From stuff.co.nz: Peter Jackson along with fellow Oscar winner Jamie Selkirk stepped down from Sir Richard Taylor’s Miramar workshop on December 31, Companies Office documents show. The change comes ahead of new legislation which would make directors personally liable for health and safety, which the Institute of Directors said demonstrated that directors needed to be across all aspects of the business. Jackson and Selkirk both still own about one third of Weta Workshop.
Weta Workshop senior communications manager Erik Hay confirmed the law change was behind the move for Jackson and Selkirk. “The reason was centred around the law change, which will require them to be more involved on a daily basis. As a manufacturing business, it’s important they are. Peter felt he was not and decided to step out of the piece. They will still retain shares in the company.” Read more…
Autumn had finally arrived in northern California when I boarded a plane to head into spring on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. To say I wasn’t frightened would be a lie. I felt very much like Frodo heading out into the wide world, for I was about to be away from my family and my continent for longer than I ever had. The weather in Wellington had been pleasant until I arrived, or so I’m told, and as more and more cold rainstorms blew into the bay off the Pacific, my co-workers at Weta Workshop teased that I had brought winter with me to their beautiful island nation.
The flight from Auckland to Wellington, NZ
Like most fans of the TheLord of the Rings films, I had long dreamed of visiting New Zealand and seeing as much of its Middle-earth landscape as I could. However, also like most fans, the cost of such an adventure always held me back. As such, if someone had told me that I would have gone to Aotearoa twice in 2015, I would’ve thought they were as full of tall tales as old mad Baggins! But step out my front door I did, each time with a little nudge.
Our friend, artist Jerry Vanderstelt, has released the final print in his The Hobbit Trilogy series. This beautiful print covers all the fantastic points of the third Hobbit film and, like the previous prints from Jerry, comes in two sizes of Paper Giclee’s. The 18 x 24 version is priced at $65 while the epic 28 x 36 version comes in at $120. Both are in-stock and ready to ship, so you can acquire some amazing Hobbit art for Christmas. If you order before December 14th you can use this coupon code: VS-XMAS2015, to save 15% off of your purchase. Check out the Vadnerstelt Stuido Facebook page for a full list of prints that you can use this discount on. If you are awaiting the canvas edition of this print, it will be available after the new year and we will let you know when that goes up.
Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping yet? Or are you yet to start? If you’re like us, you’ll definitely have a few more things on your list and what better way to complete the task than buying some Tolkienesque presents. TORn’s staffers deej, Elessar, Earl, Altaira and Kelvarhin scoured the internet to find the perfect presents to celebrate the holidays and we were astounded by how many wonderful choices there are. So, without further ado, here are some lovely gift suggestions for your favourite Tolkien fan (even if that happens to be you). All prices are in U.S. dollars.
One of the awesome Weta pieces from Comic-Con 2015 is now available to order. If you enjoyed the look Azog took in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, or if you’re like me and just want more Azog, then this item is something you and I will both be adding to our collections. Azog: Commander of Legions is now up for Pre-order. The statue captures Azog with all his really cool armor and that new sword he implanted in his arm after The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The new Azog statue has an edition size of just 1000 pieces world-wide, and given the success of the first Azog statue I wouldn’t wait to order this one. The price tag is $349 and will be shipping in the first quarter of next year.
In celebration of the release today of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition Blu-ray and DVD, we have another EXCLUSIVE clip to share with you! From the behind the scenes footage in the Bonus Features, this gives us a little more insight into dwarven armour. (Cosplayers, who will be the first to make Thorin’s unseen ‘Ram’s head’ armour??)
Weta Workshop just announced that TORn friend and former General Manager of Weta Limited has passed away.
Tim was given a nice tribute from Weta that you can find here. There, Richard Taylor and his wife Tania explained who Tim was and that cancer took him.
Tim headed up Weta’s consumer products company, which handled the tourism and fans that visit the workshop from around the world and started the company’s collectibles line.
Tim was a friend to TheOneRing, setting up several party events surrounding conventions and events in the U.S. and in New Zealand. He arranged receptions and tour events with TORn staff and TORnadoes around the world.
Tim was a terrifically positive influence. It was impossible not to get swept up in his absolute enthusiasm and love for everything ‘geek’. It was a wonderful thing to see. His passing is deeply saddening, especially considering the courageous fight and victory over cancer the first time around. – Richard Taylor, CEO and Co-founder, Weta Workshop
On a personal note, Tim was a friend that I looked forward to seeing at events, meals, in emails and in offices. I know I am not the only staffer to feel that way.
I remember conversations with him about work and life and how much he enjoyed the film and fantasy environment. I also recall conversations about his family and his wife and children. Tim was willing to do hard things to achieve success and was honest and open, often explaining what he couldn’t be honest and open about. His loss is felt across the oceans and he will be remembered. Thank you Tim Launder for your kindness, courtesy and friendship.
Josh of Collecting The Precious adds:
It’s not very often as a collector that you truly feel your opinion is valued. Those of us collectors who knew Tim never felt that way. We always knew if we made a comment in person at a convention or on a message board Tim truly valued those comments. He let us know they played a part in the pecking order of what wonderful Middle-earth pieces were made.
As a collector I can’t put into words how awesome that is. For me personally he made doing the Collecting the Precious columns easier. At events like Comic-Con he would allow me to have special access cases being lifted to take pictures or video. Tim would allow me to pick his brain about what might be coming, and allow little teases I could pass on. When he left Weta it made me sad because a friendship had developed and I knew that would wain with him not being there.
Tonight, I find out that he has passed away. Sailing into the West and hopefully pain free. The collecting world lost a good friend tonight but the world lost a great guy. Thanks Tim for all the kindness you showed me and all the Middle-earth collectors.
We’re just a little over a month away from the final of The Hobbit Trilogy. That means, as we’ve previously gotten with all the Middle-earth films, an extended edition, which tends to be the most desired version for so many of us. As has also been the case with all the other films we get a great gift set to go with each film. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is no different and once again our friends at Weta Workshop have been tasked with creating a great looking statue for the set. This statue captures Bilbo and Gandalf post battle as they reflect on what’s been won and lost. You canpre-order the gift setwith the 3D edition of the final film right now from Amazon for $79 and if it is cheaper when it ships you get it for that price through Amazon.
Weta Workshop is at it again! This time they’re wowing fans on the East Coast with the goodies they brought with them to New York Comic-Con. This event brought us several new items from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. From The Hobbit Trilogy we got an amazing Smaug bust it is a hugely detailed piece giving fans a super upclose look at him without being turned to ash. You can order Smaug right now for $399 with it shipping in Dec/Jan. Also up for order and a new piece from NYCC is one of the cooler looking Orcs in this set of films Yazneg. Like the other Orcs he has that brutal looking skirt of Dwarf faces. You can also pre-order him right now for $279 with him arriving in Dec/Jan. The final Hobbit item is one that debut at Comic-Con this past July. Ori the Dwarf comes to fans with an edition size of only 500 pieces and with a price of $249 he is sure to sell fast. He’s in-stock, so make sure to get your order in now.
It’s almost time to gather in the Big Apple and enjoy all that New York ComicCon has to offer. As ever, TheOneRing.net will be there! Here are a few details for you:
We’ll be at Booth 3040, which – to make life simple! – is the same location as last year! We’ll have all the usual goodies for sale – plus this year we’ll have hoodies from our friends at LotH Hoodies! Of course we’ll have many fabulous things you could win! And we’ll be ready just to chat and geek out with our fellow fans.
Talking of which – if you want to chat in a quieter location than the convention floor, this year we’re leading a ‘Fan Forum’ discussion group! Basically it’s a chance to join us to reminisce about the past seventeen years – since TheOneRing.net was founded and since Peter Jackson began pre-production in earnest on his Lord of the Rings trilogy. What a journey it’s been! Come and share memories with us – and maybe hear a bit about what we may see in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition (which, as you know, screens in cinemas on October 13th!) Find the Forum in room 1E03, Friday 4pm. Click here for details!
And don’t forget about our PARTY! Thursday 8th October 8-11pm at The East Wing – a few tickets remain! Click here to buy. WETA will be co-hosting with us, and as usual your ticket includes the buffet, your first drink, a goody bag and two raffle tickets – all in a wonderful, private venue in Manhattan. Hope to see you there!
You’ll find our WETA friends at Booth 622. Middle-earth guests at the convention this year include Sean Bean, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood!
As ever, we have a host of folks supporting us to make it possible for us to be at New York ComicCon. Many thanks to them all:
ROW NYC – making sure hard-working TORn staffers have somewhere to sleep. A great place to stay in Manhattan!
The newest member of Thorin’s Company to join our collections is the very funny Dori the Dwarf. Dori made his debut this past July at Comic-Con and last week went up for order. Dori is sculpted by Lindsey Crummett who as you know has turned out some truly amazing Middle-earth pieces. You can get this piece right now as he’s in-stock for $249, and with an edition size of only 1000 pieces you may not want to wait too long.
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