“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” features at least 13 dwarves, a hobbit lead and a Shire-full of supporting hobbits, three wizards, an elven queen and many more characters, and that’s just the first film in the Peter Jackson trilogy; Britain-based designer Ann Maskrey was tasked with creating costumes for them all. Maskrey is new to Middle-earth, but her previous work includes designing costumes for the “Star Wars” prequels, “Clash of the Titans” and Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Hero Complex recently spoke with Maskrey about the challenges of dressing the dwarves and designing the look for a new wizard. Read the full article on the Los Angeles Times here.
Warner Brothers has kicked off their Awards Season website for many of their films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey among them. The page links to the Official Website and trailer, gives a brief synopsis of the story, and then lists all the names of the people who worked in eligible categories, from the Writers to the Sound Effects people, and a few of the actors. And just as a tease, there is a list of screenings, but those screenings are for Academy voters and members of the various Guilds (Screen Actors, Writers, Directors, etc) only. A full list of eligible names and categories below. Hopefully this means we will have a lot to celebrate at our own Oscar Party! [Website]
Welcome to our latest “Getting to know” questions that need answering. This month we’re talking to the one and only Balrog Showgirl, Nicole Roberts.
Hi Nicole and a very big thank you for taking part and for being so patient with me.
This first question is from Rosie-with-the-ribbons who’s latest costume for RingCon has been inspired by your Balrog Showgirl costume.
R-w-t-r: Do you make your costumes yourself?
Nicole: Rosie – that is awesome! Yes, for the most part the costumes I’ve been running around in for the past several years have all been of my own making. I only started sewing back in 2004, after I moved to Los Angeles and started hanging out with even more LOTR people. The first costume I made was to wear to Comic Con that year – I was the Mumak Mahud (the guy with the black and white painted face who steers the oliphaunt in ROTK), so you could definitely say I’ve always leaned towards costumes that were a little off the beaten path! I’ve done some costumes that were direct recreations (“Barf” from “Spaceballs”is the most well-known one), but as I’ve gotten more into the sewing, I really like doing things that are more of an original design, like the Balrog Showgirl. As someone who is not of supermodel proportions (and seriously, those chicks look like scary walking lollipops anyway), I like to have the opportunity to design something that I think is more flattering to me, and I always like to learn how to do something new, like dyeing feathers for the showgirl headdress.
Bob Anderson was a behind-the-scenes name little known to many fans but who had a tremendous impact not only on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but on cinema itself. Anderson’s many credits include: Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Princess Bride, Highlander and much more. [Read obit from AP]
From thelordoftherings.net: “Bob Anderson, the world’s top sword master who has consulted on such films as Star Wars and trained the legendary Errol Flynn, was also brought in to train the actors in different fencing techniques. An expert in medieval arms, Anderson read the novel and then developed sparring methods based on Tolkien’s descriptions of each culture.”
The story of Anderson’s career and background was captured in the documentary, “Reclaiming the Blade.” According to director Daniel McNicoll, Anderson once told him, “You know I don’t feel like I found the sword, I feel like the sword found me.” [Watch ‘Reclaiming the Blade’ on Netflix]
Fans will recall that prior to Peter Jackson’s coming down with that nasty stomach ulcer earlier this month (the man’s doing fine now, bless him!), filming of The Hobbit was supposed to begin on 14th February 2011, with Ian McKellen’s first day of filming due yesterday, 21st February 2011.
So it only makes sense that with the films’ official start date now pushed to 21st March 2011, the Grey Wizard is EARLY! He consequently took the time today to make his first blog post ‘From the middle of Middle Earth‘ in a neat little section titled Notes from Imladris on his official website. Excerpts follow:
I hadn’t intended last Thursday to arrive in Wellington for The Hobbit filming, five weeks early. Yet, what’s new? Just a year ago I had expected to start shooting in July 2010, with Guillermo del Toro in charge… A year on, filming was to start at the end of February 2011. Then, Peter Jackson had his stomach operation. The insurance company has insisted on five weeks recuperation. Which is why, yet again, I’m here early. Waiting for Bilbo.
In related news, our friend Jack who lives down in New Zealand has updated his ‘Noldor Blog‘ with an interesting post. Between running into Sir Richard Taylor and Peter Lyon, he also ran into none other than Andy Serkis this last Saturday night at a diner in Wellington.
Looks like the place is abuzz with activity with The Hobbit shoot now less than a month away!
Below is the statement just released by Sir Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger over at wetanz.com:
On behalf of all our friends and colleagues at Weta Workshop, we send our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of the people from around New Zealand and the world who have sent us their messages of support.
Everyone here has tried to stay optimistic for a positive outcome but in the darkest days of the past week it has been the amazing support from the fans of LOTR and our family and friends which has given us the resolve to stay cheerful and positive about the outcome for these films.
It is a fantastic result reported tonight by our Prime Minister, the Honourable John Key, and we are grateful for the support of our Government in recognising the challenges our film industry was facing.
We are also very pleased that Warner Bros are happy to continue to see these films made in New Zealand – and thank them for their efforts.
Most importantly our thanks go out to Peter, Fran and Philippa, for their unrelenting efforts to see these films made in our country. We are very lucky to work with such passionate film makers.
All our best and cheers to you all.
Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger
I might add we’re lucky to have such passionate people as our friends at WETA working on these beloved stories too. Our very best wishes are with you as you embark on your journey into Middle-earth once again!