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April 24, 2002 - May 11, 2002

Saturday, May 11, 2002
LOTR Concert In Ontario - Xoanon @ 12:01 PST
From: Graham

Hi, just a heads up to let you know that Port Credit Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario is putting on their annual Spring Concert, Thursday May 16th at 7pm. The finale of the concert is an medley of 30 minutes worth of music from ALL the tracks from the FOTR soundtrack, set to a slideshow. The production will feature a combined effort from the Orchestra, Concert Band and Choir. Tickets are only a few dollars at the door. It should be an amazing night. For more information you can email me at cg@sublimemediaworks.com. Thanks.

Thursday, May 09, 2002
'Land Of Shadow' Exhibition Report - Xoanon @ 12:13 PST
From: Didiej

I visited this exhibition this morning. It is a very interesting small exhibition in a mining museum in Prestongrange about 7 miles from Edinburgh. The exhibition concentrates on the creative writing aspect of Tolkien's work aiming to get people to think about what goes into creating a fantasy land, the people who live there, their customs, language etc - right down to the day-to-day aspects of life. Anyone who visits wanting to see 'movie-related' items will be disappointed. The bit I thought was really good was a giant slate circle with runes and elvish letters carved into it so that children can take rubbings with crayons and create their own elvish/runic writing. There is a mock landscape with Mordor and Mount Doom, a 'palantir' and an interpretation of Treebeard as well as a hobbit's sitting room. There is also a corner for children to dress up and act out their fantasy lands.

'Land Of Shadow' Exhibition Report - Xoanon @ 12:08 PST
From: Didiej

I visited this exhibition this morning. It is a very interesting small exhibition in a mining museum in Prestongrange about 7 miles from Edinburgh. The exhibition concentrates on the creative writing aspect of Tolkien's work aiming to get people to think about what goes into creating a fantasy land, the people who live there, their customs, language etc - right down to the day-to-day aspects of life. Anyone who visits wanting to see 'movie-related' items will be disappointed. The bit I thought was really good was a giant slate circle with runes and elvish letters carved into it so that children can take rubbings with crayons and create their own elvish/runic writing. There is a mock landscape with Mordor and Mount Doom, a 'palantir' and an interpretation of Treebeard as well as a hobbit's sitting room. There is also a corner for children to dress up and act out their fantasy lands.

Thursday, May 02, 2002
WETA's Adam Valdez Woos The Crowd - Xoanon @ 12:27 PST
I'm Daniel Sanchez-Crespo, from Barcelona, Spain, and I direct the master's program on computer games at UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). I'm a 100% LOTR geek, seen the movie 4 times, have the toys, ok, I guess you get it.

We had Adam Valdez from WETA (Animation Supervisor) here a couple days ago giving an awesome talk to our students (both from the games master and from the animation master) on the FX of LOTR. I was thinking about putting a short piece together for you to display on TORN. He explained how they did the small people, how they did the cave troll sequence, some stuff about the MASSIVE software, and gave some info on the second movie, especially Gollum. It's slightly technical, but no more than other pieces you've done in the past. I think it would be great content for your site, and also some exposure for our master, which is rapidly becoming pretty well known in Europe. As I'm a professional writer, doing a monthly column for Game Developer, I think I can put this together in hours, not days. It could be on-line on Friday or so. I was thinking about 200-500 words, no pictures.

Let me know what do you think. We would be more than happy to share that wonderful experience we had with Adam on TORN.

House of Cardolan Reaches Milestone - Xoanon @ 12:02 PST
We at House of Cardolan are excited that in a little over a year we have just past 5000 hits on our site! Thanx to the TheOneRing.net for hosting us! They are the best Tolkien site and resource by FAR! BTW, some of our Rangers got to actually "go" to Middle Earth, check out our Middle Fantasy Pix. [More]

Wednesday, May 01, 2002
Games Workshop's Summer Events! - Xoanon @ 13:22 PST
At the end of the Second Age the last great alliance of Men and Elves mustered its forces against the evil armies of Sauron on the slopes of Mount Doom...

The Battle of the Last Alliance

Coming this summer from Middle Earth to your local gaming table!

What is it?

Games Workshop’s big summer event! Six weeks packed with activities focused around the first 10 minutes of amazing footage from The Fellowship of the Ring, as players throughout North America refight the epic conflict with hundreds of armies and thousands of The Lord of the Rings miniatures.

When will it be?

The official kick off date is June 28th at the Baltimore Games Day convention, continuing on through Games Day Chicago (July 27) and Games Day Canada (August 17). The massive event will all wrap up August 18th.

All three of Games Workshop’s North American Games Day conventions will feature huge battles with an active Mount Doom!

Saturday August 10th (right after the DVD release) will be The Battle of the Last Alliance - all over North America the battle for the Ring will be fought, including at the GenCon convention taking place that weekend.

What else is happening?

· Figures for Elendil and Isildur have just come out to lead the forces of Men. These two mighty warriors from the Second Age are pivotal figures in the history of Middle Earth, playing key roles in the defeat of Sauron in the Last Alliance.
· Games Workshop will be releasing an amazing Sauron to get the Last Alliance Event kicked off properly. This huge figure of the Dark Lord, complete with a dying Elendil and defiant Isildur holding his broken sword, is sure to be the centerpiece of all battles.
· There will also be a new variant of the Cave Troll brandishing a spear to bolster the Dark Lord’s forces.
· Box sets of plastic Moria Goblins and the Forces of Good (Human and Elven warriors) will be coming out to bulk up your armies!
· Arwen the Elf will get a new model as Games Workshop releases her on horseback with a wounded Frodo holding on for dear life. We will also be featuring a mini ‘Flight to the Ford’ game to let our hobbyists relive those exciting moments of Arwen’s dash to Rivendell – look for it in our monthly White Dwarf hobby magazine!

Other Events will include

· Sauron Painting Contest – Who can paint the Dark Lord the best?
· Building the Plains of Mordor – special scenery construction displays and workshops
· New scenarios involving the Heroes and Villains of the great conflict!

Here we see the mighty Sauron marching his evil minions against the combined forces of Humans and Elves lead by Elendil. In the movie we saw him vanquished by Elendil’s son Isildur, but this summer players will get the chance to refight epic battles like this to determine the ownership of the One Ring and the fate of all Middle Earth!

Below is some information on the upcoming Games Day conventions, sure to be the focal points for the Last Alliance gaming event:

Games Day Baltimore

Games Day is the annual gaming extravaganza for the Games Workshop series of hobby games such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000, the world’s most popular tabletop battlegames. This year’s event in Baltimore, Maryland is our 10th Anniversary Games Day in America and should be the biggest and best ever! There will be gaming events ranging from beginner to expert for all the games, plus painting contests, seminars, demo games, special guests, and more. There will be lots of new Lord of the Rings tabletop battlegame events too, including displays and promotions plus of course sneak peeks at the upcoming Two Towers figures and game!

Scheduled Guests include Warhammer 40,000 Game Designer Pete Haines, longtime favorite figure sculptors Alan and Mike Perry (who were the lead sculptors for The Lord of the Rings series), author Dan Abnett (the best-selling Gaunt’s Ghosts novels), Robin Dews of the upcoming Warhammer Online project, Jervis Johnson from Specialist Games, and Forgeworld’s Tony Cottrell. We’ll also have folks from Sabertooth Games running events for the Warhammer 40,000 Collectible Card Game plus Hogshead Publishing to show off the latest for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Game.

Last year’s Games Day drew nearly 4,000 enthusiastic hobby fans, and even more are expected this summer. We hope to see you there!

Show Details: June 28th - 29th
Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD
Friday Hours: 2pm - 7:30 pm
Saturday Hours: 10am - 7pm
General admission tickets are $20 (which includes the free special Games Day figure!)

For more information, visit www.games-workshop.com or feel free to call us at 1-800-394-GAME.

Games Day Chicago
Where? The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago Illinois

When? July 27, 10am to 7pm

Guests include artist extrordinaire Dave Gallagher, figure sculpture and scenery builder Dave Andrews, and the man in charge of the entire Games Workshop Studio Jim Butler. We’ll also be having many of the guests from Games Day Baltimore in attendance too!
General admission tickets are $15 (which includes the free special Games Day figure!)

Call us at 1-800-394-GAME for more information, or on the web at:

Games Day Canada

Where? The International Centre Hall 1 in Mississauga Ontario.

When? Saturday August 17th, 10am to 6pm

Guests include: Plastic figure designer and long time Citadel Guru Jes Goodwin, Warhammer Fantasy Battle lead designer Gav Thorpe, ace artist Karl Kopinski, figure painter Chris Smart from the ‘Eavy Metal team, and Forgeworld’s Tony Cotrell.
General admission tickets are $23 CDN (which includes the free special Games Day figure!)
Call us in Canada at 1-888-GW-TROLL for more information, or check here on the web;

About Games Workshop

For over 25 years Games Workshop has designed, manufactured, distributed and sold tabletop wargame systems and associated miniatures, marketed as a complete hobby for teenagers and older. Its key brands are Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000.

With its international headquarters in Nottingham England, the company also has wholly-owned subsidiaries in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Italy. Over 2,200 people are employed by the company through these operations. With over $40 million in sales last year, Games Workshop USA is headquarted in Glen Burnie, Maryland and oversees a chain of retail hobby centers from coast to coast.

Games Workshop owns over 250 retail stores worldwide and our products are featured in over 2,000 independent outlets internationally. Games Workshop is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

Games Workshop controls every aspect of its business, from initial concept and design through to manufacture, distribution and retail.

Products are sold through the Group’s own chain of dedicated retail stores, through independent retailers, by mail order and direct via on-line stores. The Group’s long-running publication White Dwarf is available via the stores, by mail order, on newstands throughout the world (in several languages), and through its website - www.games-workshop.com.

For further information please contact:
Tim Huckelbery, Public Relations, Games Workshop USA

The Shirt Story With Billy & Viggo - Xoanon @ 12:41 PST
Legend Winterhawk writes:

My group of seven, known as the Michiganders, arrived at the International Center for Photography at just after five and there was already a pretty good line.

Like us, most of those seemed to be from Billy Boyd's official website. We had traveled to New York to see Billy at ICON the next day and decided to make the trip to Manhattan to see Viggo when we'd learned he was appearing at ICP.

The wait seemed to fly by as we were overly excited at the prospect of seeing Viggo and with the fact that after months of talking to each other through Billy's site, we were finally able to talk in person. We were all pretty giddy and even the sudden rain shower that had us running across the street to buy umbrellas from a vendor didn't dampen our mood.

Once Viggo appeared, the wait seemed to get a bit longer as we were all anxious to get to the front of the line and Viggo was not rushing people through the line. Since the main reason for my trip to New York was to see Billy, I didn't have anything to sign and neither did Lava, another in our group.

Luckily, I'd brought my BB.Net Road Trip 2002 along with me for the other forum members to sign and so had Lava so Hawk, the photographer of the group, suggested we take the shirts with us to have Viggo sign. As we got closer and closer to the small table where Viggo sat, I became more and more pleased with the way Viggo was interacting with the fans. From my vantage point in line, I could see that he was taking time to speak to each one and didn't seem worried about rushing them through. And then, finally, it was my turn. I walked up to him and asked him if he'd sign my shirt. He smiled and said, "Sure, what is this?" as I handed it to him. As I explained that it was a shirt from Billy Boyd's official website, his eyes lit up and his smile grew. "Are you going to see him tomorrow?" He asked and I nodded. He then proceeded to write and write and write.

While he was signing my shirt, he asked if I would try to show Billy the message he was writing on the shirt and I told him I would do my best. When he was finished, he turned the shirt around and read me what he had written.

"Pippin is the very finest honorary Gondorian that ever drew breath. Viggo (AKA Aragorn, Pippin's Bitch)."

After we laughed about what he'd written, I asked if we could have our picture taken together and after he agreed, I stepped behind the table and posed for Hawk. As I thanked him and started to walk away, he stopped me and asked if I would do him a favor. I said yes (as if I would tell him no) and he said "Tell everyone that's going to see Billy tomorrow to put on your brightest lipstick and give him two kisses anywhere you want!" Like that's a hard task! I told him I would and immediately ran to Liz, another in the group and hugged her. The other members in my group finished up and we were ushered further into the museum, where the seven of us collapsed in a heap of euphoria. None of us could quite believe what happened. We not only had met Aragorn, son of Arathorn (and managed to NOT say those words to him), but he had turned out to be an extremely generous, nice person who gave us an 'in' with Billy the next day. After much giggling, I managed to get a look at Lava's shirt and laughed when I saw Viggo had written, "Billy Boyd is my master."

Fast forward to the next day. The Michiganders arrived for Billy's Q and A session an hour early to get good seats and somewhere along the line, I decided that Lava and I should use the Q and A as a way to let Billy know that we had messages for him from Viggo. She agreed and when the moderator called for people to line up to ask their questions, Lava and I were the first ones at the microphone.

The big moment came before I could think about what I was doing. With Billy looking directly at me (which was slightly disconcerting), I said, "My friends and I went to see Viggo Mortenson last night and Susie and I are now under strict orders from the King of Gondor to hand deliver these messages to you when can we do that?" To my surprise, Billy said "Now, I guess." And motioned for me and Lava to join him onstage. My hands were shaking but Billy managed to read the message, which he found amusing and then read it to the crowd.

Surprisingly, he left out the part about "Pippin's Bitch". I asked for and received a hug from him and walked off the stage, totally forgetting that Viggo had also asked us to give Billy kisses, but I would get my chance a couple hours later, during the autograph session.

Billy smiled as I handed him 'the' shirt and reread what Viggo had written, laughing again. He asked me how the signing was and I told him a little bit about it and about how Viggo seemed to take great delight in writing the message. I then grew bold and told Billy, "I'm showing a lot of restraint here, because Viggo also told me to kiss you." To my surprise, Billy stood and tapped his cheek, saying, "Well come on!" I kissed him and honestly, I don't remember much of what happened next (a bit of after kiss euphoria). What I do remember is that Billy Boyd, like Viggo Mortenson, was extremely kind and patient with his fans, as well as generous.

Thanks to Emma Abraham for the Billy pics!

Tuesday, April 30, 2002
Age of King's LOTR Mod Update - Berendir @ 18:47 PST
It often happens that extraordinary fans take it upon themselves to try and bring to life the work of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth in some new genre. Josef Bumgan chose to transform Age of King's into something we Lord of the Rings fans can appreciate a bit more. {More}

Thursday, April 25, 2002
Tribute To Tolkien Elves - Berendir @ 21:27 PST
Our good friends over at Thereandbackagain.net created an amazing screensaver called - Tribute To Tolkien Elves - The perfect way to bring Tolkien to your desktop. [More]

Billy Boyd At I-Con Pics - Xoanon @ 10:30 PST
Ok, here are the last pics from Billy Boyd at I-Con, I promise. Take a look at some of these great shots from Ringer Spy Richard.

WETA Presentation At AGideas - Xoanon @ 09:46 PST
From: Chris

I saw a presentation by Weta Workshop's Daniel Falconer at AGideas in Melbourne during the week. He showed us a heap of stuff most of which I had seen before including the FOTR trailer. Sadly he was unable to show anything from TTT and was even unable to show their background sketches for FOTR because of the book being published in July. This was greatly disappointing, but the sheer enthusiasm and passion he spoke with was far more valuable than anything he could have shown.

Starting the talk with what Weta was all about he introduced us to Richard Taylor with a photo of him emerging from a cows behind. We then saw the Weta Promotional Reel and the making of the Sideshow Weta products which he informed us are their way of being able to stay with the Rings whilst Weta Digital finishes off TTT and TROTK (he explained that with the majority of the design work already done there really isn't much for the workshop to do). The actors apparently signed a petition for New Line to allow Weta Workshop make these unbelievably detailed sculptures, and so we saw some very comical footage of the actors posing next to their statuettes and thanking the artists.

All in all Daniel was great, and he inspired a lot of us to really pursue what we love to, and not just sell our dreams out to the corporate giants.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Andrew Lesnie Report! - Xoanon @ 19:39 PST
From: nic

Last night I attended the lecture with cinematographer Andrew Lesnie in Brisbane. It was an incredibly interesting talk and Andrew is a very laid back speaker with a sense of humor and lots to talk about. He greeted us and then immediately suggested we "bring out the little guy". He rummages around in his bag and pulls out his Academy Award and placed it on the box by his chair as the audience clapped, cheered and laughed.

After talking a little about winning the Oscar he played us back the prologue and most of the Hobbiton sequence (until the start of Bilbo's party) from the DVD which he had brought with him. Unfortunately we didn't see any deleted scenes (unless they were shown towards the end - we had to leave a little early; does anyone care to verify that?) but we were shown a fair amount of behind-the-scenes footage of camera tricks etc.

Andrew then talked a lot about scale. A method that the team used a lot was something they called "visual perspective". Place your hands straight out in front of you, side by side. Now bring one hand closer to your face and the other further away. Different sizes, yeah? That's how they often got around the whole scale problem: for example, in the cart as Frodo and Gandalf drive through Hobbiton, Gandalf is actually sitting about a metre in front of Frodo. As you know, scale doubles were also used - tiny people from all over the world, the US basketball team - were used for "over the shoulder" shots. On set, the real actors who played the part would direct their double while Peter directed the other half of the conversation.

Andrew said he found it hard not to get caught up in the technicalities of the movie. "Script and performance" he said, was the most important elements in a feature film. As was "telling the story". He believes that convelying the emotional context was far more important than all the little technicalities, because if the actors can pull that off than the technicalities are not noticed as much. He talked about the extremities of some scenes; for instance in the Two Towers, they found a huge swamp for the Dead Marshes and Frodo, Sam and Gollum actually got stuck at one point and had a struggle to get out.

This talk on scale and performance was followed by a video on Visual Effects, such as scale. Digital manipulation was used quite often, mainly in "handovers", when a large-scale character such as Gandalf hands an object to a hobbit, for example Bilbo. When Gandalf first enters Bag End, he hands his staff and hat to Bilbo to put away. Watch the hat during the changeover.

Minatures of scenes, or "bigatures" as they were sometimes called, were used quote often. The Bridge of Khazud-dum for example - all the wide shots of the fellowship racing down the stairs were merely of a scuplture of the scene with flames and people added digitally. Which brought Andrew to his next point about digital minatures of characters. Each character was digitally scanned and used in several wide shots in many scenes. In the battle scenes in all three movies, such as the one in the Prologue and Helm's Deep (which took the company four months of night shooting to put together) only the foreground fighters were "real people". As they faded into the distance, they became digitised, and the workers at WETA digital spent months scanning in fight movements etc of real people to make them seem as lifelike as possible. In fact, in a few shots of what looked like Helm's Deep, you will notice many of the digital people just run backwards and forwards until they are attacked, or stand on the edges fighting what appears to be nothing. Andrew announced that in a huge battle scene he showed us all he really filmed was grass. He got applause :)

He then showed us a video of how the Cave Troll was created. At first it wasn't lifelike enough so they had to build it, layer by layer, first the skeleton, then a layer of muscles, skin, textures - everything. We were showed again the Battle of Balin's Tomb and The Bridge of Khazud-dum sequences.

He talked again about how important it was that the crew didn't get too caught up in the technical side of things and forgot about the most important element of all - telling the story. Then there were many questions, about the technical side of things: digital screening and blacks, etc. Unfortunately at this point I had to leave, I was half an hour late anyhow; I was so caught up in his talk!

Andrew is a very interesting speaker, obviously quite passionate about his work to do with "Lord of the Rings". It was a wonderful and very informative talk and i'm so glad that we had the opportunity to go.

Thanks TORN! I thought you might like to read about that, as you advertised it on the website a couple of days ago.

Texas Ringers Moot At Scarborough Faire! - Xoanon @ 18:52 PST
Texas Ringers Moot at Scarborough Faire Renaissance Festival: Memorial Day Weekend

Texas Ringers are planning to meet up at Scarborough Faire to celebrate not only "Lord of the Rings", but also Ian McKellen's (Saturday, May 25) and Christopher Lee's (Monday, May 27) birthdays in a big "Wizard's Weekend"!

Come on Saturday the 25th or Monday the 27th (or both!), and go to the Noon showing of "Throw Up" (comedy juggling) at the Crown Stage (there is a always a noon showing). The Crown Stage is located straight in from the main entrance. Please come to the Crown Stage a few minutes before the show starts to receive a yellow armband from the event organizers, or get one afterwards. This way, we can recognize each other around the Faire.

If you also come on Sunday, I am sure there will be other Ringers there on that day as well. If you will be attending all three days, I suggest buying a Season's Pass ($36 adult) at the gate instead of individual day tickets ($17 adult), as it saves you money.

We can also drink to the health of these two wonderful actors with a pint or three (if you're 21 or over) at the many taverns and pubs throughout the Faire.

Feel free to come in costume! Hobbits, elves, dwarves and rangers are more than welcome at the Faire! It is also a good place to buy Middle-Earth style costumes and accessories.

The Faire is located near Waxahachie TX, just 30 minutes south of the Dallas/FortWorth Metroplex.

Directions, ticket prices, local hotels, an FAQ and other information on the Faire itself can be found here. [More]

To join the "Rings on the Range" Texas Ringers MSN community to get updates and more details from the organizers of the Moot and people who have been to the Faire, go here. [More]

To e-mail the organizers use this address and put "Texas Ringers Moot" in the subject header: RingsOnTheRange@communities.msn.com

We hope to see you there! Please send us a message if you will be attending, so we can get a rough count.

There's Something About Mary - Xoanon @ 00:55 PST
Well, at least Billy and Viggo may think so :) This lucky LOTR fan made her way to both the Virgin Record store Viggo event and the Billy Boyd apperance at ICon last weekend, busy girl!

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