Art and Literature News / Movie News / Tolkien News

An Eagle’s View of Middle-earth


Tumblr user zohbugg recently purchased an Uruk-Hai Scimitar and has found increasingly pragmatic uses for it, such as helping her make the bed, reaching the remote when it’s too far away, and slicing bread for toast. Apparently, we all need one! (Lily Milos)

Virgin Media staged a special screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in a forest as part of a series of events for Virgin Movies. The event, set within a Middle-earth-styled ‘shire’ deep in England’s New Forest, saw cinema-goers mingle with costumed actors resembling characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic book. (Evie Bowman)

Doll Divine recently added the Hobbit Scene Maker, a dress-up game that invites you to to create your own Hobbit character, complete with pointy ears, hairy feet, and quaint clothing. Players can choose from backgrounds include daytime and night time Bag End, Hobbiton village, and Bilbo’s front door. (Evie Bowman)

Starting May 23, The Bodleian Library in Oxford will display a selection of Tolkien’s original artwork for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as a part of this summer’s exhibition theme: Magical Books – From the Middle Ages to Middle-Earth. It will feature the works of some of the foremost modern exponents of children’s fantasy literature, members of the group of writers informally known as the Oxford School–C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, and Philip Pullman. Also featured in the exhibition will be some of the books and manuscripts that contain the myths, legends, and magical practices from which these Oxford-educated authors freely drew for inspiration. (Lily Milos)

LOTRSubwayPostersWilliam Puck is a street artist who has been posting Lord of the Rings and Hobbit-themed MTA posters at New York City subway stations. Puck keeps a running tally of his notices, including the locations where they can be found, on his blog. (Myla)

Former Nottingham student Leo Neelands has traveled to  New Zealand and the USA for his career as digital compositor. Besides working on Iron Man 3, which will be in cinemas soon, he also worked at Weta on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He said, “Sometimes I was doing 23-hour days. It was demanding, but enjoyable. One of the scenes I worked on was the prologue.” Central College Nottingham course leader Tony Parr said, “Leo is an inspiration to other students and indicates what is possible with the right attitude and application whilst studying on a vocational degree.” (Evie Bowman)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was filmed at a resolution of 5K, at 48 frames per second, and in 3D, creating a massive amount of material requiring equally large data storage solutions. According to Park Road Post Production head of technology, Phil Oatley, “Modern 3D HFR feature films can easily generate more than 10 terabytes per day during shooting, and literally petabytes of data across an entire feature.” The Hobbit stretched the limits of what was possible, signaling a need for more capacity in a new era of filmmaking. “Each shoot day would see us process an average of six to 12 terabytes of new material, and on a really busy day this could reach 20 terabytes. All new material needed to be processed and delivered to the client within 12 hours, which created a significant data management challenge for us to overcome,” he said. “The storage capacity and bandwidth challenges are immense.” (Evie Bowman)

A special life-size display of Bag End was created by a team of LEGO builders in honor of the opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey last year. Built at 20 times the size of the LEGO “An Unexpected Gathering” play-set, the final product used at least 2.5 million bricks. (Evie Bowman)

Every week, our Middle-earth News reporters seek out Tolkien/Hobbit/LOTR goodness and tag their finds with their names. If you have something to contribute, please submit it using the Got News Precious link at the bottom of the page.

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  1. Thanks as always Lily.

  2. Always awesome to see people geeking out!