Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welly-moot 1.6 (Dec 29, 2012) - International Lunch

For Welly-moot 1.6, the last meeting of 2021, we enjoyed a shared international lunch at Jack & Alex’s place. We had asked for members to bring food from their own countries, and so, the yummy meals and desserts came from seven different nationalities. A big thank you to everyone who brought nice meals, especially thanks to Noei who brought three different Thai meals and thanks to Alex for preparing and organising this occasion.

A selection of the food. All of it was great!

We enjoyed the meal as much as the discussion on “Hobbit: Unexpected Journey”. Noei has seen the movie the most times, five times both in 2D and 3D formats. She gave us her views, and we talked about the difference between 2D and 3D, and 24fps and 48fps.

Comparing the story of The Hobbit movie with the original book, we were impressed and enjoyed Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit. The original story is of course only a single book, and aimed at children. Peter Jackson has expanded the story by inserted some characters into the mix, like Radagast the Brown, who is not in the original Hobbit book (but is in LOTR). We were also surprised at how rabbits were so useful for escaping from Wargs...

We went around the room for everyone’s favourite characters. Thorin, Gollum, Gandalf, Balin, Nori, Kili, or even “all of them” were mentioned. Unlike in the book, all of Jackson’s thirteen Dwarves have distinct characters and their hair styles and faces are well-designed, and easy to distinguish from one another. One comment came back - the ladies like Thorin (Richard Armitage) because he is good looking, of course :)

(Most of) the group - Counter-clockwise starting at Bilbo (yes, we listened to the soundtrack) - Hanne, Warren, Kris, Noei, Ryan, Jennifer, Hawk, Mrs & Mr Rasmussen, Heike, and Jack. Missing: Alex (photographer), Erika (getting more food, probably)

Both Heike and Alex mentioned the scene where Bilbo encounters Gollum for the first time in the cave, where Gollum is talking to himself and tells himself to “Shut up”. The group really liked Andy Serkis’ performance of Gollum. Gollum looks younger, and is both more evil but also more childlike at the same time. Andy Serkis (and the digital team behind him!) did a great job of the physical and virtual performance of Gollum.

Lastly, we discussed our expectations for the second Hobbit movie - The Desolation of Smaug. Some of the Welly-moot’s members are Extras in the Hobbit movies, and they are expecting they will be in next movie. One of the most anticipated creatures is Smaug. We can’t wait to see more of him, and expect that we will finally see the whole Smaug in action!

Plans for the group in 2013

We will gather as usual every two months. The first meeting will be on 24 February 2013. We will keep informed in this website (and via the usual Facebook and Twitter etc).

The big project this year will be “Riventroll”. We will set up a separate website for this project and start fundraising in 2013. We will keep everyone informed.

The other project we’re going to try and get involved in is the “Mount Tolkien” project that was begun by Aaron Nicholson from Manapouri in Southland. The group is right behind him in his efforts to honour Tolkien with his own New Zealand mountain. The mountain is currently (officially) unnamed, so this is not before its time!

Two minor but significant events this year - the DVD/Blu-ray release of “Hobbit 1” will be along shortly, and hopefully there will be Extended Releases, like LOTR’s.

And of course December 2013 will be another Hobbit Release month, so there will be lots of excitement again for that. Stay updated by following the blog, our the Facebook, or the Twitter feed. Subscribe so the information comes to you and you don’t have to go searching for it every time.

2012 - the year in (brief) review

The year 2012 has been extremely successful year for Welly-moot. It was our first official year. It was the year we became officially affiliated with the UK’s Tolkien Society. We now have official T-shirts, a Welly-moot banner, the committee members have business cards, and there's even a rubber stamp!

We had 6 great meetings, hosted some fantastic guests, and discussed Tolkienish background information. We lined up for Premiere Tickets, almost missed out, got saved by Sir Peter Jackson himself, then attended the Hobbit Premiere, had the World’s Best Ever Second Breakfast on a Red Carpet, and finally watched the world’s first showing of The Hobbit movie.

We have been visited by other Tolkien Society members from overseas groups, as well as individuals who were previously not part of any other Tolkien groups.

So a great big “Thank You” to all the great members of Welly-moot who made it all happen this past year, with all your good conversation, your amazing knowledge, and all your unbridled enthusiasm!

Also a big “Thank You” also to all our friends, our wonderful visitors, and to all the organisations who helped when we needed a hand, with a special thank you going out to Sarah Meikle and Helen Player from Absolutely Wellington Tourism, for all their help in getting us into the first screening of the movie, and for providing all those goodies, both on the red carpet, as well as at the Cinema later.

And of course to Sir Peter, Matt Dravitzki, and the entire team for taking us to Middle-earth one more time!

Now let 2013 begin!