A museum in Switzerland completely dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien!
There have been rumors around for some time about a Museum which is being build in Switzerland that is totally dedicated to Tolkien, or better said to Middle-earth the land Tolkien created. There are talks about a real hobbit hole, hundreds of original pieces of Middle-earth art, etc.
Well I can tell you, these rumors are true! I was very happy to see an article at The Italian Tolkien Society website about it and I’m so grateful to be able to post an English version of the article here.
The museum will open in 2013, just to give us time to pack our bags! It will be called “Greisinger Middle-earth Collection” and is located in Jenins, a little village in the Grisons canton with just 847 inhabitants, on the border with Liechtenstein.
The museum entrance is the Bilbo’s hobbithole, faithfully reconstructed, where a collection of Tolkien’s books will be on display. From there you will have access to a basement of 300 square meters where visitors will be transported to Middle-earth. The exhibition space includes life-size creatures, spectacular scenery, original paintings, collectibles, sculptures and illustrations. Furthermore, there will be an incredible collection of works by Tolkien fans around the world. Inside the museum you can also access a conference room and a private cinema.
This sounds magnificent!! I need to visit it in 2013!
Ohakune was our destination and was to serve as two locations within Middle Earth. One of these locations was up on Mount Ruapehu, which is the tallest mountain in the North Island and very sacred lands to the local Maori Iwi (tribes). They filmed quite a lot of the Mount Doom scenes in Lord of the Rings, such as Sam carrying Frodo up the cliffs, on other parts of the mountain, but this particular area was new ground for the production. That’s not to say that Ruapehu is Mt. Doom, which is a common misunderstanding amongst touring LOTR geeks. (…)
Ian McKellen was the last person from the crew to speak and he gave a great speech talking about the journey this crew was undertaking and thanking them for letting us share their beautiful lands with the people of the world. “You could have easily told Gandalf the Grey ‘You shall not pass’ but you did not,” he said before reiterating his thanks for their cooperation and letting the filmmakers pass onto their property. Remember I mentioned that each speech was followed by a song? After Sir Ian gave his speech all the actors playing dwarves stood up and sang one of the songs from The Hobbit, a particularly haunting baritone ballad called Misty Mountains (the very one from the newly released trailer). (…)
This wooded area was to represent the outskirts of The Shire and featured Bilbo catching up to Gandalf and the dwarves. They’re riding on horseback so you can imagine the circus that day. Thirteen dwarves and a Wizard and horses for them all! The dwarves’ horses were wearing sort of shaggy jackets since they were supposed to be ponies, but the guys playing the dwarves would look silly in all their gear on tiny ponies. In order to sell the stature they had to make the regular horses look more pony-like. (…)
The day was spent mostly getting wider shots of troop on horseback riding through the woods as Bilbo catches up to the party, but there was one shot in particular that you can actually glimpse in the trailer that had Fili and Kili picking up Mr. Baggins (from horseback) and putting him up onto his pony. (…)
As you can see, the camera went where Peter’s hands are framing that shot, so Martin didn’t have to be fully lifted out of shot, just pulled up enough to sell the motion. I imagine they’ll grab another angle with Martin’s stunt double actually being pulled up and put on a pony. For this shot they just needed to sell him moving up so they have some motion to cut on. That also explains the apple box Freeman has a furry hobbit foot up on. The action has him walking towards camera and stepping up on that apple box right when Kili and Fili get up to him so he can push up with his foot as they grab his backpack and hoist him up. (…)
I talked with Peter a bit before he made his way down to the set and he pointed out that they shot a lot of the opening prologue battle from Fellowship about 5 minutes drive from this spot, on the opposite slope. And down the mountain, the stream from this waterfall was where they shot Gollum catching his fish after joining up with Sam and Frodo. Peter also tried to convince me that the surrounding area was all built by Weta Workshop, that all the rocks were really foam and the waterfalls were just salt being poured in slow motion, but he can’t trick me! No sir, not this time!
A week ago, Andy Serkis mentioned that we could see a teaser for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as early as Christmas. Now, industry insiders are speculating that The Hobbit teaser trailer will be attached (along with the highly anticipated new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises) to…
I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH THIS.
There are no gifs or words to express how I’m feeling right now. BRB, I’m gonna cry.
Quint on the set of The Hobbit! (Part 2)
They Call Me Mr. Chubb My name is Fredegar Chubb and I am a Hobbit. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s back up a bit, shall we? My alarm went off at 5am and I once again took the gorgeous 40 minute drive from my Hamilton, NZ hotel up through the rolling farmland hills towards Hobbiton. At base camp I barely had a moment to scarf down a quick breakfast before being whisked to the wardrobe tent to shed my human clothes and gain my new Hobbit skin. I gotta say, the actual wardrobe was incredibly comfortable. Loose, suedey, just warm enough to cut down on the morning chill and covering enough to save my delicate “living-life-in-a-movie-theater-and-in-front-of-a-computer-screen” pasty white skin from the burning rays of the sun.(…)
Fully Hobbited up, I was shuttled to Hobbiton and slowly made my way to The Green Dragon where a market place was set up outside. I spent the walk trying to get used to my floppy, furry feet and had a decent handle on them by the time I made it to the outdoor market. It was nuts there. The giant Technocrane was set up near the famous bridge and mill overlooking the front of The Green Dragon which was decked out in dozens of rickety stalls selling everything from cheese to toys to books to fowl.(…)
“How do you feel about fish?” he asked. I don’t eat ‘em, never could stomach the taste of seafood for whatever reason, but I don’t have any phobias about handling them, so I told him I was up for it. “Good. You’re going to be selling a fish to Bilbo,” he said and I was pointed to the fish stall. An older extra was already placed there and the A.D.s pulled him out and put him in another part of the scene, placing me behind the counter which was flanked by baskets of realistic looking giant fake fish and eels. (…)
Peter was blocking the scene with Martin Freeman, which begins with Bilbo buying a fish and looking around nervously. At this point he has already been propositioned by Gandalf for the big adventure and expects the wizard to pop up and bug him about it some more, I guess. After buying the fish from me he bumps into another Hobbit named Worrywort pushing a wheelbarrow of vegetables and Bilbo asks if he has seen the wizard wandering about.
Over some stalls Bilbo sees what appears to be Gandalf’s pointy grey hat and he tries to hide, usually behind other Hobbits including a confused Worrywort and an oblivious Hobbit couple on a romantic stroll through the market. This couple ended up being my friends Aaron and Kaela Morgan, who have joined me on many New Zealand adventures in the past and wasn’t about to pass up the chance at another. They were almost obnoxiously cute here, stealing kisses as they shopped, unknowingly hiding a Baggins. It’s also of some note that Otho and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins are in this scene, Lobelia turning her nose down on Bilbo’s erratic behavior as he hides behind Worrywort. Her outfit is outrageously pomp, with the most ridiculous bright hat I’ve ever seen. The actress, whose name fails me at the moment, seems right for the character. Fans of the original films may remember Elizabeth Moody (the mum from Braindead) played the part in the Extended Edition. (…)
I handed the packaged fish to Mr. Freeman, who thanked me and put it in his basket, filled with tomatoes and other veggies, and walked off to have his run-in with Worrywort.
|—||Peter Jackson (via facebook)|
The Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson and Prime Minister John Key today met with media at the Hobbiton set near Matamata. At the media conference they announced the Wellington premiere of the first Hobbit film and that the Hobbiton set would remain intact as a tourist attraction.
All seems to be well with The Hobbit movie production. Both Orlando Bloom and Stephen Fry are in Wellington filming for The Hobbit movie and there have been plenty of sightings.
We look forward to another video blog from Peter Jackson, which we suspect will be released in the next couple months. He has yet to disappoint with these.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened this weekend, which features Hobbit actor, Andy Serkis, who played the character Caesar, which was also a motion-captured character. During the premiere, Serkis talked a lot about the art of motion capture and how it is truly just that. He also discusses this art in relation to Lord of the Rings and the upcoming Hobbit movies. Here are some segments from his interview:
“I am a bit evangelical, I know…but performance-capture is still misunderstood. Ten years down the line, people say, ‘Oh, so you did the voice of Gollum?’ Or people go, ‘You did the movements for Kong?’ It’s frustrating, because I play Gollum and I play Kong. It is acting…
“Originally when I went off to work on The Lord of The Rings I got a call from my agent saying that I was just going to do a voice… But I couldn’t really approach it like that. To get Gollum’s voice I had to play the character. I told Peter that was how I’d like to do it and when he was watching me moving around on set he said, ‘Stop everything. We are going to film Andy’s performance and then we are going to experiment with performance capture.’
“At that time the technology was very, very basic… There was a tiny little room with a small area to move in and the computers kept breaking down, and the cameras kept breaking down. But the very first time I saw Gollum move in real time, with my movements, I knew that this was a technology that I wanted to get involved in.”
“Peter Jackson asked me if I’d be the second-unit director on The Hobbit, so I am back in New Zealand doing that… A project of that scale means you are shooting large sections of the movie, everything from big stunt sequences to drama to vista shots, everything you would do on a main unit. It’s been amazing, and Peter’s put a lot of trust in me.”
Serkis also will be appearing doing motion capture acting in Spielberg and Jackson’s Tin Tin, which is a highly anticipated film scripted after the popular books. No doubt Andy Serkis is a crucial part of the Hobbit movie and also was so with Lord of the Rings. We look forward to seeing Gollum in action once more.