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December 02, 2001 - December 12, 2001

Wednesday, December 12, 2001
Niagra Fan Happening - Xoanon @ 23:09 PST

Tim Moran writes: I have some nice information to any Tolkien fan who lives in the Niagara Region.

I'm employed at the Niagara Square Cinplex Odeon Theater, in Niagara Falls Ontario. For the past five months, some co-workers and myself have been planning a special treat for any one who might be coming out to see The Lord Of The Rings, in the first week of it's release.

We have decorated the theater in middle earth fashion, with paintings, hand-drawn banners, two 24 foot statues of the gaurds in Lothlorien, a nine foot replica of Caradhras, and many more surprises. We will also be raffeling off a bus shelter size teaser banner which has been plaque mounted and framed, all of the proceeds will go to the Niagara Region Boys and Girls club. For those who come out on the opening night, The Lord of the Rings VW Beetle will be on display at the theater. Of course there will be costumes, prize give aways and more surpirses for everyone to enjoy.

Hopefully you could pass this information on to get as many people out as possible for an event that will be remembered.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001
'Meet Ian McKellen' Contest Winners - Xoanon @ 17:09 PST
Winners for the 'Meet Ian McKellen in NYC' contest have been announced on McKellen.com.

The grand prize winner is:

Claire Pisapia of Summit, New Jersey

Second prize winners are:

Josh Zulli of Hartland, Wisconsin
Sacha Dominis of Rome, Italy
William Colwell of Ypsilanti, Michigan


London Premiere Pictures - Xoanon @ 12:21 PST
Ringer Spy Eledhwen sends us these 10 great snaps of the LOTR stars attending the LOTR:FOTR premiere in London yesterday!

More Premiere Reports - Xoanon @ 11:00 PST
From: Torper

I attended the world premiere yesterday and it was amazing.

I arrived around 7.00 and outside the Odeon it was packed with fans and journalists. I went inside and got seated. Inside the theatre they showed everything that was going on outside. The celebrities arriving, interviews etc. All of the main cast except Cate Blanchet was there and also, off course, Peter Jackson, Barrie Osborne, Saul Zaentz etc. Finally the doors of the theatre were closed and the light darkened. The excutive producers introduced Peter Jackson - afterwards Peter Jackson introduced the cast. Then the movie began... and it was amazing.

My favorite scene is when we see Arwen for the first time (that is also the first time we see an elf in the film) - that's art. But the whole movie has a kind of artistic feel to it. This is very much caused by the digital effects - but I must say that the effects are a part of the story, so you don't see the effects as just special effects - but you see it as a "natural" thing in the world which the movie describes - so it's not a "look what we can do" film (as we have seen plenty of times), but a movie where the effects are used to tell the story - that's rare.

All the actors were, without exception, excellent. Especially McKellen - the number of different facial expressions he is using...wow! There is something very wrong if he dosen't get an Oscar for best actor.

Well, since there's only 8 days to the real premiere, I won't go into details (write if you have any questions) - the overall impression is that the movie is massive, epic, ranging from ultra closeups to wide perspective shots - from good to evil - horrific to the cosy - sad to the fun etc. etc. We get the whole package.

After the movie buses took us to the afterparty in the Tobacco Docks. Inside a huge building Middle Earth came to life with stands of food and drinks, waiters in custome etc. Too amazing to describe. It was a great party where I had the chance to talk a little bit with Dominic Monaghan. On my way home in the bus I sat next to Andy Serkins who introduced me to the Director of Animation on the movie Randy Cook. He was glad (I hope) to answer any question I had in regards to this amazing production.

And that's it. An experience of life had ended - and all there is left is to thank all crew and cast for it all. Cheers y'all - well done.

From: Logan

I was there early and was one row back from the fence opposite the doors to the Odeon. The massed ranks of press photographers were just to one side and things looked good. Two young Sean Bean fan-girls in front of me and an American/Scottish Rings fan to one side (we got talking waiting for things to happen). A lot of people in the crowd were there just to see "stars", not necessarily those actually in the movie, but quiet a few had read the books and were there for the film itself.

It was cold but the crush of the crowd helped (except for my feet, despite the two pairs of socks I was wishing for hairy toes!!) and everyone was good-humoured. One of the Sean Bean fan club knew one of the door staff and he filled us in on the schedule - only two or three hours to wait.

Then it began and the "geeky fan-boy" inside me took over. Leaning to catch a glimpse, checking the faces, trying to spot someone without their make-up and telling the press pack who was who.

John Rhys-Davies was first, but reluctant to sign autographs. I did get a smile (I think) as I cried out "Khazad! Khazad!". It seems that most of the celebs had been advised/told not to sign - damn those PR people!!

Christopher Lee!! Looking tall, very tall, distinguished and old. Again, no signing on our section of the rail. A fan-boy to my right going hyper at his Hammer House of Horror hero!

Sean Astin, Sam, old chap! went in with a wave but amazingly returned to sign some books, mine and my American friends, of which more later, as the rest of the hobbits arrived. One down, many to go.

Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd spent a lot of time signing further up the line (good for them) but as they neared us Elijah Wood arrived and everything dissolved into a lot of group hugs. The PR wranglers sorted them out and led Elijah to the press bank beside us for photos. Our section was doing the best to get him to sign, but he said that he couldn't. The American beside me had an old, well thumbed, copy of the Fellowship and begged, and pleaded, refusing to give up and, eventually, Elijah took the book and pen to sign the front cover!! Kudos!! The PR wranglers took over again and Frodo was spirited away.

Gandalf was there! Sir Ian McKellen of course looking dapper with, I think, his two sons. Very graciously he left the photo call and signed the inside page of the, now very treasured, Fellowship for my colleague in arms. Wow! Fan heaven and backslapping! And then he, He, Gandalf, Ian McKellen, signed across the beard of the full-page Gandalf pic in my official movie guide. I looked at it and what a rush, "Gandalf! YES!!" I whooped and the venerable knight of the stage raised an eyebrow in my direction before exiting into the foyer.

Peter Jackson? Where? Peter Jackson!!! Suited and booted with an open necked shirt he again apologised for not being allowed to sign as he stood for photos just a few feet from us.

Viggo Mortensen, now this was one I really wanted, he looked very nervous about it all, his hair long and very red falling over a fantastic suit. No signatures though.

Liv Tyler, one of the loudest receptions of the evening I think, looking striking in a scarlet trouser suit. Photos only again.

Orlando Bloom was standing for photos until Elijah burst out of the foyer and actually leapt on him in a great hug. Kisses all round with Liv and a joint photo with Elijah and Liv.

Other celebs passed, with others commenting on who they were, pop stars and "b-lists" until "Sean!! SEAN!!" the two young girls waving and cheering as he spent ages talking to the TV crews across the walkway. The Hammer fan organised a countdown, "3, 2, 1, SEAN!!", a good dozen simultaneous voices attracting his attention, but to no avail. The PR hounds kept him at bay and, despite a wave and, I think, a promise to go in and come back out again, he never did.

It all began to die down, other celebs past, none, except for Enya, involved with he movie. Music from the film had been playing quietly and in snippets throughout the evening and Enya spent some time signing and talking about singing in Elvish, comparing it to Gaelic.

I had already started thinking about leaving, not wanting to wait the 3 hours until the end, when our fan-girls friend crossed the red carpet.

"I could only get one" he said passing a piece of paper to one of the girls. I glimpsed it, then looked again. A TICKET!! signed and stamped! A TICKET!!!! to the PREMIERE???? She was gone, running to find a gap in the barriers and walk down past the press leaving her friend to wonder how to fill in the time waiting for her friend to emerge and feeling a little sad "she hasn't even read the book".

I left them, promising to meet the holder of the triple signed book (Gandalf, Frodo and Sam, wow!) on the opening day at the 11:40 performance we both had tickets for. The rest descended on the heavy card posters, which had been slung over the rails, laying claim to any they could grab.

World Premiere Report! - Xoanon @ 01:19 PST
From: Eledhwen

LOTR World Premiere

Well, I’m back.

What a day! I had an incredible, amazing time. I made notes through the waiting period, so I’ll give it to you almost as it was – I’ve just tidied it all up.

I posted my last message at 3.15pm, and was back in front of the cinema by 3.30, where I got back my place in the second row of people in front of the main doors. By 3.50 I’d taken out pen and paper …

3.50pm: TV crews are going around interviewing people, trying to find the most obsessive Tolkien fan. News reporters complete with stepladders are gathering in vengeance, as is the crowd. There’s a police dog van – the dogs are checking the cinema for bombs and things. My feet are already getting cold and painful. I wish I was a press photographer … there seem to be different coloured passes – yellow on the left, blue on the right, and orange passes are gathering to go inside. A hobbit is being filmed … the policewoman near us has a phone to match her jacket. There’s a group of TORN line partiers near me.

4.05pm: the orange-pass people are going in. I’ve discovered I have the World’s #1 Madonna fan next to me, convinced she’s coming – he’s got a jacket autographed by random celebrities. The international TV crews are swarming.

The gas canisters by the Rings are being covered with black bin bags and we’re cheering for the TV. A man with pointed ears is calling, “Read all about it, Frodo Baggins ate my hamster! Who’s an obsessive?” Which seems like a redundant question here. Lots of people around me come to loads of premieres and have been here since noon.

4.25pm: A blue carpet is being unrolled and stuck down with gaffer tape. The line partiers have Burger King meals with Saruman inside. Claims are already being made for the big cardboard posters attached to the barriers. I wish I was taller and wearing another pair of socks.

A guy in a Gandalf costume eating Hula-Hoops (potato crisps shaped like rings) is being filmed – some people think he’s vaguely familiar under the beard. I get chatting to one of the line party people who is the White Lady of Rohan. She gets the Ring-verse tattoo on her arm filmed before chatting up a presenter from ‘This Morning’ in a pink shirt and a frankly hideous suit who’s called Mark. My section of the crowd gets filmed for ‘This Morning’ cheering again … and again … and again … being on TV is tiring!

5.15pm: Nothing is happening at the moment. We’re told Jude Law’s coming and remind each other to breathe. We get filmed for ‘This Morning’ yet again.

5.30pm: The ten Rings are lit and start flaming nicely. The soundtrack I’ve been trying to avoid is playing, but quietly. The White Lady of Rohan and I discuss how to pronounce Eowyn. The two St. John’s Ambulance people are cheered as they go in. The White Lady of Rohan flirts with a cute policeman.

At 6pm, people start arriving, and then at 6.07pm John Rhys-Davies turns up in black tie. He won’t look at us! Christopher Lee appears next, regal and very tall.

Next all hell breaks loose as the hobbits come in quick succession, all looking dapper in nice suits. My camera won’t focus and I panic and then have to change film just as Elijah Wood shows up … all the hobbits sign autographs – I didn’t get one – and then hurry in to have a group photo.

Viggo Mortensen is next (cue scream from yours truly and general confusion from the people behind who’ve not heard of him). He looks gorgeous in a long blue coat with a red flower in his buttonhole. Very smooth and very calm.

Peter Jackson, The Man Himself, disappoints everyone by coming in trousers and shoes and an open-necked purple shirt. He really does look like a hobbit! Ian McKellen, smiling broadly, waves at everyone and signs a few autographs. Bless him. He seems thrilled to be here.

Liv Tyler is welcomed with screams. Oddly, the men around me seem disappointed … she’s wearing a sort of red suit thing and beams for the cameras. To the White Lady of Rohan’s delight, Orlando Bloom is next. We all greet him enthusiastically – I decide he’s even better looking in the flesh. Liv and Elijah re-emerge and everyone hugs everyone else – they all seem delighted to see each other again.

There’s a lull now. A few minor celebrities arrive, including the pop group Hearsay. The World’s #1 Madonna fan decides to move to a different spot because he’s not getting any autographs – I for one am glad to see him go because he’s been yelling at said pop group for five unproductive minutes. Everything hurts – my back, my feet, my hand from holding my camera …

Sean Bean is the last cast member to arrive and talks to the TV for ages, before being dragged in by the minders. Ian Holm came in the middle of all this mayhem, I saw him briefly waving at the news cameras.

By 6.45pm there is a moment of calm, broken by Enya who turns out to be tiny and pretty in black. She does come and sign things – but not my pad! Grr!

Now other celebrities arrive in trickles – more pop groups, Bob Geldof, Dougray Scott – did I mention Cliff Richard earlier, and just for the Estrogen Hour girls, Rufus Sewell?

By 7.15pm silence has fallen. Somewhere over our heads Enya is singing. It all seems a bit unreal. My toes have no circulation and my leg is cramping. Ruby Wax is almost last in, hurrying up and disappearing immediately. People start cutting posters off the barriers – there aren’t nearly enough to go around, I don’t get one. Jude Law never came …

Finally we get ushered away by policemen and head round to where a group of costumed fans are being filmed, in case they happen to be the TORN line party. They’re not, but the one dressed as Legolas says he comes to TORN sometimes. We chat a bit more with Mark from ‘This Morning’ and get to see his (pink) party pass, and he divulges that it’s at somewhere called Tobacco. Apparently.

Heading off around the square our little group of Tolkien fans stop to watch the giant screen play the Enya ‘May It Be’ video, and a trailer for another LOTR video. Next stop is Burger King for refreshments and decisions …

I say farewell to the others at Leicester Square underground station, where they’re trying to decide whether to find the party or to go home. I go to Victoria and catch the coach back to Oxford, tired and slowly coming down to earth. What a day.

Monday, December 10, 2001
Ticket Sales: Australia - Xoanon @ 08:28 PST
Paul writes: At least 1 of the 3 major movie theatre chains in Sydney, Australia (Hoyts Cinemas) has started selling advance tickets for the opening day of Fellowship of the Ring from today.

Fellowship opens in Australia a week after the rest of the world on December 26. I just picked up my tickets from the box office and was told that tickets are "selling well". Get in soon!

Sunday, December 09, 2001
LOTR Cast On TRL This Week - Xoanon @ 17:38 PST
Ranger of the North writes: Hello there, I thought this might be interesting to anyone thinking of trying to get tickets to the Total Request Live show with the LOTR cast on December 14th.

I went to MTV's site in hopes of getting a ticket to this Friday's show which will have the entire Lord of the Rings cast and sadly found out that I'm too OLD to attend:

Here's the information from MTV.com F.A.Q.

How can I get tickets for TRL?

If you are planning on visiting New York and want to be part of the studio audience, call the TRL hotline at (212) 398-8549. You must be between the ages of 18 and 24. [More]

Thursday, December 06, 2001
Atlanta Fan Happening - Xoanon @ 00:47 PST
From: ForceTen

We had a small gathering last weekend - what great fun, sitting and talking to folks who you have never met before, yet instantly have something in common with! No conversational worries that's for sure.

Anyway, the reason that I am mailing you is this: The Atlanta line party is having another gathering tomorrow, and I was wondering if you could help - we need more people! As an incentive, I have two pairs of tickets to a 12:01 AM showing of The Fellowship of the Ring (at the Genereal Cinemas 15 in Vinings) that I will give away a pair to two lucky people. Here's where we are meeting:

Time: 8 PM EST
The Place: The Local Ponce de Leon Ave Atlanta

Map & Phone

Tuesday, December 04, 2001
Fan Happening in Finland - Xoanon @ 17:45 PST
I arrived at Tennispalatsi at 6 pm on Sunday (the advance sales began at 10 am on Monday 3th Dec). There were about 15 people in the line, some of them had been there since Saturday morning or so. We had a lot of stuff with us: a tent, sleeping bags, a table hockey game, lotsa food, cd player, chairs (and, well, some alcohol too).

It was really cool to be there. Finnkino (the theatre company) provided us electricity and gave us cookies and warm drinks. In the morning when we woke up, the line reached the other corner of the large theatre complex, it was about 200 m(?). When they let us in, some guy with a tie welcomed us and about 50 first people in the line got cool posters! There was no limit for the amount of tickets purchased so one guy bought 30 of 'em...

My 16 tickets are, of course, to the premiere at Tennispalatsi 1, 19th Dec at 0:01 am.

Check out images from the event here.

Sunday, December 02, 2001
LOTR And AIM - Xoanon @ 23:40 PST
Carangil writes: I just wanted to let you know about AOL instant messenger. There is an automated computer screen name, RingMessenger, that you can instant message and it tells you about FOTR. It has some links to the main site as well. It also says that tickets go on sale, I assume in the U.S., on Dec. 5. I don't know if this is any new news, but I thought I'd pass it along.

There is also an AIM photogalery with a few images.

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