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May 05, 2003 - May 11, 2003

5-11-03 Latest News

Some More Collectormania Reports
leo @ 11:55 am EST

Two more people sent in their reports from Collectormania. The event, held last weekend just outside of London, must've drawn hordes of LOTR-fans. Probably because it was attended by five members of the cast: John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Bruce Hopkins and Sala Baker! Next up there's a blurb from Gillian

4th May, 2003. Sunday night in Milton Keynes. A small cinema that seats around 120 people, if that. Scheduled - a talk with visiting actors prior to a special screening of The Two Towers.

The cinema was almost full when I entered at 17:45, and managed to secure three seats together about five rows back in the stadium seating. The night before had seen a talk with the same actors followed by a special screening of Fellowship of the Ring. The obvious group contingent of young ladies from the night before was again very much in evidence. They were generally excited and obviously enjoying themselves

Although they were mercifully quiet during the film as opposed to their behaviour the night before during FoTR when they had whooped at every appearing of Pippin and Legolas. It was amusing for the first 20 minutes, but eventually their distracting ‘enthusiasm’ prompted many of the audience to start yelling "Shut up!" and "Oh, grow up!

At 18:00 my accompanying friends entered in a hurry, one muttering something about barging into John Rhys-Davies at the door. As last night's talk had started a good 30 minutes late due to the actors' signing commitments, and we were still 15 minutes from the start of tonight's talk, this confused me, for about ten seconds, because then JRD himself strolled out of the access corridor, takeaway coffee in hand, booming "Good Evening." He leaned his elbows on the railing at the front of the tiered seating like an old friend leaning on a wall to chat to his neighbour. Apparently the other actors had gone for their promised drink in the bar after their long day of signing but, despite having one of the longest queues of all, JRD had foregone his drink to come straight to the talk.

The first words out of his mouth after the greeting, delivered in a mock patient drawl were "For you young ladies, nooo, I do not have Orlando Bloom' s telephone number and yeess, if I did I WOULD give it to you!”

After the laughter had subsided he continued, "Now we've got that out of the way does anyone else have any silly questions?" He accepted the offer of a mini Toblerone and managed to talk around it quite effectively as he mentioned his antipathy for the producers of Helen of Troy (although he didn't labour the point) and gave details of the accident in Croatia while filming Musketeers. I remember that he broke his arm and that, when the wall fell on him, he was initially afraid that both his hip and back were broken. I can’t recall all the specifics about injury, but the story of a long line of men silently holding up the remnants of the wall for the next 30 minutes before he could be rescued from the heap of rubble was very moving.

JRD was obviously still suffering and confirmed he wasn't quite recovered. In fact, after the initial friendly leaning gesture, he mostly wandered around in front of the stadium seating, with his hand in the small of his back. He did indulge in one physical display, when asked what it was like learning to fight with an axe. He answered that the fight training had been great, but then they got onto the set, and they dressed him in many pounds of armour, put a 14(?) pound helmet on his head, handed him two heavy axes and then told him to fight, “Oh, and do it on your knees!” JRD got down on his knees at this point to demonstrate, swung an imaginary axe, and promptly disappeared from the audience's vision as he overbalanced. Much laughter.

At another point in the talk, John stated his opinion that Gimli doesn't recognise that he is short. He also shared a few notes on the "Toss me" exchange between Gimli and Aragorn at Helm's Deep. The "Toss me" line was because they thought there needed to be some pay off from "Nobody tosses a dwarf" in the first film. He added that "Don't tell the Elf!" was his own interpolation. He referred to the humour in the second film with the observation that there is a need for occasional lightness in a drama on screen, as opposed to the book where there is battle after battle, setback after setback with no respite. That can be done in a book, but the needs of drama are different.

People continued to enter the cinema during John's talk, some of them attempting polite tip-toe, others just wandering past and up the central stairs right in front of John, while some remained at the side. John took this in his stride. I was quite annoyed for him, even if he had turned up fifteen minutes early but perhaps I missed any quiet apologies as people walked in front of him.

His monopoly on our attention was finally broken by the mass arrival of Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) and Sala Baker (Sauron), along with another influx of audience. As the steward started to announce the actors’ arrival, two more audience members came around the corner instead and there was mild amusement. John turned this to full-on laughter by teasing the couple in a booming voice as they hurriedly ascended the stairs to find a seat, "I bet you're really embarrassed right at this moment, aren't you? I know I would be!" The rest of the actors therefore entered to general good humour and all helped themselves from the multipack of mini-Toblerones that was again handed towards them. I think 'Sauron' took two. I suspect one young lady is currently framing an empty sweet packet.

The cast moved to the front of the cinemas and positioned themselves immediately below the screen and JRD appropriated a seat in the front row, his back to the audience. Throughout the remainder of the talk he could not be seen but continued to interject. On each occasion of that I could see one arm waving gently in emphasis, accompanying a disembodied but still commanding voice.

The questions this session were rather more intelligent than some of those in the last session (of which a transcript has been posted at theonering.net so I won’t repeat). The order I'll relate them in is not the right order, but the order they came into my memory when I was making notes afterward. There will, of course, be omissions due to the faulty nature of my memory.

[spoiler]Billy told us that the most difficult part of his role as Pippin was the moment when he has to swear fealty to Denethor. Gandalf is making a grab for him and he has to dodge around furniture to reach Denethor. Now this would all have been okay if the scene wasn't blue screen, if Gandalf had been there (which he wasn't), if Denethor had been there (yep, he wasn't) and if there had actually been any furniture to dodge around!

Billy also wouldn't confirm if Pippin got to look into the Palantir, which was a little disappointing considering his previous 'inadvertent' spoilage about the Denethor scene. (That was my question and I’ve made a note to myself to phrase spoiler questions more ambiguously in future, or ask Ian McKellen, who let slip a fairly major spoiler in his latest talk ) However, since we now know he gets to Gondor, I suppose there's still a chance that the Palantir gazing will take place, and I can still see a place for that in the story, even with the changed circumstances regarding Gandalf’s knowledge of the Palantir.

Andy Serkis was asked to do his 'Gollum voice' and obliged with a whole scene, the conflict between Smeagol and Gollum in Ithilien. Before he started, he told us that the entire scene had been filmed in one two-minute take. The man was a good twenty yards or so from us, but we could see his face and as we watched him alternate between the two personalities effortlessly, I couldn't help feeling it was a pity that we didn't get to see the real Andy Serkis in the film. His live performance left tears in my eyes and not even the first viewing of the relevant film scene did that to me. I can understand that PJ cut between the two personalities during that scene to emphasise the two persons/dual personality thing, but the in-between effect, as AS's face flipped from one character to the other, was stunning and I wish that PJ could have found some way to retain that.

The audience asked for spoilers and after hesitation, Sala Baker announced that in ROTK, Sauron turns into Legolas. Bruce quipped that Gamling becomes king of Rohan, and JRD quickly added that he was sharing no spoilers but did think that the early death of Legolas was a scene that was sorely missing from the first film. (The 'griping' at the popularity of Legolas was a running joke throughout the talks on both nights)

Someone asked the actors to tell us about the thing they found most difficult. Bruce Hopkins had confessed (the previous night I think) that he wasn’t exactly an accomplished horseman (possibly not at all), but this wasn't picked up until he was on a skittish horse in the middle of the ruins of Isengard and someone bothered to ask him. By that time they had decided to extend the character of Gamling far more than originally planned, so they sent him for horse-riding lessons. This session, he added that he had problems with one particular horse. He was attempting to control the horse but it wasn't working and he wasn't happy, to put it mildly. Someone later commented offhandedly, "Oh, were you trying to back rein(?) him? That horse doesn't back rein."

For his ‘difficult’ story, Billy Boyd referred to the pain and hassle of hobbit feet, especially when it was cold and wet.

Andy Serkis described the major problems he had with playing Gollum, all issues that are a nightmare for an actor. For one, he had no costume to help him get into the part. In addition, he did not feel he owned the character as the performance relied on other factors beside himself and, although at the end of each day Elijah and Sean (with whom he spent the most time) could leave knowing their performance was mostly in the can and perhaps feel some pride in the finished performance, he could not. He knew his work was not finished and that he had many more hours and days of work before he would be finished with that scene. JRD quipped that for a job that was originally touted as one that appeared the most effortless of any of the actors, that is a couple of weeks of voice-over work, Andy Serkis had ended up with one of the most difficult.

The 'unitard' that AS wore for his performances as Gollum became known as the 'Gimp' suit and he described the embarrassed feeling of walking onto a set full of "hairy-arsed chaps” while wearing "spandex". Sounds like he got some ribbing for it too. He quipped, "I felt like a right… unitard."

Sala Baker is scheduled for more work on Sauron and described his most difficult issue being with the costume and the fact that it ended up being redesigned. A most uncomfortable experience in both guises.

To questions on the Extended Edition, BB confirmed (as elsewhere) that the storyline with the Huorns ("the evil trees") has been reintegrated into the story line. He added that so much had to be removed because to take only small snippets left the storyline confused and they ended up removing a huge chunk of the Treebeard stuff. He's glad it's back in, including the Hobbits drinking the Ent Draught, which he thought was a nice nod towards Tolkien.

In regard to questions about the relationship between him and Dominic Monaghan, BB mentioned that a mischievous approach was not discouraged on set because it helped to promote a relaxed attitude and this made it easier to cope with the long hours. The tendency to informality also made it easier for people to bring out their own ideas and suggestions but also not to feel slapped down when those suggestions were rejected. The general consensus was that it was a marvellous atmosphere and they would work for PJ again in a heartbeat.

Bruce Hopkins added that their good experiences were one of the reasons they were so keen to appear at events such at Collectormania and talk to fans. He also added, as if necessary, that PJ really cares about the fans too.

Someone asked if they could ask Tolkien one question, what would it be? After only minor hesitation, BB answered, "I'd ask him why he didn't give the Hobbits boots in Rivendell!"

That's all I can remember, but I'll finish with John Rhys-Davies final quip from the Saturday session, "Thank You for not throwing boiled sweets!"

Some More Collectormania Reports
leo @ 11:43 am EST

Two more people sent in their reports from Collectormania. The event, held last weekend just outside of London, must've drawn hordes of LOTR-fans. Probably because it was attended by five members of the cast: John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Bruce Hopkins and Sala Baker! The first report is from Mary.

Collectormania 3. Milton Keynes. Saturday 3rd -Monday 5th May. Me. M. R and R. We were there. And my legs now hurt enough to provide plenty of proof of time spent walking round stalls and standing in queues that look so deceptively short until you realise that everyone is actually desperate to have a life-changing conversation with a star.

Collectormania 3. Milton Keynes. A place which seems to be unprepared for the possibility of tourists (understandable if you have ever been there) and needs to be introduced to the concept of SIGNS which might actually help you to know where you are heading for.

But we found the location in the end and in a wonderful quirk of fate managed to park right outside the entrance. Ha! Milton Keynes also needs to be introduced to the concept of long-stay parking and perhaps encourage people to spend more than 5 hours without having to rush out and buy another parking ticket, though without the lure of an event such as this, we decided that 5 hours is probably the peak time for suicide having endured too long in a place that must surely have been designed by Satan himself.

I digress. After the initial period of childish excitement something along the lines of small child finding themselves in the middle of an enormous sweet shop with access to all the bext sweets, it was into the line to see Virginia Hey (Zhaan from Farscape) consisting of one other person; there is no justice in the world that more people were willing to pay Paul McGann £20 and stand in a ridiculously over-long queue than come and talk to this wonderful lady. And a wonderful lady who would write "To dearest [me], tons of love" on the lovely 10x8 free photo selected from the variety on offer. She even spotted that there was a tiny flaw in the picture and carefully picked up a blue pen and coloured it in!

After that it was merely a short hop into the next line to see Warwick Davies - finally the chance to meet Willow himself, and to top it all off I actually had a decent question to ask him about his commentary for the recent DVD release of Willow. He was genuinely pleased that I liked his commentary and added that he now has to do 6 of the things for the Leprechaun movies - not pitying him that job! He mentioned that one line he liked was cut from the commentary, about General Kale, who was named after a movie critic of the time, but after her death it was deemed disrespectful to include it, though Warwick reckoned it aptly summe her up!

Both Virginia and Warwick were allowing people to take photographs, and I cursed the fact that M had made off with the camera and was quite possibly at that very moment supping coffee whilst I was mingling with the stars, unable to preserve the moments for posterity in any form other than my memories (time was spent at night piecing together the order of events, but got unfortunately tangled with numerous other activities from the day... the old memory is not what it used to be... what was I saying?!) and Warwick was even coming round to the front of his table to stand with the fans - and at this point I was somewhat pleased the camera wasn't available as I would have been slightly embarrassed at my current inability to bend at the knees. Though I will add that having a walking stick at busy events is a great boon. Apologies to anyone who has permanent scarring...!

We checked out the lines to see Billy Boyd and Andy Serkis, but made a cunning plan to endeavour to avoid the queues by arriving early the next day, and instead did the tour of the stalls, being more than momentarily distracted by the stall selling replicas of weaponry from movies... I say to you Arwen's sword... and please excuse me whilst I mop up the drool from the keyboard. I am sure I really CAN justify nearly £200 on a sword... can't I?

The stalls were more than slightly crammed in, and the circumstances of the event, with it being an open event in a shopping mall, meant that it was very, very busy indeed, and it was really very hard to browse. But I did at least find a Han Solo action figure for my mother, which goes a small way for refusing to pay out for an actual Milennium Falcon...

The highlight of the day was the screening of Fellowship of the Ring in the evening, a small and select screening in one of the smaller screens at the cinema, and thus a somewhat intimate affair. And sadly there were a number there with whom I had no desire whatsoever to get so intimate with - if you cannot distinguish between watching your DVD at home ("Yes, you CAN scream and talk and shout and quote lines from the movie") and going to the cinema ("No you may NOT scream, shout, quote and otherwise drive your fellow movie-goers to distraction despite constant requests to shut the **** up") you should not be going out of the house without your mummy and daddy.

Let me not get sidetracked into the hell that was screaming pre-pubescent girls who should quite possibly have been drowned at birth or at least locked into the toilets for the duration of the evening.

The screening was preceded by a talk from those members of the cast who attended the event - Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker, Bruce Hopkins and the irrascible and irresitible John Rhys-Davies, who held court for a good 45 minutes answering questions and regaling us with anecdotes from the making of the movies. Nothing new was really revealed, but nonetheless it was delightful to be allowed the privelage of being so entertained by such genuine and talented people who share a common desire to share their passion for an incredible movie.

Day two consisted on my part of large amounts of queuing and waiting. Despite getting there well before the advertised starting time there was already a wait of over an hour for Andy Serkis and Billy Boyd, so it was time to test out the virtual queuing system of "take a ticket and come back when we call it!" Or at least when they call a range that contains your number, which does at least keep actual time standing in a queue to a minimum, though it then results in an increasing paranoia as you realise that 1) You cannot understand the tannoy announcements with the numbers and 2) no one appears to be updating the boards keeping track of which numbers have been called.

But I got there in the end, and first of all saw Andy Serkis, who came across as very natural, very easy going, and not yet requesting the paper to be moved under his hand after signing too many autographs! He was also more than willing to have photographs be taken, and I left feeling that I had met a lovely guy. One then had to battle out through the hoardes of "Boyd-ettes" who were staring fixedly at Billy as he met with those actually queuing and dribbling occasionally with the odd shriek thrown in for good measure. Credit to Billy for not requesting them to be put out of their misery with tranquiliser darts.

It was back into line after that to get my chance to meet Billy, who took a moment before signing my picture to rearrange his tablecloth and make himself pretty again. He was most amiable and when I asked how hard this kind of event was, replied that it could be worse - he could be digging roads! Of all the people there, he seemed the most tired, though one could never say that he wasn't giving his all. Kudos to these people who slog their guts out making movies that people may not even like, and then take time to meet and greet those of us who genuinely appreciate all that they do. I am sure they know how much we think of them, but thanks again all the same.

Billy came round the front of his table for photographs and then I could grin my way madly off to try and locate Sophie Aldred. There is a reason for this. Honest. Not least that I used to be a huge Doctor Who fan, but my class watch Words and Pictures every week and she presents some of the shows. I could just imagine their delight if I could show them a photo of me with "their Sophie" and tell them how I had met her. But sadly she and Sylvester McCoy had vanished into the ether, not to return until after we had departed to go see X-Men 2, and the realisation that we were spending a large proportion of this weekend in cinemas.

The evening saw the screening of The Two Towers, which was markedly different from the previous night in several ways.

Firstly, we had the honour of getting John Rhys-Davies in a good 10 minutes early to talk and answer questions: "Did you train for all the fighting you had to do?" to which his reponse was an emphatic YES! And he had gotten quite good at it, too, and then arrived on set to be covered in heavy armour, have his face covered with prosthetics AND THEN asked to go on his knees! Can you fight? Argh *falls over*!

We had perhaps some of the best seats available in that we were right above the entrance / exit and thus could see the guests arrive before everyone else, as they waited to come out. This proved most beneficial when they left, and I leaned over the side with my camera, eliciting a wave and a huge smile from the wonderful Sala Baker, and a fabulous funny face pulled by Andy Serkis! Oh if only I had a scanner!

It was the talk before this movie that held perhaps the greatest moment in the entire weekend, as Andy was asked if he could do his Gollum voice, and he proceeded to perform Gollum's monologue for us all to see. This was an incredible performance, and received a standing ovation which was much deserved and hopefully went some way to make up for his Oscar nomination snub. If anyone should doubt the talents of this guy and think that all he had to do was sit in a studio making funny voices into a tape recorder, they should talk to "Mr Spandex" himself about his experiences, and the fact that even after doing his scenes he knew that he didn't really have anything "in the can" like the other actors, and indeed wouldn't until some year or so later.

Fortunately the screening of the movie was a vastly improved experience compared to the previous night, for posisbly several reasons: a number of the screaming-contingent left before the movie to chase after the guests, and of course they do not yet own this on DVD and have thus not had a chance to watch it to death and learn every second forwards, backwards and inside out. Notably, one of the first things Andy Serkis asked US before the Fellowship screening was "Who has seen this movie more than 5 times? More than 10? More than 15?" steadily increasing the numbers, as hands resolutely stayed up beyond 20 times, concluding with "And who of those of you still with your hands up has a life?"Indeed, Mr Serkis, indeed! (And no comments about how many times it was I saw a certain other movie and memorised the entire script before it was even out on video - I was young then... that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!)

The weekend was wonderful. I cannot extoll the virtues of the guests enough for always smiling, always ready to talk, giving us more than we could ever hope for.

Here's to many more!

Speculating on Endings
Tehanu @ 7:14 am EST

Lots of people are always catching up with news that might have been reported a long time ago and then forgotten about. Newcomers to the site are still reeling with shock as they learn that the Scouring of the Shire is out, that Saruman probably doesn't die there but at Orthanc, and that Sauron may assume visible form and confront Aragorn at the Black Gate. Here's some thoughts on all that from various readers:

Adanedhel writes: "Regarding your "ROTK Spoilers! Saruman, Grima & SAURON News!" here, and especially this: "...the Dark Lord who looked like he was in different armor than when we saw him in the prologue..."

"In my opinion, this is NOT Sauron himself but his servant, the Mouth of Sauron, because your spy says "in different armour" and few weeks ago you've reported that Peter Jackson is unhappy with the armour of the Mouth of Sauron because he thought it looks very much similiar to the armour of Sauron, so Sala Baker had returned to NZ for reshoots. I could be wrong, of course, but we must also consider this."

OJ puts it another way: "I should think that the reason that "Sauron" appears in "different armour" when he has it out with Aragorn is because he is NOT "Sauron". Rather, I should think that in the movie as in the book, "The Mouth of Sauron" is present at "The Black Gate" in the last battle of the movie."

Nicholas says: "I thought Peter Jackson said that he knew Sauron couldn't stay as just an eye (here he mentioned that Star Wars - Darth Vader quote) but that he couldn't take full physical form either. I wonder if maybe people are confusing Sauron with the Mouth of Sauron battling Aragorn? I would think it would be more dramatic for PJ to do what Tolkien does in the book - having Sauron (whether he be just an eye or in some other form) suddenly realize what's going on when Frodo puts on the ring in Mount Doom and do all he can do to try and stop Frodo, instead of Aragorn. Anyway, just a thought."

Diana scanned some othersources for what we think we know about changes to ROTK: "Amidst all this discussion of the death of Saruman--possibly opening the door for the cut of the Scouring of the Shire-- I stumbled across this old Q&A article (before Fellowship was released) on E!Online: More]"

Q: "The Return of the King has a very long denouement, with fully one third of the book coming after the destruction of the Ring. I worry that the filmmakers may have cut or severely shorted the Scouring of the Shire and the Grey Havens episodes. Any word on that?"

A: "LOTR conceptual artist Alan Lee showed me his sketches of the Grey Havens buildings and boats. Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Ian Holm (Bilbo) said they count their "farewell" scenes (when they say goodbye to their friends before going to the Grey Havens) as among their favorite to film. Sources tell me the Scouring of the Shire has made the cut, albeit with a few tweaks." [But we've since heard - from PJ, if I remember correctly - that the Scouring was OUT. Hence the confusion - T.]

Also this one:

Q: "Peter! We've got to have hope. Do you promise a happy ending to The Return of the King? Peter: It's happy/sad. The third film makes me cry. It's really emotional. It's very, very emotional."

Diana has another guess: "Furthermore, in regards to deleted scenes being put back in the Extended and Theatrical DVDs, has anybody mentioned the shot of Arwen in the TTT trailer? In the theaters we saw a shot of her walking off, cloaked, with other Elves. In the trailer, we see her apparently throwing off her cloak, rushing to Elrond, exclaiming "Tell me what you see!". Could they possibly put this shot back in the movie?"

Update: Demosthenes here. Regarding the demise of Saruman, people keep submitting the picture below - which is from Brian Sibley's The Making of the Movie Trilogy. Sure does look like one angry Wormtongue, there. Yep, that's a knife in his hand and that does indeed appear to be the floor patterning of Orthanc.

Wormtongue With Knife

"Ringers" Film Press Release
Tehanu @ 5:54 am EST


“Many young Americans are involved
in the stories in a way that I’m not...”
-- J.R.R. Tolkien

TheOneRing.net, in association with Planet BB, is turning the spotlight on the fans of J.R.R. Tolkien in a new feature length documentary titled "Ringers: Lord of the Fans."

There are people who claim to enjoy "The Lord of the Rings" -- as a story for the ages -- and then there are fans who camp out on the sidewalk for five miserable days, suffering cold and flash floods, in order to get the first look at "The Two Tower"s movie. "Ringers" celebrates devotees from different generations, old and young, who share a common bond. They are the lifeblood of the new Tolkien fan-movement; and their stories are funny and often moving.

TORn has witnessed the liveliest and most dynamic fan community ever to grace the Internet. Through years of covering fan events, picnics, Oscar Parties, book signings, conventions, and Line Parties, we discovered that the intimate stories fans shared on-camera were more fascinating than the actual event.

From the hippie counter-culture to the electronic age, from the Bakshi animated films to Jackson’s epic trilogy, this documentary brings together extensive interviews and footage from across the globe. With units in The Netherlands, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Oxford, England, the fans reveal what drives them to unusual acts of devotion. We highlight couples whose mutual love for "The Lord of the Rings" caused them to fall in love -- a girl who waited on the sidewalk at a busy Hollywood intersection from 5 AM to midnight to catch a glimpse of her favorite Hobbit -- armchair scholars who fight over differences between book and movie -- collectors who fill their homes with amazing toys and rare editions -- and young children who pick up their very first book -- ever -- because they are so inspired by the thrilling adventure of Peter Jackson’s films.

The filmmakers are themselves obsessive Tolkien fans. "Ringers" is directed by documentary filmmaker Carlene Cordova, produced by Danny Lukic and narrated by Cliff Broadway “Quickbeam” -- familiar to TORn readers of the Green Books online magazine and as co-author of the best-selling new book “The People’s Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien.” Shooting with the cutting edge digital format of 24P, Director of Photography Josh Mandel gives the film both a fast-moving video style and a richer, more “movie-like” presentation. Their vigorous approach to documenting the “full on experience” of fandom brings laughs and insight into a world otherwise overlooked.

"Ringers" wants you! We still have a few key positions to fill. So if you have any professional filmmaking experience and wish to volunteer to help TheOneRing.net, please send an email explaining your experience to ringers@theonering.net. We need the following positions filled: Music Supervisor, Composer. These open positions are for Los Angeles based people only: Field Audio technician, Assistant Final Cut Pro Editor, Transcriber, Production Assistant, Associate Producer.

We'll be launching our "Ringers" site soon, so keep checking on TORn for more "Ringers" news!

Hidalgo Gets A Name Change
Demosthenes @ 1:18 am EST

Dark Horizons reports that it looks as though Hidalgo will undergo a change of name according to scooper 'Casey' who writes ...

"I participated in a market research survey the other day and was asked to view a trailer for a new movie called Into the Fire. Apparently the trailer was not complete, some rough spots and time code still on top, but it was done enough that I could determnine what it was about.

After the survey I did a search and found this title for the this particular movie nowhere on the net, but found a matching story on your site under the title Hidalgo. This is indeed, a movie starring Viggo Mortensen as Frank Hopkins, a racer and about him and his horse as they particpate in the Ocean of Fire race. Omar Sharif was in the trailer briefly and appeared to be father of the love interest in the show.

The trailer was okay and the show looked interesting. It's only real downfall was some sandstorm and locust storm type graphics that looked like they were straight out of the Mummy. Anyway, apparently the name has changed and the trailer should be coming out soon".

5-10-03 Latest News

Let the fans speak!
Luthien @ 4:04 am EST

Luthien here with a few fan letters in response to Electronic Art's Two Towers. Roland writes in with the following:

Hi! I'm really excited about the upcoming RotK game!!! I do all my gaming on my PC and I was a little disappointed that Two Towers didn't come out for the PC. From what I saw of the game it looked great. Maybe the PC gamers are not as numerous as with all the other platforms but heres one PC gamer that would buy every game that had to do with the Lord of the Rings. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this. Thanks again and keep up the
great work.

Good news, Roland! PC gamers will no longer be part of the minority--every game coming out this year will have a PC version. Thanks for your input! Rotk looks like it'll be everything you're hoping for, and more.

Traci writes in with the following praise:

i loved the two towers and i cant wait for the return of the king. im a huge tolkien fan and i loved how the game fit in with the movie. im hoping for even greater things from the return of the king.

Glad you enjoyed TTT so much! We're looking forward to Rotk too. Thanks for your comment.

Finally, Tj offers the following:

I really didnt enjoy The Two Towers that much to be honest. It was way too easy! The first mission when ur Isildur u r invincible u couldnt die. and u couldnt in the other missions. the only half way hard one waz protecting the door of helms deep because of the trolls. ohh and the trolls are way too easy. 3 swipes their dead! to easy! more levels would be nice because i beat it in 2 days! WAY to easy! other than that i loved playing that many guys the mission were u have to save frodo waz a blast but to easy! make this game harder longer and a lil more guys and it will be the BEST!!!!!!!!!

EA games producers have been known to peruse our website, so maybe they'll hear your comments and make it harder next time, Tj. Or maybe you're just a really good gamer. But thanks for your feedback!

Keep it coming! Send any and all of your gaming comments to Havens@TheOneRing.net.

5-09-03 Latest News

Denethor, Steward of Gondor
Frode @ 5:10 pm EST

This weekend, Hall of Fire will take a look at Denethor II, son of Echtelion II, last ruling steward of Gondor. One of Tolkiens most interesting and enigmatic characters. His rivalry with Thorongil and the premature death of his wife shaped him for his stewardship which saw Gondor facing it's most desperate moments.

In Denethor the blood of Numenor ran almost true and in his great pride he used the palantir of Minas Tirith. No doubt this aided him in preparing Gondor for war, but the struggle with Sauron caused him to age before his time and sink deeper and deeper into despair and finally madness.

How was his relations to his sons? Did he have the right and the strength to use the palantir? Did he fall into evil? Furthermore, did he have contact with Saruman? Why was he so set against recognising Aragorn as king of Gondor? We will discuss all this and more about his character who inspires such a wide specter of emotions among readers with his pride, his nobility and his tragedy.

Suggested reading:
RotK - Minas Tirith
RotK - The Siege of Gondor
RotK - The Pyre of Denethor

Upcoming chats:

May 17-18
RoTK Book V, Chapter 7
Pyre of Denethor

Saturday Chat:
5:30pm ET (17:30)
[also 11:30pm (23:30) CET and 7:30am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat:
7:00 pm (19:00) CET
[also 1:00pm (13:00) ET and 3:00am (03:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA's East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe
AET = Australian East Coast

Do you have a possible topic for Hall of Fire? Drop us a line at halloffire@theonering.net.

Vivendi Universal Announces Middle-earth Online!
Flinch @ 12:19 pm EST


LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 9, 2003 – Vivendi Universal Games, Inc. (VU Games) announced today that it has entered into a production agreement with Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. to develop “Middle-Earth Online,” a massively multiplayer (MMP) game to launch in 2004. The game will be developed as part of VU Games’ long-term agreement with Tolkien Enterprises to create interactive entertainment based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel “The Lord of the Rings.”

The 3D role-playing game (RPG) will immerse players in the Middle-earth world where they will choose their identities from a cast of archetypal Tolkien characters, form kinships, build race-specific dwellings, explore the landscape, craft unique items and weapons, and perform myriad other activities to bring the world-renowned fantasy realm to life.

“We are extremely excited to be working with a world-class developer like Turbine. Their track record and proven expertise in building, launching, and supporting massively multiplayer games is exceptional, making them the right partner for a franchise as beloved and well-known as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” said Jim Wilson, EVP Product Development, Vivendi Universal Games. “Together, our goal will be to bring the vision and spirit of the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien to life in ‘Middle-Earth Online.’”

More information about “Middle-Earth Online” can be found at http://www.lordoftherings.com/meo.

About Turbine Entertainment Software Corp.
Turbine Entertainment Software Corp., headquartered in Westwood, Massachusetts, is a pioneer in the design and production of massively multiplayer (MMP) games. Turbine's first MMP game was the award-winning Asheron's Call®. Turbine recently completed work on the G2 Engine as seen in Asheron's Call® 2 this year. This groundbreaking technology and uurbine’s commitment to shipping quality games on schedule continues to strengthen Turbine’s position at the forefront of MMP gaming.

About Vivendi Universal Games
Headquartered in New York, Vivendi Universal Games (www.vugames.com) is a global leader in multi-platform interactive entertainment. A leading publisher of PC, console and online-based interactive content, Vivendi Universal Games’ portfolio of development studios includes Black Label Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Coktel, Fox Interactive, Knowledge Adventure, NDA Productions, Sierra Entertainment and Universal Interactive. Through its Partner Publishing Group, Vivendi Universal Games also co-publishes and/or distributes interactive products for a number of strategic partners, including Crave Entertainment, Interplay, Majesco, Mythic Entertainment and Simon & Schuster, among others.

© 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Asheron's Call is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

More Info on Monaghan's 'Spivs' & 'Nightmare'
Xoanon @ 12:09 pm EST

WeeTanya writes:

From: AICN

Colin Teague is directing the gangster pic SPIVS in London from his own script for Carnaby Prods. and Content Intl. Ken Stott, Nick Moran, Kate Ashfield and Dominic Monaghan star. When a simple job goes wrong, they find themselves protecting a couple of illegal immigrants against smugglers who want to sell them into the sex trade.

Also, Dom's short film An Insomniac's Nightmare will be showing at the following three festivals:




ROTK Action Figure Pics!
Xoanon @ 9:13 am EST

Marvel/Toybiz has kindly asked us to remove these images until a later date. Sorry!

5-08-03 Latest News

TTT Pre-Order DVD and VHS!
Calisuri @ 11:50 pm EST

DVD Cover For Two TowersTTT DVD Info!

Well, its that time of the year! Time to pre-order your theatrical release of The Two Towers! This special 2 disc set contains special features that will not be available on the November 'extended edition' release, so its pretty much worth getting your hands on. Here's a brief description of what you can find on it:

• 10 minute behind-the-scenes preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
• Sean Astin?s short film, 'The Long And Short Of It' and making-of documentary
• 'Gollum's Song' music video by Emiliana Torrini
• Preview of Electronic Arts? video game 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King'
• First look at the special extended DVD edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

NOTE: The links with a † next to them denote TheOneRing.net is an affiliate of that retailer. Essentially, if you purchase through these retailers, a small percentage of your purchase will be sent to us to keep the site online. Thank you in advance if you choose to pre-order with one of these companies!

New Line Official Site†
(Check their cart for special offers when you purchase the DVD in combination with other products)
All Versions

DVD - Widescreen Full Screen
VHS - Full Screen Latin Subtitles

All Versions


All formats

DVD Empire†
DVD - Widescreen Full Screen

DVD - Region 2

DVDOrchard (Austrailian Site)
All Formats

Media Watch: Liv Tyler in 'Cool' Magazine
Xoanon @ 2:25 pm EST

Interview with Liv Tyler in Russia's COOL magazine

COOL: In the movie you with Viggo are in love. Have you really kissed him during the shoot? How does Aragorn kiss?

Liv: Really, I haven't kissed him! He always was with his beard, and it was really prickly. All the time Aragorn looked hmm.. how to say, neglected. I couldn't make myself do it.

COOL: When you played Arwen you wore long dresses. How did you feel wearing them?

Liv:Actually, it was really hot. And those clothes were so long you couldn't wear them in real life. I needed to think what my next step will be every 2 seconds! If you only for a minute forget about the dress got ya: you will fall or a sleeve is on the earth. That's because sometimes on the shooting ground you could hear happy shouting of the elves: Go to hell with this dress! It was that you could hear something worse.

COOL: And what were you doing if you needed to go to the toilet during shooting?

Liv: That's simple: under the dress elves don't wear anything! I for example wore only socks and trainers and nothing else

COOL: Have you been wondering to save one of your elfish ear?

Liv: Actually no. Ears were made from gelatin . Even if the temperature wasn't high they were melting. When we were shooting we wore hundreds of these!

COOL: Have you been wondering for long : to take or not to take the role of the elf?

Liv: Oh, it wasn't easy. To play a perfect kind of man is always difficult

COOL: How do you think elves eat?

Difficult to say. It isn't in the book. (Personally I don't know why, I read that Legolas was eating lembas in TTT). Elves don't sleep that's right. And about eating If you think about this, you may think that they are some kind of Barbie and Ken, that they don't got nothing in their underpants!

COOL: How do you feel wearing jeans after wearing elfish clothes for so long time?

Liv: Honestly, after 3 years of shooting LOTR I felt kind of strange. I felt naked without long dresses.

McKellen's 'Dance of Death' Experience
Xoanon @ 1:12 pm EST

Eledhwen writes:

I must confess to choosing to see “Dance of Death” because of Ian McKellen and Frances de la Tour, rather than because of the play. I have barely heard of Strindberg - despite him being, according to the programme notes, Sweden’s best known playwright.

However we were in for a treat. The theatre was half-empty - the balcony and upper circle, where we had tickets, had been closed and we were upgraded to the dress circle. That and the stalls were in fact full. As we sat down, the set (an amazing circular room, complete with a staircase, windows, doors, and a wood-burning stove), was lit and Ian McKellen already on stage, seated with his back to the audience. After a few minutes, Frances de la Tour wandered on, and wandered around, so that when the action started it was seamless.

McKellen and de la Tour play Edgar and Alice, a couple celebrating their silver wedding anniversary. Though “celebrating” is perhaps not the right word - they hate each other, and their lives are a constant sniping and mocking. Edgar is a domineering military man, but not a very good one. He has never been promoted beyond captain, and hates to be reminded of the fact. He drinks too, and smokes a cigar. Alice, meanwhile, is bitter and angry, feeling that her husband robbed her of a career in the theatre.

Their lives together take on a new dimension with the visit of Kurt, Alice’s cousin. Kurt, played by Owen Teale, does his best to be sympathetic to them both - when Edgar falls ill with a heart condition he runs for a doctor, and then stays up all night with the sick man. But the oppressive atmosphere of the house preys on him, and by the second act Kurt too is as full of hate as his hosts.

Indeed towards the end of the play it is difficult to know which character is evil, and which good; which in control and which falling out of control. The alliances of Alice and Kurt, and Alice and Edgar, switch and turn. Edgar, an inveterate and gleeful liar, manipulates the other two with his imminent death. Alice plays with Kurt’s emotions, but seems to be losing her grasp on sanity. Kurt does not know who to trust, what to do.

The play is full of black humour and has some very funny lines as well as some very poignant moments. The adaptation keeps the original setting of a century ago, but the situation rings true to a modern audience. And it is superbly acted - the principal trio magnificent. Were it not for the voice, it would be difficult to say that McKellen’s Edgar is performed by the same man who brought the world Gandalf, Magneto, Richard III, James Whale, and so many other remarkable men. In movement and mannerism he is simply wonderful.

McKellen is matched by de la Tour, who makes you feel for Alice while at the same time questioning whether she is any better than Edgar. Teale compliments his colleagues admirably.

“Dance of Death” is an excellent play in every sense, and it seems a real shame that the theatre was not busier. It’s still on, for nearly a month until McKellen returns to Middle-earth - and I would advise anyone who can to go and see it.

The Man

After the show I and my three companions, all of us keen TORNadoes, headed round the side of the theatre to the stage door. There were three people already waiting and a few more turned up, but it was a small queue. We waited, and we waited, and we checked our watches and tried to remember when the last tube home was; we waited some more and reflected that it was a shame we weren’t going to get to meet Sir Ian after all.

And then, just as we were preparing to go, he emerged! I whipped out my camera, and after Sir Ian had signed autographs for those ahead of us, it was our turn. Being obsessed we’d sent him a card ahead of time, and it turned out he had not only got it, but remembered and realised who we were! Then he happily posed for a picture (l-r, River Woman, Sir Ian, Frogmella, Trinity the Purple), and signed our programmes. I might never use that pen again ... We all came over rather giggly, despite having resolved to be mature and grown-up, but he was extremely nice. He asked us where we were from, and when we told him said, “Oh, that crazy bunch!”

Then we thanked him and hurried away to catch the tube, squeaking like mad things and generally completely over-excited. Such a nice, friendly, ordinary man. Amazing.

More Collectormania Reports!
leo @ 5:34 am EST

Three more reports from Collectormania found their way to my inbox. So for your reading pleasure: more kind words about Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker and Bruce Hopkins.

Next up is one from Yahweh70 with an interesting rumor on who might attend the September Collectormania.

I only managed a late arrival on the Sunday, but got 1 of 6 returned tickets to the TT screening. Highlight of the Q&A was the re-enactment of the Gollum/Smeagol (muuuuuuurderrerrrr!) scene by Andy Serkis. Standing ovation even from the other cast. Bruce Hopkins saying how the film was good for those who were advancing their careers, starting thair careers (then JRD chipping in with 'and some ending it'). Bruce and Andy also thanked the fans for helping make the film the success it's become. Sala saying that the original Sauron was going to be smaller than Sala, so they had to remould the Sauron suit. Bruce telling the story of how he got the job as Gamling, showed up and was expected to be able to ride a horse. He goes off to learn, then finds his horse 'doesn't do reining', whereby Bruce controls the horse one handed purely by positioning his rein hand to turn the horse. Bruce also took the opportunity to applaud Billy, Andy and JRD, for their professionalism in dealing with the queues. Sala and Bruce both joked they had 'queue envy'. Sala said he had 2 months of reshoots to do, most had finished their bits.

Sunday. Got there about midday. V.busy. Big queues for JRD, Andy and Billy. No queues for Bruce. No sign of Sala, might be at lunch. Eventually get to see Andy then Billy. Both very friendly, Billy being photographed by everyone. By the time I got through Andy, there seemed to be no ticket system for Billy. There had been BIG queues for them eartlier. A bunch of mall security had lined up for Andy.

Off to join the JRD queue. Spot Armin Shimerman (Buffy, DS9 etc) has no line, so took the opp to get his sig. rejoin JRD line, not moved, no new recruits. JRD does come down the line occasionally to say hello and he'll see us soon. Anyone with kids gets loads of time (no complaints here) with JRD. I had spotted a baby on his knee earlier, despite their being a looooong line. Very good of him, although I doubt it went down well with those new to the autograph hunting fraternity.

Unlike his appearance at Memorabilia, he had a wider range of shots available. B&W and colour, with a set of Indiana Jones images. I asked him if he'd recovered from the Croatian incident. His back is still playing up, but apart from that... OK.

Passing the Boyd/Serkis booth I noticed hardly any queues, but a fair few onlookers just chatting with both.

I think I heard Dominic (Merry) might be doing the September show. Could be interesting!

You heard it here first...

More Collectormania Reports!
leo @ 5:27 am EST

Three more reports from Collectormania found their way to my inbox. So for your reading pleasure: more kind words about Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker and Bruce Hopkins.

First report is from Hannah

Another report and photos from Collectormania!

I don't know if you want to hear yet another report, so I'll try and keep this as short as possible...

Milton Keynes is my home town, so there was no travel issues as the centre is less than 10 minutes from my house! I got there about 10am, which turned out to be a good choice since the queue was already at an hour's wait! Whilst we were in the queue waiting to get my 'virtual ticket' I saw Andy Serkis and Billy Boyd walk past to go to their signing places - it was such a nice surprise to see them already (and so early on a Sunday morning)!

Once I had my tickets for Andy and Billy I went to meet some of the other guests to pass the hour (Alan Ruck and Corin Nemec were really nice and friendly). Then came my time to wait for Billy... there were lots of people milling about to get a view, but being in the queue I could get a good view already! Finally my time came to meet Billy, who was all smiles (I'm sure his face must have ached at the end of the day!). I got to ask him if he's got to go back for reshoots, and he said 'yes in June' (if my memory serves me). He said he will be sad when the experience is all over. I asked him if it's a long day for him, and he said 'it's not so bad, it's all good fun'. I then had my photo taken with him - one thing I noticed was he always came to stand next to the person who wanted a photo, rather than lean over the table which was very nice of him! :)

Next it was the queue for Andy! There was a family in front of me with two young boys, one of whom had a replica One Ring around his neck. Apparently this boy could do an impersonation of Gollum, which Andy wanted to hear. Andy then repeated "My Precioussss!" to him, whilst reaching for the Ring around his neck- a classic moment!

I then got to meet Andy, who again was incredibly friendly. I asked him if he still had work to do for ROTK, which he replied yes. He explained each of the procedures he has to go through for Gollum, and said he may still have to work on each element (motion capture, ADR etc). I asked if he had to do any extra work for the extended edition of the TTT DVD, to which he replied he didn't need to since everything necessary had already been completed. He said it will be a fantastic DVD though!

I then had a two hour wait for John Rhys Davies - which gave me time to look round all the great stalls at the event. Then came my time to queue for John... to call him a fantastic character would be an understatement! He was so welcoming to each individual in their own way, and gave everyone their due time (he also signed each person's autograph in a individual way). I asked him if Gimli was one of his favourite characters to play, and he said yes. It was one of his hardest roles to play, but one of his favourites. He said really people aren't there to see him (he's wrong!) but they are here to see Gimli or Sallah, the characters they love. I told him I really loved his performance of Gimli, especially as he gets people to laugh. At which point he turned into his Gimli voice, and flumoxed "What? Grr... what? People laugh at me?! Laugh at a Dwarf?! What....?" It was truly hilarious!

John also had a special way of getting people to smile in their photos with him... he tickled everyone! When he put his arm around me to pose, he surely did start tickling me so the photo is priceless!

On to the TTT screening...

I think most of what was said on the evening has been mentioned before. Apparently Collectormania recorded the whole talk which I'm hoping will appear on their website.

One nice part of the evening was when John forgot his time at the bar with the rest of the cast to come and speak to us fans! He spent a good half an hour just talking to us all and answering our questions. He got to tell the story about his accident in great detail, and he really honoured those involved who helped save his life.

When he first entered he made sure to state, "Before we begin, no I don't have Orlando Bloom's phone number. Yes, Orlando Bloom is wonderful..."

He was also asked if he would consider playing Gloin if The Hobbit was ever remade, to which he was very hesitant. He said he didn't know if he would want to go through the makeup process again, especially considering his skin reaction to the makeup.

Other highlights of the night included the cast enjoying the fan's chocolates, and the general way in which there was no 'starry' attitude - in some respects it was like having a chat with friends it was that informal!

The very highlight of the night was Andy Serkis's rendition of Gollum's inner debate. It was a real treat to watch Andy become Gollum in front of us... believe me he got a roaring response and standing ovation!

Other great moments included the cast honouring Peter Jackson, and stating that it didn't really matter if he didn't win an Oscar as we all know how special the films are and how they've been received. Also Bruce Hopkins giving thanks to PJ for including him in the film and boosting his role, and for showing the world that films can be made in New Zealand, and showing New Zealand actors that they can be part of the 'bigger picture'.

One fan asked Billy if he could say if Pippin will look into the Palantir in ROTK, but he said he couldn't say anything or he might get in trouble! They were all asked which were their hardest parts to film - Andy answered his hardest part was yet to come so couldn't say what it was... Billy said his hardest part was when Pippin becomes a Gondorian Knight (sorry if that's not quite correct... I was trying to avoid spoilers!), and told an anecdote where he'd recently met the actor who played Pippin in the BBC Radio version who also said that was his hardest scene to perform! Bruce Hopkins said his biggest challenge was learning to ride horses, especially since he had to do a lot of it including special stunts.

There were many other anecdotes, which unfortunately only come back to me in little pieces on random occasions... but it really was a fantastic and special day all in all!

5-07-03 Latest News

Media Watch: The Irish Times
Xoanon @ 9:25 am EST


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers has become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time, having amassed international box-office takings over $910 million. The second instalment in Peter Jackson's Tolkien trilogy, it recently overtook its predecessor, The Fellowship of the Ring, which is now seventh on the all-time list with $861 million in box office takings. The final film in the trilogy, The Return of the King, will be released on December 17th.

The four films ahead of The Two Towers are Titanic ($1.8 billion), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ($976 million), Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace ($926 million) and Jurassic Park ($920 million)."

5-06-03 Latest News

Collectormania Report No. 1634
leo @ 1:05 pm EST

Another report from Collectormania, everyone seems to have been there except for me. This one is from a person who got to spend two days sitting next to John Rhys-Davies! I can imagine worse ways of spending time...

One of my dearest friends, Judith, lives in Milton Keynes and I was visiting her this weekend. As part of that visit we went to see Collectormania 3, where we arranged to meet up with other friends who wished to go to this event. To cut a long and boring story very short, I ended up being introduced to one of the organisers and my services were solicited for the following day, Sunday.

At 8.30am on Sunday morning I duly attended to be allocated my duties. I anticipated being on the end of an autograph queue handing out tickets or running errands. Imagine my surprise, delight and pleasure when I was asked to be John Rhys-Davies' assistant for the day!

There I was sandwiched between JRD and Bruce Hopkins (Gamling).

John arrived at 10.00am and without any preamble started to sign. That man is amazing. He refused to take a break (not even for the bathroom) and although I managed to acquire three or four coffees throughout the day, he didn't drink most of them because he was too busy. He objected when "staff" members tried to sneak things in for signing, insisting that the fans had been queuing for ages and should come first, although he happily signed for "staff" and helpers after the public had left. He had time for everyone and complied to all requests for photographs etc. If someone asked for a photo but their camera wasn't ready (either still in it's case or not wound-on etc), then he would saunter up the queue and entertain the crowd before meandering back to have his picture taken.

At the end of the day when the centre had closed and everyone had departed, John was asked by one of the staff if there was anything he needed before he had to go to the Two Towers presentation and Indiana Jones presentation. Can you believe he took my hand, looked into my eyes and asked if I would be his assistant the following day (Monday)! How could a girl refuse?

So on Monday, instead of heading home and missing all the holiday weekend traffic, I spent a second day sitting next to one of the most popular men at the event.

I note that JRD's birthday has been and gone and no mention has been made on your website. For your information it was John's birthday yesterday (5th May) and he was 59.

Okay here I really need to cut in for a brief second. Contrary to popular belief we did post about John's birthday [here]. Over the past few days we have been swamped with emails telling us we forgot, but in all honestly: how could we? John Rhys-Davies is like 7 feet tall so we are a little bit afraid of the consequences.. Anyway, please people: check the frontpage first before emailing us about things we forgot. -leo

You may like to know that when presented with a picture of Gimli sitting on an Orc smoking a pipe (the picture that appears in The Two Towers companion), John said that this scene is in the extended edition DVD.

Also, I took the opportunity to ask John about the scene in the chapter "Flotsam & Jetsam" (in Return of the King) when the three hunters finally catch up with Merry & Pippin who are eating, drinking & smoking. Sadly, John says they didn't film anything like that!

Ali the Brun

5-05-03 Latest News

Collectormania 2003 Images by Nikki
Xoanon @ 8:07 pm EST

Nikki writes: I was at Collectormania in Milton Keynes in the UK yesterday. I thought it would be great to send it to you as i also have a few pics to share!

Here it is hope you enjoy!

[Click here for the images!]

Ok the day started early for my nephew (Kyle) and I, up at 6am to get ready to catch the train to London at 8am. Got into Victoria and then with a hop, skip and a jump to Victoria Coach Station, we boarded our coach and was on our way to sunny Milton Keynes! Billy here we come WAHOO! We got the ‘park and ride bus’ from Milton Keynes coach station that took us directly to central Milton Keynes and dropped us right outside the ‘Middleton Hall’ entrance where Collectormania was being held. By this time I was more excited than Kyle on a sugar rush and couldn’t wait to get in there! We literally ran into the centre and into a massive crowd of people…………….honestly guys….it was heaving with masses of likeminded geeks! LOL

Kyle and I walked all the way round the outside of the exibit, to get our bearings and then made our way over to the very tall, muscular, handsome Mr Sala Baker, he was more than happy to pose for pics with my nephew and I , wow my first encounter and I had been touched by the hand of Sauron! Whoa!!! Unfortunately the pic of me and him together came out pants as his ‘assistant’ took it, poor love had pretty shaky hands! We then scooted round to get tickets for the signings – let me explain this procedure – in order to get to see the main celebs you had to collect a ticket and then wait for your number to come up before you could go and see them. Sort of like at the Deli counter in a supermarket LOL. We got tickets for John Rhys Davies (350), Billy Boyd (475) and Andy Serkis (372) Kyle and I knew it was going to be hours before we managed to see these lovely men so we decided to take a walk round the stalls upon stalls of movie memorabilia. You could practically smell ‘Geek and Nerd’ in the air as we were pushed and shoved from stall to stall, people were packed in so tight! Oh yes and a small pet hate of mine………pushchairs………lots of em………highly unpractical, they should have been banned from entering the exhibition as they were causing a lot of congestion!

Next we went to see Mr Bruce Hopkins, Gamling in LOTR, he was lovely and quite happily posed for pics with both my nephew and I and also as an added bonus after the signing had finished my nephew spotted him, as we were sitting taking a breather (yet again I was on the phone to my friend Maddie at the time!) So kyle went over to him to get an autograph, and he happily signed, Maddie suggested to me that I should get one too and as he walked back my way I called him over and he signed for me too…..what a complete sweetie as he had been there all day signing and must have been dying to get back to his hotel to relax!

I then took a deep breath (‘Took’ gettit lol) and went to see Mr Boyd. Now at this point, I think it was about 1.30pm (really can’t remember guys) Billy was still on ticket number 50 -100 but I had to go take a peep at the wild Scottish honey! *sigh* what can I say………….he looked more than fine, he looked gorge, wearing faded out (especially in the bottom….sorry but I couldn’t HELP but notice!) jeans and a black shirt, he has had very subtle blonde highlights put in his hair which really brings out those twinkling green eyes of his *sigh… pant…. thud* Well I hung around close to where Billy was sitting and I kept my eye out for an opening in the crowd, when I noticed one I shot in and was literally 3 feet away from him, camera in hand I called his name and he looked at me and I said ‘Can I have a photo darlin’ and he smiled and said ‘Course you can darlin’ and I snapped away said ‘thank you’ and then walked away on a cloud to call Maddie and tell her! Billy amazed me…he was constantly animated and seemed completely genuine with the masses of people that descended on him…being Billy, as a copper approached him for an autograph, he looked up and said ‘What have I done!....I thought you’d come to arrest me then!’ The crowd chuckled with laughter and Billy beamed that charming boyish smile! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to have time and get my autograph from Billy as he was so great with the crowds and took his time with people that the clock get the better of him and he had to leave with out getting to my number…..but I will catch him at the London premiere of ROTK for a scribble…however I am very happy as he spoke to me.

Elijah would have loved it here, Star Wars memorabilia was every where, old and new. Along with original movie props, costumes (Austin Powers crushed Velvet Jacket from 'Goldmember' *Squee*) and of course tons of Lord Of The Rings memorabilia (a lot of which I hadn’t seen before.... I picked up a little pressie for our dear Maddie (posting it tomorrow love, watch out for it!) and my nephew was happy with his various purchases of ‘Dragonball Z’ memorabilia.

Unfortunately I didn’t get in to see Andy Serkis either, I guess not being there to get a ticket dead on 9am didn’t help but I got a few pics of the lovely guy and he was great with the kids, doing his ‘Gollum’ voice on demand much to their delight!

At a little after 3.30pm I made my way to the BHS restaurant in the centre to meet up with members of BillyBoyd.net, let me tell you those are some fun loving ladies and were so welcoming seeing as I am not a strong participating member on the site, they are a lovely bunch and a credit to Mr Boyd!

The only bad thing about the day was my feelings on charging for autographs…..I was really disappointed in this, the celebs themselves were fine posing for pictures without you purchasing autographs but the assistants were a bit testy if you didn’t, which I found a bit off-putting, promotion is promotion at the end of the day and it was truly a long day for all! I was just left wondering where all those £15 went to? Was it appearence fees? Was some going to the shopping centre? Enquiring minds want to know!

My final words…………I am so pleased I went but wished others could have been there to experience it with me (and Kyle) It was a wonderful day and I got very close to some amazing people that I admire greatly! I had a complete blast and will definitely be going next year, hopefully with a merry band of EMCers! My last thoughts……..Billy is a fox and I SAT ON GIMLI’S KNEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Click here for the images!]

Tolkien reenactment at Bardi Castle, Italy
Xoanon @ 7:40 pm EST


[Click here to view the images!]

Today I've been at the Bardi castle at the live reenacting of Lord of the Rings. It has been a very impressive show with beatiful costumes and good acting.

Many children were involved as "soldiers of Rohan", a very good way to introduce the little ones to Tolkien's world. But many already knew the story, and yelled loud agianst Grima Wormtongue saying to him "Shut up, Snake!!!". Very amusing!

There've been two Uruk assaults against the castle and the second was succesful, with the White Hand army swarming inside the walls.

Some episodes from the Two Towers were reenacted: The court of the tired Theoden, the arrival of Gandalf the White with the Three Hunters and the banishment of Wormtongue after the "awakening" of the king of Rohan.

Sadly I was there only in the morning, so I didn't see the afternoon show with the final assault to "Helm's Deep" more "adult oriented".

Anyway it has been a very good day!

I send you some photographs that I've taken today and if you post them I will be very happy... I nearly had my throath sliced open by a Uruk for a picture, so I deserve it...

Thank you for your attention and your great website!

Ringer Byga

[Click here to view the images!]

An Audience with Gandalf
Xoanon @ 1:07 pm EST

OBI-WAN360 writes:

Hello Guys, the following is a full report on the Audience with Sir Ian McKellen on Sunday 4th May;

The first star of the evening was the venue. This was the first time that I had visited The Space, and found out that it used to be a chapel for sailors around the Isle of Dogs, which has since been converted into a performance space for the local community. The result is a really intimate setting, ideal for a show such as last nights. Many of Ian's personal posters of theatre productions, photos - including one of Gandalf with a tank you from Peter and Fran decorated the walls.

We were in for a real treat.

Mr McKellen arrived arms full to bust with book's and goodies, which were handed out during the evening as prizes to those who were the fasted to answer questions thrown out to the audience. Ian started by talking about the Lord of the Rings, and as if by magic produced various props used in the films. There was one of the lizard door handles from Saruman's Orthanc set, the normal sized keys of bag end which Ian used, and the large scale keys that Ian Holm and Elijah used. There was also a knife, fork and spoon set again both in regular and large scale sizes. To the audiences astonishment they were handed out to be passed back and forth for all to look at. Although such small details in the films, the workmanship and detail was top notch.

When talking about, and answering questions on his role as Gandalf, Ian read two extracts from the fellowship of the ring, the first was from a 'Long Expected Party' and the second from 'The Bridge of Khazard-dum'. The reading of the second passage was fantastic, every essence of Gandalf's spirit was on display, commanding the hairs on the back of the audiences necks to stand to attention when he shouted 'You cannot pass!'. Ian read from his copy of the book that he used on set, and told us that this was stuffed into Gandalf the Greys costume when shooting scenes - so if you see a bulge in Gandalf's pocket you know what it is.

A young lady who had travelled from America asked Ian what the situation was with the possible Hobbit TV serial. Ian told the audience that he had suggested to New Line that a full translation of the hobbit could be possible, aired on TV and spanned over a year, the young lady replied by saying that that was why she was here, and had a full screen play drafted for Ian to look at. The young lady did indeed show her work to Ian at the end of the evening, who knows, maybe the Hobbit is closer than we think.

Ian told us that he is due to return to New Zealand for 4 weeks of ADR, re-shoots and two new scenes that Peter and Fran have penned for Gandalf.

Ian also discussed his part in the X-Men films, and his long and illustrious stage career with the RSC.

The evening closed with a small auction to raise funds for The Space and an autograph signing. Ian had so much time for everyone, writing an Autograph or posing for a photo was no trouble at all, he even threatened to show us his tattoo. Brian Sibley also attended and was as always very approachable. All in all the evening was very informal, everyone was relaxed and everyone appeared to have enjoyed the evening leaving happy.


Collectormania Q&A Session!
Xoanon @ 1:01 pm EST

Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis, Bruce Hopkins, Sala Baker and John Rhys-Davies answer questions at Collectormania 2003

Just incase you don’t have enough Collectormania reports yet ;) - Here is a fuller account of the pre movie (FoTR) screening chat that took place on Saturday - as close as we can recall it - though Irascian’s great report already covers most of it

Q: Billy ,will you sing The Drinking Song for us?

Billy Boyd (BB): I can’t remember the words - it was four years ago! You sing it - and I’ll join in (rendition of Hey Ho … by everyone with Billy joining in on the last line only *s*)

Q: What is your favourite line for your character?

Andy Serkis (AS) (in Gollum voice) Muuuuuuuuuuuuuurdererrr!!!

Sala Baker (SB): I’ll spoil things for you now - I don’t actually do Sauron’s voice

BB: I think the one line that sums up Pippin’s character in the movie “Where are we going?”

Q: (BY Andy Serkis) I’ve got a question …how many of you have watched FoTR more than 5 times? (show of hands) …question keeps going up to “100 times” with still hands being raised ..

AS: And how many of you with your hands up have actually got lives?!!

Q: (to cast) And how many times have you watched it?

(general consensus around 7 times each)

Q: Billy, what did you enjoy most about filming?

BB: Andy Serkis and Sala Baker! (should be noted at this stage JRD and Bruce had not joined them) - but in some ways that’s true - it was the friends you made, a different experience you know - an experience that will stay with all of us the rest of our lives.

Q: Billy, can you tell us about making the SEE DVD Commentary? Did you enjoy making it? - and shouts of - Were you really naked?!!

BB: I was naked There were women there There was drink Make an awwwwww out of that!

(in comment to the fact that he’d been getting many an awwwwww! response to previous replies)

No - it was a riot! We had such a fun day. I don’t know if everybody knows this, but everybody wasn’t there on the commentary - because it sounds like that I think. The four hobbits were together - but it was a real real laugh - trying to hold in the laughter ..from something Dom had said - a riot.

Q: Are you doing the same for Two Towers?

BB: We’ve already done it!

AS: I did mine with Elijah and Sean.

BB: I did mine with Dom

SB: I didn’t do one

Audience (awwww!)

Q: Andy, can you show us how you do your Gollum voice?

AS: Well everyone kind of knows roughly what it was based on, don’t they?

Audience call-out: Tolkien!

AS: Tolkien? ! ….. I was actually working on my voice condition (trying to perfect method causing minimum pain to throat) and my cat Biz(?) came into the kitchen and …(tells story of fur balls and demonstrates how that turns into “Gollum! Gollum!”


John Rhys-Davies (JRD): All I can say is - never share the same photograph with Billy Boyd! The photograph is with Treebeard - and Billy Boyd gets to write his damn name all over it …and I get my own back by writing something like “Billy gets a free ride again!”

Q: Billy, are you still close to the other hobbits?

BB: Ummm …yeah. We see each other all the time - I saw Dom 2 days ago and whenever I’m in America I try to catch up with Sean and Elijah.

Audience call-out: Is he back then?

BB: Dom?…. is he back in London? Spivs?

BB: He’s just finished Spivs. He’s doing another film now …err called …ummm… Terminator (since he can’t or wont tell!) … or something!

Q: Does the song called Sweat mean anything to any of you?

BB - Oh gawd! ….I was in a film a while back (Julie and the Cadillacs) and …well We’ve all got to pay the rent!

Q: If you could play any other character in the movies, apart from your own, what would it be?

BB: (to JRD) - well you play most of the characters!

JRD: Oh I guess I would probably play ..Legolas!

Q: Billy are you coming to RingCon in Germany this year?

BB: I don’t know - probably not this year.

Q: (to JRD about how he coped with having fresh prosthetics applied to his damaged skin)

JRD: Well you get to the point where there’s no skin left …and where it’s applied it just starts to dissolve.

Audience: Awwwww!

Bruce Hopkins (BH): Now that WAS worth an awwww!

Q: (to Bruce about how it was to work with horses)

BH: It was good - you know, not having been a horse rider. Gamling kind of evolved. I turned up for a few days shooting and they said we like what is happening here and we’ll teach you some more stuff and they hadn’t actually asked me - Do you ride?!! So they sent me off for a few days riding school before we started shooting some more. I was galloping through forests with Karl Urban and it was great.

Q: Were you happy with the Oscars?

BH: General opinions about the fact that Part Three will gain the awards …

JRD: Well there sure as hell wont be a Part 4!

BH: I was in LA for the first time this year around the awards ceremony and you kind of get the impression that they like to see their own films do well.

Q: What are your future plans?

BB: I’m going to go and eat some chicken!

SB: I’m going with him

JRD: I’ll probably end up with the feathers!

Q: I’ve been watching the behind the scenes commentary on the Extended DVD - where did Dom and you get the inspiration for your handshake?

BB: Like most things between Dom and I it isn’t in fact a real thing - there is no handshake - we just made it up! If somebody asked me to do it now, I wouldn’t know how to.

Q: When you were doing the actual audio (ie ADR) for the characters, and you weren’t actually playing the role - how did you actually get into the character?

BH: You’ve got a screen. It was a real joy for me - I don’t know what it was like for you guys: you’ve probably done a lot more work in films - but Peter Jackson has a cinema that he had built, and you put your cans on and you’re looking at yourself up on the screen - it’s sort of like watching yourself here - and you lip-synch - and it’s pretty big - it’s there and you get a sense of what that memory was, filming that moment.

Q: Is it hard to get back into it?

AS: (speaks for a bit on how the animators helped with the Gollum ADR process) Every single line in both the films was recorded maybe a year, or two years after the scenes were shot. Not a lot of the original sound could be used in the shots - because of things like wind machines.

Q: (To JRD) How difficult was it to voice two characters

JRD: Well there are DIFFERENT characters. - (went on to say something along the lines of the advantage of not having to be talking to yourself …using different voices - then started to mimic Gollum/Smeagol argument looking over at Andy)

JRD *eggs Andy on* - “c’mon Andy!”

Andy *puts on booming accent* “And this is my Gimli voice!” (very good ;) )

Q: Andy - would you like to have played Jar Jar Binks

AS: No! I was quite happy playing Gollum.

Q: What’s the worst thing you’ve had to do for a movie?

(Billy answers about wearing the hobbit feet)

(Bruce says something about having to chain smoke in a short film - when he is a non-smoker in real life)

Q: On the set of LoTR you did a lot of extreme sports - which was your favourite?

JRD: Speaking as someone who’s brought back FIIIIVE boats to England…mine surely wasn’t bungee-jumping!

BB: Mine was surfing

JRD: Any guys here? Girls in the room can switch off - put clothes together while I talk to the men - I have the record as the World’s worst fisherman! In New Zealand the fish laughed so much at me they actually committed seppuku!

Q: Did you get any props from the set?

JRD: Well the hobbits were really good at stealing things!

AS: Well I’ve just got back from NZ, and Orlando was finishing his last set for LoTR …and it was quite emotional and Peter presented him with his Legolas Bow.

Q: What about the rest of you?

BB: Well we can’t really because we haven’t finished yet?

Q: When you are going back ?

BB: I think we are going back at the end of May

JRD: ..May…June? …July?

SB: 14th May (for himself)

Q: Billy, when filming the firework scene did you really wet yourself?

BB: I did NOT wet myself!! …..(then after much laughter) …oh OK I did pee myself!

Q: There’s been rumours that Peter Jackson will direct The Hobbit, is that true?

Many shrugs

BH: Well King Kong is looming for him now so that will keep him busy.

Q: Is there anything you wish your character could have done in the movie, that they did in the book?

JRD: Oh dozens of things!

BB: I’d have liked to have done the bath scene!

BH: The scene where Gamling transforms into Legolas!

JRD: …the early DEATH of Legolas!

Q: Was it hard working on your knees all the time?

JRD: Do you mean before getting the job, or after?!!

B: It’s funny because the Hobbits and John could do scenes together - because height wise it’s correct - because dwarves are slightly taller than hobbits . So when we did scenes together it was fine but as soon as someone else popped in .. urghhh - on your knees! …or do some blue-screen.. Or do something …

AS: (interrupts) - Oh my heart bleeds!

Q: what’s the best thing about NZ?

JRD: The whole experience - they are awfully nice people

(Bruce and Sala start congratulating each other)

They have a “can-do” culture. (expands along the lines of if there’s a problem having to fix it - being on their own - having to make, having to manufacture etc - true of the Maori culture…)

BH: there’s a phrase in NZ called the “No 8 Wire” - it’s a wire used to mend fencing in farming. But basically if anything needs fixing you “stick on some No 8 wire” …and that’s probably a phrase that sums up what John is talking about.

JRD: Basically it’s a lovely. lovely country. The standard of living in NZ is actually, I think, quite low. The standard of about the lower middle-classes in London in the 1970s. But the QUALITY of life is completely unparalleled - everyone should go there.

Q: Are we going to enjoy the third part of the trilogy as much as we‘ve enjoyed the first two?

JRD: Take a big handkerchief!

AS: Peter has said it’s going to be the best film and John is always saying you’ve got to raise your expectations and that’s true.

JRD: My bet is on an Academy Award nomination for at least Sean Astin . There will be other nominees of course but I hotly predict ….get your early money on now! An Academy Award nomination for at least Sean Astin!!

Q: How did you get into acting?

JRD: Well my degree is in English - which is what you do if you’re no good at Maths and lousy at learning languages. - I’m an actor by default.

BB: I went to drama school.

BH: I was a dancer - suddenly discovered I was going to be a Dad - with one of the other dancers - We didn’t want to be in a touring dance company, touring around a lot - so I got a role in a musical and then got offered a job as an actor.

AS: (along lines of went to college to do art ….had to take a second subject so took Film Studies - so he could do set design then fell into the acting side of productions)

SB: From being a stuntman.

Q: Billy, are you planning to be more theatre?

BB: I’m thinking about doing something, maybe in August.

Q: Will you put the details on your website?

BB: Yeah I will do.

Q: What’s the most stupid question you’ve ever been asked?

BB: Billy - We were doing a press interview, for the junket, I think - and she asked me “What part do you play in the movie?” - and this was for Two Towers. And I said “Pippin” and she went “oh right, will you be playing that in the second one?” …..“No…I was thinking about being Frodo in the next one”!!

AS: I got asked, again in the press junket - “so, did you actually have to go to NZ to do it?” What did she think - I stayed at home and just went *insert guttural noise here* down the telephone?!

JRD: My favourite one was when we did an interview at the Cannes Film Festival - they put us in groups and so I ended up with Viggo and Sean Bean and the lovely Sophie from Television France was the interviewer - and she was very blasé ..and very beautiful - VERY beautiful - and she looked at Viggo and at me and she said “Well personally, I’m a woman and there’s not much for women in this movie. Then she looks at Viggo and says Noooooo….and looks at me and …Nooooo - then she looks at Sean and says “Ahhhh! Sean - tell me …now, as a woman, tell me - how you would seduce me” ..I’ve never seen Sean look so embarrassed in all my life. And Viggo and I were going Yeah!!! Go on!!!

Second Batch of Collectormania Reports
leo @ 7:42 am EST

Finish with the first few reports, check email and find two more, go figure. This time around there's a report from a fan that flew in from Finland for the event!

When I first heard about Collectormania 3, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to meet Billy Boyd. It only takes 3 hours to fly from Finland to England, and as it was going to be on the May Day weekend, both my aunt and I were able to travel. We booked the trip (we actually got the last two flight tickets!), and then flew to London on the 1st of May.

Saturday, the 3rd of May

We wanted to get to Milton Keynes as early as possible, so we got up at 6 am. We were downstairs at 7 am when they started to serve breakfast at our hotel. After a quick breakfast, we almost ran to Euston station and made it to the 7.55 am train, arriving to Milton Keynes Central around 8.40 am. We had a look at the map, then walked along Midsummer Boulevard to the shopping centre.

The Middleton Hall was already pretty crowded at 9.00 am, and there was a long queue to Billy's desk. Billy hadn't arrived yet, but we got our queue ticket (number 50). We then walked around taking pictures of John Rhys-Davies, Bruce Hopkins and Tom Felton (my aunt likes Harry Potter). Sala Baker was somewhere else, but my aunt took a picture of him later. We tried to walk around the dealer stalls, but it was very slow because there were so many people.

We went back to Billy's signing area, but he still wasn't there, so we sat down to wait. Billy arrived around 10 am together with the same woman who had been seen with him sometimes during the Empire awards. Billy started to autograph pictures, taking photographs with fans once in a while. The Empire woman sat behind Billy for some time, then left, but I spotted her later in the afternoon standing next to a wall, talking with one of the organisers (she went to sit behind Billy this time, too).

Anyway, back to the morning. It took quite a long time before we even got into Billy's autograph queue (they were giving out queue numbers starting with 390 or something then), but around 11.45 am I finally got to meet Billy. I said "Greetings from Finland" as I gave him his present, a necklace with a gold washing pan (made in Finland, of course). Billy seemed to be slightly surprised about where I came from, and that could have been the reason why he talked to me a little bit longer. He said the necklace was beautiful and asked what the thing hanging from it was (the gold washing pan), then he turned the package around and noticed my card with a tiny picture of my hobbit hole (Billy: "Nice."). On the other side of the card was my home address and mobile phone number, Billy had a very quick look at them, too.

I then gave Billy the Pippin picture I had gotten for free when I paid for the autograph, and he asked me who he should sign it for. I told him my real name, and he signed the picture with [my real name], Lots of love, Billy Boyd x (The "t" in my name actually looks more like a "d", but I don't mind). I thanked Billy for the autograph and asked if we could take a picture together. He said sure, so Billy and I moved to the other side of the table (Billy put his arm on my shoulder), and my aunt took the picture. I then got ready to leave, but Billy shouted "Thanks for the gift" once more, so I smiled and said goodbye to him. I stayed next to the signing area with my aunt, she took even more pictures of Billy and Andy Sekis, whose desk was next to Billy's. We then left to sit on a bench to pack away the autographed photograph (after having made sure that the ink from Billy's silver pen had dried).

We went back to the dealer stalls (I bought an Elven brooch), then my aunt decided it was time for lunch. After eating, we checked out some shops and returned to Billy's signing desk, finding out he was having lunch and was supposed to be back at 2 pm. A little before 2, we went to stand right next to the exit of Billy's signing queue. Billy had been brought in trough the entrance of the queue in the morning, but now there were too many people, so around 2.30 pm, Billy walked right in front of us to his place. We stayed for fifteen minutes, then made way for the others.

We came back to see Billy a little later. I climbed up next to a little plant area, so I had a pretty good view of Billy (this was when I noticed the Empire woman for the second time). The organisers had apparently thought it would be faster to take pictures in the queue with Billy walking around, instead of having Billy stand up and sit down over and over again. My aunt got tired of standing so she found a place to sit, but I stayed where I was. The last time I looked, they were letting in people with queue tickets numbered 280 or less.

Someone came to film Billy with a big video camera, so we stayed to watch that. We left a little past 4 pm, my aunt stopping quickly to take some better pictures of Tom Felton. We walked back to the train station in Milton Keynes and came back to the Euston station at 5.30 pm.

All in all, the day was really wonderful and it was great to meet Billy and get to see all the other stars. I flew back to Finland late on Sunday evening, a bit tired, but very, very happy.

My pictures will be posted sometimes soon on this site: http://koti.mbnet.fi/gaprohan/amyc3.html

Amy Fields

First Collectormania Reports Float In
leo @ 6:42 am EST

For the past few days a great UK-convention called Collectormania took place just outside of London. It was attended by no less then five actors from The Lord of the Rings: John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Billy Boyd, Sala Baker and last but not least Bruce Hopkins. Some of the first reactions from people that attended have just come in, take a read!

Ringer Spy Irascian chimed in with a short snippet about the event:

Only one more day (after today) for UK fans to get a chance to meet Billy Boyd, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Bruce Hopkins and Sala Baker. Monday is the last day. The event is free but autographs on nice shiny new high quality New Line photo’s cost £15 each (£10 for Bruce – bargain!) The only dilemma is which photo to pick. They also have some amazing A3-sized glossy photo’s of Gollum, Billy and Sauron available for a small additional charge.

Last night's special screening of "The Two Towers" was sold out, with all five cast members scheduled for a fan Q&A session for 30 minutes. At saturday's screening the cast stayed well past the 30 minutes and seemed happy to stay until every last question was answered. No major new news although it was interesting to hear John Rhys-Davies say that his re-shoot schedule had been delayed as the reshoots are now going on much longer – into July. It was also encouraging to hear Andy Serkis say that PJ is genuinely being sincere when he says that he thinks the third film is going to be easily the best of the three!

As always a better report with probably lots of awesome pictures will be up at Irascian's own website pretty soon, keep an eye out on the frontpage for a link to that.

Next up is Cathyvicki who was there as well and listed some of her most memorable moments:

Just a quick report about Collectormania 3 at Milton Keynes this weekend. I went to both LOTR movie screenings and main events that happened during actors talk (Billy Boyd, John Rhys Davies, Andy Serkis, Sala Baker and Bruce Hopking) were as follows:

1) JRD tipping Sean Astin for an Oscar nomination for an 'astounding' performance in ROTK.

2) Andy Serkis' re-enactment of the Gollum/Smeagol argumant in TTT. Absolutely bloody brilliant. What an amazing actor!

3) Sala Baker....that is all.

4) JRD sitting in the audience with us mortals and having a good old natter before anyone else came in. (the others needed an introduction...he didnt!)

Im still in a euphric haze about the whole weekend at the moment but if I remember anything else I will let you know!

And lastly there's Kristina who didn't so much send in a report but just a link to a bunch of pictures of herself next to the celebrities at Collectormania. Billy Boyd-fans rejoice; most of the pictures feature him. [More]

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