fotr-movie-posterOn 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 Unfortunately, the individual reviews reside on our old site and have been archived.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”

Hugh Jackman as AragornWelcome to our collection of TORn’s hottest topics for the past week.  If you’ve fallen behind on what’s happening on the Message Boards, here’s a great way to catch up on the highlights.  Or if you’re new to TORn and want to enjoy some great conversations, just follow the links to some of our most popular discussions.  Watch this space as every weekend we will spotlight the most popular buzz on TORn’s Message Boards.  Everyone is welcome, so come on in and join the fun!

Continue reading “TORn Message Board Weekly Roundup – September 15, 2013”

Fell Beast being hoistedOf the three trips I took to New Zealand in 2003 and 2004 to conduct interviews for my book, only the first happened before the release of The Return of the King. I didn’t go thinking that I would suddenly be privy to spoilers and secrets. Shooting was over, I assumed (wrongly), and I figured my interviewees would not tell or show me anything confidential.

But at times they did. In my previous installment of this series, “Places Full of Magic,” I wrote about the facilities I visited. Now it’s time to reveal a few things I learned there—and kept quiet about. Continue reading “Researching THE FRODO FRANCHISE: Part 4, Now It Can Be Told: Secrets and Spoilers”

Once again it has been a long time since I posted in this series, but what with the run-up to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure and the reaction to it, TheOneRing.net has been a busy place, and now we’re coming up on The One Expected Party on Oscar night! But I’ll delay no longer.

In the first entry I recalled getting the permission to interview the filmmakers and going down to start my work, back in September-October of 2003. The second one dealt with my first interview and tours of the Three Foot Six office building and the Stone Street Studios. Now, more of the facilities I visited.

The Film Unit

Film Unit Oct 2003My third full day in Wellington was Wednesday, October 1. Melissa Booth called and said I could come to the new Film Unit building to meet Barrie Osborne. He, as I cannot stress often enough, was the one responsible for getting me New Line’s permission to interview the filmmakers for my book. This meeting, though, wouldn’t be for an interview. (I interviewed Barrie twice for the book, first a couple of weeks later and again during my third Wellington visit in December, 2004.) He was driving out to the old Film Unit facility that afternoon to give the people working there, sound mixers, editors, and other post-production crew members, a pep talk.

As most readers know, the race to finish The Return of the King was on by that point, and a lot of people were working long hours. I was told that Barrie often gave these pep talks, and the filmmakers really appreciated them; it was part of what gave the production that feeling of being one big family. I could at least introduce myself to Barrie and ride with him to the Film Unit; the half-hour drives there and back would allow us time to talk about my project. Continue reading “Researching The Frodo Franchise: Part 3, Places Full of Magic”

This week, Vanity fair is looking at Oscar nominated filmscate_king 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]

On a day usually marked by celebrations, we are very sad to report the untimely death of our Kiwi friend, Mike Hopkins, who worked alongside American compatriot Ethan Van der Ryn as Sound Editors on the LOTR Trilogy. Mr. Hopkins (pictured on the left with Van der Ryn) would go on to win Academy Awards for Sound Editing on two of Peter Jackson’s films: The Two Towers and King Kong. He and his friends were rafting in the Tararua Range when their watercraft capsized. The complete story can be found here at Stuff.co.nz.

Ringer fans have in the past met Mr. Hopkins at public events and our own Oscar Parties held for LOTR cast & crew, where he showed extraordinary humility and appreciation for the love showed by our unique fandom. The staff of TheOneRing.net are deeply saddened at this tragic news and extend their sympathy and prayers to Mr. Hopkins’ surviving family and friends. We wish him godspeed on his new journey, certain that he can make the thunder of Heaven sound that much sweeter to the ears of the Divine.

Rest in peace, Mike Hopkins.