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Archive for the ‘Mark Ordesky’ Category

LOTR Production Team reveals secrets of Teaser Trailer

Click to watch on YouTube

On April 7, 2020 the senior members of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production team came together with fans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first teaser trailer of LOTR, an online-only digital video that broke all online download records.

This digital trailer, released on Apple Trailers, was responsible for 30% of all internet traffic upon release according to Akamai. It surpassed the Star Wars Episode 1 trailer, arguable the most hyped film in history, in downloads the first day and first week.

Prior to this trailer, fandom was seen as “Star Wars.” This validated fandom and a different way of marketing and appreciating what fandom can bring. It created a different perception of the power of fans.

Gordon Paddison, VP Marketing LOTR

Michael Pellerin describes watching the LOTR trailer with Chairman Roy Disney at Walt Disney Studios, the parent company of Miramax that actually let LOTR walk away to New Line Cinema. “He just went huh, wow, good on them. Disney would have made it a company film. This is more of a visionary thing.”

Richard Taylor tells a heartfelt story of offering a job to a professional make-up artist early on, which was respectfully declined. “We were turned down by almost everyone… but when the trailer came out, a number of people we had pursued actually wrote back to me!”

An early Cinefex advertisement soliciting resumes for Weta Digital c. 1999-2000

“What Michael did under Peter’s leadership was to unpack everything about everything, the whole process. In that trailer the world got to see the first thing that Weta Digital was doing. There was unbelievable groundbreaking stuff being done. It was all so beautifully unfolded for the world.”

Gordon Paddison was New Line Cinema’s VP of Digital Marketing who took a risk engaging with fan sites early on. “Nobody is doing anything bad, its just that they care! That’s how you develop a relationship that lasts 20 years. It comes down to passion. Fans are passionate and I was a champion of the fans, as was everyone on this chat and Peter. A strategy of love is the best you can have.”

“Star Trek had been taking legal action and shutting down fan sites for years. This was the beginning of embracing fandom and we developed a great relationship working with you guys [at TheOneRing.net]. This video changed the velocity & tone of the fan response.”

“Peter was so good at saying very early to the fans that this is not the definitive version of Lord of the Rings, this is my personal impression of what the films should be. It did a lot to right-set the filmmaker vision and set us on a journey that was really humble. “

I have a very in-depth trust in Peter. When he came to us that he wanted to do this trailer, there was no question that it was the right thing to do. I hadn’t seen a trailer like this, so I was surprised that there would be this level of reveal.”

Richard Taylor

Co-Producer Rick Porras describes the unique vision of this first teaser trailer, “What made it special was intercutting the old footage and seeing the filmmaker talk about it. Including Peter [in the video] really started something special.”

A big reveal is that the this teaser trailer actually includes footage of the original pitch package for studios to even make LOTR. Everything with Peter Jackson in a white shirt was part of the pitch package delivered to Miramax, New Line, and all other potential studios. New Line Cinema of course saw the vision and financed the films.

Sasha is a Weta artist who designed the Lord of the Rings logo and typefaces – who also pulled double duty as an orc on stilts.
Jed Brophy is the first actor ever shown officially from LOTR, on Nazgul horseback

“The fans were so engaged. Normally you can hide under a rock for a while. The fans were getting materials and putting them out. From my experience you don’t want to get into a fight with your core market. We had to feed them!” Gordon Paddison acknowledging the fourth estate of filmmaking – the fan community.

Gandalf’s shadow, sent secretly by Ian Mckellen, generated one of the first legal notices the studio sent to TheOneRing.net

Jed Brophy, in addition to playing many orc characters, was a horse rangler on the film and is actually in the teaser trailer as one of the nazgul nine. “It is a pretty incredible thing to see something you’ve done, which is just another day at work.”

Executive Producer Mark Ordesky was fully supportive of Peter & Gordon’s efforts releasing this teaser. “The best way is tell your own story before someone else tells it. What was genius about the trailer is Peter basically showed how he’s going to do things that you can’t possible imagine.”

“Think with hope, not with fear. I have come with answers.”

One of the fun tidbits revealed was that the ringer verse voice over was performed by Nick Tate, who has done everything from Jurassic Park to Spongebob. The Tolkienist was the first to reshare the discovery with fans!

Michael Pellerin expands on the Roy Disney story, confirming that LORD OF THE RINGS was indeed a Disney film at its inception because of the Miramax deal. Miramax was a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, and to this day Harvey Weinstein is credited as Executive Producer on LOTR.

“In April of 2000, I was in NYC in an audio recording session with Roy Disney, for a project I was finishing up with him. I had been counting down the days until the first LOTR online preview was to be released and it just happened to occur while we were in the studio. I tried to be as surreptitious as I could, waiting for the preview to drop on my laptop. But Roy could see I was obviously up to something — probably not having to do with our show. So he asked me what I was doing, and I fessed up to him that the first LOTR preview was about to appear online, and I couldn’t miss it. Instead of reprimanding me, Roy said we should all take a break from the session and watch it together — which we did. 

When it was over, Roy turned to me and was duly impressed. He said he thought Peter and New Line were really going to pull off what many felt was impossible — a motion picture of The Lord of the Rings – and that the project had found the right home, after all, with a director who was clearly a visionary. This was an amazing comment by a man whose progenitors founded the Walt Disney Company, and who himself was one of its chairmen. Especially in light of the fact that  Disney that was the parent company of Miramax, the studio that was originally producing Peter Jackson’s film version of LOTR, before it went into turnaround and ended up as a trilogy of films for New Line Cinema. Technically speaking, Peter Jackson’s LOTR was originally a Disney film, in its inception. So hearing Roy Disney express the same hope and feeling of excitement we all had watching that preview, felt like a sense of closure to a long journey that began in 1997, and was soon to make cinematic history.”

TheOneRing.net wants to thank all the participants for engaging with the fans from those early days to now, 20 years later, in such a respectful and candid nature. THANK YOU Gordon Paddison, Richard Taylor, Jed Brophy, Mark Ordesky, Michael Pellerin, & Rick Porras for making the time to celebrate this record setting trailer release.

Watch the entire conversation as it streamed live here:

Posted in Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, Other Crew, Richard Taylor, Rick Porras, TORn TUESDAYS Live!, Uncategorized

All-Star Panel Joins TORn Tuesday LIVE! 5pm PT / 8pm ET

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lord of the Rings internet teaser for The Lord of the Rings, we’ve put together an all-star line-up to join us LIVE for TORn Tuesday!

Join us on all our social channels at 5pm PT/8pm ET (All Timezones) as we welcome guests…

  • Mark Ordesky – Executive Producer
  • Richard Taylor – Creative Director Weta Workshop, VFX Supervisor
  • Gordon Paddison – VP Marketing, New Line Cinema
  • Jed Brophy – Actor, Snaga and Sharku
  • Rick Porras – Co-Producer
  • Michael Pellerin – Director The Appendices

Where to watch…

Posted in Crew News, Director news, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Cast News, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, New Zealand, Original TORn, Peter Jackson, Production, Richard Taylor, Studios

TORn Tuesday all-star panel tomorrow, Nov 5

What lessons can Amazon learn from the team that’s been there & back again? Let’s find out! Join TORn Tuesday hosts Cliff Broadway and Justin Sewell for an epic All-Star LOTR panel tomorrow! Joining us will be Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer), Sean Astin (Actor – Sam Gamgee), Rick Porras (Co-producer), Jim Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor), Michael Pellerin (Producer, multiple LOTR & Hobbit documentaries), Keith Stern (Ian McKellen’s Digital Manager), and Sala Baker (Actor – Sauron), as we all relive memories of filming LORD OF THE RINGS. What were those early days on set like? Did producers follow the fan discussion online? What made this effort so special? Get your deep knowledge questions ready for this multi-Oscar winning team and join the Live chat tomorrow 5pm PT. There are three options to watch the live stream, each of which let you comment and ask questions of your own:

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Posted in Jim Rygiel, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, Sala Baker, Sean Astin

LOTR co-investor Samuel Hadida dies at 64

You may not know his name, but outside of being a co-investor in the LOTR films, Samuel Hadida through his Davis-Films production company and his Metropolitan FilmExport distribution company in France helped make or distribute numerous films you would have heard of, including the Resident Evil franchise, True Romance, and the Silent Hill films and this year’s Hunter Killer. This reporter first encountered Samuel Hadida at San Diego Comic con when he brought Solomon Kane to Hall H in 2009. He was a champion of indie and genre films, and without his output deal with New Line Cinema, Lionsgate and Dreamworks, we might not have ever gotten the LOTR or the Hunger Games films.

Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer on the Lord of the Rings films said of him;

“Shocked and saddened. Sammy was so dear and brimming with life. One of many memories is indelible: His company was a co-investor in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and needless to say the stakes were high. After we premiered the first public footage in Cannes 2001, Sammy lifted me off the ground and kissed me in his excitement. He lived and bet his passions and I’ll miss him terribly. We should all aspire to love our lives and jobs as much as he did. My deepest sympathy to his brother, Victor, and all who loved him.”

We at TORn also send out a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for his courage in being a financial partner on the LOTR film, and send our condolences to his family and friends on his passing at such a young age. You can read more on his work at Passing of French Distributor Samuel Hadida

 

Solomon Kane panel at SDCC 2009 with Samuel Hadida second from left, Director Michael J Bassett and actor James Purefoy on the right. AICN’s Quint was the moderator on the far left.

 

Posted in Cannes 2001, ComicCon, Conventions, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, New Line Cinema, Old Cannes News, Original TORn, Production, Studios

Jackson to Direct The Jumping Bean Surprise

Startraks/Rex Shutterstock

Startraks/Rex Shutterstock

Peter Jackson has agreed to direct the upcoming film, The Jumping Bean Surprise, according to Court Five Producer Mark Ordesky. Conceived by Tyler H. Jacobson, the story is set in the 1870s and involves four teenagers using a time machine to journey back three hours to scare their past selves by dressing up as clowns. When one of them falls in love with his past self, however, a love triangle develops that challenges the boundaries of time and space.

“It’s a science fiction story, a horror story and a love story all in one,” Ordesky said in his announcement. “And we knew we needed somebody who could bring all these elements together. That somebody is Peter Jackson.”

Set for release in January of 2018, Ordesky added that Jackson is so excited, “he’s already setting aside a suit for the Oscars.”

Peter Jackson is the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the latter of which was adapted into a feature film directed by Jackson and produced by Ordesky.

 

Alright, we’ll come clean: as most of you have guessed, this is just an April Fool’s Day joke! The story idea for this film, written by one of our staffers, is only a proposal that he is currently attempting to gain funding for. If you’d like to donate, visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/jumpingbeansurprise

Posted in Mark Ordesky, Peter Jackson

The One Last Party – one year ago!

How time flies! Exactly a year ago today, February 21st 2015, many of us gathered in Hollywood for The One Last Party. Fans and TheOneRing.net staffers were joined by movie cast and crew members, brought together by a love of Tolkien and of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth trilogies. Many more fans around the world tuned in to watch TORn’s live stream coverage, led by staffers Quickbeam and Justin. Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) acted as MC for the night, PJ himself sent a special video greeting, and the Professor’s great-grandson Royd Tolkien came all the way from Britain for the celebration. Partygoers danced the night away to the music of Emerald Rose and William Kircher’s group The California Dreamers. It was indeed a night to remember!

Staffer Mithril posted recently about the beautiful Red Book she made, containing the names of all who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign to make The One Last Party happen; this lovely book was sent to Sir Peter as a ‘thank you’ from all of us to whom his movies have meant so much. In another look back to that wonderful night a year ago, here are just a few moments captured from that night, and put together by film maker and TORn friend Dan McBride. Let’s reminisce – and hope that it isn’t really the last such event.  We may yet have an excuse, one day, for an unexpected party…

Posted in Bruce Hopkins, Events, Fans, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Movie, John Bell, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, Meet Ups, Oscar Parties, Peter Jackson, Sala Baker, The Hobbit, The One Last Party, The One Last Party, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien, Tolkien Family, William Kircher

The LOTR Extended Edition trilogy marathon in LA this September

thelordoftheringstrilogyThe American Cinematheque will be screening their annual LOTR Extended Edition Trilogy marathon on Saturday, September 12 at the Aero Theater, 1328 Montana ave. in Santa Monica. In addition to the films, this will also be a tribute to Christopher Lee and Andrew Lesnie with discussions between the films with executive producer Mark Ordesky, and more guests to be announced. For details on how to get tickets and directions, please go to American Cinematheque website.

As usual, TheOneRing.net will be at the theater all day long, but in lieu of trivia contests on stage between films, we will host a few ‘pop trivia questions’ in the concession lines. After all, what else are you going to do while standing in line when you could be having fun winning stuff. All this because there will be special guest appearances on stage during the intermissions. The Cinematheque is bringing in a Food truck for the intermissions, so there should be a little bit of variety for food options, yum.

AeroFor those of you who reside in LA and have attended some of these Cinematheque trilogy screenings before, you know there is nothing more entertaining than getting to see these films on the big screen again, and with a bunch of fellow fans. Hopefully a few of you are on their mailing list or are members of the American Cinematheque. After all, with the LOTR trilogy being an annual event, chances are you will want to attend every year, and in between Trilogy screenings, they offer some other pretty cool programming all year long. Between foreign language films, indie films, classics and some really avant garde films, many of which they also bring in cast or crew members, it feels like a year round film festival. And membership will get your discounted tickets, most of which will be $7 per show (and $10 for this trilogy), free ‘members only’ sneak preview screenings, and priority ticket purchase and entry for certain screenings. For more details, just head to their membership page.

Posted in Events, Fans, Film Screenings, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Mark Ordesky, Meet Ups, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Other Crew, Tolkien