The Drill Down 568: Putting The Y In S☰XY
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On this week’s The Drill Down podcast, social media contends with the tragic shooting in New Zealand, Google‘s sued for billions and also launches a gaming service, new toys from Apple and Tesla … and much more.

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New Set Pics From ‘The Hobbit’ Show Bird’s Eye View Of Hobbiton
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Some new pictures from the set of Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of The Hobbit have made their way to the ‘net, and they’re worth a peek.

Usually after official images and a trailer have been released for a movie, set pics mean very little. But for fans of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy who are eager for the new movie, these new images offer a bird’s eye view of the farm where Hobbiton was built, including Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End residence. As you might already know, it’s quite the beautiful area.

Check out the images below.

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Watch Now: ‘Iron Sky’ Trailer Promises An Invasion of Nazis From Space and Udo Kier!

For the past four years Finnish metal band lymystö frontman Timo Vuorensola has been struggling to make his directorial debut Iron Sky a reality. Following the online debut of a teaser trailer in 2008 Vuorensola was able to secure the necessary $8.5 million in funding, a chunk of which was provided by fans who wanted to see the neophyte filmmaker’s dream come to fruition.

Now Iron Sky is completed and preparing for its world premiere next week in Berlin and a trailer for the finished feature has been released. You can check it out here below.

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Gollum Actor Andy Serkis To Be Peter Jackson’s Second Unit Director On ‘The Hobbit’
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Andy Serkis had many people screaming for him to be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance capture work as the creature Gollum in director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also went on help Jackson bring to life the most realistic and personality-filled King Kong we’ve ever seen using the same performance capture techniques.

Now Serkis has rejoined Jackson for the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, which has now begun filming in New Zealand. But becoming Gollum once again will not be all that the actor is doing this time around. It’s being reported that Serkis will be used as Jackson’s second unit director on the film.

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One For The New Zealand Geeks: 25th Anniversary Of ‘Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale’

If you grew up in New Zealand and Australia during the 1980s, you would be familiar with a comic strip that was very popular for both Kiwis and Aussies, but never took off internationally: Murray Ball‘s Footrot Flats.

For those who don’t know, Footrot Flats was a comic strip that was written and drawn by Murray Ball that was published from 1975 to 1994. The strip followed the life of Wal Footrot and his dog (named “Dog”) on their farm. There was an abundance of other human and animal characters that were also central to the strip, and it followed the idiosyncrasies of these individuals, poking fun at our human faults.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the release of the Footrot Flats movie, a film release that was testament to how popular Footrot Flats was in New Zealand. The collected publications of the strips were selling in the millions at the time, and Footrot Flats eventually also became the basis for a stage musical and a theme park as well. The elements Murray Ball covered in the adventures of Dog totally resonated with youngsters (and adults) across Australasia, but more importantly became a staple aspect of New Zealand culture.

Be sure to continue on for much more and to see videos relating to Footrot Flats — one a music video and one from the animated movie.

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