Join Kili, Fili, and several surprise guests to learn how to camp like a Dwarf! [Happy Hobbit: Dwarven Camping Tips – Episode 21]Posted in Artwork, Books, Collectibles, ComicCon, Daniel Falconer, DVD/Blu-Ray, Hobbit Movie, Toys, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
Archive for the ‘WETA Digital’ Category
Of the three trips I took to New Zealand in 2003 and 2004 to conduct interviews for my book, only the first happened before the release of The Return of the King. I didn’t go thinking that I would suddenly be privy to spoilers and secrets. Shooting was over, I assumed (wrongly), and I figured my interviewees would not tell or show me anything confidential.
But at times they did. In my previous installment of this series, “Places Full of Magic,” I wrote about the facilities I visited. Now it’s time to reveal a few things I learned there—and kept quiet about. (more…)Posted in Daniel Falconer, Movie Return of the King, Other production, Wellington, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
The Weta World Tour continues in June with Supernova. Starting June 22nd-23rd in Sydney and June 29th-30 in Perth, fans will get a chance to come together to celebrate what they love about the pop culture. The team from Weta will also be making the trip to both places bringing their magical work creating Middle-earth with them. While at their booth make sure you grab one of their Weta Treasure cards, which is good for discounts or prizes via the Weta website. That’s not all! If you happen to be going to either of these locations you will get to meet cast members of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. So make sure to get your ticket to the show before it sells out!
Check out the Full article on Weta’s appearance: WETA TO ATTEND SUPANOVA SYDNEY AND PERTH IN JUNE
List of Middle-earth celebs making an apperance:
- John Callen – Oin the Dwarf
- Adam Brown – Ori the Dwarf
- Jed Brophy – Nori the Dwarf
- Karl Urban – Éomer
- Mark Ferguson – Gil-galad
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.Posted in Collectibles, Events, Guillermo Del Toro, Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, LotR Production, New Zealand, Other Crew, Premieres, Props, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, Wellington, WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
The Visual Effects industry in Hollywood is in the midst of a crisis that just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Entertainment Weekly has been keeping on top of the issue and posted a story today that included Peter Jackson’s thought on the problem.
In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, The Hobbit director Peter Jackson, a digital effects pioneer who co-founded the F/X company Weta Digital, says studios are taking advantage of an oversupply of F/X houses to drive down prices. “Competition between VFX houses, which the studios obviously use to their advantage, has resulted in VFX houses operating on tiny profit margins,” Jackson says. “And when we talk ‘profit,’ it’s not about the owners buying a Porsche at the end of a big movie — it’s about having a nest egg to ride out the slow periods.”
To read the full story and see links to other stories about the VFX crisis, head on over to EW.com
Posted in Director news, Peter Jackson, Production, WETA Digital
Another April Fools joke – courtesy of Ringer Mike…
Wellington, NZ (April 1st, 2013)–
In response to the lukewarm critical reception of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, Peter Jackson has announced that he will begin wearing his eyeglasses again.
“It was a public image decision,” Jackson says. “Fran and Philippa and I sat down and brainstormed, trying to figure out why the critics had panned the first ‘Hobbit’ film, despite its commercial success. And then we suddenly realized it wasn’t the film at all! The critics weren’t saying it out loud, but subconsciously they missed the ‘old’ Peter Jackson. And that means they wanted to see the eyeglasses.”
While Jackson hasn’t worn glasses for years and no longer uses his old prescription, he has planned a workaround to the problem. “I can simply pop the lenses out of my old frames, and we’ll be good to go– that is, if I can find them!” he laughs.
But putting the glasses back on is only the first step. Plans are also underway to add glasses back on to all of the behind-the-scenes footage of Peter that has been shot for the Extended Edition DVDs.
Since Weta Digital is already too busy working on effects shots for films two and three, Richard Taylor and Weta Workshop have been placed in charge of the eyeglass project.
“We want fans to feel like they’ve returned to the film-making world they have become acquainted with,” Taylor says. “Realistically inserting eyeglasses into Peter’s interview shots and B-roll footage will add that final crucial element of familiarity that will make this a truly nostalgic behind-the-scenes experience for the extended DVDs.”
Using a recently perfected technique combining advanced facial-recognition software with a slave-motion camera rig, the glasses will be added to Peter’s face using green screens and carefully crafted models.
Taylor has already commissioned a special 18-inch wide “bigature” of Peter’s glasses to be used in the project. “The miniatures department had felt a bit neglected lately, and they were overjoyed to take this on. One has to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship that is going into this model. Every screw and hinge, every curve of the frame is faithfully reproduced in larger-than-life detail.”
Weta Limited Edition replicas of the glasses will be available as a Comic Con Exclusive in July 2013.
Early fan reaction to the news so far has been positive, and representatives from Warner Bros. were optimistic as well, and in a statement have expressed confidence that the reintroduction of spectacles to Jackson’s image is the right way to go towards making up for the box office disappointment of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”.
Will the glasses really make a difference? What do you think? Sound off!Posted in ComicCon, Peter Jackson, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
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…)Posted in Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
Australian Hobbit fans will finally get a little bit of love in April. A team from Weta, and several folks from the cast of The Hobbit are making the trip across the Tasman to make an appearance at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast, joining Karl Urban (Eomer) and Supanova MC Mark Ferguson (Gil-galad).
Supanova attendees will get the chance to see and listen to:
Graham McTavish – Dwalin. Graham McTavish (born in 1961) is a Scottish actor who has played an impressive array of characters in a slew of Pop cultural franchises. He played the character Warden Ackerman in Red Dwarf in five episodes of series 8. McTavish has also had many supporting roles in British dramas and films such as Casualty, Jekyll, The Bill, Taggart and Sisterhood. Recently, McTavish appeared in the 2011 film The Wicker Tree, Robin Hardy’s sequel to his 1973 film, The Wicker Man. He has had an “Unexpected Journey” to International stardom playing Dwalin (Brother of Balin) the Dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films.
Stephen Hunter – Bombur. Stephen is a New Zealand actor and voice over artist, currently based in Sydney, Australia. His film and Television career started with Ladies Night in 1995 and has continued to include stints on All Saints, Love My Way, Spirited and Rescue: Special Ops. It was announced in 2011 that Stephen was to play the role of Bombur: brother of Bofur and one of the company of 13 dwarves who retake the Lonely Mountain in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. He has since filmed Field Punishment No.1 in the Role of Aussie Bill which will be released in 2013.
Dean O’Gorman – Fili. Dean O’Gorman is a photographer and artist based in New Zealand. He got his start in the television movie, The Rogue Stallion at the age of fourteen, and Raider of the South Seas, both of which were released in 1990. He then won the role of Nurse Harry Martin in the New Zealand soap opera, Shortland Street and has appeared in both Hercules and Xena multiple times. In April 2011 he was cast as Fili the Dwarf in Sir Peter Jackson’s three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit. Kili and his Brother Fili are the youngest dwarves of the 13 and are Thorin Oakenshield’s nephews!
Sylvester McCoy – Radagast (as a Gold Coast exclusive guest). McCoy was starring at the National Theatre in “The Pied Piper”, a musical play written especially for him, when he learned that the BBC was looking for a new lead actor to replace Colin Baker in “Doctor Who” (1963). He later won the role as the seventh Doctor. Following “Doctor Who,” McCoy continues to work extensively in theatre, radio, opera, television and films. McCoy can be seen in the latest blockbuster film The Hobbit (as Radagast the Brown) and can still be heard playing the Doctor in the Big Finish audio productions of Doctor Who.
The dates for Supanova are:
- Melbourne – April 12-14 at Melbourne Showgrounds
- Gold Coast – April 19-21 at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
You can find out more and buy tickets here.Posted in Conventions, Dean O'Gorman, Events, Graham McTavish, Hobbit Movie, Karl Urban, Stephen Hunter, Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop
Back in February, Simon Clutterbuck, James Jacobs and Dr. Richard Dorling won a technical Oscar (The Scientific and Engineering Award) for developing a technique which makes computer-generated characters (such as Gollum) more life-like than ever before. In this video from Weta Digital, the team share how they do it, and what it means for the future CG-character animation in film.
Welcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week. If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch the highlights. Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions. Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards. Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join in the fun!Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Make the Hobbit Happen, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, The Hobbit, The One Expected Party, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, WETA Digital
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.Posted in Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, The Hobbit, WETA Digital
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
WETA DIGITAL’S ARTISTRY BEHIND GOLLUM
WETA DIGITAL’S ARTISTRY BEHIND THE GOBLIN CAVERNS
WETA DIGITAL’S ARTISTRY BEHIND RIVENDELL
WETA DIGITAL’S ARTISTRY BEHIND THE GOBLIN KING
WETA DIGITAL’S ARTISTRY BEHIND AZOGPosted in Andy Serkis, Barry Humphries, Hobbit Movie, Joe Letteri, The Hobbit, WETA Digital