On December 18, 2001, TheOneRing.net introduced a new feature on our site: Ringer Reviews – “A database of reviews from Tolkien fans all over the world, whether you loved, liked or hated the film this is where you can express your feelings in words and celebrate with your fellow fans the release of the first installment in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Twenty-four hours later, fans had posted 3,000 reviews. By Christmas the count was up to 6,700 and on January 19, 2002, a month after FOTR opened, over 10,000 reviews had been submitted.
Today the count stands at 15,084 reviews. Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived. But, we thought it might be fun to revisit some of the overall results, more of which can be found at the Ringer Reviews link above.
Continue reading “Fellowship of the Ring: 15,084 reviews and counting”
One of the big visual secrets of the final Middle-earth movie from Peter Jackson, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” is Dain Ironfoot. Played by Billy Connoly, Dain is a character that is essential to the story but isn’t incredibly fleshed out in J.R.R. Tolkien source material that was originally intended for children.
Our own Demosthenes has this excellent analysis of Connolly as Dain complete with quotes and descriptions of the character. It has long been reported that Dain will arrive on the scene riding a war boar but clearly Jackson’s team has been careful not to reveal this in any teaser trailers so far, and, lets hope it stays that way.
But, visuals of the character have started to seep into the public eye. With giant franchise films like The Hobbit, it’s impossible to put a lid on too much because merchandise and toys need to start selling before the film hits theaters (and before it is finished!) and that means that at the very least, clues are out in the wild.
The image at the top of this story, for example, clearly displays Lego Dain and it jives with the descriptions that are out there including this one from Connolly via Yahoo Australia:
“They’re basically broadening me, making me wider. But let me say, this guy will terrify the life out of you. I have a Mohawk and tattoos on my head. You’ve got to see it.”
The Lego character appears to be a ginger and is wearing a red chest piece as part of his armor, giving him a distinct look that will visually set him apart in cinemas so viewers will know instantly that he isn’t like the dwarves we have spent so much time with so far. He is a new element with a distinct mount, armor and will be immediately recognizable and unique.
The Lego Dain even evokes a little bit of Connolly to me visually, although it could be a previous bias.
The concept art here seems to really compliment the Lego image as something close to Dain’s final design. The helms certainly seem similar in shape and color and the beards seem the same in shape and color. There are differences however in the color of the breastplate, although details on a Lego toy are only meant to be a representation and not a literal translation. In fact the looking and speculation from still images of a toy and a concept art is fun because of how different the motion picture experience is from a still image. In the day of CGI, what is filmed may or may not even resemble what ends up on screen.
UPDATE EDIT: Readers have correctly pointed out the below image is of Dwalin. The writer has been sacked.
This week, Vanity fair is looking at Oscar nominated films in a recurring feature called “Sketch to Still.” The series focuses on the creative process of making movies. This week they are talking to Oscar nominee Peter Swords King about his work in makeup and hair design for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit movies.
The dwarves’ look is also influenced by their lifestyle. “They drink a lot—their manners are really bad at the table. Any person who’s drunk all their lives, their nose is going to get quite red. All they do is eat meat. It’s not a very good diet. They live outside, so they’re beaten, battered, and bruised,” says King.Once the sketches were perfected, the filmmakers began casting. At this point, the hair-and-makeup team fit the actors for wigs, as well as prosthetics.
Read the rest of the article [here]
Radio NZ National program The Arts on Sunday has interviewed Peter King who is the brains behind the make up design for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
King has previously won an Oscar and a BAFTA for his work on The Lord of the Rings, while his other film credits include Nine, the Nanny McPhee movies, King Kong, Thunderbirds and An Ideal Husband.
I don’t know how long the link will remain up so you should have a listen soon. Press play below to hear the interview.
If the above link doesn’t work for you listen [here]
Our story so far: Peter Jackson made three Middle-earth movies and people loved them. Now he is making two more and people already love them too. MrCere, Senior Staff, Writer and Photographer at TheOneRing.net (around since 1999) went to NZ to see what he could see. Landed in Queenstown, found lots of LOTR stuff, drove north to see the people of the ring, visited Hobbiton visited Wellington, center of NZ’s cinematic empire, and will soon leave NZ. However, much more content will follow.
I haven’t seen an insect weta before in my travels (until this trip, but not this story) but I have plenty of experience with the folks who run and work at the special effects shop who identify themselves as “wetas”. Several Comic-Cons, (including the 2011 edition in San Diego) lots of emails and various TORn functions have made the crew at Weta Workshop friendly acquaintances if not just plain old friends.
My time in Wellington would need to include a visit of some kind with the very busy people who are working on The Hobbit, but as I have often joked (even though it is at least partially true) Weta’s second best talent is making special effects for movies. What they are really best at is keeping secrets from TheOneRing.net. I had no illusions that anybody was going to tour me around the workshop (I asked anyway, just in case) during the height of The Hobbit production, but they were kind enough to invite me along to a group they were hosting from a cruise ship that included one of our own message board members. (Her identity is her own to reveal.) Continue reading “Weta Cave big part of movie tourism in Wellington”
For the folks at Weta to be successful they need super talented people to help bring the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life. These folks are responsible for making the award-winning armor, weapons, costumes, and, of course, digital effects that have gained them so much acclaim. I thought for you all it would be great if we could sit down with one of these amazing individuals to find out what it’s like to help bring these worlds to life.
Well, Daniel Falconer one of the key artists at Weta has been kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for everyone. As many of you may know Daniel been apart of amazing pieces like Bag End, Rivendell, Treebeard’s bust, and books like The Art of District 9. Having had a chance to own or see many of these pieces I was quite eager to sit down with Daniel and get his thoughts on being apart of helping Weta create these amazing things. After, reading this Q&A I would suggest to all the readers to get one of these great collectibles Daniel and Weta have created. Continue reading “Collecting the Precious: Interview with Weta’s own Daniel Falconer”