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January 16, 2002 - January 22, 2002

1-22-02 Latest News

Other Cast Projects
Xoanon @ 1:02 pm EST

Karl Urban (Eomer) has joined the cast of 'Ghost Ship. A horror flick about a salvage crew that discovers a long-lost 1953 passenger ship floating lifeless in a remote region of the Bering Sea. As they try to tow it back to land, "strange things" begin to happen. The film is set for an October, 2002 release.

Miranda Otto (Eowyn) is starring in 'Julie Walking Home' with polish director Agnieszka Holland (The Third Miracle) at the helm.

John Rhys-Davies has joined the cast of 'Scorcher', the film also stars Mark Dacascos of 'The Crow: Stairway To Heaven' TV fame and Rutger Hauer (King Vortigern from the 'Merlin' Mini-series).

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) has also lent his voice to the new video game 'Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance', the game is in stores now.

Orlando Bloom has joined the cast of the comically named film 'Ali G in da House', Orlando plays Lance. The film was shot in multiple locations in England and is set for a March 22, 2002 release date.

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) is getting his vocal chords ready to voice Chucky the killer plaything in 'Child's Play 5', and as the title suggests, it is the 5th venture in the series. Look for that to come out this Hallowe'en.

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 12:36 pm EST

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000) UK
Walk on the Moon, A (1999) UK
Perfect Murder, A (1998)
Thin Red Line, The (1998)
Portrait of a Lady, The (1996) UK
Crimson Tide (1995)
American Yakuza (1994)
Young Americans, The (1993)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Young Guns II (1990)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

One Night at McCool's (2001)
Onegin (1999) UK
Plunkett & Macleane (1999) UK
Armageddon (1998) UK
Can't Hardly Wait (1998) UK
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Heavy (1995)

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Beautiful Joe (2000)
Bless the Child (2000)
eXistenZ (1999)
Fifth Element, The (1997)
Frankenstein (1994) UK
Naked Lunch (1991)
Kafka (1991) UK
Hamlet (1990) UK
Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Dreamchild (1985) UK
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) UK
Time Bandits (1981) UK
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Alien (1979) UK
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
Fixer, The (1968) UK

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Essex Boys (2000)
Ronin (1998)
Anna Karenina (1997)
Patriot Games (1992)
Field, The (1990)
Stormy Monday (1988)

Peter Mackenzie (Elendil)

In Crowd, The (2000)
Inherit the Wind (1999) (TV)
Nick of Time (1995)
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
Off Limits (1988)

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Matrix, The (1999) UK
Strange Planet (1999)
Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The (1994) UK

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jack Bull, The (1999) (TV)
Thin Red Line, The (1998)

David Wenham (Faramir)

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The (2000)
Faculty, The (1998) UK
North (1994)
War, The (1994) UK
Good Son, The (1993)
Radio Flyer (1992)
Paradise (1991)
Internal Affairs (1990) UK
Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999)
Pushing Tin (1999) UK

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

X-Men (2000)
Apt Pupil (1998) UK
Rasputin (1996) (TV)
Jack and Sarah (1995) UK
Restoration (1995)
Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV)
Last Action Hero (1993)
Plenty (1985) UK
Alfred the Great (1969) UK
Touch of Love, A (1969) UK

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Secret of the Andes (1998) UK
Great White Hype, The (1996)
Sunset Grill (1993)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (1992) (TV)
Under Cover (1991) (TV)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) UK
Desperado: Badlands Justice (1989) (TV) UK
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1982)
Victor/Victoria (1982)

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Craig Parker (Haldir)

Tommyknockers, The (1993) (TV)

John Leigh (Hama)

Frighteners, The (1996)

Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

Wilde (1997)

Dominic Monaghan (Merry)

Hostile Waters (1997) (TV)

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

Sweet Talker (1991)
Rikky and Pete (1988)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) UK
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) UK

Sean Astin (Sam)

Sky Is Falling, The (2000)
Deterrence (1999) UK
Kimberly (1999)
Icebreaker (1999)
Low Life, The (1994/I)
Encino Man (1992) UK
Toy Soldiers (1991) UK
War of the Roses, The (1989) UK
Staying Together (1989) UK
Like Father, Like Son (1987)
Goonies, The (1985)

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK
Jinnah (1998) UK
Safari 3000 (1982)
Last Unicorn, The (1982)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
Brides of Fu Manchu, The (1966)
Gorgon, The (1964) UK
Hound of the Baskervilles, The (1959) UK
Dark Avenger, The (1955)
Crimson Pirate, The (1952)
Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948) UK

Brian Sergent (Ted Sandyman)

Meet the Feebles (1989) UK

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

True Crime (1999) UK
Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
Mountains of the Moon (1990) UK
Milwr Bychan (1986) UK
Gandhi (1982) UK

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Shadow Hours (2000)
Ghost, The (2000)
Silicon Towers (1999)
Storytellers, The (1999) UK
Death Machine (1995)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Child's Play 3 (1991) UK
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Child's Play 2 (1990) UK
Mississippi Burning (1988)
Blue Velvet (1986) UK

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Anna and the King (1999)
Desperate Measures (1998)
Last Action Hero (1993)
Cliffhanger (1993)
Alien³ (1992)
Batman Returns (1992)
Ghost (1990)
Last Starfighter, The (1984)

Howard Shore (Composer)

Score, The (2001)
Yards, The (2000)
High Fidelity (2000)
eXistenZ (1999)
Dogma (1999)
Analyze This (1999)
Cop Land (1997)
Truth About Cats & Dogs, The (1996)
Crash (1996)
Moonlight and Valentino (1995)
Ed Wood (1994)
Guilty as Sin (1993)
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Single White Female (1992)
Naked Lunch (1991)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
She-Devil (1989)
Signs of Life (1989)
Dead Ringers (1988)
Big (1988)
Moving (1988)
Fly, The (1986)
After Hours (1985)
Places in the Heart (1984)
Scanners (1981)

Peter Jackson (Director)

Frighteners, The (1996)
Meet the Feebles (1989)

To get more information, use the sites I use like:

mydigiguide.com, tv-now.com and IMDB.com

Diary of a Recording: the 'Rings' soundtrack.
Tehanu @ 11:13 am EST

This was kindly shared with us by the writer, Catherine Wilmers, who is a cellist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra

September-October 2001

The orchestra had been booked by Howard Shore, the composer and conductor, to record the music for the film The Lord of the Rings.

On our first day a huge orchestra was ready to play in the gigantic Watford Town Hall (recently renamed Colosseum) on the 3rd of September at 2 pm. There was an expectant and excited atmosphere. Canadian born Howard arrived on the podium. Then he began to explain about the film and how involved he was with it. He said that the film had been reduced at short notice from over 3 hours to 2 hrs 45 mins, which meant quite a bit of re-writing. Even then the film was of 'opera-length' with an unusually large amount of music. Present a year ago during the filming in New Zealand he was steeped in Tolkien and the atmosphere. This was to be the first of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He called Director New Zealander Peter Jackson down into the Hall to meet us, a splendid bare-footed person, who owns the film company ThreeFootSix.

Howard explained about the languages used in the film, elvish (two versions) and dwarfish; and how the Tolkien songs and poems were included. Roisin is the Tolkien language expert and she has helped coach the choir, especially in 'black speech', and organised phonetic translations to help the singers. Meanwhile the red light flashed in the Hall, perhaps a gentle reminder that it was now 2.30 pm and perhaps we should consider playing some music.

Howard asked how many of us have read the book. Many hands went up, and a few days later many of the musicians had bought new copies which were lying around on the floor to be devoured during the breaks. This was Howard's first visit to Watford. The sound was immediate, vibrant and very warm. Perhaps my impressions were coloured by sitting in front of the marvellous horn section which had to play some very dramatic music.

Each player had a pile of folders beautifully organised with the music of the different sections, each a different colour. The music was very clear, with large notes printed out from a computer. Gone are the days of trying to unscramble incomprehensible manuscripts! Howard had a screen in front of him and as soon as we rehearsed a section he was able to judge whether the music sounded correct with the section of film and whether it fitted exactly. Often we were asked to make a 4 beat bar into a 3 bar and later a 4 bar into a 5 bar to compensate. Impressively he was also able to make immediate decisions about whether the instruments sounded right and we would have to make adjustments, perhaps cutting out a few cello bars or violins...

We got started and 'Chris' announced the number of the 'take', the number of the section (3F) and then we were off. We soon discovered it was vital to take notice of the metronome marks on the parts as there were often sudden mood swings with associated tempo changes. When the 'black riders' appeared the music was suddenly faster, rhythmic and frightening. Susanna Riddell (my cello desk mate) and I soon discovered that we could go up to the control room in the breaks and watch the excerpt of film and listen to the music. Coffee breaks were forgotten about as we got immersed in the film. Computer imaging technology has been used to 'shrink' normal-sized actors playing hobbits and dwarves. Elijah Wood is Frodo, Bearer of the Ring and a hobbit, Ian McKellen is Gandalf the old wizard and Ian Holm is Bilbo Baggins, the Ringfinder (also a hobbit).

A large choir came into record on several occasions, consisting of about 60. Sometimes they were booked in the evening from 9 pm to 12 midnight to record in the Hall after the orchestra went home.

We spent a long time on each section and often re-recorded the same section a week later, perhaps when Howard had a new inspiration about an extra percussion effect. The percussion list had included chains! Rachel Gledhill wore thick gardening gloves and hit the strings of the piano in a rhythmic pattern, sometimes jangling chains on the floor at the same time. Next there was a detailed discussion about the 'bodhrans' (Irish drums) and how many players were available to play at once and at what pitch. Could the sound be darker, perhaps one player should play the side drum to make the sound more forceful and military but still 'from a long time ago'. There were long discussions about which tycho drums to use. Howard had a very clear idea in his head of the sound that he wanted to achieve. We were asked to play a section 'sul ponticello', right near the bridge for a special effect; then a contra bassoon and double basses were added as well.

On day 4, Friday September 7th, we worked from 9-4 as Watford was being used for a disco that evening! The music stands and instruments, microphones and wires all had to go only to be put out again for the next afternoon at 2.0. We even started on time and it was '4T', Strider. In the the control room there was an amazing array of knobs. We went up there to listen to the playback and heard a a beautiful cello bit to accompany Gandalf. It is nice to be chosen to represent the good! Then we moved on to '4B', Knife in the Dark, deeply scary music. The titles on the music linked up with Tolkien's own headings.

On Monday we were still at Watford 11-6, and then the orchestra checked in at Stansted Airport one and a half hours later. It did not help me that another car smashed into me on this journey and I had to report it to Hertford Police Station as well. We were off to Bucharest for two nights with concerts in the Enescu Festival. Arriving at 3.00 am does not count as a full night but at least to save time we were met off the airplane and avoided going into the terminal building. We gave in our passports as we got off the plane, lugged the instruments immediately onto buses and set off to the hotel with flashing lights and a police escort. Sitting in the front of the bus and driving through red traffic lights was quite exciting. After the rehearsal next day, September 11th we received the devastating news about the terrorism in New York. Bruckner 3 with Kurt Masur at that night's concert was somehow got through, and Dvorak 8 the next night. Then back to England after the second concert. The police turned out again to help us to the airport. I arrived home at 3.00am.

Early next day (well, the same day really) we were back in place at Watford and our 'film team' were devastated about the news. Howard had lived for ten years in a neighbourhood ten blocks from the World Trade Center and sent his daughter to school nearby. We stood in silence the next morning for several minutes at 11.00 am and later the whole orchestra signed a card to show our solidarity. We were all rather subdued but Howard, although obviously deeply upset on a personal level as well as all the other levels, managed a quiet and wry smile now and then.

On Thursday September 17th we were on the river Anduin, sailing along with another lovely cello phrase. The next week we transferred to Air Studios, Hampstead. Trying to get the correct drum sound it was even suggested that the drum could be heated with the hand drier in the 'ladies' to tighten the sound. Another solution was arrived at when Rachel Gledhill suggested adding a different instrument. The violas had no metronome clicks in their headphones in one take, but they still managed to play in time. Howard said 'what were you doing?' 'Watching you' came the answer. 'Novel!' said Howard obviously rather chuffed.

Seeing the engineer in the studio, 'when you see the engineer with the tuba player you know you're in trouble!' It took a bit of time to match the Watford sound. We were working from 3-10 pm instead of 2-9 pm and Howard finally admitted to a moment of tiredness and then realised we were working an hour later. '8-9, that was the worst hour so far'.

The next move was to Abbey Road Studio. There Howard tells us there is music almost all the way through the film, except for four minutes. The music was being mixed with the film track as we were working, having been sent down the internet. When we went to listen to the playback of the Prologue he joked that we would like to stay there for three hours and see all the film, pleased with the enthusiasm and level of commitment from the orchestra.

Howard also told us a story about Toscanini, that he knew 400 operas by heart and could hum the second bassoon from the middle of Tosca. 'What a brain. Where is it now?' It was this sense of humour that kept us going through 33 sessions. On September 30th Howard started the session looking around, 'ah, some faces I know' and launched into a description of what we were doing. He said we had recorded 8-10 minutes a day. 'What else can I tell you... good, that's it'. We spent the day doing 'pick-ups' (after two hours we recorded only 31 bars), matching the sound from one recording to another. The percussion players were asked to play a passage like Rachel Gledhill had played it, 'exactly, but not celtic'.

On this day there was an Irish band, another day there were some Indian instruments (sarangi and nay flute) and a monochord, a wooden instrument with a rectangular flat top, and 50 strings underneath. It took ages to tune. Howard said that it is used by healers as therapy. One lies on it and it vibrates and apparently everybody has their own particular chord which helps to relax them. He said 'conductors live a long time because of all the vibrations they get from the orchestra'.

He never lost his 'cool' with us. There was a feeling of deep trust all the way throughout the film and he would suddenly burst into smiles and share a friendly comment on the film or ask what the orchestra had been doing. When starting work again he said 'and now back to Middle Earth...' What a pleasant way of working!

Media Watch: The Dominion
Xoanon @ 10:22 am EST

Keri sends along this image and article from 'The Dominion'.


Jackson's Rings misses out on Golden Globe

THE movie critics have spoken and the news was not good for Kiwi film-maker Peter Jackson, whose box office blockbuster The Fellowship of the Ring missed out on four Golden Globe awards last night.

There was some compensation, with New Zealand-born actor Russell Crowe winning the award for best actor in Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind.

The first film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which has grossed more than US$500 million (NZ$1.2 billion) worldwide, was nominated for four awards - best director, best picture, best score and best song.

The best director title went to Robert Altman, who was the favourite to win with Gosford Park, a 1930s comedy of morals and murder. A Beautiful Mind robbed Jackson of the best picture award, and Craig Armstrong's music for Moulin Rouge beat Howard Shore's score for The Fellowship of the Ring. Sting's theme song for Kate & Leopold won over Enya's haunting song May It Be. Jackson, who was at the awards with Rings actors Sir Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood, said he was not disappointed.

"Film-making is not really like a sports event and the concept that. . . you've directed a movie but you're like in the Olympics at the beginning of the sprint and you're looking at your competitors.

"We're not sportsmen, we make movies for audiences to enjoy. The competitive thing is a little weird. "

As the nominations were being read, Jackson admitted that the prospect of getting up in front of two billion people made him

"hope like hell" his name would not be read out.

Sir Ian said the response to the film by many at the awards was enthusiastic.

"When Jack Nicholson likes your movie as much as he did, you don't worry too much if the Golden Globe people didn't. .

"Don't be disappointed, New Zealand. This is your movie and it's doing really well all over the world."

The Golden Globe awards are., held in Los Angeles and are chosen by foreign entertainment journalists. They are often said to be an accurate forecast of the Oscars in March.

However, New Zealand Film Commission chairman Alan SorreIl said there was hope yet for an Oscar for The Fellowship of the Ring. "There may well be a different outcome at the Academy Awards, given that this is a critics' choice, while the academy is comprised of a broad group of people, ranging from directors of photography to film producers - people who have been in the film industry for years."

Mr Sorrell said the Academy Awards took the popularity of a film into account more when dishing out the honours than the Golden Globe awards did. The outcome of the Golden Globe awards was disappointing, he said, but it was a great day for Australasia, with Australian actress Nicole Kidman named best actress in a musical or comedy for her part in Moulin Rouge, and Crowe's best actor award. In A Beautiful Mind, Crowe played Princeton' mathematician John Nash, who won a Nobel prize for economics after years in a battle with schizophrenia.

1-21-02 Latest News

Local Company Makes Good
Xoanon @ 10:44 pm EST

Minh-Dan sendd in this article from 'The Morning Call', the local paper in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It's about a local company making good off LOTR.

LOTR Themed Swedish Commercial
Xoanon @ 10:28 pm EST

From: David

It was only a few minutes ago that I heard my sister scream for me to turn on the TV. Channel 2 of SVT, the largest TV company here in Sweden were airing a commersial about some kind of a olympic games documentary. It was named something like "The Olympic Rings" refering to the olympic symbol.

The thing that made me jump up and scream was what they used to play on the rings theme in the commersial. They used the LoTR trailer.

What I saw was the full third trailer played by Swedish actors dressed up as athletes. Instead of nazgûls there were hockey players from Finland, instead of the ring there were the five olympic rings and so on. It was hilarious! The whole show ended with "Spelen kan börja" (May the games begin) and someone dressed as Gandalf smashing his staff to the ground!

Books on Elvish 'Out of Date'
Tehanu @ 8:17 pm EST

Several people wrote to warn us all that the books currently in print that teach Elvish are 'seriously out of date.'

Jeremy wrote about the Ruth Noel book:

"Noel's book in particular was published in 1980 - before the History of Middle Earth (HOME) or any of the subsequent work published in Vinyar Tengwar. So many of her suppositions turned out to be wrong."

Sulien did like Noel's "The Languages of Middle-earth and said why:

"It has a complete table with all of the values of the tengwar and cirthas, as well as a fairly complete English to Elvish (and vice versa) dictionary up to and including words from the Silmarillion. It also has sections on Khuzdul (Dwarvish) as well as Hobbitish and some of the Mannish languages (Rohirric) (sp?). The book also goes on to explain some of the derivations Tolkien took from "real world" languages. I would recommend this book VERY highly for anyone interested in learning Elvish.

The final word comes from David Salo, Elvish language specialist employed on the Rings films:

"I read your notice on Elvish books below, and just wanted to point out that while these books are available, they are in fact either very much out of date ("An Introduction to Elvish") or were not particularly good to begin with ("The Languages of Middle-earth"). People trying to learn Elvish languages may be seriously misled by these books. "The best resource currently available on Tolkien's languages is Helge Fauskanger's web site Ardalambion I am now looking for a publisher for my own book on the type of Elvish (Sindarin) most used in the movie, which will help people understand the work that I did in Tolkien language translation for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."

Here's a link to an article on Elvish.org that explains the shortcomings of that book. {More Talking of book-buying, this came in from David New:

"You may like to know that there is a truly excellent little bookshop in Oxford (our beloved Prof's home for many a year) called Thorntons. It has that small bookshop charm that is lacking in the high street these days and they offer a good range of old editions of LOTR as well as old calendars and a few books such as the "Introduction to Elvish" you mentioned. If ever you're in Oxford, check it out. I have a sneaky suspicion that JRRT may have visited this shop in times gone by, it is but a short walk from Merton."

Golden Globes: Full Coverage With Pictures
Xoanon @ 12:32 am EST

Well...needless to say it was certainly disapointing to see our film lose out on all 4 Golden Globe Nominations. To quote a friend of mine in the business "if 'A Beautiful Mind' wins it'll be a sham". So say what you will about us not winning, we all know in our heart of hearts that the folks at New Line, WETA, 3foot6 and everywhere else in the production family deserve all the awards they can.

Despite our absence as winners, there were a few times we had a presence, take a look at the pics below.

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) was interviewed by Nancy Odell from Access Hollywood (have you ever seen so much beauty on your TV screen at one time?) at the GG's Pre-Awards TV Special. Cate was nominated for best supporting actress in 'Bandits'.

Sean Astin (Sam) was spotted arriving during the special as well.

Dick Clark took us on a tour of New Line's after party party area...near the Beverly Hills Hotel, very swak indeed.

Cate Blanchett was the first LOTRer to lose out for a Golden Globe.

Howard Shore's LOTR:FOTR score lost out to 'Moulin Rouge!'

Enya lost out to Sting (irony there, what) for Best Original Song

Peter Jackson lost out for Best Director

Before the best drama film was announced Kate Winslett introduced a small clip of LOTR scenes to the audience. Shots of Peter Jackson in very rare form in a tuxedo alongside Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Sean Astin (Sam).

Ian McKellen then announced the award for best foreign film.

And as the moment came to announce best drama...we were all upset to hear that LOTR did not win...

Enjoy these pictures anyway...

We love you PJ...and in the end isn't that all that really counts?

1-20-02 Latest News

International Times For The Online Viewing Party
Xoanon @ 6:01 pm EST

We are having our online viewing party tonight at 8PM EST. What time is that around the wolrd where you live?

Click on the following link to convert 8PM EST to your local timezone.


EST is the same time zone at New York City (GMT -5)

LOTR:FOTR #1 In Italy
Xoanon @ 3:41 pm EST

FB FOTR has broken the first record here in Italy. Yesterday it grossed 1.032.000 euro, beating the previous record set by Hannibal. It's pretty safe to assume it's going to be one of the highest grossing movies ever in Italy too.

Another record has been set at the Arcadia Multiplex, one of the finest movie theaters in Europe: they sold 17.900 tickets for Fotr only. All the theaters accepting advance bookings are sold out for the week-end, and it looks like this is going to happen again next week.

LOTR:FOTR #1 In Finland
Xoanon @ 3:36 pm EST

Mikko writes: Yes, it's official... Lord of the rings has gone past Potter in its 5th week here in Finland as in Sweden. Amazing.

The ecxact number was 439,917 people this friday, when Potter was running at 437,967.

What makes this even more amazing is the fact that practically all professionals predicted Potter to win by a mile... AND Rings got a few blunt reviews from our biggest magazines... AND it was released with 10 copies less than Potter.

Now the predictions run at 600,000 viewers. Only two have accomplished this before: A certain boat flick with a skinny, annoying hero and a certain alien flick with a hero trying to call home.

Sci Fi Talk Talks LOTR
Xoanon @ 3:10 pm EST

Lord Of The Rings Specials

New Line Cinema supplied Sci-Fi Talk with the audio tapes from the Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring. (Special thanks to Wendy Rutherford) I have produced several shows to honor this movie which is perhaps the best fantasy film ever made.

Transcripts of the interviews will be rotated on a weekly basis at


Saturdays will feature all the interviews in one day. Schedule is below for indivdual shows.

Lord Of The Rings Special - Features cast and creators discussing their efforts to bring the novels to the screen.

Elijah Wood - Frodo Baggins - The actor talks about how he worked to get this covered part plus the joys of wearing Hobbit feet.

Sir Ian McKellen - Gandalf - This legendary actor discusses the challenge of playing one of literature's most popular wizards.

Concerning Hobbits Special - Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd discuss playing their hobbit counterparts and the New Zealand lifestyle.

Barry Osborne & Richard Taylor - Go behind the scenes of this incredible movie to learn how this epic series came together.

Sean Bean - Boromir - This actor talks about how his character was fleshed out for
Fellowship Of The Ring.

Peter Jackson - Lord Of The Rings Director - He discusses taking on this trilogy and the challenges of bringing it to the screen.

Howard Shore - Lord Of The Rings Composer - Hear who he created the many themes of the film. Many are also featured from the soundtrack CD.

Orlando Bloom & Liv Tyler - Duo chats up their characters and their pointed ears.
Bloom dug his New Zealand digs. Liv enjoyed her horseback experiences.

Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn - Great insights on the character and the man who plays him.



Lord Of The Rings Special
Gina Torres - Part One
Jurassic Park On DVD Special
Ray Harryhausen
Final Fantasy On DVD Special
Gina Torres - Part Two
John Shea - Adam Of Mutant X
Ghost Of Mars - DVD
Atlantis: Lost Empire On DVD
Michael Shanks - Stargate SG-1
Shrek On DVD


Stephanie Romanov Of Angel
Elijah Wood - Frodo Baggins - Lord Of The Rings
David Kemper - Farscape Producer
Michael O'Hare Of Babylon Five
Roxann Dawson - Enterprise Director
Marjean Holden Of Crusade
Terry Goodkind
Planet Of The Apes On DVD


Howard Shore - Lord Of The Rings Composer
Sir Ian McKellen - Gandalf - Lord Of The Rings
Ben Browder - Farscape
John Shea - Mutant X
Keith DeCandido - Star Trek SCE Creator
Roddy McDowell - A Tribute
Keith Hamilton Cobb - Andromeda
William Gregory Lee - Xena Memories
Andrew Prowse - Farscape Producer Part One


Barry Osborne & Richard Taylor - Lord Of The Rings
Marina Sirtis, Star Trek Nemesis
Linda Park Of Enterprise
Susan Wright - Star Trek Gateways Author
Richard Gant Of Special Unit 2
Bob Greenberger Star Trek Gateways Author
Roxann Dawson, Enterprise Director
Keith DeCandido - Star Trek Gateways Author
Star Trek Deep Space Nine Special


Orlando Bloom & Liv Tyler - Lord Of The Rings
Concerning Hobbits Special
Michael Shanks Of Stargate SG-1
Stephanie Romanov Of Angel
Anthony Daniels Of Star Wars
Andrew Prowse Of Farscape
George RR Martin - A Game Of Thrones
Bob Greenberger - Gateways
Jeepers Creepers On DVD


Viggo Mortensen Of Lord Of The Rings
Keith DeCandido - Farscape Author
Virginia Hey Part One
Ben Browder Of Farscape
Andrew Prowse - Farscape Producer 1
David Kemper - Farscape Producer
Virginia Hey Part 2 - Farscape
Andrew Prowse - Part 2 - Farscape Producer


Lord Of The Rings Special
Elijah Wood - Frodo Baggins - Lord Of The Rings
Howard Shore - Lord Of The Rings Composer
Sir Ian McKellen - Gandalf - Lord Of The Rings
Concerning Hobbits Special
Barry Osborne & Richard Taylor - Lord Of The Rings
Sean Bean - Boromir - Lord Of The Rings
Peter Jackson - Lord Of The Rings Director
Orlando Bloom & Liv Tyler - Lord Of The Rings
Viggo Mortensen - Aragorn - Lord Of The Rings
Brad Dourif - Lord Of The Rings

Thanks to all of your for your listings and support !!!

Never forget those who died on September 11, 2001.

Happy New Year

Tony Tellado
Sci-Fi Talk

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Media Watch: Harper's Bazaar
Xoanon @ 3:02 pm EST

Ringer Spy Hoon sends along these scans of an Orlando Bloom (Legolas) interview from 'Harper's Bazaar' Magazine.

Elzer joins Col TriStar as sr. VP
Xoanon @ 1:21 pm EST

HOLLYWOOD -- Former New Line Cinema PR chief Steve Elzer has joined Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group as a senior veepee of media relations.

Elzer will serve as chief liaison between Col's senior management and journos from national consumer and industry trade press. In addition, he will work with publicity supervisors from each of the studio's PR divisions to assist with the implementation of long-term communications strategies.

The move was expected (Daily Variety, Jan. 11); he will report directly to Geoffrey Ammer, prexy of marketing for the group, who announced the move on Thursday.

Ammer praised Elzer as someone who has "decisively earned the respect of journalists, filmmakers and peers, who have counted on his industry expertise, skill and leadership over the years."

Elzer will begin immediately working on such Col films as "The Panic Room," "Spider-Man," "Men in Black II" and the sequel to "Stuart Little" as well as Revolution Studios' actioner "XXX."

For the past eight years, Elzer was the lead spokesman for New Line, where he also served as a senior veepee of corporate communications for the mini-major. Elzer helped run publicity on more than 100 films, including "The Lord of the Rings," the "Austin Powers" franchise, laffers like "The Mask" and dramas like "Boogie Nights."

He joined New Line in 1994 as a staff writer and later that year was promoted to director of corporate communications. He was elevated to veepee of the division in 1996.

Elzer began his publicity career at the Fox Broadcasting Co. in 1989.

1-19-02 Latest News

How the World has Changed since 12/19
Tehanu @ 3:45 pm EST

How has the world changed since 12/19?

A month has gone by since 'The Fellowship of the Ring' first opened and by now a great proportion of the filmgoing public worldwide has seen it too and had their chance to catch 'Rings Fever.'

TORN's email inbox gives us a good idea of how the film has affected people. Over time we notice trends in people's concerns and interests. There have been definite changes in our email this past month.

As you'd expect, we're getting more mail from people who've never read the book and are falling in love with the film. I can't wait to hear from some of them again if they go and read the book and discover all this OTHER stuff that Tolkien wrote that they have no inkling of yet!

This month has seen a lot of mail asking us to pass on good wishes, congratulations, and loveletters to Orlando Bloom. He is certainly causing a lot of people some raised pulses and lost sleep. We can't pass on letters to him, so for anyone suffering Bloomania the next best bet is to hang out at Bloomin'Marvellous to share your feelings with other Bloom fans.

We've seen quite a lot of mail from people wanting to learn Elvish whether just one or two words, or all the languages. There's quite a lot of frustration that there seem to be no books available on the Elven tongues. There is however a lively online community devoted to studying and teaching Elvish, so I ususally send people to Elvish.org's Fellowship of the Wordsmiths to find out more. From there you can get to the website Ardalambion, which offers a course in Quenya.

There's certainly been a growth in university-level courses teaching Tolkien; it'll be interesting to see whether courses in Quenya and Sindarin become more widely taught in the classroom.

Tourism to NZ has got a boost from the movies - having seen the film, evidently people are figuring out that a country that is safe, scenic, tourist-friendly AND offers the chance to stand on the site of Rivendell etc. is worth the long flight. More

Lastly, of course, almost everywhere, we've noticed LOTR references mentioned casually in conversation; the media use LOTR images to refer to current events. The jokes we Ringers used to tell amongst ourselves are no longer in-jokes - they're part of the common culture around us. That's the main change we've seen, and it's going to take some getting used to.

1-18-02 Latest News

TV Watch: Enya On 'Tonight Show'
Xoanon @ 11:38 pm EST

Eyna was the musical guest on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' on NBC last night (Jan 17th). Enya sang 'May It Be' from the LOTR:FOTR soundtrack. She was accompanied by a whole range of musicians and a big screen behind her showing clips from LOTR:FOTR. Enya gave a great live performance of the song, and was greeted by a large round of applause.

Take a look at some pics:

TV Watch: Ian McKellen On 'Politically Incorrect'
Xoanon @ 11:18 pm EST

Ian McKellen was a guest on the ABC show 'Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher' yesterday (Jan 17th). If you've never watched the show, it deals with the latest headlines and talks about them frankly and openly. For a complete transcript of the entire show, go to the ABC site. [More (Thanks lena!)

Here are a few pics:

Shore Rings Up Classic Score
Xoanon @ 12:50 pm EST

Ringer Spy milaya sends along this article from Singapore.

More for LA Fans
Calisuri @ 12:49 pm EST

Looking for even more to do in LA this weekend?

Check out these:

McKellen Book Signing: Actor, Ian McKellen will be at Book Soup in person for a special The Lord of the Rings movie guides booksigning
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd.
W. Hollywood, CA 90069

McKellen Q&A: I know you already have the info on the book signing tomorrow, but I don't see that you have any info on the other event he just mentioned on KROQ this morning, and on KLOS yesterday. Ian is going to be at the Avco Cinema in Westwood tonight after the 8pm showing of the film doing a question and answer session. Thought you might like to know.

Thanks to Valerie for the heads up

Art Exhibition: Also for LA fans, last 2 days of the "Pierre Vinet: A Lord of the Rings Photographic Journey" exhibition at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica. www.track16.com

Thanks to Cynthia and Track 16 for sending in the heads up

1-17-02 Latest News

TV Watch: Ian McKellen On 'Kilborn'
Xoanon @ 3:42 pm EST

Ian McKellen was on 'The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn' last night (Jan 17). Here's a great review by Shana detailing all the hilarity from the interview.

I just had the pleasure of watching Ian McKellan make a clean sweep of Craig Kilborne's "Five Questions."

After settling the issue of how Craig should address him ("Ian") and describing his knighting, Sir Ian correctly identified a Californian town ("Big Sur"), revealed what puts the Irish in Irish coffee (Irish whiskey), and named his favorite Steven Segal film beside Fire Down Below (he named the cancelled CBS series Wolf Lake).

For his fourth challenge, he had to give a dramatic reading of a series of instructions for changing a flat tire. Never has the phrase "Loosen the lug nuts" been said with more passion and conviction. He brought the audience to its feet, and Craig elected to waive the fifth question and grant Sir Ian a perfect score!

Enjoy these pics:

TV Watch: Ian McKellen On 'The Daily Show'
Xoanon @ 1:51 pm EST

Ian McKellen (Gandalf) was on 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Tuesday (Jan 15) on CBS.

Ian had Jon cracking up during the interview, Ian spoke about his knighting ceremony and weither or not the queen likes to drink. He also mentioned her horrible fashion sense.

Here are a few pics to enjoy:

LOTR Premiere: Italy
Xoanon @ 12:26 pm EST

FB writes: FOTR premieres tomorrow here in Italy and it looks like it will be as huge as in any other country. During the past two weeks a lot of different tv commercials have debuted, and many newspapers have focused on reviews and possible political implications.

Anyway, the good news is that Fotr will appear on 700 screens, a record for Italy. All the prints are dubbed in italian, except 6 prints in original language that will be shown in major cities. Multiplex bookings for the week-end are already sold out, and 1/3 of all the multiplex screens will be showing FOTR.

I'll try to look for pictures of the previews and more info in the following days.

Bean: 'I'm In The Two Towers'
Xoanon @ 11:20 am EST

Nice feature story about Sean Bean (Boromir) in the Feb 2002 issue of Xposé magazine.


Sean Bean tells Ian Spelling about Boromir's battle to resist the temptations of the The Lord of the Rings ....

Sometimes, Heroes fail. Despite all their efforts, they let down everyone who depended on them, and particularly themselves, because a man of action can always be tempted to take the easy answer which seems to offer a quick victory. It's a road to hell pathed by good intentions which has claimed hundreds of real-life leaders and is likely to swallow Anakin Skywalker next summer, and as anyone who's seen The Fellowship of the Ring now knows, the warrior Boromir is its latest victim, having convinced himself that he could wield the Ring of Power for good if he took it for himself.

"He is a sympathetic character," comments Sean Bean, the British actor who plays the heir to the Steward of Gondor in Peter Jackson's movie. "He's sensitive and he's trying to be practical and realistic and strong, but this damned thing is stopping him from doing that. And I think he knows, ultimately, that the Ring will destroy him, and he's just trying to keep it together as long as he can."

So was Boromir always destined to surrender to the Ring, or was he simply an honourable man tempted by a force greater than himself? "I think it's the latter. He means well. He wants to do good. He wants to bring about peace, like everyone else. He wants to try to bring stability and harmony to his people and his society, which is falling apart." Boromir is, after all, in something of an awkward situation. As the eldest son of the Steward of Gondor, he's the latest in an honourable line who have protected the city since the last King died, protecting it for far longer than most genuinely royal dynasties, but now that stable order is threatened not only by the rise of Sauron, but also by the prospect that the true King might return to claim the empty throne. Whatever happens, the world Boromir's ancestors have fought to preserve for generations is at an end... unless he can find a way to save it.

"I don't think he knows the complexities of the various powers the Ring has," Bean explains. "Mortals are more susceptible and he, as an individual, is more prone to its corrupting powers. I think that's a constant battle, as well as the physical battles, that he's fighting throughout the film. It's the inner struggle that he can't cope with. It's just eating away at his very soul. It's like a sickness in his belly that he can't get out of his system. He fights against it, valiantly. He doesn't want it to happen, but can't resist. Not many people can. But he's a human and you see the Ring really go to work on him. That's what I found quite interesting. I like the battles and the physical side, but I found the emotional side most interesting."

Looking back on Bean's career, there's few actors better suited to play such a tormented figure, as he's always played heroes with an edge who could easily tip over the brink into villainy. He won his big break in the early 1990s, when Alien3 co-star Paul McGann (later to star as Doctor Who in Fox's 1996 TV movie) broke his leg while playing football a few days into shooting a series of TV movies based on Bernard Cornwell's novels about the Napoleonic War. Bean stepped into the breach, and notched up a dozen appearances as Richard Sharpe over the next five years, making the hard-as-nails soldier who gave equal priority to winning the war and improving his own finances, one of the most popular characters on British television. In the meantime, he won wider attention in the rest of the world with his roles as Sean Miller, the fanatical Irish terrorist out for revenge on Harrison Ford's Jack Ryan in the screen version of Tom Clancy's Patriot Games, and the treacherous British agent 006 in Pierce Brosnan's first Bond movie, Goldeneye. So why does Bean get cast as the villain so often? "I don't know," he sighs. "I think that once you've done it once.... I think I did well in Patriot Games. I was a very violent and sinister character and I guess it left an impression. People think, 'Oh, let's get him as our bad guy. We know he can do it'. That's great for a while, but after the third or fourth time, you think, 'I've got to move away from this a bit and try to be a bit more sensitive.'

Bean's first step along this path is a futuristic drama called Equilibrium, set in a world where drug-taking is compulsory. "Equilibrium was originally call Librium," Bean explains, "but I think the makers of Librium objected to that. I think it's coming out in February or March. I went from the The Lord of the Rings, which was set 7,000 years in the past, to Equilibrium, which was set in the future. I play a good guy in that. It's a bit like 1984 and I think it will be a good film, as it had a very intelligent script and good actors, among them Christian Bale and Emily Watson."

Bean will also be showing his nice side in a magical children's drama. "I finished Tom and Thomas during last summer, where I play an artist who's trying to sell his work and get over the loss of his wife. We'd adopted a 10-year-old boy who I'm now bringing up on my own, who believes he has another brother and he keeps having these visions of him. It's a children's story, I would say, with a sort of magical feeling to it. It's a really nice role. He's a nice guy. That's why I did it. I thought, "This is really something different for me. And it's quite humorous as well. So I'm going in the right direction."

However, these roles had to wait untl after the marathon shoot of The Fellowship of the Ring, though Bean wasn't in New Zealand for as long as some of the cast. "I was there for about a year. I got home for two or three weeks in the middle of that, but most of the time I was living in New Zealand. And that was fine because New Zealand was a great place to be. I missed them all when I went away. I felt like a fish out of water and couldn't wait to get back."

That's hardly surprising, as almost every member of the cast has spoken of the way the cast bonded together. Indeed, as Sean Bean explains, they were even encoouraged to immerse themselves in Tolkien's world, and given an unusually luxurious amount of time to do so in an era when actors are more used to arriving on set on the day of the shoot. "We were down there in New Zealand for five or six weeks before filming commenced. We all got over there early so we could just immerse ourselves in this whole world, do some more research and talk."

Some of the cast, particularlyl Christopher Lee, were already long-standing experts on the books, while others - such as Ian McKellen - became addicted to the original text during the course of the shoot. So was Bean already familiar with The Lord of the Rings? "I'd read it a long time ago, when I was much younger, when I was 24 or 25. It was like going into another world. Once you get over the first 200 pages - because it's constantly referring back to who's who - then you can really start enjoying it. And when I signed on for this, I brushed up on it. We took all of that into account, but the material we were working from was a script. We all used the book for reference, as a source of information, but we were making a film. I think we've captured the spirit of the book in a visual way."

Alongside this, the cast had to prepare for the film's physical side, Bean explains. "We were fighting every day, practicing the choreography for the fights and getting familiar with the weapons. By the time we got to filming we were quite good at what we were doing. The master sword trainer, Bob Anderson, was great. He's a real old school character, very - not strict - but clear about what he wants and he won't tolerate any rubbish."

That all sounds a little like army training, and sometimes the shoot needed the sort of discipline that implies, as Bean goes on to explain. "We were shooting a lot at night, and the scene where we fight the serpent in the water, that was really hard. That was tough because it was really cold in New Zealand at the time - it was winter and the water wasn't heated and we were in our costumes for a night shoot that went 12 or 14 hours. That was tough." You start to realise quite how unpleasant it must have been once you remember that after five years of shooting Sharpe in the Ukraine, where conditions aren't exactly luxurious, Bean is well-used to hard shoots.

"That was really tough. I thought I was going to be required the following evening and I was like 'Oh God, I've got to do it again in that f**king cold.' But then I got a call saying, 'Hey Sean, it looks like we might not need you tonight. We're going to do this digitally. 'I thought, 'Oh, that's great.' But I think just the sheer excitement and thrill of being involved in such a thing just carried you through the days when you're tired. It's only afterwards, when I was finished and had gone home to England, that it just hit me and I felt exhausted."

Anyone who's seen The Fellowship of the Ring knows that Boromir's not in the best of shapes by the end of the movie, and he's absent from the remaining books of the series. But since the story's been altered a bit, is there still a chance that we might be seeing a little more of Sean Bean in the second film, The Two Towers? "So I believe. I don't know what I'll look like, probably not very well, but Boromir's brother Faramir has a vision of me. So I suppose, technically, you could say that I'm in The Two Towers."

FFCC Awards
Xoanon @ 10:52 am EST

The Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC) Awards

Best Picture

1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
3. In The Bedroom
4. Memento
5. The Man Who Wasn't There

Best Director

1. Steven Spielberg, A.I.
2. Peter Jackson, The Fellowship of the Ring
3. Todd Field, In The Bedroom
4. Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There
5. The Hughes Bros., From Hell

Best Original Screenplay

1. Ethan and Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There
2. Christopher Nolan, Memento
3. Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, The Royal Tenenbaums

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. Steven Spielberg, A.I. (from the short story
"Supertoys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss)
2. Todd Field and Robert Festinger, In The Bedroom
(from "Killings" by Andre Dubus)
3. Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, and Fran Walsh, The Fellowship of the Ring (from the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)
4. The Hughes Bros., From Hell (from the graphic novel
by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell)
5. Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff, Ghost World (from
the comic book by Daniel Clowes)

Best Actor

1. Haley Joel Osment, A.I.
2. Billy Bob Thorton, The Man Who Wasn't There
3. Guy Pearce, Memento
4. Tom Wilkinson, In The Bedroom
5. Ian McKellen, The Fellowship of the Ring

Best Actress

1. Sissy Spacek, In The Bedroom
2. Nicole Kidman, The Others
3. Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr.

Best Supporting Actor

1. Sean Bean, The Fellowship of the Ring
2. Ben Stiller, The Royal Tenenbaums
3. Jude Law, A.I.
4. Viggo Mortenson, The Fellowship of the Ring
5. Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums
6. Elijah Wood, The Fellowship of the Ring
7. William Hurt, A.I.
8. Tony Shalhoub, The Man Who Wasn't There
9. Ian Holm, The Fellowship of the Ring

Best Supporting Actress

1. Frances O'Connor, A.I.
2. Anjelica Huston, The Royal Tenenbaums
3. Marisa Tomei, In The Bedroom
4. Maggie Smith, Gosford Park
5. Gwenyth Paltrow, The Royal Tenenbaums
6. Frances McDormand, The Man Who Wasn't There

Best Dramatic Score

1. John Williams, A.I.
2. Howard Shore, The Fellowship of the Ring
3. Carter Burwell, The Man Who Wasn't There
4. Thomas Newman, In The Bedroom

Best Comedic Score

1. John Williams, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's
2. Mark Mothersbaugh, The Royal Tenenbaums
3. David Holmes, Ocean's Eleven

Best Visual Effects

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
3. Jurassic Park III

Best Cinematography

1. Andrew Lesnie, The Fellowship of the Ring
2. Roger Deakins, The Man Who Wasn't There
3. Andrew Dunn, Gosford Park
4. Janusz Kaminski, A.I.
5. John Toll, Vanilla Sky

Best Ensemble Cast

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2. The Royal Tenenbaums
3. Gosford Park
4. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
5. Ocean's Eleven

Keep FOTR on Top Contest! - The Details
Calisuri @ 2:13 am EST

TheOneRing.net is trying to keep Fellowship of the Ring at the top of the box office this week. The concept is easy: Go see Fellowship of the Ring. (I know I know, life is rough...but if we 'have' to..heh) Save your ticket stub. Get to a scanner and send the ticket stub to me, at calisuri@theonering.net.

The Prizes
We have some great prizes to help encourage you to get out there. Not that the film isn't enough incentive...but just in case, we have amazing prizes from Sideshow/Weta Collectibles and a little something which is only available at the official Lord of the Rings shop.

72x48 Bus Shelter Poster!
First Place
Pillars of Argonath
72 x 48 Inch
Bus Shelter Poster!!!
Lurtz Bust from Sideshow/Weta
Second Place
Series 2 Lurtz Bust
Numenorean Infantryman Bust from Sideshow/Weta
Third Place
Series 2 Numenorean Infantryman Bust

The Rules
So what is the deal? How does this work? Listen up, and I'll give you the low down.

• If you have seen LOTR during the week of Jan 15th - Jan 20th 2002, you are eligible to enter.
• Eventhough we are trying to rig...err...help the US Box Office of FOTR, you can still enter if you are outside of the United States.
• You must save your ticket stub from the viewing.
• You must scan your ticket so that it is clear and legible. If there is any blurriness, for example, your entry will sadly be rejected.
• Once you have the scan, email the file, your name, and postal address to me, Calisuri, at calisuri@theonering.net. Please keep the file as a .jpg, .gif, .bmp, .tif or .psd. Other formats are going to be pretty tough to convert.

That's it. It is really that easy folks. The goal is to make Fellowship of the Ring one of the most successful movies ever, and to beat the competition this weekend at the box office.

As always, read the fine print in our contests section.

1-16-02 Latest News

Sydney Morning Herald heckles NZ film industry.
Tehanu @ 8:10 pm EST

Craig sent this in from 'The Heckler' in the Sydney Morning Herald. I'd file this under the 'We're so jealous we could choke' heading. After all, Sydney's a city whose recent contribution to cinema is the fact that it's hosting that cracker Aussie production, 'Attack of the Clones,' and the last time the actual city was used as a set was in the nightamarish dystopia of 'Dark City.'

"Lord of the Rungs: so that's a fulm about modern times, eh? Middle-Earth is New Zealand, writes Martin Graham.

THE HECKLER: What is it with the Kiwis and The Lord of the Rings? The way they're carrying on you'd thing they'd split the atom. [In joke, folks. Rutherford, the guy who split the atom, is a Kiwi. -Tehanu] Look, Mum, moving pictures on a big wall! It's the talkies! I don't want to bag New Zealand and the massive packet of Smith's (chips)
on their collective shoulders. But it's not like they just invented Vegemite (spread) or did anything useful. The Lord of the Rings is a film. Quite a long film. A couple of hours of it are very watchable. But, come on, there is no reason for New Zealanders to portray Rings as though it's the biggest single contribution to Western society since the Enlightenment.

The most pathetic part is that they can't even boast about having really made the movie as such. Peter Jackson may be the fush and chups front man, but the film's as Yankee as baseball. The sheep-shaggers have trouble funding a proper football team; international blockbuster movies are way out of their league. What we are left with is the pathetic sight of our Kiwi cousins boasting about how great the scenery looks. The Government is even pumping what remains of its budget into an advertising campaign to tell the world about the national role as an extra. It's sad really. And desperate. Imagine Bikini Atoll advertising itself as a nuclear superpower and you can see what I mean. Is it really something to boast about that Tolkien's Middle-Earth could be so easily created in the Shaky Isles? A tale of simple people living a simple life without modern technology? We're talking about New Zealand here - how hard can it be? Mocking up the Middle Ages must have been a piece of cake in a country yet to discover crop rotation. I would have thought that the biggest problem faced by the producers was making Wellington look modern enough to pass for anything after AD1300. You have to remember New Zealand is the only country in the world where you could film Xena without building any sets.

The more you think about it the more you realise that making The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand would have presented no great challenge. Filming conditions are ideal. No air force to accidentally get into shot. No smog from industry to get in the way. The biggest continuity issue would be the slightly more modern breed of merino in the background.

Let's get this straight. The story in the Rings revolves around a race of short, slightly furry creatures who are none too bright but relatively loyal in a tight spot. If this doesn't scream the middle bit of ANZAC, I can't imagine what would. Kiwis would do anything for real currency, so finding the extras would have been easy. Apart from having to explain what "action" means. "Hey, guys, imagine Christchurch, but with, like, pubs and stuff." Getting the extras to dress like serfs would hardly have been difficult. Just tell them there was a wedding on and ask them to dress it up a bit. And what's all this nonsense about the incredible attention to detail? I don't think it would have been that hard to faithfully replicate Tolkien's Goblin language. For your average Kiwi, Goblin comes easy. It's English they have trouble with. Need a crowd of Orcs? Stumpy blokes as thick as two short planks who are ready to rip your head off at any moment. The All Blacks wouldn't even have to wear make-up.

As I understand it, the movie goes for three hours and the entire plot involves one gold ring. Which they want to destroy. Only in the New Zealand economy would this be considered a worthwhile allocation of labour. Middle-Earth your Kiwis can do. It's more recent times they struggle with. Let's see them try a film about a contemporary multicultural society with an economy capable of producing elaborately transformed manufactures. Now, there's a challenge."

Media Watch: Creative Screenwriting Magazine
Xoanon @ 2:00 pm EST

Ringer Spy Misty sends along these great scans from Creative Screenwriting Magazine.

Go back to Special Reports Archives