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January 19, 2006 - January 30, 2006

1-30-06 Latest News

ORC Art Show Report
Xoanon @ 7:27 pm EST

Alyse, ORC Art Show Director, writes: The Art Show at this year's ORC went amazingly well. We had so many talented artists from around the country sharing their work with the fans in attendance. And the fans were in for a real treat!

Tim Kirk displayed many of his original paintings that were used in the 1975 Hobbit calendar. Theresa Mather shared her incredible artwork including unique paintings on feathers. Colleen Doran gave fans a glimpse of two new original pieces inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Don Flaws had his comical caricatures on display. He was also drawing fans dressed up as Elves and Hobbits throughout the weekend. Rhonda Morgan also entertained fans by beautifully playing her harp on Friday and Sunday. And quite a number of amateur artists had ceramic pieces, drawings, paintings, and digital artwork on display and for sale.

On Friday, we held the first Iron Artist competition. This one hour event was a hilarious experience and a chance to see professional and amateur artists creating artwork from scratch. The host Tadao Tomomato entertained the crowd and judges as we spoofed the Iron Chef show. The theme for the competition was "Ent-Wives" and this proved to be an inspiring challenge for the artists. Amateur contestant Olga Bosserdt upset Colleen Doran in the "Illustration" category, Don Flaws won the "Cartooning" category against amateur Ashley Taylor, and amateur Aubrey Guilbault narrowly won the "Children's Illustration" category going up against the talented Cynthia Cummens. All of the original pieces created during the event were later displayed in the Art Show room and auctioned off Sunday afternoon to benefit VSA Arts (www.vsarts.org). We raised almost $500 for the non-profit organization.

Throughout the weekend, fans could vote on their favorite artwork displayed in the Art Show. As well, children attending the convention could also pick their favorites. The Art Show staff selected the top 3 amateur artwork in the show too. Quickbeam announced the winners of the Art Show at the One Ring Awards party:

Kid's Choice – "Burning of Esgaroth" by Charles Burggraf

Fan Favorite –

1st "Burning of Esgaroth" by Charles Burggraf
2nd "The Fellowship of the Rings" by Suvi Utermohlen
3rd "Back Again" by Charles Burggraf

Best in Show – Amateur Category

1st "Guardian" by Olga Bosserdt
2nd "Lothlorian" by Kate Cunningham
3rd "Galadriel's Ewer" by Nancy Steinman

Big thank you to all of the wonderful artists who shared their work with us and participated in this year's art show. And thanks to all the fans who took the time to visit the art show during such a busy weekend. We hope you enjoyed it!

1-28-06 Latest News

The Lord of the Rings Symphony Comes to Cleveland
Xoanon @ 6:32 pm EST


“Shore's symphonic journey certainly echoes J.R.R. Tolkien's dark and wonderful story, with its mysterious swirling mists, majestic sweeps and whimsical touches where needed. But nothing can match the impact of Shore's most powerful passages drawing upon full brass and percussion.” – Pittsburgh Post Gazette

New York, NY, January 23, 2006– Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus reaches a milestone next month when the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra gives three performances of the work under the direction of the composer. Concerts in Cleveland’s Severance Hall on February 10, 11 and 12 – and in Lyon, France, also in February – will bring the total number of performances of the work to more than 90 since its world-premiere in New Zealand in November 2003.

Looking ahead to the occasion of conducting the justly celebrated ensemble, Howard Shore comments, “To be working with one of the great orchestras in the world is truly an honor.”

Founded in 1918, The Cleveland Orchestra has long been regarded as one of America’s – indeed the world’s – greatest ensembles. Under the direction of a series of extraordinary maestros – including the legendary George Szell and, more recently, Christoph von Dohnányi and current Music Director Franz Welser-Möst – the orchestra has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike for the breathtaking beauty of its sound and the exceptional breadth of its repertoire.

Peter Czornyj, Artistic Administrator, said, "The Lord of the Rings Symphony has a double appeal of not only being a compelling and evocative piece of music but also a work that will allow us to continue to bring new, diverse, and younger audiences into Severance Hall to hear the Cleveland Orchestra."

Shore has led a number of previous performances of the two-hour-long symphony as well as the enormously successful soundtrack recordings that accompanied director Peter Jackson’s three record-breaking films in The Lord of the Rings series. Shore also conducts the complete score to the first of the three “Rings” films, The Fellowship of the Ring, on a new deluxe four-CD set released In December 2005 by Warner Reprise. The set contains all the music Shore wrote for the film's extended version, plus a DVD offering the score in Dolby Surround Sound.

Near the time of the Cleveland performances– but across the Atlantic – the Orchestra National de Lyon will present two performances of the symphony (February 10 and 11). In the spring, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will also give two performances in Denver (May 19 – 21).

Since its premiere performance in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 29, 2003, Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony has been performed nearly 90 times on four continents. Audiences from Sydney and Tokyo to Los Angeles and London have greeted the two-hour work with rousing ovations following performances in some of the world’s most famous venues – including Sydney’s Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Moscow’s Kremlin Palace Theater.

Some of the world’s leading international orchestras – including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the London Philharmonic – have performed The Lord of the Rings Symphony in addition to regional orchestras across the United States. In summer 2005 the symphony was played in the Odeon Herod Atticus in Athens, Greece, one of the city’s most famous outdoor theaters; at the prestigious Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany; and in Oslo’s Frognerparken, where Norway’s acclaimed Oslo Philharmonic played it for a crowd estimated to have topped 70,000. The same orchestra gave another performance a few days later in Bergen for a crowd estimated at more than 30,000. The first two movements of the symphony, comprising The Fellowship of the Ring – the first installment of Tolkien’s trilogy – was performed on a program entitled “The Rings: Myth and Music” with music by Richard Wagner at New York’s Carnegie Hall last November.

Shore takes particular pride in the fact that performances of The Lord of the Rings Symphony all over the world have been given not by a single touring orchestra but almost entirely by local performers:

“The symphony has been presented around the world, but regardless of where it has been done the performances have been given by local artists. That’s the real joy of it for me: this work is helping awaken community interest in the symphony orchestra.”

In addition to Shore, five other conductors have performed the piece internationally: John Mauceri, Alexander Mickelthwate, Markus Huber, Alastair Willis and Terry Edwards.

Howard Shore is currently working on an opera based on his film collaboration with David Cronenberg – a commission of The Fly for Los Angeles Opera. His score for The Aviator (his third collaboration with director Martin Scorsese) won both Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards and was just nominated for a Grammy. His soundtrack for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the song “Into the West” both won Grammy Awards last year as well as two Oscars and two Golden Globe Awards. His soundtracks for the previous installments of the trilogy – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – were also honored with Grammy awards. Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring also earned him an Oscar for Best Original Score. Earlier this month the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures presented Shore with its 2005 Career Achievement for Film Music Composition award.

About The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus

Howard Shore wrote his six-movement The Lord of the Rings Symphony for symphony orchestra, adult and children's choirs, as well as solo instrumentalists and vocalists, totaling more than 200 musicians on stage. Working with conductor John Mauceri, who first suggested that the music of The Lord of the Rings be preserved as an independent work for the concert hall, Shore created a two-hour symphony drawing from the nearly 12 hours of music he composed for Peter Jackson’s phenomenally successful film trilogy. (Shore received three Oscars and four Grammy awards for the soundtrack recordings.) The six movements of the symphony correspond to the progression of the epic through the six books that were adapted for the film trilogy. These movements capture the enormous complexity and limitless imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation – from the simple, pastoral beauty of the hobbits’ Shire to the magic and mystery of the Elves and the monumental battle scenes – in music by turns explosive, ethereal and, ultimately, transcendent.

As Doug Adams, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films explained in a Chicago Tribune interview, “There’s a different style of music for each culture of characters: hobbit, elf, dwarf. If you go to the symphony performance it’s very much like an abstract version of Tolkien’s story.”

Shore achieves this enormous feat by the ingenious use and juxtaposition of a plethora of recurring motifs – close to 80 in all – associated with the various characters and places in the books. Shore’s employment of some instruments foreign to the traditional Western symphony orchestra – and of choral settings in Tolkien’s languages – help conjure up the ancient beauty of Middle-earth, its diverse inhabitants, and the harrowing struggle between the forces of good and evil.

Shore likens the daunting experience of writing the music for the three The Lord of the Rings films to that of the humble hobbit asked to carry the ring. “When I started,” he told the Chicago Tribune, “I was the hobbit with the ring saying, ‘I will do this. I will take the ring to Mordor, although I do not know the way.’” Shore considers his work on The Lord of the Rings to be the culmination of everything he has done in his first 40 years of writing music.

Critical acclaim for Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony

“It wasn't the crowd that typically attends an orchestra concert, but it was an uplifting sight to see – and one that has been repeated around the world as Howard Shore's ‘The Lord of the Rings Symphony’ draws new audiences to the symphony…This symphony…is breathtaking. Shore's music takes listeners into new worlds, evoking a panorama of emotions that cut to the heart including love, serenity, pain and fury. It deserves to be enjoyed long after the movies have left the multiplex.”
– Buffalo News

“[Howard Shore’s] instinct for melody is superb, his integration of legitimate ancient music sources with contemporary-sounding tonal clusters and harmonic invention is terrific, and, most of all, he creates, as both Jackson and Tolkien did before him, an entire imagined universe that is both detailed and consistent.”
– Newark Star-Ledger

"There's no denying the sweep and rich texture of the work, with its Celtic-like tunes, moody pop songs, and effective use of choral voices (think Carmina Burana, only darker). And Shore's nod to Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle at the very end, with the orchestra reveling in the healing power of a major chord, makes a satisfying coda. …When the last notes dissipated, it sounded as if the demonstrative audience would keep the ovation going until long after all signs of Elvish had left the building.”
– Baltimore Sun

"Shore's musical opus is every bit as impressive as Tolkien's literary one, standing on its own as a sweeping, operatic experience, even when liberated from the majesty of Jackson's trilogy.”
– The Seattle Times

“Among the highlights of the six-movement [The Lord of the Rings Symphony] was ‘The Prophecy,’ featuring a lonely ney flute that evoked the other-worldliness of 5,000-year-old Middle-earth. The chorus swelled and climbed with urgent excitement in ‘Concerning Hobbits,’ and a solo fiddle added effervescence to ‘The Shadow of the Past.’ Heavy percussive drive on ‘The Bridge of Khazad-dum’ sweepingly suggested a history of classic cinema spectaculars. Emotional interludes included ‘Hope and Memory’ and ‘The Riders of Rohan’; ‘A Knife in the Dark’ pulsated with ‘Camina Burana’ excitement.”
– Variety

Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Upcoming Performances

Friday, February 10, Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12
Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Howard Shore
Cleveland, OH (Severance Hall)

Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11
Orchestre de Lyon conducted by Terry Edwards
Lyon, France (Hall of Tony Garnier)

Friday, May 19, Saturday May 20, Sunday, May 21
Colorado Symphony Orchestra conducted by Markus Huber
Denver, Colorado (Boettcher Hall)

ORC 2006: Reports & More Photos!
Xoanon @ 11:07 am EST

ORC 2006 Gallery II

ORC Day Three Report

Ringer Celebriel reports Sunday’s highlights included main stage sessions with Billy Boyd and Miranda Otto, as well as the chance to see a rare first hard cover edition of The Lord of the Rings autographed by J.R.R. Tolkien, on display at the Red Carpet Tours booth.

Billy Boyd

Billy was in top form and really seemed to enjoy sharing stories and answering fan questions. In terms of upcoming projects, he will be working with the National Theatre of Scotland (Billy is a patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre and the organization is supported by his Loons Charities) and there are some film projects in the works as well. (The National Theatre of Scotland launches February 25th with ten performances opening simultaneously in venues across the country – Billy will appear in a piece recreating an MI5-style surveillance operation in a high rise in Soutra Place, Glasgow.)

Some stories and facts about Billy I hadn’t heard before:

-Billy once locked Dom in the cupboard of his trailer because Dom brought him the wrong flavor of Haagen Dasz ice cream. Note to fans: it’s OK to bring chocolate, but not chocolate ice cream.

-While filming Master and Commander, Billy was accidentally hit in the legs almost every time Russell Crowe swung his sword.

-Other than Pippin, the role he would like to have played is Gollum, because of the creativity and technology he knew the part would require to be successful.

- Billy’s Fellowship tattoo is on his ankle, which seemed appropriate because the role had so much to do with feet. However, because it was done a few weeks before the end of principal photography, he was still wearing hobbit feet on the set, and having the glue in the unhealed wounds from the tattoo was not fun.

-Billy is a big fan of both Peter Sellers and George Harrison

About the only question Billy couldn’t answer was identifying the most unusual gift he’d received from a fan, but he said he’d think about it!

Miranda Otto

This was Miranda’s first US convention appearance, and fans greeted her enthusiastically and with many questions about her role as Eowyn. Many questions concerned Eowyn’s complex relationships with other characters. Miranda talked about the changes in the relationship between Aragorn and Eowyn that were made in the films, noting the films kept the relationship ambiguous, keeping open the possibility they could get together while in the books Aragorn respects and likes Eowyn but makes clear he is pledged to another. Miranda feels Eowyn believed Arwen was going or had gone into the west, so she saw Aragorn as a free man.

She enjoyed working with Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) and felt that their scenes effectively created a complex emotional backstory in which Gryma had probably loved her for years and was the one person really paying attention to her while others, including her own family, were occupied with other things. Their scenes communicate the simultaneous feelings of attraction and repulsion she felt for him.

Miranda noted that one basis for Eowyn and Merry’s close relationship was that both were often belittled and overlooked among the Rohirrim.

She also enjoyed working with Bernard Hill (Theoden), explaining that Theoden’s departure scene, in which he asked her to be responsible for the kingdom, was filmed on the last day of principal photography and his death scene was done on the last day of reshoots, making them especially poignant.

Miranda had her own stories about the rewrites and reshoots that characterized life as a Lord of the Rings actor. She got the lines for the song sung in Theodred’s funeral scene only the day before, and they weren’t planned to be a song. She and other women were filmed chanting the lines, and only later was the final song recorded. The work was often hard both emotionally and physically. For example, Eowyn’s reaction shot after seeing Legolas return the Evenstar to Aragorn was done on a reshoot, without the other actors present. Often she played to ping pong balls on sticks. Examples of physical hard work were many bruises on her legs from falling, and being crushed by Karl Urban’s armor in their scene together on Pelennor Fields.

Miranda revealed that Eowyn’s horse Dublin was a gelding originally acquired for Viggo Mortensen but then given to her. Dublin was later sold to a very caring owner - when the horse was brought back for reshoots, he had gained a lot of weight. She also mentioned a fight sequence in the Glittering Caves that was filmed but not used – hmmm, perhaps we’ll see it in some future DVD anniversary release!

Lord of the Rings Signed First Edition on Display - And For Sale

ORC guests had the rare opportunity to see a first United Kingdom edition (1954/1955) of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings signed by J.R.R. Tolkien (the signature is tipped in front of the title page). The three volumes were on display Sunday at the Red Carpet Tours booth. The Los Angeles area-based owner has had them for about fifteen years and is now offering the set for $22,500.

Dork of the Rings

Dork of the Rings Director Jack Peterson and cast members were in evidence in the main stage room and elsewhere in the hall and held court at their booth in the vendor’s room. Ringers need a new film every year, and 2006 is the year of Dork of the Rings, so sign up for their newsletter to stay informed on plans for the film’s official release.

Dork of the Rings Website

Jack’s Blog


ErinRua writes: I've posted just over one hundred ORC 2006 event photos, if you would like to share them with fellow Ringers. These are mainly costumes and the actors' panels. I promised several of the costume folks that I would try to get their photos online for them, so if you would like to announce this link, it would be a great favor. :-) This was my first convention ever, and I had the absolute time of my life! Thank you, TORn! [More]


Arwen: Check out these great pictures of all three days of The One Ring Celebration 2006 at Genrefans.com - including Red Carpet Tours' presentation, Daniel Reeve, the Iron Artist Challenge, the Costume Contest, John Noble, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, The One Ring Awards show, Billy Boyd (charity breakfast and stage Q&A), and Miranda Otto. [More]

Celebriel's ORC Day Two Report
Xoanon @ 10:52 am EST

Celebriel's ORC Day Two Report
John Noble

Celebriel reports: Before talking about John Noble, I just want to mention that Elijah Wood and Sean Astin announced they are returning to New Orleans for Mardi Gras for the Krewe of Bacchus – it’s a great opportunity to see them, enjoy Mardi Gras, and contribute to the recovery of New Orleans (Mardi Gras site)

John Noble

If you enjoy hearing actors talk about their craft, you’ll want to see John Noble every chance you get. John, with a long list of stage, screen, and television credits, has worked as a stage director and drama teacher. He’s appeared in commercials and corporate presentations, and even (once) in an opera.

At his Saturday appearance at ORC, fans had many questions about his portrayal of Denethor and about his current and future projects.

John’s been busy since completing The Lord of the Rings. He has three films due out this year. Running Scared, a noir film directed by Wayne Kramer, opened this month in the UK and opens February 24 in the US. In it, John plays a psychotic Russian mob boss who’s killed by his stepson in a particularly gory explosive death.

In May, the epic historical drama One Night with the King: The Call of Destiny (no, this is NOT about Aragorn– it’s based on the biblical story of Esther) directed by Michael Sabjel and also starring John Rhys-Davies, Omar Sharif, and Peter O’Toole is due for release. Based on the trailer, the film has gorgeous production design, sets, and costumes and so if you tend to like big epic pictures with, uh, gorgeous production design, sets, and costumes, you might want to give it a look.

The third film is Nick Cohen’s horror film Voodoo Lagoon, filmed in Australia, about college kids on a tropical isle.Once again, John has a great death scene, in which his son plucks out his beating heart.

His recent television work includes an appearance in Stargate SG-1 (“Camelot,” due to air March 10, according to IMDB) and a run on the Australia soap opera, Home and Away, in which, John says, “I play a really evil man for a change.”

In 2006 he’s headed for Serbia to appear in Conflict, a thriller directed by John Ireland, filmed in English and Serbo-Croatian, in which he once again plays the father of two sons. Also on tap is a film in England, in which he plays the Devil.

John is an actor who believes in thorough preparation, a slow infiltration into his role, taking on voice, gesture, and working with props, so that when he goes before the camera it’s not really acting – he IS the character. During the wardrobe and makeup process each day he became Denethor. In John’s view, “the craft is about getting inside a character and playing that truth,” regardless of medium.

John was always interested in playing Denethor because of the complexity of the character and its King Lear-ish quality, saying, “the greatest gift you can give an actor is a role like that.” In the end, he lived with the character for nearly five years, from the readings in early 1999 through the start of filming in October 2000 and the return to do the ADR three years later, saying it was a challenge to get back into the character and deliver the dialogue after all that time.

John enjoyed the many challenges of playing Denethor. It was tough to move around in the heavy costume. Also, Denethor’s language comes straight from Tolkien and requires difficult, technical articulation. Getting the right voice creates the character and enables the actor to generate deep emotions. John, and Peter Jackson, had to deal with the challenge of introducing a major character late in the piece. One challenge was to make people care about Denethor – to do this, John worked hard to communicate his complexity and his history.

John maintains passionately that Denethor was not evil – “a great man who made poor choices, but like many characters, they seemed like good choices at the time.” To just see him as evil reduces his complexity. Denethor, like most characters in The Lord of the Rings, has a huge backstory involving the death of his wife, his longstanding concern about Faramir’s closeness to Gandalf, his concerns over many years that Gandalf was preparing to bring back Isildur’s heir, and his resentment that he, Denethor, has been doing the hard job of keeping the country together while Aragorn remained undecided for many decades about his fate.

He sees Denethor as having different expectations for each of his sons. Boromir, his heir, is strong and powerful, just like him, while Faramir, his younger son, more sensitive, scholarly, and influenced by Gandalf, is just tolerated. Why does Denethor agree he would rather Faramir had died? Because in his current state, he has nothing left to live for, as he believes the kingdom is doomed. Also, says John, it was the simple answer: another answer would have open up a host of questions. He chose isolation as a way to convey Denethor’s mental state – the character speaks only to Gandalf, Pippin, and Faramir and seems to live in the throne room.

John says he’s glad he didn’t know when he signed on to play Denethor how big the fan base was, and how huge and involved the online fan base would become during the production and release of the films. ”I would have been terrified!” he says.

John didn't get nearly as many personal questions as Elijah, Sean, or Billy. He admitted he enjoys playing the guitar and singing, and his taste often runs to broody songs by Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. (No doubt Denthor would approve!) John has two daughters and a son, and his elder daughter Samantha has already begun her acting career.

While John never received a prop or clapper from the production for his time on set, he considers his 2004 Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for The Return of the King, which he shared with 18 other principal cast members, to be his special memento.

John’s website: johnnoble.net

You can access trailers for all three upcoming films here, or separately through IMDB.

Another story about John from Dragon*Con 2005.

ORC Report: What’s New with Calligrapher and Mapmaker Daniel Reeve
Xoanon @ 10:42 am EST

Calligrapher and Mapmaker Daniel Reeve

Ringer Celebriel reports: Calligrapher and mapmaker Daniel Reeve met with a warm and enthusiastic reception from fans at ORC. He presented a slide show with dozens of images of items he created for The Lord of the Rings: countless books, invitations, scrolls, labels, maps, and even props like the telescope in the library at Rivendell.

Daniel explained that the creating the actual film props turned out to be only part of his work. He went on to work with dozens of merchandising licensees, preparing a massive style guide for them to ensure uniformity in graphic presentation, and then also created the titles and graphics for the DVD releases in dozens of languages.

The scope of his work is pretty amazing: Every character and location in The Lord of the Rings has its own unique type treatment, a graphic style and look that helps communicate the essence of that character or place. Even individuals in the same culture were distinguished from one another – Daniel created different handwriting styles for Bilbo and Frodo even though they both wrote using the same hobbit alphabet. Daniel also trained the actors, like Elijah Wood and Ian Holm, who had to write on screen. Fan-favorite exhibits include Elijah’s calligraphy practice sheets.

After the Lord of the Rings, Daniel continued to work with WETA, creating maps and calligraphy for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and King Kong. If you saws these two films, you’d recognize his handiwork in Tumnus’ arrest warrant, signed and paw-printed by Maugrim, and in the map of Skull Island, which resembles a gorilla print, and the New York newspapers and posters.

In an informal Sunday morning breakfast, Daniel talked a bit about his recent projects. He was selected by the New Zealand government to work on a prestigious calligraphy project creating replicas of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840), the founding documents of the New Zealand nation, consisting of nine documents recording agreements between the British Crown and over five hundred Māori chiefs. The materials are a central part of an exhibition on the treaty, called Treaty 2 U, that’s touring New Zealand in a mobile exhibition trailer from January to May 2006.

He also worked on Dead Letters, a short independent film shot recently in Wellington by Quarter Acre Pictures and directed by Paolo Rotondo. The film, shot in just six days, is a wartime love story set in 1943 involving piles of letters sent to soldiers serving overseas. Grant Major is working on the film’s production design, and Park Road Post is one of many Wellington area businesses supporting the project. Dead Letters was one of only nine films funded by the New Zealand Film Commission’s Short Film Fund in 2005. It will be released this year.

For the film Daniel created letters in different handwriting. Daniel, or actually his hand, makes its film debut writing on camera, in an extreme close-up because the letter writer is supposed to be a woman. Like many others working on this independent film project, Daniel donated his time and talent.

He’s also created a set of illustrations for game cards for Hasbro’s upcoming game based on Pirates of the Caribbean (Reminder: Orlando Bloom fans can see their man in action as Will Turner starting July 7 in the US).

For ORC, Daniel had brought just under a hundred handwritten copies of Bilbo’s birthday party invitation to personalize for attendees and sell. They all sold out Friday, with lines forming at his table immediately after the presentation.

Daniel is a wonderfully talented, gentle, and unassuming artist. I found him standing in the back of the auditorium Saturday while Elijah and Sean were speaking and had to tell him more than once to go up and take an empty seat in the front so they could see he was there.

More about Dead Letters.

Daniel’s website.

ORC 2006: Billy Boyd Chat Transcript
Xoanon @ 10:19 am EST

Silver Star writes: My notes + best recollections, but it's NOT a transcript, please make that clear!


Good afternoon. Hi. Welcome to "Pippin in Pasadena". Should we do question and answer or should I just make up a story?

[various audience yells]

Did I hear a perfect C sharp there?

[Billy opens water, is quiet] I forgot where I was for a moment, I'll tell you what my thought process. I was thinking about this microphone, I was thinking that it's this big, but then they also make them really small. I was wondering everything be shrunk and still work the same? [holds his fingers rather close together -- audience slightly raucous laughter]

[Billy sees the woman wearing the Japanese coat auctioned in the morning.] Is that my kimono? No, it's not a kimono, I can't remember the real name for it.

[Japanese person in audience: Ha-pi] Oh, ha-pi, ha-pi.

Q: In Urban Ghost Story, you played an evil character, what is the most fun thing and hardest thing of playing someone so despicable

[microphone cuts out]
It seems if I press my thigh, the mic goes off and if I press the other side, my shirt falls off. [audience laughter and catcalls]

Playing that kind of character ... as an actor you get slightly typecast, it's nice to break out... independent film, the filmmakers have more flexibility while the studios don't.

In that film, it was hard, there were a couple of kids involved, [rough?]language.. There was some stuff that was even worse that didn't make film

When you have the character, it comes naturally. It was good fun doing that, I enjoyed that film.

[Billy gets distracted] Ha-pi. I knew it wasn't a kimono. In Japan, [at the Return of the King premiere] there was a big barrel of sake, You had to break it with a hammer, Pete Jackson broke it. And then Dom tried to jump into it. I had to hold him back. He wanted to bathe in sake. [much audience laughter]

Q. In the blooper reel we saw, there was no Billy and no Dom.

That's strange, because when I heard they were doing the blooper reels, there's one that they showed at the wrap party, at the end of principle photography, there was plenty of me and Dom.

When you're waiting around, you get bored. There was person making the behind-the-scenes film, Dom and I would call that person over and [do a little skit]. There's one where I locked Dom in the cupboard, [I invited them into my trailer], and all the time I was talking, and there was a tap, tap, tap [mimes tapping]. He'd got me the wrong flavor of Haagen Daas.

Q: What's the right flavor?

The right flavor: anything with nuts, except walnuts. He got me chocolate, I like ice cream, I like chocolate, but I don't like chocolate ice cream. [shrugs and makes a face]

Q: Greetings from Seattle. We're still waiting for you to plant your flag on the space needle.

I will!

How high is that? I'm not good with heights.

During Master and Commander, there was a scene, we're on the top of the crow's nest. It was supposed to be on the deck, but we got there that morning, and they told us up there. Russell Crowe's got this big sword, and the space was very small [demonstrates on the stage] Every time Russell Crowe comes by he hits me on the leg with his sword. It was about five hundred feet down, I was holding on with one hand.

[walks to the stage stairs, holds the bannister] I always hold on. [much laughter]

Q: [bit about the Scottish Parliament building]

It cost a lot, I think they got more expensive carpets.

Q: favorite part of Scotland?

The West Coast, Fingol's cave. I think we should paint up the cave. [bits I missed]

It was lovely to talk to you, quite surreal, but lovely.

[Turns around, sees his back view on the big screen. JUST LIKE ELIJAH, Billy pulled up his shirt and tucked his shirt into the back of his trousers. He played with his hand, wiggled it around, flexed, moved it over his arse, flexed it as though he was going to grab himself, back and forth from his side for quite a long time. Audience screaming, with a notable soprano note to the laughter.]

Q: When Pippin told Treebeard to go south, did he do it expecting something to happen?

Totally that, it was part of showing a character maturing. The writers wanted to show that. Because Merry is trying so hard to convince Treebeard, he's trying so hard, that, sorry, he couldn't see the wood for the trees. So after he told me that the Shire could be destroyed, it comes to me [to do something]. I like the idea that Pippin gets the idea that actually changes Treebeard. He's been listening to Treebeard, he gets Treebeard, he knows he has to do it. After they come out of the forest, he apologizes to Treebeard, he says sorry.

Q: what about your CD?

I just can't find enough time to rehearse it, we're writing quite a lot of stuff. Just enjoying it very much.

[Showing off: puts his water bottle in his between his heels, jumps and and flips it up, catches it. Then throws his bottle over his shoulder and fails to catch it.]

Q: what are your future projects?

Quite a few things. I don't like to talk about things until they're actually happening. You say you're going to do something and people ask you why didn't you do it? You say you're going to plant a flag in Seattle and they ask why you didn't, and you have to say "I'm a liar."

The Scottish National Theatre, I've been involved in getting in started, it would be odd not to work there.

[Laughs] "I'll help you with theatre but I won't work you"

[missing bit]

The French horn. You have to play it with your hand up it, that's weird. [bit of mime and jokes about the horn] If I was designing it it would have a handle. If I was designing it, it wouldn't be French, it would be Scottish.

I'm going to tell you a joke, my favorite joke ever. Oh, I've talked up so much it's going to be rubbish.

When I was younger, I had a trumpet tree in my garden. But a man from the council came and rooti-ti-tout. [in American: root-toot-toot-ooot]

You'll be thinking about it at night, lying in bed, thinking oh, rooted it out!

Q: Dom says you watch Laurel and Hardy movies, what's your favorite?

Ijust got it, they now have a box set of everything they ever made, five million hours, brilliant. I love that Stan Laurel can light his thumb, if they need a fire. I love Way out West, I love all the movies. I could watch them for hours watching them getting a piano up a staircase.

Peter Sellers, I could watch him as well.

Q: Elijah was talking about pranks, what was the best prank?

Best prank, probably, was the game Tig Tag, not because it was best, but just cos it it went on so long. Three months later, Elijah came up and said "why don't we ever play Tig?" [audience laughter]

Elijah's such a lovely guy, open and innocent, it's almost to easy.

Orlando, you've got to be a bit more sly to get him. But we got him.

Q: Could you quote one of Pippin's lines in an American accent

[In American accent:] I wish I knew how to quit you! That's not Pippin. That's Brokeback Mountain isn't it. [audience laughter]

Pippin is so kind of in that voice, It would be kindof weird to do it.

[Asks questioner to do it, she says "Second Breakfast" in a Scottish accent, laughter all around.]

Q: Come to Oregon and go windsurfing.

I'm going up to plant a flag, paint a cave...

I don't like windsurfing, you can't rest, you have to hold onto it all the time. On the surfboard, you can sit, have a chat, a dolphin could come by [makes dolphin jump motion with his hand]

Q: In the scene with Pippin and Gandalf, talking about death, your neck pulses. Did you do that on purpose.

I don't have that kind of body control. I think it's just, hopefully as an actor you try to be in the moment you know, and if you're working with a great actor like Ian... And the lines, the first time I read that scene I cried. The lines written by Tolkien and by Fran Walsh. [mentions issues of dealing with hobbit sizes: camera tricks, green screens.] For that one, we just sat down, and it happened to work.

Q; What scene makes you most proud, what would you have wanted to change?

I'm very proud of that scene with Gandalf. Proud of the relationship of Merry and Pippin, hope it came across. Hopefully by the end when he finds him on the battle field, the relationship has all been leading up to it.

What I'd like to do again, do it again [New Zealand is] a beautiful country

Q: Did you know there's snow in Chicago?

Let's go plant a flag!

[Billy moves chair] Repositioning things, it's like a chess game up here.

Q: no matter how much I've watched you on TV, you're more [adorable?] in person.

Oh gosh, thank you.

Q: If not Pippin, what character would you have liked to have played? And what would it take for a girl to win your heart?

[Billy clowns a little]

I'd like to have done Gollum. That was exciting, the first time that technology had been used, as well as being amazingly written character. When I read the books, it just jumped out.

To win my heart - chocolate, ice cream, but not chocolate ice cream. I don't know. Strange isn't it, attraction. It's chemical, biological, you don't know [why]. You don't pick who to fall in love with. [American accent:] Ah wish ah knew how to quit you.

Q: [Brings Seed of Chuckie doll up] Could you make the doll talk?

Cute little fellah.

[Glenn voice:] I don't know who I am, I don't know if I'm a boy or a girl.

I've never seen one of those. He's quite the sexy one

[Billy asks questioner:] was that painful that tattoo? I've often thought of having a tattoo there [forearm]. Someone, the girl who did my makeup for a long time on the Lord of the Rings, called Margaret, had a boyfriend, who's now her husband, and they have two kids. [how much time has gone by] He had a tattoo that was great, a mountain that became a wave. It was supposed to go right round, but he stopped, it was too painful.

Q: Do you hate getting asked the same things all the time?

I'm not getting asked the same things over and over. A lot of the questions I've been asked today, I've never been asked before

Q: How did you go from bookbinding to acting?

I was just bored, really really bored. I used to be a bookbinder, I enjoyed it when I was learning, but then I went to a big place [and was bored.] So I left, hung about down at the Florida keys. It's a good place to hang about: hot, wet.

[then he got into Drama school and went back to Glasgow]

[I'm missing a bit]

Q: Do you really hate cinnamon?

I hate cinnamon: smell, taste, everything about cinnamon. I don't mind chewing gum, Big Red, but doesn't taste like cinnamon. I don't know why I hate it so much. When I was younger, we were going to Six Flags or something. My cousin made me cinnamon toast that morning, and I was sick on the roller coaster. It might not have been the cinnamon but the two are connected in my mind.

It's the first thing you smell when you get off the plane in LA, is cinnamon, there's a cinnabon place.

But if you see me in the street, and say have a bit of Big Red, I'll say yeah. It doesn't taste like cinnamon to me, it tastes like anise. I quite like anise.

Q: Do you like World Without Sundays?

What a great band!

Q: What was the strangest or most unusual gift you've gotten?

I get a lot of stuff that's quite strange... I quite like that I mention in an interview that you like something, you get get it. I should say I like whiskey! I said I like scarves, I got scarves for a long time.

Q: Is it harder or easier to play a character based on a book?

Kindof a bit of both, actually. Sometimes it's nice, you can go back [and check]. If it says in the book the character can be funny, you can be funny. [something about not funny]

It's also fun, when you have the script, you have the freedom to make it up. A bit of both, really

[back to French horn] If there's a blacksmith, or a metalsmith, you could make a handle for French horns.

Q What would you play in a marching band?

Is there a French horn? Really? [Something about holding it up.]

Cancel the handle!

It's not a French horn, it's a 'mellophone'.

Q: What instruments do you play?

A little bit of guitar, a little bit of bass, a little drums, a little mouth organ.

I used to have a binatone, it's a keyboard from the 80s. I can play the theme from Superman, and Beautiful Dreamer.

[teases the questioner, a teenager who plays flute in marching band] It's easier to carry, can put it in your bag, can't do that with a French horn, even if you have a handle.

Mellophone, remember it rhymes with 'deep groan'

Q: What's you're favorite Beatles song?

Favorite ever ever Beatles song, that's so hard, that's the same like your favorite movie. I like "Something". I like George Harrison songs, "Two of Us", I really like. I'm going to say "Across the Universe", which rhymes with 'just a slightly bit perverse'

I almost went right off the stage there.

Q: About sound production, ADR, Peter Jackson's sound awesome. Was Billy's background with music helpful?

ADR, for anyone who doesn't know, you'll film the scene, but have to do additional dialog recording. Because in some scenes, you know there'll be a fan on to make wind, or other noise. Some actors don't enjoy it cos you have to re-create the scene. I like it cos you have a chance to revisit it.

I quite enjoy it, even for emotion scenes. Except for, you have to do breathing and such like, if you have to do running scenes [takes deep breath, pants] It's always at the end of the day, you end up really dizzy, hyperventilating.

I was working with a camera man once, he'd been in the business for twenty five years, and for twenty of those, he's been waiting for sound. Sound guys are always going "I can hear an aeroplane''

[Effective sound example: in Moria, after Pippin knocks down the skeleton] it was very quiet, you could hear breathing.

Because film is quite a visual experience, people forget how great sound is, but sound makes a movie definitely.

Q: Who was your best friend on the set?

That would probably be Dom. Me, Dom, Elijah, Orlando, we all kinda hung out together. But Dom most, cos his house was closest to me. I had an internal switch, seem to be listening to Dom [nods, looks interested] but really I was listening to my internal music. We liked a lot of the same things, playing pool, watching movies.

Q; Of all you experiences, which would you relive?

So many great things. I loved, after we come out of Moria, on top of that mountain, so beautiful, I can't even say. It was a place of natural significance, I think I just made that up, I don't think that's the real thing, but, natural significance. Not many people were allowed up there, just cameraman, sound, actors, maybe a makeup person. We spent a couple of days up there, beautiful.

Q: How were the premieres?

The premieres are great, but hard work. Doing one in new york, then you have to go to the party afterwards, sounds like fun, but it's work. But all the crowds, and people energy, the n next day on on the plane...

Q: What was your favorite costume?

The Gondorian uniform, it was sexy, strolling around the set. [strolls across stage] Kicking Viggo, knocking him off his horse. It was really comfortable, the chain mail was plastic, so it didn't weigh anything. There were a lot of layers, so it took quite a lot of time to get on in the morning and off in the evening. The sword was on this kind of X thing, and it kept slipping down. It's really annoying, when you're in the middle of a battle, and it keeps slipping down!


I thought you said 'spin round', like Wonder Woman.

Q: Your music career, when did you start and how?

I played in a band when I was at school, like 14, with some guys, we played music for like 10 years. Actually, two of them are still playing with me now [Audience: awww] I don't know if that's worth an awww. [laughter] One of them has a kitten! [Audience: awww]

Q: What is your favorite color?


Q: asking all the actors, because I'm going to paint my house.

Billy: I'm going to paint a cave! [audience laughter]

Q: Last year, Dom told us to ask about 'door, x, triangle', what can you tell us?

Very little then. We were in Hawaii last year: dom, elijah, other people, guys from World Without Sundays, random people who were there. I'm not a big playstation player, I get bored. Some of these guys can play until they're physically sick. [description of the stages of playstation addiction] When they get to that point they can only speak, "cross select zero triangle"! The house we were in the door didn't close, we had to yell, 'door', or a mosquito comes in, bites you, you get malaria...

Q: In the Return of the King, there's a publicity photo from the Black Gate where Merry is hurt and Pippin is holding him.

The battle at the Black Gates, there, we did a lot of what they call 'pops', of battle things happening, which might have been Viggo going through three orcs. And one of the things was that Dom gets hurt by an axe and falls to the ground and I grab him and I'm calling for help. [they decided they didn't need it] It's a little piece of battle footage that they used as still.

Q: It's the opposite of Merry holding Pippin coming out of Moria. [Billy agrees]

Q: About the Fellowship tattoo

I did, actually, but when we got the tattoo, I'm sure everyone knows the nine of us got an Elvish tattoo of the number nine. Because the job has so much to do with feet [I decided to get mine on my ankle]. I was the first one to get it, everyone thought Viggo would go first but he [dithered around] so I went ahead.

Q: Show it?

I made a promise to myself not to show on camera, and there's at least one camera here. [applause]

What I didn't think of, was doing it about two weeks before the end of principal photography, it was painful. An open wound, putting on glue! Don't do that.

Q: Your favorite movie growing up?

When I was growing up, my sort of Lord of the Rings was Star Wars, I loved all the characters. I love comedy, Peter Sellers.

[finishing up]

I want to invent a handle for the French horn!

1-27-06 Latest News

Join Us And Watch The ROTK EE on Saturday
maegwen @ 8:01 pm EST

This weekend TORn's IRC chat will conclude our latest round of movie-watching parties with The Return of the King Extended DVD. Join us in The Hall of Fire chatroom at 5:30 pm EST on Saturday when we dust off our copies of the film and pop it into the DVD player. After the usual confusion, at around 5.30pm EST we'll all press play on our individual DVD players and proceed to cheer and jeer (or discuss and argue, if you like!) the finer points of the film.

We'd be delighted if you could join us.

We plan to take a break midway through the film, to allow for stretching of fingers and backs. Barliman will be on hand to serve drinks and snacks (and to enforce the house rules).

* * *


Saturday January 28

Time zone conversions:

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

5.30pm EST (New York)
4.30pm CST (Chicago)
3.30pm MST (Salt Lake City)
2.30pm PST (Los Angeles)

10.30pm GMT (London)
11.30pm CET (Paris)

6.30am AWST (Sunday 11th) Perth
8.30am AEST (Sunday 11th) Brisbane
9.30am AEDT (Sunday 11th) Sydney
11.30am NZDT (Sunday 11th) Wellington


On TORn's IRC server, in the #thehalloffire channel. After joining the server, type /join #thehalloffire to get there.

If you've never been to TORn's IRC server before, you can join through our java applet and type /join #thehalloffire once you're signed in. We recommend you visit our FAQ for some guidelines on using our IRC service. Barliman’s is a place for good conversation about JRR Tolkien’s works. We welcome you to our community and ask that you, and all guests, abide by some simple guidelines.


Once everyone is in #thehalloffire and has their DVD ready to go, the ops will moderate the room and have a countdown to "Play." I expect that we will be able to give minute-markers throughout the evening for latecomers. A break will be taken midway through -- the exact point will be announced in the topic.

* * *

That's all, folks! See you this weekend!

1-26-06 Latest News

ORC: Miranda Otto Q&A Transcript
Xoanon @ 8:03 pm EST

writes: My notes & best recollections, not a word-by-word transcript. Please do not rely on these notes for anything important!

Miranda Otto Q&A Transcript:

Hello, hey, wow, what a lot of people. [about the tall chair] Most uncomfortable. [looks at the audience] I can see someone in one of my costumes [laughter and cheers]

Q: Comparing the book Eowyn & Aragorn relationship against the movie, wa there more of a love story?

Certainly my imagination went a long long way, we strung it out. I'd imagine in my head that we'd take it a long way, we'd rewrite Tolkien! [audience laughs] We wanted to string it out a little bit more and that was fuuuun. Viggo wanted to make it clear that Aragorn was in love with Arwen, whether or not she's there. But it was fun to make you think that maybe, they'd get together.

Q. About the scene in Houses of Healing?

We were trying to keep it going, keep the sexual tension going. Based on the fact that she's so in love with him. She keeps hoping beyond hope that it will lead to something else.

Q. Eowyn is strong and vulnerable at the same time, had to overcome so much discouragement. Did Miranda have to do the same?

Yeah definitely, you always draw on lots of parts of yourself I think. there are lots of times when you think you might give up. [bit about keeping going] I used to dance when I was younger, I gave up, and then I went back...

Q: The Houses of Healing was missing so much, we felt cheated.

I felt cheated too! One of my favorite sections of the books, very beautiful. But they were really going fast in the film, so much action. Houses of Healing very lyrical section, but in the film, they have to keep the pace up. Um, most of what we shot in is in the extended version. A part where they're standing at the window and looking out and talking about the rain, I think? The bit with Viggo, where he comes in as Aragorn and does the healing.

Q: Did you enjoy being one of the guys?

Yeah, I did, I used to hang out with the guys and that was fun. I wanted to do more and more fighting, I was sort of badgering them a lot to do as much fighting as possible. We were shooting at all different times and all different places and talking to the them [Peter, Fran, Philippa, etc.] about ideas... The Killing of the Witch King, we re-shot some of that

Q: Were you battling the men in rehearsal?

Not really, no. I had two women, stunt doubles. But the guys took it easy on me.

Q: Compare directors, Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson

They're both great. People who are good at what they do are relaxed and encouraging. They're both really cuddly kind people.

Q: Directors and actors you'd like to work with?

I'd really like to work with Ang Lee, actually, not just from Brokeback Mountain, I've liked him a long time. Paul Thomas Andreson. Stanley Kubrick, -- he went died on me! Billy Wilder, I would have really liked to have worked with

Gene Hackman. God there's lots of women. Joan Allen, I'm really a fan of. Juliette Binoche. Judy Davis, I nearly got to work with her once.

Q: There's an amazing scene, at Theoden's bedside, alternately drawn and repulsed by Wormtongue, was it difficult?

That was a scene I really really enjoyed doing. I liked working with Brad, he puts a lot in, he gives you so much. He's partially seducing her, everyone else is sort of fobbing her off, he's saying I understand what goes on in your head.... She's a bit seduced and repulsed at the same time. It's a really interesting thing to play when you can play two opposing things at once.

That day, we were in a place with a tin roof, there were gale-force winds,, evidently. I didn't notice. Brad said 'I couldn't believe you were still working' with all the noise of the winds and the airplanes.

Q: The Flight of the Phoenix, what was the most challenging part?

Being in the desert, that's really hard. It was the second time, I did another film in Namibia once, and it gets really really hot. Very isolated, no services. Walking into the sand dunes every day, a lot of wind, a lot of sand, physically quite demanding. And also being away from family, really a long way away.

Q: What about being the 'other woman'?

I like to think that she really doesn't know that much about Arwen and assumes Arwen's long gone. For me personally, if there's another woman, back off. She thinks he's a free man.

Q; Watching Eowyn & Wormtongue, it explains the whole relationship, which was unclear for me in the book, so thank you.

Oh thank you.

Q; Do you think sword training for women was common in Rohan or just for Eowyn?

I thought it was partially unique, with her royal heritage, she was expected to lead. She does say in the film that the women of Rohan had to fight, that they'd be die on the sword so she had to be able to wield one. But she has to lead.

Q. have you seen King Kong yet?

No, I'm desperate to see it. I had a baby recently and I don't get to the movies very often, but I might see it here.

Q: Challenges and easiest things in movies?

The biggest challenge I think for me was the scale issue, working with the small people, and when you had to work with people who were actually not the actors. And working with ping-pong balls on sticks. When we did a re-shoot with Legolas giving Aragorn the Evenstar back, that was to a ping-pong ball because they weren't there. But someone told me that was their favorite shot.

The easy - just really believing that you ware a part of that world, because unlike other films, the sets had incredible detail, the costumes, all my shoes were made, all my jewelry was made, that made it easy.

Q. What was your favorite costume?

Hmmmm. The white dress, my favorite, symbolic of her character, simple and beautiful. I loved going to the costume department to get new costumes.

Q. Eowyn is an inspiration, do you see yourself as an inspiration?

The character Eowyn is definitely inspiration for girls, the character not so much of myself. My job was simply to read and interpret that and try to do her as much justice as possible. She's in some ways a perversion of the classic fairy tale, where the girl sees the knight in armor who saves her. In this book, she has to become her own knight and save herself

Q. In the extended Two Towers, Eowyn feeds Aragorn soup -- are you a better cook than Eowyn?

Not much! [audience laughter] I wish. I'm not much of a cook. It's something that when I'm fifty, I'll devote some time.

Q. When you took the role, did you realize what you were getting into?

When I took this role I didn't know much about it at all. I hadn't read Lord of the Rings, when I was a kid. I read a lot of other things and I'm quite surprised that I didn't read those. Then, I read the first script, but the script changed so much, it wasn't until I got there that I realized what a big part it was. It's a big responsibility, but there were so many people that were trying to make you look right, make you move right....

Q. When Eomer found Eowyn on the field, was that hard to film?

He hugged me so tight, and he was so involved, I didn't want to interrupt. But I remember that all the armor was sticking into my face, he was holding me so tight, and my own armor was poking into me. I didn't want to interrupt him, he was so into the moment.

Then after that scene, I had huge bruises, huge black bruises all over my legs form falling over and being hit.

Q. What was your favorite scene?

Gosh, there were so many. Killing the witch king was a lot of fun, though we actually shot it twice. It took me a lot of days to recover from. Probably the most for me was Edoras, it was so beautiful, that exterior, it was like being in a fairy tale.

Q. Tips for aspiring actress?

First of all if you want to be an actress, you have to want it beyond anything, because it's quite tough and you have to take a lot of rejection. If you want to do *anything else*...

I still really believe in having training, I studied in drama school for three years and it really helped in this film, portray someone who's from a different time.

You have to be very committed, use your imagination, read lots of books so you can imagine yourself someone else.

Q. What was it like, working with Viggo?

Brilliant, it was like working with Aragorn really. He's quite an amazing person, a Renaissance man, great painter and photographer and musician. A kind and gentle person, he sees himself the same as everyone else. He's non-starry, won't let anyone clean up after him or anything. He was a great example to everyone else.

Q. What was your favorite scene with Bernard Hill?

We had lot of fun together, Bernard and I, good chemistry, we got on really well. I think the scene that we shot on the very last day of shooting, original shoot, not re-shoots. It's the scene where he's saying he probably won't return and she should take over for him. Also his death scene, last day of re-shoots.

Q. Do Ringers still freak you out?

it wasn't exactly Ringers that creeped me out, what creeped me out was professional autograph hunters. They want you to sign millions and millions of things and then go on ebay. They're not polite, which is what really got to me. They didn't know when to leave you alone. But no, you guys are FUN!

Q. How did you kill the witch king?

When you shoot a big piece of action, it's done in all little bits all little bits he has this mace, iron maiden, what?, [audience" morning-star!] Right. A lot of my time my sword was real, but sometimes when I did the actual stabbing it would be just the handle. Sometimes it would go on for a long time, a minute to two minutes... I had something inside the shield that made it blow up when he hit it.

Q: Were there any scenes shot that you were disappointed were not in the final version?

I'm never really disappointed because I trust the director that if the scene isn't there, it wasn't necessary. And people need to go to the toilet, you can't have it too long or... In the extended dvd, [she was happy to see the part where Eowyn and Theoden talk]. There was originally a scene, a fight scene at the end of the second film, in the Glittering Caves, the orcs came in... I spent a long time on that fight and I was a little disappointed it didn't make it.

Q: Who was your favorite cast-member?

I mainly worked with Dominic, and he was a lot of fun, always making gags. He and billy were a funny double-act, they had pictures of themselves, dressed up as other people, pictures all over.

Q: Did you like the horses and swords?

Sitting with someone in front of you and riding is a lot harder than riding by yourself. It's better to have someone really experienced. I started training for the fighting for about three weeks before. During shooting, we would go and train for particular fights. They would have us learn different positions, different ways of using the swords.

Q. There's been discussion in Tolkien circle, do you think Eowyn was a heroine or deserter?

i always thought of her as a a heroine, I just did. I never thought of her as a deserter. It felt like at times the whole world was going to end. In some way, she was making a mark for herself, there was almost nothing left to save. Almost a death wish, her going off to war. She was symbolic of almost anyone left during a war.

Q. Did you buy your horse?

No, I would have liked to have to have taken my horse home, but it needed someone with experience. He was very expensive, originally bought for Viggo, but he was a gelding and Viggo wanted a stallion. [audience laughs] Someone bought him, and they fed him so well, when they brought him back for the re-shoots, he was about twice the size! He has a very nice life.

Q. In the movie, it's Eowyn and Merry, as opposed to the book where it's Dernhelm and Merry

It was interesting cos we decided early on that there was no way on screen that you could really disguise it was me, that Merry didn't know who it was. I didn't really think about them so much as being female and male, more both outcast in some way, orphaned, not allowed to join in, belittled. More similar [than romantic].

It was definitely a maternal thing in wanting to look after him. She's not very maternal in the rest of the movie, she's not portrayed as a very female character.

Q. How did you prepare for Theodred's funeral scene?

It was originally not supposed to be singing, more wailing. I had a group of other women and we did it together. It given to me the night before, we had to learn it quickly. When I arrived on set, Peter asked me to kindof chant it instead so we came back. later decided to sing, it was quite hard, i've done some singing but it was a strange melody, had to work quite hard to pitch.

Q. You saw the original script - what were the differences between that and the final version?

There was more competition between myself and Arwen. Arwen was at Helm's Deep at one stage. They were trying to build the character up. There was more comedy, and as they went on, they went more back to the books.

Q. What is your favorite movie?

Mmm, you know, I like Gone With the Wind a lot? I still love watching that, and the Wizard of Oz, and the original Willy Wonka.

Q. Did you wear a wig in the Lord of the Rings?

Almost everyone had a wig. My hair was a little shorter than, I was doing a another film, where I had to have red hair. It was just easier. It was good they did, for the amount of reshoots that they did,. They didn't have to worry about your hair, 'is it still long? is it still blonde?' They were beautiful wigs.

Q. There's a bit at the end of the Two Towers where Eowyn hugs Aragorn, he's in his wet falling-in-the-river clothes, after he got all armored up, is that right?

Well spotted! Yes, Aragorn was wearing the river clothes. It was originally from when he comes back on Brego, Eowyn was to run over and hug him, but they changed that, so that was taken from there.


Corrections gratefully accepted, also video or audio so I can fix my own mistakes. I love fixing things, so please comment if you see an error!

Moviefone Moviegoer Award Noms
Xoanon @ 7:56 pm EST

And the nominees of the MOVIEFONE MOVIEGOER AWARDS are...

It's movie award season again, and while we all know what the critics and industry groups think are the best films and performances of the year, Moviefone wants to hear the opinions of the real moviegoers who spend their $10 for a ticket.

Voting is now open for the 11th Annual Moviefone Moviegoer Awards. Real movie fans on Moviefone.com selected the five nominees in each category below, and now millions of movie fans across the country will cast their votes for the winners, to be announced Feb. 28. Don't miss your chance to make your voice and heard and help your favorite film, actor or actress take home the award. Vote now at: [aoltrack.com]

The Nominees for MOVIE OF THE YEAR are:


The Nominees for ACTOR OF THE YEAR are:

Joaquin Phoenix, WALK THE LINE

The Nominees for ACTRESS OF THE YEAR are:

Reese Witherspoon, WALK THE LINE
Keira Knightley, PRIDE & PREJUDICE
Dakota Fanning, WAR OF THE WORLDS
Naomi Watts, KING KONG

The Nominees for BIGGEST BADASS are:

Angelina Jolie, MR. & MRS. SMITH
Christian Bale, BATMAN BEGINS
Brad Pitt, MR. & MRS. SMITH

The Nominees for SEXIEST KISS are:

Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie, MR. & MRS. SMITH
Clive Owen/Jennifer Aniston, DERAILED
Steve Carell/Leslie Mann, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN
Joaquin Phoenix/Reese Witherspoon, WALK THE LINE
Will Smith/Eva Mendes, HITCH


Steve Carell, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

The Nominees for VILEST VILLAIN are:

Elijah Wood, SIN CITY

The Nominees for BEST SCENE STEALER are:

Vince Vaughn, MR. & MRS. SMITH
Cillian Murphy, BATMAN BEGINS

The Nominees for BEST CROSSOVER are:

Jessica Simpson, DUKES OF HAZZARD

The Nominees for HOTTEST RISING STAR are:


The Nominees for BEST UNSUNG GEM are:


1-22-06 Latest News

ORC 2006: Day Two Report & Images
Xoanon @ 4:33 pm EST

ORC 2006: Day Two Reports & Images

MrCere writes: PASADENA - Another chapter was placed in the book of legendary TORn parties last night as The One Ring Celebration took the ORC weekend to new heights. Thanks to spontanious participation from guests Sean Astin and Elijah Wood, an already terrific evening received an extra jolt of electricity.

Gathered together to celebrate the second annual One Ring Awards which recognize some of the great contributions from the realms of Tolkien fandom in 2005 and with "Fellowship: The Musical" on hand to contribute mightily to the proceedings, the desert party and awards show was top notch.

After a long run on stage in Los Angeles, "Fellowship" dazzled with five of the show's musical numbers. TheOneRing.net's own Quickbeam hosted the event and fans, scholars and other contributors from the LOTR community combined to present the awards. The winners were:

1. Best Lecure/Paper (Academic): TOM SHIPPEY
2: Best Tolkien-themed book: Alan Lee's Sketchbook
3: Best Supporting Performance: Elijah Wood, Sin City
4: Best Leading Performance: Elijah Wood, Everything is Illuminated
5: Best Fan Fiction: Ashes, East Winds, Hope that Rises, by Erin Rua
6: Best Fan Website: Always and Forever (fan site for Elijah Wood)
7: Best fan film: "The Sons of Elrond"

Wood and Astin were still signing autographs when the winners were announced and Wood came on stage to receive his awards from Heath Hammond and Scott Klauder from Sideshow Collectibles. Later in the show Astin and Wood visited the stage and sang a medly of snippits of songs with a little help from the the keyboardist from "Fellowship" and a few tunes on Wood's phone.

Finally they settled on "The Love Boat" theme which Quickbeam and Astin singing accapella.

The night was then turned over to fans who sang, acted and performed to cap of the night and contribute the Celebration to the event. Mike Foster and Michael Bailich (singing Gandalf) even took the stage to sing LOTR parody songs, together for the first and possibly last time.

Thanks to all of the TORn staffers and helpers who put the show into production and thanks to the fans who attended!

ORC 2006: Elijah Wood & Sean Astin Transcript
Xoanon @ 11:26 am EST

Silver Star sends along this LONG transcript from the Elijah Wood and Sean Astin talk at ORC this weekend.

Notes from the talk, to the best of my memory. I'm not a court reporter and may easily have misheard things, forgot, or otherwise messed up. So please forgive any mistakes!

Sean: how many people are here from the LA area? [hands up] From other places?

To the locals: Wassup my peeps? To the others: welcome

Sean: [mock serious voice] I prepared an entire soliloquy.. [audience laughs]

Elijah: There once was a girl from Nantucket.... [audience laughs]

Sean: Sings "Wise men say / only fools fall in love / But I can't help / Falling in love with you"

Elijah: [problems with mics] Fucking thing [audience laughs] Is this the year that swearing's banned at ORC? [more laughter]

Sean: I'm not allowed to swear at home, my wife doesn't like me swearing, so I cringed on your behalf. Allie says that Elijah swears all the time, but we don't mind.

Elijah: When I'm around her, I say oh fuh--- and then sorry, sorry, sorry and she says "that's okay"

Elijah: I thought Billy Boyd was going to be here today. I'm excited because i haven't seen Billy since I've seen you [to audience].

Sean: I've doing publicity for 24, saying i haven't seen anyone but I kept saying that I'll see them at ORC

Elijah: We all have our own lives

Sean: I heard a eulogy for the pope, heard the pope had died the moment i was walking past St. Patrick's cathedral in New York. I told my wife, "I'm going in," and heard a great eulogy.

[they discuss how to take questions, Elijah takes a poll to ask whether they'd rather sit down or stand up to line up for the questions, they vote to stand up. Sean proposes ten questions, Elijah comes up with the idea of a speed round at the end.]

[The screen behinds them starts up and shows their images, they turn around to check it out]

Sean shakes his booty

Elijah: Did you just shake your ass?

Sean: Yeah... among other things...

Elijah turns around and lifts up his jacket, slowly, uncovering the back of his jeans.

[they play with the infinite reflection of their back views]

Elijah: admires orc costume, turns out to be the judge for the costume contest

Sean: Suggests a round of applause for costumers and the contestants.


Question: about Elijah plans

Elijah: talks about "Bobby": really proud to be a part of, ensemble, powerful and interesting movie, amazing how politically relevant his is message now.

I'm looking for work...

The Iggy Pop movie, will start by the end of the year, which will be kinda strange

Someone asks about Happy Feet, Elijah answers: I've been working on that for about three years.
It will be out in November, gonna be really funny and special

Q: Did you get together with LOTR friends for Christmas?

Elijah: I was with family for Christmas, which was great. Sean was too. It was New Year's we were getting together. It's hard to arrange it, seeing friends.

Q: kinds of memorabilia did you take from other movies?

Sean: From the Goonies, a couple of doubloons, the ... the skull key that turned and started the revolving thing, and the inhaler. I moved out when I was 18 and my mom moved up to Idaho... [explains things just got lost]

Q: sell them on eBay?

Sean: The thing is, authenticating... There was a 20th anniversary of shooting the Goonies, I came out of the Lion's Head Inn and there was Mikey's bike -- some guy had made a perfect replica, no way to tell. I rode it around a bit. And there were duplicates, but I only too the ones I handled.

Elijah: the "Hero Props" perhaps? [audience laughter]

Sean: ... RING BOY [they laugh, audience laughs]

Elijah: You know, people have called me a lot of things, but no one's ever called me that. [everyone laughs]

Sean: I collected the back of the chairs, the director's chairs with my name on them.

Elijah: I did too, but I don't know where they are.

Elijah: From Everything Is Illuminated, I took the glasses and a suit, a great black suit, also a kindof blue tuxedo that didn't make it into the movie. There's a lot of stuff you'll see on the dvd, dream sequences.

Sean: I took the helmet from Rudy

Elijah: I took the costume from Huckleberry Finn... it doesn't fit ... funny that [laughter]

Elijah: [Points at Sean] He just made some reference to dolphin poo

Elijah: I didn't take anything from Flipper. Maybe t-shirts, I was excited about the bands.

Sean: Memphis Belle

Elijah: did you take the plane? [audience laughter]

Sean: One of the planes we used crashed. [Tells story of a b-17 crashing, while he's there, he takes a bit of the broken plane, 50 caliber machine gun, then has to get it through airport security]

Elijah: I took the poster in Huckleberry Finn, the wanted ad for Jim the slave, the knife from that. Collecting things from movies is really fun, but if you're lucky to work a lot, you amass things. I'm such a packrat, and i have a small house...

Q - I really liked Everything is Illuminated [Sean & audience clap, Elijah looks pleased]

Q - How to send demos to his record company?

Elijah: don't know how many people check simianrecords.com, I feel so guilty that there's nothing there. I'm taking my time, going to work on the web site first, PO box to send stuff. Learn as much as I possibly can, the business side i'm not familiar with, learn and grow. The web page will be updated eventually, keep an eye on it.

Q - What are your plans for your birthdays?

Elijah: i don't have anything planned. I'll probably go out to dinner with my family. And it's funny, it's a fairly significant birthday, I think 25 is pretty significant [audience claps]

Sean: i had my first child at 25 [audience laughs, there's some byplay I missed]

Elijah: I'm so weird about birthdays, never make plans, some people make really significant plans, and I...

Sean: This year i have a good answer. February 25th is my birthday [audience yips, he talks about sharing with George Harrison, sings a little]

Elijah: There's TORN, even if we forget, people know.

Sean: I'm going to be with you at Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

Elijah: yeah!

[audience applauds]

Sean: returning kings of Bacchus, everyone should come and [something about safe and reasonable] bring life back to New Orleans.

Elijah promises to say Happy Birthday to Sean [little interchange about how he only has to say it once]

Sean: [in a theatrical voice] "Sean won't come out. Why? Because Elijah hasn't wished me Happy Birthday. [everyone laughs]

Q: Is it easy or hard to cry in a scene?

Elijah: We have a similar process...

Sean: I can't remember what mine is. It depends on the day, depends on the moment. ... certain lines of dialog, can start crying. Other times...

Elijah: I dunno, you know, it's, um, there are a lot of actors who are very good at crying on cue and getting into an emotional state. But I find it difficult to get into an emotional state. There are actor tricks of the trade as it were. [laughs] There are like these menthol drops and things you can blow in your eye, the technical part. but the emotional part...

Q: How many takes does it take?

Elijah: It depends on the emotional state on the set, how long it is. You can blow yourself out early [missed some bits]

Sean: Depending on what the process is. [Does a Russian accent] it's personal process, a lot of people have their own. [Back in his own voice] My father would advocate a very specific technique to the craft of acting, that you know who you are and what your instrument is that you know. But in this day and age... you want to achieve something special ... want to find the moment ... the genuine real and moment.

Elijah: Fear of yourself, the moment, the pressure.... the fear and that pressure helps to create some of that emotion as well. it's hard to describe ... so many elements .

Sean: This movie was different, we were in those tender moments, those sad moments, it was like being in the 16th mile of a marathon.

[They had continuing problems with the mics, had to hold them in funny ways]

Q: How does having a family affect which roles you take? And my wife loves Forty First Kisses, could you answer in Dougie's voice?

Sean: [Lisps] Doug doesn't have any children that he knows of. [In his own voice] I'm in another Adam Sandler movie -- one word: SPEEDO

Sean: Family, yeah. I just turned down a job in Australia that I might otherwise have done. Just didn't want to be away. That's my "sentimental, tender side". [audience laughs] So yeah, it definitely... I'm willing to take roles with material that might not be appropriate for them. I dunno, biggest thing is the amount of time... I'm blessed I've made enough money that I don't have to work when I don't want to. Eventually, in the near future, Alexandra will have a voice in my future. She's on stage, her favorite show is Friends (we're bad parents and let her watch it) - she loves it.

Elijah: I had a dream about this, about Allie coming up to me all Friended out, or, or maybe it was deja vu

Q: You're devirginizing me, it's my first convention [audience laughter]

Sean: [Pops his mouth]

Elijah: We did nothing, we didn't touch you. [more laughter]

Q: What's the deal with your fingernails?

Elijah: I have serious nail biting problem, I didn't curb it during the movie, it's not a character thing that I did on purpose. Ian McKellen said it was brave but...

Sean: Richard Taylor heard people nervously complaining that fingernails were chewed and dirty. So he explained that for special effects makeup artist -- they're real.

Q: What happened when Sam had to give the Ring back?

Sean: That was Barad Dur? [Audience: Cirith Ungol] Right, Cirith Ungol, we tried it a couple of different ways. first time, played it as though he was just returning the object. Didn't want to mess with the purity of Sam, so it was just a momentary thought, then he returned it. Also, I remember we tried it with him being really aggressive, Sam really wanted it. Fran directed and we didn't know what Peter wanted. They were trying to choose, even as late as the looping in London 2003 they were still trying to decide. I first saw at the first premiere in Wellington.

Elijah: Did you know, Peter saw the whole thing first at Wellington?

[back and forth bit]

Sean: The result, with the music, is up for individual audience members to interpret. I think, little bit, he might want it. He was a little tempted, for a moment, not too much... mesmerized by the power of the ring... not separate from the forces operating on Frodo... affected by it

Elijah: I'm having flashbacks. [to audience] If you have Sting, hold it up, is it glowing blue?

[audience member holds it up it is blue, everyone laughs]

Q: Could you show the tattoos? [Elijah pulls his top up and pants down, but it's in shadow so everyone just enjoys the experience]

Q: How many times have you watched the movies you're in?

Elijah: I generally see the movie a couple of times on the press tours, go to the premieres, and then a couple of times. The pre-screening cast and crew kind of thing, then kindof seen it enough. But the Lord of the Rings, it's on TV a lot, going through cable, hey Two Towers! [Mimes sitting down and watching, audience laughs]

Sean: I just watched in he middle of the night a movie that I did when i was sixteen, and I just loved it. [mumbles the name of the movie] Remembering back to when i was sixteen, that was really cool. [Elijah agrees]

Sean: I watched Return of the King with Alexandra, the last hour of it, the two of us were sitting there, she's crying, I'm crying.... [audience awwwws]

Q: What made you so enthused about being Frodo?

Elijah: I was familiar with Tolkien, I had read the Hobbit, had a copy of Lord of the Rings on the shelf at home, which counts

Sean: have you read it?

Elijah: let's not talk about that.

Elijah: I heard that were doing the three books as three movies, and I'm a huge fan of Peter Jackson... They weren't sending out the script, I had to read it in a locked room, and I was transported. I was driving away, I could swear that goblins were chasing the car. [missed some bits] Also the prospect of living in a foreign country, i was 18... it was the best opportunity, enriched my life in ways I can't even explain.

Q: What do you hope other cast members learned from you?

Elijah: It's hard to answer questions like that. I never think about myself, I'm always learning from other people, never think what other people learned from me. [talks about Sean,] It was the two of us, we felt everything and experienced everything together, incredible experiences, really hard. It tested each individual that worked on those films, had to go through a lot of things they've never been through in their lives. Sean and I lived in this microcosm together, either one of our trailers, for months on end. We learned a lot from each other, and relied on each other.

Sean: I heard that question and I had this image of myself climbing a steep mountain, and at the top was a yogi. I asked, "What can other people learn from me yogi?" The yogi said, "not yet". [much audience laughter]

We learned unbelievable amounts of stuff from each other about life, professional ethos, music, .... we were laid bare through the whole experience. We learned that which doesn't kill you, doesn't kill you.

Q: This is for Sean Austin?

Elijah: [looks upset]

Sean: you can say ASS-TIN

Elijah: i was gonna say ASS-tin

Q: What made you do 24?

Sean: I'm an impulsive person, I made that decision in a split second. A while ago, my agent sent tape of pilot, for directing job. I thought it was a brilliant show, and there was no way I'd get to direct. I decided to wait for the dvds for 3 years, and then watch all in one go, no commercials.

Elijah: We don't need commercials any more we've got TiVo

Sean: [long story: his back was hurting, he went to a chiropractor, met the the Joel Sernam creator of 24, who was also getting his back fixed.] Joel asked, "Are you a fan", and Sean said "Absolutely." Joel asked, "You wanna be on it?" and Sean said "Yes." So he was.

Elijah: that is amazing! that's the stuff of legend!

[Elijah and Sean act out the interchange, Sean tells Elijah to lie down as though he's Joel Sternam, but not like that, and then they go through it. very cute]

Sean: I went across the street and bought the three years of DVDs and told my wife, "Honey, I have to watch these!" I called my agent and said, "Remember I want to be in a show wearing a suit?" and my agent says "I'm working on it," and I said, "I took care of it, make me a good deal and earn your percent". And there I was, a little while later, in my suit.

Sean: And the chiropractor fixed my back up, I was better instantly

Q: Do you watch Dom's show LOST?

Elijah: Obsessively. I love it. I started watching it out of love and respect for Dom, and now I'm hooked. [bit more about the show]

Sean: [bit about his brother Mackenzie getting a job on there]

Sean: Dom and I talked on the phone maybe a month or two before he got Lost.

Elijah: and now he's found [audience laughter]

Sean: It was hard. There was a worry that we'd all become part of the Galaxy Quest [audience laughs]

Sean: It was hard for Dom for a little while, he was really hurting, he didn't want to be feeling it, he didn't want to be - as a professional actor, you don't want to be thinking at that 32 you're hanging it up. I was reassuring, I said that I was sure something big would happen for him, and the next month, he got Lost.

Elijah: It's easier for us, we live here, he moved here, from Manchester

Sean: He revered American movie making, could quote movies better than anyone else, really rough for a while.

Q: What's your favorite character on Lost?

Elijah: I don't know... [doesn't want to answer, audience laughs] Locke I think. It's difficult to pick a favorite character in that show, because there's a duality to each character. You can follow a character for four shows, and then there's a flashback, and they're different people. I think it's awesome, all the secrets and stuff, the symbols.... you know when the boy, what's his name? [audience: WALT!] comes out of the words, he speaks backwards [audience member quotes about pushing button good, not pushing button bad]. I look like a bad fan now.

Sean: I think you're in. You're not the sharpest, but you're in.

Q: What's your favorite scene?

Sean: Carrying him, on the volcano. [Elijah nods, audience awwws] You have the entire 270 million dollar franchise on your shoulders...

Elijah: [Complicated mutterings about some guy named Zane Weiner, prank wars, Viggo's involved]

Q: What would you like to learn, that you don't know how to do?

Sean: Play the piano

Elijah: Musical instruments, I used to play the piano, I'd like to play again, learn guitar, bass, drums...

Sean: To pilot the space shuttle

Elijah: I don't know a foreign language which is really embarrassing.

Sean: Latin!

Elijah: I feel like a total student of life, I'm fascinated by anything and everything.

Sean: Piano, space shuttle, Latin. The space shuttle seems the least likely.

Q: Could you say hi to a little girl?

Elijah: Hi cutie, cute [wiggles his fingers, very sweet]

Q: Elijah, how many movies have you made in all?

Elijah: I don't know. More than ten.

[audience: IMDB]

Sean: You can't trust IMDB, it lists a bunch of movies I'm supposed to be filming that I've never heard of

[discussion, comes to about forty two]

Q: [comment] Really liked Sin City.

Elijah: it's awesome!

Q: What's your favorite part of the Lord of the Rings book?

Elijah: The Shelob trap, it's an extraordinary chapter, especially the way it reflects, perhaps, the way Tolkien views women.

Q - [something about drama?]

Sean: [tells stories about his dad at Johns Hopkins, daughter doing regional theatre, mom in Montana doing regional theatre. something about telling stories around the campfire. ]

Q - preparing for Sin City?

Elijah: I didn't have to worry about speech - it was about the way Kevin looked and the way he moved. Frank Miller was also co-director, so man who created them was on set. I was a huge fan, I knew the character. Because we were shooting the film essentially frame-by-frame from the books, you had a total visual reference from the start. Kevin moves a lot and has a very fluid movement, and we tried to keep it. It's hard to move and keep your mouth from opening, it's a reflex.

A couple of weeks before, I inquired if there would be action. They said, "do you have any wire experience?" and I said "no" because I've been in a harness, but... I get there I'm doing full-on wire work, in a very unprofessional way, God darn the editing makes it look good. It was a full day, I was doing kicks, I couldn't move the next day.

Q - As far as pranks go on the [LOTR] set, what was the worst?

Elijah: There was a long-running prank, [to audience] Does anyone want to call it out?

Audience: Tig [much laughter]

Elijah: I love you guys. Amazing. [a bit about tig] I think they didn't mean it as a prank, to start

Elijah: I'm pretty gullible

Sean: Trusting, like the mind-reading thing [some bits about that I missed]

Elijah: [mock-sad, back to Tig] I found out a year later, I felt like my whole life was a lie!

Sean: Did they steal it from "Friends"? [talks about the made-up game Cup in "Friends"]

Elijah: I know Dom and Bill were "Friends" fans

Sean: They stole it!

Q - How long have you guys known each other? How long have you been friends?

Elijah: We met at the Hotel Sofitel at Vincente and La Cienega. I was leaving my wig fitting and Sean was going in for his wig fitting. We saw each other, gave each other a massive hug, and have been friends ever since

Q - About the california sea lion docudrama

Sean: Rio films, lots of fun. [makes sea lion noise] I think i look like a sea lion

Q - How did you decide to get tattoos?

Elijah: The idea came up months and months and months prior, we ultimately decided on it about two months before filming finished, all got them together. Except John Rhys Davies, his stunt double got it. And Sean Bean.

Sean: He got his in New York, Orlando was there.

Elijah: and me.

Sean: When I got mine, I was scared and in pain. But now I'm happy I did it.

Q: About "The Faculty"

Elijah: I haven't thought about that in a while, it was amazing experience, working with Rodriguez who I'm still friends with, living in Austin, one of my favorite places. A lot of young people... making a movie about aliens taking over a high school, we didn't take it very seriously! Such a great group of people, fun time. All sorts of things, like the things coming out of my face -- they did a reverse shot of things going in.... I made a lot of friends, who I'm still in touch with, not so much the actors.

Q - What's your favorite game?

Sean: Age of Empires

Elijah: Of all time? ummmm, I'm huge fan of the Silent Hill series. By the way the trailer for the movie is online and it looks like someone finally got it righhhhht They've been making movies of video games for a long time... Mario Brothers, Resident Evil [incredulous whistle] they didn't play the game! But Silent Hill looks good.

[They get a five-minute warning and go to what Elijah calls the "Speed Round"]

Q: You both grew up in california, Trojans or Bruins? [USC or UCLA American Football teams]

Sean: Bruins

Elijah: I'm smack dab in the middle.

Q: Iggy pop preparation?

Elijah: a lot of exercise, drum lessons, a lot of physical changes

Q - do you own an xbox 360?

Elijah: yes

Q - Did you carry Elijah up the mountain?

Sean: Most of the scenes were in front of a blue screen, but for one scene I had a harness, but Elijah didn't. We were thousands of feet up...

Q: What kind of risk do you take [acting]?

Elijah: Risk, it's vulnerability.

Sean: Every time, you risk sucking

Elijah: Disappointing people

Q - Will you quit acting, if your record label succeeds?

Elijah: No, I'll never quit acting

[some joking around, that it might become a hobby]

Q - Elijah, where did you get blue eyes?

Elijah: From my mother. I'm half Polish, too.

Q - How do you make each other laugh?

Elijah: Eating chinese food [something about teriaki]

Sean: Starts to sing, walks over to Elijah, then says, "Brokeback Mountain" [audience laughs and whoops, Sean & Elijah are laughing too]

Q: What do you think of parodies?

Sean: If they're good, you love them, if they're bad...

Elijah: I love them

Q: What are your favorite movies?

Elijah: "Harvey"

Sean: "Patton", and "Gandhi" to balance the militaristic and pacifistic

Q - Who was your closest friend in the movies, besides other hobbits?

Elijah: Besides hobbits? Ummm, Viggo.

1-21-06 Latest News

ORC 2006: Day One Reports & Images
Xoanon @ 1:09 pm EST

ORC 2006: Day One Reports & Images

Ringer Celebriel reports from ORC in Pasadena on Friday night’s Costume Competition and Masquerade. This year’s contest drew some forty entries, judged by Daniel Reeve, Jeanne Kang, Laura Cooper, and Laura Wilson. Renowned Tolkien artist Colleen Doran was Mistress of Ceremonies.

Among the extraordinary costumes was Don Pong as the Lord of the Nazgul, which won the award for best re-creation in the journeyman category. The costume, which took two months to construct, consists of five layers of fabric, a giant mace made of layered and painted cardboard with links of painted plastic, and six inch platform boots. He also wore pauldrons made of painted foam and a customized helmet and gloves.

In the novice category, Marie Alm won the award for best re-creation for her presentation of The Shards of Narsil. Marie’s costume, made in just eighteen days, featured a dress made from six yards of grey polyester, a shield of layered cardboard covered with papier mache and mod podge, shards made of Super Sculpee, lots of gray body paint, and a braided and styled wig. Marie said the hardest parts of the project were wiring the shards to the shield and getting the dress to drape properly.

In the master category, Marcia Banach won the award for best re-creation for her Haradrim costume, and best original costume went to Lisa for her presentation of an elf of Rivendell.

Best in show (adult) was won by Phil and Cathe Guste for their presentation Comrades in Arms (Theoden and Gamling) and best in show (youth) by a child dressed as Haleth son of Hama of Rohan.

Other interesting and creative costume presentations included Tiffany, Miranda, and Shannon of Vancouver as three hobbit lasses, Heather Moran of the Los Angeles area as a lady of Gondor in a midnight blue gown made by Suzzy Canny, Leilani of Honolulu as Frodo of the Grey Havens, Joan Audrey as a Ranger, and Erin of Reno as a hobbit of Tuckborough.

All winners received award certificates that will be personalized for them by Daniel Reeve, and some received copies of The Art of Lord of the Rings or other volumes, including some signed by Alan Lee. (See gallery)

After the contest, the Fenians entertained the crowd until late with their unique brand of Celtic rock.


ORC 2006: Day One Reports & Images

ORC Attendee: Wow. Take scholars, artists, rabid fans, caligraphers, bloopers, anticipation, admiration, adoration and put them in a social blender and what do you have? The One Ring Celebration 2006. TheOneRing.net and Creation Entertainment kicked off the second One Ring Celebration is Pasadena, California.

The Friday schedule was full of all these things as well as a packed and hot-selling dealer's room and many meetings and reunions. Artists sat down for a hotely contested 'iron artists' session while Games Workshops and playable demos of Battle for Middle-earth II. The evening featured an amazing seven minute gift from Peter Jackson via New Line and Creation.

The segment wasn't strictly bloopers as many of the quick bits were Jackson or the cast goofing around, playing pranks or just having a good time. The evening consisted of a wild and crazy party with the Finians and an unbelievable high-quality costume contest that showcased wonderful ideas such as the Shards of Narsil and marvelous execution.

We will continue to send images and words and will try to share ORC with our internet community as much as possible.

The ORC scholarly track got off to a great start with Mike Foster, North American Representative of the Tolkien Society, providing wonderful insights on Tolkien's relationship with C.S. Lewis in his panel "J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: A Fellowship of Two." Christianity, literature, poetry and each other were among their favorite topics to bandy about. Mike made us feel like we were flies on the wall listening into some of their conversations which were often as contentious as they were friendly. Whether they were expressing admiration or frustration with each other, the end result, as Mike put it, was "one of the great creative synergies" of our time.

Next up was the panel: ""Costuming: Elves and Hobbits," with Leah Jakusovzky, Danielle Smeltzer and Kent Elofson. They shared their considerable knowledge of all the fabrics, shapes, patterns and accessories essential to making authentic Middle-earth costumes. Texture and layering are key as well as being creative with seemingly common everyday things that can be found in thrift stores and on the internet such as backpacks, buttons and belts.

In honor of having John Noble, Billy Boyd and Miranda Otto with us this weekend, several presentation are planned on the characters of Denethor, Pippin and Eowyn. First up was Katrelya Angus and her presentation, "Denthor and Eowyn: Despair, Disobedience and hope." Katrelya wowed us with her insights into what influenced Denethor and Eowyn in their search for power and glory in the tumultuous politics of their time.

Laura Cooper's hand's on presentation, "Tengwar 1: History and Understanding the Alphabet" was popular and fun as we followed her lead in learning the many nuances of writing Tengwar letters. Although our pen-scratches weren't nearly as good as her beautiful free-flowing script, she patiently guided us through our very first alphabet! Tomorrow we move on to sentences.


Matt's link to many more photos. [More]


Ainu Laire's report and photos. [More]

1-19-06 Latest News

Join Us And Watch The TT EE This Weekend!
maegwen @ 9:15 pm EST

Following our very successful FOTR-EE movie watch party of last week, the fun continues this Saturday as we settle in to view The Two Towers Extended Edition. Join us in TORn's Hall of Fire chatroom tomorrow when we dust off our copies of the film and pop it into the DVD player. After the usual confusion, at around 5.30pm EST we'll all press play on our individual DVD players and proceed to cheer and jeer (or discuss and argue, if you like!) the finer points of the film. We will finish up next weekend (January 28th) with Return of the King.

We'd be delighted if you could join us.

We plan to take a break midway through the film, to allow for stretching of fingers and backs. Barliman will be on hand to serve drinks and snacks (and to enforce the house rules).

* * *


Saturday January 21

Time zone conversions:

Not sure what time the chat will be where you are? Check this little conversion table out for some help.

5.30pm EST (New York)
4.30pm CST (Chicago)
3.30pm MST (Salt Lake City)
2.30pm PST (Los Angeles)

10.30pm GMT (London)
11.30pm CET (Paris)

6.30am AWST (Sunday 11th) Perth
8.30am AEST (Sunday 11th) Brisbane
9.30am AEDT (Sunday 11th) Sydney
11.30am NZDT (Sunday 11th) Wellington


On TORn's IRC server, in the #thehalloffire channel. After joining the server, type /join #thehalloffire to get there.

If you've never been to TORn's IRC server before, you can join through our java applet and type /join #thehalloffire once you're signed in. We recommend you visit our FAQ for some guidelines on using our IRC service. Barliman’s is a place for good conversation about JRR Tolkien’s works. We welcome you to our community and ask that you, and all guests, abide by some simple guidelines.


Once everyone is in #thehalloffire and has their DVD ready to go, the ops will moderate the room and have a countdown to "Play." I expect that we will be able to give minute-markers throughout the evening for latecomers. A break will be taken midway through -- the exact point will be announced in the topic.

* * *

That's all, folks! See you this weekend!

Full ORC Convention Shedule!
Xoanon @ 11:48 am EST


1:00 pm Convention Opens
1:30 pm New Zealand IS Middle Earth: There and Back Again with Red Carpet (Hosted by Diane Rooney) Sir Ian McKellen said, “Middle Earth is a real place, and it’s New Zealand.” TORn feature writer Celebriel shared the story of her journey on our website last summer. This multimedia presentation features tales and photos from travelers around the world who’ve made the journey and joined the fellowship that is Red Carpet Tours. Come be inspired by the magic that is New Zealand.
2:35 pm LOTR & SCI-FI COLLECTIBLE AUCTION: grab unbelievable bargains here!
3:10 pm DANIEL REEVE Calligrapher and Cartographer. Designer of all the maps, books, scrolls, parchments and inscriptions in the LOTR films.
4:00 pm DORKS AND SPORKS AT ORC - A MOVIE PARODY SPECTACULAR Jack is back... whether you want him or not! Co-director and all around genius Jack Peterson will be appearing with the cast and crew of the hilarious epic parody “The Dork of the Rings” coming Summer 2006.
4:50 pm Iron Artist Challenge – (hosted by Tadao Tomomatsu, judged by Debbie Hayes, Alyse Gagne, Veronica Smeltzer and Tim Kirk)

One hour! One theme! One winner per category! Join us for this exciting competition as professional artists Colleen Doran, Cynthia Cummens and Don Flaws take on amateurs Aubrey Guilbault, Ashley Taylor and Olga Bosserdt in a challenge to see who can produce the best Lord of the Rings themed artwork given one hour and a theme that none of them will know until minutes before they start! Categories include “Children’s Illustration,” “Cartooning” and “Illustration.”

9:00 pm Friday Night Entertainment Show One Ring Celebration Costume Competition and The Fenians plus a Cash Bar. Contestants for the costume competition visit the sign up table today for any questions you might have about participation and rules.

This table is located outside program room A NOTE: THIS EVENT IS COMPLIMENTARY FOR WIZARD PATRONS, for all others it is $65 (reserved seating) or $25 general admission, available today at REGISTRATION.

FRIDAY 6:30 LITTLE THEATRE In the vendors’ main area: FIRST SCREENING OF THE TRILOGY BLOOPERS. Note: Absolutely no cameras, cell phones, video or audio taping equipment is allowed and we will check and you will be turned away from the theatre. Please do not bring these items with you!

11 am OPEN
11:30 am RINGERS PANEL: meet the filmmakers who will discuss their amazing documentary which we will screen later on today! Cliff Broadway (writer/producer) Jeff Marcheletta (producer) Josh Mandel (Dir. of Photography/Co-Producer) John Welch (Asst. Editor)
12:10 pm JOHN NOBLE (Denethor)
1:45 pm LORD OF THE RINGS & SCI-FI NO MINIMUM BID AUCTION Come down for the big deals!
2:50 pm ELECTRONIC ARTS LOTR presentation by Associate Producer Amer Ajami: Don’t miss it
5:00 pm RINGERS SCREENING: the first showing of the entire documentary at a fan gathering, narrated by Dom Monaghan
6:40 pm Autographing with ELIJAH WOOD, SEAN ASTIN, JOHN NOBLE, DANIEL REEVE will be done on a complimentary basis for WIZARD
CIRCLE PATRONS (which we will call row by row) and then those with autograph tickets which we will call by number. AUTOGRAPH TICKETS are on sale today in the hallway in front of the main theatre at the following prices:


PHOTO OPS Have your pictures taken with a celebrity and get a glorious full color 8 by 10 of you with your “brush with fame!” Taken by professional photographer CHRISTOPHER SCHMELKE (who did the photos at ELF in Florida and they were awesome!) PHOTO OPS TAKE PLACE IN THE LITTLE THEATRE, WHICH IS IN THE VENDORS ROOM AS YOU ENTER. You can still get photo op tickets in the hallway in front of the main theatre as follows:

1:30 pm JOHN NOBLE $40
2:15 pm SEAN ASTIN $60
5:10 ELIJAH WOOD $60

TIMES FOR PHOTO OPS, please be five minutes early, no need to arrive WAY early!

7:10 PM BLOOPER SCREENINGS in LITTLE THEATRE. IF YOU GETTING AUTOGRAPHS DURING THIS TIME, WE SUGGEST YOU COME SEE THE BLOOPERS AND THEN GO BACK TO THE AUTOGRAPH LINE GETTING BACK INTO PLACE WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN. Absolutely no cameras, cell phones, video or audio taping equipment is allowed and we will check and you will be turned away from the theatre. Please do not bring these with you.

9:30 pm Saturday Night Dessert Party NOTE LATER START THAN ADVERTISED Complimentary for WIZARD CIRCLE PATRONS, all others: $65 available at REGISTRATION

Featuring The One Ring Awards Presentation hosted by Cliff Broadway of RINGERS fame, the evening also features excerpts from: “Fellowship!” The Musical Parody of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the hilarious musical send-up of Tolkien’s classic tale, “Hobbit Sisters,” Michael Bilach as Singing Gandalf: Sing along with Gandalf as he brings Middle-earth to life with song and guitar! Singing Gandalf, and Karaoke, Delicious Desserts and A Cash Bar


Sunday OPEN AT 10AM for those coming to the now sold out BREAKFAST WITH BILLY BOYD, 11AM FOR ALL OTHERS

Sunday Morning 10am in the tabled area behind our main theatre: The One Ring Brunch & Charity Auction with BILLY BOYD, raising funds for The Epilepsy Connection of Glasgow. SOLD OUT PLEASE NOTE: for those not attending the breakfast, our main program of events will begin at noon. Secondary programming and vendors’ rooms will be open starting at 11am Sunday!

NOON: Influence and Power: The Relationship of Denethor and Pippin – (Lynette Porter) When we watch The Return of the King, we might find little in common between Pippin and Denethor, but they do share common family backgrounds and responsibilities, as well as some common interests. How do Pippin and Denethor influence each other, and how does each handle the power of leadership? The “rest of the story” is told in this session.
12:35 pm BILLY BOYD
2:10 pm SPECIAL NEW EVENT: LUNCHEON WITH MIRANDA OTTO, DANIEL REEVE AND JOHN NOBLE at The Sheraton Hotel, which is adjacent to the Pasadena Center. THIS IS A BRAND NEW EVENT and requires a separate ticket at $65 each available at the convention registration booth (the ones at the bottom of the steps into the facility) up till Saturday 2pm. The guests will be escorted around to tables so you will get the chance to meet them. Photos can be taken as they enter the room only. Limited attendance. Food is an Old Towne Deli Buffet with turkey, roast beef, ham salami, cheeses, bagels and breads, dessert, coffee, tea or iced tea.

2:10 Horsemanship in The Lord of the Rings Movies – (Laura Wilson)

How did Gandalf guide Shadowfax with no Bridle? Did Asfaloth really understand Glorfindel’s command of “Noro Lim!” and truly appreciate the danger that Frodo was in? In the film, did Brego feel affection for Aragorn as a person, or did he just see him as master? These are just a few of the points Laura will cover in her talk on Horsemanship in Middle-earth.

4:45 THE TROUBLE OF THE RINGS A Russian Fan Parody. Some clips from the epic!
5:10 Iron Artist Auction for charity We will hold an auction of all 6 pieces of original art created in the Iron Artist Challenge in a charity auction geared to supporting http://www.vsarts.org/ VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where all people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. Any art from the art show that needs to be auctioned off will come at this time as well.
6:00 pm AUTOGRAPHING with BILLY BOYD, MIRANDA OTTO complimentary for WIZARD CIRCLE PATRONS who we will call first row by row, followed by those with autograph tickets which can be purchased in the hallway outside of the theatre. BILLY BOYD is $50, MIRANDA OTTO is $50 and DANIEL REEVE is $15.


Have your pictures taken with a celebrity and get a glorious full color 8 by 10 of you with your “brush with fame!” Taken by professional photographer CHRISTOPHER SCHMELKE (who did the photos at ELF in Florida and they were awesome!)


You can still get photo op tickets in the hallway in front of the main theatre as follows:

4:50 pm MIRANDA OTTO $60

SUNDAY IN THE LITTLE THEATRE IN THE VENDORS ROOM: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm BLOOPER SHOWINGS: We will be showing the exclusive bloopers from the trilogy during this period on a repeated basis. We suggest you can come see this and go back to autographing if you wish and take your place in the line if your row or number was called.



All these events take place in the VENDORS AREA OF THE CONVENTION in the rooms around the perimeter. THE POPULAR ORC ART SHOW is located in ROOM 101 in the same area



2:00 pm: (kids) Debbie Hayes: “Elf Ears and Hobbit Feet: how to apply your pointy ears and foot hair” (75 min, ends at 3:15pm) Elf Ears and Hobbit Feet: How to Apply your Pointy Ears and Foot Hair”

Learn how to glue on and remove latex pointy ears and how to apply makeup so they look more realistic. Observe good techniques for applying foot hair and keeping it on all day. Selected volunteers receive a free pair of pointy ears, or a foot-hair application.

5:00 pm - Laura Cooper – Tengwar I: History and Understanding of the Alphabet (75 min)

Have you ever looked longingly at the beautiful Tengwar script Tolkien created and wish you could understand it? Perhaps you want to learn to write your name in Tengwar or design your own tattoo. The first of a two part class, Friday’s session will walk you through a brief history, then cover every consonant, vowel, carrier and variation of Tengwar.


1:30 pm - Mike Foster – J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis: A Fellowship of Two J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis: A Fellowship of Two – (Mike Foster)

With their first meeting in Oxford May 11, 1926 these two writers and friends influenced each other’s lives and literature in ways great and small. This creative and critical “fellowship of two” was not without its differences, some profound and unresolved. This session will explore how each spurred the other on, with the result being some of the finest English fiction ever wrought.

3:00 pm- Costuming: Elves and Hobbits with Leah Jakusovzky, Kent Elofson and Danielle Smeltzer

The hobbit and elf costumes have quite a different look. Each race is easy to recognize - the grace of elves vs. the earthiness of the hobbits. However, the basic shape of the garments is very similar: the difference is in the detail. Learn the styles as well as pattern modification tricks, fabric and detailing tips to accomplish both looks.

4:15 pm- Katrelya Angus – Denethor and Eowyn: Despair, Disobedience, and Hope (90 min, ends at 5:45pm Denethor and Eowyn are two of the most compelling characters in Lord of the Rings. Their motivations, their struggles with despair, the consequences of their acts of disobedience, and the hope given to them by their hobbit squires Pippin and Merry will be explored. All of this changed the fate of Middle Earth.



11:00AM - Panel - "Bringing Sideshow Collectibles to Life: The Creative Process Behind Designing Lord of the Rings Figures."

Participants: Heath Hammond, 3D Production Manager and Senior Designer - Scott Klauder, 3D Product Coordinator - Jared Chapman, Product Designer - moderated by Dusty Finn, Web Communications Coordinator

Description: Three key members of the Sideshow Collectibles 3D Development team are here to fill you in and answer your questions about the creative process behind bringing your favorite LOTR collectibles to life, from research and development to manufacturing. This is your chance to get up close and personal with these collectible works of art and the people who design them!

12:00 pm- (kids) Cynthia Cummens: Art for kids, and kids at heart: Simple lessons in drawing Middle-earth. Art for Kids, and Kids at Heart: Simple Lessons in Drawing Middle-earth – (Cynthia Cummins)

Hobbits, dragons and bears, oh my! No matter what your age or drawing ability, this session will teach you basic drawing tips and tricks you can use to bring your own visions of Middle-earth to life.

1:00 pm- Laura Cooper: Tengwar II: Writing and Reading Tengwar Writing and Reading Tengwar – (Laura Cooper)

This class builds on Friday’s session on the history and understanding of Tengwar. After a brief review of Friday’s material, the pen will hit the paper and you’ll be writing Tengwar before you know it! (An inexpensive calligraphy pen is recommended, but not required).

2:30 pm- Debbie Hayes: “Custom-made Pointy Ears: Live ear casting and sculpting demonstration” (90 mins., ends at 4pm Creating custom prosthetics is a long process. See a live demonstration of the first two steps: creating a plaster model of a person’s ear, and using oil-based clay to sculpt the pointy shape on top of the plaster ear cast.


11:00 am- Anne Petty - Tolkien’s Short Fiction: Gems of Humor and Style Tolkien’s Short Fiction: Gems of Humor and Style – (Anne Petty)

In addition to “The Lord of the Rings,” Tolkien published shorter works throughout his life. Thought-provoking as well as entertaining, these stories contain a wealth of satire, allegory and that special tongue-in-cheek Tolkien humor we all love. If you’ve read them, come and learn more about their wonderful nuances; if you haven’t, come and learn why you should!

12:00 pm- Costuming: “Taking That First Stitch: Getting Started in Lord of the Rings Costuming” By Judy Grivich, Leah Jakusovzky, Danielle Smeltzer, Kent Elofson and AJ Wu.

So you want to get started in costuming? If you’ve never sewn or hardly sewn, don’t worry! Creating costumes may sound scary, but it really isn’t; it just takes a bit of imagination and a willingness to try new things. Learn the beginner’s dos and don’ts, and overcome the fear of that first trip to the fabric store, scrounging thrift shops, and entering your first masquerade.

1:00 pm- Greg Wright – “Sometimes a film may say best what’s to be said: A Critique of Tolkien & Lewis Opinions of Film.”

Have you ever wished you could sit down with either Tolkien or Lewis after watching the Lord of the Rings or Narnia movies and discuss it with them? Would they have approved of the recent film adaptations of their works? Join us for a review of Tolkien’s and Lewis’ rather harsh opinions about the art form of film.

3:00 pm- Panel – “From page to screen: The Lord of the Rings vs. The Chronicles of Narnia” - How Well did Each Story Translate to the Screen? Greg Wright (moderator) Mike Foster, Katrelya Angus, Lynnette Porter, Alison Baird, Peter S. Beagle. (90 min., end at 4:30 pm)

Peter Jackson and Andrew Adamson helped create some of the most popular movies in the history of film. This panel of Tolkien and Lewis experts will discuss the challenges each director faced, and where each succeed and failed in staying true to the stories and characters so many of us have come to love.

4:30 pm- Amy Sturgis – “The Middle-earth – Hogwarts connection: How J.R.R. Tolkien answers the Harry Potter question.”

The popular media today shows confusion about whether the Harry Potter series is actually for adults or children; likewise for The Lord of the Rings. The answer rests in Tolkien’s own definition of fairy-stories, so eloquently expressed in his essay, “On Fairy Stories.” Explore how Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings fulfills his definition and how the Harry Potter series fits into its tradition.

5:30 pm - Panel – “The Stewardship of the Valar”. Mike Foster, Amy Sturgis, Katrelya Angus, Anne Petty.

Eru created Middle-earth from the breathtaking music of the Valar, entrusted it to their keeping, and everything went downhill from there! Join our panel in discussing what the Valar did right and what they did wrong in guiding the fates of the people of Middle-earth.



12:00 pm- (kids)Michael Bilach – Singing Gandalf

Sing along with Gandalf as he brings Middle-earth to life with song and guitar.

5:00 pm- Laura Cooper – Dwarf Runes I: The Alphabet, Reading and Writing Dwarf runes: The Alphabet, Reading and Writing – (Laura Cooper)

Have you ever tried to decipher the runes on the title pages of The Lord of the Rings or from the Chamber of Mazarbul? They really do make sense and are easier to understand than you think!

This hands-on class will teach you how to read and write with the best of Durin’s folk!


11:00 am- All About Armor! By Judy Grivich, Leah Jakusovzky, Danielle Smeltzer, Kent Elofson and AJ Wu.

Interested in learning about creating the amazing armor in Lord of the Rings? This panel will cover a wide variety of armor making methods including craft foam, paper mache, fiber glassing and PVC chain mail.

Learn how to use accessible and cheap materials to simulate metal and leather and how the movie industry uses plastics.

12:00 pm- Panel – “Which characters in the Lord of the Rings films came closest to Tolkien?” Peter S. Beagle, Greg Wright, Katrelya Angus, Mike Foster.

Love Boromir, hate Faramir? When it comes to Peter Jackson’s depictions of our beloved Tolkien characters there is no lack of strong opinions. Discuss which characters in the recent movies captured the essence of what Tolkien intended, and where creative license perhaps went too far.

1:00 pm- The ‘Gift of Men’: A blessing or curse? How the various people of Middle-earth view and handle death. Greg Wright, Amy Sturgis, Lynette Porter, Alison Baird.

In his letters, Tolkien described ‘death’ as one of the primary themes of The Lord of the Rings. Immortality, faith, reincarnation and mysticism are interwoven throughout Tolkien’s mythology as part of this theme. This in-depth discussion looks at why Tolkien portrayed death as a gift, and how it was viewed by the various mortal and immortal races of Middle-earth.

3:00 pm- Panel – “Tolkien and the Fates: A discussion of Free-will and pre-destination in Lord of the Rings.” Greg Wright, Mike Foster, Amy Sturgis, Lynnette Porter

Did “The Precious” really make Gollum do it? Was Bilbo really “meant to find the Ring?” How much did free will vs. pre-destination guide the events that shaped the outcome of the War of the Ring? Join our panel in discussing this fun and interesting topic and see what side of the issue you end up on.

4:00 pm- Panel – Pictures painted with words: Visions of Middle-earth inspired by Tolkien’s prose. Colleen Doran, Cynthia Cummens, Daniel Reeve and Tim Kirk. (90 min., ends at 5:30pm, show and tell at end) Each of us treasures our own visions of what Middle-earth and its characters look like. The talented artists on this panel have bravely and lovingly translated their visions into realities. In this session, they share what inspired them the most and what challenged them the most in creating art from Tolkien’s beautiful, but sometimes obscure prose.

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