Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category
For those of you who have been lucky enough to visit the Hobbiton set (like me!), you know how magical it is to wander among the well-tended gardens and Hobbit-home facades, to rest in the shade of the magnificent party tree, and to enjoy a pint at the Green Dragon Inn. However, as most of us are aware, the Hobbiton set is surrounded by a 560 hectare (approximately 1,400 acre) working sheep and cattle farm owned and operated by the Alexander family.
Stuff.co.nz recently recounted a bit of the history of the Hobbiton and how Hobbit holes and sheep continue to coexist nicely in a quiet corner of the New Zealand countryside:
“Right alongside the tourism business is their sheep and beef operation, on probably the country’s most-visited farm. While not many of the tourists see the whole farm, the stock is still very much in the public eye, meaning Craig [Alexander] has to be strategic in where he farms stock because of the occasional gate left open by an unsuspecting tourist. Hobbiton is also ring-fenced with paddocks for stock on either side. “If we’re driving a mob of 1500-2000 ewes down the main track and there is a [tourist] bus going through that can be pretty frustrating.”
While the farm is family-owned and operated, Hobbiton is a 50/50 partnership between the family and Peter Jackson. “Today, the tourism venture has about 70 permanent staff and twice that number over the busy summer season. It’s given the Matamata district a huge boost in earnings and the region is now thriving.”
Read the full article here.
Posted in Director news, Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Tours
It’s no secret that the artists of Weta Workshop who brought both Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life are an insanely talented bunch, but have you ever wondered what they’ve been up to post Middle-earth? Aside from contributing to multiple other films and their own projects, several have been collaborating on a wonderful series of books showcasing their Fantasy and Science Fiction art: White Cloud Worlds. New Zealand’s Maori name is Aotearoa, which means “the land of the long white cloud,” and given that the art is all Kiwi-made, well, you get the picture! Several of the art pieces included were also inspired by Middle-earth.
The covers of Volumes 1 & 2
Books one and two have already been released, and book three is due out in November. This new volume is said to contain over 200 images, showcasing the work of 60 New Zealand artists, several of whom include such Middle-earth artists as:
Gus Hunter, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit
Ben Wootten, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR
Paul Tobin, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Jamie Beswarick, Weta Workshop Designer, LOTR & The Hobbit
Andrew Baker, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Lindsey Crummett, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Nick Keller, Weta Workshop Designer, The Hobbit
Posted in Books, Merchandise, New Zealand, The Hobbit
A group, that displays one man with 500+ Facebook friends, has started a GoFundMe page to build a 1 to 1 scale replica “of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”
For American readers, if my pounds to dollars calculator is working right, that is about $2.8 billion, an ambitious amount to raise on IndieGoGo, or really any crowd funding site, or really, by any method. Still, the project would be a dream to visit and would create an economy all its own and would provide years of good media material as the world watched its progress.
“We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life,” Jonathan Wilson says on his intro page. He also breaks down the cost, a little bit, to say, “The vast majority of this expense will cover building costs – £15m for land, £188m for labour and £1.4bn for material.”
He hopes to raise £1.8 billion. (more…)
Posted in Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Studios, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, WETA Workshop
Mel is gone.
It has been weeks now and this isn’t news. I have felt the loss personally and thought about the loss for so many.
Melissa Theresa Petrey Kern, 42, is gone. In her
real traditional obituary, it says she was of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Respectfully, I disagree, or I want to state on the record, that while that may be true, it isn’t the whole truth.
More of the truth would say that Melissa Theresa Petrey Kern, 42, a notable figure in the Tolkien Community, died March 8, 2015, after a long battle with ALS. She lived among us, the fan community, and was our neighbor and shared her life with us and is missed by us, as she is missed in Lawrenceville. You could write about more places she lived and is missed too.
I remember, fortunately a few conversations we shared that didn’t seem especially significant at the time, but feel pretty lucky now. We talked about an artist that visited Georgia. We talked about the Tolkien Community in Atlanta. We even talked about specific people she wanted good things for. We talked about fandom, that included her own early love for the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. We shared some moments and I value them, as part of the beautiful experience of our community and they are just a tiny sample of many such moments she shared with many people.
More memorable than the things she said were the people she influenced. The Georgia costuming community, I think it is fair to say, wouldn’t have been so organized or so unified if not for Mel. The Arms of Middle-earth might not have existed at all without Mel, but I don’t pretend to know the reality of that claim. We can safely and accurately say, she was at the heart of the community.
There is a photo, I am sure dozens of people have it, where a significant number of Tolkien costumers were all gathered together in an impressive array of characters from “The Lord of the Rings.” It was during Dragon Con in Atlanta, before the convention had matured to quite the level it has now. Groups of costumers were less frequent and large numbers of themed costumes were rare. There, in that spot, was organized and gathered an outstanding display of fans, living their passions and forming a genuine fellowship. It was a very fine cosplay effort but it was a transcendent community effort. (more…)
Posted in Billy Boyd, DragonCon, Fans, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Rhys-Davies, Martin Freeman, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, Tolkien
In the USA, from March 24th, the last in Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies will be available for you to take home. (It’s been available in digital version in many countries since March 3rd; but from Tuesday you can get your hands on a ‘hard’ copy.)
Many fans, of course, like to wait for the Extended Edition release before purchasing a copy; but speaking personally, my collection isn’t complete unless I have the theatrical cut as well. I was thrilled to get my hands on a review copy of the Blu-ray Combo pack, which includes copies of the movie on Blu-ray, on DVD and a Digital HD copy – as well as various extras. (more…)
Posted in Billy Boyd, Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray, DVDs, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Martin Freeman, Merchandise, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, Shop, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Warner Bros.
More than two weeks have passed since our celebrations in Hollywood – how time flies! During those two weeks we’ve still been working hard – updating records, and making sure we know who collected their perks, and to whom we still need to send things!
All remaining perks should ship towards the end of this week; if you haven’t received something by the END OF MARCH, then please let us know!
We’re also busy working on the ‘Red Book’ – the thank you which we will send to Peter Jackson, including the names of all who supported The One Last Party Indiegogo campaign. Those names can now all be seen on our Roll of Honor – click here to see this splendid Fellowship of Fans!
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Movie, Jewelry, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, New Zealand, Oscar Parties, Sideshow Collectibles, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Community, Weta Collectibles, WETA Workshop, William Kircher
We at TheOneRing.net want you all to join us in saying a proper ‘Fond Farewell’ and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all the hard working Cast and Crew of all six of the Middle-earth films. There will be a giant ‘Thank You’ card at our planned “The One Last party: There and Back Again” event on February 21, 2015 in Hollywood. We’ve done this before, back at the Return of the One Party in 2004, so we know how to do big cards.
Now we know that not everyone can join us at ‘The One Last Party” so we have a special Perk on our Indiegogo campaign just for you. In fact, every single Perk level includes your name on the card, but we did create the lowest level Perk just for those who can’t attend, but would like to be included in this special ‘one of a kind’ Thank you greeting. The images here are from 2004, but they give you an idea of what to expect from this year’s Epic card. And for those who do attend the party, you will have the opportunity to personalize your greeting a little bit more at the party. This ‘Thank You’ card will either be given to, or sent down to New Zealand to be delivered to Peter Jackson.
For the past decade and a half, Peter Jackson, his amazing cast and the equally amazing crew have handcrafted these magnificent cinematic representations of Middle-earth for all of us to enjoy. Along the way, we have created a vibrant fan community where we can be found chatting on the message boards, meeting up at theater Line Parties, attending conventions together, making pilgrimages to New Zealand, and attending Oscar parties. We are a very social fandom who celebrates both the creative and academic side of Middle-earth, where you can find people displaying amazing costume designs right next to people who can recite and translate all of Tolkien’s Elvish poetry, and each can call the other ‘friend’. So while we want to thank Peter and the rest of the cast and crew for making films we can all enjoy, we especially want to thank them for the much more important Fan Community that has been thriving in big cities and tiny little towns all around the world since 2001.
Please join us in sending out our thanks by supporting our campaign for The One Last Party: There and Back Again, or sharing it far and wide with all your friends and family. Let’s all enjoy each other’s company #OneLastTime.
Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party
We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a toast to all SIX movies, both LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit.
Visit our Indiegogo campaign page to grab your tickets and help make it happen — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!
Posted in Events, Fans, Fellowship of the Ring, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Old Oscar Party News, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tours
MIRAMAR, New Zealand — The director’s tent.
Inside a sound stage, or outside on location, it is a constant and central fixture on a movie shoot. It is home base for Peter Jackson and his team.
It is sacred ground — more or less.
The decisions made inside it, by the team, under Jackson’s direction, are crucial to the project where it is determined what will later happen in front of the camera.
So every day, whatever happens to a set or a sound stage overnight, the tent is there set up and waiting for the core of the shooting unit.
Editor Jabez Olssen, Script Supervisor Victoria Sullivan and First Assistant Director Carolynne Cunningham call it home during the shoot. Cunningham is outside of the director’s tent a lot, Olssen and Sullivan less so and Producer Zane Weiner is always near. Jackson’s assistant Sebastian Meek is in and out at all times, bringing badly needed tea and watching the door from outside to eliminate distractions inside.
Jackson lives on tea and Meek has a talent for having it handy at the perfect moment.
SETTING THE SCENE
In April, 2012, as a representative of fandom via TheOneRing.net, I was invited to be on set during five weeks of the filming of the Hobbit films. At the time, it was still scheduled to be two movies and the production had just settled in to shoot in studio instead of on location. Much was unknown then, that now is completely familiar to fans.
When I first arrived at Stone Street Studios, the publicity team took me to set, showed me the ropes and left me to my own devices during the rest of my stay to meet folks and get interviews, which was great — no time and no need for babysitting.
I was there to be a good guest and to observe. Two weeks later I was definitely convinced I had no chance of talking to Peter Jackson, except for an occasional, “Hello, how are you getting on?” from him during my time there.
Fans world-wide know from production diaries, how exhausted Jackson gets during the shooting phase of filmmaking. It is important to really understand why.
Peter Jackson is a busy guy. Particularly when he is shooting, there is a lot to do in a day and a lot of people that need to understand his vision in order to do their jobs well; he is the hub of the great spinning wheel.
He is the director, a writer and a producer — each a big job on its own. Many films have one of each of those, or several of some, all working together. But Jackson was all of them at once and combining titles didn’t mean there was less work to be done. Just because he was reviewing shots didn’t mean the script didn’t need his touch or that the art department didn’t need his input or the next day’s schedule didn’t need approval. Others were partners on all of these roles but they also required Jackson.
In a day he might need to meet with the effects supervisor, set designers, concept designers, costume designers, the composer or see actual costumes for approval, or changes, to name just a few of the many things that require his time. He will confirm the schedule with his Assistant Director, producers and spend time with the Second Unit Director Andy Serkis, to make sure all is to his liking. They need sets built, greens grown, existing sets decorated, concept guys working ahead, materials guys building everything, maximizing actors’ time, feeding all of those people, screening extras, bringing in the right number of prosthetic artists for the day’s schedule of actors and extras and on and on. In short, there is never a shortage of people who need Jackson’s input to work on his vision and it takes the logistics of — dare I say — planning a battle with five armies.
In short, everything goes through Peter Jackson.
Those are the reasons “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” and his other Hobbit movies are genuinely Peter Jackson movies. It also means he is booked.
THE FINAL HOURS
And so it was, the last day of my time on The Hobbit set, after several assurances that my interview with Peter Jackson would happen — it did.
Lunch happened and on the location set of Dale, up on a hill overlooking Evans Bay to Wellington, I was invited to that nearly sacred director’s tent to sit and talk with PJ — just the two of us alone. (One editor asked me if we ate together in the tent but I don’t think so, but why many memories are crystal clear of that meeting, anything we ate or didn’t eat isn’t clear. I just have no idea.)
I had been inside before, but not often. The day I shadowed him, I spent several hours, trying to melt into the background. This was his sanctuary and office.
Posted in Alan Lee, Andy Serkis, Characters, Crew News, Director news, Director Rumors, Evangeline Lilly, Fans, Fran Walsh, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Locations Sets, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Production, Silmarillion, Studios, Terry Notary, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Uncategorized, Warner Bros.
On an hour-long episode of Trip Flip, host Bert Kreischer surprises an adrenaline-loving couple with the trip of a lifetime to the adventure capital of the world, New Zealand.
Posted in New Zealand, Other Events, Television, The Hobbit, Tours
The mill at Hobbiton Movie Set
Matamata and its surrounds are really popular with the tourists, according to a new report.
The Hobbit trilogy of movies has had a big impact on tourist spending in one North Island region, new figures suggest. (more…)
Posted in Hobbit Movie, New Zealand, The Hobbit
NOTE: Click on any of the photos and then click again to see a much larger version. We think most of these are worth the clicks.
You can smell it in the air and see it in the water and there is just no disputing that Queenstown, New Zealand is a special place. The Hobbit Fan Contest winners left some pretty amazing experiences at Rotorua and especially Hobbiton Movie Set to climb on a plane at head to the south island of the two-island nation.
More than one fan wondered aloud, “How can they rest of the trip possibly live up to this?” And then Queenstown worked its charms. The area is heavily saturated with Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film lore. And while there was always tourism for the majestic Southern Alps and the Remarkables set around a ski resort town that also happens to be the gateway of the world, there will long be an impact there from the six episodes of Middle-earth Peter Jackson delivered. (more…)
Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, LotR Movies, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Orlando Bloom, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tours
HOBBITON — A visit to Hobbiton Movie Set for winners of the Hobbit Fan Contest had, all-in-all, a pretty amazing day — and then they saw the trailer.
For readers who don’t know, the shooting set for exteriors of the Shire in Hobbit trilogy is preserved for visitors on the farm where it was originally used for the “Lord of the Rings,” films. It provides a fully immersive environment that fans worldwide agree is singularly special and it runs tours daily.
So besIt also didn’t hurt that actors Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow and Stephen Hunter surprised visitors at a feast inside the full-service eatery on site: The Green Dragon. Nor did the flowing drink, the plentiful food, the expertly guided tours, but what else can be done to delight 150 of the most die-hard fans in the world?
Have Peter Jackson, by way of recorded video, introduce the just-finished, and last, trailer for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” It brought the house down.
In the very Hobbity party tent behind The Green Dragon all the gathered fans and media were clearly and repeatedly instructed to turn off our cameras so it was obvious something different was happening. Even the most honored guests, the actors were placed in the front but looking forward with the audience.
Matthew Dravitzki, an Associate Producer on the trilogy and a key figure behind Jackson’s team who usually escapes the spotlight, spoke to the fans and introduced the video. He also required that we viewers not share the details, especially the specifics, so you will not read them here. But I think its okay if I say, it’s serious as a heart attack, gloomy as a storm front and as epic as battle of five armies.
And wow, do my fingers itch to type more.
Afterwards the groups of fans, split up for logistical purposes and took the new (to me) night tour around the set. Under the party tree the groups gathered to finally end a pretty amazing day. In fact, it may be difficult to match during the rest of the trip. To say fans were ecstatic is no exaggeration. There were, at several points, tears of joy and disbelief.
The day started in the rain at the Skyline Rotorua. Fans and reporters were generously offered the opportunity to enjoy various activities that included wine tasting, a zip line, a luge and a skyswing. Then it was off to the movie set for a day that was absolutely packed.
TORn interviewed the four actors together in a group with hilarious results. We will post it at a later date, depending on how quickly we get the video and quickly I can possibly post it but it’s great fan service from four classy New Zealand gentlemen.
The owner of the sheep and cattle farm the set sits on and his son who run it, Ian and Russel Alaexander, were on hand for interviews as well. TORn didn’t catch up with them, but plenty of media outlets did. In the late afternoon, in the guise of introducing The Green Dragon, fans were led into the room where the actors and executives were enjoying dinner and where media was stationed to grab reactions. As anticipated, tears where shed, hugs were shared and memories were made. Staff working on the event expressed a lot of tender emotions while watching fans enjoy the surprise so much.
I was pleased to have time to mix and mingle with fans — and I met a lot of them and enjoyed it every time. Before long it was trailer time. Despite this group’s appointment this week to screen the actual film with director Peter Jackson, the trailer announcement was greeted with great excitement.
Dravitzki promised a triple showing and delivered. All three times fans hushed each other at the start, not wanting to miss any dialog.
Then it was outdoors for the night tour when fireworks were triggered. Then, off to buses and tomorrow, Queenstown.
Posted in Events, Fans, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, MrCere in New Zealand, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Stephen Hunter, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tours