of Islands and visits to stunning remote locations. For those who may want it, a ‘Lord of the Rings Tour’ throughout NZ follows this. Details are on Red Carpet
Michelle Lee from The Hair and Makeup Artist Network sends this in: I just wanted to let you know we are having a networking dinner with John Slowsky the pre-production art director from Lord of the Rings. Details are attached if you would like to post them to the site. More..
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