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The Real Deal: Interview with Mark Ordesky, Executive Producer of LOTR

Authored by Middle-earth Network Founder Mark Ostley.

Hollywood. The name evokes images of glitz, stars, red carpets, and jaded studio executives who sit in ivory towers. Meet Mark Ordesky who turns that image upside down when it comes to studio executives.

Ordesky was a convincing force inside New Line Cinema that swayed the studio to take on Sir Peter Jackson’s epic vision of bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s works to the big screen. Because of his friendship with Jackson, and his passion for Tolkien, New Line appointed him Executive Producer of the films. The rest is history.

Ordesky is featured in the appendices of the three films, and if you look closely, you can see some of his passion for the genre overflow.

Before 2001 and the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, we were confined to watching remastered releases of Star Wars, and E.T. Since then, 38 of the top 40 all-time grossing films have been either sci-fi or fantasy related. A windfall for fans everywhere, due mainly to people like Sir Peter Jackson, and Mark Ordesky, supported by a host of professionals who shared that passion—the passion which sent Hollywood a loud and clear message. Fantasy films can make money. Lots of it.

It’s worth remembering that if it hadn’t been for these pioneers, we wouldn’t be enjoying The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today.

We were fortunate enough to catch Mark for an early morning interview to candidly find out about someone, who, in my opinion, has been one of the people behind the scenes who has arguably changed motion picture history for fans of the fantasy/sci-fi genre.

In the interview you’ll discover a person who, like the rest of us, really shares the same passion and excitement when it comes to Tolkien, D&D, Narnia, Michael Moorcock, etc., and miniscule content details that every self respecting aficionado of the genre knows.

We track Mark’s journey from a high school teenager who discovers D&D (he still meets with his original D&D group), to his work with New Line Cinema, and some inside background and anecdotes on becoming Executive Producer of the Lord of the Rings films.

In a surprise twist though, you’ll also discover one of the most genuine people I’ve meet. Unassuming, intelligent, excited, and as Mark describes himself, “One of us.” He is, as we would say, the real deal.

You can also catch Mark reading his favorite passage from The Hobbit for us, and many other great videos at Middle-earth Networks YouTube Channel.

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3 Comments

  1. Fab as ever.

  2. Great job all who had a hand in this…

  3. Jason Alan says:

    What a great interview, great guy. It’s interesting the mention of the Ralph Bakshi (sp?) animated film, I’ve always noticed a couple scenes in the new line lotr that mirror the animated version almost exactly…there’s a scene when the dark riders first encounter frodo and company on the road; a couple shots are nearly identical….