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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Ted Nasmith to be hired as a concept artist for The Hobbit?

Mecandes
Registered User

Feb 16 2008, 6:59pm

Post #1 of 21 (425 views)
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Ted Nasmith to be hired as a concept artist for The Hobbit? Can't Post

Don't you think Ted Nasmith deserves to be invited to work on The Hobbit, since he was unable to work on The Lord of the Rings when they first approached him in 1999? I say this because this web page -- http://tednasmith.narod.ru/ -- seems to prove that they used Nasmith's artwork as inspiration for a lot of what we see on screen in the Lord of the Rings films. However, he was never credited, and certainly not paid. I agree with the author of this site: if they make The Hobbit, they should ask Ted Nasmith to help with the concept art so that he can finally get credit, and pay, for his unmistakable influence in the visual design of all of the LOTR films.

All you ever hear about is Alan Lee and John Howe, and it seems unfair to Ted. If you're not familiar with Ted Nasmith's work, check out his web site: http://www.tednasmith.com


Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Feb 16 2008, 10:38pm

Post #2 of 21 (187 views)
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Nasmith's awesome [In reply to] Can't Post

But I believe his best work is inspired in The Silmarillion. If he is added to the team alongside with Lee and Howe, then I'm all up for it, what I wouldn't support is having him instead of Howe and Lee.

You can't help but compare them... whenever I see Ulmo's encounter with Tuor, I prefer Howe's version over Nasmith's.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Jazmine
Tol Eressea


Feb 16 2008, 10:57pm

Post #3 of 21 (196 views)
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Ted Nasmith... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree entirely! I've met Ted severally times, he's sketched in and signed my copy The Silmarillion, and I've bought a couple of his prints!! (These set me back a few hundred pounds a piece, the originals are way out of my price range! Unless perhaps I sold my car...hmmm). Anyway, talking to the guy, you quickly realise how passionate he is about all things Middle Earth. While I think Alan Lee & John Howe are both amazing artists, I'd love to see Ted get some creative input with The Hobbit movie. He's definately got what it takes as far as I'm concerned, and you're right, he certainly deserves some recognition!

On a slightly different note, have you checked out Ruth Lacon's artwork?? Definately not what you'd want in the movies, but her paintings are pretty interesting! Almost childlike, and full of colour, her take on The Battle of the Five Armies is amazing! She's got a totally unique approach, a really fun, vibrant style!


*Jazminatar the Brown*


Nimloth
Lorien


Feb 17 2008, 3:42am

Post #4 of 21 (169 views)
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He's great! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

All you ever hear about is Alan Lee and John Howe, and it seems unfair to Ted. If you're not familiar with Ted Nasmith's work, check out his web site: http://www.tednasmith.com


Thanks for the link, he really is talented and deserves to be a part of 'The Hobbit'. Smile


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Feb 17 2008, 4:45am

Post #5 of 21 (186 views)
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I thought ted and Michael Hague would be good additions. [In reply to] Can't Post

And have said so in much older posts on older threads. I also listed the reasons. Keep Howe and LEe at the head, but Nasmith and Hague should be added as well. Hague is not as photorealistic as the others, but his feel in Hobbit I think is closer to the cozy wonder of much of that book than the more somber tones and stylings of Lee. And his Gandalf being rescued by Gwahir as the lightning leaps from his staff, as well as his pic of Gandalf and the Dwarves Gathered in Bilbo's home are definitive for me.



"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Voorhas
Lorien


Feb 17 2008, 6:26am

Post #6 of 21 (186 views)
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Nasmith's Great, But... [In reply to] Can't Post

...his real strength seems to be the depiction of landscape (to me, anyway), rather than conceptual/design stuff. Alan Lee brings a certain sophistication to the table that even John Howe lacks (who's also great, but leans more on action than atmosphere or mood).

Don't get me wrong: all these guys are fantastic. Each has his own unique take on Tolkien's world, and each deserves recognition.

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -- E.A. Poe

(This post was edited by Voorhas on Feb 17 2008, 6:27am)


Kyriel
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 17 2008, 2:20pm

Post #7 of 21 (168 views)
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Actually [In reply to] Can't Post

Nasmith was offered a place alongside Howe and Lee at the LotR movie conceptual design table, but for some reason I can't recall, he had to say no. Maybe he just couldn't commit to living in NZ for an extending length of time.

Anyway, I like his artwork well enough, but I wouldn't put him in the same league as the other two. He does great landscapes, but his people always look stiff, and his Elvish buildings are uninspired. I wouldn't be upset if he was a part of the Hobbit design team, and I wouldn't be upset if he wasn't.

Those left standing will make millions writing books on the way it should have been. --Incubus


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 17 2008, 2:24pm

Post #8 of 21 (148 views)
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Love his work! [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he isn't approached at some level. When I heard him speak about his invitation to contribute to LotR, he said the time commitment was the biggest factor to not participating. This is a 2-film project coming up, and Middle-earth has already been well established through John Howe and Alan Lee's work, so maybe he could still be involved but not at such a demanding level as before :)




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Mecandes
Registered User

Feb 17 2008, 2:43pm

Post #9 of 21 (168 views)
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If they have any sense of decency, they'll add Ted Nasmith to The Hobbit art team [In reply to] Can't Post

It just seems to me that he already was a part of the design team, because they clearly used his artwork as inspiration. There are so many scenes in the films where the shot angle, the placement of the actors, etc., is straight out of Nasmith's paintings. It goes beyond coincidence when there are so many similarities. And when you add the fact that they tried to hire him, well, clearly there is no disputing that they were looking at his artwork before they started work on the film.

In fact, I challenge you to find artwork by Lee and Howe from before they worked on the movie which is as prominently reproduced on the screen as Nasmith's pre-film art. (What I mean is, if the guy who did the http://tednasmith.narod.ru/ site tried to do the same with Lee and Howe's pre-film art, I bet he wouldn't find nearly as many similarities.)

Yes, my understanding is that Nasmith was having a personal family crisis at the time he was offered work on the LOTR films, and was unable to move to New Zealand at that time without abandoning his family at a bad time. I guess he traded an Oscar for his family, and you've got to respect and admire that he knows where his priorities lie. I just hope the producers do the right thing, and re-extend the offer they made earlier heck, it's the least they can do, because in my mind they are lucky he's not suing them like everyone else is. ;)


Annael
Half-elven


Feb 17 2008, 4:51pm

Post #10 of 21 (166 views)
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trouble is [In reply to] Can't Post

all of these artists - as well as the film director - are working from the same source material. Tolkien's descriptions are so vivid, they tend to dictate what the artist does. So it's inevitable that the various renditions resemble each other.

That said, I've always thought that Nasmith captured the scenes as Tolkien describes them as well or better than most (not the people, alas - people are not his strong point). So it doesn't surprise me that Jackson often filmed a scene the same way.


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burrahobbit
Rohan


Feb 17 2008, 9:18pm

Post #11 of 21 (156 views)
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Finding the right visual style for The Hobbit... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the interesting discussion Mecandes.

I agree that Ted Nasmith influenced many scenes in Peter Jackson's LotRs films. He captures the epic realist style that Jackson went for, and has a cinematic sensibility in his framing and lighting that clearly chimed with the filmmakers. I'm not sure his influence was quite as wide as indicated in the http://tednasmith.narod.ru/ website, as there are several scenes (e.g. Balrog, Minas Tirith) that Lee and Howe also depicted in very similar style, but Nasmith's work was definitely important and some of those screen shots are near identical to his illustrations.

On the other hand I'm not sure if taking on Nasmith as a concept artist for The Hobbit because he wasn't included in LotR is the right way to go about it (the right way to go about it would be to credit him for LotR). Nasmith's work is all about epic landscapes and character poses, in a dramatic religious art inspired style. That's why his Silmarillion work is his strongest, while his Hobbit work is probably his weakest. For The Hobbit we need more of a personal journey, exploring Bilbo's emotions and capturing the comedy of the story. Lee and Howe's Hobbit work is more successful in depicting Bilbo's lighthearted journey.


(This post was edited by burrahobbit on Feb 17 2008, 9:18pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Feb 17 2008, 11:07pm

Post #12 of 21 (150 views)
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Nasmith's possible influence on the films... [In reply to] Can't Post

got a few comments as part of squire's discussion of the "Designing Middle-earth" DVD special feature.

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MrCere
Sr. Staff


Feb 18 2008, 7:22pm

Post #13 of 21 (126 views)
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What she said [In reply to] Can't Post

He turned it down because of the time commitment and the need to relocate temporarily to New Zealand. If he had chosen to be, he would have been there alongside Howe and Lee.

IT WAS HIS CHOICE.

He illustrated the Silmarillion book since then, I don't think he is feeling too bad about things. Let us not project that he wants to be involved.


The cake is a lie
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MrCere
Sr. Staff


Feb 18 2008, 7:33pm

Post #14 of 21 (127 views)
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I guess we will find out . . [In reply to] Can't Post

. . . if you think the team has any sense of decency.

Naismith didn't seem the least bit bothered by anything the films had done and I don't think anybody "owes" him anything. I would say that it would be a nice gesture. I can see the del Toro wanting to do something completely different and I can see Jackson saying, "We want Mr. Lee back to design our film."

I didn't look today but I think the "movie ripped ripped Ted off" website's claims are bogus.

The cake is a lie
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Anarrima
The Shire


Feb 18 2008, 9:15pm

Post #15 of 21 (115 views)
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Yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

I adore Michael Hague's Hobbit illustrations! My very first copy of The Hobbit (given to me by my parents over 20 years ago) was illustrated by Hague, and he definitely influenced the way the world appears in my mind. I would love to see him be a part of the project in some way. In particular, I would love to see his visions of Smaug and the Battle of the Five Armies translated to the big screen.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 18 2008, 10:24pm

Post #16 of 21 (109 views)
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Yep. [In reply to] Can't Post

When I had a chance to meet him a couple years ago (promoting his illustrated Sil), he mentioned that he hadn't wanted to relocate to New Zealand for the duration. From what he said, he'd seen and enjoyed the films, but didn't agree with every decision made. He's not a believer in balrog wings, for instance.

If the opportunity to work on The Hobbit is offered to him, I'm sure he'd consider it, but I'm not convinced he would jump at it. I don't think he's been feeling left out; at the time I met him, he seemed to have no regrets about the films and was very excited about working with Christopher Tolkien on the Sil.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
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AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Feb 19 2008, 6:41am

Post #17 of 21 (112 views)
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Technically Howe and Nasmith are more photo-realistic, yet [In reply to] Can't Post

Hague captures the feel of certain scenes so well, especially Gandalf leaping with blazing staff, and the scene of The Wizard and The Dwarves in Bilbo's home. Beautiful work. Its funny, the comments on Nasmith's figures however. I tend to like his people art better than Alan Lees, in many instances. I think his picture of Gandalf at the Gray Havens is BEAUTIFUL, and I have not seen the peer of it. I like Howe's most famous Balrog picture more than any of Nasmiths. . . of course, I like that picture better than the film Balrog. It has a scarier face, and the armour re-affirms the high degree of sentience that we Loremasters know The Demons of Might, Lieutenants of Melkor, posessed. (Can you pull that Howe Balrog up for us Gramma. . . you know the one. . . its in the Worlds of Tolkein book, I believe)

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Mecandes
Registered User

Feb 20 2008, 12:31am

Post #18 of 21 (116 views)
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Look at Ted Nasmith's work and decide for yourself if he influenced Jackson's films [In reply to] Can't Post

 

In Reply To
I didn't look today but I think the "movie ripped ripped Ted off" website's claims are bogus.


MrCere, go to the site ( http://tednasmith.narod.ru ) before you say it is bogus. You've kind of undermined your whole argument when you admit you haven't even looked at the comparisons. If you still think the claim that Ted deserves some credit is bogus after you see the web site, come back and then we can argue some more. Wink


Mecandes
Registered User

Feb 20 2008, 12:59am

Post #19 of 21 (102 views)
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Inspired more by Ted Nasmith's paintings than Tolkien's words [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
all of these artists - as well as the film director - are working from the same source material. Tolkien's descriptions are so vivid, they tend to dictate what the artist does.


If that were the case, then what difference would it make who you hired? Why hire famed Tolkien artists like Lee and Howe at all? Why not hire Stan Lee? In the films, why doesn't the Last Homely House look the way the Hildebrandts painted it? Dude, five seconds browsing TheOneRing.net's Rolozo art gallery will make it abundantly clear that different artists can create entirely different renditions of Middle-earth... and all of them using the exact same words as inspiration.

But that's kind of beside the point. No, what makes you go "Hmm" is when you look at a Ted Nasmith painting, and then you see that same scene in the film, and the scene is set up on screen in the exact same way -- with the same characters arranged in the same positions, etc. There are a thousand different ways those characters could have been arranged in the setting on screen -- the camera could have been set at hundreds of different angles -- and yet, it all just happens to closely match a famed published Tolkien painting by Ted Nasmith? It strains credulity... especially when you know they admired his work so much that they wanted to hire him.


Advising Elf
Rohan


Feb 20 2008, 6:12pm

Post #20 of 21 (113 views)
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I just looked and I say it's bogus. [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie shot of Caradhras is the only picture that could be could be called a "copy" of Nasmith's work. Everything else is similar only because of similar subject matter.

For example:

The Shire - both images have greenery and rocks in them (no copyright infringement there!), but they are of totally different places. The TN picture is of the hobbits going into the tunnel under the hedge, the film shot is just going through a cutting.

The Stone Trolls - the trolls are in totally different positions in the two images. Yeah, they're big an ugly, but hey, they're supposed to be. They're trolls.

Arwen and Aragorn - Arwen and Aragorn are close together, looking at each other. They're lovers! Was PJ supposed to have them talking to each other back-to-back so it souldn't resemble this painting? Who knows how many images of lovers (movie or painting) have them standing close and looking into each others eyes?

The Watcher in the Water - These are pretty similar, but any shot of this subject is going to look similar. You've got a multi-legged creature slamming shut some doors in a cliff. Just because he didn't do a straight-down vertical shot of the action here, doesn't mean he copied TN's pic.

The Argonath - Very different. TN's pic has them blasting through a canyon, PJ has them on a calm, wide place in the river.

Boromir - How else are you going to blow a horn?

The Falls of Rauros - Tol Brandir is properly placed in TN's pic (out in the middle of the lake), while PJ has it splitting the falls. Both *do* have the water falling down though.

Minas Tirith - Well, both have Gandalf and Pippin on a horse, and both have a multi-level city in them. If it weren't for the fact that Minas Tirith is exactly like Alan Lee drew it (http://img-fan.theonering.net/...images/lee/lee41.jpg), you would *have* to come to the conclusion that these scenes do not resemble each other in any way.

Too much is enough. This site is bogus.

Yahoo!Group with good stuff to download:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LOTRgoodies/


(This post was edited by Advising Elf on Feb 20 2008, 6:17pm)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Feb 20 2008, 11:50pm

Post #21 of 21 (143 views)
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Largely bogus. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with A.E., as noted in the discussion to which I linked above. Just the FotR images, in the order shown on that site:

Nasmith's image of the hobbits departing the Buckland is pretty accurate to the book, with a diving path through red brick walls. The film's image of Gandalf driving down a lane in the Shire has walls of larger stone, and a level path. The overgrown stone reminds me as much as the neighborhood in Peter Jackson's mockumentary, Forgotten Silver, as it does Nasmith's picture.

The film image of the stone trolls is similar to Nasmith's only in presenting, more-or-less, the same scene from the book.

The landscape across the river in the first Ford of Bruinen images is not the same, and Jackson has the white horse in the river, not on shore.

The second set of Ford of Bruinen images aren't alike at all.

Gandalf's escape from Isengard is most definitely not "the exact same shot angle" in both images.

The next comparison has only in common an eagle flying over snowy mountains.

Nasmith's and the film's image of the Moria-gate both rely on Tolkien's own design and description. Gandalf is not facing the same direction in these shots.

Regarding Aragorn and Arwen, that site says, "All they've done is added a bridge and darkened everything." As if that wouldn't result in two very different images. And it's not true anyway.

The Caradhras shots are rather similar -- chalk it up to homage?

The film shot of the Watcher in the Water is also rather similar to Nasmith's painting -- but lacking his bright green glow!

There is not much "similarity in the angle of the shot" between the two balrog images.

The film's Argonath rise from the stream, while Nasmith's stand on the cliffs above. The figures' arms in both cases are wrong.

Boromir's horn blowing looks no more alike between the images than one might expect of any two artists.

His death in Nasmith and Jackson looks even more different.


Revisiting that site reminds me how poor most of Nasmith's faces are.

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