Go back to Fan News Archives

February 23, 2003 - March 14, 2003

Friday, March 14, 2003
BIlly Boyd In Medicine Hat Report - Xoanon @ 11:24 PST
Fooph sends in this report from the 'Six Scottish Shorts' screening in Medicine Hat, Alberta last night. Billy was in attendance to promote the Scottish film industry, and to garner some attention for some local Scottish talent to brought with him. Take a look!

The real reason I wrote is to thank you for posting the news about Billy Boyd's attendance of the Medicine Hat Film Festival. Myself and two friends drove the hour and a half from Lethbridge (where we attend University) to go see and hopefully meet Billy. With a twinge of guilt, I must admit that I did not go to the film festival solely to see six Scottish Shorts. But then, the reason Billy is traveling with the films is to promote them and bring people who normally would not care to see short films (such as perhaps myself) out to experience the art. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the films anyway. They were all well done and most of them were quite profound. A well spent $7.

Anyway, when Billy was called up (after the MC called him Billy Elliot by mistake - a good chuckle) he literally pranced up to the mike. He said that he was seeing some of the films for the first time that night as well. After his intro, the MC tripped over a step while returning to the front and fell towards Billy. He made a joke of it and a short little hug ensued. Billy is absolutely hilarious. He doesn't seem to miss any comedic opportunity.

After the shorts (I must mention once again that they were quite good) there was a short question and answer period. He made another little comedic performance when trying to sit on the stage that was at his shoulder height. He made a few fake jumps at it then the MC pushed him up. Quite funny. There were some questions about the Scottish film industry, one about his high budget vs. low budget preference (no preference), some about his film specifically including what drew him to that script (apparently it was the first Sci Fi every filmed in Scotland among other reasons), and one about the games 'Cup' and 'Teg'.

I asked if he and Dom were still working on their script together. He told about how that started (while they were sitting in Treebeard's 'branches' with nothing else to do) and how it's coming along. They finished a first draft and the people they showed it to liked it but wanted to bring writers in on it. He still doesn't know if they're going to do that but right now they're working on a second draft and Dom has it.

After all that there was a little thing down the street at a bar called "Mario's". A little 'rub shoulders with Billy Boyd' thing. The three of us had a nice little chat with him and got pictures of the three of us with him (sadly not digital so I can't share them now). I got my booklet from the FOTR Extended edition signed and one of the friends I was with got her Two Towers book signed somewhere in the chapter where Pippin and Merry are talking to Treebeard. We thanked him for his time and I had a good trip home once I quieted down the two screaming girls.

I would definitely recommend anyone who can to go see Billy and the films in Edmonton or Burlington. He is a very funny and friendly guy and the shorts are awesome too.

Oh, as I was leaving the theatre, a lady asked to take a picture of my 'TheOneRing.net, Top Ten Signs You Are A Tolkien Fan' hoody! That was kind of cool. I thought I would mention that for obvious reasons.

Thank you once again for letting us all know that this was happening as I would have had no idea otherwise and would have been severely disappointed had I found out afterwards. Keep up the quality, informative, and up-to-date work.

Thursday, March 13, 2003
The Shieldmaidens: Walk to Rivendell. - Tehanu @ 21:44 PST
The Shieldmaidens, members of The Eowyn Challenge,a new on-line Weight Watchers/LOTR fan group, are organizing a nationwide fitness challenge called The Walk to Rivendell. [But hey, it could be WORLD-wide, right? - Tehanu] Using Middle Earth atlas maps and the trilogy as references, members are committing to walking the same distance as Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin travelled from Hobbiton to Rivendell. This is a month long challenge, and small prizes will be awarded to the first Shieldmaidens to make it to Rivendell.

The Shieldmaidens were formed when on-line ww members noticed that many of them had the same LOTR quote on their personal signatures. The group uses their love for LOTR as inspiration to succeed at their personal health and fitness goals. Each member has committed to a specific goal to achieve by the opening of Return of the King. The Shieldmaidens would like to welcome the global community to take part in The Walk to Rivendell. For more information on The Walk or The Shieldmaidens, e-mail Jax at eowynchallenge@hotmail.com

Sunday, March 09, 2003
The Ring Goes Ever On: Tolkien 2005 - Tehanu @ 16:07 PST
2005: The Ring Goes Ever On

Last Month at Current Prices!

First Registration Rate Increment

Current Rates valid only until 31st March 2003

Current Rates (2002) GBP/USD/EURO

Members of participating societies (adult) £35.00 - $53.00 - e63.00
Non-members (adult) £40.00 - $60.00 - e72.00
Members of participating societies (junior) £17.50 - $26.50 - e31.50
Non-members (junior) £20.00 - $30.00 - e36.00
Child (under 10) £1.00 - $2.00 - e2.00
Supporting £12.50 - $18.50 - e22.50
For details of Participating Societies see over. Ages are those at the start of the conference. Supporting members receive all publications but do not attend the conference. Supporting membership may be upgraded at any time by paying the difference between the current supporting and appropriate full rate. Note these rates do not include accommodation, accommodation details will be provided later.

New Rates (from April 1st 2003) GBP/USD/EURO
Members of participating societies (adult) £45.00 - $73.00 - e68.00
Non-members (adult) £50.00 - $81.00 - e75.00
Members of participating societies (junior) £22.50 - $37.00 - e35.00
Non-members (junior) £25.00 - $41.00 - e38.00
Child (under 10) £1.00 - $2.00 - e2.00
Supporting £17.50 - $29.00 - e27.00
You can book on-line www.tolkiensociety.org/2005 or by post:

United Kingdom & Rest of World bookings All Credit Card payments
28 Loverock Crescent
CV21 4AR
United Kingdom

European bookings All Euro payments
Hoge Rijdnijk 195
The Netherlands

North American bookings All US Dollar payments
PO Box 394
CA 91001

Tolkien 2005:

The Ring Goes Ever On

Aston University, Birmingham, England,
11 – 15 August 2005

Celebrating 50 Years of "The Lord of the Rings"

A five day conference to be held in the city that Tolkien grew up in.

Programme of Events to Include:

Opening Ceremony – Guest of Honour Speaker – Lectures and Panels

Evening Entertainment – Dealers Room – Art Show & Auction – Quizzes – Video Room

Panel topics: Art – Authors – Dramatisation – Ecology – Languages – Philology

Participating Societies

The conference is intended to be as international as possible. The Tolkien Society is inviting other Tolkien Societies around the world to join with us in organising the content (lectures, panels, entertainment etc) of the conference. In recognition of the assistance that they give to Tolkien 2005, members of all Participating Societies will gain the same reduced registration rates as members of the Tolkien Society.
Current Participating Societies are:

The Tolkien Society

The Mythopoeic Society

Elanor, The Belgian Tolkien Society

Sociedad Tolkiendili de Mιxico, The Mexican Tolkien Society

Arthedain, The Norwegian Tolkien Society

The Brazilian Tolkien Society

Eredain, The Swiss Tolkien Society
Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft, The German Tolkien Society
If you belong to a society not listed above and you wish to get involved, please write to the International Co-Ordinator, c/o 30 Span Meadow, Shawbirch, TELFORD, United Kingdom. TF5 0NE or send an email to: 2005.international@tolkiensociety.org

Thursday, February 27, 2003
Xoanon At St. Lawrence U With Viggo Mortensen! - Xoanon @ 15:04 PST
Tomorrow night I'll be heading over the Ambassador Bridge and into New York State to meet Viggo Mortensen at St. Lawrence University.

Viggo will be there to showcase his book of art and poetry 'Signlanguage', to read some poetry and catch the FOTR: Extended Edition with a whole lot of like-minded fans!

I'll be down there until Sunday morning, you can reach me at the Comfort Suites in the heart of Canton.

315.386.1161, ask for Michael Regina (my unfortunate real life nickname). I always love to get together with TORNadoes while on the road!

For more information on the event, follow the link below. Be aware, some of the events are sold-out. [More]

Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Fun Stuff: Sewing, Hair Braiding, Literary Study Groups. - Tehanu @ 04:54 PST
Never be bored again:

2. Fun Stuff
On March 16, 2003, Tolkien's Ring, a popular literary site, will be commencing their study of the final part of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: The Return of the King. [More]

Thanks to Glorfindle [that's how he spells it] for the news. Also check out our own Reading Room on the TORN messageboard, where Blue Wizard is leading some discussions on TTT.

Legolas Braid: Mary writes to tell us that she has put up more detailed instructions specifically for that Legolas braid to make it easier for all the other Tolkien junkies. More]

Ioreth writes for the crafty sewers among you: "Finally! Elven cloak fabric will be available per meter/yard! Which is great great news for us textile fans." :) ... [More]

"Apparently some of the props makers (like these fabrics makers, and shoe makers and the ring maker) have their own "merchandise" - which I applaud VERY VERY much! So much thought and so beautiful things - more durable more useful and more fitting than (plastic) action figures and stuff ..."

Monday, February 24, 2003
RingCon 2003 Images - Xoanon @ 13:23 PST
dr00g writes: I have great pics from Ringcon. I went there today and really had a blast. It was almost a surreal experience especially after meeting Brad Dourif and all. Apparently he just recently went through dental surgery and was on medication, but that didn't stop him from doing two Q&A sessions with autograph/picture sessions following, what a guy! I have assembled some pics I took and luckily I got one with Brad himself!

Sunday, February 23, 2003
Sean Astin At Texas A&M Report - Xoanon @ 10:55 PST
DeeDee writes: Hi, my roommate Shannon and I attended Sean Astin's tribute at Texas A&M, and I thought I'd submit our experience:

We arrived at Texas A&M two hours before Sean was scheduled to speak. We'd only been sitting there about ten minutes, and I was working on homework, when Shan grabbed my arm and whispered, "DeeDee!" It was Sean walking right past us with a few other people. The guy in charge of the event walked past us a few minutes later, and Shan asked if it would be ok to ask Sean for an autograph, and he said he'd find out.

A little while later, I heard, "Hi, I'm Sean," and I looked up from my homework to see Sean shaking Shan's hand. Shan introduced herself, then Sean offered his hand to me and held it firmly while I told him my name, and he said again, "I'm Sean, nice to meet you." He asked us where we were from and that sort of thing.

Then he looked down at my notebook and asked what I was working on, and I said, "Study questions for a class." And he said, "Oh really? What class?" I told him it was for a Tolkien class, and he said, "Wow! Can I see these?" He reached down and took the sheet of study questions on TTT, and read off the first question, about the nature of lembas. He said, "Hmmm, the nature of lembas." And I said, "I might get extra points if I had Sam's authoritative opinion." So he answered the question, then started going down the list and reading a few questions. After a little while, his filmographer (who had been standing at the side of my bench), moved around by Sean and also started looking at the questions.

As if I wasn't already about to die, Sean then said, "Would you two do me a favor and pose for a picture with me?" Erm, let me think..... yes?! So we got up and Sean put an arm around each of us. As his filmographer was setting up the camera to take our picture, Sean said, "Is it ok if I put these on my website?" Then the filmographer offered to take pictures with our cameras.

At this point, there were several people starting to gather around, so I figured Sean would move on. But he saw that we had brought things for him to sign, and he took Shan's big calendar page first. He said while he signed hers, "I always write 'The road goes ever on.' I should probably start using a good Sam quote." Then he took my calendar picture and said, "Ohhh, this is Mr. Frodo and I seeing the oliphaunt!" While he was signing mine, Shan asked jokingly what he had learned from working with Pauly Shore. Sean kind of laughed and said, "Um... I'd have to think about that for a while." He gave me my page, and he had written, "DeeDee, If they don't believe you back home, show them the picture + tell them to relax. Thanks for coming to visit! Sean Astin (Sam)"

After that, we knew it was about time for Sean to move on to the other people, because there were quite a few around us now. But he asked what we were studying in school. Shan told him about what she's studying in seminary, and then said, "And DeeDee's just gonna be an English teacher." Sean said, "I agree with everything up to the 'just an English teacher' part." He said how he was an English major, and that English teachers didn't get paid nearly enough. I told him my parents are highschool English teachers. Then we talked about Jane Austen, and how he had visited Jane Austen's home in Bath.

After that, we thanked him for his time, and he said, "No, thank you, it always amazes me how much trouble people go to to see me." He started talking and signing autographs for the other people, and at one point, one of the other girls said she was an English major. Sean pointed at me and said, "Hey, DeeDee's an English major too!"

While he was talking to us out in the foyer, he told us that he is planning to film an epic about the Galveston storm of 1900, and that we were the first people he was announcing it to, even before the press. Then he had to go to the press conference, and he invited us in to listen. But the people in charge said that wouldn't work, so he apologized to us and said he'd be back out soon.

He came out later, signed more autographs, and they took him somewhere else before his tribute began. I used the time to call home and gush insanely about what had just happened.

At noon, we went into the auditorium, and we had first row center seats. Sean was introduced, and he talked about how he had just sent flowers to his mother for her last night performing on Broadway. Then he talked about a movie he tried to make when he was a little kid, called "The Enchanted Dreamer," and how he wanted his dad to be in it.

Next he described his first acting lesson. He was filming a movie with his mother, where he played an abused child. He started giggling during the scene where she was "abusing" him, and she pulled him aside and lectured him about how she took a chance on him, etc. He started crying, and the director shot the scene. Then his mother told him, "That's acting!"

After that story, they showed two clips from Goonies. Everyone was cheering and clapping really loudly. Then Sean talked about how they had filmed the two scenes we saw. The first was the map scene where he tells the story about the pirates, and Sean told us that the speech was written for someone else, but the director gave it to him. He just told Sean the story and then wanted Sean to retell it in sort of a rambling, impromptu kind of way. The other scene was the one in the wishing well, and Sean just described how originally, it was shot with Mikey looking down at the others, and Spielberg changed it to have him looking up at everyone, and how that really changed the dynamic of the scene.

Next was a clip from Memphis Belle, where Sean's character bores a woman at a party. Sean laughed and said, "Just so you know, I've been married for ten years, I do know how to pick up girls!" After that was a Toy Soldiers clip, and right when it started, Sean exclaimed, "the naked one?!" Apparently he's naked in that movie, I haven't seen it. But everyone was laughing.

After that, the moderator asked him about the impact of 9/11. Sean talked a bit about politics, and his friends who were impacted by the disaster at the Pentagon. He told us how on that morning, Elijah had taken a plane from NY to LA, and Sean was worried about him until he found out Elijah was safe. He also recommended Bowling for Columbine.

Then came his official announcement of his plan to film an epic love story set during the Galveston storm. He described how he bought the rights, has been working on it for three years, and plans to shoot it on location.

Next they showed a funny clip from Encino Man, where he gets stapled to a wall, and a great clip from Rudy, where he first goes into the locker room and stands on the stool. People cheered really loudly for that clip. Sean mentioned how he thought Jerry Goldsmith's score for that film was beautiful, and never got an Oscar nomination.

After that, we saw a couple of LotR clips, where Gandalf throws him on the table, and then the scene with him running out to the boat. People were cheering so loudly we missed the first several lines of the clip.

Then they showed his short film, which he shot on the LotR set, "The Long and Short of It." People were cheering when they saw PJ driving the bus, and laughing during the credits, whenever they saw the names of Elijah, Dom, Billy, and the others. When the film ended, they presented him with the Texas Film Festival award for best short film, and Sean looked surprised and genuinely moved.

Next was the question and answer time. Shan asked him for his favorite rule of Tig, and he said he really didn't know, because he always preferred Cup. Someone asked him about him directing the helicopters. He was asked to show his tattoo, and he took off his shoe and sock and showed it to us, on his ankle. But we weren't allowed to take pictures.

He talked about his injury with the glass in his foot, and about another time when an Elven loom fell on his head and knocked him out. He said the swelling was so bad, it was pushing up his wig. A girl from the "Texas Ringers" presented him with some kind of pin. A girl asked (in a subtle way) if he thought Sam and Frodo had a homosexual relationship, and he said that he personally didn't think so. At one point he said "Mr. Frodo" in his Sam voice, and everyone went "Awww!" and Sean laughed.

Another girl asked if he had ever seen the Very Secret Diaries, and he laughed and said he had. Then he said how most of that online stuff was "all about Orlando and how cute he is." And someone yelled, "Viggo!" Some people started whistling and cheering, and Sean laughed and said, "Yes, Viggo. And they always tell me how beauuutiful Elijah's eyes are. But one of the crew once told me, 'If you want your man true - Sam's your man."

Everyone cheered, and then he had to leave immediately to catch his plane. As he walked out, he said, "I'm going to come back! That's a promise, and I keep my promises, Mr. Frodo!"

I had never met someone famous, so this day was completely unbelievable from beginning to end. Sean is a truly wonderful, friendly, and generous person, and we couldn't be more grateful to him for juggling a hectic schedule to allow us this

Go back to Fan News Archives