It will likely be the largest grossing film of 2013, if I am a guessing man. That is not all. The movie is surrounded by a plethora of merchandising, some of it pretty mediocre, some of it absolutely fantastic.
It is easy for me to report that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion by Jude Fisher is one of the latter. It is a gorgeous book, filled with new photos, artwork, and behind-the-scenes type of information that any Tolkien lover would… well… love!
The person who brought it to life? Jude Fisher. She has been responsible for five previous Tolkien Visual Companions and she has a long history now of working with Peter Jackson and company. She has been allowed into the inner circle. And it has allowed her to create something beautiful and unique.
Here is more about The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion:
The second epic instalment of Peter Jackson’s trilogy The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will see The Company of Thorin Oakenshield encounter even greater perils in their quest to claim their long-forgotten gold.
After setting out from the safety of Bag End, Bilbo Baggins has journeyed through Middle-earth with his fourteen companions, fighting through fire, Wargs, Goblins and even escaping the creature known simply as Gollum.
Introduced by Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin Oakenshield, and with over 100 rich illustrations, the Visual Companion is the perfect guide to the Company’s passage to Erebor and the Dragon that awaits them…
I asked Jude Fisher to join me here on Unbound Worlds in an interview.
Here is her interview:
NEW RELEASE INTERVIEW: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG VISUAL COMPANION
Shawn Speakman: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG VISUAL COMPANION is in bookstores now! How did you become a part of this beautiful book and what can readers expect within its pages?
Jude Fisher: I was – under my real name of Jane Johnson – for many years the UK publisher of the Tolkien list and was the editor to commission artists John Howe and Alan Lee to illustrate Middle-earth in books and calendars (including Alan’s amazing illustrated editions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit). It was as a result of that involvement that I was invited by Peter Jackson to visit New Zealand in September 2000 to watch filming of Lord of the Rings (or ‘your book’ as he termed it…). He had been inspired by their paintings and had pitched the look of Middle-earth to Hollywood execs by pasting copies of many of their illos onto moodboards to give them the idea of how the world of the movie might appear. I came away from that trip awe-struck and in love with the entire venture and at once offered my services, under the pseudonym of Jude Fisher, to David Brawn, who had taken over Tolkien publishing after I’d stepped back to pursue a writing career. My relationship with the team continued when Peter took back the filming of The Hobbit.
The Visual Companions offer a guide to Middle-earth, a companion for fans who want to know more about the world in which the story unfolds, about the dangers, the philosophy and the magic that underpin the tale and the characters and creatures that populate Tolkien’s world. We get the chance to choose images from thousands of production stills and on-set photos and our publishing team has, I think, made a beautiful job of designing the book.
Shawn Speakman: You worked on the THE LORD OF THE RINGS COMPLETE VISUAL COMPANION as well as AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY VISUAL COMPANION. What kind of access did you have with Weta / New Line / Peter Jackson during all of those projects? See anything that you had to keep to yourself since the new movie isn’t in theaters yet?
Shawn Speakman: What did you enjoy most about delving into Middle-earth?
Shawn Speakman: Out of curiosity, how many times have you read THE HOBBIT? Watched AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY?
Shawn Speakman: Most people find themselves in love with Bilbo or Thorin when they read THE HOBBIT. Do you have a favorite character?
Shawn Speakman: I have to ask: Did you fall head over heels for Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn then?
Shawn Speakman: What is the coolest thing people can look forward to in THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG VISUAL COMPANION?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Visual Companion by Jude Fisher & Richard Armitage is available in fine bookstores now!
Beware the dragon!