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Archive for the ‘WETA Cave’ Category

Tim Launder of Weta, TORn friend, passes away

Tim LaunderWeta 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.

Posted in Fans, Hobbit Movie, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop

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 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

Fans welcomed by Smaug at Wellington Airport

Smaug UnveilingWinners of the Hobbit Fan Contest were treated to a surprise when they visited Wellington Airport Thursday, ahead of their special screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Sir Richard Taylor was on hand to unveil a massive sculpture of Smaug (specifically his head – measuring 4.25 metres from front to back) to the 200 lucky fans. (more…)

Posted in Fan Fellowship Contest, Fans, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, WETA Cave, WETA Workshop will exclusively join with and report on Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ contest winners

Sunset near Twizel, New Zealand on the day of our story.

Sunset near Twizel, New Zealand.

Peter Jackson held a a world-wide contest for fans with the ultimate prize of traveling to New Zealand to watch “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” with the director. Fans world-wide responded and as promised, winners were announced from the four corners of the globe.

Today we can share the news that will be on the trip as well to bring the wonders of New Zealand and the experiences of the winners to fans just as fast as we can type. Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand are giving the winners a Middle-earth experience on the North and South Islands before viewing the film with Jackson. (TheOneRing has not been invited to see the film and will enjoy a nice walk during the screening!) (more…)

Posted in Events, Hobbit Movie, MrCere in New Zealand, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Announcements, Community, Warner Bros., WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Is a Lord of the Rings film museum coming to Wellington?

Wellington waterfrontNothing official has been announced yet, but indications out of the Capital City are that things are progressing towards something Lord of the Rings fans have long desired, a museum dedicated to Middle-earth. For a more dynamic experience for visitors, it makes more sense for it to be a more general Film museum focused on all the films coming from Wingnut and WETA. That would allow for visitors to see new exhibits over time, but with a heavy focus on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Te Papa had a very popular Lord of the Rings exhibit in 2002 and again in 2006, which turned out to be its most popular exhibit, so the market is there. Locations being looked at are somewhere along the waterfront. This would gives fans year round a second place to connect with their LOTR fandom alongside the WETA Cave, and something for them to see long after the final film is released. One of the biggest hurdles when this idea was first conceived was the licensing rights, but indications seem to imply that is less of an impediment right now.

For more details, read the article here.

Posted in Events, Exhibits, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, MGM, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Tolkien, Warner Bros., WETA Cave

Happy Hobbit: Complete SDCC Coverage

We are happy to share with you our complete coverage of the happenings at Comic-Con 2013! Check out the video series below!

Meet The Hobbit Artists

Meet several of the artists who worked on The Hobbit and learn more about what they’re up to, along with several other talented folks at Weta, including Greg Broadmore and the comedic antics of Daniel Falconer! [Happy Hobbit Goes to SDCC: Meet the Hobbit Artists]


Posted in Artwork, Books, Collectibles, ComicCon, Daniel Falconer, DVD/Blu-Ray, Hobbit Movie, Toys, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Happy Hobbit: Dwarven Camping Tips – Episode 21

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

Getting to know Magnus Hjert

MagnusWelcome 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

Alan Lee to grace Weta Cave Sunday for 2013 Tolkien calendar, themed for ‘The Hobbit,’

The 2013 Tolkien calendar naturally features ‘The Hobbit’ this year including the work of Alan Lee and John Howe. To celebrate, the Weta Cave in Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand will host Lee this Sunday to sign this and others of his works.

Lee and Howe have been working on concept art for Peter Jackson’s three-part ‘Hobbit’ movie, headed for a mid-December release but found time to produce some new work for this calendar.

The calendar features 14 paintings, including some created exclusively for this calendar by Alan Lee and John Howe, the two artists whose work has defined the look of Middle-earth over the last 25 years.

This is their first-ever collaboration since the official Tolkien Calendar began publishing 40 years ago.

Each month depicts one of the most famous scenes from The Hobbit, including Bilbo outside Bag End, Smaug the Dragon, the Great Goblin and Bilbo’s Front Hall. As well as classic illustrations from bo
th artists’ celebrated portfolios, the 2013 calendar includes brand new paintings, created by John Howe and Alan Lee exclusively for this calendar.

When: Sunday 9 September, 1-3 pm
Where: The Weta Cave, Miramar, Wellington

A range of Alan’s other titles including The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook will also be available in store. For more details including a map, click here.

Posted in Alan Lee, Events, Hobbit Movie, John Howe, Merchandise, Other Events, Production, The Hobbit, WETA Cave

Getting to know Nicole Roberts

Welcome to our latest “Getting to know” questions that need answering. This month we’re talking to the one and only Balrog Showgirl, Nicole Roberts.The Balrog Showgirl with Richard Taylor

Hi Nicole and a very big thank you for taking part and for being so patient with me.

This first question is from Rosie-with-the-ribbons who’s latest costume for RingCon has been inspired by your Balrog Showgirl costume.

R-w-t-r: Do you make your costumes yourself?

Nicole: Rosie – that is awesome!  Yes, for the most part the costumes I’ve been running around in for the past several years have all been of my own making.  I only started sewing back in 2004, after I moved to Los Angeles and started hanging out with even more LOTR people.  The first costume I made was to wear to Comic Con that year – I was the Mumak Mahud (the guy with the black and white painted face who steers the oliphaunt in ROTK), so you could definitely say I’ve always leaned towards costumes that were a little off the beaten path!  I’ve done some costumes that were direct recreations (“Barf” from “Spaceballs”is the most well-known one), but as I’ve gotten more into the sewing, I really like doing things that are more of an original design, like the Balrog Showgirl.  As someone who is not of supermodel proportions (and seriously, those chicks look like scary walking lollipops anyway), I like to have the opportunity to design something that I think is more flattering to me, and I always like to learn how to do something new, like dyeing feathers for the showgirl headdress.


Posted in ComicCon, Contests, Conventions, Creations, Daniel Falconer, Events, Fans, Hobbit Book, Meet Ups, Miscellaneous, New Zealand, Other Crew, Other Events, Production, Richard Taylor, Community, Tours, WETA Cave

Reeve and Broadmore signings at the Weta Cave

Ringer Morgan tells us that Daniel Reeve the calligrapher and mapmaker from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will be signing copies of his maps and chatting about his involvement in the films at the Weta Cave in Miramar (Wellington) this Sunday.

As well, Weta conceptual designer Greg Broadmore will be signing copies of his over-the-top steampunk extravaganza Dr Grordbort presents: TRIUMPH — unnecessarily violent tales of science fiction adventure for the simple and unfortunate on next Wednesday. Apparently there will be “a splendid high tea” as well. Entry is free.

In true retro-steampunk style, Broadmore’s alter-ego Dr Grordbort has declared: “attendance compulsory on penalty of flogging!”. Be there, or be on the run I guess!

Weta Cave artist signing details:

Daniel Reeve: Sunday July 22, 1pm to 3pm.
Greg Broadmore: Wednesday July 25, 6pm to 7pm.

Posted in Crew News, Events, Merchandise, Production, WETA Cave

Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Announces The Hobbit Collectibles License

Today via a special newsletter the artisans at Weta have announced they will be producing many types of collectibles based on Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit. According to the newsletter the license covers both films of which The Hobbit is being split into with some of these items being on display at Comic-Con in just a little over a month. Obviously, this is very good news for fans of Middle-earth and we will make sure you get tons of pictures of anything Weta has at Comic-Con.

Read the full newsletter here: Weta Announces The Hobbit Collectibles license

Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Warner Bros., WETA Cave, Weta Collectibles, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop