bonch writes "Warner Bros. aired ten minutes of footage from The Hobbit at CinemaCon, and reactions have been mixed. The problem? Peter Jackson is filming the movie at 48 frames per second, twice the industry standard 24 frames per second, lending the film a '70s era BBC-video look.' However, if the negative response from film bloggers and theater owners is any indication, the way most people will see the movie is in standard 24fps."
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Fluffeh writes "Recently the Hobbit Pub in England was sued for rights infringement, but it seems Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen are going to re-pony-up the cash to keep the pub alive. Landlady Stella Roberts said she had been shocked by the actors' offer. She said: 'I had a telephone call on Saturday evening, while we were trading, from Stephen Fry's business partner and manager. That's when he told me. I was very shocked. They've said as soon as they finish filming they would like to come down and visit the pub.' However Ms Roberts said she was not celebrating just yet. She added: 'Until everything is in black and white, on paper, we're going to be a bit reserved because it could be $100 this year and $20,000 next year.'"
An anonymous reader writes "'The Hobbit,' a small pub in Southampton, England, has been threatened with a lawsuit by lawyers representing the Saul Zaentz Company in California. The pub, which has traded under the name for the last 20 years without incident, now faces closure if it does not change its name. It's yet another example of big business throwing its weight around to get its way. The pub's landlady said simply, 'I can't fight Hollywood.'"
An anonymous reader writes "We've frequently discussed the growing trend among video game publishers to adopt a business model in which downloading and playing the game is free, but part of the gameplay is supported by microtransactions. There have been a number of success stories, such as Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online. During a talk at the Game Developers Conference this week, Valve's Joe Ludwig officially added Team Fortress 2 to that list, revealing that the game has seen a 12-fold increase in revenue since the switch. He said, 'The trouble is, when you're a AAA box game, the only people who can earn you new revenue are the people who haven't bought your game. This drives you to build new content to attract new people. There's a fundamental tension between building the game to satisfy existing players and attract new players.' He also explained how they tried to do right by their existing playerbase: 'We dealt with the pay-to-win concern in a few ways. The first was to make items involve tradeoffs, so there's no clear winner between two items. But by far the biggest thing we did to change this perception was to make all the items that change the game free. You can get them from item drops, or from the crafting system. It might be a little easier to buy them in the store, but you can get them without paying.'"
bonch writes "The trailer for the film adaptation of The Hobbit by Peter Jackson has been posted online by ComingSoon. The film, due December 14, 2012, is subtitled "An Unexpected Journey" and will be followed by a second film in 2013 that will tie the story with the Lord of the Rings trilogy." I'm glad to hear that they've kept the Misty Mountains song and I'll be greatly disappointed if an updated version of "Funny Little Things" or "Down, Down to Goblin Town" doesn't make the cut also.
Oxford_Comma_Lover writes "Senator McCain decried Tea Party 'Hobbits' on Wednesday for their failure to support the GOP's debt deal, at times reading from a WSJ editorial that began the analogy. The Tea Party fired back, with a prominent member noting on CNN that McCain had been corrupted by the ring of power. The full text of his floor remarks should be in the Congressional Record later today."
KingSkippus writes "The superhero-themed MMORPG City of Heroes announced this morning that it is rebranding the game as City of Heroes Freedom ('freedom to pay and play as you choose'), and moving to a hybrid payment model including a free-to-play option. 'VIP' players who still pay a monthly subscription will have most features of the game unlocked and will be given credit towards purchase of others. City of Heroes Freedom is due to land later this year with the next major game update." The trend toward free-to-play continues. Meanwhile, a recent update that brought microtransactions to EVE Online has (at least temporarily) resulted in digital clothing items becoming more expensive than real-world counterparts.
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jackson has announced via his Facebook page that The Hobbit is being shot at 48 frames per second, ameliorating the '3D headaches' that many viewers have complained of in the last few boom-years for the format. Film has been shot and projected at 24fps since the 1920s, with the exception of Douglas Trumbull's 60fps 'ShowScan' format, used for the Universal Back To The Future ride, amongst others. Jackson himself predicts that the widespread adoption of 48fps workflow could not only improve the 3D but also the general cinematic experience, though it may earn itself some backward-looking critics. But until digital principal photography completely usurps celluloid, this may be good news for Kodak, who now have even more reason to lament the death of Stanley Kubrick."
Tiger4 writes "Warner Bros. has announced that production has officially begun on Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of The Hobbit. Jackson even posted a couple of pictures of himself on one of the sets. This despite the strikes, bankruptcies, contract disputes, and legal actions that have swarmed Jackson and the project since his Lord of the Rings days. Admit it, secretly you've been dying to see this happen."
An anonymous reader writes "Apparently the estate of JRR Tolkien isn't just overprotective of his works, but of himself as well. The estate is in a bit of a legal spat with the author of a fictional work that includes JRR Tolkien as a character, and in part discusses his works. The estate is claiming that this infringes on Tolkien's publicity rights, but if that's the case, would it make almost all 'historical fiction' illegal?"
Hugh Pickens writes writes "It's been said that history is written by the winners but Laura Miller writes in Salon about a counterexample as she reviews a new version of Lord of the Rings. The Last Ring-bearer was published to acclaim in Russia by Kirill Yeskov, a paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life. Yeskov performs essentially the same feat in his book. The Last Ring-bearer is set during and after the end of the War of the Ring and told from the perspective of the losers. In Yeskov's retelling, available in translation as a free download, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science 'destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men' and Aragorn is depicted by Yeskov as a ruthless Machiavellian schemer who is ultimately the puppet of his wife, the elf Arwen. Sauron's citadel Barad-dur is, by contrast, described as 'that amazing city of alchemists and poets, mechanics and astronomers, philosophers and physicians, the heart of the only civilization in Middle-earth to bet on rational knowledge and bravely pitch its barely adolescent technology against ancient magic.'"
An anonymous reader writes "The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien suffered from a perforated ulcer before dying in 1973. Now today, New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and soon-to-be-director of the two Hobbit movies, was hospitalized with a perforated stomach ulcer, and underwent surgery. This is only expected to slightly delay the filming of The Hobbit, and he's expected to make a full recovery."
Last June, Turbine made the decision to switch Lord of the Rings Online from a subscription-based business model to a free-to-play model supported by microtransactions. In a podcast interview with Ten Ton Hammer, Turbine executives revealed that the switch has gone well for the company, with game revenues roughly tripling. The active player base has also grown significantly in that time. Executive Producer Kate Paiz said, "This really echoes a lot of what we've seen throughout the entertainment industry in general. It's really about letting players make their choices about how they play."
An anonymous reader writes "John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, has confirmed this afternoon that The Hobbit will be filmed in NZ, after weeks of uncertainty. From the article: 'The future of the $670m production hung in the balance after an actors union issued a no-work order on the films last month. Talks were held overnight with studio executives from Warner Brothers to resolve concerns about industrial laws in New Zealand.'"
An anonymous reader writes with word that "after much kerfuffle and uncertainty, the Hobbit film has finally been greenlit," with Peter Jackson as director. Says the linked story: "The announcement did not state whether the two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings would be shot in New Zealand. Matt Dravitzki, Jackson's assistant at Wingnut Films, said an annoucement on the place of filming would be 'probably a week or two away.'"
Jamie found an NYT story that says "After months of negotiation and delay, Warner Brothers and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are on the verge of an agreement that would allow the director Peter Jackson to begin shooting a two-part version of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit early next year." The production has struggled recently with issues with unions, and a fire.
lbalbalba writes "Last we heard about The Hobbit, Guillermo Del Toro dropped out, Peter Jackson was unofficially directing and secretly auditioning actors, the movie had yet to be green-lit, and Ian McKellen was getting super-antsy about the whole thing and threatening not to play Gandalf. This shouldn't help the long-gestating movie happen any quicker: Actors guilds including SAG issued actual alerts yesterday against working on any of the Hobbit films, advising their members not to take parts in the non-union production, should they be offered them."
darkwing_bmf sends word of Turbine's announcement that Lord of the Rings Online will become a free-to-play game this fall. 'The move is another validation of the free-to-play business model, where gamers can play for free and pay real money for virtual goods such as better weapons or decorative gear for their game characters. The business model has been popular in Asia but only recently took off in the US. This move shows the pressure is building on game publishers to shift to the new business model or face declining audiences.' According to a post on the official website, LotRO's micro-transaction system will be "very similar" to how Turbine's DDO store works, and current subscribers will maintain all of their privileges.
Flea of Pain writes "Director Guillermo Del Toro has confirmed upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit has been put on hold indefinitely because the movie has been caught in a 'tangled negotiation' over the future of the MGM movie studio. The film, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's first book in the fantasy series, was reportedly due to begin shooting this summer, but has been mired in delays. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, who will act as producer on the new film, recently dismissed rumors of trouble with the picture, insisting, 'It's not really been delayed, because we've never announced the date.'"