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Archive for the ‘Peter Jackson’ Category

Middle-earth filmmakers set their sights on stop motion ‘Birds’

BirdsCatching up with some of our friends from New Zealand, we learned about a project that involves the efforts of a lot of Kiwis, including Sylvester McCoy of Hobbit fame and Lord of the Rings’ Alex Funke. For good measure New Zealand’s Grammy winner Kimbra (Somebody That I Used To Know) is supporting the project with her voice.

In the age of computer generated effects, the film “Birds” is a throwback. A friend to TORn, Horst Sarubin, who worked on visual effects for the three Hobbit films, is behind the project that uses puppets, shot one frame at a time with incremental movements between frames to create a motion picture. The film, about the struggles of George the bird in the primordial forests of Zealandia (pre-historic New Zealand) to carry on.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEYMcCoy is well known for his bird whistles and humor, which Hobbit director Peter Jackson definitely brought through the former Dr. Who’s Radagast into cinematic Middle-earth. In the film’s kickstarter campaign McCoy presents those whistles and gets a little bird treat in return. In the same video Funke, who is best know for helping make the LOTR bigatures look amazing on screen, explains his role is to make the cinematography great.

The stop-motion technique is being employed to give the filmmakers a hands-on experience and a final project they claim will be alive and organic. Tying closely with the passions of Peter Jackson, these are the same techniques used by Ray Harryhausen and Willis H. O’Brien. The original King Kong movie was made in this fashion, inspiring a generation of filmmakers.

With a team of grass-roots talent with a Middle-earth cinematic legacy efforting the film and a universal appealing story, but set in the ancient human-free land that would eventually become New Zealand, TORn readers may want to know further information is available at georgethebird.com. The grass-roots effort is seeking fan support via the kickstarter campaign above.

Posted in Alex Funke, Crew News, Lord of the Rings, Models, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit

Peter Jackson’s Battle Plans – SPOILERS!

battle-dwarvesEntertainment Weekly posted this fascinating article, giving some insight into Peter Jackson’s plans for what must surely be the epic battle to end all epic battles. Just how do you stage the fight which is the title of your final movie in Middle-earth?

“There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through,” says Jackson. “We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.”

The EW article contains a particularly interesting ‘map’, showing the different groups and their positioning in the battle at the gate of Erebor. Exactly what/who those five armies will be in Jackson’s movie has been a subject of speculation – and if you’re avoiding spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading!

Tolkien wrote, ‘Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.’ Readers have often wondered, however, why the Eagles don’t count as an army; Douglas A Anderson notes, in The Annotated Hobbit, that ‘in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated television program of The Hobbit, the Five Armies specifically include the Eagles instead of the Wolves.’

Some TORn staffers have suggested that, having experienced battle in the First World War, when flight was still in its infancy and the idea of an air force was new, Tolkien perhaps didn’t consider battles as taking place in the air. It could, however, be a simple question of semantics: the word ‘army’ actually means ‘the military land forces of a nation’ (according to Collins English Dictionary). The Professor, being a stickler for precise meaning, perhaps dismissed as too clumsy ‘The Battle of Five Armies and Two Air Forces’ (if we include the ‘bat-cloud’) – so his ‘five armies’ would only refer to the land forces involved.

None of this necessarily means anything when it comes to Peter Jackson’s movie! He’s already strayed from Tolkien’s outline of the battle participants; the official synopsis for The Battle of the Five Armies states, ‘Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain’. In the book it is the goblins from the Misty Mountains who instigate the war, gathering forces with their kin at Gundabad, and coming down from the North led by Bolg (Azog, his father, having been slain at the Battle of Azanulbizar) – Sauron isn’t involved at all.

The map in EW’s article shows six different colour-coded groups – goblins and wargs are one colour, with eagles, elves, men and dwarves each having a different colour. This would seem to confirm what we at TORn have speculated in our panel presentations at various conventions – that Jackson’s five armies will in fact be men, dwarves, elves, orcs and eagles, with the wolves/wargs being a part of the orc army. The sixth colour on the diagram is for Beorn and Thorin – perhaps to highlight the key players of the battle (although Bard, though having his own spot on the schematic, does not share this orange colour – and it’s interesting to note that Dain, surely a key player, is not mentioned by name on this map; nor is Azog).

There’s much food for thought in this simple diagram. It appears that Bard leads men attacking from the East (from Dale, whither Lake-town refugees have fled after Smaug’s attack?). Elves come in from the West – presumably direct from Mirkwood. Beorn is coming up from the South, and the Eagles down from the North. There are also numbers on the chart – and Jackson is quoted as saying, ‘We could then start drawing the arrows on the schematics’, suggesting this is just one of several. Perhaps these numbers indicate a sequence of events? Beorn is the highest number on this image – meaning he arrives late in the battle, as in the book?

Lonely-Mountain_990x385Also in the article is a wonderful piece of artwork, showing a mighty battle outside Erebor – if you click on the image (at EW’s site), it links to a bigger version. This picture seems to include cave trolls and other strange, giant creatures – and siege towers? Is this just an artist’s vision of the battle, or does it offer more insight into what we will see on the big screen?

Questions still to be answered include: when/how does Dain arrive from the North? Will Tauriel fight with the dwarves or with her Mirkwood kin? We’ve seen, in the trailer, Legolas in Dale with Bard; will he fight alongside men? The newly released Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition contains dialogue between Thrain and Gandalf, emphasizing an alliance between Smaug and the Necromancer – is it even possible that Smaug’s death will be delayed until the start of the battle, so we see him helping the attacking orcs??

And a final question – is it December yet….?

[Read the Entertainment Weekly article here]

 

Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Air New Zealand unveils the Most Epic Safety Video ever made

ANZ This adorable video makes an excellent addition to Air New Zealand’s more lighthearted and fun approach to safety videos shown at the beginning of every flight.

Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi has taken two Middle-earth fans and placed them in the middle of an Epic Journey, surrounded by Hobbits, Dwarves, Orcs and Elves, and some of them are the actual actors from the films. All the bases are covered, seat belts, electronic devices, life vests, etc, but there is a very definite Middle-earth vibe going on. (more…)

Posted in Dean O'Gorman, Elijah Wood, Fans, Locations Sets, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Jackson talks with Total Film about The Battle of the Five Armies

Playing a bit of catch-up. This isn’t exactly new anymore, but in case you missed it, Total Film features an interview with Peter Jackson in the November issue of their magazine talking about how the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is coming together.
(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

Hobbits films’ production costs head north of US $745 million

warner_bros Hollywood movie studio accounts are famously opaque, but in New Zealand Warner Bros. is obliged to file detailed accounts of production spending on Peter Jackson’s films of The Hobbit.

Associated Press reports the latest filings reveal that, as of March this year, total production costs had reached 934 million New Zealand dollars — the equivalent of US $745 million. AP reports it is unclear whether the documents factor in worldwide marketing and distribution costs into this figure.

(more…)

Posted in Director news, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.

Our final trip to Middle-earth to finish with ‘The Last Goodbye’ sung by Billy Boyd

Billy nbffWe finally know Billy Boyd (Pippin from The Lord of the Rings trilogy) will be performing the end credits song for the final film set in Peter Jackson’s cinematic Middle-earth. Warner Bros. have posted their ‘For Your Consideration’ list for “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” listing all the people and categories they want Hollywood to pay attention to come Awards Season. On that list for ‘Best Original Song’ is “The Last Goodbye” written by Billy Boyd, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, and performed by Billy Boyd. It now seems that the use of Pippin’s song “The Edge of Night” in the recently released teaser for the film was a bit of foreshadowing. That song, with the lyrics coming from the last stanza of Tolkien’s ‘A Walking Song’ and the melody written by Billy Boyd himself, demonstrates a great level of empathy on the part of Billy for the melancholic feeling at that point of “The Return of the King”. It seems almost too perfect that Billy should be called upon again to deliver what promises to be a very emotional and fitting ending to all things Middle-earth. And because it’s fun to speculate, you will notice 15 other categories listed ‘For Your Consideration’ on that list, many names familiar to us all. Who do you think might get a nomination this Awards Season?

Posted in Billy Boyd, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, Hobbit Movie Rumors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Movie Return of the King, Music, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, soundtrack, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

EXCLUSIVE – Jed Brophy talks to TheOneRing.net

Jed-Brophy01At the start of the summer, TORn staffer greendragon had the chance to continue her series ‘Inside the Middle-earth actor’s studio’ - discussing the craft of acting (and other things!) with cast members from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. This time she sat down with an actor who has been involved since the beginning of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films – the fabulous Jed Brophy. To celebrate the release of TORn’s new book Middle-earth Madness, which features this and other interviews, here’s your chance to read what Brophy had to say.

This is a LONG interview; the conversation went on for more than an hour, and covered topics ranging from how he started out in theatre and how he deals with acting in prosthetics, to what it’s like to have such devoted fans, and what we might expect in the third and final Hobbit film… This is part one of the interview – look for parts two and three later this week!

[Find out more about TORn's book Middle-earth Madness]

(more…)

Posted in Books, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Shop, Silmarillion, The Hobbit

Contest to win a trip to view the final ‘Hobbit’ film with Peter Jackson in New Zealand is open

HobbitTORn

As contests go, this is one for the ages. And it should be, since it heralds the beginning of the end of the final installment of Middle-earth movies at the hands of Peter Jackson and his movie-making team. It’s also the final cinematic trumpet blast from the director’s home country of New Zealand that has stood in as a real-world wonder for the fictional world of author J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fans from around the world will have a chance to win a trip to see New Zealand in all its glory if they win the trip that will take them eventually to Wellington to watch the first screening of “The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies,” with its director. Along the way they will stop at iconic locations the length of the island nation that helped create the cinematic Middle-earth. No doubt that will include a stop to the Hobbiton Movie Set on the farm where more than a decade ago, the literary village and home of Frodo Baggins left the imagination and books to became tangible as it was constructed for Jackson’s LOTR trilogy.

Many websites will help host the contest and TheOneRing.net will sponsor the portion of the contest that is for “the rest of the world.” Read on for details!

HOW TO ENTER

Entering the contest is a multi-step process (and this is not a replacement for the rules) but each entrant will need a Twitter or Facebook account to get things started. Then four challenges will be presented by each contest sponsor website but the primary judging is to be based on a video participants are asked to submit (two minutes or less). If you want to participate, we urge you to read the rules completely and to comply.

WHO CAN ENTER

Through TheOneRing.net, you can enter if you aren’t from one of the following nations: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom (including Channel Islands & Isle of Man), United States and any country to or on which the United States has embargoed goods or imposed targeted sanctions, such as Cuba.

So readers in Austria, Greece, Romania and the like (just picking off the top of the writer’s head), welcome to the show. For the readers from the nations listed above, your portal to the contest will be elsewhere. For example, those in the United States can go right here.

If you do enter from a nation that isn’t yours, you aren’t eligible so we recommend not trying it. Those wishing to enter TORn’s portal and are from the correct nation need only click RIGHT HERE!

Since it was first announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego on 27 July 2014, upwards of 25,000 people have already registered their interest to participate. We at TORn expect that number to be obliterated quickly.

ABOUT THE PRIZE

Contest winners will land in Auckland, New Zealand, before embarking on a specially designed itinerary to iconic filming locations–the highlight being a special visit to Hobbiton, the famous home of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Fans will enjoy a private tour through the 12-acre site, with a close-up look at the 44 Hobbit homes. (We have been and maybe its time to trot out those photos and video!)

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship will also visit other key film sites throughout New Zealand’s Middle-earth chosen by Sir Peter Jackson and end in Wellington for the ultimate film fan’s dream – a private screening of the final film, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” with Sir Peter Jackson.

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies features a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Post production took place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.

For more information and to enter The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest visit
TheHobbitFanContest.com

Posted in Contests, Director news, Events, Fan Fellowship Contest, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

Empire Magazine’s The Battle of the Five Armies issue

emp914_1 Our friends The Heirs of Durin have full scans of the September issue of Empire Magazine and their “access-all-areas” tour of the final Middle-earth movie’s post-production facility.

I’ve picked the eyes out of it and listed some highlights below (contains some minor movie spoilers), or you can follow the link below and read the article in full yourself. Thanks to Ringer Eol for the link.

  • The digital remaster of Braindead will be released post-The Hobbit (one for TBHL fans.
  • There is already a working cut of the film, with only a couple more shots to “chisel into shape”.
  • Without credits, the cut currently runs to 150 minutes and Jackson says he’s aiming at 140 minutes.
  • Jackson: “I think of this third movie as a psychological thriller with actions scenes interspersed in the middle of it. It has for a very tight narrative structure.”
  • Thranduil’s Warmoose will return! (Yay!!).
  • Line from Thranduil to Thorin: We’ve come to tell you payment of your debt has been offered… and accepted.
  • The orcs have all manner of creatures. Not just trolls, but creatures they have bred for their armies.
  • Negotiations between Thorin and Thranduil conclude abruptly when Dain Ironfoot’s “cavalry” arrives.
  • The dwarves are mounted on battle goats and battle rams. Dain rides a warpig.

[Read More]

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Peter Jackson, PJ's Other Films, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Jackson muses on his Middle-earth exit

HobbitFreemanJacksonAW-620x349 Fairly wide-ranging interview from Deadline with Peter Jackon conducted around the time of the San Diego Comic-Con.

It actually contains little that’s new: the fact that The Dam Busters film is still on the cards will be of interest to war-buffs who remember the 1955 original. And apparently Jackson and Mortensen have chatted about those 3D comments that Viggo made to press a couple of months back, too. Something something misquote. Supposedly.

Anyway, here’s the meatiest bit of the entire interview about The Hobbit: (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, PJ's Other Films, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in Hall H: the details and the spoilers!

Hobbit 3 poster Warner Bros. behind-the-scenes efforts mark this as more than merely another panel — despite the fact it’s sharing a slot with Mad Max Fury: Road, Jupiter Ascending and Batman vs Superman.

The enormous, multi-scened wraparound panaorama that muralises the walls of Hall H declares the pre-eminence of The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies in the pecking order.

It’s the panel of the day. (more…)

Posted in ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Trailer, Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Panel, SDCC 2014

Many thanks to Ringer Piet for bringing this video of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Panel to our attention.  Before you get your hopes too high, the teaser trailer has been excised from the video, so it only shows the Panel, but it’s still worth watching for that.  Meanwhile we’ll all keep hoping they’ll release the trailer online soon.

tumblr_mvwwq3Iay01sml467o4_1280

Posted in Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, ComicCon, Conventions, Crew News, Director news, Elijah Wood, Evangeline Lilly, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Studios, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.