Collider announced earlier today that 23 year-old British actor Maxim Baldry “has landed a significant role” in the upcoming Amazon Middle-earth TV series. Baldry is perhaps best known so far for his role in the 2019 BBC/HBO joint production series Years and Years. According to Collider: “Character details are being kept under wraps along with plot details.” While that doesn’t give us a lot to go on, ok almost nothing to go on, we do know that the new series is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which narrows down, if only slightly, what “significant role” might imply.(more…) Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized
Archive for the ‘Hobbit Movie’ Category
Chance Thomas is a composer who has worked in film, television and video games, including when he transported readers to Middle-earth in the game Lord of the Rings Online. He is a Tolkien enthusiast and was happy to do an interview with TheOneRing. We sat down, broke bread and talked Tolkien.
Thomas was involved in several editions of LOTRO including, “Riders of Rohan,” “Mines of Moria,” Shadows of Angmar,” and “Mordor.” I watched recently as fans geeked out at the chance to meet the man who provided the music for the game they loved so dearly.
He has a long list of credits including other Peter Jackson games and an Academy Award winning short film “The ChubbChubbs!”
TORn: Where did your own love of music spring?
Chance Thomas: When I was a child, my mother was always singing in our home. She took me to the symphony, we listened to records and sang along with the radio. Great music was always around and it always lit me up.
As I grew older, good friends would often introduce me to cool new bands and recording artists. We would get together just to share new songs we liked with each other. I also started playing in orchestras and rock bands and wrote songs and made recordings. After college, my wife and I entertained together on cruise ships and wrote pop songs.
Really, I have loved music for as long as I can remember.
TORn: Where did your involvement with Tolkien come from?
CT: I read the Hobbit as a tween, but didn’t tackle The Lord of the Rings until I was in my 30s. When I did finally read the trilogy, it was like an eruption of joy and discovery inside of me.
Oh, how I loved it! The world, the characters, the fantasy, the pacing, the descriptions … and the music! Everywhere across the world there was mention of music. Songs, instruments, voices; it was wonderful. As a result, I began to codify all of the references in the book and their inferences about music into a document, “The Tolkien Music Style Guide.” The intent was to keep me authoritatively focused as I composed, so that the music I wrote would resonate with the source material, as if drawn from some sub-dimensional embedding of music in the very literature itself.
TORn: As a composer, do you get a lot of emotional feedback on your work? Do you hear from people?
What a great question. (Thanks Chance!)
Media composers like me generally get very little feedback on the work we do. But that’s not uncommon in the professional world. For example, a plumber who lays pipes and fittings in a new home will likely never get feedback from the people who buy the home unless there’s a problem.
It’s hard for me to imagine a homeowner tracking down a plumber, calling him up, and saying, “Hey man! I just want you to know how much we’re enjoying the water pressure in our shower. It’s amazing!”
Likewise, most of the people who hear my music are busy playing the game or watching the TV show, or going through the VR experience. They’re gleefully consuming the entertainment, enjoying it as a total experience. It’s not often that people will go to the extra effort of tracking a composer down to give feedback on the music.
Having said all that, the one notable exception comes from “The Lord of the Rings Online.”
Players of this game have been unusually active in finding me online and sharing their enthusiasm for the music I’ve written for them. It has been incredibly gratifying, as you can imagine, to have people find me and share how much the music has meant to them over the years.
And actually, now that I think of it, “DOTA 2” players have been great that way too.
TORn: Who are some of your music heroes and also heroes in your more specific field of soundtracks?
CT: Kansas, Boston, Elton John, Billy Joel, Toto, James Newton Howard, John Williams, James Horner, Danny Elfman, Loreena McKennitt, Earth, Wind and Fire, Quincy Jones, many more.
TORn: For those of us who can’t compose music, how does it feel to complete a piece of music ?
It’s surprisingly dynamic, really. You can feel an incredible rush of adrenaline and satisfaction at times. You can also feel complete contempt, disgust, and self-loathing. And the pendulum can swing from one extreme to the other fast enough to make your head spin. I had that kind of reaction when I wrote the theme for Rohan. Still do. Sometimes I think it’s a really great tune. Other times I think… meh.
I’m not saying that composers are neurotic, but we can tend to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our own creations. Sometimes that pendulum can even swing all the way across an entire score. I never was really sure how I felt about my first DOTA 2 score.
TORn: Are there certain pieces you find that you love more than others? You have compared them to children in previous conversations.
CT: I write a ton of action music. Creating action tracks can be super fun. It’s loud, it’s bombastic, its aggressive. It gets the adrenaline going. But more often than not, if I’m just in a listening mood, I prefer the more thematic pieces, the thoughtful tracks, the music with some emotional movement in it. Here are a couple of examples from that part of my composing style.
First the thematic afterture I recently composed for Warhammer:
And here is an older one, the tragic hero theme I composed for King Kong:
TORn: Can you watch films or the like and not focus on the soundtrack?
Absolutely. I’ve always been drawn deeply into films. Sometimes my wife laughs when I’m watching a movie because I may physically duck and dodge during fight scenes. In the process of being entertained, I typically consume the music as part of the overall experience. But when the music is meant to stand out and be featured, I dial in to that too.
TORn: What types of projects do you hope to do down the road?
CT: As a fan and as an artist, I adore deeply developed fictional worlds. I love working in them, creating music so that people who love those worlds can be drawn in ever more deeply.
I’ve been privileged to compose music for many such worlds, including The Lord of the Rings, James Cameron’s Avatar, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel, King Kong and many more.
Down the road, I hope to continue to contribute to these kinds of fantasy worlds, at higher and higher levels, with broader and broader reach. Composing for the Avatar film sequels or the LOTR television series would definitely be at the top of my list
Larry, thanks for the interview. It’s always a pleasure. May the road go ever on and on!Posted in Lord of the Rings, soundtrack
Talent, locations, infrastructure and a warm Kiwi welcome. According to Pam Ford from the Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development agency in this piece from Radio NZ, those were the determining factors in Amazon Studios’ decision, confirmed on Tuesday, to film the upcoming Middle-earth-based TV series in New Zealand.
Quoted in stuff.co.nz, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay described New Zeland as indeed offering all of the criteria they were looking for: “As we searched for the location in which we could bring to life the primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle Earth, we knew we needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff”.
“And we’re happy that we are now able to officially confirm New Zealand as our home for our series based on stories from J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings. The abundant measure of Kiwi hospitality with which they have welcomed us has already made us feel right at home, and we are looking forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”
No doubt the prospect of a 20% to 25% rebate for every dollar spent also contributed to the ‘welcome’ factor. The good news for New Zealand is that Amazon will be spending approximately $1.0 billion of those dollars ($1.3 NZD) and will likely provide jobs that will spill over from the film industry to affect the rest of the economy for up to a decade.
Read more about the Auckland studios where filming will take place in our article from June, and be sure to listen to the full radio story linked above as it features our own staffer Garfeimao (Cathy Udovch)!
Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, The Hobbit, Uncategorized
When our friends from within the Tolkien Community heard we’re having a special birthday they sent us these lovely messages as part of our celebrations. So Happy 20th Anniversary TORn! Here’s to many many more!
Kia Ora TORn,
Happy 20th Anniversary, well done on making this wonderful achievement! We have been involved with TORn through one of your founding members Erica Challis, from New Zealand since 2002. We have enjoyed the fantastic Premier movie parties that Red Carpet Tours has provided and TORn attended, along with the stars from the films. Looking forward to future calibrations and hopefully a great Lotr TV series for all the fans. Congratulations again on 20 years! Best regards, Julie James and the team at Red Carpet Tours.
Happy 20th Birthday to TheOneRing.net from The Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship. We hope you continue to have another successful 20 years at least sharing the news of all things Middle-earth.
Dear Friends at TheOneRing,
Congratulations on reaching the ripe old age of 20 ; ) Thank you for all the support and love you’ve given us all.
When I took the job of playing Ori in The Hobbit, I didn’t think I’d collect so many chums. Like the cast, you too are part of my extended dysfunctional Tolkien family!
Have a great celebration – drink, be merry… and avoid the green food!
See you all soon. Adam x
A big happy 20th anniversary to TheOneRing.net ! All this time you have been delivering to us critical and wonderful news regarding the world of JRR Tolkien, from the books to the films to the Collectibles and everything in between. May 20 more years be forthcoming!
Cheers, Jerry Vanderstelt
Our good friend Donato Giancola also has given us a mathom to offer to you all! For the next ten days, you can get 50% (!!) off on all of Donato’s incredible art prints. Just use the coupon code TORN at checkout. Take a look at the wonderful prints on sale, here. Thanks so much, Donato!
I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already – it’s been an amazing
community to have been a part of, and all good wishes to everyone
involved, from everyone at Welly-moot!
We will be adding more messages to this post as and when we receive them, so do check back! Thanks to everyone who has sent greetings and anniversary messages!Posted in Adam Brown, Artwork, Bruce Hopkins, Daniel Reeve, Events, Fans, Founders Day, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, New Zealand, Other Events, Other Merchandise, Posters Prints, Shop, soundtrack, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tours, William Kircher
In celebration of Earth Day (a day of which hobbits especially would approve), our friends over at WB’s HobbitShop.com are having a special sale TODAY! They are offering six of their most popular Middle-earth shirts for just $12 each! Take a look at the sale here!
They also have a new hoody which will be of interest to Tolkien fans; it commemorates the 15th anniversary of the release of Peter Jackson’s Return of the King. A large ring and ring script logo can be found on the back, with the ring script also on the inside lining of the hood. Check it out here.Posted in Clothing, Clothing, Earth Day, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Shop, The Hobbit, Warner Bros.
As we mentioned a while back, we have a new player in the Middle-earth Collectibles game. Iron Studios is going to be producing collectibles based on the best trilogy of all-time: “The Lord of the Rings,” of course! These pieces will be produced in 1:10 scale, which is smaller than other collectibles based on the trilogy. Despite being smaller from what we can see in the production photos the to be very well made. I have had the chance to see their Marvel pieces up close, so I have very high hopes we’re in for a real treat! All four pieces Gandalf the Grey, Frodo Baggins, standing Ringwraith, and attacking Ringwraith can be pre-ordered right now. They range from $95 for Frodo to $115 for Gandalf the Grey. Collectors can expect all of these figures to start landing during quarter four of 2019.Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Shop, Sideshow Collectibles
A report has appeared in Scotland’s Daily Record stating that representatives of Amazon Studios were scouting filming locations for their Lord of the Rings TV project in Scotland over the summer. This story is light on details, so we at TORn are treating this information as rumors, for now. These location scouts purportedly traveled as tourists, checking out various locales around Scotland, which offered the opportunity for a meaningful connection with the local communities. (more…)Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, New Line Cinema, Television, TheOneRing.net Announcements, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family
If you’re like me and you’re a big fan of Jerry Vanderstelt’s work, you’re going to love the Thranduil: King of the Woodland Realm art print and will want to add it to your collection. As you may remember a couple years ago Weta Workshop unveiled the very cool Thranduil on Elk statue. This superb print by Jerry Vanderstelt captures the same majesty as the statue, and gives you a peek at just what might have been going on around Thranduil in that moment. As always, Jerry gives fans multiple ways to add this print to their collection, ranging from a high quality paper giclee to a 28×36 gallery wrapped print. This allows fans to get something for whatever their collecting budget allows. Limited to 2000 pieces it won’t last long, so do not hesitate to snag this one today!Posted in Artwork, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Merchandise, Posters Prints, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
This past week, the New Zealand Government and executives from Amazon TV held a meeting in an effort to address concerns about a lack of studio capacity in Auckland. This planned 5 season LOTR series is a big production that will require quite a lot of studio space for filming, post production facilities and local crews, so of course they want to make sure the resources exist that they need. It appears that a decision or deal may be made within the next month, so we don’t have long to wait. You can see the source of this story at Stuff.Co.NZ.
You may be wondering why Auckland and not Wellington, but that is easily explained by the fact that the Avatar trilogy of films currently in pre-production will soon be moving into full production. While the Amazon LOTR production will be big, Avatar is going to be much bigger, and there may or may not be enough room for both as far as studio and post-production facilities go.
This leads to a much bigger debate on whether or not this new series should look and feel much like the existing Middle-earth films or whether it should blaze its own path for design and locations. The appeal to any production of not having to look for too many new locations can’t be understated. Film and TV productions are always having to research and locate interesting places that fit what the production needs, so the fact that so many locations in New Zealand have already been established as feeling like Middle-earth is a boon. But then, there are hundreds of beautiful places around the world, and with chunks of filming now happening in studios, does it really matter where those studios are? Is it possible that Amazon can do location filming in New Zealand and Studio work in London, Hollywood or Vancouver? Or why not film in British Columbia, or Northern Ireland or Slovenia for that matter?Posted in Amazon Studios, Amazon TV series, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, Television, Tolkien
Welcome to TORn’s The Return of the King Geeky Observations List 15th Anniversary Redux!Posted in Creations, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Community, TORn's Geeky Observations Lists
Collecting The Precious – Weta Workshop Tauriel Pre-Order, Mini Epic Witch-king, New Ringwraith,and 12 Days
Good news is never late. It arrives precisely when means to. If you’ve been following our friends from Weta then you know the last little bit has had some very cool news for collectors. One of the most popular statues from The Hobbit line came from the character of Tauriel. She sold out pretty quickly and on the secondary market can come at a pretty high price. Fans have been asking for a new statue of the character, and that wish has finally been granted. You can grab the new Tauriel for $349, which is a fair amount under the price on ebay. She comes with an edition size of only 800 pieces so she’s likely to not be around too long, and you can expect her to land in your collection in March of next year.Posted in Collectibles, Collectibles, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Shop, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop
Welcome to The Great Hall of Poets, our regular monthly feature showcasing the talent of Middle-earth fans. Each month we will feature a small selection of the poems submitted, but we hope you will read all of the poems that we have received here in our Great Hall of Poets.
So come and join us by the hearth and enjoy!
If you have a Tolkien/Middle-earth inspired poem you’d like to share, then send it to email@example.com One poem per person may be submitted each month. Please make sure to proofread your work before sending it in. TheOneRing.net is not responsible for poems posting with spelling or grammatical errors.Posted in Creations, Fans, Green Books, Hobbit Movie, Lee Pace, Poetry, The Hobbit, Tolkien