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October 20, 2003 - November 01, 2003

Saturday, November 01, 2003
UK LOTR Fan Model Exhibition - Xoanon @ 22:32 PST

UK LOTR Model Exhibition
Click here for more images

Nick S writes: I thought you might be interested in these photos of my sons', Daniel, LOTR model exhibition at our local museum in Hitchin, UK.

Inspired by Lord of the rings (and Warhammer LOTR figures) Daniel produced two fantastic models of Helms deep and the Orthanc Tower.

Having had several visitors at our house (which is fast becoming a LOTR shrine!!) comment on the style of the models, the Museum asked him to show them at School half term here in the UK. The Exhibition has been very successful with lots of visitors to the Museum, especially children.

Daniel is now making models of the Black gates and Edoras. I'll never get in the Garage again!!

Trilogy Tuesday: Vancouver - maegwen @ 18:45 PST
I'm writing in response to something you recently posted at onering.net. I'll post it below:

Cat writes: (10/31 6:38 pm) I was able to get myself a ticket for the Famous Players Capitol 6 Theatre in downtown Vancouver, yesterday at 8:30, long before they were supposedly going on sale. None of the other British Columbia theatres appeared to go on sale early, and when a friend of mine went to try and buy tickets for the same theatre just after midnight, they were no longer available. Not sure if they're sold out or just done selling through the Internet? Interesting to note that the SilverCity showings in both Coquitlam and Richmond are only offering $50.00 tickets, whereas the Capitol 6 had a choice of 'VIP' ($50.00) and 'General Admission' (only $8.50 for all three films).

Capitol 6 is definitely a Famous Players theatre. But they do not have the capability to sell advance tickets (or so I was told after calling their business number). The website erroneously put them on sale early (Thursday afternoon around 3:30pm Pacific Standard Time), which was a problem because Capitol 6 has no way of knowing how many tickets were bought. I presume they are unable to print advance tickets and give them out before the date of the respective film, since the purchase ticket order I received after buying tickets online for Capitol 6 says "Tickets will be available on the date of the performance". I bought tickets online for Silvercity Riverport in Richmond the next day (after being assured I would be refunded for my Capitol 6 tickets, which is another story entirely), and it says "Tickets will be available for pickup immediately following the online purchase up to the date of the performance." So, for whatever reason, Capitol 6 in Vancouver lacks the resources/machinery/computers or whatever to sell and give out advance tickets.

A further error (mentioned above by "Cat") is that you could buy what were listed as "General Admission" tickets on famousplayers.ca for only $8.50 (for the LOTR marathon), which is clearly an error on the part of the webmaster of famousplayer.ca.

Once these errors were realized, famousplayers.ca took down the online tickets for Capitol 6, and put up the notice:

"Tickets for The Lord of the Rings: The Trilogy at the Capitol 6 theatre in Vancouver will be on sale at the theatre on Tuesday, December 16th, 2003." You can see this for yourself at the link:


It's in bold red font near the bottom of the page. (Select a language to view the message)

The reason I wrote in, was to express my concern for those (such as "Cat" whom I quoted above) may need to ensure that they will actually get their tickets. Since these tickets were not supposed to go on sale on the website in the first place, I don't know what Capitol 6 (or famousplayers.ca / movietickets.com) will be doing about the tickets they erroneously sold early. Will they be refunded? Will they still be redeemed the day of the event? I'm not sure.

Hope that clears things up a bit!

Friday, October 31, 2003
Trilogy Tuesday Canada: Ticket Info - maegwen @ 16:10 PST

We've received ticket-purchasing tips from Canadian Ringers to pass on to everyone. Bookmark this page, as we will add information here as we are able. (All times EST)

[Click here for a list and links to the cinemas!]

Bruce (again ;) writes: (11/01 3:15 pm) I would strongly recommend anyone wanting to catch the trilogy at SilverCity Kitchener, not wait around for movietickets.com to open their services (still down as of Saturday afternoon). Get down to the theatre asap, because my inside source who works at the theatre told me this morning that interest and demand have been increasing as the word spreads.....hurry if you want to be part of it! The magic starts 1:30 pm, December 16th, don't miss out!

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Kris writes: (11/01 3:15 pm) Hey I work at the Paramount and last night when we closed... out of 405 tickets available for the trilogy screening we had 111 tickets left for sale... so for the montreal ringers not going to the guzzo event hurry up and get ur tickets ; )

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Bruce writes: (10/31 10:18 pm) Hi. The movietickets.com site wasn't up for our Kitchener theatre, so I went down in person and picked up three tix, there are still plenty left..there was no rushing crowd or mob surprisingly! So spread the word, anyone near Kitchener/Cambridge area, SilverCity Kitchener is one place than definitely isn't sold out.....YET! Hurry down!

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Borimor the Brute writes: (10/31 7:49 pm) Ya, I tried purchasing the tickets all day on Movietickets.com, and couldn't because the buy option was greyed out and you couldn't click on the icon. So...my friends wife went over to Silvercity West Edmonton Mall and purchased 6 tickets. They are going fast, when she went to purchase, it was at 25 % sold, and that was at 1pm.

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Brille writes: (10/31 6:41 pm) Just to let you know, I was able to buy tickets online for the showing at the Ancaster Silver City Theatre this afternoon just after 12:00.

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Cat writes: (10/31 6:38 pm) I was able to get myself a ticket for the Famous Players Capitol 6 Theatre in downtown Vancouver, yesterday at 8:30, long before they were supposedly going on sale. None of the other British Columbia theatres appeared to go on sale early, and when a friend of mine went to try and buy tickets for the same theatre just after midnight, they were no longer available. Not sure if they're sold out or just done selling through the Internet? Interesting to note that the SilverCity showings in both Coquitlam and Richmond are only offering $50.00 tickets, whereas the Capitol 6 had a choice of 'VIP' ($50.00) and 'General Admission' (only $8.50 for all three films).

* * *

Magnus writes: (10/31 6:26 pm) I just bought 6 tickets (at 3:00pm today Vancouver time) for the showing at the Silvercity Riverport in Richmond. I used movietickets.com. You can only buy two at a time, so I just did the transaction three times.

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Tim writes: (10/31 4:59 pm) I just called the uber-plex at South Edmonton Common. Tix for Trilogy Tuesday will be on sale at the theatre on November 16.

* * *

Michelle writes: (10/31 4:47 pm) I stayed up past 1 am waiting for tickets to go on sale on Movietickets.com for the Edmonton Silver City, but nothing happened. This morning at 5:30 am, the "Buy Tickets" link was there but the time was grayed out. I thought maybe the show had sold out during the night. Luckily, I went in person to the theater at about 1:20 pm this afternoon and I was able to buy my tickets at the Guest Services desk.

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Drak writes: (10/31 4:53 pm) I was able to purchase my Trilogy Tuesday Tickets last night online for Famous Players Silver City in Victoria B.C. I'm not sure what the status is now. I was told they were only holding 50 reserves online and the rest would be in person.

* * *

Adam writes: (10/31 4:27 pm) The Kitchener Silver City still isn't accepting online orders but I was there today when their doors opened and they are for sale in person. About 15 people were waiting before the doors opened so it looks like they will go pretty quick.

* * *

Zoe writes: (10/31 4:24 pm) You guys probably already know about this, but, this morning, online tickets were not on sale for Paramount Chinook in Calgary [but, one could buy some if they went to the theatre]. Apparently, there was a problem with movietickets.com - which made it appear that tickets were all sold out - a glitch that has since been rectified. I was *just* able to purchase 4 tickets. Hope this info helps!

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Lesley writes: (10/31 1:27 pm) There’s been problems buying tickets to the Quebec theaters over the internet, specifically Famous Players Paramount Montreal. I emailed Famous Players to ask what’s going on and here’s there response:

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. We are showing the trilogy at the Paramount Montreal on December 16, 2003. Unfortunately, we are experiencing minor technical difficulties with our online purchases for the event in Montreal, which we hope to have cleared up soon. Please be assured that tickets can still be bought directly at the theatre.

I just went and got my ticket, but I’m not sure how many are left.

* * *

Rudy writes: (10/31 12:57 pm) Greetings, a heartfelt thank-you for your timely information I have just obtained a pair of tickets to the Coquitlam B.C. Silvercity showing (I waited until midnight but they did not enable ticket purchasing until sometime this morning ).

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Geoffrey writes: (10/31 12:04 pm) It is 11:55 am on Friday and I just purchased 6 tickets for the Trilogy Showing at the Paramount in Montreal using movietickets.com.

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July writes: (10/31 9:22 am) Hi. I was on the phone just now with Famous Players head office in Toronto, and they said that they had changed the online time of purchase from noon on the 31st (today) to midnight last night. I tried buying at 9am and I got tickets - but i did notice that the Richmond Hill Silver City isn't allowing ticket sales.

* * *

Khuffie writes: (10/31 8:48 am) I was able to buy tickets for the trilogy at Famous Players Paramount Theatre in downtown Toronto (tickets actually went on sale 20 minutes before midnight). After checking today morning, there still seems to be tickets available, so who-ever wants to get 'em should get 'em fast! I have an inclination they won't last as soon as more people find out about this...

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Trilogy Tuesday CA: Empire Theater info - maegwen @ 19:49 PST
Lisa writes:

Hello TORN!

After hearing that Trilogy Tuesday would be playing here, I bombarded Empire Theatres with emails asking when tickets would go on sale. Finally, they gave me an answer!

Thank you for your email.
Tickets for the "Lord of the Rings: Trilogy Tuesday" will be on sale at the box office starting November 15th. Each ticket ($49.95 tax incl.) will admit you to all three movies, however, there is a limit to four tickets per transaction. Here is a list of theatres that will be participating in the event:

Empire 17 Cinemas-Bayers Lake, Halifax NS
Empire Studio 12 Cinemas-Avalon Mall, St. John's NF

Enjoy Trilogy Tuesday at Empire Theatres!

[Click here for a list and links to the cinemas!]

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
UPDATE: San Diego Ringers, Lend a Hand - maegwen @ 11:07 PST
Here's an update on giving aid to those people affected by the fires in San Diego; one of my line party ringers (myfrodofrogy) wrote me with the following info:

It would also be cool for people to donate needed items for the fire fighters.  I just found out that the Salvation Army is taking donations for the Fire Fighters on the line right now.  They need things like chapstick and eye drops for being in the heat and smoke all day.  They also want power drinks like gatorade etc. and snacks that won't melt that they can eat while they're fighting the fires.
If anyone would like to donate, they can contact the Salvation Army or drop off items at:
Ray and Joan Kroc Center
6845 University Ave
(619) 287-5762 - 8am-5pm
(619) 269-1460 - 5pm-8am
San Diego Salvation Army
2320 5th Ave,
Oceanside Salvation Army
3935 Lake Blvd
(760) 631-8212
Donations to the Ray and Joan Kroc Center will most likely go out to the Cedar fire the quickest.

Donations can also be taken directly to our local fire stations.  The fire fighters are coming in and out of the stations and they'll get all the donations to the firemen on the line.

thanks again,

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
San Diego Ringers Lending a Hand - maegwen @ 09:04 PST
Even as the fires continue to burn in some parts of San Diego County, I'd like to encourage the SD Ringers (and those in other parts of So Cal too!) to lend a hand and donate blood. The San Diego Blood Bank has been asking for anyone who is able to please donate and have these locations available:

* 680 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon
Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to
4 p.m.

* 440 Upas Street, Hillcrest, San Diego
Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m.
to 4 p.m

Let's show everyone that Ringers are more than just fans--we're family!

Line Leader for the Mission Valley 20 Line Party,

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Wellington Premiere Celebrations - the latest - Tehanu @ 16:02 PST
TORN and Red Carpet's Premiere Party still has room, due to a number of fans from Japan finding that they are unable to make it to NZ on November 30th. It's still going to be a fantastic mix of local and overseas visitors all converging on the Skyline to celebrate The Return of the King. [More]

For those of you who are planning drop-dead gorgeous and knockout costumes, we've had professional photographer Colleen Famularo offer her services so you can record the moment. She'll be set up so that visitors can use Visa for easy payment, and hopefully be able to order through her website ColleenPhotography.

What about the party's charitable aims? Andy Tookey of the Organ Donor Awareness Campaign reports their commercial "Everyday Heroes,'" directed by teen cancer victim Cameron Duncan, has won the 2003 "Fair Go Ad Awards."

The standard of the ads was extremely high. Cameron was unfortunately not able to collect his award as he is in the States pioneering a new cancer treatment.

Now GiveLife.nz is investigating ways to have the ad shown regularly on NZ commercial television. Which is where Return of the Ringers aims to help. We will have goods autographed by our film heroes to auction for this cause.

Lastly, there's the exciting news of Howard Shore's "Trilogy Symphony" to be performed in Wellington on November 29th.

Phil Capper, who's marshalling the fan forces in Wellington, suggested how we might meet and mingle before the concert:


"Now that we know that the LOTR symphony is premiering in the Michael Fowler Centre on 29 November, here is a suggestion for TORNers before and after (dependent, as always, on the Wellington weather).

"Behind the MFC is the Civic Centre Square, which is a fully pedestrian precinct. At the seaward end is the City to Sea Bridge which links, er, the city with the sea. It is not a conventional bridge, but more a mixture between a sculpture and an open space. Suggest that TORNers gather on the bridge before the concert, if fine and not windy. Or in the Civic Square itself if fine but windy. If we strike a calm night gathering here afterwards would also be great.

"If not fine there is Felix The Caff and City Limits Cafe immediately opposite the MFC on Wakefield Street, with The Lido Cafe 100 metres to the West. The MFC foyer itself is spacious and has a cafe at one end. All of these will still be open after the concert."

Hobbit Coming of Age Celebration! - Xoanon @ 14:47 PST
Bramblerose Deepdelver of Brockenborings writes: I just turned 33 this past Saturday and to celebrate, threw myself a Hobbit coming of age celebration! It was lots of fun, we had a fall festival theme and I made a lot of the decorations (including a mini-Hobbit village) myself. People (and pets!) dressed up in costume and we had lots of fun events, like LOTR Bingo, pumpkin painting and (play) archery. I thought it might be of interest to other fans who may be thinking of doing something similar - it was a blast! Pictures and highlights are on my site. [more]

Monday, October 20, 2003
Report: Tony Wolf, Fight Designer, at Tufts Univ. - maegwen @ 21:09 PST

Ringer Spy Draug, The Unspeakably Violent sends in this amazingly detailed report on Tony Wolf's recent appearance at Tufts University, including the Q&A session addressing many LOTR points. Wolf was fighting styles designer and combat instructor on all three LOTR films.

* * *

Elen sila lumenn, omentilimo. Im Draug, Lasto beth nin.

Tony Wolf's lecture at Tufts University, Medford, MASS, lasted from 7:30-8:30 p.m., EST.

Mr. Wolf began by explaining how his career developed. He said that he more or less taught himself to read reading superhero comics, and grew up wanting to be a superhero. One day on the back of a superhero comic, he found a 'classified ad' for sendaway superpowers. Magno-power rings, invisible goggles, etc. Even though he was an 8 year old boy he didn't really expect superpowers, but it intrigued him so he wanted to see what would happenif he sent away for them. Now in these "Dark Years" before the internet, New Zealand was very isolated, so sending away for items from the USA was a very big undertaking at the time, involving going to a regional back, etc., but he did it all the same. 1 month passed. And nothing happened. 2 months passed, and still nothing came. After three months, his father wrote a letter saying that he hoped that they were not in the business of ripping off children's dreams. The company mailed him a reply, in which they stated that they indeed were. At this point, Mr. Wolf came to a realization: If you want to be a superhero, you can't do it through the mail, you have to do it yourself.

Gradually, his ambitions towards being a superhero evolved into his becoming a stunt performer.

He first worked with Peter Jackson on "Brain Dead", an insightfully cutting satire of contemporary Hollywood film themes in which Man tried to supress his inner id, in vain. This style of PJ's would become known as 'splatstick'...Mr. Wolf recommends getting the uncut version.

Mr. Wolf's development of his stunt performer career was somewhat limited by the isolation of New Zealand; there were maybe 1 or 2 books in the national library on the subject, and that was it.

Over time, he began his "semi-professional" career of designing action scenes. Because New Zealand was so isolated, at the time he was unaware of the Society of American Fight Directors which was active at the time, which normally would have aided in the development of his work. He was somewhat inspired by Bruce Lee, but he went on to developed his own system: Rather than use many moves and styles taken from all over in a scene; keep what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.

He has developed a system of 'phsyical theatre' composed of 6 Principles of Movement (which he did not demonstrate because this was a lecture and not a
training session) :( Rather than teaching a rigid style, these principles will lead to the fast track to *intuitive movement* that otherwise might take
years to learn. There is no strict initial teaching of "styles"---This is viewed as a *radical* concept among fight training circles.

He does not approve of imposing classroom style on fight scenes. He believes that his method espouses "universal forms and rules of movement". That will lead to a synergy between the two actors. Rather than showing off specific moves and complex fight styles, he believes in "sound basic principles". Mr. Wolf said that in order to be done correctly, illusion of violent action A) has to be safe and B) has to tell a story. *Otherwise, it degenerates into generic swashbuckling for swashbuckling and style's sake.

Mr. Wolf explained that while New Zealand is as large as England or Japan, it only has a population of 4 million. Because of this, number of people talented in his field in NZ was limited, so he was found working for a wide range of acting professions: ballet, opera, theatre, TV series, feature films and more.

In 1997, Tony Wolf heard about Peter Jackson doing the Lord Of The Rings. Of course, at the time he had no idea how big it would be. He was no big fan; he had read The Hobbit and some of The Fellowship Of The Ring, but was not an obsessive fan. Anyway, he had heard that PJ wanted ***UNIQUE FIGHTING STYLES*** for each race in Middle-earth. So he called the producers, who told him that PJ had said the same thing, and that's how he joined up.

Tony Wolf is officialy the "Cultural Fighting Styles Designer" for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy---a unique job and title. As a result, he had no role models for this task, or any prior opinions on what should be done. He had no idea how to begin, initially.

He began work on the William Tell series, for television in New Zealand. He used this as an example, because it too was set in a fantasy world (although it was left ambigous as to whether it was set in the past, the far future, or a different planet or dimension). This fanasy world featured many different races; wolfmen, catwomen, Herculeans (giants), and evil Zaxians. In this job, he realized that a races way of fighting had to match the character. For example, one might think that the Herculean giant would be very crude and smash-n-bash. In fact, the actor who played the Herculean, although tall, was very refined. Also, the character, although gigantic, was a cultured chef. So he realized that it would be only fitting that the Herculean be graceful in fight scenes, simply shrugging off punches, etc.

There were other examples of this in the series. William Tell, the human main character, was supposed to be very smart and cunning, so he would use objects in the environment to his advantage to defeat his enemies. The catwoman had wide, swiping attacks like a cat does. The evil Zaxians were the villians of the series. They used 'deathwands' as their primary weapon. Mr. Wolf said that a Deathwand looked sort of like a frozen lightsaber. The idea within the
mythology was that the magic was crystal activated, so switching the crystal at the base of a Deathwand connected it to a powerpack that turned it on (again, Frozen-Lightsabers). However, because of the material they were made out of, a Deathwand prop broke *INCREDIBLY EASILY* to the point that if the
Deathwand were **EVER** to make contact with another weapon, it would shatter like glass. Thus, the fighting style that was created for the Deathwand- wielding Zaxians was developed with this in mind: there was a lot of dodging, but the weapon never actually made contact during a fight, etc.. Mr. Wolf
said that they actually toyed with the idea of and eventually created a "Double-bladed" Deathwand, years before The Phantom Menace [Draug the U.V.'s note: Mr. Wolf said that if there were any reporters in the audience, they absolutely must not quote him for saying that, under penalty of torture]. So Mr. Wolf had already realized from past experience that it was only fitting that a race's fighting style match the race.

The inspiration for the styles used in the LOTR trilogy were partially based on Tolkien's books, but not heavily. This was simply because Tolkien doesn't actually describe the fighting styles in any great detail besides "Frodo took a short stab at the Cave Troll's foot", etc.. So he stayed consitent with the little that Tolkien did describe, but realized that he would have to fill in the majority of the rest. Mr. Wolf said that a great deal of the fighting styles was based on synergy/intuition, and learning as they go. Essentially, he had to ask, "What is the central aesthetic of this culture?" What are the guiding/underlying principles of this race?

Mr. Wolf used the development of the Orc fighting style as an example: An Orc isn't so much a soldier as it is a violent, sentient Animal. They are baboon-like or hyena-like. They haven't gone to civilized fighting schools of any sort, and thus they HAVE *NO* fighting 'style'. Like a baboon or hyena, their 'method' of fighting is extremely effective, and it is fierce, but it does not follow an actual style; it is not formally schooled fighting and is untrained. Their style is no style at all; unrefined savagery.

After realizing what the aesthetic of the race should be, the next step would be to see what moves the actor in the costume was physically capable of performing. An actor in an Orc suit has fairly limited ranges of motion (a Gondorian in plate armor or a Galadhrim in elf-armor also have there motion
limited from that of a human wearing no costume, but it is not nearly as drastically reduced as that of Orc-actors in heavy makeup and costuming). For example, an Orc cannot stand very high or move his arms very far back, so this affect the fighting style and moves that can be performed.

Off the top of his head, Tony Wolf said that he had personally worked on the design of the fighting style of: Uruk-hai, Moria-orcs (goblins), the basic Orc (which he said has three main variants), Elves, Gondorians, Rohirrim, Haradrim, and the movement of the Ringwraiths. Most of his part in the production took place between 1998 and 2000.

* * *


(I'll point out which questions were actually asked by me, and bear in mind that this is summarized, not word-for-word);

Q: What was the fighting style of the Ents? Did you design it?

A (all A's by Tony Wolf): I didn't work on and Ent fighting style, and I wasn't sure if there was a very developed one or not. In either case that was
the CGI department, not me.

Q: How was the Elvish aesthetic developed?

A: Looked at how they write, talk, their architecture, and costumes: take that and figure out the aesthetic [Draug, the U.V.'s note: For example, Elves 'flow' with nature, so instead of using brute strength to block an attack, they would gracefully *deflect* the blow in a flowing motion]

Q (by Draug, the Unspeakably Violent): The Orcs in FOTR and TTT had the "baboon/hyena" figthing style (or lack thereof) that you described, but (to fill in for the defunct Uruk-hai) we've heard reports that the Orcs in ROTK will have a new fighting style altogether; can you describe it?

A: When I and others working on LOTR took on the job, we all had to sign *Non- disclosure agreements* that were so serious that they actually, in full legal terms, said that the non-disclosure was to be complete with reference to ***"THIS OR ANY OTHER UNIVERSE"*** (direct quote). So I can say NOTHING about The Return Of The King. [Draug's Note: curses, curses....("wordless screams and inane babbling..."]

Q: How do you plan out a fight?

A: I tend to choreograph by incident in a fight scene. Partially based on the script, partially just intuitive and based on priniples of motion and the environment. I'd set up a rough and tumble cowboy brawl. Are there stairs on the set? Then at some point someone should fall/be thrown down the stairs. (using/interacting with anything in the environment, like a Jackie Chan movie). Are there chairs on the set with the fith? Then during the fight someone should fall into the chairs, etc. Alot of thinking on your feet with objects in the environment.

Q(Grandmotherweb): Finding your aesthetic, do you use historical references?

A: Ancient European martial arts died out over time, but those that practiced it wrote alot down. Thus, they left behind very thorough manuals, which people are trying to use to recreate them, instead of just guessing (based on the physical abilities of the weapons, etc.).

Fencing historians around the late 19th/early 20th century started recreating hundreds of years old stuff, but many of them died in World War I [Draug the U.V's note: reminds me of "all but one of Tolkien's close friends died in WWI...", etc.] but essentially, we don't have do guess anymore because of all ofhe manuals left behind.

But that doesn't mean it has to be a historical recreation. **If a fight scene is historical reenactment, it has failed its purpose to entertain. One needs to strike a balance between: historical accuracy, keeping the fight realistic, and furthering the story (not just to entertain, not just showing of a complex swashbuckling move because it is exciting, it needs to advance the plot). *Striking this balance is the mark of a mature fight director*.

We purposefully had the actors in the movies make some mistakes, to make it seem more real. [Draug the U.V's note: Aragorn wouldn't be fighting at
peal performance in every single sparring, so it would make the fight seem more real if he didn't always perfectly execute a move. Also, he wouldn't perform a really complicated (and purely visually entertaining) move, unless he had tried using simpler moves first. Aragorn would use whatever move was
most efficient, and only gradually use more complicated styles/moves if his opponenet could handle the simpler ones]. So I refer to historical stuff, but
am not bound by it.

Q: How did you work with Digital Actors?

A: We wanted to use it to communicate the aesthetic of the styles. I made a manual of the specific motions of each race, which they based the digital actors on. Off hand, I remember that one character had 24 key points of body language and moves.

Q: How has new Special Effects affected your work?

A: As far as my theatre work goes, not a whole hell of a lot. In the movies, we've been using motion capture, getting scanned while wearing a suit that was covered in photo-reflective tape. They then moved scanning equipment on poles and such all around use to record the posotionsof the reflective tape. I have no idea what the scanner-holders were doing, but thought it was cool!

Basically, the scanners only pic up the positions of the photo-reflective tape, relative to each other, and then connect the dots to create a humanoid wireframe design on a computer screen. It looks like a "human shaped constellation of stars". They then shrink it or enlarge it on the computer, and then multiply as necessary to create armies. I only saw one completed shot while they were making it, of an army of characters marching.

While watching the Fellowship of the Ring trailer (the very first trailer) in theaters for the first time, I saw the shot of the Orc army marching across Mordor. I turned to the woman next to me and said, "Oh, that's me", and she asked "Which one", and I said "ALL of them!".

I trained Digital Extras running in the MASSIVE program [Draug the U.V.'s note: computer program that gives each of hundreds of digital characters their own Artificial Intelligence so that they can choose from fight moves that were scanned in]. The digital extras were great; they'd trip then get lost, and then wind up getting shot with an arrow, which is cool.

Q: Is training in fighting styles becoming more open, less school-bound?

A: Yes, due to the Internet. Enthusiasts that perform at Renaissance fairs, from this, other things, etc. This is fantastic, as long as it's safe and not
scaring anyone [Draug the U.V.'s note: I can't tell from my notes if Tony Wolf said "not scaRing anyone" or "not scaRRing anyone", best leave that one

Q: Are you open, and use these ideas?

A: Well, I'm neutral, I don't impose. I don't really have one set style, I try to stick with universal principles of motion, etc., not one thing.

Q(Grandmotherweb): You've already designed the fighing styles of Gondor and Rohan; What was the distincition for Aragorn and the Rangers?

A: I didn't do individuals. When we started, there was actually a very deep debate to decide if Aragorn should incorporate Elf stuff into his fighting style? [Draug the U.V.'s note: Because Aragorn was raised (with his mother) in Rivendell with the Elves. It would make sense that he'd pick up some
Elvish fighting moves] But then we went "Nah, that Elvish fighting style really only works with Elves".

Q(Draug, the U.V.): You've said that you designed that Rohirrim and Gondorian fighting styles, based after classical Europeans styles (medieval germanic,
etc.). But you also said you designed the fighting style/aesthetic of the Haradrim. The Haradrim are roughly comparable to arabs (Moors, Berbers, etc.), so their aesthetic would be entirely alien to that used by the Rohirrim and Gondorians. How would you describe the fighting style of the Haradrim that we saw in "The Two Towers"?

A: Well...oh jeez, I'll have to think back a while for that one, um, well the Haradrim....HEY! Wait a minute, we haven't seen the Haradrim fight yet, that's from Return of the King! [Draug the U.V.'s note: Having failed in my last direct question about ROTK, I tried to trick him on this one. We NEVER saw the Haradrim fighting in TTT, they just made a brief cameo, and were then ambushed and slain by Faramir's men. The fighting style of the Haradrim is
still an ROTK secret. I thought that if I lied and said that we DID see the Haradrim fighting in The Two Towers, he'd missed this and accidently let some
ROTK info slip. I actually had him going for a while and he was thinking it over for a full minute and was *GOING* to say something, when he caught
himself at the last conceivable minute. Someone shouted out that we had not indeed seen them fighting yet. Who's side were they on? I tried to argue that we did SEE them, but then everyone including myself admited that we didn't see their fighting style, we just saw them "getting clobbered". But you can't blame me for trying.....okay, maybe you can. The moral of this story? "Keep your lies consistent"].

Q: Have you been doing any work for video games (namely LOTR video games)?

A: Yes, I've done/am doing some video games, I'm looking foward to it.

In response to another question, Tony Wolf interupted and replied: "On public record, *YES* I have met Orlando Bloom" and wanted to move on to another topic.

Q: What have you been doing since LOTR?

A: Tours and things. Most notably, I was going to a tour installment in Tokyo, and I thought the my lead stuntman and I would be able to talk about
what we were going to do in the plane, but we wound up in separate cabins, so we couldn't. So we started practicing when we got to the hotel, but then they
told us we couldn't practice in the hotel. So we went to the park, and were told "no, don't do it in the park either". So we were basically frantically
sparring with each other in the end when in 2 hours we had to choreograph an entire fight.

Q: In developing a fighting style for these movies, characters often have exotic fantasy weapons, that don't exist in the real world. How did this lead
to the overall guiding aesthetic of those races? Which came first? The fantasy weapon or the aesthetic? ("which came first, chicken or the egg?")

A: Well, a little of both. When I began work in 1998, some prototype weapons for the movie had been made, but not all. So for certain races the weapon
came first and for others was developed after the race's aesthetic was developed (can'd remember off-hand which). Again, some of both.

Q: What movies do you think are great examples of what a fight should be, fights that you enjoyed?

A: "The Dualists" by Ridley Scott, because it was realistic, gritty, and down- in-the-mud dirty; "Rob Roy" starring Liam Nielsen, with Tim Roth as the
villian, again because of it's realism, and Jackie Chan for his sheer agility.

Tony Wolf went on to say that he really enjoyed a film that Peter Jackson made in New Zealand called "Forgotten Silver". Forgotten Silver was the true story of a movie maker no one remembers who, in the 1900's-1910's, was making gigantic epic Ben-hur like films and fight scenes involving hundred and
thousands of people to populate the films. What no one realized until days afterwards was that Peter Jackson had completely made it up, even though it
was heavily advertized as a true story. He had to hide out for a while because of that one.

Thank you for letting me post, this was all very fun. Frodo Lives!

I remain,
Draug, the Unspeakably Violent

Black Tie Banquet Cancelled - Tehanu @ 18:34 PST
Well, I'm sorry to have to report that there was simply not enough demand for the Black Tie Dinner on November 29th in Wellington. It seems that us hobbits love to eat, drink, and dance, but we're not so hot on the formal and fancy kind of dinner. We could have sold the rest of the places at the dinner to corporates for their Christmas party, but that would not have achieved the atmosphere we were aiming for.

Also, with the announcement yesterday that the NZSO would be performing Howard Shore's Trilogy Symphony that same night, I think that would automatically become LOTR Fan Central - and I'm guessing that's where you'll want to be, if you're a fan.

Ticketek will reverse your credit card transactions and refund you - however they can't refund the NZ$8 service charge. We are not happy to leave you out of pocket like that, and wish to refund the service charge ourselves. Since you'll be in Wellington on the Saturday/ Sunday and we'll need to see proof that you DID buy a ticket to the Black Tie Banquet, we will organise a pick-up point where you can get that $8 refund. Probably one of the hotels where the Red Carpet tours people are staying.

Once again, many apologies to all of you who were looking forward to this event. I'll post the concert news below, in the hopes that it will offer an appealing alternative for Saturday 29th.

Trilogy Symphony for New Zealand
A once-in-a-lifetime concert event sees Oscar-winning film composer Howard Shore conduct the NZSO in a one-off performance of ‘The Lord of The Rings: A Symphony in six parts for Orchestra, Chorus and Soloists’.

New Line Cinema, in association with CAMI and J&A Productions, have announced that the concert will take place at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington on November 29, and will be part of the celebrations surrounding the world premiere of the third and final Lord of the Rings film, ‘The Return of
the King’.

‘Lord of the Rings Symphony’ will feature music adapted from Mr Shore’s scores from all three of Peter Jackson’s astonishing trilogy: ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, ‘The Two Towers’ and ‘The Return of the King’.

Tickets for the concert are strictly limited and will be available through Ticketek from October 27.

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