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Archive for the ‘Studios’ Category

The Bakshi Interview: Uncloaking a Legacy

Bakshi On March 28, 2015 TheOneRing.net livestreamed an interview with animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi to discuss the first-ever “The Lord of the Rings” film (1978), and to parse the differences between homage and rip-off (and the not-so-nebulous chains of inspiration from one artist to another).

Bakshi revealed to us that his Studio’s “LOTR” character designs and artwork were sent down to Three Foot Six in New Zealand; elevating the conversation of his impact on the live-action epic.

The subversive director has lived through numerous controversies, yet remains undervalued by Ringer fans and feels personally slighted by Jackson. He carries on vigorously at 77 years old with a new crowdfunded animated work, “The Last Days of Coney Island” and his intent to direct a “Wizards 2″ follow-up to his 1977 cult hit. (more…)

Posted in Film Screenings, Headlines, John Howe, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, MGM, Miscellaneous, Out on a Limb, Peter Jackson, Ralph Bakshi, Tolkien, TORn TUESDAYS Live!

TheOneRing.net to unplug, sail into The West (Not really…April Fools 2015!)

*Please Note: This was one of TheOneRing.net’s annual April Fools Jokes – We are not going anywhere…at least we don’t think we are!*
TORn_SadKENOSHA, WISCONSIN — An official press release is scheduled for tomorrow, but we, the TORn founders and staff, want to notify all those who have supported us for the past 15 years that TheOneRing.net is shutting down.

The final decision was communicated in an all-staff conference call over the weekend, but it has been discussed for months, speculated about for years, and we’ve cracked jokes about it from podiums at conventions (that nobody took seriously at the time), but now the long-dreaded hour is finally upon us.

The four TORn Founders (Erica Challis, Chris Pirrotta, Mike Regina and William Thomas) reached a tentative decision last week, discussed it with Senior Staff (identities top secret), then included world-wide staff, active and inactive, on the weekend conference call.

foundersdaytornptbwearingringcorvar“We have a real sense of accomplishment that the purpose of the website has been fulfilled,” said Regina on the call. “Erica and I were interested in “some guy” in New Zealand adapting “The Lord of the Rings” into movies, and when Chris and Bill found us it really elevated the effort. The next thing you know it became far more than the hobby we envisioned.”

“It’s the perfect time to go out on a high note, fresh off the recent success of the Hobbit movies and The One Last Party,” said Challis. “It is still our collective baby, but the four of us just feel content that it has run its course. We don’t want to be like a “Transformers” sequel.”

Pirrotta agreed with her, pointing out how much of a commitment 15 years is: “I was in college when this started with time to sit in a computer lab. All of us have jobs and kids and responsibilities now. We stayed true to our vision, didn’t sell the website for millions when offered, and we can all feel good about that.”

Thomas offered more practical reasons: “We made a commitment to not make a profit and to give the money away to charity if we did. We accomplished that and I’m proud that we kept the site pure. Plus, Star Wars is back, so we can all follow our true love again. Remember, TORn was just an ode to The Force dot net anyway.”

Not all staff agreed with the decision and there was a period of open discussion about different ways the site might change hands. While we will not tell the media or general public, we can share with true fans, there were audible sobs during the conference call. (more…)

Posted in Fans, Fool, Happy Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Other Events, Peter Jackson, Press Conferences, Rumours Spy News, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, TORn Book Club, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Warner Bros.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies DVD/Blu-ray review – RELEASE DATE MARCH 24

botfa dvd artIn the USA, from March 24th, the last in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies will be available for you to take home. (It’s been available in digital version in many countries since March 3rd; but from Tuesday you can get your hands on a ‘hard’ copy.)

Many fans, of course, like to wait for the Extended Edition release before purchasing a copy; but speaking personally, my collection isn’t complete unless I have the theatrical cut as well. I was thrilled to get my hands on a review copy of the Blu-ray Combo pack, which includes copies of the movie on Blu-ray, on DVD and a Digital HD copy – as well as various extras. (more…)

Posted in Billy Boyd, Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

Shadow of Mordor wins Game of the Year at the GDC Awards

ShadowofMordor_FOB_PC Yesterday, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor snared the top prize at Game Developers Choice Awards.

The open-world action game developed by Warner Bros. and Monolith took home the coveted Game of the Year award. (more…)

Posted in Gaming, Headlines, Video games, Warner Bros.

‘Shadow of Mordor’ wins big at DICE awards, gets BAFTA nominations

ShadowofMordor_LordoftheHunt_StealthCaragorA bit like the Oscars for video games, “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,” won big at the 18th annual DICE Awards, emerging on top in eight categories. Another fantasy game, “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” won the Game of the Year honors but SoM had an outstanding night despite not taking that prize. It won:

Outstanding Achievement in Story
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design
Adventure Game of the Year
Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
Outstanding Achievement in Animation
Outstanding Achievement in Character
Outstanding Technical Achievement
(more…)

Posted in Tolkien, Video games, Warner Bros.

‘Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is flowing gold in opening week

moneyThe marketing campaign of #OneLastTime for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” might have been a little short-sighted as now that most readers of TheOneRing.net and other rabid Tolkien fans have seen the film (sorry Australia friends, paddle over to New Zealand) studios are probably thinking they should have gone with #OneDozenMoreTimes.

But the Sting can’t be too great, because the film is creating liquid gold that is flowing from consumers around the world. Rentrack, that tracks such things, shows that it has a robust domestic box office, so the little film from New Zealand has earned $90 million in Yankee coin. That is a more than solid five-day total and while it could have optimally earned closer to $100 million, that number is far from disappointing. In fact, the studios should use it to pour a floor like the one in Thorin’s hall of madness to, you know, impress the other studios.

The film has such white-hot, world-wide appeal however, that unlike some films that rely on U.S. consumers, this film hardly needs them in its march to $1 billion. Now, to be clear, that billion with a “B” sounds pretty nice but should the movie “only” make, say $900 million, all but inevitable now, that is still a pretty incredible figure. Our consumer brains like to hear the “B,” but the movie is a hit either way and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGGlobally, it is on fire, doing great business in virtually every territory, sucking up a figure of $265 million since its open. Both the previous Hobbit movies earned more than $700 million internationally and this film is ahead of those in virtually every market. Domestic tracking would put it at $250 million plus for a conservative total of $950 million. My gut tells me the sentimental “last chance for Middle-earth in the theater” (you are welcome movie studio marketing departments) will give this film a little extra run. So the real question is: Will the Hobbit make more than the last Transformers movie? That shows at Boxofficemojo.com with a total of $1.08 billion. One of those two films is destined to be the biggest financially of the year. I generally dislike movie vs. movie comparisons, but I am both cheering for WB’s fantasy flick and against Michael Bay’s painful, loud snooze fest.

TOTALS: Domestic: $ 90.6 million + International: $265 million = Total worldwide: $355.6 million.

It is funny how big hits like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “The Lego Movie,” both fall well short of that $1 billion mark and are praised as giant successes — which they are. But, anybody remember some of the negative buzz with last year’s “Desolation of Smaug” being “disappointing?” It only made $958 million. Before that, some folks tried to say “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” was “doomed to failure” and then when it obviously wasn’t doomed or a failure, it was then termed as “not quite so bad, but still has no shot at $1 billion.”

First, that is just an arbitrary mark that looks good on a resume but it did cross that arbitrary mark despite the cries of “failure.” Bad buzz, even when it is fake, can hurt the box office. I got mad and wrote Death of ‘Hobbit’ at box office greatly exaggerated. I will not lie, punching holes in absurd journalism made it one of my favorite pieces I have ever put together for TORn. Also, it is relevant to how BOTFA is kicking some trash. So yeah, I had to link to it #OneLastTime.

PJ_Carrow_Bruno2Guardians will out-earn Hobbit in the U.S., but can’t touch it internationally. Marvel/Disney’s world-wide total will be approximately the same as Hobbit’s international-only money. Warners could have let everybody in the U.S. watch it for free and it would have earned the same as Guardians. #NotAFailure

The latest Hunger Games flick, “Mockingjay: Part 1,” is sitting around $640 million for its world total. Great numbers, but not Hobbit numbers. And Lego, as great a success as it is (and a great movie), isn’t half Hobbit 3’s final — even with Gandalf in it. In fact BOTFA is closing in on it fast.

BONUS TEASERS: While we are here, I will take a second to tease a pretty incredible Ian McKellen interview coming in the next day or so. That sounds immodest of me to say since it is my piece, but it is the journalist getting out of the way and letting Sir Ian talk. I really think it will connect with readers. He spoke at length about a lot of things including who else he thinks could have played Gandalf in The Hobbit films if he decided not to return. We also have some exclusive set photos of Peter Jackson coming in a day or two, one of which I included here in a small version. And if you haven’t heard, we are throwing a party! Details below.

_____________________________________________________

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a toast to all SIX movies, both LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit.

Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to grab your tickets and help make it happen — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Posted in Events, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, J.R.R. Tolkien, MGM, New Line Cinema, Oscar Parties, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

Peter Jackson talks ‘Hobbit: BotFA’ and all Middle-earth with TheOneRing.net

HBT3-bs-343122.DNG

 

MIRAMAR, New Zealand — The director’s tent. Inside a sound stage or outside on location, it is a constant and central fixture on a movie shoot. It is home base for Peter Jackson and his team.

It is sacred ground – well almost.

The decisions made inside it, by the team, under Jackson’s direction, are crucial to the project where it is determined what will later happen in front of the camera.

So every day, whatever happens to a set or a soundstage overnight, the tent is there set up and waiting for the core of the shooting unit.

Editor Jabez Olssen, Script Supervisor Victoria Sullivan and First Assistant Director Carolynne Cunningham call it home during the shoot. Cunningham is out a lot, Olssen and Sullivan less so and Producer Zane Weiner is always near. Jackson’s assistant Sebastian Meek is in and out at all times, bringing badly needed tea and watching the door from outside to eliminate distractions inside.

Jackson lives on tea and Meek has a talent for having it handy at the perfect moment.

Jackson7SETTING THE SCENE

In April, 2012, as a representative of fandom via TheOneRing.net, to be on set during five weeks of the filming of the Hobbit films. At the time, it was still scheduled to be two movies and the production had just settled in to shoot in studio instead of on location. Much was unknown then, that now is completely familiar to fans.

When I first arrived at Stone Street Studios, the publicity team took me to set, showed me the ropes and left me to my own devices during the rest of my stay to meet folks and get interviews, which was great. No time and no need for babysitting.

I was there to be a good guest and to observe. Two weeks later I was definitely convinced I had no chance of talking to Peter Jackson, except for an occasional, “Hello, how are you getting on?” from him during my time there.

Fans world-wide know from production diaries, how exhausted Jackson gets during the shooting phase of filmmaking. It is important to really understand why.

Peter Jackson is a busy guy. Particularly when he is shooting, there is a lot to do in a day and a lot of people that need to understand his vision in order to do their jobs well; he is the hub of the great spinning wheel.

Peter JacksonHe is the director, a writer and a producer — each a big job on its own. Many films have one of each of those, or several of some, all working together. But Jackson was all of them at once and combining titles didn’t mean there was less work to be done. Just because he was reviewing shots didn’t mean the script didn’t need his touch or that the art department didn’t need his input as a director or the next day’s schedule didn’t need approval. Others were partners on all of these fronts but they also required Jackson.

In a day he might need to meet with the effects supervisor, set designers, concept designers, costume designers, the composer or see actual costumes for approval or changes to name just a few of the many things that require his time. He will confirm the schedule with his Assistant Director, producers and spend time with the Second Unit Director Andy Serkis to make sure all is to his liking. They need sets built, greens grown, sets decorated, concept guys working ahead, materials guys building everything, maximizing actors’ time, feeding all of those people, screening extras, bringing in the right number of prosthetic artists and on and on. In short, there is never a shortage of people who need Jackson’s input to work on his vision and it takes the logistics of, dare I say, planning a battle with five armies.

In short, he has to sign off on pretty much everything.

Those are the reasons “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and his other Hobbit movies are genuinely Peter Jackson movies. It also means he is booked.

Solid.

THE FINAL HOURS

And so it was, the last day of my time on The Hobbit set, after several assurances that it would happen — it did.

Lunch happened and on the location set of Dale, up on a hill, I was invited to that director’s tent to sit and talk with PJ, just the two of us alone. (One editor asked me if we ate together in the tent but I don’t think so, but why many memories are crystal clear of that meeting, I just have no idea.)

I had been inside before, but not often. The day I shadowed him, I spent several hours, trying to melt into the background. This was his sanctuary and office.

Posted in Alan Lee, Andy Serkis, Characters, Crew News, Director news, Director Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Fran Walsh, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Production, Silmarillion, Studios, Terry Notary, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.

Royd Tolkien Holds ALS Fundraiser: Advance Screening of BOTFA Wows In Wales

Studio_20141207_154915Tonight in the heart of Wales a very special event happened that brought together the family scions of Tolkien while also raising money for ALS; which by way of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge became one of the notable internet phenomena of 2014.  Motor Neurone Disease touches closely on the family, as Royd Tolkien’s brother Mike struggles with its effects.  (more…)

Posted in Events, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.

Hobbit Fan Contest winners make ‘thank you’ video for Peter Jackson and New Zealand

The winners of last month’s Hobbit Fan Contest that got to go to New Zealand and watch an in-progress cut of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” and experience the beautiful scenes of the north and south islands and the hospitality of Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, won their spots by producing short films.

As reports from the experience suggest, there was a great bonding of the 75 winners and their guests during the week-long tour of Middle-earth. These bonds are on display in a “thank you” video that the group organized to give to Peter Jackson and all the many folks who helped make the trip amazing. There is even a nod to TheOneRing.net which honestly touches us.

Turns out that crew can make a pretty great video with parts from all around the world. Their sincerity and appreciation really comes through and will make all fans proud. Enjoy! #HobbitFanContest

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Locations Sets, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Warner Bros., Wellington, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Update: Variety, Empire and now Hollywood Reporter review ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

BilboBOTFAPosterIt’s that time of the year again…

Following the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, reviews have begun pouring in – and here we have two from Variety and Empire. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Freeman, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

Music Video for Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye” in High Definition

BillbyBoydTheLastGoodbyeEarlier today, the music video for “The Last Goodbye”, the end credits song for the last chapter in The Hobbit Trilogy, premiered exclusively on EW.com.

As much a farewell to Peter Jackson’s entire Middle-earth filmography as the Hobbit films themselves, the video features our beloved Mr. Boyd singing his wonderful tune to images of the entire saga.

Including footage ranging from the incredibly familiar to the previously unseen, the music video is a beautiful reminder of the journey we’ve all been on and a celebration of everything the cast and crews from both trilogies have accomplished. (more…)

Posted in Billy Boyd, Headlines, J.R.R. Tolkien, LotR Movies, MGM, Miscellaneous, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Music, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, soundtrack, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.

Play Warner Bros. free Hobbit game: “Orc Attack”

This is pretty fun! Choose from Bard, Tauriel or Legolas, then go hunting orcs and wargs with your bow and arrow. You’ve got to be accurate though — you have only a limited number of arrows to take down your opponents. And they shoot back (the wargs will bite at you), so you have to be quick! (more…)

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Studios, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.