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July 09, 2002 - July 15, 2002

7-15-02 Latest News

Royal Mail Plans Pounds 7M Two Towers Christmas Tie-Up
Xoanon @ 1:27 pm EST

Royal Mail is to launch its first movie tie-up with a pounds 7m Christmas campaign based on one of this year's biggest Hollywood releases, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The company has signed an exclusive deal with the film's backers, Entertainment Film Distributors and New Line Cinema, to offer prizes of up to pounds 1m when consumers buy books of 12 first-class Christmas stamps. Up to 14 million gamecards will be issued by 55,000 retail outlets, offering the public the chance to 'Find the One Ring and win pounds 1m'.

The promotion, devised by Claydon Heeley Jones Mason, will be supported by an advertising campaign through Bates UK. Media planning and buying will be through Carat.

This year's Christmas stamps, displaying a series of festive images, will go on sale on November 5, with the promotion running until December 21.

Royal Mail brand and communications director Paul Troy said the tie-up reflected its 'appetite to work with partners on large-scale campaigns in the future'.

New Zealand IS Middle-earth
Xoanon @ 11:01 am EST

Naushad Writes: I found an article of a tourist guide to New Zealand in context of FotR. You and fellow ringers may enjoy the read.

Ordesky & Osborne Talk DVDs, TTT and ROTK!
Xoanon @ 10:38 am EST

Ryan writes:

Hey. I typed up the interview with the producers of Lord of the Rings (Barrie M. Osborne and Mark Ordesky). It's from the August edition of DVD Now, an Aussie DVD magazine. They talk alot about the DVD and talk abit about TTT and ROTK.

Producer (Barrie M. Osborne) and Executive Producer (Mark Ordesky) in DVD
Now, August 2002 Issue

DVD now: What was it in Peter Jackson's filmography that convinced you guys he could take on a production of this magnitude?

Ordesky: There was nothing in his filmography. But we didn't do it on the basis of his filmography. I'd known Peter personally since 1987. Its conventional Hollywood thinking to say 'oh, if they haven't done this before they'll never be able to do it now.' And that's the kind of conventional Hollywood thinking that leads to bland vanilla films. There were some studios, who shall go unnamed, who didn't even bother to take the meeting when Peter came to Los Angeles. Can you imagine?

D.N: What's your favorite film of his?

Ordesky: Excluding LOTR?

D.N: Excluding LOTR.

Osborne: For me, Heavenly Creatures

Ordesky: I think for sheer quality of filmmaking that's probably true. I have a passion for Bad Taste just because it's the first one, it's the first thing I ever saw. I tried to buy it, you know, for a hundred thousand dollars when I was in another company and I was told I was insane.

D.N: How difficult was it to convince New Line, considering they put just about everything they had on the line?

Ordesky: Surprisingly, relative to the investment, it was not difficult. Even thought it was water-cooler fodder in Hollywood for many, many months and years that this was a fool-hardy endeavour, once the first film was seen as a great success it became retroactively the most visionary business decision in modern filmmaking history because we had two sequels in the can at an unbelievably economical price.

Osborne: But I think I would encourage anyone who reads this article to go out and make only one movie at once

Ordesky: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME! I used to be six feet tall, I'm gonna be hobbit size by the time it's done.

D.N: So there's a rough-cut of the second LOTR film?

Ordesky: Oh there's more than a rough-cut, there's a fine cut. There's been a fine cut for some time. There's fine cuts of all three.

D.N: Which of the three do you like best?

Ordesky: Oh it's not fair to say. Al you can say with certainty is that they get better and they get bigger. The thing is people think of film one as this gigantic epic, and they have no idea. Film one is like an indie movie compared to film two. And film three is even more humongous than film two.

D.N: Why are you waiting a year between releases of the films?

Ordesky: With these films it's a simple thing because the nature of the post-production schedules was such that we couldn't release them any earlier than a year apart anyway. And also things happen in terms of the video window and the DVD window and the pay TV window. Things to start to cannibalise each other because you suddnely are theatrically releasing a movie at the same time that film one is in the video store.

Osborne: I was an advocate of trying to do six months.

Ordesky: We were going to do summer-Christmas-summer (US), there was a thought, and then we looked at the post schedule and we were like ARE YOU INSANE?

Osborne: I'm glad I lost that argument. We would have been dead.

Ordesky: But it works. I kinda like the idea of every Christmas you're going to be with LOTR and every summer you're going to have the video, DVD, pay TV, etc.

D.N: Given the Rings success are there any plans for The Hobbit?

Ordesky: The Hobbit rights are actually frozen in a complicated legal situation between New Line and United Artists, so for the time being there is no ability to make a Hobbit movie.

D.N: So can you describe the difference between the first DVD version and the second DVD version?

Osborne: The first version, the August release, is the theatrical experience. You'll see the movie that you saw in the theatre and you'll be able to own it or rent it, have it in your home. I must also say that the DVD quality, the quality of the images is impeccable. We scanned in our negatives so that most of the negative is digital negative. On film two we're going to do the entire film as a direct transfer from actual digital information. The November DVD is an extended cut of the movie. Both cuts are Peter's cuts and Peter stands behind both of them, he doesn't have a preference for one or the other. The extended cut is something that you probably wouldn't sit through in a theatre. It's long and the pacing might be slow. But it's really great because it rounds out the characters so you get to see all of this background and understand the back-story of alot of the characters.

Ordesky: Peter feels strongly that the way a theatrical audience watches a movie and the way a home audience watches a movie are just entirely different experiences. And therefore I think if you watched the three and a half hour November release at home you would not be conscious of it being "too long or too much detail". But that same exact film in the theatre would be a different experience.

D.N: Do you think there's any possibility in years to come of this second version making it into cinemas?

Ordesky: It is possible that down the road one could create the feature film versions of the extended cut. Actually our fantasy is that after film three is released you could take the extended cut of film one, film two, film three and put them onto film and watch them in a theatre, which would be very cool.

D.N: Do you guys have a preference?

Osborne: No. I mean this sincerely, I actually like both of them because they're full realised pieces of art. What we did that's unusual is half an hour of material and it's not like outtakes. These scenes are fully integrated in.

Ordesky: Yeah, you won't have a consciousness when you watch it. Unless you have a real deep knowledge of the theatrical version, you can't tell 'oh, there's one of the new scenes', it just flows. Howard Shore's score flows.

Hutt River Girl Finds Rivendell
Xoanon @ 8:24 am EST

From: hutt River Girl

In our paper's Magazine section in the "Recommended" column was this:

Day Out
What: Kaitoke Regional Park
Where: About 15 Minutes drive north of Upper Hutt
When: Anytime during daylight

It doesn't take long when you arrive at the Te Marua entrance (wrong it is the Waterworks Road entrance) to this great park to realise why Peter Jackson chose it to film several scenes in The Lord of The Rings. The bush looks other wordly, even though it's under an hour's drive from Wellington city.

Of late the park has capitalised on being a setting for the Elvish stronghold Rivendell. The best was to enter the park is from the Waterworks Road entrance which you hit first. There are several signs that point visitors to where filming took palce, as well as small, but detailed, displays of what was filmed. But die-hard Tolkein fans be warned, Jackson hasn't left behind any sets, giant rubber Hobbit feet or any other evidence that it was used for the triology. Not that it matters because just soaking up the bush and throwing some snarlers (sausages) on the gas- operated barbies is worth the trip. And you can add to the ambience by either attempting to read Lord of Thr Rings in the bush or go all the way and dress up as a Hobbit. ... By Tom Cardy.

Weekend Round Up
Xoanon @ 8:17 am EST

Argentina FOTR DVD News

Art In Sand

Media Watch: Poland's 'Film' Magazine

"The Legacy of Tolkien"

Wal-Mart Pushes August 6th FOTR Release

Viggo Book Signing In NYC

Tolkien Book Fetches $67G at Auction

Wellington DVD Event Coolness!

Viggo Book Signing In NYC

Belgian Autograph Session with Christopher Lee

Prize-winning Pratchett takes a swipe at Lord of the Rings

Week in Gaming: July 7th-13th

Barlibash meeting tomorrow!

Decipher Interview Part 4: Tom Lischke

TTT Trailer: Oz

Brazil LOTR News

Swedish Paper Interviews McKellen and Jackson About TTT
Demosthenes @ 6:44 am EST

Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, recently posted an article about Gandalf in the Two Towers. The article included some short interviews with both Ian McKellen and Peter Jackson. It´s in Swedish, but Al_Bino kindly provided the following translation. You can read the original swedish text here.

Gandalf is alive in the new movie - Strong and white

McKellen: "He is like a Samurai"

Warning. Here the intrigue of "the Two Towers" is revealed. Unfortunately it probably won´t help if you stop reading here. Before the movie has its premiere most of the viewers will know that Gandalf is back.

- He is more sharp in the new movie, says Ian McKellen who plays Gandalf. He is literally reborn.

In "Lord of the Rings" Gandalf falls down a dark chasm after having stopped Balrog, so that Frodo and the others can escape. Now a trailer for "the Two Towers", rolls in the swedish theaters. Two minutes that ends with a close-up on Ian McKellen as the impressive Gandalf.

During a break in production in New Zeeland, I ask Peter Jackson why he has chosen to reveal that the bearded leader of the Fellowship is coming back.

Did you think about hiding the return of Gandalf until the premiere?

- No, that´s impossible. For several reasons. Many millions have read Tolkiens books and knows what an
important part Gandalf plays in the two sequels, says Peter Jackson. We have to have Ian McKellens name on the poster, and maybe a picture of him to. So I thought he could be in the trailer as well. But now it´s not really the same wizard. Last time he was Gandalf the Grey. Now he is Gandalf the White.

I meet him at last at breakfast in Wellingtons studio, where the tall Gandalf and Saruman strides around majestically, picking up egg and bacon. When the day of recording is over, an Ian McKellen without makeup comes, and tells me about the wizards return after his death in the first film. He stretches his stiff limbs.

- I get tired from 14-hour days and sitting on a barrel dressed in cow-skin, pretending to be riding a horse, he says. The horse is Shadowfax. In the trailer we see a glimpse of Gandalf riding in the front of a charge.

Your character is transformed?

- He is sent back to do the job he did not finish, says Ian McKellen. Gandalf the Grey was burdened with an ache, from all the thousands of years that he had lived. A little uncautious, made some mistakes, sat rather with the Hobbits drinking and smoking. Not always on the alert.

- Now Gandalf is sharp and concentrated. The Ring is on it´s journey, and he must see to it that it gets there.

He is a leader, a samurai, more energetic. Gandalf looks younger, even though his hair has turned white. He is neat and elegant. Still with a sense of humour, but he will not let himself get distracted.

Was it easy to become Gandalf again after 18 months?

- Yes, but I was a little worried. Peter showed me all my scenes in "the Two Towers" and explained what he wanted to add and remake. When I saw them I found the right mood again.

It must help having all the others back in Wellington as well?

- Yes, it´s very unusual that everybody in the crew is back to make the additions. Everyone is here because of Peter Jackson. It´s a very nice atmosphere here in New Zealand. We don´t have any pressure on us any longer, since the first film was such a success.

- Peter told us that now it´s more like making a home-video. Although I´ve felt like that all the time
with "Lord of the Rings". It just happened to be a home-video that the whole world enjoyed. Gandalf has a bigger role in the secod and the third installment.

- It´s his last job. When it´s done he knows it is the end of Gandalf. His journey is over. He is a changed person.

- Gandalf speaks differently and looks differently. He has become more vigorous and strong to
complete his task.

It sounds like an action hero?

- Yes, but unlike other action heroes he is very human. You never see Magneto in "X-men" sitting down having a meal. The viewers gets to see Gandalf on his time off as well.

But after this you´re back in Magnetos costume again, right?

- Yes, we´re starting to shoot in Vancouver in july. It feels like I have been doing "X-men" and Gandalf for five years. I made the first "X-men" just before "Lord of the Rings" and now I´m back as Magneto again. "X-men" is also a family, though a little changed. Both Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman has become big stars since we made the first "X-men".

I saw you in August Strindbergs "Dödsdansen" (Dance of Death) with Helen Mirren on Broadway. Have you any new plans for the Theatre-stage?

- Not right now, but quite soon. We were thinking of doing Strindberg in London. I´m shooting "X-men" in Vancouver until october, but after that i´d like to do a play.

Ian McKellen started doing theatre and made his breakthrough as a movie actor in the 1990´s. He has been a spokesman for homosexuals in England, and was recently grand marshal for the Gay Pride parade in San Fransisco. He met his boyfriend in New Zealand and spends much time there.

- Yes, i´ve become like a part of the furniture. Nobody looks, says Ian McKellen. But "Lord of the Rings" has changed a lot. I have got fans for the first time in my life. Children who draws their breaths when they see Gandalf. It happens everywhere. My website has 2 million hits a month.

The time in New Zealand has given him a new point of view.

- I am more eager to have some time off now, says Ian McKellen. Before, I worked a lot, and lived to little.

7-14-02 Latest News

Media Watch: Poland's 'Film' Magazine
Xoanon @ 10:32 pm EST

Ringer Spy Nilcamiel sends along these scans from Poland's 'Film' Magazine. Take a look!

New LOTR documentary premiere
Tehanu @ 8:25 pm EST

LOTR fans attending Mythopoeic Society's conference in Boulder, Colorado on July 26 will be the first public to see the new LOTR documentary from Dan Timmons, "The Legacy of Tolkien," which he's been working on for over a year.

The documentary features footage of Tolkien himself, artwork by Ted Nasmith, conference video clips from the 2001 Mythcon (where Quickbeam and mywelf were among the interviewees), and interviews with many scholars and writers, including Peter Beagle, Philippa Boyens, Patrick Curry, Verlyn Flieger, Joseph Pearce, and Tom Shippey.

Hopefully this documentary will be in wider release soon!

Week in Gaming: July 7th-13th
Flinch @ 3:18 am EST

What a week it's been. We've been exposed to the beginning onslaught that will be the Two Towers explosion, we've seen the Deluxe DVD Card inserts, and we've been exposed to another interview from your friendly neighborhood havener. Where to begin this second installment of Week in Gaming for the week of July 7th-13th?

Two Towers Preview Cards Exposed

So let's say you were lucky enough to have attended Origins and watch the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game take home Best Game of 2001 and Best Graphical Presentation, you were already pretty stoked right? Well the good folks at Decipher also brought forth from the vault two exclusive images from their upcoming Two Towers expansion that will hit stores this November.

Check out these cards! Faramir, Son of Denethor Eowyn, Lady of Rohan

I know I can't wait to find out how to get my hands on these Premium Promotional Cards, all we know is it will be some time before the Two Towers expansion hits stores in November. Welcome to the months that last ten years!

The Three Hunters pathfind their way onto DVD

Speaking of Premium Cards, been wondering what LOTR TCG Cards are going to come packaged with the Lord of the Rings Special Edition DVD Boxed Set? Well now we have our answer! Origially released in the Fellowship of the Rings set last November, Aragorn: Ranger of the North, Gimli: Son of Gloin, and Legolas: Greenleaf are being re-released with an alternate image in the DVD set!

Take a look at these Alternate Image Cards Legolas: Greenleaf, Aragorn: Ranger of the North, Gimli: Son of Gloin

Still haven't pre-ordered your copy of this special edition DVD? Then jump on it now here.

Tom Lichke Interviewed

Flinch: Of the characters in The Two Towers, who do you look forward to working on the most? Which aspects of each individual personality will play a role in the strategy and story line of the game?

Tom: I am a huge Faramir fan. His nobility and wisdom should translate to some fun cards. The Ents should be a blast. Hopefully we'll be able to replicate their unique speech patterns and have some fun with that. It seems like a great place to immerse players in the story.

Read the entire interview here.

A Day in Middle Earth

July 20th your crew here from Gaming Havens at TheOneRing.net will be taking over the Westminster Mall in Westminster California and bringing fans from all over A Day in Middle Earth! Featuring Lord of the Rings Trading Card Demonstrations held by Havens writer Lao of Gondor, demonstrations of the Lord of the Rings tabletop game brought to you by Games Workshop, and tons of great Lord of the Rings prizes! So if you're in the Southern California area drop on by from 12 noon to 6pm Saturday July 20th for a day that won't soon be forgotten!

Not in the area? No worries! Next week's Week in Gaming will be dedicated to our Day in Middle Earth! We will bring all of the Lord of the Rings Gaming to your desktop in just seven days!

Got an upcoming Event? Had a good time at a local retailer that sells Lord of the Rings games? Just wanna talk about Gaming? Then drop by #havens by logging into Barliman's chat server at irc.theonering.net and typing /join #Havens, or just drop us a line by e-mailing havens@theonering.net!

As always, I remain...

Your Friendly Neighborhood Havener
- Flinch flinch@theonering.net

7-13-02 Latest News

Tom Lischke: Interviews Part 4
Flinch @ 2:53 pm EST

Flinch: First off I have to congratulate you and the entire team on winning the Nigel Award this past February! It's been well deserved and couldn't have gone to a better game. What have your initial thoughts been surrounding the popularity of the game and how it's been received among both the classic Tolkien fans and those that have been inspired by the films?

Tom: Thanks for the kind words. We were thrilled to be recognized by the kind folks who award the Nigel.

We've all been very satisfied with the reaction to LotR TCG. I wouldn't say we were surprised, as we would have been disappointed if the reaction had been too much different. While we working on the game, we started to suspect that we had something unique and fun on our hands, so the release was a lot like waiting for Christmas morning. We knew we were getting something good, but we didn't know how big it was going to be.

Flinch: When developing a game on a property such as Lord of the Rings was it difficult to maintain the balance between what the classic fans would ask for, and what would be more appealing to the movie fans?
Tom: Well, it was an added requirement for the project. I think I may have approached this a bit backwards from some of the other guys. I figured that if we gave people a great game that continuously pulled people back into the work and the story, it would be easier to handle the sticky points between the movie and the book. Fans just wouldn't mind as much if we had to downplay a story element, as the game would always bring them back to a fun place. I focused pretty heavily on the core game engine not producing story problems. I can't imagine a more rewarding and fun challenge!

Flinch: Of the characters in The Two Towers, who do you look forward to working on the most? Which aspects of each individual personality will play a role in the strategy and story line of the game?
Tom: I am a huge Faramir fan. His nobility and wisdom should translate to some fun cards. The Ents should be a blast. Hopefully we'll be able to replicate their unique speech patterns and have some fun with that. It seems like a great place to immerse players in the story.

Flinch: In developing the character cards it is noted that the standard card game element of putting the main characters up as rare chase cards is not an issue with the Lord of the Rings TCG. How did the decision come about that there would be editions of the cards that were common, uncommon as well as rare for each of the highly sought after Fellowship Cards, and the anticipated characters like Elrond, Arwen and Galadriel?
Tom: Well, it really just flowed from our philosophy on this game. We wanted to make this the most player friendly TCG that Decipher has produced. With that as a guideline, we looked at the policies of our past games, as well as those of other TCG companies. Most of the best data was from our own games though, as we have the most experience in the industry with licensed TCGs. We just asked ourselves what we, as players, would need to be convinced to stay in the game once we tried it. Obviously, the Fellowship characters scored very high.

Flinch: Having Worked on Trading Card Games in the past, what was the strongest influence on what paths wouldn't be walked with a game such as this where the expansions won't follow the same set of nine locations and won't have the same flavor of event cards as the film before it would?
Tom: Hmmm, not sure there is any one "best" example. We did something a little similar in SWCCG with Death Star II and Endor, and I learned some things from that. Most TCGs that are around for a while have to adapt to changes like this.

Flinch: Of all the accomplishments and innovations accompanying this game, which
element are you most proud of?
Tom: Two things really. The Twilight Pool is pretty cool, but enough has been said about that I guess. I really like the integrated site path. It is the element which allows each player to have their own Fellowship, while still feeling like they are in the same game. It is the glue to the game, and let us sidestep what was a major issue, uniqueness of characters. How much would the casual fan have wanted to play if they couldn't have Frodo, or the Ring? Also, originally each player had their own site path and this created a real mess for the footprint of the game.

Besides, it is a great scoreboard, and allows the players to show a lot of creativity. The guy I played in the tournament last week had a tiny catsup bottle for his marker. I still don't get it, but it made me laugh.

Flinch: Again I must congratulate everyones accomplishments in making this game the highest sought after card game available today! Thanks for talking with me and I hope to hear from you in the future as this game develops and we get closer into Two Towers and Return of the King!
Tom: My pleasure!

Brasil LOTR News
Xoanon @ 2:23 pm EST

Blockbuster in Brazil has made the 2-disk DVD available for pre-order, and they now also sell a sludge of the official action figures.

Also, Telef'nica do Brasil (quite the misleading name, since they only operate in the state of São Paulo) released, in around February, a collector's set (there is 300,000 of each, and they're all numbered) of 10 movie-themed phonecards; all of which feature LOTR scenes. I have all of them, and as soon as I can get my hands on a scanner will send them in, but until then I thought it'd be nice to let other people know. The images on the cards are, in no particular order:

- A head-and-torso (I don't know the technical names...) shot of Aragorn wearing the Lothlorien cape and the Mallorn brooch, with a smaller inset of the boat scene from Lothlorien in the bottom.

- A Boromir head shot with some background I can't really make out.

- Legolas about to let loose an arrow, with Gimli and Boromir in the background, and a close up of the Middle Earth map in the bottom.

- The Pillars of the Argonath movie poster with the inscription "A Lenda Ganha Vida" (The legend comes to life, in Portuguese)

- A shot of the four hobbits in Weathertop.

- The Frodo-holding-the-ring-in-his-hand-and-looking-at-it movie poster.

- The other Frodo-holding-the-ring poster, in which he looks straight ahead.

- Arwen and her, er... battle wound from the flight to the ford, with a shot of the Black Riders about to cross the ford in the bottom.

- Gandalf with his staff in Moria, and to the right, Gandalf holding the
ring after picking it up from the fireplace at Bag End.

- The cast-shot-that-dubs-as-yet-another-movie-poster.

Most of the cards feature the good old "One Ring to rule them all" couplet written in the Tengwar running down some side, and all of them have the movie title on them. The back side of all the cards is also identical - the shot of the company's silhouettes, with Sam leading Bill that has been seen in many places before; and below it a short little teaser blurb: "O pequenho hobbit, Frodo, herda a missão de salva a Terra-média do perverso Senhor do Escuro. Para isso, ele precisa conduzir o Um Anel até a Montanha da perdição e destru'-lo para sempre," which translates into: "Little hobbit Frodo inherits the mission to save Middle-Earth from the perverse Dark Lord. For this, he needs to take the One Ring to Mount Dom and destroy it forever."

The Three Hunters to appear with Special Edition DVD
Flinch @ 2:58 am EST

The announcement that there will be two DVDs for The Lord of the Rings was a great and welcome surprise to many, many Tolkien fans. Of great interest is the special extended collector's version of the DVD to be released on November 12. Contained in this special four-disc DVD is a neat surprise for all The Lord of the Rings TCG fans: three special collector's cards that will only be available in this set!

The three cards: Legolas, Greenleaf; Gimli, Son of Gloin; and Aragorn, Ranger of the North from The Fellowship of the Ring™ set for The Lord of the Rings TCG will be inserted into the collector's edition of the movie. In addition to the cards being foiled, all three will have their original image and lore altered to reflect the scene at the end of the film, when "The Three Hunters" set off to rescue Merry and Pippin.

"The Three Hunters" cards only will be inserted in the Collector's Set DVD release for the United States and Canada.

All game text on the cards will be identical to the cards found in the starter decks and booster packs from The Fellowship of the Ring set. The only difference will be the images and lore.

"Let's hunt some Orcs!"

Take a look at these alternate image cards!
Legolas, Greenleaf
Aragorn, Ranger of the North
Gimli, Son of Gloin

Looking to pre-order this deluxe DVD set? Then Click Here!

7-12-02 Latest News

More Paris Premiere News
leo @ 6:01 am EST

A lot of people have emailed me over the past few days in reply to my newspost about the premiere being held in Paris, so allow me to set a few things straight.

First of all it is not a certain fact that the world premiere will be held in Paris, it is however ninetynine percent certain that the European premiere will be held in Paris. As for the world premiere, well, we reported a while ago that it might very well be held in the Embassy Theatre in Wellington (and having been there I'd say that it more then qualifies for a world premiere), and I still think it will be.

Now as for the premiere in Paris, it seems I was a bit hasty with reporting that it would be held in the Odeon because several people have emailed me to tell me that the Odeon isn't really a theatre meaning that they don't show movies there but plays, so it'd be kin of hard to hold a premiere there, not even mentioning the fact the the Odeon theatre is going to be closed for two years starting this autumn (owh common, I'm a bit rusty on my French, how was I to know?)

But it seems that big blockbuster premieres in the past have been held in the various theatres on the Champs Elysées (which is a very nice location indeed), and in specific the Rex, the Normandie or the Cine-Cite Bercy. Now only the Normandie is right on the Champs Elysées so could that be the location for the European premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ?

Anyway, thanks to all the people who put me back on the right track!

7-11-02 Latest News

LOTR tourism in NZ
Tehanu @ 6:21 pm EST

There's quite a number of fans who have dreamed of going to New Zealand to actually stand where the LOTR movies were filmed and see the awesome landscapes for themselves. Red Carpet Movietours reports that the people most forward in turning their dreams into reality are the official fan club members from LA, who are planning a large group visit to coincide with the opening of either TTT or ROTK in Wellington.

Also showing a lot of interest are the Taiwanese. In May, Vic James of Red Carpet took a Taiwanese pop star and a media entourage around NZ to visit the LOTR film sites and film themselves in the process. Since then a group of Taiwanese tourists have signed on to do a 'quickie' tour in late August tailored to their specifications, mixing their LOTR interests with general tourist fun. So on the first day they'll visit the Hell's Gate thermal mudbaths in Rotorua, then visit the site of Hobbiton. Next day they'll fly down to the South Island, where they can visit the dramatic site of Edoras. Next day, they'll fly in a small plane over NZ's highest mountain - so they'll get to feel like they're following Gandalf's ride on Gwhaihir...from the air, passing the Southern Alps, the ranges below the snowline will look like that amazing aerial shot in the FOTR's prologue where we hear how Gollum takes the Ring under the Misty Mountains . Later that day, they visit the Pelennor Fields. The tour closes with some general fun stuff in Christchurch, visiting the Antarctic museum and so on.

Other people are taking up the offer of tailormade tours for individuals. Vic's taking one party for a tour starting in Wellington. These people are mixing business with pleasure; they get to visit the Weta Workshop and Weta Digital for a tour; after an overnight stay in Wellington they'll visit the chief Black Rider and his magnificent, highly-trained horses in the morning, followed by a look at River Anduin en route to a night at the Powderhorn Chateau in Ohakune, where the cast and film crew stayed during the filming of the Mordor scenes on Mt. Ruapehu. (They will have Elijah Wood's room!). Next day they'll either helicopter over the mountain film locations or drive to Whakapapa, which overlooks 'Mordor.' Then on to Rotorua. Next morning, they get a look at the Hobbiton film location in the Waikato and then they finish off their tour in Auckland. So all round, a pretty exciting batch of tours for LOTR fans.

Anyone wanting to make plans along those lines should email victorj@ihug.co.nz

Marching To The Beat Of Mordor
Xoanon @ 9:57 am EST

Crackshot Archer Elf here, with a little report on some LotR happenings in my hometown. Thought it was very interesting, and thought it could make a good story. If you email me back, please send to hmelliot@shaw.ca (I had to use my dad’s email and I don’t think he’d be impressed getting mail from TPTB like I would ;D)

A while ago I posted on the message boards about a marching band, the Stetsons Show Band of Calgary, Alberta (I hope they don’t mind me naming them – take out the name if you feel it inappropriate to use without their permission) whom I saw perform LotR as their field show this year, mentioning that I'm in a marching band myself, and am always around the competitions. Well, I just finished Fanfare, our biggest competition of the year, and just wanted to return and drool a bit more over their show.

It’s just great to see what a group of people can do with a story and music such as that. It was truly an awesome show, and the band was rewarded with second place for it (which of course *I* think is bogus) The music, the choreography, it fit perfectly with the essence of the story. I just wanted to share some of the really cool highlights with you all so you could sort of imagine what creative minds this band's directors must have had.

It started off wonderfully, with the drum major (sort of a conductor) dressing up like Gandalf. The best part was when he put on his robe and beard everyone immediately knew what was going on. I heard a few shouts of "We love you Gandalf!” from the crowd, and I had fun joining in the realization that others there might just be as LotR geeky as me ;)

And so the show began... It started with a happy tune that was definitely something hobbitish (sorry, I don't have the titles of the actual songs they played) The colourguard (the performers with the flags, etc) were dressed in little tunics like hobbits, and at one point they all held up this huge maypole over three circles of revolving band members with Gandalf holding the pole in the middle. It looked just like Bilbo's party in the movie, and the music went along with that idea. It was a really neat effect.

Next all of the "hobbits" fell asleep, but Gandalf came along and woke one up, handing her a green cloak (just like Frodo's!!!! *hyperventilating with excitement and a slight tinge of jealousy for that girl's Frodo solo*) She looked just perfect standing next to Gandalf because the drum major happens to be very tall and the costume made him even taller. Just the picture of the tall wizard handing the tiny hobbit the cloak reminded me of a scene from the movie and of my own imaginings.

Then another hobbit (“Bilbo” I suppose) handed Frodo the huge golden Ring. (They did such a good job on the ring, it even had a real inscription although the size of a hula hoop) but Gandalf forced the hobbit to drop it. As soon as Gandalf turned his back however, Frodo picked the ring back up very sneakily and proceeded in dancing a wonderful solo with it.

Next came Frodo's flight from the Nazgul, the best part. The remainder of the colourguard dressed in long black cloaks and proceeded in chasing Frodo across the field, with the band members screaming up a storm. Every time one was touched by a black rider they fell to the ground, only to be revived by other band members. They pulled it off so well; it gave me a real feeling of terror. Then the riders surrounded Frodo at the height of the crescendo and slipped a dark cloak onto her before backing off. It gave the illusion that Frodo disappeared, and looked mighty good.

They played a few other evil, creepy selections that I think represented the Mines of Moria, and Mt Doom.

The end was so sad that I was almost in tears. I think the music must be from the Grey Havens, and was so heart wrenching. At the very end, all the colourguard returned to being hobbits and crowded around Frodo who had returned, but Gandalf guided the hobbit up onto a box, were he drew a dark shade in front of her. I happened to be watching the show from the back, so I saw her change into a band uniform and sneak into formation behind the shade, but from the audiences point of view it looked as though she disappeared into nothingness when Gandalf dropped the shade and Frodo was nowhere to be seen.

I think I’ve talked about this too long now, so I'll stop and give your eyes a break ;) I just enjoyed their show to incredible proportions, and I'm a tad bit jealous that I'm not in their band's age group (drat those birth years! I missed LotR *pout*) but I hope they get all that they deserve when the go to Japan on tour. The second place was not deserved by them in my opinion, but then I'm not a judge. So if any of you TORN sibs are in Japan this summer, who knows, you may see them perform :)

BTW Just in case you wanted to know, my band got THIRD!! *jumps up and down in an ecstatic little dance* Just have to congratulate myself and my band for making it so high, and only losing to the LotR show by .3 of a mark, who also lost first place because of a .1 difference! (yeah I know, totally irrelevant comment but – go me!)

7-10-02 Latest News

TTT Premiere in Paris?
leo @ 2:58 pm EST

Sir Ian McKellen mentioned it a few weeks ago in his entry in The White Book, but the rumors are getting stronger that the premiere for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers will be held in Paris this year! Sarah emailed us today asking if we happened to know any more details about the premiere, and to be honest; no, we don't know a thing.

However I started looking for theatres in Paris and came up with the Odeon theatre (hey isn't that a coincidence? The world premiere for FOTR was held in the Odeon theatre in London...) that might very well be the location for the premiere!

Look for a larger version of this picture here.

Well, assuming this is indeed the place all that we now have to know is the date. Last year the premiere in London was held on the 10th while the worldwide releasedate the 19th so it would be reasonable safe to assume that the premiere will now be sometime around the 10th again (because it looks like TTT will get a worldwide release at December 18th) So, I'm putting my money on either monday the 9th (it was on a monday last year after all) or tuesday the 10th as the date for the worldpremiere in Paris.

So there you have it folks, I know it's still a few months away but hey, there's no reason why we can't speculate! So start packing your bags and making plans to camp outside because I've got a feeling this might very well be the place to see Peter Jackson, sir Ian McKellen and all the others this december! If anyone out there might already know something more about the premiere, please don't hesitate and drop me a line!

They call it Night of the Living Zoneheads!
Flinch @ 2:13 pm EST

Want to play in a Lord of the Rings TCG multiplayer tournament and then pull an allnighter playing laser tag? Live in the Raleigh, NC area? You can!

Just come Saturday July 27 at 10 PM at
8311 Creedmoor Rd.
Raleigh, NC

LOTR TCG product champion Udon will be there with LOTR prizes. Cost is $30, which includes all night laser tag till 7AM Sunday morning with breakfast included from McDonalds.

Passport to Middle-earth: The Radio Show
Tehanu @ 7:06 am EST

More Tolkien goodness on air today, for those of you who missed the first episode last week. It seems there's plenty more to come! This came in from Norin Bronzear:

"Today on Passport to Middle-earth we will discuss the matter of the Dwarves. You thought the Dwarves were the least interesting of the people of Middle-earth? Well you should tune in then to discover they have a quite fascinating history and play an important role in Tolkien's mythology. We will uncover the mysteries of their awakening (Did they awake before or after the Elves? When did they come to Beleriand?). We will describe and review the history of their various "colonies" (There were Seven houses? Where did they all go?). We will also explore in depth the rise and fall of Khazad-dum, and attempt to resolve the enigma regarding the Dwarf women: did they have beards or not?

And much more. We hope you will join our growing audience!

"You can listen to us on CJMQ 88.9 FM in the Sherbrooke area (Quebec, Canada) or via the internet here this Wednesday from 4pm - 6pm eastern time."

They also have a "work-in-progress-website" at Passport Middle-earth

7-09-02 Latest News

A Day in Middle Earth
Flinch @ 3:17 pm EST

Join the Gaming Havens crew at the Wizards of the Coast store in the Westminster Mall July 20th. Lao of Gondor will be on hand holding a demonstration of the Lord of the Rings Trading Card game as well as giving away some great Lord of the Rings prizes. Games Workshop will also be on hand doing Painting Demonstrations and Gaming Demonstrations of the Lord of the Rings Table Top game!

You'll have the opportunity to learn the games from one of our trained demonstrators who will be on hand to answer questions, display tactics, and discuss future events. Best of all it's free to attend!

Now a bunch of free gaming is great, but what about prizes!?! Our friends at SideShow/WETA, Decipher, and Games Workshop have donated legions of great Lord of the Rings prizes, with the grand prize being an entire set of Realms of the Elf Lords cards valued at over three hundred dollars, and second prize being a Saruman polystone figure from SideShow/WETA! Everyone who attends [while supplies last] will receive free Lord of the Rings TCG cards, and a Coupon for 15% off of any SideShow/WETA item through their site!

We also have other prizes that will be given away by our demonstrators as they see people who are going above and beyond the call of duty to show new players just what they've learned! So come on down, have a great time, and win some great LOTR prizes.

A Day in Middle Earth
Date: JULY 20th, 2002
Time: 12:00 - 6:00
Location: WIZARDS OF THE COAST - Westminster Mall
Address: 1106 Westminster Mall / Westminster, CA 92683
Phone: (714) 379-6277

Job Shifts At New Line
Xoanon @ 11:58 am EST

crowhawk60 sends along this info on a few job shifts at New Line, how will this effect Lord of the Rings? Only time will tell.

Here is the information you requested about the shifting personnel at New Line...the source is the 411 Publishing Guide newsletter, dated 7/8/02.

Laura Carrillo is now Senior VP of Creative Advertising
Kevin Shelby is now Senior VP of Marketing
Jae Evans is now Executive Director of Creative Print and Production

Week in Gaming June 30th-July 6th
Flinch @ 3:05 am EST

Around the world fans of all ages and backgrounds have come together for their love of Tolkien's works. With the release of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy many new lives have been touched by the Fellowships quest to thwart evil. With these new films we're also introduced to a wonderful expanse of gaming properties based on the lands of Middle-Earth, these gaming properties have brought more people together in gaming communities, through leagues of card gamers and role players, and those who fight massive battles with tiny miniatures, Tolkien's work continues to bring fans together in a way that few things have ever been able to accomplish. Let's take a look at some of the recent events and occurrences in this first installment of Gaming Haven's Week in Gaming.

This past Saturday, the 6th of July, some of Decipher's Riders [or Product Champions] came down to Mile High Comics in Garden Grove, CA to play in one of the store's many Sealed Deck Tournaments. The day was filled with great competitive opportunities lead by Rider Lao_of_Gondor. Special props go to the devastatingly talented player Ram for taking first place, and Rider Cat for taking Second, with a special note worthy mention going to new player Abe for overwhelming his opponent at Site 2. The day was an exciting opportunity for new players and old to come together and celebrate the release of Decipher's new expansion: Realms of the Elf Lords.

This group from Mile High Comics meets every Friday night at Round Table Pizza down the street, this official League is one of hundreds around the globe that come together and enjoy some organized and casual play with this exciting and fun game. Stay tuned to Gaming Havens for information on league's in your areas, and upcoming events!

Also in the news Gamepro's writers have had a chance to look over Electronic Art's Two Towers game and bring preview to the fans, drop in and take a look at that here.

The Origins Awards ceremony was held June 28th and brought the award for best Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game and Best Game of 2001. Take a look at the full scoop here.

Looking for some great LOTR Gaming Discussion? Always remeber to drop by #Havens on irc.theonering.net!

Got a Gaming Related Event Planned? Read an interesting article you think other gamers should see? Just had a great time at one of your local gaming retailers? Then Drop us a line! We always love to hear from you! Just send an e-mail to havens@theonering.net and tell us your story! We just might feature it in the next Week in Gaming!

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