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November 19, 1999 - November 25, 1999

News for Nov. 25, 1999

Tehanu's political broadcast.

11/25/99, 10:24 pm EST - Tehanu

We're having an election tomorrow, so I thought I'd mention for the benefit of Kiwis that visit this site, that your vote affects whether movies get made in NZ, whether people write or read (or learn to read, for that matter)
This is part of the "Hard News" article on scoop. I couldn't see who wrote it.
"It's not expensive to have a culture. New Zealand On Air's total wage bill is about $665,000 a year - not much more than Don Brash's own salary. And our public investments in our own culture tend to pay off.
"Prebble had either the cheek or the ignorance to tell Kim Hill that Peter Jackson bringing in $360m in foreign exchange to make Lord of the Rings showed that the creative industries could stand on their own two feet.
Well, I suppose so. If you don't count the first four movies that the Film Commission helped him make, or the pervasive roleof NZ On Air in building the kind of skills base that lets you even think about projects like Lord of the Rings - or Xena, WarriorPrincess, for that matter. Similarly, there'd have been no 'How
Bizarre' as a worldwide hit without the Otara Music and Arts Centre.
What I really like about Labour's Arts Policy is that it's written like an industry policy - indeed, it's explicitly linkedto Labour's industry development policy. There are contestable Arts Capital grants, short-term artists' allowances at the level of the dole to get businesses rolling. And there are local content broadcast quotas. It is coherent and it will pay off."
See the whole thing here

Cast News: Liv/McKellen on TV

11/25/99, 9:16 am EST - Xoanon




While our American Ringer friends enjoy Thanksgiving, they can spend some quality time infront of the TV with Liv Tyler and Ian McKellen today.

First up is the Liv Tyler comedy 'That Thing You Do', Liv plays Faye Dolan. Check it out 11:30 EST this morning on VH1.

Next is the Ian McKellen action flick, 'The Shadow', in it McKellen plays Dr. Reinhardt Lane, it'll be on Encore at 9:30 EST.

Thanks to Gamgee for the TV tips!

News for Nov. 24, 1999

The Hobbit-First Edition-1937 on eBay

11/24/99, 8:47 am EST - Xoanon

David sends this in:

I do, however, have another large Tolkien auction running right now if you wanted to post something about that. Here's the auction number if you're interested: 206857301.

The item is the first edition of The Hobbit circa 1937!
Get on this item asap!

Money burning a hole in your pocket? Check out our shop and fill your Tolkien needs!


The latest

11/24/99, 3:03 am EST - Tehanu

My brain hurts. But wow, Tolkien continues to surprise me. Check it out here.

LOTR causing a building shortage in Queenstown

11/24/99, 2:56 am EST - Tehanu

Because of the floods in Queenstown, builders and carpenters are urgently needed for repair work. However so many of them are already contracted to work for the LOTR film company that there is a real problem finding workers to reconstruct damaged buildings, according to the news on National Radio. Another film being made there (Vertical Limit?) has also booked out the available workers. (They've been there for months before LOTR got there.)
Thanks to Tiggy for that tidbit.
Tehanu had heard a few months ago that 'you couldn't find a carpenter for love or money' in Wellington as the set-building got underway in the studios there.

News for Nov. 23, 1999

Cast News: Release Date Changes

11/23/99, 8:34 pm EST - Xoanon

Garth, my good buddy over at DarkHorizons. Has posted a list of some films way down the pipe. Some of them have release date changes.

Namely, the Viggo Mortensen pic '28 Days' now opening April 14, 2000. And (RUMOR STILL) Donald Sutherland's 'Space Cowboys', now moved to August 4th, 2000.

Case of the Viggo Clone?

11/23/99, 8:30 pm EST - Xoanon

I saw this bit of LOTR cast trivia over at the Entertainment Weekly site and thought I'd pass it along:

THREATENED L7 had to call off a video shoot in Texas for its new song ''Crackpot Baby'' when lead singer and guitarist Donita Sparks got a bomb threat on her cell phone on Nov. 13, according to MTV News. ''We've pissed off a lot of people during our career, especially this year,'' wrote guitarist Suzi Gardner in a statement. ''It could have been anyone from anti-pro-choicers to Lilith Fairers.'' Now the shoot -- which will be directed by actor Viggo Mortensen (''Psycho'') -- has been bumped back to mid-December.


Hasn't Viggo reported to N.Z. already? Has anyone told L7?

As far as I know Viggo IS in NZ, having replaced Stuart Townsend within a week-end. Perhaps it's another Viggo? Maybe L7 will film the video in NZ?

Thanks to G.E.C. for the tip!

Millionare Question Again

11/23/99, 8:03 pm EST - Xoanon



Sometimes I think I'm destined to work on LOTR....

...ok, that may be shash, but it was an odd coincidence that I was sitting here by my computer. With Regis screaming at computer guys and lawyers sitting in the 'hot seat' and this question was asked.

In which land did the character Peter Pan live in?

A) Garden of Eden
B) Neverland
C) Middle Earth (exact spelling)
D) Dublin

Someone who writes those questions for that game show must be a big time LOTR fan. It keeps creeping up!

Evening Post: Helms Deep pic!

11/23/99, 7:28 pm EST - Xoanon

The pics from the quarry that TheOneRing.net first brought to you (check the Spy Reports archives) has poped up in a newspaper. Check it out in The Spy Reports. The pic is from the Evening Post dated 23rd November, it goes with the article about Helms Deep of that same day and newspaper.

!!!WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Thanks to RohanExtra-197 for the image!

More on Fluke

11/23/99, 4:50 pm EST - Xoanon

Cinescape is reporting that they've found the newspaper in which the supposed remark George Lucas made towards LOTR.

Is this the supposed paper? If so, who has read the article in question? I seriously doubt this was even printed due to the fact that someone would have sent it to me.

This is what Cinescape had to say:

And what of that newspaper? Is it for real… and if so, what paper was the quote in? A tipster going under the name of ‘Eggert Ólafsson’ checked in suggesting that he might actually know the paper. He gave the following info:

"The newspaper that printed that interview is named "Morgunblađiđ", translated: "The Morning Paper". I read it about two months ago, when Star Wars premiered in Iceland. The journalist’s name is Pétur Blöndal."


You can check out the Morgunblađiđ’s website by clicking here.

Chance for UK viewers to see Andy Serkis (voice of Gollum) in action.

11/23/99, 2:39 pm EST - Tehanu

Hey there, don't know whether you know this already, but Andy Serkis is about to appear on UK TV this Sunday in Oliver Twist.
Apparently it's a virtual re-write of Dicken's original, a bit more hard edged and with more character depth. Serkis plays Bill Sykes, so we could get a taste of him in slimey mode!!

Don't know the exact time, but it's this Sunday, on ITV.
Thanks to Matt for that!

Special Effects Director Speaks!

11/23/99, 9:20 am EST - Xoanon

Fortress rises on Haywards Hill - Lord of the Rings Secret Tricks revealed
Special Effects Director Speaks!

From: The Evening Post, Tuesday 23 November

Fortress rises on Haywards Hill
Lord of the Rings Secret Tricks revealed

by Simon Beattie

Special effects whizzes on The Lord of the Rings movies have built models up to 8m high in Warehouses in Miramar.

The trilogy’s special effects director, Alex Funke, at the weekend unveiled some tricks and techniques being used by Peter Jackson’s Weta special effects team.

Mr Funke, speaking to the Screen Producers and Director’s Association conference in Wellington, said the Lord of the Rings was the Holy Grail of film-making and required more than 1000 special effects shots.

Mr Funke was the effects cinematographer on blockbusters The Abyss, Waterworld, Starship Troopers and Total Recall - for which he won an Oscar. He said Weta - the visual effects company based at director Jackson’s Camperdown Studios - was building and filming miniature models. The footage would be superimposed onto live action shots.

It is believed that the partial set built in the stone quarry on Haywards Hill is for the scenes involving the battle at Helm’s Deep fortress.. A complete miniature set has also been constructed.

Mr Funke, from the United States, said some of the models were 8m tall, "We have warehouses full of them. We have huge space - about 3000sqm - for our use."

Mr Funke said an almost constant cloud of smoke would be used in special effect shots to give the viewers the illusion of depth.

Almost every effect shot had been previewed on computers. In many cases they would be shot using cameras with technology that was 50 years old.

Data takers made sure the work of different camera crews and the special effects team corresponded.

Despite revealing some tricks of the trade, Mr Funke wouldn’t show any film clips of the scenes filmed so far.

"I would love to show you some rushes [film clips] of The Lord of The Rings, but security being what it is, I can’t."

Star Wars creator George Lucas was reported to have said in a overseas newspaper recently that only his company, Industrial Light and Magic, would be able to create many of the shots needed.

Mr Funke disagreed. "I don’t think he’s speaking form an informed point of view. I think it’s going to be difficult, but we can do it."



Life Returning to Normal

11/23/99, 12:31 am EST - Xoanon




From: Ian

The road is open!

The slip on the Queenstown-Frankton road is still on the move - at the impressive speed of 1mm per hour (or about 1 inch per day). This is slow enough for the road to be reopened during the day, but closed at night to allow repair work.

Lake Wakatipu is slowly on the way down, at 1cm per hour (10 inches per day). Queenstown is open for business... sort-of. It may be Christmas before some businesses in the town are up and running again. But at least all frustrated WETA folks are now free to roam.

News for Nov. 22, 1999

Script Review Q&A Online

11/22/99, 10:52 pm EST - Xoanon

Thanks to Calisuri, the Q&A is online now. It's more of a FAQ, so I hope it clears things up. And as always, if you still have yet more questions or comments, please email me. :)

Many, many people have written me letters asking me more questions regarding the scripts. While I cannot answer them all individually, I am going to try and answer some of the ones that I am hearing the most often...

For the rest of the review Q&A click here.

Film Company looking at insurance claims.

11/22/99, 3:15 pm EST - Tehanu

Producer Tim Sanders said that the film company would be looking at their insurance to see if they could claim for the damage and losses caused by the weather around Queenstown, according to a Radio New Zealand news bulletin.
Several sets were damaged or swept away by flooding and filming has been delayed by snow in Te Anau and blocked roads in the region. Some areas are now accessible but the rivers are still too high and muddy to be filmed. Schedules have been put back while damaged sets are rebuilt.
The weather in the region is far from settled at present.

Section Update: Barliman's

11/22/99, 10:39 am EST - Xoanon

The Extras and Sounds section have been updated. Check out the Barliman's section for some interesting tidbits!

Media Watch: USA Today

11/22/99, 10:32 am EST - Xoanon


There's a brief mention of LOTR in the current issue of USA Today. It's in the Life Section, in an article about the ratings system and the commercial success of PG-13 movies. View the entire article here.

Here's an excerpt:

Aware of what's at stake, studios are making sure that, whenever possible, their most commercial prospects turn out PG-13. For years, filmmakers signed contracts promising their movies would get at least an R rating. The concern was that a film rated NC-17 (the rating that replaced X) could not make money because no one under 17 may be admitted - even with a parent. Now contracts often are written to ensure that a movie comes in with a rating no more restrictive than PG-13.

As part of his deal, director Sam Raimi, for example, had to make sure that For Love of the Game wasn't going to be R-rated. Filmmaker Peter Jackson, now shooting the three Lord of the Rings films, is obligated to do the same.

Even when there isn't a binding mandate, industry players aim for PG-13. Filmmakers often pre-emptively cut scenes the MPAA board might find objectionable, and a rating can always be appealed.


Thanks to Krosshair for the tip!

Script Review Q & A

11/22/99, 10:02 am EST - Xoanon

Well, i've finally finished my Script Review Q & A. What took me so long you ask? Well YOU try running a site like this and still have to wait on tables on the week end (hint hint I need a job! anyone? anyone?)

I've sent it off to Calisuri to post up, it should be up later today :)

Read the initial script review here.

Queenstown Floods, the unauthorised version.

11/22/99, 3:04 am EST - Tehanu

So, according to me, the props people sent their latest version of Gandalf's staff to Queenstown for approval from PJ. Some guy unpacks it from its box, thinks, 'Wow, this looks like it would really do the business at the Ford of Rivendell." He's the sort of guy that wears one of those T-shirts with "Real Men don't need Instructions," printed on it. He strikes a pose, waves the staff at the Clutha River, and next thing you know they're declaring a state of emergency downstream in Alexandra.
Righto, I know, you come here to get real news. Sorry, I like my version better.

Blanchett: 'Prosthetic Ears'

11/22/99, 12:31 am EST - Xoanon

From: Lance



Just posted a massive article, which took me forever to transcribe, from a cover story from the Dec. issue of Los Angeles Magazine, which concludes with this paragraph:

At the current rate, it may be some time before she gets that couch. After finishing "The Man Who Cried," she is set to star in "The Gift" cowritten by Billy Bob Thornton and directed by Sam Raimi. And then she's off to New Zealand to play Galadriel, the elf queen in Peter Jackson's adaptation of Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings." Once again, her appearance will morph. "I'm tickled," says Blanchett. "I'm being fitted for prosthetic ears."

Read the whole article here.

Thanks to Lance at Cate Blanchett Online.

Character Section Redesign!!

11/22/99, 12:23 am EST - Calisuri

Check out the amazing new content for TheOneRing.netŞ's Character Section. Ringer staff member Gamgee has compiled quite a bit of information on each LOTR character. If you want some quick information on your favorite LOTR character, this is the place to go! He has also added descriptions for Treebeard, Celeborn, Denethor, and Sauron. Make sure you drop by Barliman's and buy him a 1420!

Thanks to Eric Flippo and the Barliman chat room for this weeks poll. Check out the old polls here.

There are some more new fan art submissions for your viewing pleasure and look for the finalized update to Gaming Havens sometime tomorrow afternoon..:)

News for Nov. 21, 1999

Media Watch: The Evening Post

11/21/99, 11:12 pm EST - Xoanon

Flood Ruins Rings Set

A Lord of the Rings film set has been washed away by floodwater near Queenstown. About 300-400 crew and cast have been filming the $360 million film trilogy near Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau for the past 10 days and will be in the area until Christmas. Producer Tim Sanders said today filming was delayed in some locations because of flooding and bad weather. Some locations could still be used in the next few weeks when they dried out, but others wouldn't be ready until the film crew returned next year.

Mr Sanders said one set of some ruins had been washed away. "It wasn't a huge set, but we had some ruins for one of our scenes along the Kawarau River, built on a beach setting. The beach, and the ruins and the whole area were suddenly 5m under water," he said.

"The great irony in all of this is that we had a set built in a studio here [in Queenstown] for wet weather purposes. We couldn't reach it because we were cut off in Te Anau. Now that we've finally made it to Queenstown, it's the only thing we can shoot on because all our other sets have washed away. And [today] it's beautiful weather." Filming in Wellington will resume about mid-January.

Here are some images from Karawau River:




Thanks to Buzz for the tip!

Set Has Been Washed Away..

11/21/99, 9:22 pm EST - Xoanon

Buzz chimes in:

I can confirm that set being washed away thing too. But apparently they were able to shoot some footage which actually took advantage of the conditions. :-) The rain curse continues!

An armour tidbit.

11/21/99, 4:01 pm EST - Tehanu

Could have sworn I'd posted this before, but no. The knitted armour rumour. Check it out in spy reports

Speaking of the NZ TV and Film Conference....

11/21/99, 3:33 pm EST - Tehanu

We'd love to hear from anyone that attended the talk that Weta's special effects gurus gave there.

Interesting comment on the state of the NZ film industry from expatriate NZ producer

11/21/99, 3:28 pm EST - Tehanu

There's an interesting snippet in the Otago Daily Times quoting Tim Bevan, who's in NZ to address the NZ Film and TV conference that's on in Wellington at the moment. He laments the fact that most talent in NZ goes overseas as soon as they've made one movie that's sufficiently successful to get them out of here. As he himself has done. This is something that Peter Jackson mentioned in an interview years ago. The fact that Jackson is now bucking this trend is something that Bevan mentions in passing.
The full article's available here

News for Nov. 20, 1999

'The Hobbit' Stage Play

11/20/99, 3:31 pm EST - Xoanon

Trufflehunter has sent in a review of 'The Hobbit' Check it out, in The Spy Reports.

Tom Bombadil Chat at 'Hall of Fire' Today

11/20/99, 11:36 am EST - Xoanon

Want to talk some serious Tolkien? Why not join our 'Hall of Fire' chat, where serious Tolkien fans talk serious Tolkien topics. This weeks topic:

Tom Bombadil?... Arguably Tolkiens most complex mystery, Tom Bombadil should provide fuel for a wild, and invigorating chat!. Join Gamgee, PipeSmoke and Gandalf in the Hall of Fire, today at 3:30 EST and try to help us solve this enigma of Middle Earth.

Joining the 'Hall of Fire' chatroom is easy, go to our chatroom registration page, and make sure you enter the room 'TheHallOfFire'.

Don't live in the EST time zone? Want to make sure you don't miss it? Click here for a timezone map. EST is the same time zone as New York.

Sutherland IS Denethor?

11/20/99, 11:13 am EST - Xoanon




Well this is something we haven't seen in a while. Casting news! Well rumors, Ain't It Cool News is reporting that good ole Canadian boy Donald Sutherland may be tipped for the role of Denethor. More info as I get it.

NZ Flood Update

11/20/99, 12:56 am EST - Xoanon

Wet Ringer Spy Ian sends more on the flood waters which have been a problem for the production. Fom my sources, I hear at least one set may be washed away.

ust to clarify - the slip on the Queenstown-Frankton road hasn't actually covered the road (yet) but serious cracks have developed in the road and the slip still threatens to carry the road into the lake. 11 houses have been condemned, their owners prohibited from ever returning to them. Other houses remain evacuated, with owners allowed to temporarily return to gather important possessions. As a precaution the residents of another 13 properties were evacuated around midnight last night.



Until "geotechnical tests" have been completed the roading authorities do not know if the road can be fixed or if it needs rebuilding completely. Until then it remains closed, and Queenstown remains pretty much cut off.



A shot on the TV news last night of a guy on the other side of a very flooded street holding up a bag of money outside a bank: "They must have been laundering the money - it's all wet."

News for Nov. 19, 1999

Media Watch: Movieline Mag Covers 'TFF'

11/19/99, 1:43 pm EST - Xoanon

The latest issue of 'Movieline' magazine covers the Toronto Film Festival. Among the films in the fest are the Elijah Wood pic 'Black and White' where Wood plays 'Wren', and the Uma Thurman comedy/drama 'Sweet and Lowdown' where she plays 'Blanche'. Both films did not recieve favorable reviews.

Black and White Official Site.

Sweet and Lowdown Official Site.

Movieline does not have an official site up as of yet. (www.movieline.com)

Media Watch: Filmink

11/19/99, 9:40 am EST - Xoanon

From: Resevoir Dog

The news about the flood doesn't sound very good, there was an article here on the news last night about the flood with plenty of pictures and a report saying many things won't be fixed and may be powerless until after xmas.

I was reading an edition of Filmink an australian indie film mag and they had an interview with Sir Ian McKellen I thought you might be interested in. It is a little wrong in that it says he is currently filming LOTR but other than that it is interesting.

Price of fame: sir Ian Mckellen

Currently in the land of the long white cloud shooting Peter Jackson's highly anticipated Rings trilogy, Sir Ian McKellen ignored the price of fame and logged on to his own website to answer Chris Parry's questions.

The name Sir Ian Mckellen sounds very regal. You get the mentle picture of a forthright, prim and proper gentleman who could blow you off your feet with one line from 'The Merchant of Venice', while not spilling a drop from his cup of earl grey. The reality is he's a complex guy. Outspoken, almost militantly gay, protective of his art but not above appearing in a comic book adaptation if the chance arises, one of the first big names to start his own website, very liberal with ciggies and a bloody nice guy.

The winner of over 30 international awards, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for his role in 'Gods and Monsters', it all started for him in school. An ardent watcher of Gielgud, Oliver, Leigh and Ashcroft, McKellen was handling Shakespeare at age 13, throwing himself into the world of thespianage with vigour and much success. His first cinematic role was in the unfinished, unreleased 1966 Gregory Peck film, 'The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling'. In 1968 he took on his first gay role in 'A Touch of Love', at a time when such roles could lead to blacklisting, or even worse, 'Carry On' films.

Between 1969 and 1982 McKellen avoided film, but made a fleeting return with Fred Schepisi's 'Plenty', followed by 'Scandal, Last Action Hero and Six degrees of Seperation' (again with Schepisi). But it was his adaptation and starring turn in 'Richard III' and the multiple award wining 'Gods and Monsters' that earned him the world acclaim his skills deserved. With the Bill Condon directed James Whale biopic about to be released on video, we dragged Sir Ian off 'The Lord of the Rings' set to have a wee chat.

F: Did you write a speech for the Oscars...just in case?

IM: Of course - no one wants to look foolish in front of that many viewers. I'll hold onto it for next time...

F: Which fellow thespians do you admire?

IM: All those who try to improve with each part of the play - too many to list.

F: If you could fix one thing about Hollywood, what would it be?

IM: The Stupidity.

F: Aliens land and demand to know five films which they could get a total film education, which five? (geez, who writes theses things? -Xoanon)

IM: Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot; Strangers on a Train; The Duel; Fantasia; The Great Dictator;

F: What was the last book you read?

IM: The Lord of the Rings.

F: More important: Critical acclaim, self satisfaction or personal wealth?

IM: Definitley self-satisfaction.

F: Who chooses your roles? You or your agent?

IM: I do, you obviously don't know my agent.

F: Do you read reviews of your films?

IM: Most, although there's less point reading film reviews than theatre reviews, because it's too late to take advice once the work is done. I never bother reading reviews of other people's work.

F: Clowns: funny or scary?

IM: Most clowns I've seen are neither.

F: Describe your introduction to the world of theatre

IM: I went to see Peter Pan at age 3. I wasn't over-impressed. For one thing it wasn't a real crocodile and I could see the wires.

F: If we ever get to buy you a drink, what are you having?

IM: Fresh squeezed orange juice please.


Geez, of all those stupid questions, you'd think the reporter would ask, 'are you in the cold wasteland known as Toronto filming a comic book film? or are in warm sunny New Zealand?' but no, the juice question was VERY interesting (mumble mumble, about not getting to do interviews which I know would be a MILLION times better....)

Thanks to RD for the scoop!

Cast News: Lee's 'Sleepy Hollow' Opens Today

11/19/99, 9:04 am EST - Xoanon

As if you didn't already know, but the latest Christopher Lee film 'Sleepy Hollow' opens today in wide release in the US and Canada. Lee has a small part at the begining, so look closely for Saruman!

Cast News: 'Snow..' opens in Brazil

11/19/99, 9:02 am EST - Xoanon

Calling all Brazilian Ringers! The latest Ethan Hawke film 'Snow Falling on Cedars' has opened in Brazil today. Take a look and see what you think of Faramir!

'Millionaire' Follow-up

11/19/99, 8:59 am EST - Xoanon


A follow-up on the 'Frodo' questions on The 'millionare' game show last night.

I live in Tulsa, where the fellow on "Who wants to be a Millionaire" is from who missed the Frodo question (His name is Toby ____). He was on the radio this morning, where he said that he knew Frodo was from LOTR. He was thinking that it had been a while since Tolkien had died, though, and didn't know if maybe the copyright had run out. He didn't want to risk losing the $250,000 he'd already won on a guess. If he'd been visiting theonering.net, he'd have known that the family still holds the copyright!

Thanks to Terry for the tip!

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