Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Lord of the Rings Music on Bass - A Zander Zon Medley

Yesterday, a bass guitar player named Zander Zon posted a video of himself playing a medley of songs from the Lord of the Rings films. The UK musician is very talented as you can see from the video below. He has several other videos on his Youtube page if you'd like to check those out.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

How the barrel scene was created for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Perhaps the most memorable scene in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was when Bilbo and the dwarves escape Thranduil's Mirkwood kingdom in empty wine barrels. Well today I found a video by Wired which looks at some of the things that went into creating that scene. I didn't think there was much CGI in the scene so it's amazing to see how much of it there actually was. It's also amazing to see how much of the scene wasn't CGI as Peter Jackson spent a lot of time filming in the white water rapids of New Zealand. This is definitely a feature that you'll want to check out. The video is below.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Weta's David Clayton talks about The Desolation of Smaug and his Oscar nomination

david-claytonDwarves in barrels racing down a river. A dragon buried beneath gold and jewels. Battles against exotic creatures.

Weta Digital animation supervisor David Clayton has the kind of job he would never have imagined while he was growing up in Australia: creating visual effects for Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy in New Zealand.

Nor would he have imagined being nominated for an Academy Award two years in a row, with every chance of a third consecutive nod, given that there are plans for a spectacular finale to the trilogy.

After making an animated short film, Clayton was offered a job on The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King more than a decade ago.

As he moved on to King Kong, X-Men: The Last Stand and Avatar, he joined dozens of Australians working behind the scenes in the film industry that Jackson built in Wellington.

"The ultimate challenge is to make sure any character we create is realistic and engaging and entertaining and holds up to the live-action performers they're surrounded by," he said.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

5 reasons why Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is the best actress of our time

cate-blanchett-black-and-white-photoCate Blanchett has won a Golden Globe award, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award and a BAFTA (British Academy) and is now poised to win the Best Actress Oscar for "Blue Jasmine" Sunday night.

In “Blue Jasmine,” the Australian actress disappeared into the role of a delusional New York socialite who loses her wealth, husband, status and family, and then her mind. Jasmine French is a wealthy Park Avenue woman whose life unravels when she finds out her swindling, Bernie Madoff-like husband (Alec Baldwin) has been having an affair. He tells her he wants a divorce, and she impulsively calls the FBI and has him arrested.

Her world shattered, Jasmine flies to San Francisco—first class—to live with her down-to-earth step-sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). You see flashbacks to her earlier life in New York, where she appears to be enjoying her privileged life of leisure, oblivious to her husband’s philandering. When she is in San Francisco with her sister, she tries to remake her life, gets and loses a job, and finds a suitor -- but when her lies to him (Peter Sarsgaard) are exposed, she falls apart. Blanchett's character experiences multiple changes and mood shifts.

The Hobbit's William Kircher (Bifur) will attend the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne, Australia

bifur-axe-in-head-dwarfLanding a role in Peter Jackson’s epic Hobbit trilogy, and the fan fervour that comes with it, can be an overwhelming experience for an actor.

For William Kircher, a seasoned star in New Zealand, it’s been a chance to show off his homeland and engage with fans around the world.

Kircher plays Bifur, one of the dwarfs who accompanies Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins on a quest to reclaim a dwarf kingdom from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

“It’s been an incredible ride,” Kircher said.

“I’ve had varying degrees of fame in the past — you get a role in a show and you get recognised or are on a magazine cover.

“But you also realise that it doesn’t last forever. Once it’s finished you are out of a job like anyone else. Because of my age and experience, I’ve been able to take a very rational approach to it all.”