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November 17, 2002 - December 01, 2002

Sunday, December 01, 2002
'The War of Rage' Fan Film - Xoanon @ 21:50 PST
Hello regarded team of Theonering.net, from here, from Spain we want to thank you for your good work on the net, beign the best site out there.

We are getting in touch with you, to notify you that we are starting the principal photography of a fan film called The war of rage, insipired on the works on tolkien, but taken a bit futher, teling a story set half a millenium past the begining of the fourth age, with the heirs of some of the heroes of the war of the ring.

More than 300 years after the starting of the fourth age,a great pleage invaded Middle-earth, and all the free peoples were forced to move out, past beyond the lands of south Harad, were they found the New-earth, a promised land, were they rebuild their greats kingdoms, and so, Gondor, Minas Tirith became the kingdom of Insithil, Rohan became Rimor, and all the other kingdoms were rebuilt. The elfs that remained helped men, and then left the earth, and returned to Valinor.

The daugther of a half elf and a half she-elf(the last ones to leave), called Mila was married with Imeldhil, prince of Insithil and son of Eldarion, heir of Elessar. One tragical day, she was slain under misterius causes, and one year later, Imeldhil became King.

Our story begins here, with a personal view of what could had been the future of Middle-earth, from where tolkien left it, on his lasts books.

This vision IS NOT exactly what happend, only what we think that may had happend, in order to give the fans of Lord of the rings, the hobbit, and so on, the oportunity to wonder what would it be that future.

So the journey of this Fan film begins when Imeldhil becomes king, and his great friend Emodel the prince of Rimor, arrives to his kingdom to show his condolence for the loss of his father.

After that, the wizard of Insithil informs them and Amduviel, wizard of Rimor, that an evil element has been found. The terrible material that Sauron himself used to forge his one ring, and was blend with his blood, has been identified by the council of knowledge,(the wizards' council).

This material was hidden in part by Aragorn himself, on the outscars of south harad, bealiving that it wouldn´t be found,and keeping one part to himself and his kingdom, to make sure that no one undesirable would get his hands onto it.

The council then asks Imeldhil to find the other piece and to bring it to the council, but on his journey(where he is joined by his friends Emodel and Amduviel) he is betrayed, and then the rage beguns.

I know it is a bit confusing, but everybody will surely understand it soon, when our site is launched. Event on wich we want to have you guys in, and put on our webpage links to yours if you don´t mind.

We would love to see some, at least, little news on your web, telling the story of this film and we are also sending you some pics of the shooting hoping that you could put them on your page.

Anyway, if none of it can´t be published, we want to thank you for your effort in advance, with this Fan film. The war of Rage, will be shot on spanish (due, of course the fact that we are on spain) and its release name will be La guerra de la Ira, the exact translation to The war of rage. The film will of course have the english subs, and may be dubbed on english but that possibility is yet to see.

Thank you very much,

The team of the war of rage.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Advance Goodies In Japan - Xoanon @ 13:14 PST
Pon sends along these great snaps of some goodies you can get with your advanced ticket in Japan! Take a look!

Sunday, November 24, 2002
Armageddon Expo Wellington 2002 frodo's girl Day 2 Report - Xoanon @ 14:29 PST
Click here to read the Day 1 Report

The second day was not as crowded as the first, but there was still a sizable bunch. On schedule for today and LotR was a presentation on the main stage by some of the designers. I was there quite a bit before that, so I headed over to the Dymocks and Weta Workshops booth, and was pleased to find Daniel Falconer there again. We chatted about his work as one of the key designers of armor, weapons and creatures for LotR.

You can read about Daniel and the design team in The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring and see him in the extended dvd's crew interviews. Like the others I have met from Weta, Daniel is a charming and interesting chap. After a bit Warren Mahy and Ben Wootten, two others from the design team, joined him. Someone asked them to sign something and soon there was a steady stream of folks seeking their autographs.

About that time Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger showed up, and Richard was immediately mobbed, Richard was quite gracious about signing autographs, however was soon time for the presentation. Richard introduced the three designers, telling us they had been with him for some of his work on Hercules and were part of LotR from the very beginning.

Richard felt that the imagination and enthusiasm of these young New Zealanders was critical to get the look and feel that he and Peter wanted, so he battled others who believed he should get industry experienced designers. And in the end, I think all of our happy he stood fast. Daniel, Warren and Ben took the stage after that and did a fabulous presentation.

First they talked about the different parts of Weta Workshops, telling about how it was unusual to have one company do all the diverse bits for a movie. As most of you know, Weta took care of everything from creature design, to the construction of armor, to the digital effects in LotR. Again, this somewhat odd arrangement came from Peter's and Richard's desire to make sure the world had the right look and remained cohesive, instead of looking like one bit came from somewhere and the next bit from somewhere else.

After a few more explanations, they put on this brilliant tape that is a conglomeration of different work Weta did before LotR (commercials, past movies by PJ, some excerpts from Contact, etc.) followed by scenes from FotR. Next they walked us through the design process using the cave troll. It was fascinating to see all the different concept sketches they showed (I think about 10) and know that there were hundreds more that Peter looked at and said what he liked and didn't like in order to help them create the final product.

After the drawing got close to a final look, they modeled marquettes so that the creature could be seen in 3-D. Once they had a final design, they made a huge ultra detailed model that was then scanned into the computer for the digital team to work with.

They talked about how Ben's degree in zoology came in useful when designing creatures, because creatures in a movie have to do more than look cool, they have to live and move and look realistic. They have to be able to be modeled in a computer with a skeleton and muscles, and their clothes and weapons have to make sense. Long pointy spikes on weapons and armor may look nifty, but in real battle they would be useless, breaking off, or getting the weapon stuck in the first enemy killed, or worse yet, tangling up the wearer and causing his own death. Daniel, Warren and Ben then did a short Q&A.

There were several questions about armor and time periods for the design cycle. They answered that the design cycle varied, taking 16 weeks for the Urak-Hai armor (the 1st armor that they designed) and only 4 for the Rohan armor, and that all the armor had distinct icons, shapes and colors that defined the different cultures. Unfortunately, they ran out of time. They ended with the LotR:TTT preview from the extended dvd. All in all, it was another brilliant day.

Getting to learn about how the design team went about their work, and hearing their tales was fun and interesting. I was once again happy that I live in a place were there is access to so many of the people that helped create these amazing movies.

Saturday, November 23, 2002
Armageddon Expo Wellington 2002 - Xoanon @ 13:58 PST
Day 1 Report

According to the program, Armageddon is NZ’s biggest computer gamming and fantasy event. It is being held at the Michael Fowler Center November 23rd/24th. The first day was fairly crowded, and I was pleased to see many venders with interesting booths to wander around. There were special guests (including some anime folks and stars from Stargate SG1 and Star Wars Ep2), but since none of the announced stars had to do with Lord of the Rings, I won’t go into that here. Dymocks and Weta Workshops had a brilliant little booth where you could buy just about every LotR book or any Sideshow statue, and I was surprised to hear that Alan Lee would be signing things later that day (and I hadn’t brought any of my books or autograph stuff!) I quickly bought a fabulous card with a drawing of a bush weta on the front and waited for Mr. Lee to show. It turned out to be a huge pleasure to meet him. He is a soft-spoken man, incredibly nice and very sincere. He was happy to sign my card, asked if I’d like as well sketch and then drew a lovely pencil sketch of Gandalf for me. I was thrilled!

Several Weta Workshop employees came around the booth and chatted with folks. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Gino Acevedo, Jason Docherty, Simon Ward and Daniel (whose last name I didn’t get). Gino, Jason and Simon all work turning folks into creatures, and Daniel is a designer. They are all quite friendly and happy to talk about their work. They obviously love what they do (You can find Gino and Jason talking about what they do in the just released LotR: The Making of the Movie Trilogy in the ‘making faces’ section on p125).

At 1pm Gino and Jason were all set up to turn Dymocks’ employee Andrea Wiechern into an orc. I took about 50 pictures of Andrea as she went from a lovely lady into a nasty orc, but since this is the internet and some of you have dial up connections, I will only attach a small portion to this report. It usually takes 2 make-up artists about 3 hours to make an orc (they work in pairs to speed the process), but today they did the fast version. It took almost exactly 2 hours to get Andrea into full make-up and costume.

They started by putting on a skullcap to protect her hair and ears, and then began to attach the prosthetics. Jason has baked many a prosthetic (they take about 3 hours to bake) since most of the pieces can only be used once. It took 6 pieces to transform Andrea’s head (not including the scars and warts) into an orc’s; one that covered the majority of her head, one for her most of her face, one for her chin, two ears and a neck piece. It took them about 45 minutes to attach all this to her. And then came the make-up. They started with a special base and once everything was covered, they added different colors with brushes. Once they were happy with the color of the skin, Gino powder Andrea down (he explained that the base make-up is extremely sticky and has to be powdered to keep it from sticking to itself) and then used a little water to take off the extra powder. By this time, folks who stopped by assumed that must be a he in the make-up because there was no sign of Andrea in there anymore. Now they were ready for the finishing touches. Jason pierced Andrea’s orc ears and used bits of orc chain mail for earrings. They added orc hair, that Gino told us was hand tied yak hair (all the wigs they uses are hand tied – a long process. When I asked, they said the piece they used on Andrea probably took about 8 ½ hours to make). Gino fussed with the hair to get it perfectly orc-ish (you wouldn’t think it would take so much work to make orc hair look like it looks), while Jason prepared the teeth. Once they had finished, it was Simon’s turn. He pulled out what looked like a load of filthy rags, but were actually distressed orc attire. He dressed Andrea in baggy pants, a dirty coat, orc booties and armor, which included several chain mail and leather bits. To finish the look, he handed her a special orc stick. It was 3pm and Andrea had been completely turned into an orc. She had a marvelous time wandering about among the fans and getting her picture taken. Finally, they all packed up and headed back to the workshop, including Andrea. She needed to be un-orc’ed and they wanted to take her back to the workshop to do that.

All in all, it was a brilliant experience to watch them work and have the ability to take photos. I felt very privileged to live in Wellington and get the opportunity to see what most people can only read about.

Two Towers Screened In Memory Of Birell - Xoanon @ 13:09 PST
Cuivienor writes: A special screening of the Two Towers will be held in the memory of James Birell a child who died last year of Neuroblastoma, but not without having watched the Fellowship of the Ring on December the eighth, because of a special screening film companies had arranged for him, on december 8th 2001. As an anniversary, a screening of the Two Towers will occur on the 8th of December this year, mainly to raise funds for Neuroblastoma research.

Thursday, November 21, 2002
Shippey In Annapolis - Xoanon @ 12:27 PST
Matt C writes: Thought this would be interesting for those in the Annapolis area who want to see Shippey speak. Here's the new bulletin they sent out.

Professor Thomas A. Shippey, the world's leading authority on J.R.R. Tolkien and THE LORD OF THE RINGS, will give a lecture open to the public in Mahan Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 in the evening.

Professor Shippey was Tolkien's successor at Oxford University. He knew Tolkien and has made Tolkien's work his life's study. His two books on Tolkien--THE ROAD TO MIDDLE-EARTH and J.R.R. TOLKIEN: AUTHOR OF THE CENTURY--are definitive treatments of both the man and his mythology.

Prior to teaching with Tolkien at Oxford, Shippey held the Chair of English Language and Medieval Literature at Leeds University (which Tolkien also held early in his career). Professor Shippey currently holds the Walter J. Ong Chair in the Humanities at Saint Louis University in Missouri.

Professor Shippey says he feels very honored to come to the Academy because he, as an Englishman, is deeply grateful to America for her help during World War II and would like "to give something back."

In any number of recent polls, J.R.R. Tolkien has been declared "the greatest author of the Twentieth Century." Anyone interested in Tolkien's works (and even those who are mystified by the passionate response so many have had to them) should come to hear Professor Shippey and, with him, travel the Road to Middle-earth.

Monday, November 18, 2002
Denmark TTT Happenings - Xoanon @ 23:54 PST
Ringer Spy Aragorn_dk writes:

Met a guy today at Nørreport in Copenhagen - Lurtz, actually - or a twin, who was handing out free newspapers concerning TTT/plus a LOTR Fan Fair to be held in Copenhagen on nov. 30th-dec. 1st, at KB Hallen, *pic attached* with guests from Weta Workshop Warren Mahy and Ben Wootten, and british guests Allan and Michael Perry who designed the Games Workshops LOTR Strategy Battle Game, plus an auction with - among other things - a signed drawing made by Alan Lee, signed by Alan Lee, Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor, and a movie prop from one of the LOTR movies.

The newspaper that our local Lurtz was handing out contains a lot of articles, only about LOTR/FOTR & TTT, with - among other things - a huge interview with Peter Jackson and SFX Weta Workshop man Richard Taylor, a review of the Electronic Arts game LOTR:TTT, and an internet guide to the Tolkien universe with lots of links to home pages all over the net.

Danish Tolkien fans will also get the opportunity to try out a Tolkien-related 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire', win tickets to the Galla Opening of LOTR:TTT in Copenhagen, try a tournament in either LOTR TCG and/or LOTR Risk, there will be a figurine painting contest, plus a possibility to try your hand at fencing using either battle axe or sword - with RPG weapons, of course.

Oh, and there's also going to be a make-up workshop where you can get made up as an orc or an elf and buy latex masks like the ones used in the movies, and for the younger guests there'll be Bilbo's Hobbit Hole, where the kids can celebrate Bilbo's 111th birthday with cake and all.

It turned out that the guy handing out free newspapers is one of the members of FANATIC, a danish group of RPG people who arrange all kinds of things Role Playing Game-wise here in Denmark.

Just wanted to tell you guys out there that it isn't just in the US and Oz/NZ that Tolkien fans arrange things... ;o)

Swedish TTT Ticket Sales Pics - Xoanon @ 23:49 PST
Ringer Spy Pasqua writes:

Today, the tickets for TTT were released in Sweden. I arrived at 5:15 in the morning, and the theater opened at 8:00. There were already more than 100 persons in front of me in the line by then. You could buy up to 8 tickets each - I bought six. A lot of people had been camping outside, even though Växjö is quite a small town with only 50 000 inhabitants. Lots of high school and university students were playing hookie also. I've enclosed some pics I took, they're just an hour old or so. The title on the tickets, "Sagan om de två tornen", means "The Tale of the Two Towers", as that's what the book's called here.

TTT Premiere In Ireland For Arthiritis Foundation - Xoanon @ 13:08 PST
Alatar writes: The Irish Premiere of "The Two Towers" will be held in the Savoy Cinema, Dublin on the 17th of December. It's in aid of the Arthiritis Foundation and tickets are €45 each. I've set up a line party for this event and I'd like if you could put a message up on the website so Irish Ringers know about the Premiere as it has not been advertised here and tickets are still available. It will very shortly be going to the corporate sector and fans will have little to no chance of getting tickets once that happens.

Be sure to check out our line party section for YOUR chance to set up a TTT party, or join one!

Sunday, November 17, 2002
LOTR & HP Fans Merge Line Parties In Rochester! - Strider @ 14:54 PST
Asarina sent in this account of how the members of the Rochester Line Party and some Harry Potter fans got together and had a whale of the time, despite their loyalties to their respective franchises.

The Chateau Theatres Line Party invited fans of that other popular fantasy world to their December 18th party last night. These Ringers in Rochester, Minnesota got permission from the Chateau Theatre's management to pass out flyers, talk about the event they are planning, and share fannish excitement with Harry Potter fans.

Nine of the line were able to take part, some in costume and some wearing Fellowship t-shirts. While chatting with HP fans, they also created a neat collage and played with action figures and the Burger King toys from last year. We discovered the action figure Lurtz bow will shoot a little arrow for about 15 feet across the lobby. Also, the lobby is very noisy at times and one can hardly hear oneself singing "hey, ho, to the bottle I go...," helping us understand some of the logistics of running our trivia contest and costume contest on December 18th.

Line Party members passed out over 400 pocket-sized flyers to interested movie-goers -- the most common reaction was "Cool! I'll be there!"

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