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October 22, 1999 - October 28, 1999

News for Oct. 28, 1999

Beam Software: Facial Motion Capture Cool CGI Stuff!!

10/28/99, 10:15 pm EST - Xoanon

From: DexX

Check out this stuff! I have no idea about facial motion capture, but I'm thinking Gollum maybe! Check it out!

My company, Beam Software, has a facial motion capture and voice recording system called Famous, and apparently it is being used for facial mo'cap in tLotR. One of the top Famous guys is going over the NZ for a couple of weeks to explain it all to them. The website is www.famoustech.com Ta! :) (tip: check out their Client List, look at the bottom name!)

After checking out the site, I found out a bit more:

FAMOUSFaces™ provides an intuitive interface for animating faces, allowing you to quickly and easily animate dialog and facial expressions.

FAMOUSFaces™ is a standalone program running under Windows NT 4.0 which works seamlessly with 3DStudio Max2-3, Maya, SoftImage and Lightwave 5.6, enabling you to use specialized animation tools with your existing polygonal or Nurbs models. Famous may be launched from within your Favorite animation package, allowing facial animation to be integrated into a larger scene for final rendering.

The key to the usability of FAMOUSFaces™ is the "Clustering" process which allows intuitive 3D painting of the mesh to define areas of the face that may be moved independantly and blended to create complex expressions. Individual Clusters or whole target poses may be driven by separate motion Channels.

Motion Channel input sources range from an inexpensive 2D video camera tracker, through to voice recognition software, and live 3D Motion Capture hardware.

Current supported systems include Vicon, Motion Analysis, Xist, Phoenix, Kaydara Voice reality and FAMOUSFaces vTracker. You can even load in audio and video files and hand animate Clusters using easily defined target poses and the integrated Keyframer.

A high degree of control over the face's behaviour is made easy in the design of the interface. Exaggeration and directional skewing of facial movements can be controlled by direct manipulation.

FAMOUSFaces™ open architecture even allows you to write expressions describing how Clusters respond to Channel inputs.

In keyframing mode, motion data can be adjusted to perfect and customize moments during the animation. Unlike other animation packages, FAMOUSFaces™ keyframer interpolates changes to motion capture data from the keyframes the user sets.

More on Kilar

10/28/99, 6:43 pm EST - Xoanon

After some digging, I found a pretty cool site about Kilar. Check it out.

Click here to go to the Kilar site.

Singing Dwarves?

10/28/99, 3:07 pm EST - Xoanon

A Mr. Underhill threw me this little tidbit about Harcourt Park, maybe my brain is to filled with waco cheese, but I don't recall any singing Dwarves, let me check...

Check out the Spy Reports!!

Computer Geek Stuff

10/28/99, 1:29 pm EST - Corvar

Hopefully no one was too inconvenienced by our downtime today. One of our hard drives failed while I was at a lunch meeting related to my real life job. So the moral of the story is we were down for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The new (I guess different is a better term) server that we got two weeks ago saved us from much longer downtime.

For those of you who are interested, TheOneRing runs on a HP NetServer 5/166 LS2. It has 192 MB of Ram, an AMI MegaRaid controller, 2 pentium 166 processors, and 6x4GB hard drives. It is currently running Debian Linux with a 2.2.10 kernel. Now for most of you, you are probably saying that computer isn't all that. But with our speed versus some other sites you just have to wonder what they are running on ;)

If any computer hardware companies want to donate a nice server for us to run on we would gladly put their logo on the site somewhere ;)


LOTR Script Review!

10/28/99, 11:07 am EST - Xoanon

I thought this day could not get more amazing, Yankees won, Kilar possibly doing the music, what a day! Let me tell you what happened:

I was sitting here at my desk, typing away, when a sudden and freak wormhole appeared next to me. I was amazed. I threw my orange peels in, to see what would happen, they came right back to me, with a note saying 'Please do not throw your garbage in my dimension'. I apologized, and was given a gift, the 2 script Miramax version PJ wrote for them a while back!

Yes I will be looking over them, very much the same way Moriarty did, (and I did NOT get these from him) but no, I will not be telling you folks anything extreemly spoilerish. But you will get my view on this script!

I will however be looking at the changes PJ did, and the plot outlines and pacing, all the stuff I learned in school and through basic experience. I will give you all my honest thoughts and feeling :)

So stay tuned for the next few days, and look out for my script review!


Wojciech Kilar!!!!!!! -UPDATED-

10/28/99, 8:35 am EST - Xoanon

Oh My GOD this is amazing news!!! Everyone now on gods green earth get down on your knees and pray this is true, If the news is true then Composer Wojciech Kilar is close to signing as composer for LOTR!!! Kilar, in my opinion one of the BEST!! If you guys have chatted with me on Barliman's you'll know I say the 2 composers who should do these films should be Eric Serra or Wojciech Kilar. And now the latter seems to be coming true!!

I have read yesterday in top Polish newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" that Wojciech Kilar (Dracula) shall compose the music for LOTR. He's got already the script and the negotiation of the contract should be finished soon.

You want to know how you can point out a film maker? He's got 1000 soundtracks in his collection. And some of them from movies he hasn't even seen. Kilar's work is some of my favorite. If you think you've never heard it before you're wrong, it's been copied and used a million times over. Go out and buy Dracula asap!!

Thank to Wawrzyniec P for the tip!!

The link to the article is here. But it's in polish, I'm working to get it translated now.

Here is the article: Translated very roughly from Polish Ringer Spy Jacek Thanks!!


Wojciech Kilar will be writing music for a film version of "Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien

'I wanted to have european music, symphonic, not american. I was always imagining Tolkien's Middle-earth like old Europe' - explained Peter Jackson, New Zealand's director. Creating music for fairy-tell-like Tolkien's world it's big chance to expand wings (literally, it's let's say idiom like "a big field to show-off") - says Kilar.

Tolkien never agreed for making film based on this book. Two weeks ago Jackson, author of "Frighteners" (?) and "Heavenly Creatures" started shooting this film. 'Screenplay is fantastic. It reads like a good action story -' says Kilar. Lord of Rings will cost 130 millions dollars. It will be filmed in New Zealand. Hobbits will be played by actors not taller than 105 cm. Supporting characters will be played by famous hollywood actors, for example Elizabeth Taylor.

I have NO idea where they got the idea of Liz Taylor, but let me tell you they are WRONG (Liz Taylor = Liv Tyler, duh) but there you go!!

Thanks again to Jacek for the translation!

Army Woes

10/28/99, 8:30 am EST - Xoanon

Thanks to Daniel again!

PRODUCERS of the movie Lord of the Rings are concerned that some of the epic battle scenes may have to be reworked. Seems the New Zealand Army had volunteered a substantial number of men as extras for the big battle scenes, but has had to withdraw the offer because of its commitment in the East Timor peacekeeping mission.

(C) 1999 Herald and Weekly Times Limited.
HERALD SUN 27/10/1999 P2

Want to Know WHO'S Making the Rings?!

10/28/99, 8:28 am EST - Xoanon

No, no dwarves, the mst common question I get in emails is 'Who is making the Rings?!' well thanks to Daniel we know!

Nelson, Oct 28 - The final work of a noted Nelson jeweller, the late Jens Hansen, will feature as the central prop in Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings, currently being filmed in Wellington.

Production of the ring began after Mr Hansen's death from cancer in August, although he had been working on preliminary designs for several months before that, his son and studio manager, Thorkild Hansen, said today.

The work was commissioned some time ago by one of the film's management team, and the late Mr Hansen then began making around 12 rings of which three were accepted, Thorkild Hansen said.

"I was quite surprised at the time spent choosing it, but it's a very important part of the film," Mr Hansen said. Production of the final design began three weeks ago. Mr Hansen said it was quite fitting that his father was involved in a film with such a title.

"We got it all finalised and agreed and everyone was happy with it - it was brilliant, then he died," Mr Hansen said.

Up to 40 of the heavy gold rings would be needed during filming, Mr Hansen said, but he declined to say how much the contract was worth.

"There's only one ring in the movie but there are many actors who have to wear it. "Some actors we've had to make up to six different rings for. The props department has to be covered in case one gets lost or damaged," Mr Hansen said.

He said the design was plain gold with no stone and quite similar to a wedding ring, just heavier.

(C) 1999 New Zealand Press Association. NEW ZEALAND PRESS ASSOCIATION 28/10/1999

Ok, a dude name Thorkild is making the rings, this makes me happy!! :)

SFX News

10/28/99, 8:23 am EST - Xoanon

Super Ringer Spy Mega Boom found this little gem for me:

Giant Handling 'Rings' Trilogy MoCap

Giant Studios (Atlanta, Georgia), holders of the worldwide license for the Biomechanics Motion Reality motion capture system, has been named exclusive motion capture studio for New Line Cinema's "The Lord of the Rings" feature film trilogy. Weta Ltd. (Wellington, New Zealand) is providing the visual effects, with Mark Stetson ("The Fifth Element") serving as visual effects supervisor. Giant Studios director of research
and development Matt Madden will oversee the production process.

News for Oct. 27, 1999

Teleri's Set Report

10/27/99, 10:34 pm EST - Xoanon

Want to know what a film set looks like? Teleri gives us a nice description of the film set at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.

Check it out in The Spy Reports!

Filming News

10/27/99, 4:55 pm EST - Xoanon

Read a short review of what was going on in Harcourt Park. Check out the Spy Reports

Suit news: DeLuca 'Power 100'

10/27/99, 3:19 pm EST - Xoanon

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has its annual 'Power 100'. It lists who it thinks are the most powerful people in Holywood. DeLuca scored with a 22. Smack dab in between Jim Carrey and Barry Diller. Way to go Michael!

CHUD Rocks

10/27/99, 10:37 am EST - Xoanon

The cool dudes over at CHUD have their latest installment of 'Why LOTR will rock'. This time they discuss New Media. Check it out :)

Everybody knows there'll be toys, video games, magazines, and websites tying in to the trilogy, but there are other far reachings formats and shapes to this universe which will grab folks from all walks of life and make us film buffs spend ALL our green. For example:

You know those STAR WARS INSIDER GUIDE CD-ROMS we all loved? Expect a very similar one for LOTR. The difference being the fact the Tolkien's series has a much more lengthy bit of history and lineage. There's DECADES and DECADES of essays, artwork, and other goodies on the subject and when the fever pitch hits in two summers you'll see folks NEEDING to bone up in time for the release.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Thanks to the folks at CHUD for the heads up!

Section Updates: Shop.theonering.net/Gaming Havens

10/27/99, 8:33 am EST - Xoanon

Check out the latest item we have for you at our shop: The Lord of the Rings Tarot Deck and Card Game will truly delight fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. Its 78 cards each depict a traditional tarot scene filtered through his most famous books. Every character-- from Gandalf to Gollum--strolls through these cards, each of which has helpful text at the bottom to aid interpretation. Befitting Tolkien's books, the art is dark and detailed and is pulled from many traditions to bring rich symbolism.

Gaming Havens is now being updated on a regular basis, I hope all you gamers head over there asap!

News for Oct. 26, 1999

Shooting Schedule

10/26/99, 11:18 pm EST - Xoanon

Want to know what where and when they'll be filming? Teleri gives us the scoop, as well as what would happen to the Ultimate Ringer Spy if caught! This ain't no slap on the wrist!

Check it all out on The Spy Reports

Dreaming Rings Part 2

10/26/99, 10:31 pm EST - Xoanon

Myrkr.com's latest LOTR article. 'Dreaming Rings Part 2' is now online. This time, they take a look at the cast, check it out, and you will be enlightened :)

Check out the great article here.

Section Update: The Spy Reports

10/26/99, 4:02 pm EST - Xoanon

A few more things have been added to the spy reports, including some Toys and a new Skin!! (don't ask) just check it out!

Click here to go to the Spy Reports


10/26/99, 1:47 pm EST - Xoanon

Star Wars had its sandstorms (2 of them) Waterworld had it's, well, everything. And Titanic had it's funky mushrooms. So now it seems Lord of the Rings has it's Earthquake.

Reported to me by the ever faithful BreeLander, the NZ North Island had an earthquake. Here's the techie stuff:

99/10/25 20:31:41 38.51S 175.69E 143.0 5.6Mb B NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

5.6 on the richter scale, and no nobody was hurt, no damage to crew cast or anything. Even Bill the pony is ok.

Check out the further details here.

Just Who on Earth is Tom Baker?

10/26/99, 1:16 pm EST - Xoanon

Never mind the gruff appearance, Tom Baker can easily be described as the most likable actors of Sci-Fi Retro in History. Having Helmed the coveted position of 'Doctor Who' longer than anyone, and being the most favorite of almost anyone who's ever watched Doctor Who (Including me), This guy was my childhood hero.

So, a LONG while back, when it was rumored that Tom was up for the role of Gandalf, you can bet many people were excited. This month Tom Baker was interviewed by SFX, and you can bet the question came up:

Were you disappointed that you missed out on the role of Gandalf in LOTR?

"Well, I wasn't disappointed when I heard that they had got Ian McKellen, who will probably be very good. No, I wasn't disappointed - I wouldn't have left my wife for 18 months in any case. I wouldn't leave my home for 18 months for anyone or any money. That's not on. That's just not being serious, That's mad. When you become an actor, I think you have to admit that you like disappointment. You're in love with rejection."

Media Watch: LOTR on SFX 58

10/26/99, 1:07 pm EST - Xoanon

I just recieved my copy of SFX in the mail and I'm pumped at what these guys are saying about our favorite film. Voted 'SFX's Sure-Fire Hit!' in the latest issue (December 1999 #58)

Without a doubt the most anticipated film of the new millenium and one that will hopefully set a benchmark of quality and scope....Tolkien really is among the best fantasy has to offer. If you've never read him, now's the time.

The article goes much more in depth, talking of casting and release dates. All of which can be found in out 'The Movies' section. But if you want to read the rest of the article, head on out and buy the latest issue of SFX today!

Groovy Gravy Green Books!

10/26/99, 10:07 am EST - Quickbeam

Hullo everybody, Quickbeam here.

We have brought a whole new plateful of stuff to the Green Books. Turgon has explored some excellent new volumes coming out from Houghton Mifflin, click on Turgon's Bookshelf and sample the very tasty new "Millennium Edition" of LOTR. I can't wait for my own copy!

Were Frodo and Sam gay?? How far will it go with these people saying our two heroes were in the closet? Well, I am more than willing to take on this debate. I'm going WAY Out on a Limb this time.... pick up your fork and knife and come take a bite out this one.

Our Q&A section is generously stocked with new morsels. Ever wonder how Eowyn actually managed to kill the Witch-King? The beautiful and very lucid Anwyn shows you the inside truth. And this time I take great pleasure in revealing the great mystery of the Barrow Wights. Did you ever wonder why Sauron bothered to make the One Ring in the first place? Check it out here.

Come sit at our table for awhile. You'll be dining in very good company.... and I promise you'll leave with a much fuller brain than before!

And serve yourself a healthy portion of great new fiction, poetry and essays from our Moon Letters section!

Much too hasty,

Cast News 3: McKellen Updates Grey Books!

10/26/99, 8:41 am EST - Xoanon

The Cool folks over at McKellen.com have updated their 'Grey Books' section. Check out the very cool article. And make sure to visit the great site!

So the journey has begun without me. On Monday 11th October, Elijah Wood et al gathered in Hobbiton -- and I hear they are behaving themselves! I have been in Toronto, masquerading as Magneto, the master of magnetism, on the set of Bryan Singer's "X-Men." I have just sent Peter Jackson an e-mail of good luck. I don't expect an immediate reply -- directing a film is totally time-consuming.

Meanwhile, Tolkien aficionados are mailing to the "Grey Book." From teenagers and readers old as wizards come the advice, the demands, the warnings - united by the hope that the film's Gandalf will match their own individual interpretations of the Lord of the Rings. I take comfort from the general assurance that they approve of the casting (not just of me but of all the other actors so far announced - thrilling news that Cate Blanchett is joining us.) Yet how can I satisfy everyone's imagined Gandalf? Simply, I can't.

I recognise the responsibility of course. It's not as if LOTR were a play that could be revived over and over, each new cast adding to the discoveries that their predecessors have made. The Jackson trilogy will be unique. It is, after all, unlikely that there will be a re-make any time soon - although there have already been the cartoon "Hobbit" (which I have yet to see) and the BBC's radio LOTR (with Ian Holm as Frodo). But some of my correspondents seem to think that actors are essayists or critics who analyse a character's complexities and then parade them, like sticking on a false beard. It's just not like that...

Check out the rest of the article here!

Cast News 2: Bean 'On the Run'

10/26/99, 8:39 am EST - Xoanon

This article appeared in a UK newspaper on the weekend of October 23. Unfortunately I don't know which newspaper, as the person who sent it to me didn't know either. The interview is another of those supporting Extremely Dangerous, the four-part film series which will be shown on British TV next month. Another article with no mention of LOTR (sorry).


He's a man convicted of the callous murder of his wife and young daughter... And now he’s on the run.

He is Neil Byrne, an undercover Government operative who is now heading back to Manchester's gangland pursed by criminals, spycatchers and the law in a bid to reveal the truth behind the brutal killings.

And for Yorkshire star Sean Bean, the new ITV drama series "Extremely Dangerous" was the sort of show that was too good to miss.

"It was a really brilliant project, a psychological drama as opposed to a purely action based show," he says.

"I liked trying to get into this man's head and what was going on in his mind. He’s been through this awful tragedy, this intense trauma where he's getting flashbacks and he's not quite sure himself that he hasn’t committed a crime."


"It's not very often that actors are offered fuller, more complex roles in front of the camera. More often it's on stage where you get the more interesting parts. But increasingly, with more innovative and imaginative directors and producers, they are coming across to television, with people not afraid to get under the skin."

The past few years have seen Sean balancing a career between cinema and small screen, with popular TV shows like Sharpe's Rifles and the one-off Gulf War adventure Bravo Two Zero running alongside major movie projects like Ronin, Goldeneye and Patriot Games. But he is particularly attracted by Murray Smith's story of a man who, having lost his wife, daughter and freedom, has nothing more to lose.


"The first script got such a good response from everybody from the word go," he says.

"The script is not what I expected at all. It's not a Fugitive take off, it's not a thing where anybody is going to get let off the hook, it's relentless all the way to the end - there's no let up at all.

"Byrne has a definite aim - to regain his freedom, discover who the killers are and then to find them. There is nothing for Byrne that exists beyond that act, nothing after that matters."

Add to that standard of writing a cast that includes Middlemarch star Juliet Aubrey and Sean was confident he was onto a winner.

"It's interesting writing and with a cast of essentially character actors, it was going to be good.

"There's a really fresh feeling between everyone coming to it, which is a plus. I hadn’t worked really closely with any of the cast before. I had worked with Juliet before, quite a long time ago, but generally none of us knew each other and that gave the production a certain sharpness and newness on set."

A tight shooting schedule also ensured that the sharpness was maintained right through to the final take.


"This was a very focused shoot. Mainly because we didn’t have that long to do it," Sean admits.

"People got tired occasionally but they were very focused and very passionate and that’s what shows at the end of the day."

And even though it is closer to a psychological drama then adventure, fans will be pleased to hear that there's still the usual quota of Bean action scenes.

"I keep myself fairly fit for all the stunts and I quite enjoy it," Sean says. "Because of the nature of the piece, there is a fair amount of violence but my role was to make it as real as possible and not just to have a fight coming out of nowhere because we haven’t had one for 5 minutes or because it had been half an hour since the last one."

Thanks to Nona yet again!

Cast News 1: Cate 'Life After Death'

10/26/99, 8:33 am EST - Xoanon

Blanchett proves there's life after death
By Simon Holden

Bafta-winning actress Cate Blanchett's early life was marred by tragedy - but the death of her father when she was 10 also gave her the drive to succeed in life.

"There's a quote in Thackeray which says, 'The best thing I could wish you, my child, is a little misfortune.'

"His death made me appreciate the lack of time we have and how life is so important," she says.

The star of Elizabeth has made her first true Hollywood movie, the comedy Pushing Tin (out this week), about air traffic controllers.

She plays a Long Island housewife married to John Cusack. He gets into a macho duel over a woman with a fellow air traffic controller (Billy Bob Thornton).

Blanchett told Big Screen: "It's a black comedy about the nightmare of personal competition. It's quite funny. My character is more or less the dumping ground.

"When we finished making Elizabeth, I felt like a big weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I don't mean that in a negative way, but it was a very demanding production. Pushing Tin was an easier shoot."

She says she likes to tackle roles she thinks she can't do.

"If you're always trying to play parts close to yourself, you're not extending your knowledge or being stretched.

"You expend so much energy doing roles that it's foolish to just cynically do what you've done already." At home in Tinseltown

Unlike many other stars, the Australian likes Tinseltown.

"The only times I've been to Los Angeles I've had a lovely time," she says.

"I think it's incredibly easy to demonise Hollywood and American film-making, but there are a lot of extraordinary actors and directors in LAShe grew up in Melbourne and studied art history for two years at Melbourne University.

Her role model is actress Judy Davis but her first experience of film-making wasn't as glamorous.

"I was in Egypt and I had no money and I asked to be an extra in an Egyptian boxing movie," she says.

"This mad Danish woman got the lead role as this boxing slut and I got the part of the cheerleader. We didn't even get to wear any costumes. It was so disappointing."

She went on to win the Bafta for Elizabeth while her stage play Electra and performance in David Mamet's Oleanna drew plaudits. Next year she stars with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley.

In between movies, Blanchett tries to spend time at home in Sydney with her husband Andrew Upton, a set designer.

Though she's model thin she says: "I really love eating and cooking big lunches. My favourite food has been Japanese fish-based dishes, although I'm now concerned about all the talk of our oceans being over-fished."

Thanks to Nona for the article!

Small updates...

10/26/99, 1:13 am EST - Calisuri

Thanks to William Milsten and the Barliman regulars for this weeks poll! As always, check out the old poll results here, and send those ideas to calisuri@theonering.net

There are 10 new fan art masterpieces for you to review as well as a small update to Shop.TheOneRing.net.

Have a great week everyone!

News for Oct. 25, 1999

Media Watch: Cook Strait News

10/25/99, 10:05 pm EST - Xoanon

The ever trustfull Xtem has come up with the goods again. Here it is, enjoy:

From Cook Strait News, Monday October 25, 1999
Film Impacts on Rent - by Anna Chalmers

Wellington’s popularity as a filming venue is making rental properties in Roseneath, Seatoun and Miramar a hot commodity and something some Real Estate agents say they can not get enough of.

With Fort Dorset in Seatoun one of the main locations for filming Peter Jackson’s $360 million Lord of the Rings trilogy, many crew, including the stars need homes in the area. Demand for houses has meant numerous homeowners in sought after properties have moved out of their homes so they can be rented to film crew. Flyers have been placed in many eastern Wellington letterboxes, by Three Foot Six Ltd, accommodation coordinators for Lord of the Rings, wanting homes to rent. Lord of the Rings publicist Claire Raskind says the film is unusually long so actors and film crew need comfortable accommodation.

“It’s important people feel like they have a home” she says.

She says cast and crew, come and go, so accommodation requirements are constantly changing.

“We have a rotating base of homes for people.”
She says they are still looking for “executive properties”, particularly ones with a sea view or location. LJ Hooker property manager Giles Kidman says he cannot get enough “big homes” with a capacity for entertaining. He has a list of clients waiting for rental properties in the top price bracket.

“Wellington is really on the increase, people are getting transfers, the city is really booming with what it has to offer.”

He says sea and coast views are in big demand because that is what New Zealand has promoted overseas as being. He says that while furnished homes for rent are popular, white-ware is particularly important, as buying appliances is more of a problem than furniture.

“If it was something nice then they would pay the price. Tenants today have changed, they’re willing to pay a little bit more and they usually shift around to find what they want.”

With the extra demand for homes, he says rental prices in areas like Miramar have increased.

“People are looking for houses in Miramar anyway, so there is added pressure on the area [with filming]. I’d say that, because of the pressure, they [prices] are coming back up to what they should be.”

Leaders Kilbirnie manager Craig Oliver says many of the high price properties he knows of have been rented out directly to the film company rather than going through an agent. He says it is not unusual to hear of $900 rent a week being charged for Roseneath homes. Gone are the days of exorbitant rents, most will only pay market rent for houses he says. While the exact number of crew needing homes is unknown, finding houses is a full time job, says Ms Raskind. She says the Wellington community has really welcomed everybody.

“The people of Wellywood have been great, especially with confidentiality issues and the production crew really appreciate that.”

Thanks to Xtem for the article!

More Toys than a kleptomaniac elf at Christmas time

10/25/99, 3:04 pm EST - Xoanon

ok, maybe not that many, but SFX Mag, possibly the BEST Movie mag out there (they give it to you straight, and you will like it). I have yet to get my issue yet, but when I do I'll scan it, in the meantime if anyone has the scanned ad, send it on over!

Hello again, Xoanon,

I didn't expect to find myself contacting you again so quickly but I recieved a copy of 'Sci-Fi Warehouse Direct' in my subscription copy of SFX magazine on saturday.

On page 22 they are offering five LoR action figures for sale.

Cat No. A3391
Price £11.99

Cat No. A3392
Price £11.99

Cat No. A3393
Price £13.99

Cat No. A3394
Price £13.99

Cat No. A3395
Price £11.99

The accomanying blurb says;"As the expectation for the new live action Lord of the Rings movie trilogy grows, we are able to bring you these action figures inspired by Tolkeins world. All figures are heavily accessorised with items you will recognise. 5-7 inches."

They are illustrated in the magazine, but unfortunately my scanner is off-line and I can't show them to you.

The company does have a web site, www.scifiwarehouse.com, but sadly they don't feature these action figures anywhere that I can find on the site.

Thanks to Bryn for the tip!

Cast News: Cate's 'Mr Ripley' Review

10/25/99, 8:59 am EST - Xoanon

The latest Cate Blanchett film 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' has been reviewed by one of the good folks over at AICN, check it out here.

Cate plays 'Meredith Logue'. 'The Talented Mr. Ripley' plot outline is: 'Ripley is sent to Europe to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, but when the errand fails, Ripley kills the playboy and assumes his life.' (thanks to IMDB)

Check out the official site here.

News for Oct. 24, 1999

And now...The South Island

10/24/99, 9:39 pm EST - Xoanon

Want to know what when and where they'll be filming soon? Check out The Spy Reports!

Cast News: The Dangerous Mr. Bean

10/24/99, 11:35 am EST - Xoanon

Nona, from 'The Complete Sean Bean' (check the cast page for the link) sent us a recent interview that our Boromir did for Saturday's Daily Mail Weekend magazine (UK). Nothing LOTR related, but here are a few tidbits:

Women swoon over him, men envy him. Sean Bean, the working-class lad from Sheffield who became a star, would seem to have it made. But there has been a price to pay, as WENDY LEIGH discovered when she finally met him.

The Sean Bean we see on our television screens seems as tough and resilient as the steel city which forged him. As he struts about in his period uniform as Sharpe or in his modern fatigues in Bravo Two Zero he seems well cast as the courageous yet unemotional military man.

In his private life, too, he might be seen as cold and hard as steel; for how else could he find himself, at the age of just 40, on his third wife? Some who have followed the lurid tales of his love life might be tempted to think of him as the sort of upwardly-mobile cad who trades in wives as his career progresses. But Sean isn't so easily pigeonholed. If he really was ruthless in love, how could it be that his first wife, his teenage sweetheart, Debra (with whom he lost his virginity), won't say a word against him and still enjoys calling on his mother for a friendly chat in their home town of Sheffield? And how come he is so obviously devoted to his third wife, Abigail Cruttenden, and their baby Evie, now almost a year old? The wife in the middle, Bread actress Melanie Hill, is a more painful subject, for they broke up amid much acrimony about their manifold separations and talk of his supposedly laddish lifestyle...

...He laughs, relishing the memory, and the entire experience of Hollywood and all it offers to those blessed to be stars. At the same time, he is living proof of the axiom, "You can take the boy out of Sheffield but you can't take Sheffield out of the boy," and he knows it.

His greatest dream, he says, is to play Macbeth. "I love the play," he says. "Love, death, ambition, betrayal. And Lady Macbeth." So you like strong women? I ask. "Yes." he says. "Yes, I do."

Sensitive, shy, clearly somewhat embarrassed to find himself so succesful in a profession from which real men's men from the welding world would steer clear, Sean Bean is not as big a macho cliche as has been projected. He is clearly capable, too, of ommunicating with women when they are vertical.

Extremely Dangerous will be shown on ITV next month.

Just a little view into one of my favorite actors among the cast! When I think of how amazing LOTR is going to be, I think of Bean.

News for Oct. 23, 1999

We fixed the link to Craig's page...

10/23/99, 10:58 pm EST - Tehanu

So if you want to see who they're picking for elves in speaking roles, scroll down and click on the link to Craig Parker's website. Sorry that took so long. I was looking for my own personal Rivendell on the Coromandel. Nothing to do with the film at all.

Find Tolkien fans all over the world...

10/23/99, 9:35 pm EST - Calisuri

Barliman's Chat Room seems to grow everyday! Join people from all over the world to discuss Tolkien and the upcoming movies.

If you have an inkling to see where your fellow chatters are from, check out Pypesmoke's page for Barliman regulars: click here

Thanks to Pypesmoke for such a great effort, and look for a Barliman section on this website in the future!

Wanna see a WETA Digi Test Shot? - UPDATED -

10/23/99, 12:02 pm EST - Xoanon

Click on over to the Spy Reports! !!WARNING!! COULD POSSIBLY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILER!!!

News for Oct. 22, 1999

Media Watch: SET Magazine in Brazil

10/22/99, 11:27 pm EST - Xoanon

SET Magazine, a Brazilian Movie Mag, has done a few pieces on LOTR. It's a basic overall review, so nothing much new there. Good to see the international press getting on board!

Thanks to Mongvar for the images!

Tehanu's travel diary: looking around Wellington film

10/22/99, 2:20 pm EST - Calisuri

A week into filming, and Tehanu found she just HAD to go to Wellington...While she was there she found time to lurk around some film locations....her travel notes are here.

Mt. Victoria Pathways

The official info on Craig Parker

10/22/99, 1:10 pm EST - Tehanu

Here's a link to a website about Craig Parker, who said on TVone's "Bayley's Home Front" that he was going to be an elf on LOTR and he was spending a lot of time at the gym because he had the idea that they don't wear a great deal.

Check out Craig's website, which includes video clips of him in action, here

Thanks again to Tiggy for the link.

Toys Toys Toys

10/22/99, 11:13 am EST - Xoanon

Looking for some LOTR related toys? Why not check out this site 'Harlequin Miniatures', they have started selling some LOTR related stuff:

Characters and Heroes

Grishnahk of Barad-Dur (1) £ 4.00 $ 8.00
Gimli £ 4.00 $ 8.00

Uruk-Hai Soldiers I (2) £ 4.00 $ 8.00
Uruk-Hai Soldiers II (2) £ 4.00 $ 8.00
Uruk-Hai Soldiers III (2) £ 4.00 $ 8.00
Uruk-Hai Soldier Command (2)£ 4.50 $ 9.00
Uruk-Hai Soldiers Champion (1)£ 3.00 $ 6.00

Orc Soldiers

Orc Soldiers I (3) £ 4.50 $ 9.00
Orc Soldiers II (3) £ 4.50 $ 9.00
Orc Soldier Command (2) £ 4.00 $ 8.00
Orc Soldier Champion (1) £ 3.00 $ 6.00

Check out the site here. Thanks to Bryn for the tip!

Viggo off to NZ

10/22/99, 8:49 am EST - Xoanon

According to Frosty, head honcho at 'The Corner of Viggo Mortensen' (see cast page), the big V is off to NZ this week-end.

Expect him to travel with a broken sword, pat the top of Elijah's head, and lust after Liv Tyler, well, aren't we all?

Thanks to Frosty for the tip!

Cast news: Hawke's 'Joe the King' Out Today

10/22/99, 8:41 am EST - Xoanon

Ethan Hawke's latest 'Joe The King' is out in limited USA release today. Ethan plays Len Coles.

Check out our Ethan Hawke page here.

Check out the bizzar 'Joe the King' official website here.

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