Fly Air New Zealand, you fools!

If you haven’t seen this airline safety video from Air New Zealand, invoking all kinds of clever Lord of the Rings and Hobbit references, you are in for a treat!

Really, this video has it all, and it’s littered with specific references for LOTR lovers and fans. And most amazingly, it knocks down the two towers of modern air travel:

1. Pick price over airline: This video is so clever, I would actually pay more to fly Air New Zealand.

2. Airline safety videos are boring as sin and always inspire immediate utilization of headphones and loud music: I would absolutely pay attention to this!

The evidence is mounting. LOTR fans need to make that pilgrimage across the oceans to visit the film sites in New Zealand. “It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”


Weta Makes Gollum Take a Swim at Wellington Airport

You might be a bit surprised at the “holiday” decorations at New Zealand’s Wellington Airport, but don’t fear, as long as you’re not a fish… or the Precious, you should be just fine.

Suspended from the ceiling at Wellington Airport is a familiar face to Lord of the Rings fans. Gollum and three “juicy sweet fishes” were designed by Richard Taylor and Weta’s Workshop supervisor Rob Gilles. The airport has renamed the terminal where Smeagol is housed “The Middle of Middle-Earth.” The sculpture was 3D-modeled within the display space of the airport and then created by a team of 18 sculptors, model makers, painters, and artists in nine separate components. The piece weighs 2645 pounds (over a metric ton) and stretches 42 feet (13 meters). We couldn’t wait to see Gollum again in The Hobbit; It’s just awesome that now he can meet us at the airport.


(Source: Nerdist)

Huge Hobbit premiere planned in Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand has become practically synonymous with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, thanks to the extraordinary work of Peter Jackson and company. After a nine-year hiatus, the next Tolkien chapter is finally ready for the big screen, so what better place to have the premiere than in Wellington?

Here’s a report, courtesy of the spectacular staff at, Middle Earth’s premiere site now and forever:

In just about 2 months from now, travelers from around the world will descend upon Wellington to celebrate the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Some will be cast and crew who worked on the film, others will be studio executives involved in the creation of the film, and still others will be an International Press Corp writing stories about the film. And mingling amongst all these creative types will be fans from around New Zealand and the rest of the world, including, and you can be amongst all this excitement by joining our tour. You will find further details at TORn’s Hobbit Premiere Tour.

Keep reading here!

Anyone want to go? Sounds like an absolute blast!

More on Luke Evans and Bard The Bowman

A little while ago, Collider was also able to interview Luke Evans on his role in The Hobbit movies.  He’ll be playing Bard the Bowman, who is basically, a man with a bow.  So, yes, we won’t be getting a full share of Legolas this time around, but there will still be someone with a bow and arrows.  For those of you who haven’t gotten your fill of heroes and heroines with bows and arrows, here’s your chance to satiate that longing once again.

Collider:  How has it been going for you and how exciting it’s been for you to be involved in such a production?

Evans:  It’s been immensely exciting. It feels like all the work I’ve done so far has been building up to this job and to work with the master himself on a project which has been his baby since a long time ago. I feel very lucky to be here, you know. I’m watching this being made, and then watching Pete do his thing. Because you only have to read any articles about the boys who were in the first 3 movies and how they talked about the experience being in New Zealand and working with Pete and the long period of time that you spent here. I was just very jealous of them, in a healthy way, but it was something I was envious of. And now I’m here, and now I’m actually one of those boys. I’ll always remember this as one of those experiences in my life. It’s been fantastic, absolutely fantastic. We’re here ‘till July, so I’ve still got a few months left, some insane, tense months as well. So, yeah, it’s been great.

Collider:  When did you arrive in New Zealand? Because I know you’re in both parts, was this one of these things where you’re committing to being there for eight months, have you been able to leave? What’s this production schedule like?

Evans: I’ve been here since last August; I arrived August the 1st last year. But, you know, on a movie of this scale there is a lot of down time, so I’ve had chances to go home a couple of times. But this block, I’ve been here since February and I’m here ‘till the end, so this is the longest stretch for me.

Collider:  I’m going to ask you a nerdy question: One of the thing I’m so excited about is that Peter Jackson is shooting The Hobbit movies on the Red Epic, with the 48 frames a second, rather then the 24.

Evans: It’s the first time it’s ever been done. And it’s, well, even if you’re not a nerd you can absolutely see the difference, it’s extraordinary.

Collider:  Have you been looking at any of the playback on any of the monitors? Because one of the things I think casual fans will not realize what 48 frames a second does is reduces the motion blur. Have you seen any of the action without the motion blur and what does it look like through your eyes?

Evans: Yeah, I’ve seen myself in action and it’s incredible. It really is. It’s the closest to your own eye speed that we’ve ever seen on screen. And it takes a little while, when you first put the glasses on, to just appreciate what it actually is that’s going on. Because you’re eyes are not deceiving you, there is no blur. It’s absolutely so effective, especially for the lack of blur, which is something that we’ve always had to deal with in shooting in 3D, and now we don’t. So, yeah, we’re making history with technology as well as with film.

For more on this interview, including questions about his other works, check out the full article here.

Total Film also got to ask a couple of questions from Luke:

TF:  Are you tinkering around with the character of Bard the Bowman?

Evans:  There’s slightly more Bard in the movie than is in the novel. Everything in the book is definitely in the film but… [whispers] I’ll have my tongue cut out if I say anything else. Let’s put it this way – I shoot a lot of arrows…

TF:  What’s it like, walking onto that set for the first time?

Evans:  I can’t really describe it. When I first arrived I went straight to Bilbo’s house. I saw it on the big screen when I was 21 and there I was, walking around it in costume – a very special moment. I’ll look back on that in 20 years and hopefully be as proud as I am now.

So, there you have it on Bard.  As we get closer to opening day, we’re sure to see more info on the other characters of the film, so keep checking!

Elijah Wood Talks About Returning to Middle Earth

Elijah Wood was only 19 years old when he last was in Hobbiton.  He is now 31 years old.  Yes, 31, folks!  And you know what… he still looks pretty much the same as he did 11 years ago.  Sure, he can’t walk around San Diego International Comic-Con like he did before the Lord of the Rings trilogy became a big hit without being bombarded with fangirls and fanboys alike, but I doubt he’d take any of his experience filming in New Zealand back (and I don’t blame him.)

So, here we are, with long awaited The Hobbit coming to theaters later this year, and Collider got a chance to speak to Elijah about returning to New Zealand and to Hobbiton:

It’s such an incredible treat.  It’s not often that you have such an intense formative life experience, and then, ten year later, get to revisit that.  It was really amazing, going back to New Zealand.  So many of the crew, who had worked on Rings, are working on The Hobbit.  A number of the same actors are working on it.  We shot a little bit in Hobbiton, and I realized that I had turned 19 in Hobbiton.  I was there 11 years ago.  That’s bonkers!  And it hasn’t changed.  It was really amazing!  It was a remarkable experience, and a great family reunion.  It felt like stepping back into time.  It was a gift.  It was awesome!

Elijah also talks about his work on the animated Disney series, TRON:Uprising, as well as the 2nd season of Wilfred, and a few other things he has his hand in.  You can read the interview here.

VIDEO: The Hobbit – Production Video #6


The first production video of 2012! Peter Jackson first starts off talking about shooting in… Lake Town! But unfortunately, he won’t show you that, which is just as well, because you don’t want to be spoiled with too much of the 2nd movie anyway.

This video mainly consists of all the location shooting throughout all of New Zealand, including Piopio, Central Otago, Queenstown, Te Anau, Twizel, and Nelson. So, if you’re wondering if New Zealand is truly that beautiful as they’ve shown in LOTR, then you’ll be able to see how real it is in this video. I’ve been there myself, so I definitely know it’s beautiful.

Plus, you get to see some of the cast: William Kirchner (Bifur), Aidan Turner (Kili), Dean O’Gorman (Fili), Adam Brown (Ori), Jed Brophy (Nori), Martin Freeman (Bilbo), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), and Stephen Hunter (Bombur).

Andy Serkis, who’s work goes beyond that of Gollum, explains part of his job as 2nd Unit Director.

One interesting note: On day 127, they are exactly halfway through shooting (both films together).