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February 23, 2002 - March 01, 2002

3-01-02 Latest News

Translation of Japanese LOTR Press Conference With Sean Bean
Xoanon @ 1:04 pm EST

The interview below has been translated from the Japanese Flix site by Yukiko Nakahata.

A characteristic actor of "Patriot Games", Sean Bean plays Boromir, a human being fellow of the hero Frodo. Boromir is the key character in the first story of "The Lord of the Rings". First of all, I asked Sean what he thinks about the character Boromir.

Sean Bean: I think Boromir is a very interesting character. He is a very strong man, but as he was very anxious about the danger in his motherland, he gets weak inside his mind. As the journey goes on, he was obssessed with the idea, "if he had the ring," which would enable him to rule the world. He has very complex feelings and it meant a lot for me to play him. I think there should be something you can feel sympathetic to Boromir, for every human being.

Interviewer: I wonder if there were any specific requests for acting from the director Peter Jackson while shooting the film .

SB: The most splendid thing about him is that he made us confident. He made us think in a way, "Peter chose us for these roles so we can do whatever we like and we think." I think that is the most important thing to a performer, rather than being told to do this and that precisely.

Interviewer: Jackson is a New Zealander and prodigy who filmed splat-stick horror movies such as "Bad Taste" and "Brain Dead". But his appearance was something different to Sean - he seemed an enjoyable man, like a Hobbit.

SB: I think I met him for the first time at Covent Garden in London, and he was really funny, he was exactly like a Hobbit! Round shape, hairy, fat man and his eyes were glittering. Then he asked me to read Boromir's lines, the scene of Boromir about to steal the ring from Frodo. After that, there was no contact at all for six months and I was wondering what would happen, and then, finally, I got a phone call. I was very glad to know that I got the part.

Interviewer: When Sean received the first script and looked at the top page, there was a word "Jamboree" (i.e., an international mass meeting of Boy Scouts). He got confused and called his agent to ask if it was the real script for LOTR.

SB: At first I really couldn't understand the meaning and wondered, Boy Scouts?? (laughter) Actually, the producers and film company didn't want to make the project public and did it in secret as much as they could. So they put a word you wouldn't understand, instead of the real title.

Interviewer: Sean played an IRA terrorist in "Patriot Games" and the leader of crime organization in "GoldenEye". He was also the criminal who gets Michael Douglas into a corner in "Don't Say A Word". He plays many "bad guy" roles and gives the impression of being tough looking. But Sean, in front of me, seems stoic and sensitive rather than a "tough guy". So I asked what he thinks about himself for my last question. He looked down and seemed at loss and said, "difficult question..." He was thinking for a while and then told me the answer as if he was speaking to himself.

SB: I always think I want to do things absolutely when I do them, even if it's difficult. I want to definitely succeed. I feel strong in this way. So maybe I might have a very strong will.

Media Watch: Impact Magazine
Xoanon @ 12:57 pm EST

Nona from The Compleat Sean Bean writes: Here is the text from a new interview with Sean Bean in Impact Magazine, February 2002 (thanks to Deb for typing it):

Impact Magazine
February 2002

As Impact continues its coverage of "Fellowship of the Ring," we talk more to director Peter Jackson, the cast and, in particular, Sean Bean, about the tough days making this ultimate sword and sorcery epic.

"Myth Conceptions" by John Mosby

"The Fellowship of the Ring" is now a guranteed bona fide phenomenom, but years of work went into making the film that millions have been flocking to for the last month. Peter Jackson had been prepping the film for three years, but had almost spent as much time again thinking of ways it could be made. Most of the actors themselves spent over a year in New Zealand, filming scenes from all three chapters of the story. All were determined that this was a story that should be character-driven. Though CGI effects would have to play an important part, the story had to take centre stage.

"The most important thing about the effects on 'Lord of the Rings' is that at no time should they begin to grandstand and get in front of this incredible story that we've come to love. It was imperative that they take on a cohesive and tight world that creates a tapestry and backdrop for the story and characters. The subtlety, this incredible level of reality was needed to give the feeling the story needed. The effects had to look real. That was the challenge to live up to," costume designer Richard Taylor explains.

Sean Bean may have proven himself both here and abroad, but at heart he's still a 'Northern lad' just as much at home in his native Sheffield as he is in New Zealand or Middle Earth. However the scope of the movie and the amount of emotional input amazed even him...especially when he finally got to see the finished film.

"I was impressed. I've just seen the finished film in New York and it was the first time I'd had the chance to see it in full. I was quite daunted on seeing something that I'd been imvolved with for such a long length of time. I guess we all have memories and high points. Just to see the complete picture was overwhelming. There had been moments when we were fighting thin air and imaginary tentacled beasts. To see that come alive, in such a seamless way, was very satisfying," he explains.

"I just think the battle scenes were great, the effects were great...but what I found most moving were the times between those scenes," he continues. "There are moments of intimacy and stillness, where you can see into their souls and discover the kind of people they are. You see their weaknesses and strengths. Certainly it's not very often that you work on a film of this magnitude and still get the time and space to make such well developed characters. We befriended each other as actors and that was mirrored in the film. I think it's unusual to do something on such an epic scale, but we intended that should always be first and foremost in our minds."

Though many of the cast were British or European, the central role of Frodo went to US star Elijah Wood. The story of him sending in his own audition tape is now widely circulated, but is it true?

"Yeah and it's becoming something of a frickin' legend now!" Wood laughs.

"They were looking for an English actor, so it was hardly all on my side at that point. So I thought I'd make my own tape . I'd get my own Hobbit outfit and go off into the woods and really give it to 'em. Peter saw the tape and called me at home. I didn't give a second thought to it when I was offered the role. I took it immediately, it was the opportunity of a lifetime."

"It wasn't something I gave a second thought to, either," Sean agrees. "I thought 'If I'm not doing this, what else would I be doing? What could live up to this?' We all knew that this was something special. I was just flattered to be asked to be part of it. It's been a life-changing experience for me. New Zealand is just amazing. In many ways it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It was a very warm and supportive place to work. Everyone was so passionate and you were totally immersed in it."

Almost all the cast now have a personal reminder of their times together. Sean admits that he's made a host of new friends and they marked that in a symbolic way...

"I was there about a year, thrown together as individuals. I hadn't met any of the other cast before and I don't think any of us came to the film with any pre-conceived ideas. There were no tantrums or egos. It was all democratic and fair and everybody was made to feel very welcome. We've all got tattoos now. It was late one night after everyone had had a few drinks and it seemed like a good idea (laughs). Elijah and a few of the guys had them done in New Zealand, but I'd left by that point. I was the last one to get mine done. I was dragged by Orlando Bloom and Elijah to a steamy little tattoo parlour in New York where I got my shirt off and had it done. But it was done as a permanent reminder of our own fellowship which says a lot about the experience."

The only significant controversy about the casting occured when Stuart Townsend left the production shortly after shooting began (being replaced by Viggo Mortensen). There have been many rumors that Townsend did not fit in well. However, Jackson says that some of the blame must be laid at the casting door itself.

"We take responsibility. Stuart is a fantistic actor and I wanted to work with him. We tried to cast the film in a way that felt authentic to the book. Stuart himself auditioned for Frodo and we liked him as an actor. We didn't think he was right for Frodo, but we thought he would make an interesting Aragorn. We came to realise that it was a classic situation where we miscast the role. He was too young. It was a difficult and emotional situation to come to a parting of the way," Jackson explains. "I do believe in fate and that it's been there in the six or so years that I've spent connected to this film, that it's smiled on us. I think the day that Viggo Mortensen joined the film, fate dealt us a beautiful hand."

All the actors agree that the training was hard. To be convincing in a sword-fight, it takes time and patience and a lot of skill. Luckily, the film had the services of legendary choreographer Bob Anderson. Bean speaks highly of Anderson and the whole stunt team.

"We spent nearly six weeks rehearsing with Bob and his team. That was the great thing...the fact that we had the time to do that. The people were all fantastic and committed. I think you can do a certain amount of swordplay, but it's better when you have the time to approach it from the character's point of view - to see HOW someone would approach it, their style. Viggo/Aragorn has a gritty wild quality. Legolas is more graceful. Most of the stuff you'll see on screen is the real thing. There was a wild dirty quality about the fighting that really got me going."

"You got to recognise the stunt-people even in their full make-up. You'd notice the limp or their body-language. 'Oh, he's coming at me from my left, it must be Andy. I better watch out, he's good!' It helped to have that kind of shorthand, to be able to improvise when there wasn't much time," Viggo agrees.

The film is now an instant classic, but with two further chapters still to be seen (at yearly intervals) it's sometimes hard to realise that the films were actually shot back-to-back and that the actors have now moved on to other films. Sean admits that though there are a few projects that might be coming up next year, but nothing solid as yet. But, he acknowledges as he leaves, that he had some great scenes in "Fellowship of the Ring" and it's bound to raise his profile even further. With yet another villainous role in the current thriller "Don't Say a Word" and a CV that now includes entries with Harrison Ford, Robert DeNiro, Jean Reno, Lady Chatterly and a bunch of Hobbits, few other actors can boast quite as broad a canvas of experience.

2-28-02 Latest News

Media Watch: Telescope Magazine
Xoanon @ 11:33 pm EST

Ringer Spy milaya sends along these scans from 'Telescope Magazine' with a great article on Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn).

Flotsum & Jetsum
Xoanon @ 10:37 pm EST

Ringer Superspy Jen sends us all manner of LOTR related news from many different sources, thanks Jen!

'Try'ing time for Millennium
Company touts upcoming romantic laffer

Touting his company's upcoming romantic comedy "Try Seventeen," about a collegebound youth who learns his biggest life lessons from the eccentric denizens of his apartment complex, Millennium Films co-chairman Avi Lerner offered up a succinct lesson of his own at the pic's AFM launch party Friday night at Casa Del Mar. "It's all about timing," Lerner said, relishing his good fortune to have landed three youthful stars who are all in the midst of a collective hot streak.

Indeed, Elijah Wood is still conjuring box office magic in "The Lord of the Rings." Pop star and budding thesp Mandy Moore has laid claim to teen auds with her starring role in "A Walk to Remember" and supporting stint in "The Princess Diaries." And German thesp Franka Potente is riding her lightningflash breakthrough in "Run Lola Run" as she preps for the release of "The Bourne Identity" opposite Matt Damon.

Both Wood and Moore, on hand for Friday night's party, were enjoying the change of pace, Moore from the high school parts she's done and Wood from the ongoing "Rings" trilogy, for which he hasn't kicked the Hobbit completely. He'll be returning to New Zealand after "Try Seventeen" shoots in March for additional pickup shots on the second and third "Rings" pics as helmer Peter Jackson continues postproduction.

The Nu ImageMillennium Films party drew a sizable contingent of teens and twentysomethings as well as thesp Jean-Claude Van Damme and WMA agents Cassian Elwes and Nicole Dowd.


Funny LOTR cast interviews from the TBS late night show Burly TV(In 2 parts): [More]


From Ted Casablanca's Awful Truth column: Liv Tyler, strolling down Ninth Street. West Village. Arm in arm with her fiancé, Spacehog hottie Royston Langdon. Cloaked in a big flowery cream-colored coat to nip the slight chill in the air, Liv seemed totally head over heels--and the honeymoon hasn't even begun. Zooming back to the Left Coast was former Vice man. [More]


WireImage.com LOTR photos: New Line Cinema's "Lord Of The Rings" Gets 13 Oscar Nominations. [More]

McKellen & Rhys-Davies News
Xoanon @ 12:25 pm EST

Ringer Spy Craig sends along this report on the latest adventures of Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

* Ian McKellen will be a talk as part of the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA, this Saturday, March 2nd. 12pm noon. Here's the link for details:


* John Rhys-Davies did a *hilarious* stint on the most excellent cartoon "Spongebob Squarepants" on Nickelodeon in the US. He plays Manray, the evil arch-nemesis of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (voiced by Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway, respectively). If you want the name of the episode to post (which I only have seen broadcast the time I recorded it, although the show is in fairly heavy rotaion), I'll snag it off my tape at home & send it to you. He's really over the top in it - way-funny!

'Fresh Air' Trascript
Xoanon @ 11:09 am EST



SHOW: Fresh Air

DATE: February 26, 2002


This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(Soundbite of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring")

Sir IAN McKELLEN (As Gandalf): In the lands of Middle-earth, legend tells of the Dark Lord Sauron and the ring that would give him the power to enslave the world. Lost for centuries, it has been sought by many and has now found its way into the hands of the most unlikely person imaginable.

GROSS: Sir Ian McKellen describing the premise of "The Lord of the Rings." The unlikely person put in charge of the ring is the Hobbit Frodo Baggins. The trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien was adapted into three films, directed by our guest, Peter Jackson. Part one, "The Fellowship of the Ring," has received 13 Academy Award nominations, including best film and best director. All three films have been shot. Jackson is currently halfway through editing the second film, which will be released around Christmastime. The third film is due out in December 2003. Director Peter Jackson is from New Zealand. He first became known in the States for his 1994 film "Heavenly Creatures." His other films include "The Frighteners" and "Meet the Feebles." Peter Jackson spoke with Barbara Bogaev, who often guest hosts FRESH AIR. Before we hear their interview, let's hear a scene from "The Fellowship of the Ring." The wizard, Gandalf, played by Ian McKellen, is asking Frodo, played by Elijah Wood, if he can detect anything unusual about the ring.

(Soundbite of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring")


"The Lord of the Rings" saga is such a monster project, and the plot is so dense and complicated and detailed. Did you have one unifying concept going in to making the film that helped you organize such an overwhelming amount of material?

Mr. PETER JACKSON (Director): Well, I think the process of adaptation of any book--and I guess "The Lord of the Rings" is the most extreme example--it's simplification, but not simplifying it enough to lose the essence and the spirit of what makes the book great. And obviously, "The Lord of the Rings" requires a little bit more simplification than most books because Tolkien absolutely delighted in the complexity and the detail and going off on tangents, which, in the book, creates an amazing world. You know, it creates a feeling of this authentic culture in history of Middle-earth, but the actual plot is relatively simple. I mean, the plot of "The Lord of the Rings," at the spine of the story, is obviously about Frodo Baggins, this Hobbit, who has to carry a ring through many dangers to take it to the one place in Middle-earth, this land where the ring could be destroyed.

So really, I mean, we obviously focused on that as being the main plot of the film, and we were very picky about what other extraneous elements of the book we should be including, because the movie, we felt, had to basically be driven by that single story line.

BOGAEV: Did you make a conscious effort to base or ground the movie in some kind of historical feeling or historical fact?

Mr. JACKSON: Sure, yeah.

BOGAEV: Because it feels very real, and I think that played a part in that.

Mr. JACKSON: Right, good. No, good. And I'm saying good because making it real was actually our mantra during the shoot. I mean, I think a lot of people that haven't read "The Lord of the Rings" but have heard about it would have assumed that it was set on another planet, that it was like pure fantasy, that it was almost like science fiction, you know, and Middle-earth was another world somewhere else. But that's not the case at all, because Tolkien was really creating a mythic prehistory. He was creating what he described as being events--he was recounting events that took place on Earth in a form of early Europe about seven or 8,000 years ago. And so we really took our lead from there; that in a sense, no, we're not making a fantasy film. What we're doing is making much more of an historical film.

So we approached the historical element as if we were making "Gladiator" or "Braveheart," you know, from the point of view that you would research ancient Rome or you'd research medieval Scotland if you were making those films, and we had to research the world of Tolkien's Middle-earth as if it really existed. And Tolkien wrote an enormous amount of material about this world so we were able to investigate the different cultures. Because at this time in our history, the world was populated not just by human beings but by elves and Hobbits and orcs and dwarves, and we just approached it as if it was real. We just stopped thinking of it as a piece of fiction.

BOGAEV: I thought the evil stuff in the movie was great, that the battles--and there are large epic battles--the lava-belching volcanoes of the evil kingdom and the black-robed horsemen.

Mr. JACKSON: Mm-hmm.

BOGAEV: They're hooded, they're riding these huge black, sweaty horses. Is it easier to figure out ways to depict evil cinematically in a fantasy than to depict goodness? I noticed the Hobbits and the elves--they're good, too. But they--especially the elves, come off as kind of plain vanilla.

Mr. JACKSON: Yeah. The forces of evil--the antagonists in Tolkien's story--there's both the good and bad side to that because you do have some very potent, visually interesting creatures like the orcs and like the Black Riders. I mean, there's something--because it is interesting, because I agree with you that the Black Riders, who are the Ringwraiths, who are these creatures that hunt for the ring, they are nothing more--I mean, it's the image of the Reaper, really. It's the black, faceless cowl, you know, robed creatures, who--there's something that just is scary about those sorts of characters. You don't need to make them incredibly overdesigned, you know. Just the simplicity of it is scary.

But so we had that and we had the orcs. And we had obviously--Christopher Lee plays a wonderful character who represents really most of the views of the antagonist. But the fundamental problem with "The Lord of the Rings" that we are continuing to confront as we move into the second and third film is the fact that the main baddy, Sauron, manifests himself as a giant, flaming eyeball. And now in a movie--if you're writing a movie from scratch, just an original movie, you would never choose to have your villain be a giant, flaming eyeball. It has some limitations.

BOGAEV: It's unfortunate.

Mr. JACKSON: There's certain limitations to it. And so we do have to grapple with that. It comes across incredibly well on the printed page as this, you know, very ethereal concept that you--is actually quite chilling. But in a movie you have to be very, very careful how you depict that stuff.

BOGAEV: Yeah, I think you'd have to be very careful with a lot of this stuff that's kind of pseudo-medieval fantasy. So much can go wrong.

Mr. JACKSON: Yeah.

BOGAEV: They can almost seem a parody of themselves.

Mr. JACKSON: It can.

BOGAEV: And there is, in fact, a parody of "Lord of the Rings" already. I believe it's called "Bored of the Rings." And the only line...

Mr. JACKSON: I've never...

BOGAEV: Do you know this?

Mr. JACKSON: I've never read it. I've seen it. I've never read it. I've deliberately avoided it because I thought it would contaminate me too much.

BOGAEV: Oh, really? That can happen?

Mr. JACKSON: Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

BOGAEV: You shot all three films back to back.


BOGAEV: How did you do that? Did you shoot them as three separate movies in your own mind, in the organization or as one long one, thinking you'd break them up in post production?

Mr. JACKSON: Well, we shot them as one long one. We had three screenplays, so we definitely wrote and structured three separate movies so that they had a beginning, middle and an end in themselves. And so that's how the scripts were, three separate scripts. But once we started shooting the stuff, we really just didn't think too much about, you know, film one, film two, film three. We just scheduled it and shot it as if it was one continuous film. And we were always jumping around. We didn't just stick to one movie. You know, on a Monday we might be shooting something from film three. On a Tuesday we'd be back to doing a scene from film one; you know, film two on Wednesday. It was just very intimate.

And then we also had--and then the other thing is we had multiple units shooting, so we--so I might be directing a piece of drama with the actors from film two and on the same day there might be a battle scene being photographed by the second unit that was from film three. So we'd be looking at footage each night, you know, and even the footage that we looked at on a single day was spread around the three different movies. So it was done very much out of sequence, and with us really just thinking of it as one, you know, probably nine-hour-long movie.

BOGAEV: There's some amazing landscapes in the film, locations, shot in your native New Zealand. The evil empire of Mordor is always depicted with active volcanoes and black mountains...


BOGAEV: ...and ominous rocky terrain. Where did you film that?

Mr. JACKSON: Most of the Mordor scenes were filmed on Mt. Ruapehu, which is a genuine active volcano that's in the middle of the North Island.

BOGAEV: I believe you had ski lifts that shuttled the crew up and down for those scenes?

Mr. JACKSON: Yeah, well, we shot during summer because during winter it's a ski resort, and it's covered in snow, obviously, but during summer the snow's thawed away, so we got the resort to activate the ski lifts for us so we could shuttle people around, yeah.

BOGAEV: Did it get a bit toasty there?

Mr. JACKSON: It was rugged. I mean, it's volcanic rock. It actually got--it was actually very hard--you know, people would get lots of cuts and bruises because it's that kind of rock that's hard to walk on, and it was all very sharp and pretty dangerous, yeah.

BOGAEV: What was the hardest terrain you filmed in or the roughest shoot?

Mr. JACKSON: Well, we did quite a few scenes where we had to helicopter people in because we looked around for the most stunning locations we could find, and often these, obviously, don't happen to conveniently be next door to a road or near a hotel. You know, they're obviously very wild and rugged. And we flew around in helicopters, found these places, interesting rock formations. And the scenes in the first film--there's a scene where they have to hide from a swarm of crows that have been sent out to look for them. And they hide under rocks as the crows fly overhead. And that was shot in a place where we could only fly everybody in and all the gear in on choppers, so we had four or five choppers just ferrying people up and down the hill with all the equipment.

That particular scene we had to--because it was also dangerous to some degree because these are quite high, rugged mountains, and we'd always have to take survival kits up so that if in the event that the clouds suddenly came in and we didn't have time to get people off the mountain, there would be a possibility of having to stay overnight with--you know, just like sleep there. So we always had these survival rations. We had Primus, you know, stoves. We had sleeping bags. We always had that stuff available in case we ever got stuck up there. But fortunately it never happened.

BOGAEV: You know, Tolkien fans are so dogged and diehard. Were you ever dogged by them during shooting? Did they ever show up and...

Mr. JACKSON: Well, surprisingly not. Not really. There was--occasionally there'd be somebody hiding in the bushes with a camera and you'd get home at night, and you'd go on to the Net and you'd see a photo of yourself from some time during that day shooting the scene, and someone had been hiding, snapping pictures. But they genuinely really didn't make themselves visible. We didn't really have situations where we had much problem from the fans. I think helped by the fact that we were obviously down in New Zealand shooting, so we were fairly isolated.

But it was a unique experience because normally--I mean, I'm used to making films in New Zealand--other films I've made where, you know, no one has a clue what you're doing. They're original screenplays, you shoot your movie, no one knows anything about it and then, you know, you take the film to Cannes, to one of the film festivals, and then you've got to work really hard to make people even aware of the existence of the film. And in this situation it was almost the extreme opposite where we'd go to work every day, you know, doing shooting over this 15-month period, and we were acutely aware that there were millions of people who were watching and listening for any information about what we were shooting on that day.

But it was actually a positive. I mean, ultimately I thought it was a very positive thing because getting through 15 months of shooting is obviously a very arduous process, and the presence of the fans, the presence of the interest of the fans, of this incredible excitement and anticipation that was out there for the last two or three years, we all felt every day that we'd better deliver the best possible film that we could make.

BOGAEV: I'm talking with filmmaker Peter Jackson. His new movie, "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," has 13 Academy Award nominations, including best picture, director and screenplay. We'll talk more, Peter, after the break. This is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

BOGAEV: Back with New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson. His new film "Lord of the Rings" has tallied 13 Academy Award nominations. Jackson's other films include "The Frighteners" and "Heavenly Creatures."

You grew up in a small town in New Zealand. I think I read the nearest movie theater was a bit of a drive away. But you started trying to make movies when you were just nine or 10 years old. What got you into it?

Mr. JACKSON: Yeah. Watching the original "King Kong" on TV--the 1933 "King Kong," which I watched when I was nine or 10 years old. And then, you know, there's a lot of that movie that really inspired "The Lord of the Rings" in a funny kind of way, too, because it swept me away and it was escapism. It took me from my seat into the world of the film. I was transported, which is what great movies do to you. Obviously, if you're in the audience and you just forget you're sitting in your chair and you go into the film and participate in the movie. And I loved what "King Kong" did to me and I just thought it's the magic of film, this is what I want to do.

And I had a disadvantage because New Zealand at that time--you know, we weren't making movies. You know, there was no feature films whatsoever being made in New Zealand; hence there was no film industry; there were no film schools. And so I ended up--my parents had a super 8 movie camera for taking home movies, and so I ended up grabbing that. It was obviously in the days before video cameras, but super 8 was kind of the video version--the film version of what video cameras are today. And so I'd be filming little movies with my super 8 camera all the way through my teen-aged years. And they got more sophisticated.

BOGAEV: Well, what were your childhood early movies like?

Mr. JACKSON: Well, they were little five-minute things, two-minute things. They were like monster--clay monsters, clay dinosaurs that I'd animate, stop-motion animation on the kitchen table. I got friends together to do a World War II movie at some stage, digging a trench in my parents' back yard and putting up sandbags and barbed wire and making sort of a little war movie. Horror movies--I made a vampire film, a zombie film. And these were like--you know, they were usually quite short. When I was at school I made a Monty Python sort of parody, because I had started to love "Monty Python's Flying Circus," the TV show, which was screening in the late '60s, early '70s. Then by the time I was 20, I had a 16mm camera and I started to make a movie in the weekends with my friends. And I was in the movie. I directed it. I did camera work most of the time. I built all the monsters. It was a science-fiction/horror film called "Bad Taste."

And after four years of shooting basically on Sundays, we had a feature film. And then the New Zealand Film Commission took that to the Cannes Film Festival and it literally was a home movie, but it was, you know, finished with sound track and music and it was an hour and a half long. And they took it to the Cannes, I think, in 1988, and it sold. It sold to like 30 countries in the space of a few days at Cannes, and was regarded as being highly successful by the New Zealand Film Commission, who then obviously wanted me to make more of these. And they were sort of prepared to support me. So suddenly we had the government--because the New Zealand Film Commission is like a government-funded agency. So suddenly we had the government making horror films--funding horror films in New Zealand, which I always found quite amusing.

And so I made "Meet the Feebles," which was a really outrageous sort of adult puppet film, but like th...

BOGAEV: Now, I have to interrupt you here...

Mr. JACKSON: Yeah.

BOGAEV: ...because "Meet the Feebles"--I have a description of it that I just have to read.


BOGAEV: `A backstage musical that rivals "Springtime for Hitler" for aggressive tastelessness. "Feebles" is cast entirely with puppets and actors in foam rubber animal suits. The plot involves the efforts of a third-rate vaudeville animal troupe to land a syndicated television series. Back-stabbing, gluttony, drug overdoses and interspecies lust are the order of the day.'

Mr. JACKSON: That's a fair description.

BOGAEV: Well said. It is just so hard, though, to imagine that the folks at New Line Cinema gave you, Peter Jackson, the director of "Meet the Feebles," $270 million to make...


BOGAEV: ...three movies based on the most revered work of literature.

Mr. JACKSON: It's a mystery. I mean, "Heavenly Creatures," which was a film that I made a few years ago, that in a way broke me out of the horror mold and gave me some legitimate sort of art house attention. And that--you know, I think when people saw that, they realized that I was capable of doing a little bit more than just sort of special effects stuff.

I mean, "Lord of the Rings" was made as a low-budget independent film. I mean, it was because we made it in New Zealand, we made it with a lot of the same crew that I've used on my other movies; the same kind of infrastructure. We made it the New Zealand way, not the Hollywood way. And you know, what that enabled us--because obviously it wasn't low-budget; we still shot it as a low-budget film and so all that surplus money could go straight onto the screen. So we were able to build enormous sets and have hundreds of extras and, you know, hundreds and hundreds of computer shots and all the wonderful costumes. You know, we had--that's where all our money got spent, which we'd never been able to do before. Obviously, making low-budget films you just can't spend money on any of that stuff. So now we had all the money that we needed to bring this world to life.

BOGAEV: Is there now a Hobbit village amusement park in Wellington, New Zealand, or something like that? Does this live on in ancillary marketing?

Mr. JACKSON: Well, there should be. There should be. I mean, the Hobbit village was absolutely amazing. I mean, people can see it in the movie. It was the most beautiful thing. We built the Hobbit village a year before shooting commenced because I wanted all the grass to grow. And we planted real vegetables like carrots and brussels sprouts and cabbages in the gardens of the Hobbits so that--and we had gardeners doing the gardening so that over a year everything sprouted and germinated and it was just amazing. And then we shot there for about two weeks, three weeks, I think we shot there. And we finished and it all got bulldozed down. It all got returned back to farmland again. And it was sad. I mean, we all said, `Why can't this be kept? Why can't people come to visit the Hobbit village when the film comes out?' And we actually all feel really bad about that, but one of the problems with film sets in themselves is that they're never built to last. And so, you know, it was built sort of to do the job for the film and it would start falling to pieces if tourists started to climb all over it, you know, so...

BOGAEV: Well, Peter Jackson, thanks so much for talking with me today.

Mr. JACKSON: It was a pleasure. Thank you.

GROSS: Director Peter Jackson, speaking with Barbara Bogaev. His film "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is nominated for 13 Academy Awards. Jackson is currently halfway through cutting the second film in the trilogy. It's due out in December. Part three is scheduled for release in December 2003. I'm Terry Gross and this is FRESH AIR.

(Soundbite of music)

GROSS: Coming up, pictures from the Vietnam War from the other side. We talk with Doug Niven about tracking down pictures taken by North Vietnamese photographers and collecting them in a new book. Also, David Bianculli reviews the new sitcom "Watching Ellie," and Ken Tucker considers Johnny Cash's career on the occasion of Cash's 70th birthday.

(Soundbite of music)

Media Watch: Capital Times
Xoanon @ 10:40 am EST

From: Mr Tadpole

There's an article in this week's Wellington-based Capital Times where they are interviewing NZ-Samoan actor Robbie Magasiva (Stickmen, The Strip). Partway through the article it mentions:

"I was in the third Lord of the Rings movie. I play an Uruk Hai (fighting orc) called Mahaur."

The Lord of the Rings role meant choreographed fight scenes using axes and swords, which Magasiva thoroughly enjoyed. A downside was waking up at 5.00am to travel to the location, then spending four hours in the make-up chair. "We'd fall asleep in the chair," Magasiva says. "Then we'd wake up and be completely transformed - sometimes you'd get a hell of a fright." Involving extensive make-up and armour, it was a gruelling role. "Movement was restricted, and it gets hot under those lights. Between takes people brought us water so we wouldn't faint. And we had to suck our food through a straw - that hacked me off. Here's this multi-million dollar project, with piles of beautifully catered food, and we has to use straws to protect the make-up. I couldn't enjoy it - and I really love my food."

2-27-02 Latest News

Media Watch: Renaissance Magazine
Xoanon @ 7:20 pm EST

Ringer Spy Gaerwen sends along these scans from Renaissance Magazine. Take a look!

Elijah Wood To Present At DGA
Xoanon @ 1:18 pm EST

Carl Reiner has been tapped to return as host of the 54th annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 9 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
It will be the 16th time Reiner has hosted the event.

The DGA also announced the following presenters: Gillian Anderson, Halle Berry, Gilbert Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe, Faye Dunaway, James Franco, Josh Hartnett, Arthur Hiller, Don Johnson, Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Joe Pantoliano, Guy Pearce, Will Smith, Leelee Sobieski, Denzel Washington and Elijah Wood.

2-26-02 Latest News

Media Watch: Tatler Magazine
Xoanon @ 6:05 pm EST

A double dose of beauty today as we are lucky to not only have a great photo spread from Miranda Otto (Eowyn) but Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) as well. Take a look at these scans from Ringer Spy Bourget

TTT: Miranda Otto Article
Xoanon @ 5:42 pm EST

Ringer Spy Ivee sends along these scans from 'Sunday Magazine' in Australia featuring an article and plenty of great pics of Miranda Otto (Eowyn).

Variety Ads For LOTR
Xoanon @ 5:02 pm EST

The weekly edition of Variety has been peppered with LOTR Oscar ads, check out some of these great stills! Thanks to Frodorama for the scans!

National Geographic Talks LOTR
Xoanon @ 11:16 am EST

From: Altaira

Just thought I'd let you know that my new copy of National Geographic Traveler magazine features New Zealand as well as LOTR:FOTR in an article entitled: "On Location: 50 Great Film Destinations."

The article features a paragraph or two on 50 great places to visit where famous movies have been shot. An interesting fact about FOTR is that the striking location of the Dimrill Dale, when the Fellowship leaves Moria, was recreated at Lake Alta in The Remarkables, a mountain range popular for skiing, ice and mountain climbing and heli-hiking. Unfortunately, no pics of New Zealand were featured.

TV Watch: PJ On 'Charlie Rose'
Xoanon @ 12:02 am EST

Peter Jackson was on 'Charlie Rose' last Friday (Feb 22nd). The interview was a full hour with no commercial breaks, and featured some very candid moments including PJ's story on how this film ALMOST did not get made. The show was an extremely enjoyable watch (even the lady Xoanon was enthralled...hence why I love her so much). Take a look at the pics below, and read the full transcript!

This transcript has not been checked against videotape and cannot, for that reason, be guaranteed as to accuracy of speakers and spelling of names. (JES, TW)

CHARLIE ROSE Transcript #3146

February 22, 2002

CHARLIE ROSE, Host: Lord of the Rings goes to this year's Academy Award competition not only with big box office sales but also the most number of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and its director, Peter Jackson.

PETER JACKSON, Filmmaker: Tolkien thought that he wanted to create a mythology for his country, for England, and this is what he did. He spent his lifetime doing the stories of Middle Earth and the saga-- you know-- and the history, the history of the-- the concept, as he always says-- he said, ``I imagine this took place in England and Europe some 7,000 or 8,000 years ago.''

This is-- this-- and so we thought, ``OK. OK, so what we'll do with the movie is we'll pretend that these guys existed. It's history. It was real, that-- let's make the movie with that weight of authenticity in the designs, the look, the performances, everything.'' So that-- that was our mantra.

CHARLIE ROSE: Peter Jackson for the hour -- tonight.

Director Says Heart-and-Soul Comes Across in `Rings'

CHARLIE ROSE: Director Peter Jackson is here. While you may not have heard of his first two films -- Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles-- or even his 1994 Oscar-nominated Heavenly Creatures, you most certainly have heard about his latest. It is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It has grossed over $700 million to date and has been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including three for Jackson -- Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film is based on the first of the three mythological novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is the story of a Hobbit named Frodo and his quest to keep a magical ring out of the hands of evil.

Here is a scene from the film.

[excerpt from ``The Fellowship of the Ring'']

CHARLIE ROSE: I am pleased to welcome Peter Jackson to this table for the first time.


PETER JACKSON, Filmmaker: Thank you. Thank you.

CHARLIE ROSE: And congratulations.

PETER JACKSON: Thank you very much.



CHARLIE ROSE: Is this the movie you set out to make?

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. I mean, it's very interesting because as a director, I kind of-- I have got a good ability, at the very beginning, when we're first starting to write the screenplay, I've got a good ability to imagine the film in my head. Like, you know, even the very first page of the script, as we do it, I can start to imagine the camera angles, the music. I can start to feel how the film's coming together. And I sort of have this imaginary film starting to be put together. And that's right back at the beginning and-- I mean, this case, we started this process about five or six years ago. And then what happens during the course of the movie is that this-- this film that's playing in my head always gets modified because as you design the sets, you know, then the sets that we've designed replace the ones that I originally sort of imagined. And then as the actors come on board, their faces put [unintelligible] to the characters I imagined.

And so my little internal movie is always changing and being updating, so that it's-- it's-- you know, it always ends up better. Everything-- every time my film in my head gets changed, it's improving all the time because-- [crosstalk] All these other people are coming on board and giving their input--


PETER JACKSON: --into it. And so yeah, I mean, I'm incredibly proud of the film. I-- I-- you know, it's-- well, I mean, the reality is, it's probably bigger than what I-- what I imagined because I-- you know, I imagined something at the beginning-- I didn't imagine Ian McKellen playing Gandalf at the beginning. You know, and when he comes on board, wow-- and Elijah Wood and all the other actors.

It's-- so it's exciting. Creatively, it's exciting because there's always new things happening when everybody else gets involved.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. What's amazing about it is that you have made three films in one--


CHARLIE ROSE: --span of time.



PETER JACKSON: Yes. But that was-- it's really, you know, a tribute to New Line Cinema, to Michael Lynne and Bob Shaye, because they-- they've taken a gamble that I think will probably go down in history as one of the all-time, you know, Hollywood gambles--


PETER JACKSON: --because, you know, nobody-- nobody has ever said, ``We'll pay for three films,'' three big-budget, expensive, complicated films.


PETER JACKSON: ``Well shoot them all together before we've released the first one,'' because we don't even know if the first one's going to succeed or not at the box office. I mean, it's a hell of a risk.

CHARLIE ROSE: And a hell of a burden on-- I mean, a hell of a weight for you to carry.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. Yeah. It has been. I mean, there hasn't been a single day while we were shooting that we-- that we didn't feel that way.

CHARLIE ROSE: That you didn't feel the weight of ``We've got a lot riding on this.''

PETER JACKSON: Of the responsibility. I mean, the fate of the studio, to some degree, we were told, was-- was riding on these movies, that it would be-- it would have disastrous consequences for the studio, for the company, if these films didn't work-- if the first film didn't work, in actual fact.

CHARLIE ROSE: Did you-- as you were making these-- I mean, can we expect the second and third-- the first is out. There's a lot of good reviews, and look at all the nominations. And people are saying terrific things about it, for the most part. Do you think the second film and the third film will match that?


CHARLIE ROSE: That's the other side.

PETER JACKSON: They have to be better, don't they?

They have to be because that's sort of the way it needs to work. It's an interesting process because what you have to imagine is that-- I'm not really in a position now, as-- as the-- you know, the director of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was released at Christmas--


PETER JACKSON: --and it's been, as you say, reasonably successful. I'm not--

CHARLIE ROSE: I'd say reasonably successful, yeah.

PETER JACKSON: I'm not really in the position to sort of say, ``OK, now I'm about to start working on the next film, so I've got to now do this, this and this to the next film to make it bigger and better. And where we had this in the first one, we're going to have 10 of those in the second one,'' you know, because I'm not really in that position because they're all filmed. They were all done at the same time.


PETER JACKSON: So to some degree, even though we edit and-- you know, we're [unintelligible] the movies. And we're still able to do a little bit of creativity and shaping and things, there's definitely more opportunity for that-- the films-- the films are what they are. The three of them were shot together at the same time. They're a continuation of the same story.

CHARLIE ROSE: So if you like the first one, you should like the second one.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, because we--

CHARLIE ROSE: And even moreso because you'll be more into the story.

PETER JACKSON: We made them at the same time, yeah.


PETER JACKSON: They were all filmed together, you know? So we were just-- we were just on a roll--


PETER JACKSON: --going through this great sort of essentially nine-hour story.

CHARLIE ROSE: Now, where-- what's the status of second and third?

PETER JACKSON: Well, there's rough cuts of both of those films. I mean, I've seen them both, and they're very-- very, very rough form. And what we're doing now with the second one-- because that's where all-- all of our attention is on the second movie, and I'm about halfway through doing a proper kind of fine cut.

CHARLIE ROSE: Here you are, at 18 years old, in New Zealand-- English parents who moved to New Zealand.


CHARLIE ROSE: Lived there, early on began to make little 8-millimeter films.


CHARLIE ROSE: At 18 years old, you read [unintelligible]




CHARLIE ROSE: At 34, you start making the movie.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, 34, 35.

CHARLIE ROSE: Began, right.


CHARLIE ROSE: The whole process.


CHARLIE ROSE: You're now 40, 41?

PETER JACKSON: I'm 40, yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: You're 40.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. [crosstalk]

CHARLIE ROSE: --a lot of your time--

PETER JACKSON: Yes. Yes. I mean, it's going to be eight years. From the beginning to the end of the third movie, when we release it next Christmas, it's going to be eight years. But I-- [unintelligible] I mean, I think they're eight years incredibly well spent.


PETER JACKSON: I wanted to be a filmmaker, as you say, ever since I was a 10-year-old. And you know, The Lord of the Rings-- for somebody that loves escapist cinema like I do, that loves visual effects, that loves films that sort of transport you away-- and that's what I want to do with my life. I mean, I'm very, very lucky. I'm one of those people that get to do their hobby as a career--


PETER JACKSON: --basically. I mean, that's what I--

CHARLIE ROSE: And knew early what you wanted to do.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. And-- and-- but I-- you know, I regard myself as being incredibly lucky, and especially, you know-- I mean, The Lord of the Rings is the ultimate project. I mean, why wouldn't I want to spend eight years on three Lord of the Rings films? I mean, why not?


PETER JACKSON: It is a wonderful book to adapt. It's fantastic.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. But then are you going to go through the rest of your life, people saying, ``How can you top this?'' Or do you have to do something dramatically different by--

PETER JACKSON: Dramatically different, I would say. I mean, I don't have a career planned, but I-- I mean, people are asking me-- the common question that I'm getting now quite a lot is, while this-- you know, they see me as a-- as a-- as a New Zealand filmmaker that's always lived in New Zealand--


PETER JACKSON: --and I've made, you know, a lot of budget films. And now everybody says, ``Well, after-- this is going to open all these doors, and you've got the key to the kingdom and you're going to be able to come to Hollywood and rule Hollywood''-- and I-- I actually just want to stay New Zealand--


PETER JACKSON: --making my stuff now in New Zealand. So in a funny kind of a way, without wanting to sound sort of ungrateful, the-- I don't see this film really as opening up particularly doors that I care to go through. You know, I-- sort of I'm an independent filmmaker. I have my own little set-up in New Zealand that I've been making films down there for 10 or 12 years, and I'm very, very happy to continue. Probably make it a little bit easier to get financed for films, however.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. You mentioned New Line for a second there and the bet that they're making on this.


CHARLIE ROSE: The interesting thing is that I understand-- you had always wanted to make the three of them at one time, but you presented the idea to Bob Shay to do two, hoping that he would bite and say, ``Why not three''?

PETER JACKSON: Well, there's a-- there's a long--

CHARLIE ROSE: Is that a legend or--

PETER JACKSON: There's a long story behind that. I'll try to give you the short version of the long story, if you like, the history of it, because it is very interesting. I mean, people don't realize really how close this film came to not happening at all.

It was originally a Miramax production. We started developing it with Miramax in about 1996, you know, inquired about the rights in '95. Saul Zaentz had the right to become its producer.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Made English Patient.

PETER JACKSON: English Patient. And we called Harvey Weinstein and said to Harvey, you know, ``We'd love to-- love to do this.'' We had the first look deal with Miramax, which meant we had to take any project [unintelligible] gone to them.
So we called up Harvey and said, ``We'd love to do this.''

He said, ``Who's got the rights?''

And we said, ``Saul Zaentz.''

And he said, ``Well, that's great because I'm making The English Patient with Saul right now, and he owes me a big favor because The English Patient was''--

CHARLIE ROSE: About not to be made.

PETER JACKSON: --made-- and then Harvey stepped [unintelligible] So that was our first piece of great luck is that Harvey happened to be working with Saul--


PETER JACKSON: --and so had the rights. So that legal stuff happened, and the rights became-- you know, became available to Harvey. And so we started to develop it with Harvey. We pitched the idea of three films, and Miramax didn't really want to take that risk.

But we agreed on two, two Lord of the Rings films, you know, two-and-a-half hours make five hours total, which we thought we could-- we could adapt the book, the three books, in that way.

So we did the screenplays. We developed them over the course of about two years. At the same time as writing the scripts, Miramax were also putting a lot of money into, basically, pre-production on the film.

We hired a team of 30 or 40 people. We were designing the movie. We were location scouting. We had visual effects being done. We had monsters being made. Computer work was happening. A lot of money was spent. In fact, it was about $20 million got spent during this time.

And the we ran into a real snag because by the time we'd finished writing the screenplays and doing a lot of the development, we were able to come up with a much more definitive budget of what it was going to spend, and that was going to-- at that point, these two movies were going to cost about $130 million, $140 million to make.

And Harvey said, ``Well, I have-- I only have an ability to go up to $75 million on a film.''

And of course, Disney owns his company. So I understand. I'm not entirely certain, but I do understand that Harvey went to Disney and he asked permission to spend extra money to make these two films and was refused that permission.

So Harvey was in a real jam, and he turned to us and said, ``Look,'' you know, ``I've got a problem. I just cannot go ahead with these two films. So why don't we just make one?''

And we said, ``So you want us to make the first one first and release it,'' which is sort of the common-sense approach, ``and then if it's successful, we'll go and make the second.''

And he said, ``Well, no, no. I just want to make one Lord of the Rings films, so we've got to figure out a way to lose all the story and to compress it all into one movie.''

So we didn't really feel comfortable with that at all. In fact, we just felt it was a recipe for disaster, that anybody that had read the book that went along to a movie titled The Lord of the Rings was just going to be-- was going to be disappointed, was going to be shocked at what this two-hour version--

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Right.

PETER JACKSON: --was actually going to be like. And we just said, ``Why would you do that when it was guaranteed to disappoint?''

But anyway, Harvey had no real choice, and he said, ``This is the only thing I can do.''

So, at that point, we literally walked away from the project, and we said to Harvey, ``We can't be involved in this anymore.'' And we'd been on it for two years. So it was a fairly-- we were over-- we were over here in New York and had this-- had this rather gruesome meeting at the Miramax office and just said, ``Look,'' you know, ``we can't be involved.''

And Harvey said-- I mean, he understood. It was like we were both in a jam. And Harvey's heart was always in the right place, but he couldn't-- he had nowhere to do.

And so we got on the plane back to New Zealand. It's, like, a 20-hour flight. And we felt now that we'd come to the end of The Lord of the Rings, which was a tragedy. It's-- Because you put so much emotional investment into these things when you work on them for so long.

And our agent, Kim Kemmens [sp], in the meantime, while we were flying that 20 hours back to New Zealand, he'd called Harvey, and he said, ``Look,'' you know, ``Peter and Fran,'' who's my-- who's my partner, ``they've been working on this for two years, Harvey. You've got to give them at least a chance to take this somewhere else. If you can't do it, there may be someone who can.''

And so Harvey-- because Harvey was prepared to hire other filmmakers to make a single-film version because Harvey had spent $20 million, and he wasn't able just to kill it. He was now going to have to find someone else to do his movie so he could at least get-- get his investment back.

And so Harvey said, ``OK, there's-- there's two conditions. One, it's got to be-- it's got to be the two films. Somebody's got to agree to do two films because I'm offering to do one, so somebody's got to agree to the two. The second condition is if somebody wants to do it, they've got to write me-- they've got four weeks from now to write me a $20 million check.''

So we were now faced with the job of having to go to L.A., to Hollywood, and try and convince somebody to write Harvey a $20 million check and finance two Lord of the Rings movies. So we were in-- we arrived in New Zealand with this news, and we had four weeks.

And so we had all this visual material, all our designs, our creatures. We had a lot of stuff. And rather than just go into a Hollywood office and just, like, do a verbal pitch, we thought we've got to make use of all this wonderful visual material that we have because it was-- it was pretty amazing.

And so we decided to make a documentary because-- and so for the first week of our-- of our four, we got a video team in. We interviewed ourselves, you know, talking about The Lord of the Rings. It was like The Making of The Lord of the Rings--

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. [unintelligible]

PETER JACKSON: --before it got made, you know?

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. Right. Right.

PETER JACKSON: But the interesting thing in that tape is that-- is that we're all trying to sit there and be really positive and confident.

And I'm being interviewed, and I'm saying, ``You know, the most wonderful thing about Tolkien's story is that''-- but we're all dying inside because this is, like, the project that's going to-- unless this works, it's all over. And we're hoping and we're-- but we're trying to not show that, and we're all-- you know, and so we did all this lovely photography of these-- these monsters, where we turn them [unintelligible] tables and lighting them. And we did [unintelligible] ended up being 36 minutes long. And so then we got-- then in week number two, we go to L.A. and we-- we now have to hit Hollywood with our-- with our videotape and try and get someone to do this.

And by the time we arrive in L.A., our agent has gone through every studio, every producer who could possibly raise money, and he's virtually been turned down by everybody, even without seeing the tape, without meeting us. People just said, ``No, we don't want to do it.'' You know, ``The Lord of the Rings, two movies, $20 million check to Harvey-- no, no, no, no, no.''

And by the time we arrive in L.A., there were only two meetings. There were only two people who wanted to even meet with us. Everyone else had passed. And the first one was Polygram, who saw our tape and they loved it, and they said, ``Look, we-- this is fantastic. We really, really want to-- want to do it.''

And we thought, ``Great. Great.''

And then they said, ``But our company''-- this was in 1998. And they said, ``But our company is being sold.'' Polygram was now being-- it was up for sale.


PETER JACKSON: And they said, ``There's no way we could do this until the sale process is complete.'' And we said, ``Well, we've got, like, you know, two-and-a-half weeks. How quickly is it going to get sold?''

And they said, ``Oh, no. It's going to be months and months away.''

So we walked out the door. That was a no go.

CHARLIE ROSE: And one last shot.

PETER JACKSON: New Line. New Line Cinema was our last shot, who had agreed to have a meeting. And at this point, we were-- we were worried that we were going to be known as this failure. So with New Line, we tried to create the impression that we were really busy taking meetings.

And so you know, we had this one meeting that-- like, we'd phone up New Line and say, ``Meeting-- meeting at New Line 10 o'clock. No, no, no. We can't do 10. We've got a meeting. No, one o'clock? No, we're busy at one. How about 3:30?'' And we tried to create this impression that we were kind of really being sought after and we were going to-- we-- I mean, it was terrible.

CHARLIE ROSE: And you had nothing.

PETER JACKSON: But we had nothing, no.

So we turn up-- we turn up at our New Line meeting, and Mark Ordesky, you know, who's an executive at New Line, who-- who-- who was an old friend of mine, in actual fact-- and I knew that he was a huge The Lord of the Rings fan. Mark had set it up, and Mark was-- Mark was really excited about the idea of doing this.

And I met Bob Shay, who I'd known earlier, and Bob is a really straight guy. So you know, we knew we'd get-- you know, we'd get some sense from Bob of what he-- he was going to do. So we sat down.

He had a private meeting with me first, and he said, ``Look, Peter, I just want to-- before I see your tape, I just want you to know that if we don't do this, I want you to know that you're always welcome to bring projects to me in the future.''

So I thought, ``Oh, well, this is the classic kind of''--

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, right. He's setting you up for the fall.

PETER JACKSON: He's setting me up for the fall.

So we went in and we put the tape in, and we-- and he plays-- and he just sits there, completely silently, just watches it. And we're just nervous. We can't stand it. He's in the-- we're in the same room as he is, and he's just watching and watching for 36 minutes.

And as the tape comes to an end, he says, ``I don't get it.''

And I thought, ``OK.''

And he turns and he says, ``I don't get it. Why would you be wanting to do two The Lord of the Rings films? It's three books, isn't it? Shouldn't it be three films?''

And I thought, ``What's he-- what's he saying here? What's he-- what's he saying here?''

And he said-- he said, ``Look, we're interested''--


PETER JACKSON: --``but we're basically interested in three movies.'' And it was-- [crosstalk]

CHARLIE ROSE: I hope you got up and went over and kissed him.

PETER JACKSON: Well, I felt like hugging him, yeah.

I mean, it was unbelievable. And now, you know, these sorts of stories don't really happen.


PETER JACKSON: They're not--

CHARLIE ROSE: So you left there saying, ``I'm going to make three movies. We're going to go back to New Zealand''--

PETER JACKSON: We went back to New Zealand. Miramax and New Line lawyers got hammering it out.


PETER JACKSON: Harvey got his check.


PETER JACKSON: And we were--

CHARLIE ROSE: Plus he got 5 percent, too, didn't he?

PETER JACKSON: We were on board. Yeah, that-- Harvey's done fine.

CHARLIE ROSE: And the title is executive producer or something like--

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. Well, he deserves it. I mean, Harvey was there at the very beginning and gave us a lot of support when we needed it. So it-- you know, it sort of-- everybody's come out OK.

CHARLIE ROSE: OK. So all of a sudden, it's a go. You're going to--


CHARLIE ROSE: --spend how much money for three movies?

PETER JACKSON: Well, at that point, you see, we only had budgets for two movies. So then we had to write-- rewrite the script.

So we had to throw out our scripts, and we had to rewrite the scripts because the scripts for three films is a very different structure to two. So that was a-- it was another 18 months. I mean, this is now getting into 1999. They budget out at-- they ended up budgeting out at $270 million because we were able to put a whole lot more stuff back into the movies that we'd cut out.

And then, you know-- and we went into-- basically, into production in October, 1999, to shoot all three movies, $270 million budget, 274 shooting days. And we got going.

CHARLIE ROSE: Talk about casting.

PETER JACKSON: The casting for The Lord of the Rings was vital.

It was vital on several levels. It was vital, one, because it's one of the most beloved books of all time. And everybody that reads that book has a mental image of these people in their minds.

And we do, too. I mean, we're fans of the book. So we were determined to get the casting right, that we had to cast people that felt like they had stepped out of the pages of the book.

We didn't want to cast big stars because that is distracting. I mean, I think if you're taking-- if you're taking characters from a famous book and bringing them to life, you don't want a huge superstar face because the book and the star kind of don't kind-of gel. And we wanted wonderful actors who are like chameleons, who could just bring the characters from the book to life, first and foremost.

Secondly, it was important because we were asking our cast to come down to New Zealand, where we were shooting, for 15 months-- I mean, really, 18 months because they had come down six weeks ahead for rehearsals and--


PETER JACKSON: So we were saying-- we were asking all of our actors to leave their homes, their families, or bring their families with them, come down to this strange country they had never been to for 18 months.

So we wanted to make sure that we were casting people that really were prepared to commit to that. And the byproduct of that, which I have come to realize-- I didn't really think about it at the time-- is that the spirit of the cast was wonderful because I realized that none of these people were actually making a job decision.

They weren't-- they weren't making a-- ``What's my next film going to be? Oh, I think I might just do this film.''

You know, ``I've got three or four I can choose of. I'll do-- I'll do The Lord of the Rings,'' I mean, because it wasn't that-- normally, they'd be on a movie for three or four months. I mean, the decision to come to New Zealand for 18 months was like a lifestyle decision, much moreso than just a gig.

And so we ended up with actors down in New Zealand that basically, as a-- as a group, felt, ``Well, we're not going to spend this amount of time on a single project without ending up with something we're really proud of.'' You know what I mean? It's like-- and that wouldn't happen on every movie. It's like this was not a job.

This was like-- ``Eighteen months? I want this to be great''--


PETER JACKSON: --``because I'm here for 18 months.'' And they just arrived-- they just said, ``Let's get going. This is-- we want this to be great.''

And that lasted through the entire shoot. And I actually think that spirit is a spirit of-- it's a spirit of putting your heart and soul into something. And I think that shows on the screen.


PETER JACKSON: I think that really comes across on the screen.

CHARLIE ROSE: And New Zealand, as a -place, contributed to that for you, as the movie.

PETER JACKSON: Well, New Zealand, as a location for The Lord of the Rings, is perfect. You know, I mean, I-- I mean, I'm a New Zealand filmmaker, and I live and work there. So for me, it was easy. But I think that if any filmmaker anywhere in the world was doing The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand would be, like, right up on the locations.

CHARLIE ROSE: Because it's an unspoiled Britain, so to speak?

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. Well, you know, Tolkien-- I mean, the Middle Earth that Tolkien wrote about was-- is not-- is not on another planet. It's-- it's a mythic pre-history of Europe.


PETER JACKSON: And so these sort of-- New Zealand has these unspoiled kind of primitive European landscapes, essentially.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah. All right. Talk about the cast, and let's-- first of all, we'll see in a minute Frodo, but-- Elijah Wood.


CHARLIE ROSE: The most important casting?

PETER JACKSON: The most important casting. You know-- I mean, you know, the problem with getting the casting wrong-- if you cast a Frodo, for instance, that sort of irritated, you know, and you always see movies where somebody annoys you, bugs you.


PETER JACKSON: Then we were-- we were not-- we were not sort of spoiling one film, we were spoiling three movies. So the cast-- you know, there was a lot-- a lot riding on it.

And Frodo is a very, very important character in the movies, but he's also an incredibly difficult character to play and to cast, in actual fact, because-- I always regard Frodo as being the Everyman character, that-- you know, when you read the book-- this is [unintelligible] from the book-- when you read it, I think you sort of channel-- you channel a lot of your imagination through the character of Frodo in the book because he's experiencing the journey.

He's the innocent. He's like us. I mean, we're like the Hobbits, really. And he's going these places. He's going places that we'd never want to go, and he doesn't want to go, you know, and yet he's having to deal with it.

So he's-- so in a way, Frodo is the audience of the film. And those sorts of characters are fiendishly difficult for actors to play because they-- they have no gimmicks. You know, they have no quirks--

CHARLIE ROSE: So tell me why Elijah.

PETER JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you about Elijah. I mean, we were convinced that Frodo was going to be an English actor because we wanted the Hobbits to basically be English, as Tolkien really wrote them.

So we went to London, and we started auditioning. We didn't-- we didn't-- we couldn't think of any actor to play Frodo. I mean, you know, names like Ian McKellen immediately-- [crosstalk] --Ian Holm for--


PETER JACKSON: --Bilbo. But Frodo, we had nobody in mind. So we thought it would be an unknown English actor, young kid. So we went to England. We auditioned-- we were in London auditioning for about a month, and we had-- we'd probably seen about 300 Frodos, young English actors.

There were two or three that were OK, but nothing-- nothing magical, you know, because Frodo had to be magical.




PETER JACKSON: And every time the casting room door opened and some young, nervous-- nervous young actor would come in, you-- you were saying, ``Is this going to be Frodo?''

And you sort of know within 10 seconds that it wasn't really Frodo. And it was-- it was a worry, but we were plugging on. And the casting director, John Hubbard, said to us one day when we arrived to do some more casting, he just said, ``Oh, a package has just come in the mail.''

And we said, ``Oh, yeah?''

He says, ``It's from Elijah Wood.'' And it was a videotape, a VHS tape, just in a package sent to London.

And I had heard Elijah's name, but I'd never seen a film he'd done. So actually-- I actually had no face for Elijah. I didn't know what Elijah looked like. But Fran Walsh, my partner, had seen The Ice Storm, and she said, ``Oh, no, no. This kid's pretty good. He's an American, but he's got this really interesting face.''

And so we put the videotape in, and Elijah had basically-- he was in L.A. and heard that we were in London and we weren't going to come to L.A. And so he'd-- he really wanted to get this role, and so he had-- he hired a dialect coach to teach him-- this is all what he did himself, without us even knowing about it-- hired a dialect coach to teach him accent.

He'd gone to the local costume hire. He'd got this sort of cheesy kind of Hobbit costume on. He'd gone up into the trees, somewhere up behind his house with a friend, and he'd just videotaped his own audition, where he was-- because he didn't have our script, so he was reading from the book. And he was, like, doing Frodo parts from the book.

And I just put-- I put this videotape in, and literally-- I mean, not having known who Elijah Wood was, really, I just thought, ``He's wonderful. He's absolutely great.''


PETER JACKSON: Bingo. And so Elijah cast himself.

CHARLIE ROSE: Roll tape.

Here's a scene in which Frodo is being chased by the evil Dark Riders, and he decides to leave the shire.

[excerpt from ``The Fellowship of the Ring'']

CHARLIE ROSE: Then there is Ian McKellen.

PETER JACKSON: Yes. Now, Ian was-- quite different to Elijah, Ian was a name that we had right from the very beginning, where-- where we thought about all the perfect Gandalfs, who would be the perfect Gandalf.

It was fantasy casting. We could--- we were the lucky people that could there with The Lord of the Rings and say, ``Now, if we were making a movie, who would we cast?'' because we were making a movie, and we had to cast somebody. So we-- Ian McKellen was it from day one for us. I mean, we-- [crosstalk]

CHARLIE ROSE: No other choice?

PETER JACKSON: No. No. We never--

CHARLIE ROSE: No Anthony Hopkins, no--

PETER JACKSON: No. No. Anthony Hopkins we thought would be interesting for Bilbo, but then-- but then we--


PETER JACKSON: But we fell in love with Ian Holm, and we loved the idea of Ian Holm.


PETER JACKSON: We wanted, obviously, an English actor. We wanted an English actor of a certain stature.

And we wanted somebody who would bring Gandalf to life in a way that didn't-- he's a chameleon, Ian. That's what I love about Ian, is he's not an actor who--who puts his own stuff right in your face when he's playing a role. He-- he absorbs himself into the character, and he-- and out comes-- the character emerges. And that's the sort of actor that we wanted.

And we wanted somebody, obviously, who can-- I mean, the Shakespearean quality of Ian, of his experience, is perfect for Tolkien because Tolkien's language is kind of heightened, and it's not easy-- it's not easy to say the dialogue that Gandalf has to say in the film without it sounding a bit cheesy. So you know, you need a great actor to make it sound wonderful, to go from the cheesy to the-- to the great in one-- in one easy step. And so Ian is obviously wonderful at just being able to be wonderfully believable.

[exerpt from ``The Fellowship of the Ring'']

PETER JACKSON: And I'll tell you what. I mean, people should just realize how absolutely difficult this role was to play because I have a huge dislike of wizards in films and books.

I mean, wizards are not great characters. And The Lord of the Rings-- obviously, my biggest problem was the fact that you have a wizard, who, in a sense-- in one way, they've become cliches, but they've become cliches since The Lord of the Rings.

I mean, Tolkien created this character, and since then and since the 1950s, everybody has obviously just done versions of Gandalf in all sorts of different things. So this is the prototype. But nonetheless, it's the long beard. It's the pointy hat. It's the star. It's what you, you know, imagine a cliched wizard to be like.

And so Ian and I worked very, very hard to-- to basically play him not as a cliched wizard at all, but to take-- to take a lead, obviously, from Tolkien because Tolkien had-- Tolkien had designed a character in Gandalf who was an ancient spirit, a very powerful spirit, an immortal who never dies, who's been sent down to Middle Earth to combat evil, to help fight this evil.

And he is for some reason-- I don't quite know why, but he ends up being put in the body of an old man. So you've basically got a mind which is-- which is-- which is young and vibrant but you've got-- he's stuck in this old carcass with creaky bones, and he doesn't have the energy that he really wants, and it's frustrating for him being stuck in this body.

And that leads to all sorts of interesting possibilities.

CHARLIE ROSE: You've said about this that you wanted the costumes and the actors to give the audience a sense of authenticity.

PETER JACKSON: Right, make it real.

CHARLIE ROSE: Make it real.

PETER JACKSON: That's-- I thought that was important because the fantasy genre, in terms of movies, I don't think has ever really succeeded wonderfully well.

I mean, there's been some movies that have been OK, but they-- Hollywood seems to lack confidence in this particular genre, for some reason. And you know, you can name-- over the last 100 years of cinema, you can name the great Westerns and the great spy movies and the great cowboy films, the great musicals, you know?

But the great fantasy films-- I mean, it's a genre that no one has really kind of come to terms with very well, I believe.

And I wanted-- I thought, well, we need to reinvent the genre a little bit. And I just thought, well, you know, why don't we just take our lead again from Tolkien? I mean, it's there in the book. He wasn't writing fantasy. I don't believe in the 12 years that he was sitting down in his little attic room up in his house, writing this thing in longhand-- I don't believe a minute he thought he was writing a-- writing a fantasy story, not one minute.

He was an Oxford professor who was-- who dedicated his life to a love of mythology, ancient mythology, which is not fantasy. It's very different. Mythology's different than fantasy. And Tolkien always mourned the fact that England's mythology had been eradicated by the Norman invasion in 1066 [unintelligible] mythology's based on oral stories that are passed down from generation to generation before the printing presses.

And you know, the Greek mythologies of the Trojan horse and Achilles and things, they survived through the years. The great Norse sagas survived through the years. But England-- when the Normans invaded, whatever stories had been nurtured were eradicated by the-- and so England's mythology was, like, medieval stuff like Robin Hood and King Arthur.

I mean, it didn't go any further back than that.

So Tolkien thought-- he wanted to create a mythology for his country, for England, and this is what he did. He spent his lifetime doing the stories of Middle Earth and the saga-- you know? And the history-- the history of the-- the concept-- because he always says-- he said, ``I imagine this took place in England and Europe some 7,000 or 8,000 years ago.''

This is-- this-- and so we thought, ``OK. OK, so what we'll do with the movie is we will-- we will pretend that this is history, just as if we were making an ancient Roman film or making Braveheart, you know, about Sir William Wallace, you know-- you know, that we'll pretend that-- that these guys existed. It's history. It was real, that-- let's make the movie with that weight of authenticity in the designs, the look, the performances, everything.''

So that-- that was our mantra.

CHARLIE ROSE: You said that you made the movie-- that you didn't make the movie that Tolkien would have made, but you made the movie he would have enjoyed.

PETER JACKSON: Well, I hope he would have enjoyed it. I've got no idea whether he would have enjoyed it. I--

CHARLIE ROSE: But you had some reason to say that.

PETER JACKSON: I made a-- we-- what we tried to do with the movie-- because there's also a lot of themes in Tolkien, obviously, more than just the plot. There's--

CHARLIE ROSE: Like what?

PETER JACKSON: --all this-- well, there's-- I mean, there's a lot of things in Tolkien-- friendship-- I mean, he was--

CHARLIE ROSE: Mentorship, you know.

PETER JACKSON: He was in the First World War. He was-- he was in the trenches. He went into World War I with his classmates, you know, his school chums. And by the end of World War I, only two of them were still alive.

He saw-- he saw men die. He saw friendship under fire. He understood what-- what that was like. And Frodo and Sam's relationship's pretty much based on that. He said he was born 100 years too late, that he would have liked to have lived in a pre-industrial age, in the early 1800s, before, in the middle of that century, the chimneys and the factories started sort of spreading across the landscape.

And a lot of The Lord of the Rings is about that, the destruction of forests and the rise of metal and machines.

He hated machines. He said that the most evil creation ever visited on this-- on this world was the internal combustion engine. And he hated the idea of people being slaves to the machine, like when we turn on the TV, the TV is controlling us now. We're slaves to the television. We're slaves to the motor car.
The ring-- in the movie, in the book, the ring is-- is-- is a symbol for the loss of free will, that the ring takes away your free will.

He also-- and obviously, it's relevant today, but it was written-- you know, this book was largely written in the 1940s. One of the strong themes that-- you know, everyone talks about the good versus evil, which is kind of true. But in particular, he was-- he-- a strong theme of The Lord of the Rings is that if you-- if you turn your back on the lessons of the past, if you ignore what's gone before you-- and he's obviously probably talking about post-World-War-I Germany and what happened during the '30s.

If you turn your back, if you ignore what is happening and you don't learn from the lessons of the past, you know, you will suffer.

CHARLIE ROSE: Did you have some kind of mechanism in a sense so that you could make sure that you were true to Tolkien?

PETER JACKSON: Well, we didn't want to put any of our own-- certainly in terms of the thematic material, we didn't want to put any of our own baggage. I mean, we had no interest in putting our messages into this movie. But we thought that we should honor Tolkien by putting his messages into it. And we thought he cared about things, you know, the countryside and the rise of evil. And he cared passionately about certain issues. And we thought what we should do to honor him is to make sure that his-- what he cared about ends up in the movie. That's what we tried to do.

CHARLIE ROSE: Someone-- one of your actors said that there was-- that the most inspired moments of making this movie came from doubt and panic.

PETER JACKSON: When you're in any movie you are basically-- you never feel-- once you start shooting, it's the shooting of the movie that's the thing. And obviously that's where the actors are involved.

You are-- you're on a train you can't get off because the machine starts rolling, you know. Upwards of a million dollars a day is being spent by this huge organization. And it often feels-- it doesn't-- it's not only just like you're on a train and you can't get off it, it feels like you're running in front of the train, laying the rails down because the thing's coming up behind you.

And you-- it creates a very exciting adrenaline-pumping kind of creative time when, you know, you wake up in the morning and feel that this day you've got to shoot his part of the movie. You're not going to get any other time to do it because it's got to be done today.

And often in our case, you know, the end of the day we were all getting in buses and driving to completely different locations. So we didn't even have a possibility of coming back tomorrow to finish it. So you just go there and you want to make the best film you can. And you just-- there's this creative energy that happens.

CHARLIE ROSE: One thing you added to this is female characters.

PETER JACKSON: We didn't add female characters, we expanded a little bit. Liv Tyler's character was really the one that we expanded slightly, not a huge amount.

CHARLIE ROSE: In order to do? To serve an audience?

PETER JACKSON: Well, it wasn't for commercial reasons. I mean, if we were strictly commercial, you know, Liv would have been in the film from the beginning to the end. I mean, if we were-- because he's obviously wonderful and the more that Liv was in it, the better, really, to some degree from a commercial point of view.

But that obviously would not have been Tolkien. No, the character of Arwen, who Liv plays very, very wonderfully, she is barely in the book. I mean, she's just such a tiny character in terms of what Tolkien wrote. And yet, she does play an important part because she is the elf.

She's an elf. She's an immortal. She never dies; she lives forever. And she is in love with Aragorn. And Aragorn is a mortal man just like we are. He has a lifespan, a natural lifespan. And the only way that the two of them can be together is if she gives up her immortal life and becomes a-- and stays with him and dies with him.

And so it's a wonderful bittersweet love story that's there in the book. And we just simply wanted to have a little bit more screen time to sort of-- to make that work for the movie. So we did.

CHARLIE ROSE: To enhance it a little bit or extend it.

Speaking of Aragorn, here's where Frodo meets Aragorn, played by Viggo Morgensen.

[excerpt from ``The Fellowship of the Ring'']

CHARLIE ROSE: Who's the audience for this movie? Is it adults and kids?

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, it's a whole age -- eight to 80.

CHARLIE ROSE: Eight to--

PETER JACKSON: And beyond.

CHARLIE ROSE: You had final cut?

PETER JACKSON: Well, I can't remember now, can I? I think I shared final cut with Bob Shea. But, you know, it was a very collaborative process. And, I mean, I just had the most wonderful experience as a filmmaker because there was never any real argument or conflict that any time we had disagreements we'd sit down and we'd listen to each other's points of view. Newline was very collaborative.

And, you know, as a filmmaker and as an independent filmmaker, as somebody who does pride their independence and doesn't consider themselves a studio guy, I have no complaints. I mean, it was a wonderful filmmaking experience for me.

CHARLIE ROSE: Nothing-- now that you look at it, that you would have-- I mean, do differently?

PETER JACKSON: Well, it's probably a better question to ask me in 10 year's time because that's when you get a little bit more perspective on the film.

I-- you know, I've just finished cutting an alternative version of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was interesting because--

CHARLIE ROSE: Why would you do that?

PETER JACKSON: For the DVD. Because we-- obviously theatrically-- you see, we had a lot riding on this, this movie, as we discussed. I mean, you know, a huge amount at stake. The first film had to work at the box office or it would have been something you don't even want to think about. It would have been terrible.

So we-- you know, we had a lot of-- there's was a lot of discussion, obviously, about how long the film has to be. And I obviously believe ultimately that films should be as long as they need to be because a film is something that you just have to feel your way through as your cutting it.

And we ultimately, you know, obviously had a movie that was nearly three hours long, which commercially is a little bit risky. But nonetheless, everybody felt strongly that the film worked at that length.

But in doing so, we certainly-- we cut it at a pretty quick pace, you know, which is one of the reasons why I think at three hours people enjoy it. Because most people come out of it saying it didn't feel like three hours. And I think that's because the pace is long.

But what we had to lose in our cutting process is a lot of little character moments, where most of the characters, in fact, have wonderful little scenes where they get developed, were we learn more about, you know, Aragorn and Arwen and the guys and so we just-- I just recently, just before I've come over here, actually last week, I finished cutting a DVD version of the film which is 30 minutes longer.

So there's now a three and a half hour version of this movie, which I love. I love the fact that DVD--it's not really a director's cut because I consider the director's cut the one that went out in the movies. But this is like an alternative extended version for people who would like to see it.

CHARLIE ROSE: So what would I see in that version I don't see in the original version?

PETER JACKSON: You'll see a lot of scenes, a lot of scenes. You know, that 30 minutes of extra footage is like sprinkled all the way throughout from the beginning to the end.

CHARLIE ROSE: I see, so it's not one whole-- not one sequence.

PETER JACKSON: It's little character moments. There's little character developments where they pause. A couple of guys have a little scene together and then they move on. I mean, it's good-- it's pretty good stuff, actually. And I looked at it and I thought, well, this is actually-- this is good. I don't think it would have been a good idea to release that version in the cinemas, but it's good that people will be able to see it on DVD.

CHARLIE ROSE: Your fascination with the notion escapism is what?

PETER JACKSON: Well, I believe strongly in breaking the barrier when you go see movies. And what I mean by that is that obviously the moviegoing process is one in which you walk into a darkened theater, you sit in a chair and 20 feet away there's a screen. And you watch the screen.

And when I was a kid, as we all were -- I'm sure the same for you -- every time I used to go to the movies when I was 12, I'd leave my chair. I wouldn't be in my chair anymore. I'd just go into the screen and I'd be there. I would just be lost in the film.

And as an adult, that doesn't happen very often to me anymore now. And I don't know whether it's because I'm getting older or, you know, the films are doing that anymore. But I was-- I tried as much as I possibly could with The Lord of the Rings to recreate that type of movie where the audience can just get lost and just go into the movie and just become part of the film.

CHARLIE ROSE: Because that is your passion, whether it's this kind of genre or not, is that what you think distinguishes you as a filmmaker?

PETER JACKSON: I don't know.

CHARLIE ROSE: Some sense of being urgent about that idea?

PETER JACKSON: I mean, Hitchcock-- Hitchcock came out with my favorite quote as a film quote. He once said, ``Some people's films are slices of life; mine are slices of cake.''

And that does-- that's where my heart is.

CHARLIE ROSE: Slices of cake.


CHARLIE ROSE: Any-- what was the most difficult hurdle to overcome? For example, you've got characters of different size so you've got to figure the relationship.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah, and we've got them all through the movie. I mean--

CHARLIE ROSE: And they react with each other and so everything has to be different. The size of a glass in your hands can't be the size of a glass if I'm a little person.

PETER JACKSON: No, no, no. We had to build little things twice. You know, a lot of sets had to be built twice. Bag End, which is a set that we've seen in some of the clips here where, you know, Gandalf and Frodo are talking when the ring goes in the fire, for instance, that was quite a large set, a whole little building, a little hobbit house. And we had to build that twice so that when Elijah was shooting his scenes he was in a Baggin that was the appropriate size for Elijah as a hobbit. So the ceilings were quite high and there were books on the shelves and chairs that he could sit in.

And then for all of the shots of Ian McKellan, he wasn't in the same set. He was next door in an exactly identical set but about two-thirds of the size, so that Ian's one he had to stoop under to get under the doorways. And if he stood up, he banged his head on the roof. And it was too-- because he's a big guy. He's much taller than the hobbits. So he didn't fit in the Baggin very well, but that meant that even the chairs, which were all hand-carved, they had to be replicated smaller, the tables, the books, the stuff on the floor, the rubbish. Everything had to be made smaller for his version.

So a lot of things had to be built two different sizes. And, I mean, this was one of those movies where every single thing in the film had to be built. There was not one item we could go to a props warehouse and rent. And we had to also fit the cultures because The Lord of the Rings tells a multi-cultural kind of story. So in The Hobbit, the hobbits are eating with knives and forks. Now when you go to where the elves live, they've got knives and forks but they have to be completely different because those knives and forks-- I mean, you know, we studied.

We thought now if you're an elf and you're immortal and you live for 3,000 years, what would your knife and fork be like? I mean, what design influences would have steered you towards coming up with something that you use to cut your brussel sprouts with?

So we had to put a huge amount of thought into the cultural design. I mean, Richard Tayler, Grant Major, Alan Lee. I mean, a lot of wonderful designers, who fortunately are all people that are up for these Oscars now so I'm so pleased that their work has been celebrated in that way because I'll tell you everything, thousands and thousands of things had to be made and all with a view to creating a fictitious cultural background to influence the design of these different places that we go to.

CHARLIE ROSE: Answering Tolkien's question about himself, what period of history would you prefer to have lived in?

PETER JACKSON: I'm reasonably comfortable with today, actually.

CHARLIE ROSE: Because you live in New Zealand?

PETER JACKSON: Well, and I like TV's and things. I don't really-- I mean and internal combustion engines are OK.

CHARLIE ROSE: And cellphones.

PETER JACKSON: And cellphones are OK. And movie cameras. Movie cameras. I mean, I love the movies so I guess actually I would find it hard to imagine a world without movies to be completely honest.

CHARLIE ROSE: What is that about?

PETER JACKSON: Oh, it's just-- I mean, it's escapism, as I say. It's just a--

CHARLIE ROSE: It's storytelling, too.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. I mean, I guess if you were living 2- or 300 years ago, it would be whole stories that we'd be sitting around telling tales around the fire.

CHARLIE ROSE: No, but the attraction of you and movies is it gives you the tools to tell stories.

PETER JACKSON: Well, I love telling stories because I love having stories told to me. I mean, I love movies. I'm a movie fan. I've loved going to see movies as long as I can remember. And through loving movies as an audience, I've come to love the ability to make them.

CHARLIE ROSE: Could you have made A Beautiful Mind?

PETER JACKSON: Probably. I mean, you know, in some respects Heavenly Creatures is not the same subject matter as A Beautiful Mind, but it's certainly that type of movie. It's a psychological drama. So I've done that, yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: In the Bedroom, you could have made?

PETER JACKSON: Um, don't know. I mean, In the Bedroom is not quite the slice of cake that I'd be going after.

CHARLIE ROSE: Could you make King Kong?

PETER JACKSON: I'd love to make King Kong.


PETER JACKSON: Well, the original King Kong is my-- is my all-time favorite film, the 1933 version. I saw that when I was 10, which was the reason why I wanted to become a filmmaker actually is seeing King Kong. That's the ultimate escapist film. And I was working on a remake of King Kong for a while and then Universal, the studio who was doing it, decided not to go ahead with it.

And we had Lord of the Rings kind of in the wings at that point, so we were able to jump straight onto that project. But King Kong's great.

CHARLIE ROSE: Will you ever get the chance to make it?

PETER JACKSON: I hope so. It's a Universal question really. They'll have to come and decide. They have to come and decide to do it.

CHARLIE ROSE: I assume the chances they'll do that is accelerated because of Lord of the Rings.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. I mean, we've got a couple of smaller films we want to make. I mean, Fran and I are--with Heavenly Creatures, which is a New Zealand-based drama film set in the '50s, a true love story, that was a wonderful experience for us. We loved making that film. And so we're probably going to follow up The Lord of the Rings with a couple of, you know, smaller, more drama-based films of that sort.

CHARLIE ROSE: She's been our partner for-- in the filmmaking business for a while.

PETER JACKSON: Yeah. Well, Fran and I have got two kids, so we're partners in life, as well. And she's-- she and I have worked together on films for, you know, the last 12 or 13 years.

CHARLIE ROSE: When you look at movies today, you know, what do you like about the way they're going or what don't you like?

PETER JACKSON: I think Hollywood-- Hollywood has stopped taking risks. Hollywood has become a little bit safe and a little bit recycling the stuff we liked.

And in a sense, what I feel really proud about this particular year and I really hope it helps influence films that are made all around the world, not just Hollywood, but it's seems to be interesting that Down Under -- New Zealand and Australia -- with Lord of the Rings from New Zealand and Moulin Rouge! from Australia -- that two films from that part of the world have in a sense-- you know, they've reinvigorated their particular genres, that we did fantasy and Baz did the musical.

And, you know, both films are being sort of celebrated in a way for breathing new life into these genres. And, you know, I really would love to see more of that risk taking and imaginative kind of-- just go for it happening with some of the big budget Hollywood films that are being made because they seem to have forgotten how to do that a little bit.

CHARLIE ROSE: Much success at the Oscars.


CHARLIE ROSE: It's good to have you here.


CHARLIE ROSE: Peter Jackson, director, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the most Academy Award nominations, currently seen in theaters around the country. Thank you for joining us. See you next time.

ANNOUNCER: Funding for Charlie Rose is made possible by The Robert Wood Johnson, Jr., Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter and by Bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.

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2-25-02 Latest News

Tolkien Sarcasm Scores Again: Translation
Tehanu @ 1:23 pm EST

Many thanks to Caroline who came through for us with this translation of the story on the Tolkien's Gesellschaft website:

"Knaur withdraws "Tolkien's World"

Someone once said that Tolkien fans would never amount to much anyway ;). One of the best examples of "how to make the most money out of the film with as little investment as possible" has to be Michael Nagula's "Tolkien's World". What most people don't realise is - the nonesense in his book comes from Tolkien fans themselves!!!!

"Extracts like this one from Michael Nagula's book Tokien's World led to roars of laughter:

"The Lord of the Rings Synopsis Nagula, p. 113:
(...)The tone of the book becomes rapidly more serious as the black riders, under the leadership of the Witch-King, make their appearance and chase the Hobbits through the forest. Frodo realises that they have destroyed the village of Bree. When the Witch-King threatens to cast a spell on the house of their friend Tom Bombadil, Frodo - enraged - wants to turn back and fight against them, but at a mountain called Weathertop he meets a nobleman called Aragorn who convinces him to continue on to the Elf Dwelling of Rivendell, offering to lead them there himself. The small group is wading through the last river separating them from Rivendell when the Witch-King casts a spell on the water, causing it to rise up and threaten to drown everyone. Only Frodo's quick reaction saves them - he uses the magical power of the ring to turn the water to fog. The fog is so thick that the black riders become hopelessly lost, allowing our heroes to reach Rivendell. (...)

Many Tolkien fans asked themselves what was going on, and the news quickly spread in forums like the Lord of the Rings at Film.de and the forum of the DTG (German Tolkien Society) and Middle Earth Online: Nagula had COMPLETELY COPIED one of the funniest Tolkien sites on the internet, the Tolkien Sarcasm Page. This internet site is a contact point for those who like to take the mickey out of Tolkien now and again, the above synopsis is of course one big joke. When fans pointed this out to the publishers and Nagula, Knaur moved quickly. The book, at one point prominently displayed on the fantasy site of the publishers, disappeared into the depths of the database, and the following statement was put online on Janauary 11th of this year:

"On behalf of the Publishers and the Author: 11.1.2002
Dear readers of "Tolkien's World",
To our great regret, Michael Nagula, the author of the book "Tolkien's World", made errors in describing the story action in his synopsis of "The Lord of the Rings" (page 112 to 117). Both the author and publisher apologise whole-heartedly for this oversight. Although the rest of the book is marked by conscientious research and great care in its treatment of the subject, the publisher has decided to withdraw from bookshops the edition of "Tolkien's World" that contains the errors and replace it with an edited version. This is expected to be available in the shops from May 2002. We are certain that this action will meet with the agreement of our readers and are already looking forward to appraisals that will include the whole of the book (see the review of the Badische Neueste Nachrichten (newspaper) from the 10.01.2002 which can be read among the reviews for the book). A correct summary of "The Lord of the Rings" has been available on our homepage since 31.01.2002. We will gladly ! replace the old edition of "Tolkien's World" for an up-to-date book; please remove the cover from the book and send it to us along with where it was purchased to the following address: Verlagsgruppe Droemer Weltbild, Keyword "Tolkien's World", 80632 Munich.
Knaur Taschenbuch Verlag, Publishers for Michale Nagula, January 2002"

Like so many other companies whose names we will of course not mention here ;), Knaur provide a legendary example that you can get carried away pretty quickly when it comes to bad products about Tolkien. Apart from possible copyright implications on the part of the Tolkien Estate, the publishers should really get every copy of the book pulped - or pass them on to Tolkien fans for a fortune, because THAT book is already a collector's item!!!

P.S.: Many of the Nagula's contributions are really good - well-researched and, for a German book on Tolkien, pretty excellent. What a pity that he shot himself in the foot trying to make a quick deutschmark (sorry, I mean euro)"

Personally I have trouble imagining that the rest of the book could be as insightful and conscientiously researched as the publishers claim, since I fail to see what insights you could gain about Tolkien's work if you weren't familiar with what he'd written! - Tehanu

Brits praise 'The Lord' with five BAFTA wins
Xoanon @ 12:08 pm EST

LONDON -- One ring ruled them all at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night, with "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" winning five prizes, including best film.
But the British Academy of Film & TV Arts continued its tradition of spreading kudos far and wide, dividing its 19 main awards among 11 films.

Peter Jackson took the director nod, and the Tolkien epic also earned kudos for special visual effects and makeup/hair. Its haul was completed by the Orange film of the year prize, voted on by the public.

Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly won actor and supporting actress for "A Beautiful Mind," even though the pic opened in the U.K. this weekend to widely negative reviews. Connelly's triumph was a notable surprise, since the four other nominees in her category were all Brits.

Judi Dench, one of those defeated four (along with Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Kate Winslet), did win the considerable consolation of the best actress prize for "Iris."

Jim Broadbent, in the supporting actor race, was one of three winners for "Moulin Rouge," which also picked up awards for sound and music.

"Gosford Park," omitted entirely from the film nominees, took the Alexander Korda Award for outstanding British film of the year, as well as the BAFTA for costume design.

"Amelie," another best film contender, took prizes for original screenplay and production design. But it surprisingly missed out on foreign-language film kudos; winner was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's tough Mexican movie "Amores Perros."

"Shrek," which had already won the BAFTA for kids film in a separate ceremony a couple of months ago, took the adapted screenplay gong. And even the dark horses went away with something -- "The Man Who Wasn't There" received the cinematography award, and "Mulholland Drive" was honored for editing.

BAFTA pulled off a star-studded evening at the Odeon Leicester Square in the heart of London's West End, despite an icy downpour that brought a curious white foam of soap suds out of the red carpet.

That prompted Kevin Spacey, handing out an award, to ask host Stephen Fry, "What was that horribly soapy substance coming out of the red carpet? Judi Dench's shoes are ruined, and she's holding you responsible." Fry suggested that it was the residue of "years of greasy flattery."

Warren Beatty, accompanied by wife Annette Bening, accepted a BAFTA Fellowship, only the eighth American to receive the honor. He threatened to "free associate into eternity" about his experiences shooting in Britain, but confined himself to saying that "so much of what I managed to learn about making movies I learned here."

"When I take this award home to Los Angeles, it will make it much easier to convince my 10-year-old, my 7-year-old, my 5-year-old and my 2-year-old of my mammoth importance," he joked.

Director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala also accepted a joint Fellowship. Stunt coordinator and action director Vic Armstrong won the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli accepted a special award from BAFTA for their company Eon Prods., maker of the James Bond movies.

With BAFTA determined to stick to a crisp two-hour running time for its show, speeches were kept short and largely without incident. Crowe quoted poetry, and said, "I love my job and I don't think I do it that well, but keep on disagreeing with me."

Inarritu, jumping up and down with joy, and Connelly were clearly the most shocked of all the winners, in an evening that included several surprises.

Director Joel Hopkins and writer-producer Nicola Usborne were also taken aback to win the Carl Foreman Award for British newcomer, for their film "Jump Tomorrow."

Richard Attenborough, chairman of BAFTA's trustees, was confirmed as the org's new president.

Tehanu @ 2:25 am EST

'Rongotai' shares his thoughts about Hobbiton and the Shire qualities of the place in NZ where it was filmed. They're not obvious unless you look in the right way....

"In this week’s edition of the New Zealand magazine ‘The Listener’ there is an article on the small but steady stream of tourists now arriving in the town of Matamata, which is close to the location for Hobbiton in FOTR. It is a nice, ironic, little piece that highlights the town’s more or less complete failure to adapt to its new found status, and the pressures on it to do so from the likes of Tourism New Zealand.

"I have never lived in Matamata, but I know many people there, and I have lived in similar New Zealand towns. Out of all this here are a few thoughts that I would like any overseas fan heading for Matamata to consider.

"Matamata has never ever been a tourist town. It is an unexceptional, pretty (in a New World, not European, way), reasonably prosperous, rural service town. For you Americans, Lake Woebegon springs to mind. Located in New Zealand, and in the Waikato in particular, Matamata is about as close to Hobbiton, the Shire and Tolkien’s romantic view of an older, rural England, as can still be found anywhere in the world. For a modern, urban world it is, for many people, screamingly boring.

"And there is the irony. People are now descending on it because it was a filmic Hobbiton, and apparently often being disappointed by what is provided for them. But what if there were a real life Middle Earth and a real life Hobbiton? Would the lovers of LOTR go there hoping to see, or hoping not to see, Hobbits running souvenir stalls, providing guided tours of Bag End, and negotiating special deals with Burger King? For me, at least, such an experience would be a justification for a real life Scouring of the Shire.

"Visibly Matamata’s sole response has been to put up a sign reading ‘Welcome to Hobbiton’. If you are a lover of what Tolkien was getting at with his creation of The Shire and mourn what happened to it in the book (although not, apparently, in the movie), then you will celebrate the place, but you will be seriously underwhelmed by its tourist offerings. If you demand more then you will be an ally of Saruman.

"Go to Matamata with your eyes open. It is not spectacular scenic New Zealand. It is set in a mature rural landscape full of grass, sheep, cows grazing on family farms (not on feedlots) and set against park like trees and a quality of light you will see nowhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Walk down the main street and watch the people living lives that are increasingly rare, but which do not bear romanticisation. If you know North-East Iowa, then you are getting a little close to what Matamata has to offer. If you go looking for Jackson’s Shire, and come away disappointed, then you will have passed right through a real life Shire and not even noticed."

Weekend Round Up
Xoanon @ 12:21 am EST

Weekly Cast Watch

Media Watch: PJ on 'Fresh Air.'

Lord of the Rings sweeps Baftas

Arwen's Sword: The Mystery Solved?

McKelllen To Receive Maverick Spirit Award

Christopher Lee Talks LOTR

Fellowship Of The Ring Wins 5 BAFTA Awards

Fellowship Of The Ring Wins Best Picture BAFTA

Peter Jackson Wins Best Director BAFTA

FOTR Wins Orange Film Of The Year BAFTA

FOTR Fails To Win Best Adapted Screenplay BAFTA

Fan Art Galore

FOTR Fails To Win Best Cinematography BAFTA

There and Back Again III

An Hour Till Showtime!

Film World Prepares For Baftas

Wood Online Chat With Fans Tomorrow Night

Astin Talks Two Towers And Goonies 2

There and Back Again III - a Journey to Middle-earth

Watch The BAFTA Awards Live With TheOneRing.net!

Hall Of Fire Chats For February 23rd & 24th

PJ, McKellen And Bloom In London For BAFTAs

Jackson Regards 'Rings And Rouge As Sisters Films

Cate's Big Night

Media Watch: Renaissance Magazine

Barnes & Noble Gathering In NYC Reports!!

A New Quest For The Ring Of The Fellowship

FOTR Fights Off Competitors Down Under

FOTR Japanese Premiere Press Conference

Director Jackson Vows Fresh Take on 'Rings' Sequel

LOTR Poster: France

TV Watch: PJ On CNN

Get Out The Vote!!

Rings Director In San Francisco Tuesday

Christopher Lee Talks LOTR

Video Clips From The 'PJ' Cricket Match!

Future Cast Projects
Xoanon @ 12:03 am EST

Liv Tyler (Arwen) has joined the cast of 'Voltage' for director Robert Altman. The film also stars Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator), Steve Buscemi & William H. Macy (Fargo).

David Wenham (Faramir) is set to star in the Gillies MacKinnon (The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells) film 'Pure', the film, currently in post-production, was filmed in Los Angeles & Thailand.

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron) has joined the cast of 'Inspector Gadget 2', and that's all I've got to say about that....I'm going to get a cookie :)

2-24-02 Latest News

Weekly Cast Watch
Xoanon @ 11:55 pm EST

To get more information, use the sites I use like the ones below. Simply find a movie or actor you want to see, go to one of the sites below and see if the film is playing in your area.

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

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn)

28 Days (2000)
Walk on the Moon, A (1999)
Albino Alligator (1996)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Prophecy, The (1995)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
Indian Runner, The (1991)
Young Guns II (1990)

Liv Tyler (Arwen)

Onegin (1999) UK
Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
U Turn (1997) UK
Inventing the Abbotts (1997)
Stealing Beauty (1996)
Empire Records (1995)
Heavy (1995)

Ian Holm (Bilbo)

Bless the Child (2000) UK
Life Less Ordinary, A (1997)
Big Night (1996)
Naked Lunch (1991) UK
Dance with a Stranger (1985)
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) UK
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Time Bandits (1981)
Alien (1979) UK
Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) UK
Fixer, The (1968) UK

Sean Bean (Boromir)

Field, The (1990)
Stormy Monday (1988)

Ian Mune (Bounder)

Piano, The (1993)

Martyn Sanderson (Bree Gatekeeper)

Ned Kelly (1970)

John Noble (Denethor)

Airtight (1999) (TV) UK

Peter Mackenzie (Elendil)

In Crowd, The (2000)
Chill Factor (1999) UK
Off Limits (1988)

Karl Urban (Eomer)

Price of Milk, The (2000)

Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

Matrix, The (1999) UK
Interview, The (1998)
Babe (1995) UK

Miranda Otto (Eowyn)

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jack Bull, The (1999) (TV) UK

David Wenham (Faramir)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Boys, The (1997/I) UK

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The (2000)
Black and White (1999)
Good Son, The (1993)
Radio Flyer (1992)
Forever Young (1992) UK
Paradise (1991)
Internal Affairs (1990)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)

Talented Mr. Ripley, The (1999) UK
Pushing Tin (1999) UK
Elizabeth (1998) UK

Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

X-Men (2000) UK
Apt Pupil (1998) UK
Gods and Monsters (1998)
Bent (1997)
Restoration (1995)
Shadow, The (1994)
To Die for (1994) UK
And the Band Played On (1993) (TV)
Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
Touch of Love, A (1969) UK

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)

Britannic (2000) (TV) UK
Au Pair (1999) (TV)
Secret of the Andes (1998) UK
Great White Hype, The (1996)
Cyborg Cop (1994)
Tusks (1990)
Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (1987) (TV)
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1982)
Victor/Victoria (1982) UK

Andy Serkis (Gollum)

Topsy-Turvy (1999)
Among Giants (1998) UK
Career Girls (1997)
Stella Does Tricks (1997)

John Leigh (Hama)

Frighteners, The (1996)

Harry Sinclair (Isildur)

Price of Milk, The (2000)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Ray Henwood (Man At Council)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Bruce Spence (Mouth of Sauron)

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

Sean Astin (Sam)

Sky Is Falling, The (2000)
Deterrence (1999) UK
Courage Under Fire (1996)
Low Life, The (1994/I)
Safe Passage (1994)
Encino Man (1992) UK
Toy Soldiers (1991) UK
Memphis Belle (1990)
Staying Together (1989)
War of the Roses, The (1989)
White Water Summer (1987) UK
Like Father, Like Son (1987) UK

Christopher Lee (Saruman)

Sleepy Hollow (1999) UK
Jinnah (1998) UK
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Mio min Mio (1987)
Safari 3000 (1982)
Last Unicorn, The (1982)
1941 (1979)
Three Musketeers, The (1973) UK
Death Line (1972)
Schlangengrube und das Pendel, Die (1967)
Brides of Fu Manchu, The (1966)
Gorgon, The (1964) UK
Beat Girl (1960)
Cockleshell Heroes, The (1955)
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
Valley of Eagles (1951) UK
My Brother's Keeper (1948) UK

Brian Sergent (Ted Sandyman)

Carry Me Back (1982) UK

Bernard Hill (Theoden)

True Crime (1999)
Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1999) UK
Bounty, The (1984)
Gandhi (1982) UK

Brad Dourif (Wormtongue)

Silicon Towers (1999)
Storytellers, The (1999) UK
Alien: Resurrection (1997) UK
Death Machine (1995)
Murder in the First (1995) UK
Color of Night (1994)
Amos & Andrew (1993)
Child's Play 3 (1991) UK
Body Parts (1991) UK
Child's Play 2 (1990) UK
Hidden Agenda (1990)
Exorcist III, The (1990)
Child's Play (1988)
Mississippi Burning (1988)
Blue Velvet (1986)

Jim Rygiel (SFX)

Anna and the King (1999)
Desperate Measures (1998)
Multiplicity (1996)
Cliffhanger (1993)
Batman Returns (1992)
Ghost (1990)
Solar Crisis (1990)
Last Starfighter, The (1984)

Howard Shore (Composer)

Score, The (2001)
High Fidelity (2000)
Cell, The (2000)
Analyze This (1999)
Dogma (1999)
Striptease (1996)
White Man's Burden (1995)
Se7en (1995)
Moonlight and Valentino (1995)
Client, The (1994)
Ed Wood (1994)
Guilty as Sin (1993)
M. Butterfly (1993)
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
Naked Lunch (1991)
She-Devil (1989)
Big (1988)
Nadine (1987)
Fly, The (1986)
After Hours (1985)
Places in the Heart (1984)
Videodrome (1983)

Peter Jackson (Director)

Frighteners, The (1996)
Heavenly Creatures (1994)

McKelllen To Receive Maverick Spirit Award
Xoanon @ 7:26 pm EST

From: Brett Heppes

Academy Award Nominee, film and stage star Sir Ian McKellen will appear at Cinequest to receive Cinequest’s coveted Maverick Spirit Award. McKellen is best known for his amazing performances in Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and Gods & Monsters.

Cinequest invites you to join us for a very special event, ‘A Conversation with Sir Ian McKellen’ on Saturday, March 2nd.

Festival Passes are currently on sale and provide admission to this event. A limited number of individual tickets will go on sale on Tuesday (2/26/02). The location and time of the event will be announced on Tuesday at 408.295.FEST, www.Cinequest.org and Cinequest box offices.

:Brett Heppes, Charter Member of the LORT Fan Club (Baron of Bar Ereg) and Volunteer Staff Member of Cinequest, The San Jose Film Festival

2-23-02 Latest News

There And Back Again - A Journey To Middle-Earth
Strider @ 10:28 pm EST

I thought I would share with theonering.net my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour (http://www.redcarpet-tours.com). I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the third installment. (Read the first installment here and the second here)

Feb 20th
Once again, we started out fairly early on a beautiful sunny morning. We started the day off with some actual New Zealand attractions that have nothing to do with middle earth. We saw some more geothermal activity (I tell you, boiling mud is just a pretty impressive thing, and kind of funny looking too), including a power plant where they harness geothermal activity to create energy – pretty nifty. Staying in the energy-generating theme, we headed off to Huka Falls – they aren’t tall, but boy are they powerful. Having witnessed enough non-LOTR things for the day, we took off down the Desert Road and stopped and Rangipo Plains. A short hike took us out onto the plains for a nice view of Mt. Doom.

Pretty dang cool huh? All the hills and mountains in this area are all volcanic (as with most all the rest in New Zealand) and the plains are full of pumice and other evidence of fairly active volcanoes. We made a short stop for lunch, before heading around to the other side of the park and up the slopes of Mt. Ruapehu. Let me tell you this is one awesome place. In the winter it is a ski area, but in the summer, the area is clear of snow and the rocky terrain is stunning this area was used for some different Mordor scenes, including some with Orc armies as well as some scenes with Frodo and Sam.

The end of our amazing day brought us back to Ohakune and The Hobbit Lodge. It turned out to be a delightful little motel, complete with a fabulous restaurant and bar. The food there would make Bilbo proud – perfectly delicious, and plenty of it. They even have steak with mushroom sauce. And the desserts are something to write home about. I thought I was getting a simple chocolate sunday, but it turned out to be a veritable masterpiece, and enough to easily feed two. It was the perfect hobbit ending to another brilliant day.

Tomorrow – Rangitikei River (River Anduin), Kapiti Coast (Pelannor Fields), and the lead Nazgul and his horse.

BAFTA Award Nominations 2002
Strider @ 9:15 pm EST

The following represents the categories for which Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award.

A Beautiful Mind
The Lord of the Rings
Moulin Rouge

The David Lean Award
for achievement in Direction
Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie)
Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind)
Robert Altman (Gosford Park)
Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings)
Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge)

A. Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind)
H. Fielding/A. Davies/R. Curtis (Bridget Jones Diary)
Richard Eyre/Charles Wood (Iris)
F. Walsh/P. Boyens/P. Jackson (Lord of the Rings)
T. Elliott/T. Rossio/J. Stillman/R.S.H. Schulman (Shrek)

by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jim Broadbent (Iris)
Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind)
Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings)
Kevin Spacey (The Shipping News)
Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom)

The Anthony Asquith Award
for achievement in Film Music
Yann Tiersen (Amelie)
Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings)
Craig Armstrong/Marius De Vries (Moulin Rouge)
Angelo Badalamenti (Mulholland Drive)
Harry Gregson-Williams/John Powell (Shrek)

Bruno Delbonnel (Amelie)
Slawomir Idziak (Black Hawk Down)
Andrew Lesnie (Lord of the Rings)
Roger Deakins (The Man Who Wasn't There)
Donald M McAlpine (Moulin Rouge)

Production Design
Aline Bonetto (Amelie)
Stephen Altman (Gosford Park)
Stuart Craig (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
Grant Major (The Lord of the Rings)
Catherine Martin (Moulin Rouge)

Costume Design
Jenny Beavan (Gosford Park)
Judianna Makovsky (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
Ngila Dickson/Richard Taylor (Lord of the Rings)
Catherine Martin/Angus Strathie (Moulin Rouge)
Colleen Atwood (Planet of the Apes)

Hervé Schneid (Amelie)
Pietro Scalia (Black Hawk Down)
John Gilbert (Lord of the Rings)
Jill Bilcock (Moulin Rouge)
Mary Sweeney (Mulholland Drive)

C. Munro/P. Hallberg/M. Minkler/M. Nettinga/K. Baker (Black Hawk Down)
J. Midgley/J. Joseph/R. Merrin/G. Daniel/A. Daniel (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
D. Farmer/H. Peek/C. Boyes/G. Creagh/M. Semanick/E. Van der Ryn/M. Hopkins (Lord of the Rings)
A. Nelson/A. Behlmer/R. Savage/G. Sics/G. Vanderhope/A. Gray (Moulin Rouge)
A. Nelson/A. Behlmer/W. Stateman/L. Bender (Shrek)

Achievement In Special Visual Effects
D. Muren/S. Farrar/M. Lantieri (A.I. Artificial Intelligence)
R. Legato/N. Davis/J. Richardson/R. Guyett/J. Berney (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
J.Rygiel/R.Taylor/A. Funke/R. William Cook/M. Stetson (Lord of the Rings)
C. Godfrey/A. Brown/N. McGuinness/B. Cox (Moulin Rouge)
Ken Bielenberg (Shrek)

Make Up/Hair
S. Jaye/J. Archibald (Gosford Park)
A. Knight/E. Fennell/N. Dudman (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
P. Owen/P. King/R. Taylor (Lord of the Rings)
M. Silvi/A. Signoretti (Moulin Rouge)
R. Baker/T. G/K. Tsuji (Planet of the Apes)

For more information, visit the British Academy of Film and Television Arts website at www.bafta.org

Barnes & Noble Gathering In NYC Reports!!
Xoanon @ 2:29 pm EST

From: KcM

Click here to see all the images from KcM

Just got back from seeing Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, and Christopher Lee at the Union Square Barnes & Noble here in NYC. I'm not sure what the thousands of people stuff is about. I showed up 90 minutes before it started and got a great seat. Anyway, all of the panel members were as charming, witty, and personable as you might imagine. Here's what I thought was the most important stuff:

* The Scouring IS NOT HAPPENING. There's been a bit of back and forth on this on the web, but PJ says it just didn't work for the film version. The scene in Galadriel's mirror in Fellowship is an homage to the Scouring, and that's all there'll be.

* Shelob WILL NOT BE in The Two Towers. Apparently, they've expanded the Frodo-Sam-Gollum-Faramir stuff quite a bit, and as such Shelob has been kicked to the beginning of ROTK. No word on how they'll end TTT. PJ wanted us to know so that "we wouldn't be disappointed." More Arwen too, they said.

* Fran Walsh wrote AND directed Gollum's backstory. So flashbacks of Smeagol and his birthday present will be in TTT.

* March 22 is the day the new last reel goes out to theaters. I assume that means you'll be able to see the 3.5 minutes of footage that night.

* DVD information was repeated (August and November.) Galadriel gift-giving and more Fellowship character development will be included. PJ doesn't like the term "director's cut" so it's an alternate version. It's got an extra half hour and it's been completed, except...

* Howard Shore is composing new music for the 30 minutes of Fellowship footage, which they said was a first.

* PJ and Chris Lee went to great pains to kill "the Internet stuff" about a rivalry between SW and LOTR. PJ said that the Lucasfilm folks were very helpful about suggesting animatics technology, etc., and Mr. Lee (who looked tired of the question) said there is NO comparison between the two films. (As he put it, LOTR happens on Earth and SW happens in Outer Space.)

* PJ was honored to be nominated for the Oscars, but doesn't think LOTR stands much of a shot for anything but the technical awards. But, as he noted, getting nominated is basically as good as winning and "Fellowship got 13 nominations and nobody can take that from us."

- KcM


From: Ashwise Gamgee

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Hi there, I am a newbie that has been lurking on OneRing.net since the release of the film and my subsequent devouring of the books.

I also, however, was in the front row at the Barnes and Noble discussion today in New York. Here is my report and some pictures attached to the email. I am horrible with computer techie stuff, so I apologize if this method of reporting is unorthodox.

The Report:

After reading the reports from the LA book signing and hearing that Fran, Peter, Howard Shore, and Christopher Lee would be making their way to New York, I was eager to catch a glimpse of such talents. I arrived in Union Square at 7am out of paranoia that there would be a mass assembly. I was, of course, the first one around so I sat in Starbucks. As I am a very close friend of Cassandra Claire (author of the Very Secret Diaries of the Lord of the Rings), I came clad in a homemade "Sam will kill me if I try anything" shirt and carrying multiple printed copies of the diaries.

At about 9am, I went over to the Barnes and Noble and met a fellow LotR fan waiting outside. Moments later, four members of the Official Fan Club arrived, two from Ohio and two from North Carolina. Everyone was friendly and excited. As 10am, opening time, approached, a small crowd of Rings fans had formed and were chatting eagerly.

The doors opened and we were directed to the fourth floor where there were rows upon rows of chairs set up. I took a seat front and center, settling down for the next seven hours. As a newbie to the nature of the Lord of the Rings fandom, I was soaking up as much as I could from the veterans around me. I received many compliments on my shirt and I showed people Cassie's diaries.

Throughout the day, one of the Barnes and Noble officials kept going up to the microphone and lecturing us that this event would be strictly a discussion and that no books nor memorabilia would be signed. We would not be able to take pictures.... But hope remained and our company held true to the belief that these restrictions would change. And lo and behold, they did.

6pm rolled around, and what had started as our small 10am group of twenty fans had blossomed into over two hundred people. I felt my excitement mounting, seeing as I was a mere two feet away from the stage, in the front row and had been waiting all day. And, we were told that, yes, we could take pictures! I had my digital camera ready!

Peter Jackson entered first, then Fran Walsh, then Howard Shore, and finally Christopher Lee. They were trailed by a film crew from NBC for Access Hollywood, so keep your eyes peeled for it on television. The applause was explosive and they looked genuinely relieved to be in front of fans as opposed to the media appearances they had been doing all day. The discussion was moderated by an obnoxious unknown comedian, but after introductions, questions were left open to us, the fans. And PJ was WONDERFUL with his answers, as were Fran, Howard, and Christopher. The Major News:

* The new reels with the Two Towers footage will be shown starting March 22nd. PJ emphasized that he wants this to be just for the fans who continue to go out and support the film. Thus, he has requested that New Line NOT put the footage on the net nor on television. He also said that WETA has been working very hard and he has tossed in some amazing shots in there. 3 and a half minutes worth.

* He explained in detail how he put together the extended DVD that will be released in November. He has actually re-cut the film, adding in the scenes like the Gift Giving and more Elves/Dwarf stuff. And, he told us that not only are the new scenes being put in seamlessly to the film, BUT Howard Shore is actually composing new music to go with the new footage. Peter is very excited about it.


* Peter explained that the actual book The Two Towers is too short for a film so they have expanded a lot of the material. He emphasized that the film will be heavy in the development of Frodo and Sam with Smeagol and that there is a lot of development with Frodo and Faramir. So much in fact, that Shelob has BEEN MOVED TO RETURN OF THE KING.

* A fan asked if the Slinker/Stinker would be included and PJ said yes.

* Fran actually recently wrote and directed a piece to TT that is all about the background of Gollum. We will get to see how he transformed into the creature that he is... PJ pridefully pointed out that Fran had written and directed it all on her own.

* A fan asked about the Ents storming Isengard and PJ confirmed that we will see this. "Oh yes" he said.

* Two Towers is written to cut back and forth between the three story lines that are taking place.

* Again, PJ confirmed that the scouring of the Shire is out of the film. He explained that it just didn't fit cinematically and that the scene of the Shire destroyed in the mirror in FotR was their way of paying homage to Tolkien's message about the destruction of the English countryside with industrialization.

* One fan asked what was the most difficult thing in the book to pull from his mind's visualization and translate it to the screen. PJ's answer was very funny, answering that Sauron posed the biggest on screen problem. He made jokes about the big enemy being a giant eyeball and described having a figure in armor and then lifting the helmet and there only being this big red eye. Everyone was laughing. But he explained that the matter of portraying Sauron continues to give them trouble through the next two films.

Also, Peter gave a long explanation about the separation New Line and the film have had from Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien estate. He has never spoken to Christopher and he explained the complications and how legally it just worked out better to not have a "Tolkien estate" endorsement of the film.

Howard Shore spoke a bit about his research and process in making the music. He was very sincere and well-spoken. The Official Club members presented him with a poem that a member of their club had written. He looked like he was about to burst into tears. It was very nice.

Christopher Lee was asked many questions that tied in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I suspect that there were some diehard Star Wars fans in the crowd. Lee explained emphatically that comparisons cannot be made between the two films because they are completely different. He gave tons of praise to New Line for having the guts to stick by the project and gave wonderful compliments to PJ. He was also asked about working with Blue Screen and how one acts when there is nothing to respond with. He made a strong point that there was little blue screen in LotR, as opposed to Star Wars and spoke about his active imagination.

When the hour expired, Peter pulled aside the officials and said that they did indeed want to give us a chance to have something signed. He is so wonderful, he did not have to do that, as I am sure he had a very long day and had to go to Charlie Rose next. However, I was ecstatic when they announced that they would take us row by row. Being in the first row, I got to speak to Peter and Fran while they signed my movie poster. A copy of Cassie's Secret Diaries was passed into Fran's hands and I complimented Peter for bringing me back to Tolkien.

Fran made a wonderful comment at the end of the discussion. She said that of all the places they had been, the fans of New York had been the best they had seen. She was grinning ear to ear and it was very touching.

- Ashwise Gamgee


From: elanor

Elanor here. You have been kind enough to post reports of mine in the past so I thought you might be interested in some great scoop from the Q & A with Peter and Fran et al
at the Barnes & Noble Union Square NYC. He let loose with some cool information that LOTR fans will want to hear about. T2T and ROTK SPOILERS
I just got back from the NYC Barnes & Noble where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. By sheer luck (and being a clever hobbit-lass) I was able to thank both of them personally for making their movie.

I got there late – at about 4:45 (I do work for a living!) and found the place jammed and buzzing. (This was exactly the same set up as for Sir Ian in November - it was packed then but this was ridiculous!). You couldn’t see the ample seating area for all the standees. I made an attempt to find a spot where I could see over the heads or between shoulders (I am short) but realized it was a lost cause. I wandered back behind the escalator and noticed a corridor being kept guarded and clear. Hmm. This is where Sir Ian entered last time. I decide to stay put. After 15 minutes the entire New Zealand/New Line entourage came forward from their hiding places behind tall bookcases.

A lady in front keeps the way clear. There is Peter Jackson himself. I smile at him and he sees me. I say "Mr. Jackson, thank you for your movie". He smiles more broadly and stops. I say "You know, I haven’t had a single bad day since it opened". He grins and laughs, and says "great" looking back at Fran kind of twinkley-eyed. The handler-lady gently urges him to keep moving and he does. Suddenly I am right next to Fran Walsh. I smile at her and she smiles at me and I say "Thank you, Ms. Walsh, you wrote a beautiful script". She beams and says "thank you". She seems much more shy than Peter but still she seems genuinely pleased. They move on through the corridor and I watch them, not realizing that Howard Shore just passed me.

By this time other fans have caught on that they are all coming out now and suddenly I am surrounded. Striding tall above the throng is Christopher Lee, looking thin but fit and quite friendly. The handlers step around to protect him from the gathering fans. Then the whole room erupts in applause as Peter is seen by those lucky folks in the seats. All the guests make their way to the front and sit at a long table. There is some strange jokey guy who serves as MC who I would have been happier without. I miss a lot of the beginning talk because the room is buzzing so much and I am too far away and I can’t see them at all. Eventually I move to where I can hear better but still never get to see them due to my being so short. HOWEVER – here are the high points of what was said.

Peter reiterated several details we already know about the DVD. August for the Theatrical version, November for the "special edition". This will have 30 minutes of extra footage and it will be integrated into the existing film and will include specifically the Galadriel gift-giving scene as well as others mentioned already. He mentioned "rope" as a gift and I believe he meant that Sam receives rope from Galadriel (as opposed to the soil and seeds box) – more on this in a minute. Peter explained that the gift scene was cut for momentum. That they looked at the movie and knew that they had to get it going again towards its climax. Howard Shore will compose NEW music to go with these scenes, which Peter said he thinks is the first time that will ever have been done –that usually when scenes are "put back in" the music is "lifted " from other sections of the existing score.

He said he found the hardest character to create visually (and that they are STILL working on it) to be Sauron. He said they’ve had many laughs about it and have envisioned many Monty Python-esque moments of a visor being lifted to reveal a giant flaming eyeball.

He talked of CHANGES TO T2T. He said there is more character development and stuff we won’t expect. He mentioned several newsworthy bits: Shelob is NOT in the second film but in the third. This of course means that T2T cannot end on the "cliffhanger" as in the book. Also that the bulk of T2T is focused on Frodo/Sam/Gollum; that the Slinker/Stinker scene is IN, that Faramir’s role is expanded in some way and that he will indeed cut between three story lines: Frodo’s, The Three Hunters and Hobbits/Ents. He says that’s very cinematic anyway and sort of a no-brainer. He said it may include a scene that Fran directed and shot with Andy Serkis showing how Smeagol became Gollum. Fran said Peter isn't finished editing T2T yet. lThere were several questions that I could not hear and a few times I could not hear the answer and twice these got laughs. I hope someone else will report on them. One of the questions involved Isengard.

ROTK - BIG SHOCKER – Peter was asked how he plans to deal with the ending of the story…since the SOTS is sort of a downbeat ending how do they plan to deal with that? PJ: "There won’t be a downbeat ending because it’s not there". A bit of stunned silence in the room. I find myself still in denial. Peter goes on to explain how he knows that the SOTS was important to Tolkien, that seeing the English countryside destroyed was a big theme but that they did not plan to end the film this way. He said that’s why they paid a sort of homage to it in the mirror of Galadriel scene. He also said he found it the most awkward chapter personally. But he stressed that in order to make a film like this of Frodo and The Ring and his journey to Mordor, you "just couldn’t do it". I called out "yes you can!" but was only heard by those near me.

I will have to ponder this awhile and, I suppose, get used to it as I got used to the several other changes. I don’t know HOW he plans to end the movie, but I see plenty of indication that he will not let us down.

Christopher Lee spoke a bit and let me tell you how fantastic it was to hear that VOICE! Lord you could just be so lulled by that voice. He has a wicked wit, too, and such delectable diction. I was in heaven. I love PJ’s voice too but it’s very different. His is more about the lovely Kiki accent where Lee’s is all about the timbre and melody. Anyway Lee praised the cast, New Line, Peter and Fran, Ian McKellen and the crew. He said the "rivalry" between SW and LOTR was ridiculous because the films are not comparable at all and he should know since he is in both! Then he went on to tease us by making wicked comparisons anyway, all in LOTR’s favor. Peter chimed in saying the rivalry was all made up – that he and GL have great respect for each other’s work, that the productions were supportive of each other and shared information frequently.

PJ explained the non-relationship with the Tolkien estate in a most gracious way (this has already appeared in print) and re-iterated that he does not know if Christopher Tolkien has seen the film or not. They were asked if they plan to publish their scripts and they said not at the moment as there seems to be a problem with legal rights to do so, but lawyers are working on it.

Peter said there will be a one minute teaser for the general public at some point before the release of T2T but MARCH 22nd is the day when the new final reels with the 3 ½ minute PREVIEW will be shown in theatres worldwide. He said he convinced the studio to do it FOR THE FANS.

They were friendly and gracious throughout. Peter and Fran stayed a while to sign autographs and I snapped some pictures with a crappy flash camera. I am so glad I went. After all, we New Yorkers are entitled to some perks this year!

- elanor


From: Mammo

I know that some of this information is well known but I thought I would just report on what I heard today. Several hundred JRRT fans gathered at Barnes & Noble in Union Square for what was billed as a panel discussion on The Lord of the Rings. The panelists were Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Christopher Lee and Howard Shore. The moderator opened the discussion by introducing a number of topics and then opened up an question and answer session to the audience.

PJ was asked when the DVD would be released - The theatrical version comes out in August. In November he will release another DVD - He stressed it was not a Director's cut as he was very happy with the movie - but with an additional 30 minutes of material.

PJ said the feedback received was that the characters needed background to flesh them out, specifically the feud between Legolas and Gimli and the development from Strider to Aragorn and the romance between Aragorn and Arwen. He completed the cut last week and has integrated them into the movie. Also Howard Shore has written more music as score to accompany the additions which PJ believes is a first! Usually the score is "cut and paste" from the original movie.

Also there were scenes shot of Galadriel giving the gifts to the fellowship. PJ said he had panicked about the gifts as they become very necessary in the next two movies and he felt they had to be included. Why were they not left in ? mainly because he didn't want to lose momentum in the movie at that point.

PJ was asked the hardest character to translate from book to screen and he said without a doubt, Sauron. He said having the main villain be a "flaming red eye" risked being almost Monty Pythonesque and very difficult to portray - another reason why he fleshed out Saruman somewhat and made him the villain of the piece.

Fran Walsh and PJ confirmed that Gollum's role has been intensified and there will be Slinker vs.Stinker stuff going on. PJ said that Fran worked to a large extent with Andy S. on the role and examined the development from Smeagol to Gollum. FW directed these scenes.

PJ went into a great deal of detail about the use of the CG when AS filmed Gollum's scenes. AS would play the scene with motion detectors linked to the computer so PJ could see the CG Gollum simultaneously. AS could also study his movements and tweak as necessary.

PJ said that he "intensified" the scenes between Sam, Frodo and Gollum. He also said that TTT was too short in many ways and he addresses that by expanding the relationship between Faramir, Frodo and Sam. AND.....Major Spoiler.... Shelob will NOT be in the TTT. ( There was an audible gasp followed by a low moan through the audience! )

PJ was asked about the scouring of the shire and he confirmed it will not be included. He said he paid "homage" to that chapter by showing it briefly in Galadriel's mirror but he would not include it as it seemed to him to go off on a tangent. He said he had a problem with it even in the book - which like the movies track Frodo's quest to destroy the ring and he doesn't see how it fits. ( PJ mentioned JRRT felt strongly about industrialization creeping into England's rural areas, destroying them. )

PJ was asked about the trailer to TTT. He confirmed that it would be 3 minutes thirty seconds and would be released on March 22 to the movie theaters showing FOTR at that time. He said it is a thank you for the fans who go to the movies and he will not release it to TV or the internet.

Confirmation too that the Ents are in TTT bigtime!

PJ was asked how he split up books 3 and 4 and responded that in TTT he has intertwined the story of Merry and Pippin ending in Isengard with that of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli's mission to Rohan along with Sam and Frodo's journey to Mordor and their relationship with Gollum and meeting with Faramir.

There were other questions to Christopher Lee and Howard Shore and PJ talked at length about his relationship with George Lucas and some of the guys working on TPM and AOTC. PJ also recommended strongly a book, "The Art of FOTR " which comes out in June this year.

I was incredibly taken by the graciousness and good humor of the members of the panel. It must be incredibly tedious to have the same questions asked and then to sit for over an hour autographing books, posters, magazines for a motley crew! Both PJ and FW thanked all those who went up to get an autograph.

- Mammo


From: Shana Írima

I took my digicam to tonight's panel discussion and thought I'd share the wealth. Enjoy!

Assuming I'm doing this correctly, there should be three compressed jpegs attached to this message. There's a shot of the four panelists and the moderator; a shot of the panelists admiring a plaque (or possibly certificate) that was presented to Howard Shore by a local Tolkien appreciation society; and finally a close-up of Peter and Fran signing things.

—Shana Írima


From: Tim Kelly

My wife and I were also at the NYC Barnes and Noble meeting with PJ and company. A couple of things/impressions not in Maegwen's excellent report.

The Union Square Barnes and Noble was literally jammed, and quite a few people had even lined up outside before the doors opened at 10am that day. The response of the crowd was as if they were heroes returning to their home city. At the very end Fran Walsh took pains to say, 'no one has received us like NYC has'. And that fact in itself deserves some reflection.

As someone who has lived here for many years, I was amazed by the whole event. On the one hand, the NYrs were very un-NY like. We see celebrities here all the time on the street, and when the President shows up it doesn't merit even a line in the New York Times. But jaded NYrs were falling all over themselves for Peter and Fran. Standing ovations, joy, celebration. Field of Cormallen stuff. On the other hand, PJ and company were extremely un-Hollywood. They showed nothing of the soul-lessness and robotic polish and slickness that is so common among 'big names'. They struck everyone has being tremendously down-to-earth and "real". It was obvious these were independent film-makers who had made it big. It couldn't happen to better people.

NYC is incredibly snobbish artistically, and I thought LOTR would continue to get brushed off as light-weight, as the books commonly are. But this whole event shows that people are really recognizing, even in the traditional bastions of the 'elites' that Jackson has accomplished something truly extraordinary from nearly any perspective. And this is having a major effect on the reading of the book. I know some curators of some of the very 'top' modern art galleries and museums who say they see the most avant garde young artists now with LOTR in their backpacks.

And as a New Yorker who loves this city, it was wonderful to hear the affirmation from Fran. "The praise of the praiseworth is above all rewards."

- Tim Keller


From: Roseann

Just want to say that the Barnes & Noble event in NYC was really great. Lots of people. It was amazing to see Christopher Lee, Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson. After a panel discussion they opened up to floor questions. Some of the things I remember are (some spoilers)

It was announced that the soundtrack went gold and Howard Shore will be composing 30 minutes of additional music for the extended DVD due out in November. It will include more Legolas-Gimli, more of the hobbit relationships, and Galadriel's gifts

Christopher Lee's love for the book was evident and said there is no comparision of LOTR with Star Wars. He said LOTR is real and Star Wars it outer space. (I don't believe he was ragging on SW but there is a difference).

No Shelob in TTT will be ROTK, the Frodo, Sam, Gollum relationship will be expanded and so will the Faramir Frodo relationship. Peter said Fran directed a segment with Andy Serkis showing how Smeagol detoriated into Gollum. No Scourging of the Shire in any film except for the glimpse in the Mirror of Galadriel. Gollum's appearance will be CGI but the movements will be mostly Andy Serkis'.

No script publication due to legal matters.

The TTT stuff will be added to FOTR on March 22.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable time. After, Fran and Peter were kind enough to stay and sign autographs. They really are lovely people and were most considerate of the fans and would like to say thank you to them.

- Roseann


From: Arien

It's a bit long, but I tried to capture everything that was said.

What. an. amazing. experience.

I hadn't expected the turnout to be as large as it was. I figured that if I got there an hour early, I would get a decent spot. (What the hell was I thinking?!) All of the 200+ seats were occupied and people were standing against the walls surrounding the seating and stage area. Luckily, I managed to get a spot along the back bookcase that had a straight-on view of the stage. There were several camera crews there; one was from Access Hollywood, so there's a slim chance there will be some TV coverage of the event.

By 4:15, the whole 4th floor was packed to the point where we posed a potential fire hazard. I don't know how crowded it was on the 3rd floor, where there were screens televising the event.

At 5:00, Peter, Fran, Howard, and Christopher arrived. Of course, everyone in the room stood, applauded, and cheered. After everyone had quieted down, the fun began. Here are some of the things I recall about the discussion (which was, of course, moderated). Hope you don't mind, but I've separated them into categories instead of doing it chronologically. Here we go:

---WARNING: spoilers ahead---

*********DVD/Trailer News*********

-A minute trailer will be added onto the end of FOTR on March 22nd. According to Peter, it will not be advertised, nor will it be put on the official site. Later in the year, a regular 1-minute teaser will be released.

-The theatrical version of FOTR will be available in August.

-The 'director's cut' [see 'Peter Jackson' section] will be available in November. It will include 30 minutes of new footage and, accordingly, 30 minutes of new music to be composed by Howard Shore. As anticipated, the new footage includes the gift-giving scene in Lothlorien. (Amid the buzz, I also heard some talk of build-up of the relationship between Gimli and Legolas, and Aragorn's character, but I'm not exactly sure in what context it was being discussed. Sorry.)

*********General Spoilers*********

-Shelob will be in ROTK, not TTT. [See 'Peter Jackson' section].

-The relationship between Gollum, Sam, and Frodo will be 'intensified.'

-Faramir will get an expanded role and his relationship with Frodo will be more defined and developed than it was in the books.

-TTT will also include more about the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen. (This could either refer to their history together or 'Helm's Deep'?)

-We may see Smeagol's demise and his transformation into Gollum. Fran directed this part of the story.

-The Scouring of the Shire is OUT. Peter said that it doesnt fit quite right in the end. He wants to avoid going off on a tangent, especially because the movie deals so much with Frodo's quest to get to Mordor and to destroy the ring. The scenes in Galadriel's mirror were his way of 'paying homage' to Tolkien's idea.

*********Peter Jackson*********

All I can say is: Wow. This man has such a wonderful presence about him. He just seems so honest and natural that it draws your unwavering attention. Really, I just stared at him like a freak. Oh, and what a lovely, melodic accent he has. I could listen to him talk for ages. Ok, enough mindless gushing'

-Once again, Peter spoke about how New Zealand was the ideal location for shooting the movies. The moderator asked the crowd: 'How many of you are seriously considering visiting NZ because of the movie?' to which a dozen or so (as far as I could see) people raised their hands. Peter then said that, while some may have plans to go, he doesn't think anyone has actually landed in NZ yet.

-Peter, as well as many others, got a good laugh when asked if there were any plans for making 'The Silmarillion' into a movie.

-The moderator brought up the exclusion of Baz Luhrmann in the Academy Awards' Best Director category. Peter said some kind words for Baz, praising his 'amazing' directorial work in Moulin Rouge.

-While speaking about the DVD releases, Peter commented about the so-called 'director's cut.' Basically, he said that calling it a 'director's cut' implies that the director wasn't happy/satisfied with what ended up in theatres. He firmly states that he was very pleased with the theatrical version.

-He joked about how the villain in the movie is a 'big flaming eye.'

-It was pretty great when he acknowledged that some people may have been disappointed with the lack of development of the relationship between Legolas and Gimli. (Yes!) Also acknowledged was the fact that some of Galadriel's gifts (which were not shown) will be used in the next movies. He said that the additional footage in the November DVD will hopefully solve that problem.

-He seemed understandably pleased with the idea that 30 minutes of new music would be included in the November DVD. Other movies just take music from other scenes and 'paste' it into a new situation, but not FOTR. Awesome.

-Peter visited the Skywalker Ranch (Who in the what where? Sorry, I'm not a big Star Wars/George Lucas fan). Apparently he met with George Lucas, who was 'very nice,' and the technical crew. There was some laughter as Peter told us that the crew helped him out by showing him around and giving him a list of things to buy to facilitate the special effects.

-A lot of praise was given to Andy Serkis because he not only does the voice of Gollum, but acts as the moving model for him as well. That is, Serkis was the one who had the electrodes taped to him and slinked along in Gollum-like fashion against the blue screen.

-Although Shelob will be in ROTK and not TTT, Peter assures us: 'She's still there. She's great.'

-He thinks that TTT, the book, is 'almost too short' for a full movie.

-One guy asked Peter: 'What are you going to do WHEN you win the Oscar for best director?' [Insert raucous applause here] Peter just chuckled. I don't recall his exact words, but he basically sounded unsure of winning and remarked that it was an honor to be nominated. Thirteen nominations say a lot.

-A question about Christopher Tolkien seemed to annoy Peter just a little. But Mr. Jackson was very cordial and reasonably explained that the Tolkien's did not want to be exploited by the movie. There was no contact between himself and Christopher Tolkien; everything was handled by lawyers. Getting the Tolkien estate involved would have been messy anyway because their involvement would have been perceived as an endorsement of the movie, sort of making it into the 'official' LOTR movies. Peter argues that it would not have been in anyones best interest to have the Tolkien's involved because the 'power of veto' wouldn't have been granted to them (e.g. they wouldn't be able to control who was or was not cast for a certain role.)

*********Fran Walsh*********

She didn't say very much but she has a very charming way of speaking and a beautiful voice.

-As stated in the 'General Spoilers' section, Fran directed the scenes that deal with Smeagol's transformation into Gollum.

-Fran stated that the script will not be published because of some sort of copyright laws (?). She then went on to say 'But you can buy it,' which elicited a lot of laughs.

*********Howard Shore*********

I dont have much on Mr. Shore; he didn't speak very much, but was seemed like a very pleasant man.

-A club devoted to Mr. Shore was in attendance and they presented him with a plaque thanking him for his music in LOTR.

-He says that he read LOTR in the sixties.

*********Christopher Lee*********

Great voice, great wardrobe, great sense of humor, great guy. Sigh. I love him. Did I mention he was great?

-The moderator, while doing introductions, made a funny comment about how Christopher 'scared the hell out of [him].' Someone, I don't remember who, said that it was Saruman's 'hands' that were scary. Chris then hovered his hand over his water bottle a la Saruman's hand over the palantir. Very convincing and completely hilarious.

-As many of us already know, he is a long-time reader of Tolkien and has read LOTR annually since they were first published. He also met Tolkien once, 'by chance,' and 'it was all [he] could do to keep [himself] from kneeling.'

-He was very affable and heaped praise on the cast and crew. He said he '[couldn't] imagine anyone else playing those roles.'

-Christopher also praised New Line Cinema for bankrupting itself' in order to produce the films. The moderator then asked us to 'give a hand for bankruptcy,' and we heartily cheered.

-He firmly stated, and reiterated, that there is absolutely no way of comparing LOTR with Star Wars. He was very humorous as he pointed out some of their differences, which I can't readily recall, sorry.

-The moderator asked which set (Star Wars or LOTR) had better food. The answer: the set of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Thus ends my account of the event. I had a great time. Hope you enjoyed.


- arien


PJ On PBS's Charlie Rose In Chicago
Strider @ 2:17 pm EST

From D:

I've never written before and I don't know if what I have to say is useful, but I wanted to let you know that I just happened to turn on PBS here in
Chicagoland at 0100 and caught PJ on with Charlie Rose. He seems to be everything positive that everyone says about him; open, warm, intelligent,
exuberant and very disheveled. This being the first time I had ever seen him speak at length, I was extremely impressed with him. He spoke at length
and with great and intimate knowledge not only on The Lord of the Rings itself but especially about Tolkien himself, his history, his vision, his desire to create a mythology for Britain. He was very near enchanting; one can see why so many people, especially actors, spoke so highly of him. He seems every bit the fan he is made out to be.

As for specifics, one thing of interest I thought was his discussion of his re-cut of FOTR for the DVD. He steered away from calling it a "director's cut" because he said the version in theater's IS the director's cut but that he really enjoyed having this format to put in all the character development moments that had to be excised from the theatrical release. He hedged on any specifics when pressed slightly by Charlie Rose; perhaps to keep Rose from saying "Aragon" any more than he already did.

Anyway, just wanted to give a quick review of PJ on CR. Hope it helps.

FOTR Japanese Premiere Press Conference
Strider @ 2:04 pm EST

From Érica:

There's a coverage of the LOTR press conference in Tokyo (02/20) on the official LOTR Japanese site: http://lord-of-the-ring.com/join/news/pressconf.html

I know that not many people can read Japanese, but you'll be able to see the pictures, at least... don't worry, they didn't say anything very different from what they had already said and repeated a lot of times. Well, maybe this could be interesting:

Question: If you could be another character in the film, which one would you like to be?
Dominic: Arwen! (Everybody laughs)
Elijah: He doesn't appear much in this first movie, and he is tortured, bad things happen to him, but... Gollum! I've liked this character since I was a child.
Liv: Maybe the white horse I rode. Because it doesn't suffer during the shooting, does it? (Laughs) We (actors) had a tough time. But, of course, it was a wonderful experience as well.
Orlando: Viggo. Not Aragorn, but Viggo himself. (Laughs)
Barry M. Osborne (producer): Peter Jackson. (Laughs) He is like a god. But, talking about characters, Saruman. I mean, Christopher Lee. If he were here, it would be even more fun. He has a great ability to learn languages. He can speak Japanese pretty well.
Dominic: McKellen (Gandalf). We actually became friends during the shooting period. I think his name is the one that first comes to my mind when I'm asked this question.

Christopher Lee Talks LOTR
Xoanon @ 1:41 pm EST

Cynthia writes:

Just wanted to report that I just listened to a 40-minute interview on WNYC in NY with Christopher Lee, full of articulate musings on his career and laced with excerpts from the LOTR score. Wasn't able to tape it, and missed the first 10 minutes, but here are a few tidbits:

He said he "thinks" Peter Jackson is in NY (today is the book signing in Union Square) and that he is going to be seeing him tomorrow (Saturday).

He just had a drink with the opera star Samuel Ramey, a bass whom he admires very much. Interestingly, Lee said he comes from a family of opera singers and studied singing early on. The legendary tenor Jussi Bjoerling heard him singing at a tavern and got him to audition for the Stockholm Opera. He didn't have the funds to stay in Stockholm and study, so he ended up playing all those wonderful villains and using that voice in a different way.

His great ambition, still unrealized, is to play Merlin.

He belongs to 3 stunt men's unions by virtue of being a terrific swordsman (his father was an expert in the military) and often used to do his own stunts til he realized it took work away from stunt men.

He will turn 80 on May 27.

He met J. R. R. Tolkien at the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford once when he was there with friends, and said he "practically knelt" to him.

He spoke very warmly about the courage of New Line in taking on the LOTR films, saying they were "the only company that had the guts" to do it and is "glad they're being rewarded. They deserve it".

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