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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Q&A with Artist Daniel Reeve


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Fantasy Calligraphy and Cartography

It’s all in the details. To craft the perfect fantasy world, impeccable attention to the smallest detail is what makes the story come alive. These elements are the touch, feel, and cultural history of the characters and lore. In some cases it’s the maps, setting the scene and scope of vast planets or planes.

Meet the man behind some of the most subtly impactful pieces of the fantasy film genre. Daniel Reeve is a freelance artist from New Zealand, best-known for the calligraphy and cartography of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. His intricate work is also featured in the films Van Helsing, King Kong, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Dead Letters, The Warrior's Way, Underworld 3, Kingdom Come, Spartacus, Tintin and The Hobbit.  He has also worked on merchandise for The Pirates of the Caribbean and Prince Caspian.

We’re lucky to have Daniel as an associate of Red Carpet Tours, and he will be part of a special upcoming tour as our “Artist in Residence.”

5 Minutes with Daniel Reeve

Q: Daniel how did you get your start on the Lord of the Rings films as the official calligrapher?

A: I heard they were making a movie of my favourite book, so I created some calligraphy and sent it in to them. I asked if they didn't already have a 100 guys that could write in Elvish, would they consider me? My phone rang very quickly, that's the one thing they hadn't thought of in all the huge amount of pre-planning.

Q: Do you have any favourite pieces of work?

A: Every piece has its own merits, I enjoy creating the maps and the individual cartouches / borders for each one. I enjoy working on each piece of artwork and seeing it to completion.

Q: Have you been busy since the Hobbit films have finished?

A: Yes, it hasn't really stopped for me. I am still doing lots of projects to do with the films, DVDs and merchandise. I also have monthly presentations with the Red Carpet Tours fellowships here in Wellington and will be mentoring a special Artists Sketching and Photography Tour with Red Carpet Tours. I am really looking forward to this special tour, 7th - 20th November 2016. I hope to see many familiar faces returning for this Tour.