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March 08, 2002 - March 18, 2002

Monday, March 18, 2002
LOTR Fandom: Tokyo - Xoanon @ 10:41 PST
Areiel writes: I went to Tokyo last week, and FOTR was still going strong in the theaters there, so I decided to pop in and catch another viewing of the show. It was wonderful of course, and still managed to leave me in tears. But the amazing thing was how much cool stuff was on sale. They had for sale right in the theater:

-Two t-shirts, one with Frodo, and one with a montage of Saruman, Lurtz, and the Witch-king, both on black backgrounds
-A folio containing A4-size versions of all three major movie posters
-Tin badges of each of the major characters
-Various pens, notepads, mousepads, etc.

But the coolest thing they had was a lapel-pin rendering of the Lorien brooch, for only 500 yen (about US$4.25). Needless to say, I picked up a few for friends and so forth. I'll send in a scan this weekend. If any of you have friends in Japan, have them get you one of these.

Sunday, March 17, 2002
TTT Trailer: Canada - Xoanon @ 01:38 PST
Thioden writes: Hi, I hope this is the address to share LOTR news. Well, the TTT preview is being advertised in most Canadian newspapers. The preview will be available March 29th to the LOTR fans. Here is a list of the theatres in Quebec, Canada, which will have the preview:

-Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin
-Famous Players Starciti Montreal
-Famous Players Versailles
-Cineplex Odeon Place Lasalle
-Megaplex Guzzo Jacques Cartier 14
-Cineplex Odeon Boucherville
-Cineplex Odeon St-Bruno
-Famous Players Colossus Laval
-Megaplex Guzzo Pont-Viau 16
-Cinema St-Eustache
-Famous Players F.P.8 Greenfield Park
-Megaplex Guzzo Terrebonne 14
-Carrefour du Nord St-Jerome
-Cinema 9 Rock Forest
-Capitol St-Jean
-Famous Players Paramount
-Famous Players Colisee Kirkland*
-Le Cinema Guzzo Des Sources 10
-Megaplex Guzzo Taschereau 18
-Famous Players Centre Laval
-Famous Players Starciti Hull

* Xoanon here, I will be at the Famous in Kirkland on the 29th to watch the new teaser! More info later.

Friday, March 15, 2002
TTT Trailer: Oz - Xoanon @ 13:29 PST
Demosthenes sends us this memo from the Hoyts movie chain folks regarding the TTT trailer!

Lord of the Rings - new footage []

By Staff For all Lord of the Rings lovers we have some good news.

Roadshow Film Distributors will be releasing a new end spool into cinemas which contains an extra 4 minutes of footage from the next film in the trilogy (The Two Towers - due out this Christmas)

The extra footage will be attached to the end of Lord of the Rings from Friday, March 29 so Australian audiences will see it before the rest of the world. Here are a list of Hoyts Cinemas you can see it in:

New South Wales - Hoyts Chatswood Westfield, Hoyts Wetherill Park, Hoyts
Broadway, Hoyts Fox Studios, Hoyts Penrith, Hoyts Warringah, Hoyts Merrylands
Victoria - Hoyts Chadstone, Hoyts Highpoint, Hoyts Northland,
Hoyts Epping, Hoyts Forest Hill
Western Australia - Hoyts Carousel, Hoyts Queensgate
ACT - Hoyts Belconnen
South Australia - Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza
Queensland - Hoyts Myer Centre.

TTT Trailer: Oz - Xoanon @ 13:24 PST
Demosthenes sends us this memo from the Hoyts movie chain folks regarding the TTT trailer!

Lord of the Rings - new footage []

By Staff For all Lord of the Rings lovers we have some good news.

Roadshow Film Distributors will be releasing a new end spool into cinemas which contains an extra 4 minutes of footage from the next film in the trilogy (The Two Towers - due out this Christmas)

The extra footage will be attached to the end of Lord of the Rings from Friday, March 29 so Australian audiences will see it before the rest of the world. Here are a list of Hoyts Cinemas you can see it in:

New South Wales - Hoyts Chatswood Westfield, Hoyts Wetherill Park, Hoyts
Broadway, Hoyts Fox Studios, Hoyts Penrith, Hoyts Warringah, Hoyts Merrylands
Victoria - Hoyts Chadstone, Hoyts Highpoint, Hoyts Northland,
Hoyts Epping, Hoyts Forest Hill
Western Australia - Hoyts Carousel, Hoyts Queensgate
ACT - Hoyts Belconnen
South Australia - Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza
Queensland - Hoyts Myer Centre.

Thursday, March 14, 2002
Live In LA? Want To Meet LOTR:FOTR Film Editor John Gilbert? - Xoanon @ 11:54 PST
Discover How They Went From Dailies To Oscar Nominated Films...

American Cinema Editors presents "Invisible Art/Visible Artists"

Don't miss the second enlightening seminar to be held on the stage of the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre!

The seminar, consisting of this year's Oscar-nominated feature film editors, will focus on their contributions to the filmmaking process and the evolving art of editing.

No admission fee. Seating on a first come first serve basis.

Saturday Morning, March 23, 2002 10:00 am

The Hollywood Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90028


Panelists will be:

Jill Bilcock (Moulin Rouge!, Elizabeth),
Dody Dorn, A.C.E. (Memento, Insomnia),
Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13),
John Gilbert (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring),
Pietro Scalia, A.C.E. (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator).

Sponsored by The American Cinematheque, The Motion Picture Editors Guild, Runway Editing, and Variety.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002
Oklahoma 'Behind The Scenes' Screening Review - Xoanon @ 21:34 PST
From: Blues_Explosion

This is regarding a screening at the University of Oklahoma of Costas Botes documentary of the making of the Lord of the Rings movies.

He noted that this is a work on progress, it's not finalized, and some of the footage may never be seen again if they make many changes to the documentary. There were no captions explaining who everyone is in the documentary. They have over 1500 hours of footage from the sets, and are trying to narrow that down to a total of 16 - 18 hours of documentary. His plan (which he mentioned New Line Cinema might disagree with) is to release a documentary for each of the three films, as well as a 'best of' documentary. He would like them to be on DVD so people can skip around to see related sequences (such as creating ideas for hobbiton, then the set creation, then working on size scale problems in hobbiton, etc). And, unfortunately, Costas mentioned that he didn't think any of the documentary would be released until all three films are out.

All the footage shown was from FotR. Costas said something along the lines of "my hide's not worth enough to show footage from the other two movies."

Now for some of the things you get to see....

-- Viggo Mortensen fly fishing between takes.

-- Ringwraiths holding umbrellas.

-- Multiple sized recreations of the same sets and items, for the different scale shots (such as 3 versions of the front door to Bag End, one regular size, one small, and the one that was outside on the actual Hobbiton set).

-- lots and lots of incredible foam sculptures and miniatures

-- Liv Tyler riding a fake horse on the back of a pickup truck.

-- all the 10000 artificial leaves wired onto trees in Hobbiton

-- Armorers working on chain mail, which they had 10 km of if the chain pieces were laid end-to-end.

-- Some very funny scenes of the main hobbit actors in-between takes.

-- Alan Lee drawing in the forest.

-- miniature replicas of full sets, just for working out camera moves

-- animatics from the larger shots

-- lots of swordfighting practice

-- Peter Jackson complaining that they need a sofa to properly look at shots from the day in their screening room.

-- A girl who's only job is to watch for airplanes and tell the film crew when it's clear (they were near an airport).

-- some very tiny actors dressed just like the main hobbit characters, standing right beside the real actors

-- Ian McKellan giving a Sean Astin stand-in dummy (mannequin) a smack on the nose

-- Sean Astin getting medical treatment when he rams a stick through the bottom of his foot. Elija Wood comforts him by pointing out "man, that is a LOT of blood."

Overall, I was really impressed by what I saw. It gives you a sense of what it took to create this incredible set of films, what a huge, complex undertaking it really was. And it was very entertaining.

I can't wait until it's finished and available.

There and back again – a journey to middle earth XI - Xoanon @ 20:47 PST
I thought I would share with theonering.net my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour (http://www.redcarpet-tours.com). I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the eleventh installment.

Feb 28th

Today we spent the morning on a rafting excursion with extreme green rafting in Queenstown. We started off early, arriving at their office for an 8 o’clock bus. We were driven to ‘the barn,’ where we changed into wet suits, life jackets and helmets, and then hoped back on a bus to be taken to the Kawerau River. We took a shortened trip on the river – one that only goes down one set of rapids, past the Gates of Argonath (sans the statues of course) and stops at the bungee bridge. Our guide, Irish, was the best, and very amiable when we threatened to dress him up like a hobbit for future tour groups! Unfortunately, since this was a rafting trip, I did not bring my camera with me, and so I don’t have any pictures of the river – there was no doubt that we were seeing the Gates though, even without the statues.

We spent the afternoon heading back to Christchurch, back through the Kawerau Gorge, Lindis pass and the spectacular countryside. It is totally understandable that the cast of LOTR has grown so fond of this country, it has an unspoiled beauty that brings peace. Our trip is pretty much done at this point, just an early flight back to Auckland, where we will fine-tune the tour for all of you to come on!

Tomorrow – back to Auckland and a final wrap up.

Hobbit Party At SAG Awards - Xoanon @ 20:32 PST
Valarie writes:

Thought you might want to hear about the little adventure some friends and I had yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon some friends and I were sitting around watching "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" after having met Baz Luhrman this morning and turned it off to find that the SAG awards were on, and our very own Elijjah was on screen. Of course there was an outcry among the group at seeing this. Well Melanie suggested in passing that the Shrine Auditorium, where the awards were being held were really only 15 min away, did we want to make a run over there? In two minutes I had my shoes on and we were out the door.

Of course we didn't really expect to be able to see anything, in fact we were quite sure security would be so tight there's no way we'd be able to get in a hundred foot radius of the place. And at first we thought we were right, as there were barricades around all the streets in the area. But then we noticed that they were actually only blocking cars, foot traffic was perfectly fine. So we parked and walked toward the Shrine.

We walked to where I knew the exit was, and hung out a bit. We debated whether or not to go to another area, but decided we'd stay put. It paid off. Not long after that the show ended, and people started coming out to the party that was being held in a tent in the parking lot at the rear of the Shrine. Sure enough, celebrities were among them.

So we started taking pictures of them, at first just barely waving. But after awhile our inhibitions were gone. We'd yell out the names of the actors, etc. and wave and take pics. We saw people like Baz Luhrman and his wife Catherine Martin, Nicole Kidman, the cast of Six Feet Under, and so many more. After awhile we finally started seeing some of the LOTR cast. John Rhys-Davies came out, but we didn't really scream at him. Sir Ian McKellen came out and proudly held his award up high for us to see. Sean Astin and his wife waved before quickly getting into their limo. We were just having a great time.

And then it started getting later, and the other fans who were hanging out around us started to go home. But of course we were determined, we had no clue if the cast was still in there, but we were going to wait around long enough to find out. First came Orlando, and I spotted him first. I pointed, and immediately we all screamed his name. Sure enough he waved, and after a second he ran over to us. We took pictures, got autographs, it was great. And damn did he looks and smells fantastic!

The we started talking to some other LOTR fans that were there, and got along great with them. It was getting late, and we kept joking that the guys were going to be closing out the party. Then we noticed Billy walking around outside the tent. We waved once, and he was definetly looking towards us, but we don't think he realized we were really waving at him!

After awhile he came out, and was just as charming as could be. We again got pictures and autographs. He was the sweetest thing and you just wanted to give him a big hug!

So Billy left, and by this time we were certain that Dom and Elijah were still in there partying. We joked about how drunk they must be by then (it had been about 4 hours since the show ended) and how they were probably the only ones in there still dancing. Then we saw Dom. We yelled and he ran over, momentarily teasing us by running away, but finally came over to take pics and sign. He was very animated and friendly, and honestly it was quite clear that he had been drinking a lot. Someone asked if Elijah was still in the party, and he said he must be because they were supposed to be sharing a limo, and then he realized that he had forgotten to tell Elijah he was leaving.

Dom finished signing and promised to go get Lij and bring him out to us. Sure enough, he kept his word. He met Elijah at the gate, and they came over to us, holding hands. Elijah was a doll. He immediately gave us all hugs (keep in mind, he was clearly drunk as well), and couldn't believe that we had been waiting all night. In fact his exact words were "That sucks." Of course at this point I would clearly beg to differ. Lij signed things for us, and took a bunch of pictures with us. Then at a signal from Melanie, Dom insisted that we get a group picture of all of us. We took a number of pictures, and then Dom insisted on a group hug. They said their goodbyes, and climbed into their limo, and we left shortly after that. It was a fantastic night. I still have a huge smile on my face right now. All I have to say is I LOVE LA!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2002
LOTR Premiere: Japan - Xoanon @ 22:31 PST
Katy writes:

Lotr is in full steam over here in Japan!! I went and saw it on the 9th of March, a week after it had opened and the theatre was PACKED!! The line went for miles and me and my friends got there 30mins before it started!! Ended up in the 2nd row with a sore neck.

I made sure I went to a subtitled showing, don't know if I am ready to watch the whole thing in Japanese.

The merchandising at the end of the film made the $24australian ticket more than worth it! I got LOTR chocolates, chips AND a great CD rom with interviews (in english no less) AND a colour booklet with interviews and pics (in japanese) for only $20.

They were also advertising tickets for TTT which will open here in March 2003, talk about keen. You can purchase a platnium ticket for under $20 at the moment, if I were sure that I'd be in Japan next year, I'd buy mine now.

They're also showing the faculty on TV tonight, with the advertisements putting special emphasis on Elijah Wood being in the movie.

There and back again – a journey to middle earth Part X - Xoanon @ 19:30 PST
There and back again – a journey to middle earth

I thought I would share with theonering.net my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour (http://www.redcarpet-tours.com). I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the tenth installment.

Feb 27th

Today we hooked up with a local guide, Mike (you may have seen an article on TORN a bit ago about him, he was an Uruk-Hai). We started out at Kelvin Heights Deer Park. It is a pretty popular place for filming, since it is easy to get to, has a large expanse of dramatic looking, natural hillside, and fantastic mountains all around (Disney has filmed there as well as others from around the world). The owner led us around and pointed to various spots where filming was done for LOTR. There are many areas where they staged battles, or just had the fellowship tromping through. Mike had been roaming around up there as well and had discovered the lake that Gandalf rides past on his way to the white city after he leaves the long expected birthday party. I didn’t manage to get around the lake to get the correct angle, but I could definitely tell it was the right place.

The owner showed us another area that he knew they had filmed at, though he wasn’t sure what had been shot there. After looking at the rock structure and the background for a bit, Mike and I determined it was that little hillock that they used in the first preview where you see the whole fellowship come up to it one by one. Pretty nifty. The other thing that is really swell about the deer park (other than the animals of course) is that the top of it gives you a fantastic view of Queenstown and the surrounding area. We took off for Closeburn to see another filming location. Since Mike was in the scene where Aragon first met the Uruk-Hai at Amon Hen, he could take us to the exact spot where it was filmed. We found a few remnants of the platform with the stairs and statue that Frodo runs to after Boromir succumbs to the ring. The view is gorgeous and must have been even more stunning with the statues there. Mike told us stories about being an Uruk-Hai in the heat and getting to watch Peter Jackson, as well as Elijah and Viggo, at work.

We spent the afternoon on the Dart River Jet Safari. It starts out from Glenorchy, where you can visit the café where the stars ate. Then you take a jet boat up the Dart River for a fun 75-minute ride. The scenery is gorgeous and off to the side you can see Paradise Valley (part of a large national park) where they filmed Isengard, Lothlorien and some other scenes, including Boromir’s final battle. The trip up the river was stunningly gorgeous. They drop you inside the national park, where you take an easy 20-minute walk back to a bus, which drives you back to Glenorchy. As I walked through the forest, I kept expecting to kind an Uruk-Hai around the next bend! As we rode back through Paradise Valley, Mike pointed out the side of the bus to the forest past a paddock and said that was where Boromir was killed (he was there the day that scene was filmed too).

Lothlorien was also filmed in that same forest in a different spot. We spent the evening wandering around Queenstown’s picturesque waterfront and buying souvenirs as our trip is almost over.

Tomorrow – a quick raft ride, then back to Christchurch

Friday, March 08, 2002
Ian McKellen In San Jose Part 2 - Xoanon @ 10:02 PST
hobbit_in_a_hole sends us part 2 of her report from Ian McKellen's (Gandalf) apperance in San Jose. (read part one here):

The host for the interview was the former Mayor of San Jose (in Silicon Valley, near San Francisco), Tom McEnery. He thanked Sir Ian for his graciousness in the "backstage" area for the hotel ballroom. An event handler had just hit Mr. McEnery with a lot of instructions, "Stage Left," etc. Sir Ian defused the anxiety with, "What is Stage Left?" Of course, Sir Ian knows all of this like he knows breathing, with his experience on stage. Anyway, they finally were seated in two armchairs with Sir Ian on Stage Left (that's the actor's left hand side when facing out toward the audience; Stage Left is the audience's right-hand side when viewing the stage). After TM said his thanks for Sir Ian's rescue of him backstage, Sir Ian riffed on this and on himself at the same time. He pointed out that in the theater form known as Pantomime (a traditional form with well-defined stock characters and performed much more frequently in the UK than in the US) Mayor McEnery on Stage Right was in a special position always occupied by the force for good, the Fairy Queen! (Big laugh.) Sir Ian's Stage Left was always dominated by the force for evil, the Demon King. And the Demon King always has a much better part in the Pantomime. (Another laugh.)

We've all heard plenty of stories and comments on just what a special experience it was filming LotR. Hey, New Line -- I hope you have hired a film historian to document this for the industry as well as for the fans. From what we can read it seems the experience was certainly unique in many ways and quite different from the usual Hollywood adventure -- in the overall friendly feeling on site, the length of the shoot, the mutually supportive team effort, the many units shooting simultaneously, the special techniques and technologies used, etc. Anyway, Sir Ian added a bit more drama to the logistics of shooting in the old paint factory near the Wellington airport. "OK, Emma [on the radio], four minutes? OK, three minutes? ...Two minutes, Emma? ... Only one minute?" (Big laugh.) Still referring jokingly to filming between nearby takeoffs and landings, "At times it felt like we were making the world's longest, most expensive home movie." (Another big laugh.) Asked about the outlook for an Oscar for his performance, Sir Ian seems to just take it all in stride but had another comment about the atmosphere on set in New Zealand. On most movie sets, viewing the results of each day's filming, actors in Hollywood are often approached with a breathless gush, "That's Oscar," referring to their performance that day. In New Zealand, the focus was rather just on the best possible results and the collaboration. There was no daily gushing about Oscars in NZ. Sir Ian never heard, "That's Oscar," once. [Well, OK, but maybe the Kiwis are just harder to impress? Heh.]

Also, Sir Ian had really been looking forward to working with Christopher Lee. Sir Ian seemed quite taken with CL's experience in over 200 films, and especially one of CL's most famous roles. Sir Ian told Peter Jackson once a bit impishly, "I get to act with Dracula today!" PJ replied, "No, no. With Saruman, not Dracula!" Ok, so one day as Sir Ian and CL finished a take, suddenly CL whirled closer, bared all his teeth and hissed. (Biggest laugh of the day, as Sir Ian demonstrated a bit. "HHHhhh!") Sir Ian was quite shocked, of course. And scared for a moment! It was Dracula! After Sir Ian recovered a bit, with his heart still pounding, and CL chuckling, Sir Ian heard another muffled sound. He turned, and there was PJ, doubled up and about to explode from stifling his own laugh. (Another big audience laugh.) PJ had put CL up to the gag in advance.

Early in his life, Sir Ian fell in love with the magic of live theater, especially the "crossing into the light." In the wings (side areas) of a theater, especially near the stage itself, all is darkness, tension, and confusion. Sir Ian commented particularly on backstage at vaudeville shows, where the cramped spaces are filled not just with actors and stage crew but with all sorts of acts including their various props, animals, etc. But when an actor crosses that boundary into the light, that's when the magic transformation happens and the actor tells their story to the audience. Sir Ian pointed out that it was in acting he first found he could be really brave, exposing himself psychologically -- instilling life and placing himself into whatever character he was portraying. And, though there are many differences in working in film vs. working on stage, Sir Ian feels much of that same "crossing into the light" when stepping in front of the cameras, too.

Sir Ian's web site, www.mckellen.com, has been a huge hit. And a surprise. The site receives almost one half million hits per day. In part, Sir Ian views it in part as a living autobiography. He continues to add to it, but apparently it can be quite a burden sometimes. He joked that with the attention needed to the web site, his last words [far in the future] just might be something like, "Make sure that you tell them on the web site that I have died." (Yes, BIG laugh.)

Finally, sometimes you just need to be lucky. Sir Ian's visit to San Jose was arranged by Bryan Singer (Director of X-Men, Apt Pupil, X2). Before Apt Pupil, the two had met for lunch and discussion of a role in that film. After Mr. Singer considered it, he informed Sir Ian that frankly he was looking for an older actor to play the 75-year-old character and would not be casting him in the role (Sir Ian was 55 then.) Sir Ian took it matter-of-factly. ("Well, I WASN'T 75, after all.") Then, Mr. Singer asked something like, "Hey, did you see Cold Comfort Farm? There's an old man in that film who ..." and starts imitating that actor's performance as an idea of what he had in mind for the role in Apt Pupil. You can guess the punch line -- that role in CCF was played by Sir Ian! And he so informed Mr. Singer, and got the role in Apt Pupil. Sir Ian philosophically and modestly attributed this to luck, "being in the right place, at the right time, ..." but of course his own preparation and experience had a part in this, too.

The event was a rich and memorable 90 minutes with Sir Ian. Very special.

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