(The outdoor Lake-Town wet set with extras and crew assembled for a night shoot on “The Hobbit.”)
WELLINGTON — The great cities of history have risen up around rivers, lakes and on coasts. Water holds vast and replenishing stores of food, improves transportation of people and goods, encourages trade, and of course keeps a population hydrated. Paris. London. Hong Kong. New York. Tokyo. Moscow. Boston. On and on.
Lake-town benefitted from excellent transportation and presumably a wealth of fish and food and clean, fresh water but it was built on water for a different reason.
One dragon in particular: Smaug The Terrible.
Tolkien’s Lake-town, like real-world Venice, was built on wooden pillars sunk into water. The lake men — with the destruction of Dale seared forever into their memory — built on water for safety. We watched it in the prolog of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” while they had to live with the fear of dragon every day. Water-based living provided at least a chance against the great and terrible worm if he ever attacked again.
Survival was the challenge for the city builders in Middle-earth but for Peter Jackson’s film version of Lake-town, dragon-sized demands included creating visuals to sell a water-based town to the audience and to provide a playground to let actors fully realize characters and moments. (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.
Last week, all fans of TheOneRing.net were focused on the approach of “The One Expected Party.” But there was another event involving some of the Oscar-nominated members of The Hobbit production team. On Saturday, February 23, the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard (just down the street from the Dolby Theatre) was the venue for “The Art of Production Design,” jointly sponsored by the Art Directors Guild, the Set Decorators Society of America, and the American Cinematheque.
The panel of guests was made up of the production designers for Lincoln, Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and Les Misérables, as well as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Dan Hennah was there as production designer (at the right in the photo), along with Ra Vincent (left) and Simon Bright (center), the set decorators.
With that much talent present, the time allotted to each film was all too short. Dan Hennah assured the audience that the designs for The Hobbit were not just a return to The Lord of the Rings. There were new challenges involved in what he called a “long and relentless journey.” A great deal of pre-production had taken place during the period when Guillermo del Toro was on board as director. Once Peter Jackson took over, everything was revisited. (more…)
Dan Hennah talked Oscars with the Nelson Mail (part of the Stuff.co.nz network) after the awards ceremony and the One Expected Party where he rated the official ceremony as the best of the five he has attended. He visited the Governor’s Ball and along with his wife Chris (who managed the production team on set (and was kind to TheOneRing.net embedded reporter) attended our own celebratory events afterwards. Along with the Hennahs at the party were production nominees Ra Vincent and Simon Bright (both for set decoration) and the article mentions them as well. Nelson, in New Zealand, is where the Hennahs are from, making the Academy Award winners part of the native Kiwi population, along with Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor that sprung from New Zealand soil and stand among the best in the world at their craft.
The article starts, ” Dan Hennah may not have picked up another Oscar to add to the one in the dining room in his Orinoco home but he still had a great time at yesterday’s Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles.
The Hobbit, for which Hennah was nominated for production design, lost to Lincoln in that category. Hennah said Lincoln was “a beautiful movie and it was well executed. It got what it deserved”. ”
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