Ringer Spy Elven was kind enough to transcribe the ‘To be Continued’ interview from last week where I discussed our exclusive chat with ‘Hobbit’ director Guillermo del Toro. Take a look!
28th April 08
The PTB from The One Ring Network speaks to Sohaib and Stuart on ‘To be Continued’ – Radio WNJC 1360AM.
Presenters: Sohaib and Stuart
Guest: Michael Regina (Xoanon) Editor in Chief and Segment Producer and Co-Owner of the TheOneRing.net.
Sohaib: You’re on To Be Continued with Sohaib and Stewart …
Michael: Hey guys – how you doing?
Sohaib: We’re very well. Thank-you so much for the first of what (what) we know are going to a be a fascinating and informative segments about something I’m extremely passionate about – I know Stewart actually is a huge fan himself.
Stewart: Yeah, Im very excited about this thing ..
Sohiab: Lord of the Rings films …
Stewart: Yeah ..
Sohaib: Before we start, could you give us a little history about the one ring dot net – I think a lot of I guess non joinre fans are not really sort of… they’re not as well informed about how these fan websites begin. Could you give us a little history about the one ring before we get further – this is our first segment …
Michael: Yeah! Absolutely, in about 1999 I was online and just chatting with (note: I lost some recording here. Michael said he was talking to a woman in NZ who mentioned the LOTR was going to/being filmed there … continued a few seconds later) … she had … I had some experience with building websites so I mentioned to her to send me any photos and news clips that she could come across, and she had done that and right away we gained a lot of recognition for being one of the first websites to be talking about Lord of the Rings, specifically though LOTR films, and it kind of though grew from there. We gathered some more web – much more greater web people than I am – and they built us a fabulous website and we used that as a springboard to launch into getting bigger and better news – and it eventually led us to become friends with Peter Jackson and the entire crew and cast making the films, so it was a very interesting relationship …
Sohaib: Right Right Right … then actually you expanded to the point where you mention Peter Jackson where you actually produced and created a sister website Kong Is King dot net, is that correct? …
Michael: Yeah absolutely.
It’s kind of .. as soon as Peter was finished making Return of The King he approached us and said let’s do something similar for my next film King Kong, and that’s exactly what we did and (err) we were given exclusive video feeds and basically web diaries that were posted on line, and it was sort of unheard of actually back then to have behind the scenes access, for a major production like King Kong was – for fans to have this access that you’d normally see on a DVD ‘Making of’ feature, but this was stuff that people were getting to see before the film was even made, and now it’s much more common place but back then it actually was sort of unheard of …
Sohaib: Right Right Right .. and I know that he even released the diaries on DVD – I actually bought the Diary Disc set that he had produced, that Peter produced for the Kong Is King dot Net and (I almost found) – I love the film too, I guess you could basically say I’m a huge fan of Peter Jacksons, but (err) the set itself was as actually as entertaining as the film
Michael: Yeah actually, it was really interesting … we had, when we had our initial meetings about building the website, we had (you know) we had heard them say that there were going to be a video every week or so , and we had sort of scoffed at that because we knew that a lot of people (you know) promise a lot of interesting content but when it comes through they’re either too busy or it just it doesn’t follow through and (um) Peter sent us the first video and then 3 days later he sent us another one, and then a couple of days later another one, and it was really shocking to see the sort of level of interactivity that we actually received, and it was great, it lead right up until the premiere of the film in New Zealand …
Sohaib: Right Right Right Right … so I’m sure you’ve been listening prior to your coming on and you noticed I mentioned (ah) there was a pretty big announcement this past weekend with respect to the lands of Middle Earth and (err) could you (err) I know a lot of fans of it they’re probably well aware of it – it was such big news, but for those of our listeners who are not as attached to their laptops and their streaming downline – their internet connections – What exactly Happened this last weekend?
Michael: Well, just in this past week Guillermo del Toro has been officially announced as Director of the Hobbit film and the subsequent sequel – so that’s sort of big news that just came out …
Sohaib: Oh yeah – I know that you actually had an opportunity to speak with Guillermo,
Michael: Ah Hm .. (Acknowledges ‘yes’)
Sohaib: … and (umm) what exactly , what information did he provide about the film because I know a lot of fans obviously loved the original films and felt like (you know) Peter Jackson was probably the only individual who could (err) who actually should or could bring the films to light, and when Peter actually decided to just produce the new series, I myself – I’ll be honest, I wanted Guillermo of all the names out there after seeing Pans Labyrinth, I felt that he was the top choice, and I was so excited to hear that (you know) the confirmation of the last week but, what exactly did you talk about with Guillermo and what information can he (err) give, what information did he give you with respect to what we can expect in the next coming weeks, with respect to the production of the film, by weeks, I’m saying ‘years’, with the respect to the production of the film?
Michael: Well its interesting.
We had (he have) made contact a few weeks earlier and he kept giving me tabs on keeping me up to date on um sort of the legality of being able to mention that he’s been officially announced and every time it sounded to him like we were almost ready to announce it err we had to wait another 48 hours or whatever it was and he has a funny way of saying it, he says “ I never trust the Man” – so(he) I don’t know who he’s calling ‘The Man’ exactly, I think it’s the Studio heads or something but, it’s really interesting sort of the attitude that he has, which is, in which he sort of comes from at it as a fan as well, a big fan of Peter Jacksons work, umm.
He basically gave us a lot of background information on how this came about. He mentioned that he had been working with Peter on a possible Halo film, which was based off the very popular video game series, and he said that when that fell through, when that sort of hit the rails, he had stayed in contact with Peter and had learned through various studio sources that they were thinking about doing the Hobbit and they had sort of approached him, and said how would you feel about doing it and he said it straight out – he said “I would only do it if the lawsuits against New Line cinema with Peter Jackson and that whole mess was actually settled” and (and so) they settled up rather quickly and approached him again and said “now that it’s all cleaned up – do you want to do it” and he said “sure” . So it was really tough (but ) negotiations, but I guess he won out in the end.
He also mentioned that he (had) he has great reverence for the first three films. He calls them Cannon, they are cannon. So he, so he will definitely basing what (you know) his work on these three films and he doesn’t intend on changing too much the look and feel of it. But he definitely is bringing his own ideas and his own vision to this (to these ) stories, and he says that the time of the Hobbit is basically a Golden Age of Middle Earth where things were a lot more innocent, umm, especially as far as the Shire and (you know) Bilbo and Hobbit folk are concerned, so he’s definitely going to have that sort of nostalgic feeling at the beginning of the film he said. And he’s (err) .. he told us a bit about what he plans on doing with studio work and with special effects, he mentioned that he isn’t a big fan of CGI – of overusing CGI.
Sohaib : Right, right …
Michael: … and as evidenced in films like Hellboy and Pans Labyrinth he definitely – he loves – practical effects – which are things that actually exist – you know so he likes animatronics and puppetry, and all that sort of stuff … errr … he’s …
Sohaib: Right (he) he mentioned that at the show at New York too, that’s one thing that he stated that , he felt that the reliance solely on CGI was (was) in his opinion, was rather lazy, and …. I don’t mean to cut you off Mike, but I think we actually have a caller who has a question for you.
Michael: Absolutely ..
Sohaib: So caller, Steve from Mount Laurel New Jersey you’re on To Be Continued with Sohaib and Stewart ….
Caller Steve: I just wanted to say that it’s about time a program like this is on the air in the Philadelphia area. It’s been long too soon.
Sohaib: Thank you
Caller Steve: My question for Mike is umm, is Guillermo planning on doing diaries for the new Hobbit Movie?
Michael: That’s actually a good question.
We didn’t get into that –but I’ll let you know that Guillermo seems to be very approachable and very fan friendly director, and you add that in with Peter producing the film, whose also very fan friendly director, and the fact that they’re going to be shooting this in New Zealand which is as far away from the Hollywood studio suits as possible, that I can pretty much guarantee that there will be something similar to that, if not that exact same thing, on our website that we did for Kong is King, which would be daily video, or rather bi-weekly video updates on whatever they figure like on showing us at that time. Um, but we haven’t got down in to the nitty gritty yet.
He has mentioned he’d like to do 20 questions with us which is basically we would gather questions from fans like you guys (caller acknowledges), and Guillermo would answer them – I’m not too sure if he wants to do that just once or sort of on a continuing basis, but he does plan a lot of fan interactivity, and he’s also mentioned he’s gonna stay on our message boards and chatrooms as much as humanly possible. So definitely, you’ve got to look forward to something like that. Something big happening.
Steve: That’ll be great. I look forward to clicking on your site more often now.
Michael: Thats great.
Steve: Just one more question. About the music for the new films – Is Howard Shore coming back, and what was the tension between him and Peter during the King Kong filming. Not that I didn’t like James (-) Howard soundtrack, I thought it was great – but I just you know, I was just curious, 5 weeks before the movies is to be released, he releases Howard Shore from the duties of the job.
Michael: Yeah. That’s actually something I’ve never had a chance to ask anyone about. But judging from both . .. I met both Howard and Peter several times … and they both definitely seem like gentle souls who just love the work. And its my best guess I would just say that it was a difference of opinion of which sort of thematic elements they wanted to introduce into it, and I guess they just parted ways probably very amicably and just said ‘Look, Its not working out and that’s it. And you have to give respect to James Newton Howard to have created that score basically with so little time to do it – it’s a great score …
Caller Steve: Yeah its a fantastic score I loved it.
Michael: and as far as Howard working on the Hobbit films, Guillermo also let me know, he really wants to keep the old gang back together, and he wants to get as many people as possible who worked on the first 3 films onto these films as well. And you can certainly bet Howards been mentioning it on his website and various press conferences that he does, that he wants to do it, and he will do it. So I’m fairly certain that we’ll being seeing something official along those lines soon.
And Guillermo said this next week, or maybe it was just this past weekend , he’s also been speaking with Allan Lee, and he has mentioned he had spoken to Howard Shore, excuse me John Howe. I haven’t spoken to John yet to see what’s going on there, but I certainly will soon. So I think it’s pretty much indeed that we see Howard Shore doing music again.
Caller Steve: Ok Great – I look forward to a great ride on the way to 2010.
Sohaib: Thankyou Steve.
Caller Steve: Thanks a lot. Good luck guys with the show.
Michael/Sohaib: Thankyou Steve.
Sohaib: Mike one quick question tying in to what you were saying about Guillermo keeping the old team together and obviously this is with respect to your own personal opinion – How do you think, and how exactly is the relationship going to be between Peter and Guillermo? I know they’re obviously both passionate about their projects and they obviously have their own unique visions, but, at the same time do you think that’s there’s going to be periods tension – how do you think that’s going to turn out? Is it going to be something where Peter eventually will step in very forcefully, or is it something do you feel that he’s going to give Guillermo carte blanche with respect to how he films the next two films.
Michael: Ah, its interesting because Peters never acted in this position where he going to be one of the main producers of a film that he isn’t directing. And Guillermo has been given, it’s the second time he’s been give a franchise to direct a film for him – the first one being the Blade series that where he did Blade it really is interesting because everyone knows that these are Peters children – these films, and hes going to want to want to have the utmost, he wants them to be treated with the utmost respect. I am certain that they have spoken enough that they’ve had enough meetings over the phone, email, personally, to get to feel each other out. And only time will tell, I guess. Once they’re in the trenches and doing this on a day to day basis to see how it would work out …
Stewart: Mike you were talking about Howard Shore possibly coming back and trying to keep together the old team and everything as much as possible – anybody from the cast coming back.
Michael: That’s something he mentioned – Ian McKellan. That he had a charming conversation with Ian McKellan, and let me tell you you, you can’t not have a charming conversation with Ian McKellan, he is such a great guy, and he mentioned that had pretty much (baring any burocracy) would be coming back. And Andy Serkis as well, who would be playing Gollum of course, would be coming back as well. Those are the two main ones that he mentioned to me that’s he’s also spoken to.
There’s quite a few more that could either come back for brief appearances or have major roles, such as Hugo Weaving for Elrond, and so on, so, I’m sure he’s doing quite methodically and going through trying to reach as many people as possible to get them to come back.
Sohaib: and you’ll hear all that at the one ring dot net before it …
Michael: Absolutely, absolutely. Your non stop Tolkien destination.
Sohaib: Exactly. I think, we actually have another caller Tracey from Utah (?) and for those are interested in talking I forgot to mention our caller number – I was so excited about Mike coming on again, if you need to – or if you’d love to ask a question – give us a call on 8562271360, again 8562271360 – Tracey? You’re on the air with Mike ..
Caller Tracey: Hi my name is Tracey, and I’m actually calling in – were all on the oneringdot net chat site Barlimans, and we’re all listening in and we wanted to just say hi to everybody out there, you know, and thank you so much for having us on.
Sohaib: Oh thankyou thank you … we’re excited to have you with us and I think it going to be a fun journey, I hope we won’t have the same trials that Frodo and Sam had to go when (laughter) they initially took their journey. Did you have a question for Mike? Hello Tracey? (Caller: yes) Did you have a question for Mike?
Caller Tracey: No, I was just saying Hi and thank-you for everything that you’re doing, OK –
Steve: Oh, no problem – I guess this is sort of going to be an opportunity I think for – not just the callers in our area but caller throughout the nation who are listening to us online – to actually, you know, almost get an opportunity to – I don’t want to say talk directly to speak to Peter and Guillermo but err – (Stuart laughs) given Mikes contacts and the other individuals with the OneRing, this is going to be a really wonderful opportunity to maybe even get a bi-monthly opportunity to sort of say well this is something we are concerned about, this is something we want to know about, who knows, it might be a new level of interaction between fans and film producers.
But Mike one other question that I had, quickly was err …
Stuart: Thankyou Tracey –
Sohaib: Yeh thank you Tracey.
Michael: One of the questions I had in respect to the films also … do you know if Guillermo is going to be filming in the same fashion that Peter did when he filmed all three films at the same time. Is this the same plan with respect to these two?
Michael: I definitely think so, I think Guillermo planning on moving his entire family, his wife and his daughters down there as well, so I think he is planning on doing one long haul with both films back to back.
Sohaib: So they’re going to be filming New Zealand again I’m assuming, correct?
Michael: Yeah absolutely, they’re filming New Zealand. He actually mentioned to me they are going to re-plant a lot of the farmland that you saw for the Shire, where the Shire was represented, in the first and third films – they’re actually a lot of those sets are still standing – they are very much sort of naked, so to speak, so they’re definitely plan on refurbishing them, and replanting all those plants and trees and all that stuff, and filming in the exact same spot. So that’s one of the locations – that practically the only confirmed location we have so far ..
Michael: But we’ll definitely have more for you.
(Sohaib cut in to announce the station Id break – An advertisement for Station identification was played)
Stuart: Ok Mike we’re back from our station ID. Hello Mike?
Michael: Yes, I’m sorry, its cool .. (laughter)
Sohaib: We thought we had lost you for a second.
Michael: No problems I’m still here ..
Sohaib: we were afraid when we chase you ..(laughter) the Philadelphia fans, they have a reputation for being a little bit tough, but, I think that you’ll find over the next couple of weeks … they’re gentle souls, actually, I wouldn’t say they’re not quite Shire folk (laughter) – they’re what I’d consider to be the distant relatives of Gimli actually, but we won’t go there… (laughter)
Sohaib: One of the questions I had – and again we’re looking forward to updates coming up in the next couple of weeks – what is your opinion – how do think the tone of the film is going to be with the respect that, now this is your spec…
(at this point in the program my tape ran short – and there is a gap of approximately 7 seconds. If I can get an podcast recording, I will fill in the missing words) .
Michael: … in episodes 4, 5, and 6
Sohaib: What do you think tonally. Is it going to be Are they going to be pretty much locked in ….. a solution, Are you really going to have to look at these as two films with a common historical ancestry.
Michael: I think it might be split down the middle. I think Guillermo can bring his own vision to the film but if you look at something like Pans Labyrinth or even Hellboy in certain aspects, maybe even the second Hellboy film, you’re going to sort look to get a hint at what Guillermo’s vision is and what his colour palette looks like and the way he edits and the way he cuts films. But I definitely know he’s is going to be using the first three films as cannon, and I heard a little tit-bit just yesterday where when he was preparing to shoot the Blade sequel he actually watched the first film and watched it repeatedly just to get sort of the feel of the film and I’m sure he’s going to be doing something like that especially when you have Peter right there in the studio, able to show him rough cuts or whatever it is that they (you know) .. that we don’t even get to see, so
I definitely think they’re going to want keep their palette – their work, but allow Guillermo to sort of have some of his own vision.
Sohaib: Well Mike I’d just like to thank you for coming on this week, were going to be hearing a lot more from the OneRing Dot Net in the near future, and actually in the next two weeks but one thing I can tell you, and everyone whose listening, and those of you who are listening on WNJC1360.com also, get ready for a lot of Academy Award nomination come 2011-2012.
Michael: (laughs) absolutely, absolutely.
And Were hoping to do more with Guillermo and Peter themselves and the entire WETA crew and stuff like that so keep looking at the onering dot net for more exclusives and online content as well.
Stuart: Fantastic Fantastic .. definitely
Sohaib: Ok, So thanks Mike Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Michael: No problem. Talk to you guys later. Take care. Bye Bye.
Sohaib: So Stuart, that was Mike Regina, Editor in Chief and Segment Producer and Co-Owner of TheOneRing.net in our first segment about Lord Of The Rings.