Go back to Special Reports Archives

October 04, 2003 - October 10, 2003

10-10-03 Latest News

Wenham Articles
Xoanon @ 11:05 am EST

Jo does a terrific job of typing up these two articles for us, take a look!

David Wenham Articles
Click for more images

The 8-14 October issue of Brisbane News magazine.

He may have wanted to be a footballer, but a knack for impressions and a gift for storytelling set actor David Wenham on a very different path, writes Trent Dalton.

The foyer of Sydney’s W Hotel echoes to a two-man chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ as David Wenham enters nursing a creamy white coffee. The song comes from actor Sam Worthington and director Jonathan Teplitzky – here today, like David, to promote ‘Getting’ Square’, the Queensland gangster film shot on the Gold Coast.

David’s been 38 for 1 and a half days and he appears officially over it. “Thank you, thank you,” the actor says, deadpan, before quickly shifting conversation to his beloved Sydney Swans and their weekend loss to the Brisbane Lions.

In Adam Cullen’s 2000 Archibald Prize-winning portrait of David Wenham, the actor’s ears and eyes stood out. But it’s his scruffy ginger hair that stands out most today.

He’s shorter and thinner that the silver screen suggests. Not as stout as warrior ranger Faramir, whom he plays in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy. Definitely not as monstrous as psychopath Brett Sprague in ‘The Boys’, the character that took him from the theatre to films, and bagged him an AFI Best Actor award.

“The expectation is often different to the reality,” says David. “I’ve ended up in movies, but it’s not something I thought would happen. I became an actor to work in theatre. This is a very bizarre bi-product.”

David wanted to be an Australian rules footballer – the greatest sportsman ever from Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west; greater than the Marrickville Mauler, Jeff Fenech. But his classroom impressions of Gough Whitlam and bushman Harry Butler were too good to ignore. He was an actor. And as his parents always said, he was a storyteller.

“I was the youngest of seven children. I had very understanding, supportive parents who allowed me to become a storyteller.”

David says his acting ability as a youth had a magic that adults with emotional baggage can never match.

“I love films with kids as protagonists,” he says, citing ‘E.T.’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘My Life as a Dog’, which, he says, are up there with his all-time favourite film, ‘Don’t Look Now’.

“I think children are the best actors. They have the ability to believe utterly in what they do. It becomes harder to do that as you get older because your confidence gets battered around a bit.”

Knocked back by NIDA, David studied theatre at the University of Western Sydney and soon after found work on the local theatre circuit and in television, (He played a motorcycle cop in ‘A Country Practice’ in 1981.)

Playing the lethal Brett Sprague on stage to riveting effect in ‘The Boys’, David was first choice for the filmed version. He considers his work in that film, six years ago, the best he’s done and perhaps the best he can do. “It’s the one film that I look at and I can say I actually can’t improve on that,” he says.

It was a testament to his acting skill that a year later he had transformed himself from the vicious Sprague to the charismatic and popular Diver Dan on the ABC’s ‘SeaChange’. At the show’s peak, David was introduced on a New Zealand talk show as one of Australia’s sexiest men. He was horrified.

Film roles kept coming – ‘Dark City’, ‘Better Than Sex’, ‘Russian Doll’, ‘The Bank’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ (playing the cross-dressing writer Audrey).

In 1999, director Paul Cox asked him to move temporarily to the island leper colony of Molokai to film ‘Molokai: The Story of Father Damien’, leaving partner, actor and yoga teacher Kate Agnew, at home in Sydney.

A story about real-life Belgian priest Father Damien de Veuster, who cared for 140 banished sufferers of leprosy on Molokai Island – one of the Hawaiian islands – before catching the disease himself and dying there in 1889, the film cut straight to David’s Catholic core.

“That was probably the best thing in the world I’ve ever done,” says David, who lived and worked in the tight leper community for four months.

“I defy anybody to go to that place and not be affected or moved or changed. These are people who have suffered through the most incredibly disturbing lives and yet are so full of joy and full of life. You realize how ridiculous some of the petty things that upset us in our rather privileged lives are. It was a huge life lesson. Those people had a profound effect on me.”

A former student of Christian Brother’s High School, Lewisham, with parents still involved in the church, David acknowledges his Catholic faith, but is reticent to discuss it. When asked how he balances faith and the film industry – known for its sometimes-dubious morality – David pauses, resting his head on his fist, thinking.

“It’s not something that’s at the front of my head,” he says. “I try to be a good person. It’s as simple as that. A lot of the time, I don’t succeed at all. I’m as messed up as the next person.

“It is a strange business… It’s easy to be consumed by the madness that is Hollywood.”

One could say David leapt head-first into the mouth of madness when he signed on for director Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ saga, the trilogy of films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic. David’s character, Faramir, has an important role in the saga’s upcoming conclusion, ‘The Return of the King’.

“It was a very different experience to anything else. I hadn’t read the book before I was given the baton to come on board,” he says. “Then I had an opportunity to read the book, and that was like putting many layers of icing on the cake. And it was an enormous cake. I can say, unreservedly, that Peter Jackson is at the top of the tree. There’s Peter Jackson and then everybody else. Undoubtedly. And history will show that.”

Which brings us to David here today, as he stirs high-profile Gold Coast lawyer-cum-author-scriptwriter Chris Nyst, who has flown to Sydney to talk about this script for ‘Getting’ Square’.

‘I’ve just been talking about you,” says David, as Chris shuffles quickly past our table.

“Don’t believe a word,” the savvy lawyer advises.

David is describing Chris’s script - which borrows heavily from the Gold Coast stories and characters Chris has come across in his day job – as one of the most original, quick and clever scripts to come out of Australia. And, sorry Chris, having seen the film, it’s easy to believe every word.

The film follows two criminals, Wirth (‘Dirty Deeds’ Sam Worthington) and Johnny “Spit” Spiteiri (David), who are released from prison and endeavour to go straight – to get square. It’s not long, however, before the friends find themselves in the grip of the Gold Coast underworld and are forced into a suicide mission to save their necks.

David’s hapless junkie Spit is a fidgety, distrusting, mullet-haired, thong-wearing marvel. It’s hard to recall a character so repulsive, yet somehow so endearing.

“It’s a strange dichotomy because there are people that society wants to shun, but at the same time you can’t help but feel compassion towards them and a certain amount of empathy and a great deal of understanding.”

David’s empathy goes back to his school days when he’d write letters to prisoners in literacy programmes.

His empathy has led him to be a vocal commentator on the environment, immigration and reconciliation.

“I’m extremely patriotic, but I’m not proud of many issues in this country,” he says. “I travel often and the reactions from virtually everywhere I go overseas is rather different to what this current government would have you believe. And I’m telling you, we don’t look too good.”

As David talks, those big eyes that Adam Cullen focused on are becoming more intense.

“I never wanted to become a public figure,” he says. “All I wanted to do was become an actor, work in theatre, come out and have a beer and be anonymous.”

But expectation is, after all, often different from reality.

"The Guide" section of The Courier Mail newspaper from Oct 9.

Comedy crime caper

Australian films have not done well at the box office recently but a new movie made on the Gold Coast could have an impact, writes Michael Bodey.

It’s no secret that the Australian film industry has had a dog of a year at the box office. Things have flopped and previous audience favourites have been ignored.

Two more Australian films try their luck before Christmas and thankfully the first, ‘Gettin’Square’, has a chance to make an impact.

The crime caper is slickly made, has plenty of laughs and possesses a cast of familiar faces including Gary Sweet (Stingers), Freya Stafford (White Collar Blue), Englishman Timothy Spall (Sex & Lies, Topsy-Turvy), Sam Worthingon (Dirty Deeds) and comedy veteran Ugly Dave Gray.

It also features a stand-out performance by “SeaChange” favourite, David Wenham, as Johnny Spitieri, the junkie with a heart of gold.

It is a comedic turn that will win him another AFI Award and it deserves an audience, but in this environment, who knows? The actors certainly don’t.

“I can say quite confidently that the people I’ve spoken to, as the Americans say, have ‘responded to the material’,” Wenham smiles.

“You sort of have a feeling but whether that translates to bums on seats, I don’t know.”

His co-star, Worthington, who plays Barry, a Gold Coaster wanting to go straight while fresh out of prison, is similarly flummoxed.

“The movies that are coming out are still good quality, I don’t know why people aren’t watching them, it’s just the way of the world,” he says.

“We enjoyed doing it so I hope people sense that when they watch it.”

Wenham understands that many Australian films aren’t accepted by audiences unless they’ve “supposedly” garnered some attention internationally – and often that can be orchestrated.

“It’s madness because you look at all the different elements here, from actors to directors to cinematographers, I hate using that term world-class, but we have a disproportionate representation internationally, in all those areas.”

‘Gettin’ Square’ is one of those “world-class” films. It had to be such considering the financial backing coming from England’s Working Title studio, the company behind ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’.

And Wenham and Worthington are at the heart of this world-class film. Both actors are firing on all cylinders at the moment; Wenham internationally with the final ‘Lord of the Rings’ film and the action blockbuster, ‘Van Helsing’, due in the next year, Worthington with lead roles in local flicks ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘More Than Scarlet’ to add to his part in Miramax’s upcoming World War II drama, ‘The Great Raid’.

The two are a terrific coupling in ‘Getting’ Square’, Worthington as the stoic bloke drawn into one last heist and Wenham the bumbling idiot who might derail it all.

For Worthington it’s a major lead role, although he chuckles that he didn’t consider it such “but people keep saying it is! I thought it was an ensemble thing”.

Indeed, his lead role is upstages by Wenham’s performance. Not that Worthington is annoyed.

“The bloke’s wearing a mullet, pants up to his neck, thongs and leopard skin underpants, so if the bloke’s not stealing the movie there’s a problem with the movie,” Worthington smiles.

“He’s my Jerry Lewis and I was his Dean Martin. The more he did, he’d whisper to me ‘Do you reckon it’s too much?’ and I’d go ‘Keep going, keep going’ because the less I had to do then,” he laughs.

For Wenham, the chance to work again with his ‘Better Than Sex’ director Jonathan Teplitzky was reason enough to head to the Gold Coast.

“He’s one of the few people who can quite clearly articulate the kind of film they want to make,” Wenham says. “Some directors say they can but they don’t or can’t but Jonathan genuinely can.”

Teplitzky’s articulation worked for Worthington as well. “He’s detailed and so enthusiastic about what he wanted to do that he made me think if he can bring that to the set, it’ll be fantastic.

“He told me the movies he was inspired by and one of them was ‘Out of Sight’, which sold me. If he could do half as good a job as that, we’re doing all right.”

Teplitzky knew how to interest Wenham: he gave him the script telling him there was a character in there he might like.

Wenham, correctly, veered to Johnny Spitieri. “Jonathan thought that possibly from his knowledge of some of my earlier theatre work,” Wenham smiles.

It’s a big leap from the charismatic Diver Dan character for which Wenham won a Silver Logie and also from his more dramatic film characterizations.

Not that he was looking for a comedy to break things up.

“It’s impossible to orchestrate a career like that,” he says. “A lot of it’s left to luck.”

“I was attracted to him because I saw it as a huge challenge, number one.

“He’s someone who’d normally be perceived as one of society’s outcasts.

“Yet in this film he had to be understood by the audience and then have the audience on side so they’d go along for the journey, which is no easy task considering he does happen to be a junkie.

“That was the challenge, to humanize and empathise with this character. I also saw the opportunity for a bit of humour, although that’s not the motivating factor.”

Worthington had just as tough a job, researching the life of a hardened prisoner. A number of ex-cons who worked on the film as extras told him something that colours his character wonderfully.

“They said the biggest thing when you’re inside, the only thing you’ve got, is time,” he says.

“That’s the only thing you have. So when you’re outside you can afford to take your time. So I adopted that.”

Now the time has come when the Australian audience has to find ‘Getting’ Square’.

At least Wenham, Worthington and their cohorts have done everything in their power to make it a more palatable experience than most recent Australian films.

John Howe Exhibition in Switzerland
Xoanon @ 10:20 am EST

Roland writes: I thought to send you a little note concerning a John Howe exhibition here in Switzerland.

John Howe will be present on the following days:

Oct. 12
Oct. 26
Nov. 9

I met him this year at the Neuchatel Fantastic Film Festival, like there, he might be in the mood to draw something on whatever you put him on his desk (book - poster - notebook). You can even make a wish and he tries to draw as best as he can. I got a very nice "Gandalf the Grey" drawing with signature.

At first I asked him to draw an "Orc Army", but for some strange reason he just wouldn't hear my request ... :) For some folks he even drew "Smaug" or the "Grey Havens", for others "Sauron" or "Saruman"

Here's a site about the event, mind you it is in German. [More]

10-09-03 Latest News

Great Collectormania 4 Images!
Xoanon @ 10:26 pm EST

More Collectormania 4 Goodness - Singin' Fools
Click for more images

Cheshire Cat writes:

Here are some of Cheshire Cat's pictures from Collectormania 4. It was without doubt the most exciting, exhilerating, nerve-wracking and completely wonderful experiences of my 39 years. I met up with 4 other TORNsibs who had become friends through the Discussion Boards and Jordan the Discursive had travelled from Alabama to the UK with the sole purpose of meeting Elijah. We had an incredible weekend together and thanks to TORN some great friendships have been formed as a result.

We decided to tackle the whole event by rising early in the morning and getting the autographing done as soon as possible, and then after lunch on both days we headed off to the cinema to queue for the Q&A/screenings. On the Saturday night we attended the TT screening where the guests were Dom, Sala, Lawrence and Brent. We were sitting on the very front row and were close enough to touch the mike stands with our toes. It was incredible fun. We did the same on the Sunday and got to the cinema at about 2pm and sat queuing in the corridor meeting and chatting with other Ringers. Whilst here we came across three more TORNsibs. This time we were sitting just one row back but I had a great view of the guys between the seats in front of me. This Q&A was with Sean and Elijah. Having spent from 9.45am until 6pm signing autographs for the hoards of fans we were expecting them to be tired and quiet. On the contrary! When Elijah's name was announced he ran into the auditorium at full pelt and did three laps of the place "high fiving" as he went with the fans towards the back of the room. They were buzzing and so was the audience! They answered all the questions that were thrown at them and after an hour the organisers started to signal that the time was up. Sean and Elijah were having none of it! They were having far too much fun and carried on for a good half hour after the allotted time. Half way through the session, Sean's phone rang and it turned out to be his brother in L.A. We all shouted hello to him and then Sean said we could ask him 5 questions. Each time he answered they would put the phone up to the microphone and the place went silent to listen to this little voice on the other side of the world. He was asked what it was like living with Dom Monaghan and he replied "oh, just like any other hobbit!". He was a star!

Sean and Elijah both showed off their tattooes but unfortunately I was too slow with my camera for Elijah and sitting at the wrong angle to see Sean's ankle (hence the rather strange picture of him sitting with his leg in the air).

I've included a copy of the picture I had taken with Sean Astin after he had signed my set of Production Notes. As I walked up to him I plucked up the courage and said "Sean, Do you think I could have a hug?" He smiled and said "of course" and then wrapped his arms around me and gave me the biggest bearhug. He was really lovely, and he had just made my day!

I know there have been a few negative things said about Collectormania, but I maintain that it was a truly spectacular weekend for the TORNsibs. We worked hard at making it successful by getting to places very early, but we had so much fun talking to fellow Ringers that the time in queues just flew by.

So that was Cheshire Cat, Jordan the Discursive, Meliana, Greenwood Hobbit and Sauron's Slipper's adventures at Collectormania.


Sandy, Utah: LOTR Hot Spot
Xoanon @ 3:16 pm EST

Sandy, Utah: LOTR Hot Spot
Click for more images

MrCere writes:

Sandy, Utah, a burb of Salt Lake is the area's hot spot as fans couldn't wait to buy 9 a.m. tickets for Trilogy Tuesday. At least 48 hours before tickets went on sale, the staff at Megaplex 17 allowed a tent city to pop up in anticipation for the only theater with the trilogy in the state of Utah.

Instead of the announced 1100 tickets expected to be sold, Jordan Commons announced New Line said they wanted only a single theater cutting the number to 500 available. Each person will be allowed to buy 6 tickets meaning that at the time of the announcement Wednesday, every ticket was spoken for. Those in line past the magical number stayed anyway, in hopes that some tickets would slide their way.

TORn was well represented, speaking for at least 50 of the tickets available, playing "Lord Of The Rings Risk" and enjoying the mix with other fans and throwing a pizza party with a friendly manager and ringer giving a discount. Yea Dominos!

Keith Johnson of the Deseret Morning News was on the scene to capture
these images. Thanks Keith!

TheOneRing.net chats to Andy Serkis!
leo @ 3:16 pm EST

At Collectormania 4 TheOneRing.net got a chance to talk to British actor Andy Serkis (Gollum) for a few minutes, here's what I could make out from the tape!

In the panel you were talking about the one scene that you found the most difficult to film but you wouldn’t tell us which one because that would spoil it for some fans. We are curious though so please tell us now.

AS: Well I don’t know if I can because you know.. on TheOneRing.net.. Okay, okay.. it was basically the Crack of Doom, the final fight with Frodo and there’s a really tricky motion capture scene of falling into the Crack of Doom. And death scenes are virtually impossible to play, it’s really hard to imagine your own death you know. So yeah that was the most difficult to play.

And was it also the one you are most proud of?

AS: Emmm... not necessarily no. To date, that people know of, the scene that I am most proud of is in TTT, it’s the schizophrenic scene. There’s a lot of scenes in ROTK that I am not going to give away that I’m very proud of. Including the transformation of Smeagol..

So that’s going to be in the third movie then?

AS: Well as far as I know at this point of time yeah.. But again you know..

You are not allowed to tell us?

AS: I can’t really. The point is out this moment in time the film is still in a state of flux and anything could be in and anything could be out.

You also said you finished your last scene Saturday, I imagine that was just dialogue?

AS: Yeah. But in fact two weeks ago I shot my final scene with Peter. That was in London, and he shot a kind of crucial moment in a scene on the carpet of his house over here near the studios... And that immediately got cut into the movie.

How long have you been down in NZ for this project? For the entire length or did they let you go home every now and then?

AS: I was there obviously for principal photography and then a lot over the last two years doing post-production, motion capture. In the post production period for FOTR I wasn’t so much involved, and when they started on TTT I got involved again.

So what was your most memorable moment from the production?

AS: I think actually it was when we first started working on motion capture for TTT and we really started to define Gollum. That was really an interesting time. And their were times when Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh and myself were in the motion capture studio and for the first time really examined the psychology of Gollum in a very thorough way. And the writing of him evolved and it all kind of came together and it was just a time when there was a real creative energy flowing around. That was just a really good time.. it was in February 2002 I guess.

Would you consider taking another part that required you to be all CGI, like Gollum?

AS: Yes. People have said to me ‘will you be glad to get back to normal acting?’, and the fact is, you know, if a script is good it doesn’t matter what sort of acting it requires.. As far as I’m concerned Gollum is as real as any other character I’ve ever played. Of course there was technology involved but in terms of acting it’s no different to anything else. But yes I would definitely consider it because it’s a new direction and obviously I was part of a kind of pioneering process for a CG-character so yeah I’d be very interested in developing that kind of thing further.

You are directing a play now (Double Bass), are there any other projects you have got coming up?

AS: Yeah.. I’m about to start.. well, I’m more then likely going to be starting on The Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino. And also there’s a feature film animation of the Magic Roundabout, it was quite a famous television series in the seventies and it’s going to be made into a feature animation and the people doing the voices will be Robbie Williams and Kylie (Minogue) and ehh Jim Broadbent, Joanna Lumley. It’s a lovely cast really.. Richard O’Brien and myself.

And you also did the 13 Going on 30-film?

AS: Yes, I did that. It’s done now. I think it’s coming out in February or March..

It’s with Jennifer Garner right?

AS: Yeah..

I’m a jealous man.

AS: Heheheh.. well she’s great, fantastic. She’s a really lovely person and it was a really fun film to work on.

Is there anyone else you would like to work with? A director or an actor?

AS: Director yeah! I was talking tonight about my favourite films and ehh.. P.T. Anderson, the director of Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love and Magnolia.. I love his films and I’d really love to work with him. The Coen brothers.. There are loads and loads of good directors out there.

Are you going to do more directing in the future?

AS: Yeah. As well as acting I want to do both. I have feature film script I want to develop. I’ve shot some short films. The fact is if a project really makes me feel excited about being involved in it then it really doesn’t matter in what context I’m getting involved in it; whether its acting or directing or whatever. I mean acting I’ve done much longer professionally and it’s part of me.. it’s in my blood. I love playing eccentric characters.

Okay thank you very much!

Media Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGM
Xoanon @ 2:59 pm EST

Media Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGMMedia Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGMMedia Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGMMedia Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGMMedia Watch: Special 5 Cover ROTK Issue of EGM

Crispin Boyer from Electronic Gaming Monthly writes: I wanted to give you a heads up on our December cover story (in case you wanted to help us out with a little news story about it on the site). We have the exclusive first review of EA's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King game, which is due for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance on Nov. 4. Like last year's prequel, this slickly produced game is an action-y romp that pits your favorite Middle-eartlings against massive hordes of orcs, trolls, and Southron warriors. In addition to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, you can now control Gandalf, Sam, and Frodo, as well as three secret characters. EA worked closely with Peter Jackson and the movie's special-effects guys (they even kept a team at the film's New Zealand set) to capture the look and feel of the film. And, of course, they recorded lots of exclusive new dialog from the movie's principal actors.

Anyway, our issue comes in five different covers (attached). We're also running a "Win a trip to Middle-earth!" contest. Readers just need to read the cover story and answer an easy online quiz to enter to win a trip for two to New Zealand (we have a lot of game-related second-place prizes, too). Oh, and our cover story also features a photo by TheOneRing.net's own MrCere :)

SHOP: The Lord of the Rings Monopoly!
Calisuri @ 1:48 am EST

The official New Line Shop (LOTRShop.com) has posted The Lord of the Rings Monopoly for sale! Who needs a railroad when you have horses! (read below for the official description)

Lord of the Rings Monopoly Game by HasbroLord of the Rings Monopoly Game by Hasbro

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition of Monoply combines the real estate gameplay of the world's favorite board game with the characters and geography of Middle-earth. Take a journey through Middle-earth and lay claim to various territories, building strongholds (houses) and fortresses (hotels) as you compete against other players. The board contains familiar Monopoly elements such as 'Go,' 'Free Parking,' and 'Jail' and Lord of the Rings locations like Helm's Deep, Isengard, and Weathertop, all against a map of Middle-earth. The Monopoly railroad locations have been replaced with Lord of the Rings horses -- Brego, Shadowfax, Bill The Pony and Asfaloth. The set includes collectible Pewter game tokens of Aragorn, Frodo, Gimli, Galadriel, Gandalf and Legolas, and a gold-colored One Ring that can be used in a non-traditional version of the game. This great game has to be seen to be believed -- truly an outstanding gift for a friend or for yourself!

10-08-03 Latest News

Organ Donor Campaign: News
Tehanu @ 9:38 pm EST

Andrew Tookey, whose Organ Donor Campaign we are supporting, writes:
Thought it may be a good time to update everyone on progress to date.
Firstly, Katie is doing well, and has been well since we have stopped taking her to Starship for checkups. This is not to say we are withdrawing any medical treatment we would seek treatment at the first sign of any problems. It's just that she has had so many appointments where the doctor pokes her in the tummy and says 'fine - I'll see you next time' and then she goes back a few days later with a bug that we find out was rampant in the hospital at the time of her appointment.
As we all know hospitals are not healthy places! We have received a letter from the Auckland District Health Board in reply to our concerns at the infections/bugs and other treatment of Katie. The letter was much as expected, with a lot of apologies, and they will review certain areas etc.etc. Yeah Right! Can't believe that we are the first to mention the problems!
The select committee appears to have heard all the submissions now. In fact they met today (in private) to decide what the next step is. At the last select committee hearing Sir Geoffrey Palmer (former Prime Minister) presented his submission. Sir Geoffrey had been independently commissioned as a constitutional law expert to examine the issues. I am pleased to say his independent research backed up my submission 100%. Also speaking at the select committee was a grandmother who donated part of her liver to her grandson to save his life, and a heart transplant recipient. The manager of donor co-coordinators also spoke.
Even though the Select Committee can make a report to Parliament for changes. The government are not bound by them and do not have to implement them, which seems silly as it makes a mockery of the whole process of everyone having their democratic say. My 'moles' tell me that it already appears that is the way the government appears to heading. I do not think it wise that the government ignore the wishes of the people in this respect. If they do, it appears I will have a whole new battle on my hands, I know that I will be able to draw strength from your support in this.

I would like to point out, that I have heard banded around recently that of course I want change because I have a vested interest. Well of course I do! But...
I should also point out that if you read my submission to Parliament, I have NOT ONCE pointed out my personal circumstances. I did not need to, I had enough evidence that the system is in need of an urgent overhaul that I did not need to introduce an emotional element.
TV Commercial
You may have seen on 'Holmes' that the Organ Donor TV Commercial is now made. Cameron Duncan, the teenage cancer victim, and talented director has entered it in the 'Fair Go Ad Awards' The commercial has made it into the top five, and will be screened on Fair Go next Wednesday 15th October. This will also be your opportunity to vote for the best commercial. I am not advocating that you vote for it, but do watch it! Or you can watch the commercial by clicking [this link.

As life/death and organ donation can be a taboo subject, I think you will find that the commercial is sensitive and powerful, we spent a good deal of time discussing the best approach and decided we did not want to go down the avenue of the LTSA 'horror/gory' style commercials, as we believe people have become desensitised to those, also we didn't want to go down the 'emotional blackmail' avenue such as World Vision. We wanted an ad that would make people 'think' I would be pleased to receive any feedback on your views on it. Though note that the text at the end of the commercial is for the competition, it will be modified slightly for use on network television.
The next problem is getting it on air! Despite offering the Minister of Health several opportunities to help pay for the air time she has refused, saying she is not prepared to spend money 'ad hoc' First of all it is not 'ad hoc' as all countries acknowledge that public awareness is imperative, and secondly she has said herself that one of the best ways to increase donor rates is for families to discuss their wishes. How will they do that, when they don't know, they think that putting it on their driving licence is enough? When the MOH eventually go and make their own ad it will cost the taxpayer over $200,000 just to make it, I'm offering them a non political one for free, just around $30,000 for air time.
Lord of the Rings
You may have seen in the press recently that the LOTR fan club are having a charity dinner on the eve of the Premiere of the third LOTR movie in Wellington.
The seats sold out within hours, and they are now trying to arrange extra space for more people. At present around 600 people are attending, more than half are flying in from around the world. There will also be an auction of 'items' the proceeds going to charity.
The organisers of the event asked Peter Jackson to nominate where he would like the proceeds to go. He nominated us. We are obviously delighted with his backup, apart from what he has done for this campaign publicly, his personal, private help has been wonderful, especially as he is under incredible pressure at the moment.
The money raised will go towards helping to pay for air time for the commercial. (in the absence of official funding)
I, with the rest of my family (making their first trip to Wellington) will be attending the dinner, to speak of our campaign and to personally thank all those involved.
Sorry to ramble on, but I could have said more!
Thank you for your continued support!
The Tookey Family

Sean Astin at Generations United Conference in DC
Xoanon @ 1:33 pm EST

Rev. Rachel Wangen-Hoch writes:

I am attending the Generations United Conference at which Sean Astin will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, Oct. 18 during the closing session from 3:30 - 5:00 pm.

I have received permission from the organizers to bring youth under the age of 18 for free, as well as a limited number of chaperones (the chaperone spaces are already filled). Folks who want to come must contact me at wangen-hoch@msn.com no later that Friday morning of this week. I need their full name and age so they can be put on a guest list. We will be meeting at the Old Town Alexandria Metro Station at 2:30 pm to gather and get good seats. We will meet back there again at 6:30 pm for the youth go be picked up. This will allow us some time to get a bite to eat following the plenary session and share reflections on the Sean's talk.

Any youth who arrive late for the meeting time will not be able to attend. All youth who attend need to understand and agree that this event is a professional conference, not a fan event. Therefore, anyone who comes with me needs to dress in a casual professional manner and conduct themselves appropriately. This is not the opportunity to get autographs or wear costumes, as fun as those events are. I want the conference organizers to feel happy that they allowed me this privilege and to be glad they allowed fans to attend.

Every youth who attends needs to arrange his or her own transportation and to bring a permission note with contact information from their parents or guardians. Sean is a very inspirational speaker and a dynamic human being. You won't regret coming.

For adults who wish to attend, the conference organizers ask that you sign up for their Saturday day rate and attend the conference that day (this is their way of ensuring that this is a professional conference rather than a fan event). They like the idea of fans coming if it inspires them to work with youth and do good in the community.

The day rate is $150.

You must register immediately by going to www.gu.org and downloading the registration form and sending it in.

Again, if you are a youth under 18 in the Washington DC area and wish to attend this event, contact me immediately. I will be happy to speak with or meet with parents to discuss the event. I have extensive experience chaperoning youth trips and am looking forward to helping youth in the DC area to have the opportunity to meet Sean.


Rev. Rachel Wangen-Hoch
St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Another Collectormania 4 Report
Xoanon @ 1:20 pm EST

More Collectormania 4 Goodness - Andy Serkis
Click here for all the images

Ahriell writes:

This report will be a very positive report. I will not go over the negative aspects of the event, as enough has been said and written about that already. If you don’t know anything about Collectormania and the storm of complaints that followed its mismanagement, please go to the C4 forums and read the recent threads…

On Saturday the 4th October, I got up at 4am to catch a plane from Edinburgh to Luton. I arrived at the Centre in Milton Keynes at about 9.45am, and had a wee look around Middleton Hall while waiting for Sky (Roxane from London). The set-up seemed good, lots of stalls to spend money at, and a clear layout of the guests’ “booths”.

After Sky arrived, we made our way to the place where Sala Baker (Sauron) and Lawrence Makaore (Lurtz) were signing autographs. We noticed that there were very few people queueing for Sala, so we started there. I introduced myself and the Scottish Fellowship to him, and explained about the dvd parties and auctions for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. He was delighted when I gave him his honorary membership card and immediately asked Lawrence (who was sitting only a few feet away) if he had got one too! Sala signed my Argonath glossy photo with a personal mention, and also signed a superb photo of him as Sauron for our auctions. We took a photo, and finally as no one was waiting behind us, I asked him if he would record a short message for the new Scottish Fellowship website on my digital voice recorder. He duly accepted! By this time I was shaking like a leaf, but delighted at how friendly and approachable he was. Sky got her LOTR book signed and we were done.

A great start!

We then started queueing for Lawrence Makaore, but the queue was quite long already. We were given tickets to come back an hour and a quarter later. Sky and I decided then to go for second breakfast ;-)

After food and a well needed dose of caffeine for me, we had a look at where Brent McIntyre (The WitchKing) was, among many other stars (The Matrix Twins, Honor Blackman and many more), and realised that there was no queue at all for him! We actually couldn’t see him either, and after asking a member of staff we waited and were first to see him when he reappeared a few minutes later. As he only charged £10 for his signed photos, I bought 2 for the auctions. He was very nice and friendly too, and is a rather striking looking person: very, very tall (well over 6ft I’m sure), with no hair but ginger sideburns, striking eyes, and a pale complexion, I could see why he had been cast as the WitchKing!!! LOL!!! He was “honoured” to be asked to join the Scottish Fellowship, he said, and was very happy to sign everything I put in front of him. I gave him his card, a leaflet and a member of staff took a photo of him and me, and finally he also accepted to record a message, yay!!!

Later we came back and queued again for Lawrence. He was very nice too, and very patient as I explained once again about who I was and what the SF is, and just like Sala, he was very pleased to sign a great photo of him as Lurtz, and sign my Argonath photo, as well as accept the membership card, and he recorded a rather long “short message” for the website! He also signed Sky’s LOTR book. He is one very cool guy! Once again, we took some great photos J All the photos I have of the day will be posted on the new website…

As we had managed to see all LOTR actors present that day, it was then time for some serious LOTR shopping! I bought some great FotR Toy-Biz action figures to add to my collection, as well as a great Saruman Figure by Applause for the auction (got a bargain price on it!) and best of all I found, after a lot of shopping around for the best price, a set of Helm’s Deep action figures including the very sought-after Haldir figure, at 2 thirds of the price Forbidden Planet charge for it ;-) It ended up being a lot of stuff to carry around but I’m glad I waited til the end of the afternoon to spend my money…

After dropping the shopping at the hotel, it was then time to go to the Xscape complex for the screening of “The Two Towers” and the Q&A session beforehand. Nobody had any idea about which actors would attend which Q&A session, so we were all very excited. We got into the cinema at 5.40pm and at 6.30pm they appeared: Brent McIntyre, Lawrence Makaore, Sala Baker and….. DOMINIC MONAGHAN!!! You can imagine the kind of reception he got!!!

The Q&A session was very good, despite some silly questions from some “fans”… Dom was very entertaining, Lawrence and Sala were a great comedy double-act!!!

Click here for details of what was asked/answered.

At the end the guys left and the screening of The Two Towers started. As it had been a loooooooooong day for me, after 15 minutes I gave up and Sky and I went back to the hotel for a well earned rest!

Sunday 5th October: After a relatively light sleep, Sky and I got ready to return to C4. We were very excited, and wanted to be there early enough. We met up with The Flying Gribble (Dave from Horsham) and together we walked back to Middleton Hall. As we got close we could see the crowds… by the time we reached C4, the place was absolutely mobbed. We tried to get tickets but realised that all tickets had already been issued for Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan and Sean Astin. I only managed to get a ticket for Andy Serkis. I was absolutely devastated. I would have cried if I hadn’t been angry, very, very angry. The rest of the day was spent waiting around for at least a glimpse of the Hobbits, and I just about managed to take a photo of each of them. At about 4pm it was my turn to queue for Andy Serkis. He was absolutely charming! We had a quick chat, he signed my Argonath photo, and the 2 photos I bought for the auctions, I gave him his membership card and explained to him that I had some cards for the other 3 actors but didn’t get tickets to see them. To this Andy replied that he “could do something to help”. He took the other cards, passed one to Sean Astin’s minder who was sitting right next to him, and he promised he would pass on the other cards to Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan!!! What a great guy J We took a photo, and it was all over!

An hour later I was in a bus, on the way back to Luton airport, and a couple of hours after that I was back in Scotland, exhausted, and half ecstatic, half disappointed…

However, to finish up on a positive note, thanks to The Flying Gribble and Pippin’s Cat, who were at C4 on Monday, and saw the Hobbits, we will have great reports to read about meeting them, getting autographs, for me as well as for the SF auctions J!!!!!

10-07-03 Latest News

Hobbit Play in Santa Clarita
Xoanon @ 9:08 pm EST

Lonestarr writes:

Just a reminder for TORn and LA area ringers and beyond that the ambitious "Hobbit" stageplay at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Santa Clarita, CA is up and running! It was announced at the Bilbo Baggins birthday bash a few weeks back, and everyone is encouraged to come and see middle-Earth. In fact, Quickbeam arrived with a crew last week to film it as part of an upcoming special documentary on "The Hobbit" literary-mythology, so look for it down the road.

The play is directed by Jymn Magon, a multiple Grammy and Emmy-nominated producer and former Disney employee, who even produced the old record LP of the 1977 Rankin/Bass TV version of "The Hobbit". Directions to the theatre can be found through mapquest.com, and their website is canyontheatre.org for the address...

The show runs Sat. and Sun. at 2pm through Nov. 2. See you there!

Collectormania Insanity!
leo @ 8:00 pm EST

Lots and lots of people have been writing us with their two cents about Collectormania 4 which took place in Milton Keynes, England last weekend. Some have been positive, some have been negative I’m sure most of you have read them by now. I was also present at this event and here’s my view on what happened and what didn’t.

First of all I will have to spend a few minutes complaining about the location, bear with me. The people who organise the Collectormania-events have chosen to do so in the centre of a huge shopping mall. This is actually quite a good move because it opens the event up to people who otherwise probably wouldn’t have attended or even known about it.
The reason why they choose to hold it in Milton Keynes is beyond me though. The place can best be described as a barren wasteland riddled with roundabouts, concrete and huge carparcs making it not only very easy to get disorientated but also very, well, boring. Other reasons to visit Milton Keynes than to attend Collectormania are just not available and you’d think that if you are organising an event that doesn’t really offer any form of entertainment save for a few hands full of stalls, a lot of lines to stand in and a few panels at night where most people couldn’t get in anyway you could have picked a more interesting location.
Anyway, that was not the case and I will not annoy you all with the troubles I went through to get there. Let’s just hope that in feature years they pick a shopping mall somewhere in London or at least someplace vivid.

Enough about that though. On to the event itself. I have to admit that I was not planning on attending Collectormania at all. Having covered the opening of the Lord of the Rings-exhibition in London a few weeks ago and with Ring*Con on the agenda for next month I was running short on cash, otherwise I might have considered it. For those who might not know this: TheOneRing.net does not pay for all the things I do for the website, as they shouldn’t have to. I am a fan like everyone else here and I love doing these things and feel quite fortunate to be able to write about it for the website. On previous occasions I paid everything myself and will do so if I really want to attend a convention of some sort. After all for me this website is just a hobby.
Collectormania was different though. I did attend and the website did pay for it and that’s because we got a very interesting offer from the folks who organised it: they asked us (we did not ask them) if we wanted to attend and if we wanted to interview the Lord of the Rings-cast present at this event. I will now copy/paste some passages from emails I received from them about this event, just so I can lay all my cards open:

We're really excited to have Elijah, Sean, Dom and Andy as guests at the show and we thought TORn would like to interview them while they're with us.


Naturally, Showmasters would like to be as accommodating as possible to TORn and would like to hear any thought you have.


As for interviews, we will certainly arrange that for you. [...] As I am sure you can imagine, Elijah, Sean and Dom will be massively busy on Sunday and Monday, so at the moment I am not quite sure exactly when this will be or how it will work, but I assure you that come the day it will! [...] Please be assured though, we are very grateful for the coverage that The One Ring Net has given us in the past, and we will certainly make sure that the interviews happen for you. You guys do a great job, and reach more LOTR fans around the world than anyone else, and so if anyone deserves their time it is you.

That being said I guess you probably could have seen this coming: these (promised) interviews did not happen. What we got instead was a informal press-meeting where all of the press that actually stayed on Sunday night (some 8 people altogether) got about 30 minutes to talk to all the actors present which I don’t feel is what these quotes above meant. Look for some small interviews with some of the actors present later this week!

Obviously this is just a personal grief. I mean I am not ‘professional’ press so I’m glad with anything I can get really and I realise this is more then most people got at the event. I do however feel that we (I say we because my good friend Irascian and the lovely Victoria Barrett from the Observer were with me for the better part of the event and experienced the same kind of grieves) were not treated as press might expect from an organisation like Showmasters on an event like Collectormania. I would have expected that if they can manage to get stars like the ‘Rings’-actors they could have certainly managed to set up some kind of ‘press-system’.

I also agree with what a lot of people have been saying over the last few days; it was a very hectic and disorganised event altogether. Things like the ticket sales were badly organised and poorly communicated to the event. On multiple occasions I have heard Collectormania-people tell fans that they could get tickets from 8am and onwards were in all honestly they started handing them out earlier then that.
The stories of people camping overnight, all tickets being gone at 9.30am and just the general state of panic that seemed to be going around on Sunday made it clear to me at least that the organisers were not at all prepared for what was going to happen and the day seemed to be like a charging Oliphaunt with everyone desperately trying to hang on and make the best of it.
In all honesty: if you say beforehand you are expecting thousands of visitors and you know that the actors can not possibly sign more then a few hundred autographs a day a simple calculation will tell you that you have a potential few thousand disappointed people on your event. This is not the actor’s fault because they were signing like crazy in order to please as many fans as was possible on one day. Complaints about how people were driven through like cattle are perhaps true but it is not something I feel people who actually got an autograph should complain about. Think about it this way: at least you got one and there were plenty of people out there who were not that fortunate.
And of course I know that nowhere does it state that signatures are guaranteed but people do not fly halfway over the globe to leave empty-handed so to say. This happened though, I have heard and read the stories and there are probably lots of people who have such a story of their own and haven’t bothered to email it in.

All of that being said the event was not a total loss. Monday (or Hobbit-Monday) was much quieter then Sunday. It was not as hectic and most people that were there seemed to have gotten their money’s worth of autographs. Lines were smaller, it was easier to get around without tripping over the great hordes of screaming fangirls that seem to be appearing more and more at event like these (why I wonder).
The only place that looked exactly like Sunday was the area around the booth where Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan were signing. Even on their bathroom-breaks they were followed around by great crowds and that must have slightly annoyed them (as it would me if I were in their shoes). They handled it very nice though so kudos to all of them for being very patient all through the event, keeping the smiles on their faces and generally being the nice guys that we all know they really are.
This of course is not just for Elijah and Dominic but for Andy, Sean, Brent McIntyre, Sala Baker and Lawrence Makoare too. That last three might not have had such a busy weekend as the ‘bigger’ names they made up for that by spending a lot of time with their fans, posing tirelessly for pictures, signing whatever it was that landed on their booth and really leaving an excellent impression behind on everyone they talked to. Awesome job guys!

Because the Monday was so much quieter I got a good chance to talk to a lot of people, both visitors and people helping out at the event (I mean it was not like I had anything better to do anyway) and I have to say that I do see their point of view. I do realise that they were about fifty people understaffed on Sunday and that they had to make the best of it under the given circumstances. But I also heard some of them point out that they had not been given any kind of introduction to the event and that they didn’t know what it was exactly that they had to do during the event. From what I saw people with Collectormania-tshirts seemed to be moved here and there to do stuff as someone seemed fit. All of this in my humble opinion boils down to the fact that the whole event was somewhat poorly organised, like I said before.

The positive things about the event; the informal press-meeting, the panels at night (about which Irascian has written a lot that I won’t need to repeat here, I really do agree with him there), the quiet Monday that was spent largely by hanging out in Sala and Lawrence’s booth chatting to very nice people (Nick the pirate, the girl with the Gollum-tattoo, Erwin from EchoBase.nl and many more; sorry I’m quite bad at remembering names), they all were overshadowed by the fact that I have had a very unproductive weekend and that the whole event was not as much fun as I had hoped it would be and it might have been. Collectormania 4 left a somewhat bad taste in my mouth and I will think twice about going back there in May for their fifth event.

Last but not least a very special thanks will go out to the above mentioned Ian Smith (Irascian) and Victoria Barrett who were excellent company throughout the weekend and all the members of the Dark Side Forums who were there. I had great fun with you guys, both during and after convention hours and it made a bad weekend very enjoyable and something I will not soon forget!


Collectormania: Pros and Cons
Xoanon @ 3:10 pm EST

Quite a few people have sent along their experiences at the latest Collectormania. More than a few of them have been negative, and if you include the tales of woe from TORN pal Irascian and even TORN's own Leo (review coming soon), it seems not all is well in the Collectormania PTB's.


This was my first time at a Collectormania event, and ‘mania’ is a good description. People had queued since 4am to get tickets for ‘the Hobbits’ and the crush was so bad, that you could not even glimpse them without one. My friend managed to see Elijah and Dom by accompanying another (ticket bearing) friend in order to take photos. The only person I had wanted to meet was Lawrence Makoare, and fortunately I only had to queue for about an hour. It was worth every minute of the wait. What an incredibly charming man he is. Despite having been meeting people and signing autographs all day, he still had smiles and warm handshakes for everybody. He asked everyone’s name, sent messages to those who couldn’t make it and posed happily for endless photos. I have met a few actors in my time and I know that the reality is often a disappointment over the expectation. Not this time. Not only was Lawrence friendly, sincere and endlessly patient, he was also a man of very great physical presence. I consider myself to be pretty level-headed but I have to confess a hug from Lawrence had me in a bit of a tiz!


I would just like to say how much I agree with the comments of irascian about collectomania 4. Although I myself had the chance to talk to Sean Astin and Andy Serkis on Monday, and they were great, My daughter had a different experience when meeting Elijah wood and Dominic Monahan, the stars themselves were very pleasant ,but the organizers seemed to be rushing everyone through like branding cattle.My daughter got the impression that the guests themselves were fed up with it and on occasion slowed things down themselves as a protest.Plus it would have helped to have been forewarned about the prices of autographs , many people ran out of cash and went to the cashpoints to find them empty.However saying all that it was an experience I'll never forget.


I and a large group of my friends attended Collectormania 4 in Milton Keynes expecting to have a great time, we have attended one previously barring a few complaints about there staff the event was ok, we decided to give it another go.

We have been following the posts on there message boards regarding tickets and so on and followed there instructions, expecting tickets for the Lord Of The Rings guests to be made available from 10am, which was fine and gave everyone a fair crack of the whip, but when we found that all of the tickets had been made available from 6.30am in the morning and by the time we got there they were all gone, we were to say the least not impressed, we stayed at the event but it became ridiculous, the amount of upset children that were there just trying to get a glimpse of Frodo, but when anyone got near there area they were pushed physically away by the show masters security, no asking them if they could move but shoving them away.

The show masters staff were very abusive along with one of the organizers who we have now found to be named 'Mark' something or other!

There is no surprise that one of the parents of a child decided to hit one of them, as there total attitude towards fans was totally out of order!

We knew that a lot of people would be at the event, so accept that, we did not go there with any preconceptions, but the total attitude that was portrayed towards fans was very bad, the whole experience was both upsetting and something that neither myself or any of my friends will endure again.

we go to these events as general autograph hunters with no one in particular to get, we also heard the numerous rumors that Orlando Bloom was at the event walking around in disguise! This was overheard being said by one of the organizers, what a way to start a frenzy! Then to start telling people that both Viggo & Orlando were going to Collectormania 5 was an out right lie, as we have contacted his agent and they deny it totally.

Whilst looking at there message board during the event the organizer Mark had his mother post on there apologizing to fans and attendees alike, saying that they were not doing the event for the money, what total rot, we all know they do it for the money, not just to benefit the fan, but we will not go into that.

It is fine people making money if they run a business but be honest about it, also have the courage to answer questions themselves instead of grown adults having there mothers post on a message board for them!

I felt so strongly about this negative experience that I felt the need to share it and we will never be attending another Show masters events or Collectormania as there was no organization, total lies and abusive staff,

I know this post is very controversial, but lets for once be honest about things for once and warn any future fans and if Orlando or Viggo did attend any o there vents in future I am sure that after everyone has written to there agents telling of the negative experiences they will thanks twice.

Tasty Trilogy Tuesday Tibits And More To Come Soon!
Xoanon @ 11:36 am EST

TORnados, we, like you, are in a tizzy planning and deciding what to do for Trilogy Tuesday. Can I get work/school/life off? Can I stay awake for ROTK after eight hours of Extended Edition goodness? Will I see the shows in the weeks prior of their limited release? When will they announce the rumoured Canada and Europe showings?

So, we are franticly collecting information from TORnados and theaters all over the place and will compile much of that information for you ASAP. However, there are some tasty tidbits to tide you over.

The official city and theater listing. (USA Only)

One you have found a city (or not) near you, you can see if there is an established TORn Line Party right here!

Just search through our world-wide database, find your city and click on the line. WARNING: We are cleaning this whole section up and there are a few dead lines here. If the line in your city hasn't been updated since it announced the "Fellowship Of The Ring," chances are it is dead. There is a possibility of technical difficulties as well with some lines and some surprising theater choice by New Line have left some lines scrambling to make new contacts and plans. We suggest poking around a bit in all of your city's lines.

Further, if you determine there isn't already a line, read this document and start one.

Good luck! And, we will be updating with info here at TORn.

10-06-03 Latest News

The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth
maegwen @ 11:01 pm EST

"The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth" by Brian Sibley & John Howe

Front CoverThe Map of Tolkien's Middle-earthThe Map of Tolkien's NumenorThe Map of the Hobbit

Thorongil reports: After getting my hands on "The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth" I couldn't help but be impressed with the beautiful artwork that adorns the outside of the boxed slip cover. You are peering out of Bilbo's front door, looking at his beloved Shire.

"The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth", is Houghton Mifflin's latest Tolkien offering. As the title implies, it is a collection of four maps of Middle Earth beautifuly painted by John Howe and an accompanying 80 page hardcover book by Tolkien expert Brian Sibley. The Sibley book consists of four separate chapters; Wilderland, Middle Earth, Beleriand, and Numenor, each describing how the maps were originated by Tolkien. Sibley also gives us insightful information on how "The Hobbit"," The Lord of the Rings," and "The Silmarillion" came to be. There are wonderful full color and black and white illustrations by John Howe to go along with descriptive accounts of each name that appears on the maps.

Each map is 28" in length and 28" in width. The borders of these maps include some of Howe's best Tolkien artwork. I will most likely frame them, but you can use it to follow along with Frodo and Gandalf as they travel in Middle Earth or you can see where Turgon's hidden realm of Gondolin is located as you read the Silmarillion. Whichever way you use the maps, it is a fine addition to any Tolkien collection! I am glad I have one and if you are a big Tolkien collector like myself, you will want to go grab yours now too, or put it on your Holiday wish list!!!!

Learn more about the Houghton Mifflin Lord of the Rings product line-up at http://www.lordoftheringstrilogy.com

Order "The Maps of Tolkien's Middle-Earth" through our Amazon.com merchant's link and help support your favorite website, TheOneRing.Net!

Click Here to Buy
[Order at Amazon.com]

LOTR & Pringles Goodness
Xoanon @ 8:14 pm EST

princessofhalflings writes: I bought Pringles today and guess what I saw on the can? Return of the King, the EA game!! On the back of the can there are little boxes with codes in them! You go to www.pringlesjointheadventure.com and type that in with some of your information. You are informed if you've won an instant prize and are also entered for the grand prize:

"A 3-day/2-night trip for winner and 8 guests to Los Angeles, CA from February 20, 2004 to February 22, 2004 to attend an exclusive Hollywood celebrity screening event of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and an appearance in the next Lord of the Rings video game. Trip includes, Hollywood sightseeing and $500.00 each in spending money for winner and 8 guests, all meals, round-trip coach air transportation from commercial airport nearest winner's home, hotel accommodations (nine rooms, single occupancy), and transportation to/from airport/hotel (ARV: $20,000.00)."

Collectormania 4 Report
Xoanon @ 4:07 pm EST

Collectormania 2003 Images - Sean A
Click here for more images

Samantha writes:

Amazingly this year not only do they manage to get Sean Astin to come along, but Elijah Wood too. Me along with some friends went down to Milton Keynes on the Sunday hoping to see the gorgeous and talented Elijah Wood, Although we got there early all the tickets had sold out!

The next day we were back, but this time even earlier. Wake up call at 5.30 am at the centre at 6am to join an already impressive queue especially for that time in the morning. After queing for 3 and a half hours we had our ticket to see Elijah. A few hours later after some breakfast we queued again to see Elijah. He was an absolute star, really friendly and up beat. He even had a new hair style, it was a mohecan, and even showed one of us his tatoo that many of the cast had. We even got a sneak at his boxers too. After a few minutes with him and £60 lighter (yes 3 autographs) we were sent away.

Next onto Dominic. Unfortunatley he was away to lunch with Elijah so another long wait in yet another slow moving queue. Dom was obviously very tired but still smiled away and chatted as he signed our stuff. After Dom we went over to see Sean Astin. After signing our stuff he even spoke to us for a few minutes as it was almost over.

Andy Serkis even managed to get hold of the shopping centre tannoy and did the 'Gollum voice' to some starteled shoppers. Some were amused, some confused, and some said "stupid kids." All in all it was a great 2 days, pictures attached. Elijah picture not developed yet (damn) the collectors fair was as always very good and bargains were to be found. Definatley a must for next year. I've attached to photos, one of Dom and one of Sean. they were on day 3 6th Oct.

Over 70,000 fans have booked a date at Middle-earth
Xoanon @ 3:42 pm EST

Over 70,000 Lord of the Rings fans have so far booked to see The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition - smashing all records for London's Science Museum.

The unprecedented demand means that advanced booking is the only way to guarantee entry to the exhibition at weekends. However, new time slots mean that weekday visitors do NOT need to pre-book except during the half term school holidays (Monday 27 October to Friday 31 October inclusive).

The exhibition is the only chance European fans will have to explore for themselves the fantastic world created for The Lord of the Rings films. The exhibition closes on 11 January 2004.

Hundreds of artefacts from the movies including models, armoury andanimatronics will feature alongside interactive computer and mechanical demonstrations of the cutting-edge technology used to bring the story to life.

The fascinating exhibition will transport visitors into the world ofMiddle-earth, allowing them to become Hobbit-sized, see prosthetics and props including Hobbit feet and the contact lenses used to give the Orcs their unique look, giant models including Hobbiton Mill and Treebeard, and a dazzling array of armour and costumes from the films.

The exhibition culminates with a face-to-face encounter with the central icon from the films - the One Ring itself. Tickets can be pre-booked 24 hours a day on 0870 906 3890 (booking feeapplies) or at www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

Ticket Prices:

Monday - Friday: Adults £9.95, Children/Concessions £6.95Saturday - Sunday: Adults £11.95, Children/Concessions £8.95

Although photography is not allowed inside the exhibition, visitors can buy a souvenir photo of themselves transformed to the size of a Hobbit in the interactive scaling area.

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy - The Exhibition media centre: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/press

10-05-03 Latest News

Collectormania Q&A Transcripts!
Xoanon @ 2:27 pm EST


These are paraphrases *not* quotes, I am not a court reporter!

Dom notes: He was wearing a green scarf wrapped around his neck and chewing gum, probably to sooth a sore throat. His ears really are big and stick out, but you don't notice except at certain angles. Towards the end, he was sitting on his stool, lounging back, grabbing the stool between his legs.

Q: Does he ever get back to Manchester?

Dom: yes, his parents are there though they may be moving to Spain soon. He goes back for Manchester United games whenever possible. His friends are there. He talks about the city center renovations, says it looks great now.

Q: what would they do if they weren't actors?

Lawrence: would still be a street cleaner or doing road maintenance Bret: is a librarian [much clapping, I wave my arms, Dom asks if there any other librarians, looks at me, asks if I am, when I say Yes, he says "Congratulations", much laughter, go me!]

Dom: says if he had his choice, he'd be a professional surfer. But he thinks he'd probably have been a teacher. Some rambling on about Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, sailing and fishing. Dom says that they have big waves in Cornwalll, underestimated, he wiped out a couple of times.

Q: Do they have any say in the merchandising. Can they create figures that lose their clothes?

Dom: no, not really. They get mock-ups and he always says Merry's ears are too big and could they make them smaller and they say no.

Q: Do they ride motorbikes?

Lawrence: Harley of some kind. I'm missing details.

Dom: riffs on riding a Lambretta, kind of cool he says, when going downhill

Q: about the script he and Billy are writing

Dom: they're taking it back and forth, Dom 1/3, Billy 2/3, hope to finish soon and get help from the Glasgow playwright David Greg. They have both New Line and Dreamworks interested. They want it to be really good, not average, a [long-term] vehicle for them working together.

Q: about when they knew it would be really big

Dom: London premiere of FOTK in Leicester Square, kindof trippy. He'd been involved in a few hectic evenings and press things. Drove up in the limo with his mom and dad, saw 15,000 people freaking out. He thought they were all there for Elijah but they knew who he was too.

Learning about dealing with this kind of pressure, talking to Billy about it, reminds him of the Beatles. What they went through for thirty or forty years. "That's why they went fucking insane".

Lawrence tells how they closed off a lot of Wellington, he didn't like the people hanging off the buildings. They found him in a bar, PJ wanted him but he told them to f-off. Complicated story about the Black Riders. Could see Elijah, Dom and Billy wandering around with camcorders.

Q: tattoo?

Dom: tells the standard story, very sincerely, being there all day with the others, writing in each other's diaries, etc. Admits that the tattoo is on his arm, but declines to show it, citing the agreement.

Q: answer fanmail?

Lawrence: if it's got return postage (had spent thousands on photos and postage). He reads them and tries to respond.

Dom; (return postage required). All the mail goes to his mom and dad's house, piles in the dining room. Every so often, they go through with a bunch of photos. His mom reads the letters and saves the special ones for him to answer. He can't supply some things, like "photos of me with Elijah" [audience laughter] or "photos of me in the bath with Billy" [lots and lots of laughter]. If sending mail, be patient it could take three months to nine months.

Q: What could beat being a hobbit?

Dom: Playing for Manchester United, or competing against Kelly someone in halfpipe [not sure about that]

Dom: "Playing a hobbit, beautiful character, genuinely open, beautiful and smart." He wants to play other parts, show other sides. But he's conscious of having faith with the audience, of not changing Merry, doesn't plan to play a real bad guy right away.

Q: You were robbed at the Oscars.

Cast agrees, Dom makes devil horns with both hands.

Q: What celebrities have been fun to meet?

Lawrence: Pierce Brosnan, who's a big LOTR fan

Dom: met Manchester United team when he went to a game in Los Angeles with Elijah. Ruud van Nistelrooy wanted to meet them, get autographs.(just like that Manchester United fan story). Also met Madonna, Robin Williams, Ed Norton at the charades a couple of days ago.

Q: what did they learn?

Sala: "Friendship"Dom, "What a beautiful thing to say"Someone says "Orlando learned to do *everything*" and everyone laughs

Q: Is Orlando scared of sharks?

A: [look a little impatient] Yeah.

Q: did they get to keep props?

Dom: when they wrapped the final time, he got feet. They let him choose any one of the swords he used. He chose the Rohan sword that Merry uses in the last movie to stab "certain people". Also ears and elven brooches.

Q: [not sure of this question, I think it was Dom's favorite scene]

Dom: [noisy bit] The scene where Boromir is fighting Lurtz. He's such a hero. Sean's having such a good day [laughter] being a hero. Being very manly. [laughter]

"Meanwhile Billy and me are sitting in a trench [laughter]. Throwing stones." [Gales of laughter] Goes on like this a little while, miming throwing stones in a very wussy way, holding his arms down at his sides, pretending to toss with just his forearms and hands flapping around.

Q: About people saying the movie has changed their lives.

Dom: says he's a big Beatles fans, reads all the books and collects memorabilia. It's like being in the eye of a storm. But when he watches the movies, it's more memories of the days. "I had a zit on the side of my head, or my mom and dad were there, or Billy was in a *mood* because I threw a pancake at him... that really happened."Lawrence: tells a story about a guy who says he cries every time he sees the Boromir - Lurtz scene. It makes him feel like a real bastard.

Q: What next?

Dom: Spivs, London gangster film.

Q: Will it be in general release?

Dom: It will be in general release.

Q: Because Insomiac's Nightmare isn't

Dom: it's a short film, made by a student, she can't afford to release it.

Dom: In Spivs, "I play a greasy-haired bearded stoner -- very different from Merry"

Dom: In the Purifiers... "I play a peroxide blond martial arts expert."

Q: did you learn martial arts?

Dom: [didn't write down, much the same as on Sharon Osborne]

Lawrence: should be in NZ shooting the "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but is here instead. Next project called "Spooked"

Q: How do you learn parts?

Dom: has a pretty photographic memory, learns songs fairly quickly, pages quickly. When he was a kid, he learned huge chunks of movies, Star Wars and Life of Brian [Monty Python]. Now he tries not to learn movie roles too well. Not theatre, there you have to know it. And to do that, you just read it over and over again, say it out loud. But in movies, "I like to just barely learn the part, so you're still kind of searching for it."

Q: about getting the part

Lawrence: started doing stunts, moved into acting. There was a big audition, a set of silhouettes, from hobbit sized to big, to Tall Paul, and they just matched people up with the body type. In ROTK, he plays the Witch King, and Gothmog (an orc sergeant) so he plays his own boss. Also another orc, who reports to the sergeant, so he gives himself lots of orders.

Q: what do they think of the things written about them on the Internet?

Lawrence: "I've seen Sala porn" which makes everyone crack up and Sala get up and walk away like he's about to leave.

Dom says, and these are paraphrases *not* quotes, I am not a court reporter!

Elijah and I were reading a story (could have been report) about how I was masquerading by going out with his sister so I could be with him. [laughs]

And, in a sarcastic voice, that they read rumors of a contract they signed with New Line that they wouldn't come out as gay until after ROTK. Laughs again. They're thinking of walking down the red carpet holding hands for Return of the King. Then someone says then "it would be the Return of the Queen" and everyone laughs.

A little miscellaneous about how they're having the premiers all over the and they went away.

The Two Towers looked great on the big screen too.


Collectormania 4

I was at the Saturday Two Towers showing at which the guest stars were Brent McIntyre (BM), Lawrence Makoare(LM), Sala Baker(SB) and Dom Monaghan(DM). They were slightly late sowing up but Collectormainia staff kept wondering around trying to appease everyone with phrases such as "a wizard is never late Frodo Baggins…."
The following covers the parts of the evening I can remember in no particular order, so I'm sure there's a lot left out - very little of what I've written is a direct quote, the rest is just the general gist.

They started by introducing themselves, with DM announcing himself with "and I'm Orlando Bloom ( much laughter) but I've had a bit of a facial readjustment"

Q: When did you first realise what a great phenomenum and commercial success LOTR would be?

LM: Description of the complete madness of the Wellington premier of FOTR with people hanging off balconies, out of windows, climbing up lampposts etc. When it was his turn to do the red carpet people were sent out to look for him, eventually tracking him down to a bar over the road where he was hiding out - "no way am I going out there, you must be insane". Meanwhile Dom and Elijah were running round with video cameras (Laurence does impression of Dom with camera!).

AUDIENCE CALL OUT: do it on your motorbike next time! (it had already been established that LM had a Harley Davidson)

LM: Yeah good idea…… maybe I should suggest that to Peter……..

DM: For me it was at the Leicester square premier of FOTR - I was there with my parents and there were all these people screaming who recognised me and knew who I was. The Beatles had to put up with that for 30 years so it's no wonder they all ended up f***ing insane!

Q: Do you ever read rumours about yourself on the internet/ visit forums or discussion groups?

LM: I've seen Sala porn!!
(SB pretends to walk off stage!)

DM: yeah sometimes I've been on forums at TORN or special Dom websites, but on the internet as a whole there are some really interesting rumours out there. There's a popular one that Elijah and I are dating, but we've been forced to sign a contract by New Line saying we won't come out until after the ROTK! So Elijah and I have been thinking about walking down the red carpet holding hands or something…. (Dom waves his arms around comically and starts yelling things like "I'm free at last"!!)

SB/LM: Yeah, but then they'd have to call it Return Of The Queen…..

DM: I don’t like to quash the rumours really - it's so fun reading about how they always have things "from a reliable source"

Q: How much say do you have in what merchandising is produced, because we were hoping they'd make heat sensitive mugs, so when you get them hot the clothes come off!!

DM: Errrr.. not a lot really - they always send things for you to comment on, and I always request that they make the ears smaller, but other than that…

AUDIENCE CALL OUT: What about the mugs?!?

DM: Not yet that I know of I'm afraid!

Q: I was wondering how much of your fanmail you actually read or reply to personally?
(everyone looks slightly uneasy!)

BM: What's this "fan mail"?!?!?

AUDIENCE: Ahhhhhhhhhhh

LM: general comments about the importance of sending an international reply coupon, as at one stage it was costing him thousands of dollars a week in photos, envelopes and stamps etc and he just couldn't afford to keep it up.

DM: Yeah, if you want a reply you MUST send a stamped addressed envelope. All my fan mail goes direct to my agent who passes it on to my parents - there's massive pile of it at home, so naturally my parents hate me! My mum's really good - she goes through it and puts aside all the really special letters for me to read, and every now and again I sign a massive load of photos, but I'm afraid it can take anything: 3months, 6 months, 9 months…… Some people send things that are a bit weird that I can't really meet though, like a request for a photo of me and Billy in the bath! (the bath scene was a running joke through out the evening!) Things like that tend to get "lost in the post"……

Q: If you could have been another character in the films, who would you have liked to be?

LM: (jokingly) well I auditioned for a hobbit so….

DM: Ummmm, well at the end of the fellowship of the ring when Sean Bean was doing his amazing death scene…

LM: you wanted to be Borimir?!?!?!

DM: well yeah, Sean was having a great time doing all this tough warrior fight stuff with Laurence, and getting shot full of arrows and stuff, and I was stuck there standing in a ditch to make me look hobbit sized chucking stones around like a girl! (cue Dom to re-enact lots of "girly" throwing actions - lol!)

Q: How does it make you fell when some one tells you how much the movies have effected their lives?
(general comments from all about being moved/proud/humbled etc)

LM: Yeah but yesterday this full grown guy came up to me to get my autograph and told me that the scene with Lurtz and Borimir always makes him cry. I had to sign his thing "I'm really sorry I made you cry, from Lawrence"! I can tell you I felt like a right bastard!!

Q: Which other celebrities/ famous people have you enjoyed meeting most?

LM: well, I met this guy called Dom……

LM: For me it was probably Pierce, Pierce Brosnan when I was doing Die Another Day. He was a big fan of FOTR, but he didn't know I'd been involved - a really nice guy

DM: Getting to meet the Man U team was really great. (Dom had already admitted he was a big Manchester United fan to loud boos, at which point he jokingly threatened to leave!). I was in LA with Elijah when they were playing over there and they actually asked to meet me, so that was really cool. I met Ruud Van Nisteroy and lots of others.
(Dom also talked a bit about Celebrity Charades and meeting Robin Williams)

Q: What do you think you'd be doing now if you weren't into acting?

BM: well I'm a librarian….

LM/SB: I thought you looked a bit pale! Is any one else here a librarian?
(about 4 people put their hands up)

LM/SB: see you're all a very pasty looking lot!

LM: I'd probably still be working as road worker (?) - really physical labour that was.

SB: People need roads.
(Audience cheer!)
(All the actors stare at Dom)

DM: Can I chose what I'd like to be doing, or do I have to say what I think I'd actually be doing?


DM: Ok, I'd like to be a professional surfer. But I'd probably have gone into teaching, because my Dad's a teacher, and so's my brother (?)
(more cheering from the Audience)

Q: Do you have any special techniques for learning lines?

SB/LM/BM: well, we didn't actually have any lines……

DM: Well, I've always had a fairly photographic memory - when I was a kid I used to memorise huge chunks of films like "The Life of Brian". For movies I like to only just learn my lines, but obviously for plays you just have to keep practising and practising 'til you're perfect.

Q: What do you think could ever beat playing a hobbit?

DM: Scoring a hat-trick for Man U at Old Trafford!

DM: Yeah, but in a way you're right, I may well always be thought of as Merry, a bit like lots of people will always think of Arnold Schwazenegger as The Terminator. Or the Govenor, we'll see. But hopefully not - there you go, there's a bit of controversial politics for you!!!

Q: Do you have any particular memories of the filming process?

DM: When I watch the film I don't really see the story, I just see the scenes and think "that's the day my parents came to visit" or "that's the day Billy was in a mood because I threw a pancake at him"

DM: that actually happened you know!

Q: How's the surfing movie going?

DM: Well, we've split it into thirds and Billy and I have currently got a chunk each and then we'll swap. That will probably take about 7 months. And then it will be at least another year after that…. We have got some studios interested, but because we're hoping this will be a vehicle for Billy and I to work together a lot in the future we want to make sure it's REALLY good, not just mediocre.

Q: How did you get involved in LOTR in the first place?

BM: Well I went along to audition for a giant and then I realised there weren't any giants…!

LM: What happened when I went along was they had all these sillouette things on the wall going right up from hobbit to Orcs and so on. You had to stand there and see which one you matched up with, and I ended up as an Uruk-Hai. I was hoping to play King Kong, but apparently I'm not hairy enough……

Dom was also asked to show his tattoo, but declined, explaining how it was supposed to be a private bond between the fellowship to celebrate their friendship, not to be shown of in public all the time. This speech got a big round of applause.

Another Collectormania Report!
Xoanon @ 1:20 pm EST

Collectormania 4 Images
Sala Baker & Lawrence Makoare
Click for more images

Trueogre writes: Not much to report on because I couldn't make the Sunday helping of LotR. Anyways Sala and Lawrence were hidden away around the corner from everyone else. Tomorrow Elijah and Sean will be situated near Michael Keating from Blakes 7. Boy is he going to see a queue, unfortunetly they won't be queuing for him. They will be signing on the opposite side of the corridor to Sala, Lawrence, Dom and Andy.

The main people who were sought after at the fair on Saturday were Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) of Buffy fame,

Kristanna Loken from T3, she had a bodyguard standing behind her always, and Peter Weller from Robocop. If you didn't get tickets at the start, you certainly weren't going to get them after.

Since Sala wasn't getting many people for his autograph, he ended up wandering the fair walking among the crowds without any problems. He'd walk around and say hello to the people he met at the previous fairs who helped out then. Then he would enter the other booths and sit with the other stars and mingle.

Collectomania 4 in my opinon was worse than C3. The helpers next to the stars wouldn't take pictures for you and you had to ask members of the public standing behind you to take the pictures. There were a few helpers that did help, but they were few and far between.

The virtual queing system was a joke as well. I had a ticket to see Anthony Stewart Head that was ticket number 94. When I went to check on the numbers board they were at 150. So I went to the helper at the queue and flashed him my number. He said there was a queue and I had to wait in line at the back. So therefore people who had numbers 140 were allowed in and I wasn't. A guy in front of me even had a ticket at number 19 and had to queue at the back. It wasn't until someone who actually organised C4 came along and told the helper to let in people with tickets below the 150 mark immediately.

This event should have been organised much as it was for C3. There were lots of Lotr toys going for knock down prices and if you shopped around you could find fantastic bargains to be had.

Collectormania: Day 2 Report!
Xoanon @ 12:42 pm EST

Gilgalad70 writes:

The Hobbits have arrived safe and well! The TTT showing tonight had Brent McIntyre (witchking in FOTR), Lawrence Makoare, Sala Baker and Dominic Monaghan.

Most of the questions were for Lawrence, and Dom. Sala didn't say much at all, and Brent said even less. Topics ranged from 'when did you know how big this actually was (Dom said the London Premiere, Lawrence said the NZ Premiere, he was scared to go down the red carpet due to the crowds.)

I'm hearing reports that Andy wasn't at the FOTR screening. Reasons unknown. They 'just' had Elijah and Sean. Poor loves. Apparently Lawrence and Dom tend to suffer backlog when they reply to fanmail. Lawrence suggested that it might be an idea to include an IRC (International Reply Coupon)or a stamped addressed envelope if you want a fast reply. Lawrence and Dom both admitted to reading the boards on here and showmastersonline. Apparently Dom and Elijah loved a theory that they were both lovers and were under instruction from Newline not to 'come out' til after the ROTK got released. Dom joked that they'd both prance down the red carpet hand in hand at the Embassy.

One fan asked Dom to show us the tatoo. He refused saying it was supposed to be a private thing and appatrently the guys who got them had a pact not to make a big deal about it. Hmmmmm....

Another question asked if anyone had met a big name because of their link with the movie. Lawrence said about how Pierce Brosnan had told him how he loved LOTR and was looking forward to TTT. Apparently Pierce was unaware of Lawrence's LOTR connections when they started filming DAD. Lawrence told him over a game of backgammon. Dom told how at the recent NYC trip from which they'd just been to, he had been playing Charades with Robin Williams and Ed Norton. He commented how nice it was to be thought of by those guys as equals, and that they knew his work as well as him knowing theirs of course.

At the show, Lawrence and Sala were at their own booth, with the ticketing system we'll know and love tommorrow. Queues were never too long, for those two at least. I'm told that at one stage Kristanna Loken had a 3 hour wait. Her virtual queue tickets stopped at 500 by around 4-4.30pm.

Finally, a guy from Showmasters thanked us for supporting the show and the screenings. Apparently they read the boards and are in 'conversations' with most of the names those on showmasters and TORN 'suggest' should show up. Dom suggested we should all 'type away on our keyboards' to encourage Newline to expand the proposed theatrical release of the Extended editions from the US. He said that a release in the UK at least should be possible.

Bring on the Hobbit Army! LOL!

10-04-03 Latest News

Celebrities 'Shoot for The Stars' with Sony
Xoanon @ 11:15 am EST

Celebrities 'Shoot for The Stars' with Sony Ericsson and Raise Money for Kids

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2003--Sony Ericsson Actors, Musicians, Sports, and Fashion Favorites Share "Slice of Life" Moments with Mobile Phone Camera; Pictures to be Auctioned at Charity Event

This fall, stars from music, sports, television, fashion and film worlds will join together to raise money for charity while snapping pictures of everyday life with their Sony Ericsson T610/T616 camera phone.

Participating in Sony Ericsson's "Shoot for the Stars" are celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Barry Sonnenfeld, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Catherine Bell, Amanda Bynes, Romero Britto, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer. All celebrity participants are capturing images of their personal lives and sharing them with the world to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Greater Los Angeles.

Each celebrity takes the Sony Ericsson T610/T616 camera phone with them wherever they go - around town, the club scene or around the house taking photographs of favorite possessions or special moments. Twelve of the celebrities' images will be auctioned off on Thursday, November 13 at a star-studded charity event in Los Angeles with the proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation(R) of Greater Los Angeles.

"We believe this program will generate tremendous excitement for mobile imaging. Our T610/T616 camera phone with Quickshare(TM) is a further example of Sony Ericsson's leadership position in driving the market trend," said David Bent, Vice President of Marketing, North America, Sony Ericsson. "Today's growing trend toward mobile imaging is fueled by the increasing ability to conveniently take pictures and easily share everyday experiences."

Consumers Are Invited to Share Their Images

Sony Ericsson is inviting consumers to participate in the "Shoot for the Stars" program. Consumers can snap pictures with their mobile camera phone or phone camera accessory and submit their favorite images to www.t-six-ten.com through October.

In October, an independent panel of judges will review all of the submitted images and post them on the website. Consumers will be invited to vote for their favorite image. The top nine images to receive the most votes will be selected as finalists with a celebrity panel picking the three lucky winners to attend the celebrity auction event in November.

Four-City Tour of Celebrity Photographs

Sony Ericsson is currently conducting a four-city tour to exhibit selected images at Loews Hotels through November. At designated hotels, Sony Ericsson specialists will be on hand to explain and demonstrate the T610/T616 and the invite consumers to participate in the Shoot for the Stars program.

The exhibit was unveiled September 10, 2003 in Miami, and will travel to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. The schedule is as follows:

About Sony Ericsson Communications AB

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB offers mobile communications products for people who appreciate the possibilities of powerful technology. Established in 2001 by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson and Sony Corporation, the joint venture continues to build on the success of its two innovative parent companies. Sony Ericsson creates value for its operator customers by bringing new ways of using multimedia communications while mobile. The company's management is based in London, and has 4,000 employees across the globe working on research, development, design, sales, marketing, distribution and support.

For further information, please visit: www.SonyEricsson.com.

Go back to Special Reports Archives