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April 21, 2000 - May 21, 2000

5-21-00 Latest News

Gamgee's Gary Gygax Gab
Calisuri @ 12:36 EST

The questions are in! TheOneRing.net's exclusive interview with Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeon and Dragons, is ready to go. Below is a list of the interview questions sent in by YOU, the fans. Look for the answers soon!

1. Do you enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien? If so, how did he influence your work?

2. Did you actively base D&D on Tolkien's world, adopting some of the preferences of the species, their behaviours, and all that from Tolkien?

3. As many D&D fans know, the game has taken flak in the past from Christian and "concerned parents" groups regarding the game and its supposed occult/Satanic influence on some of those who play it. How would you respond to those that say D&D is a "gateway" to Satanic or dangerous practices?

4. Are you surprised that D&D and games like it have been as popular as they are? Were you aiming for a much smaller market, or did you imagine that this many people would enjoy what you enjoy creating?

5. How old were you when you actually began to create AD&D?

6. I would imagine that you invented D&D and played it for a long while before actually going to market with it; who, if anyone, inspired you to market the game?

7. I imagine you read fantasy novels quite a bit; do you have any favorite authors, or any favorite books in general?

8. In a recent issue of Dragon magazine, you said you would have developed a 2nd edition of AD&D differently than what TSR eventually came out with in 1989. What would have been your vision of a 2nd edition had you worked on it?

9. The Dungeon and Dragons game used to be billed as a "simple" game as opposed to those games like G.U.R.P.S. and Wizards and Warriors. Why has it become so complicated?

10. What do you have in the works as of now?

11. Thinking back, I seem to remember a Middle-arth role playing game. Were you involved in this? Is it still available?

12. Did you ever consider making the Lord of the Rings into a module?

13. What is your favorite book of all time (excluding your own)?

14. Who is Gary Gygax? What makes him tick?

15. In all of your world, who is your favorite creature or character you have created?

16. I know you have not seen the trailer because you dont want to spoil it, but what do you think of the Lord of the Rings movies being produced? What are your hopes for it?

17. Do you think the Lord of the Rings movies will create a surge in new fantasy fans?

18. When first creating D&D, did you ever expect to make a living at it?

19. What was the book that you read that got you hooked on fantasy?

20. And finally, what do you think of TheOneRing.net?

5-11-00 Latest News

Special Report: Seven Months and Counting
Xoanon @ 11:48 EST

Today, March 11th, marks the seventh month in the shooting process for LOTR. A seven month shoot is particularly long, and considering they have another 5 or 6 months to go, it's only about half way through.

What do we know they've done this month? Up to and including today we know for certain they've shot and completed scenes from The Last Alliance and The Black Gates, both in and around Mordor. They've also completed scenes in Chetwood Forest and at the Vale of Morgul, Emyn Muil West, Foot of Mount Doom, and the Gorgorath Plains.

Filming meanwhile at the Haywards Hill set has resumed; this time we shall see Gandalf fighting in and around Helms Deep taking place in the very near future.

5-04-00 Latest News

Big Doubles...Small Doubles...
Xoanon @ 11:21 EST

As we all know, Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Men come in all shapes and sizes, but in the real world the actors who are playing these characters are of average size and build. We have all heard about the digital 'shrinking' that WETA and Peter Jackson are planning to use, but there are more realistic (yes I said more realistic) than CGI and much cheaper ways to get the process done:

Body Doubles

And in this case, it seems that almost every character has their 'Large' or 'Small' double waiting on the sidelines to step in front of the camera.

We realize that the actors playing the hobbits would need doubles of much smaller stature to stand in at certain parts of the story, but why would, say Gandalf and Legolas need 'large' doubles? Well, just flip the coin, and look at it the other way: if we have a shot of the Frodo body double walking along with Ian McKellen, it looks perfect, but what if we wanted a shot of Elijah Wood walking along with Gandalf? Elijah and Ian do not match the proportions of Frodo and Gandalf, so in comes the 7 foot tall Gandalf stand-in and suddenly Elijah is Hobbit-sized!

TheOneRing.net has learned the names of some of the 'small' and 'large' body doubles; these folks are unknowns, but work just as hard as the stars themselves!

From an earlier report we know that the Hobbit body doubles are mostly from India. I do think, however that most of the rest are local Kiwis, here they are:

Gimli (Small): Brett Beattie
Legolas (Big): Paul Randall
Gandalf (Big): Paul Randall
Pippin (Small): Fon
Merry (Small): Kiran Shah/Murugan
Sam (Small): Bhoja Kannada

Most of the Hobbits, and as you can see Gandalf and Legolas, have the same body doubles... they must switch around from time to time.

5-03-00 Latest News

Special Report: Elessar Film 'on hold'
Xoanon @ 10:18 EST

From: Sam R. Balcomb, Director, Elemental Films

We at Elemental Films wish to thank you for your continued support and interest in the "Elessar" project. Unfortunately due to many problems, communication and legality related, the project is on temporary hold until we can secure rights to Professor Tolkien's fictional names.

You have all inspired us to deliver a film worthy of the high quality of Tolkien's work, and to bring Middle-Earth (and maybe even some of Aman and Numenor) to life. We also do not wish to contend or misuse publicity from Mr. Jackson's project -- we all are tremendously excited about it (and will be front in line to buy tickets).

We will let you know if further progress is made. Included are some teaser production drawings not previously available to the public that might give you a glimpse of our ideas. Again, we thank everyone for their support.

Click any image to enlarge in our scrapbook

4-24-00 Latest News

ImagineCon 2000: Final Report
Calisuri @ 18:00 EST

(report by Calisuri, Blasm and Corvar)

Check out the ImagineCon 2000 image gallery for lots of fun pictures from today and the whole Convention!
ImagineCon 2000 Gallery

Saturday at ImagineCon lived up to expectations.

The highlight of the day was presenting our exclusive look at the LOTR movies to a packed house of rabid Tolkien fans. The fan reaction to casting was amazing. On the applause meter, Brad Dourif, Elijah Wood, Ian Mckellen and Christopher Lee had the largest response. The rest of the cast also received rounding approval. The location spy reports and images also were well recieved and applauded. Fans were truly blown away at the accuracy and beauty of the Shire.

With the location and cast information behind us, we got to the meat and potatoes of the presentation with an exclusive look at the interent preview (frame by frame) and some other really cool stuff you could ONLY see at this Con.

The most common phrase of the day was:
"Finally they are doing this right!"

Two bigtime Ringer fans, TheBursar (of Barlimans fame) and Sean showed up to help out with our fan table and the presentation. In return for their great work and kindness we gave them our brand new "Top 10 Ways you Know your a Tolkien Fan" shirt. Sean really took a liking to our neighbors EmarthnGuarth. Thanks Guys!

Brandon and Marie at EmarthnGuarth set up their padded weapon live action role-playing outside the convention center and we proceeded to have some really lively skirmishes. Particularly of note was Calisuri's loss to Marie and TheOneRing.net's loss to the TideWater Dragon Staff. However, Marie does this stuff for a living, and both TideWater Dragon staff have black belts in Kendo. So the fact that we won one round of the best of three was rather impressive!

(Special note to Marie from Calisuri: Sorry, I just finalized the contract with both sites today. Thats what you get for leaving early!:P)

We also had the privilege to meet special effects guru Terrence Masson formerly of ILM (Indutrial Light and Magic) fame and author of CG101: A Computer Graphics Industry Reference. He had some great insight into the visual effects industry and had a quote that I will never hear again in my lifetime: "I just left ILM...for the second time." Terrence is now working as the Director of Development at Ronin Entertainment.

We also had some great fun with Blasm's Jar Jar Binks mask. When Darth Vader and a bunch of Storm Troopers showed up near our fan table, Calisuri put the mask on and gave them quite a stir. Well, actually, they seemed a little too 'serious' to react to Calisuri's immature antics! Jar Jar also showed his fighting skill against the EmarthnGuarth folks.

We were lucky enough to catch up to Ed Kramer, Chairman of DragonCon. He seemed excited about what TheOneRing.net will add to DragonCon 2000 this summer (June 28-July 2). He also got an special look at the exclusive content from our presentation. Keep your eyes open for some really amazing stuff at DragonCon this year! We can't say what specifically, but it sure sounds great!

Saturday night was spent hopping around Con parties. Our official ImagineCon party guide was Kevin. He created a very unique beverage for all to enjoy and was looking to find a name for it. After a few hours, we offered "Nazgul Breath" as an option. Turns out, that is the name he picked! Maybe we can pester Kevin to give us the secret recipe and post it in the fan recipes section.

Besides the DoubleTree messing up ImagineCon's party floor we had two good hours of fun until the hotel staff came by and closed things down. The majority of attendees then flooded the Quality Inn, who were more then happy to accomadate the party floor.

We had ample time to talk with Jeff Cioletti, director of Millenium's End: The Fandom Menace, and founder of Far Away Discourse Productions. We had some great discussions on Star Wars mania and fandom in general. Calisuri also purchased a cassette of "Fandom Menace." (Great movie)

Sunday at ImagineCon was slow since most vendors and booths were packing up for the long trips home. We did manage to show some more fans the LOTR trailer and even sold a few TORn t-shirts!

A special thanks to some friendly faces we met at ImagineCon 2000: Kevin, Dehvyn, Rogue, Hector, Bill the Fox, TheBursar, Sean, The Grahams, Marie and Brandon, Nathan (Sheecky), and anyone else that we never got your name!

We want want to take this opportunity to thank Jon Prescott and the ImagineCon staff for serving up such a great Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror conference and inviting us to be part of the fun. Hopefully we'll be invited back next year when the fevor for the movies is overwhelming!

ps - If you met us at the Con and don't know our emails, here you go:
Calisuri - calisuri@theonering.net
Corvar - corvar@theonering.net
Blasm - blasm@theonering.net

Thanks folks!

Check out the ImagineCon 2000 image gallery for lots of fun pictures from today and the whole Convention!
ImagineCon 2000 Gallery

4-22-00 Latest News

ImagineCon 2000: Day 2
Corvar @ 00:00 EST

We have just concluded our first full day of ImagineCon in Virginia Beach, VA. We had another great day meeting many diverse fans of Tolkien. Again we educated those that did not know of the movies, and were astounded at the knowledge that some of the attendees carried with them.

We had new neighbors at our table, EmarthnGuarth. EmarthnGuarth run a padded weapons live action roleplaying game in the Virginia Beach area. The footage they had from one of their recent events was quite interesting and entertaining. In the pictures below we have an image of one of their past events, as well as, the staff from Tidewater Dragon magazine beating themselves silly. Tidewater Dragon is a quite well done zine local to the Hampton Roads area.

Calisuri and I intended to present a panel entitled "How to create a fan based website", but alas we had some stiff competition for the attendee's attention. Instead we sat with two long time readers of TheOneRing.net, discussing the films and Tolkien in general. We would like to say "Hi" to Chris and Ross Graham and thank them for taking the time to hunt us down.

Later in the evening, Calisuri and Blasm attended the premiere of a documentary entitled "Millennium's End: The Fandom Menace" while leaving me to tend our table. You can find out more information about what Calisuri and Blasm assure me was an excellent documentary at Far Away Discourse Productions.

The rest of the evening were spent preparing this report and practicing for tomorrows presentation on the movies. I wish all of you could show up tomorrow and watch Calisuri's foray into public speaking, but I realize most of you will have to make do with a report of the fear in his eyes.

Once again the staff of ImagineCon were nothing but helpful and courteous. Thanks to them for having us be a part of this great convention. If you can, make sure you check this event out before its too late!

And the Crowd gets bigger!

Chris and Ross Graham - BigTime Ringer Fans!

EmarthnGuarth Fighting

EmarthnGuarth's Table

TideWater Dragon folks using the EmarthnGuarth weapons

4-21-00 Latest News

'LOTR' preview sees 6.6 million downloads in first week
Xoanon @ 11:25 EST

'LOTR' preview sees 6.6 million downloads in first week
by Dennis Sellers, dsellers@maccentral.com
April 20, 2000, 7:00 am ET

New Line Cinema's "The Lord of the Rings" preview footage has had a record-breaking one-week total of over 6.6 million downloads since it became available on April 7. However, not all QuickTime fans are happy with the trailer/footage.

The trailer loads in a proprietary box with no means of saving it to your hard drive. Immediately following this discovery, some Mac fans mobilized into action on the QuickTime message boards and newsgroups, sharing methods of ferreting out the movie so they could save it and view it whenever they wished. (MacCentral isn't advocating this, just reporting that it happened so don't flame me.)

Available exclusively in Apple's QuickTime format, the delivery of the preview was handled by the FreeFlow SM Streaming service of Akamai Technologies. During the preview's first week of availability, Akamai's global network served 8.45 terabytes of data. At the peak, Akamai's network supported 450MB of data per second.

"Without Akamai's over 2,700 servers, we would not have been able to satisfy the overwhelming demand to see this behind-the-scenes footage of The Lord of the Rings," said Joe Nimziki, president of New Line Marketing, in a press release. "We are grateful that Akamai marshaled the technical resources necessary to help us pull off this record-breaking marketing coup."

To view the Lord of the Rings movie preview, you'll need QuickTime 4.0. If you have it, just cruise on over to http://www.apple.com/trailers or http://www.lordoftherings.net.

Akamai's FreeFlow Streaming service, delivered from the Akamai EdgeAdvantage platform, exceeds user expectations by delivering high-quality and reliable streaming media content including live events, continuous broadcasts and on-demand media, according to Dan Fraisl, vice president and general manager of streaming, Akamai. Akamai's EdgeAdvantage technology delivers content by intelligently routing requests across its distributed global network to the optimal server for each site visitor, he adds. EdgeAdvantage evaluates real-time Internet conditions, thus eliminating problems caused by server overloads and network bottlenecks, says Fraisl.

New Line anticipates releasing the first installment of the trilogy of movies for "The Lord of the Rings" during the Christmas holiday season of 2001. So you've got plenty of time to read J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy before the film opens.

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