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August 01, 2006 - August 15, 2006

8-15-06 Latest News

Gathering of the Fellowship Review
Xoanon @ 8:31 pm EST

Andrew writes: This summer, I attended "The Gathering of the Fellowship" in Toronto, Canada. I have to say it was amazing. The following recolections were written from my Hotel room. I started writing them as soon as I got back to the room over the next 2 nights in order to get everything I wanted in, before I forgot. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Day 1

As I sit here, at 9:24pm Saturday, look back on the day of days this has been. This morning was great as was the afternoon. Of course I am here reminiscing about my first day here at the “Gathering of the Fellowship”. It has been great to say the least. My father and I woke-up this morning at around 7am, went and had breakfast, and headed over to the Sheraton Convention Centre and Hotel, where the fun was about to begin. We registered and signed in around 8:15 or so, and headed into the main ballroom for the opening ceremonies.

Opening Ceremonies

The opening ceremonies were set to start at 9am, but do to that fact that last week, this event was on the brink of being cancelled, the early goings of the day were a little unorganized. As everyone sat in the room, you could see the anticipation on everyone’s faces, and the air was electric. The first thing I remember seeing in the room was a group of people in LOTR costumes, and then as I stood up to look around a little from my set, I could see that Ted Nasmith, world-renowned Tolkien artist was sitting a few rows in front of me. We started about 10:05, an hour or so behind schedule, but once it started, everyone was mesmerized. We started things off with an Italian folk band called “Lingalad” who were accompanied by the amazing abilities of a man named “Thoth”, this guy was amazing to say the least, he sang and danced and played violin all at the same time while using his 4+ voice octaves! They acted out “The Music of the Ainur” which was narrated by Kate Robinson. This was all amazing, an I specifically remember that at the end of the performance, everyone was so in awe that no one clapped, until “Thoth” turned around and smiled, and the room erupted! When the opening ceremonies were through with, it was off to my first session.

A Historians hunt for the sources: Finding Tolkien’s Exeter College year books

Hosted by Marcel Bulles, a German Tolkien lover and president of The German Tolkien Society this was a great session, Marcel had been to Oxford and Exeter this previous summer, and was planning to head out for more studies this summer. One thing that caught my eye was that one of the Linguist’s, who at the time wasn’t conducting his presentation until that afternoon, came in, and was sitting among us, it really showed how intimate this event was going to be. A few interesting things Marcel said was about how Tolkien was always writing things in the margins of the books he had borrowed from the Library (often in messy handwriting). This event was really getting good now.

How to become a real Tolkien fan in 30 minutes and even get a diploma

The next event would have to be in my opinion, the best one of the day, it was “How to become a real Tolkien fan in 30 minutes and even get a diploma”, hosted by Marcel again, with Craig Parker as the guest. Now, if you have ever had the chance to meet Craig, he is amazing, an awfully funny! The presentation started out as Marcel playing a Tolkien teacher, and Craig, a party loving student who wasn’t so serious about school. Craig was constantly joking, at one point, he even got a girl who was sitting in the front row to come up on the stage for she was playing games on her “Gameboy”, Craig asked her what game she was playing, and she said “LOTR” to much applause from the packed crowd (I feel for the other presenters at this time, they must have had no guests!) After a while, Craig was given the oral LOTR/Tolkien test, and got the same girl to be his “Who wants to be a millionaire” “buzzer”. As expected, Craig was always joking and the like, and at one point, Marcel asked if he was really dedicated to this class, and asked him to write a 4 page essay about Tolkien and why he wanted to take this class. Craig took the paper and drew pictures on them, which were later auctioned off (more on that later). At one point the question was “Where did Tolkien spend much time by the sea?” so Craig opted to phone a friend, immediately someone threw their cellular phone at him. As he asked a friend, I yelled out the answer “Leads”, which was correct, and he asked if I was English, and I said “English, no, I’m Canadian Eh!” much to the applause of the guests. The next question was “What was the name of Tolkien’s wife” and their were 3 choices, so I yelled out “number 3!” and Craig being Craig said to Marcel, “All 3”! In the end Craig got the diploma, and at the end of this presentation, I met him in the hallway for his autograph and we walked for about 10 minutes joking and what not, and this my friends was the starting of our “friendship” for he and I talked many more times throughout the day. Next up, the big one!

Convention Centerpiece Panel

It was time for the convention centerpiece, with all the major name presenters as the panel and the organizers as hosts. They all began talking about their Tolkien experience and I remember one of the organizers admitting that they had just begun the “Sil”, and then the guest to asked the question said that she was working on it, and Craig quickly said that he found that quite amusing, and then went off about ‘The Da Vinci Code” and how he found it so scary and twisted. When it was Craig’s turn finally, he told us how he learned about LOTR through radio, as he had no television until he was 10! He said he always read as he was growing up, but he admitted that he never read the Trilogy until abut 2 months before shooting on the films began, and when he first met PJ, he asked (having not yet read the books) “So who do I get to shoot and kill?!”. He told us though, that even now, theres only so many Elvish songs about trees he can take. Next up was Tolkien scholar Colin Duriez, you have most likely seen him on the DVD’s, he now has a large beard, but told us all about how he came to LOTR, and about the first time he went to a Tolkien Society Event, and how the first question they asked was “Do Balrogs have wings?” and when he answered correctly, he was immediately invited upstairs for some beers. He went on about how they had one to any drinks and eventually tried to fit all themselves on top of one bed, he said the got to about 40, Craig suggested we try for about 400 today. Next up was a Tolkien linguist whose name escapes me right now. He told us about how he first came to LOTR, and how every book project he got from grade 2-12 was about LOTR, and the first time he met all the leading Tolkien Linguists at a fantasy convention and how he became instant friends with them all, and how on weekends they often have “meetings” to decipher and learn all Tolkien languages (adding that they never tried to all fit on one bed!). Before his turn was over, he added that he can't get enough Elvish songs about trees. Next was Bruce Hopkins (Gamling), he to only came to LOTR just before filming, but told us how he so quickly became obsessed with it and how he loves coming to these conventions and meeting us fans. He told on story how he was surfing, just after the release of ROTK, and a fan came paddling out abut 50 feet from shore, got up on a wave and yelled “Riders of Rohan!!”, Bruce added that he had no armor on or long hair and a beard and Craig asked “what about your horse!?”. Thus the end of this presentation came about. Moving on….

Auction to benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide

It was now time for the “Auction to benefit Proliteracy worldwide”, when all was said and done I walked away with 2 LOTR “minimates” and the WETA Troll Bust. Their were a few surprises including Craig Parkers great “work” that sold for $250 CDN! Their were quite a few other things like signed books and magazines, busts, bookmarks, games, signed action figures etc. There was one guest who must have spent about $300, so all in all the whole thing was great, and for a great cause.

Day 1, Truly a Day of Days

Thus, the end of day one came to an end, and I was truly a day of days. Now I can look forward to day 2, but now have to say that I will not be able to attend the 3rd day due to my flight being changed (Can’t trust Air Canada these days LOL), but I intend to provide as much info on the event and its goingons that I can. Tomorrow is set up to be a great day, with a presentation of “Born of Hope” the LOTR fanflim and an interview with a man whose father was part of the Inklings, and a great friend of Tolkien’s. As well, I have the LOTR stage play to attend, that should be great (even amidst the bad reviews from dull critics who are being blamed for the early departure of the play from Toronto to London. Anyway, I must be getting to bed now.

Day 2

Day 2, and my final day of “The Gathering of the Fellowship”, was an experience to say the least. I woke up this morning about 7:30am (local time), and was excited as could be, anticipating the events to come today. After a small breakfast (very small, only 1 muffin LOL), we (my father and I) headed over to the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Centre once again.

Born of Hope

We started things of with a presentation by Kate Robinson, the director an one of the actors of the LOTR fanfilm “Born of Hope”. The presentation was great and she really struck a chord with her speech. She told us all about the creative process they went through, and let us see the films trailer (no one else has seen it yet). After we were finished up with this presentation (which was really great) we headed over to the next presentation. In closing, I have to say that this was a great film preview, and I would highly recommend going to Born of Hopes' homepage (listed at the bottom of the page), and get involved or just plain out learn more about the project.


Next on the agenda was a presentation by “Thoth”, in this presentation, we got to see his 2002 Academy Award winning film “Thoth”, based on his troubled childhood and how he made peace with his life through LOTR, and more importantly, Tolkien. To give you a little review of the movie, Thoth was born in New York, in 1954, in a mixed race family. He grew up with 3 siblings, but had a troubled childhood. He and his siblings were the targets of racial slurs and the like throughout their childhoods, and a series of terrible events caused Thoth’s father to leave the family, and never be seen again by Thoth. He found peace in his life through LOTR, and reading the books as a kid made him create a fantasy world of his own, “Festad”, which he has been developing since he was 12. It includes his own created language and history, which he sings, dances and plays instruments about in musical acts known as the “Herma”, which is based on the legends and myths of his world. When the movie was over, we got another performance by him, and I have to say that everyone was simply amazed (once again). He then proceeded to tell us all about the technology he needs for his “prayformances” and how he achieves his musical goals. An interesting fact is that he has never taken a singing lesson in his life, but I’m sure everyone in that room today would say “WHAT!” because he is just that amazing. Another cool fact that I learned first hand was that he believes in equality in life, and in everything, so when I got hime to sign my GOTF picture, he not only signed it normally with his right hand, but withe his left hand he signed it as well, backwards! He signed both sides at the same time so it looked like werdnA Andrew. He's really an amzing human being, and I can't wait until we meet again.When the session was over, a new buzz came through everyone, as they realized that next up was yes, The Lord of the Rings Musical, which has been highly anticipated by us all.

The Lord of the Rings Stage Production

As we all got to the Princess of Wales Theatre, and saw the stage for the first time, we were all simply awestruck. The stage itself is split into 16 elevators, not to mention that the entire back wall of the stage was covered by vines and branches that stretched out to about the middle of both theatre walls. Once the show started, everyone was ready for a great show, which they got. I could go on forever about the show today, but I’ll try to keep it quick. The beginning was great, it all started out with about 30 hobbits that came out and started to dance and sing while the story of LOTR was explained in detail, with video and a narrator (who had an awesome voice). Once we had been treated to hobbit life, it was time for Bree. On the way to Bree, through the old forest, we first meet the Ringwraiths, who in my opinion were great, although a little tall and bulky for my liking, they were very menacing. While at the Prancing Poney, the audience was treated to a “dance off” so to speak, which saw the hobbits take on the men in some interesting stile raps and singing. Then it was off to Rivendell, but I have to say I wasn’t a fan of this scene, or Elrond. After the Fellowship had been formed, we got to Moria, and I have to give this scene the award for best part of the show. The battle with the Balrog is simply breathtaking. The sound is thundering, and the red and yellow lights are flashing, and we can hear the roaring but see nothing, just Gandalf yelling, until wham! a huge beast (with wings) rises up and then all this black “ash” paper is blown in your face and gets everywhere. The scene was mesmerizing, and everyone loved it. Then it was time for the 1st intermission.

After intermission, it was back to the show, and on to Lorien. This was great and all, but I have to say that hated Galadriel’s appearance. She had this, what I call “crows nest” on her head and it just looked awful. But in Lorien, we get treated to what I believe the best music of the play, and Galadriel does have an amazing solo that just blew everyone away. After this, its off to Amon-Hen, another disappointing scene in my books. The orcs are all bouncing around, and then this Mortal Kombat theme music starts playing, it was awful! Although after Boromir dies, that was a great part, very touching indeed. Once we get into TTT, everything gets rushed, and Helms Deep is rather disappointing actually, although it was exciting. One downside is no Eomer, and in the case of ROTK, there as no Faramir. Another thing I didn’t like was Saruman, first of all he was bald, yes bald! And then down his skull, he had this black stripe that from far away look like a Mohawk!

The Ents though, were great, and everyone loved the scene. Merry and Pippin, just as in the movies, really fed off each other, and were just hilarious. On to ROTK.

Once we move into ROTK, you can see that a lot has been skipped. One major thing is that they blended the battle of Pellenor Fields and the Black Gate, together into one battle. With the battle, the men of the West were doing some weird dance routine, and I only saw about 2 orcs in the entire battle. EVERY scene with Gollum though, was amazing. The actor,Michael Therriault, was amazing, and had a great performance that got him the DORA award for best male actor at last weeks awards. The rest was great, especially the Scouring of the Shire, it was great, a little rushed, but it was great that they added it. To backtrack a little, the Shelob scene was great, and one of the better scenes. With that, we saw an end to the show, and I had to buy a shirt, which I did in the gift shop. All in all, I would give the play 8/10, it did lack in areas, but it was all awe inspiring, and gave all who attended a new version of LOTR to ponder and enjoy.

The Art of Ted Nasmith

Once back at the hotel for the rest of the day, we got 3 more events in. To start things off, we got a great slideshow hosted by Ted Nasmith, all about his art. We learned a lot about it and this was a really enjoyable part of the day as well. He has some great new stuff that is in his new calender. He also showed us some of his car paintings, and joked about how they all seemed to have LOTR style backrounds, and that publishers should never tell him to make whatever backround he wants!. A really enjoyable seminar. Moving on..

FanFiction Workshop

As we move on, I went over to a little workshop on how to write good Fanfiction, where I met up with Craig Parker again, and we talked for a little while, joking a lot. Craig is a really great guy, and I hope and know that our paths will cross again sometime. Craig and I started talking about pirated books and how he had recieved the 6th harry Potter in an email about a month before it was set to come out, long story short, he said he began to read it and though it sucked, and it couldn't have been J.K.'s, which in the end it wasn't. For the final event of the day and Gathering for me, it was a great one.

Interview with M. Colin Havard

My father didn't attend this one, instead he went to the bar, he said theres only so much Tolkien he can take.This next event was amazing, it was an interview with M. Colin Havard, son of one of the famous Inklings members. We got a Q&A with him, and the wealth of knowledge that was shared with us by him was amazing. He told us all about how he had been to a lot of the meetings with Tolkien and Lewis, as a child of course, and how he would pour their beer into plants. This event was one of the more enjoyable of the Gathering, and I have to thank the older people I was sitting with at the time for this, they were great and we had a lovely conversation, so thank-you to them.

The End of the Third Age

All in all, this event was amazing, and I can’t thank to organizers enough. It was simply a once in a lifetime experience and a really amazing weekend. I really hope that there is another Gathering soon, because I’ll be there. On a side note, I am trying to push for the next Gathering to be in Western Canada, so all of you Western Canadians, our time is now, so send me an email if your interested in helping out the cause. Many thanks to all the organising staff and all the guests, this was truly and amazing event.

GenCon 2006 Report & Images
Xoanon @ 8:14 pm EST

GenCon 2006 Images

Ashlee & Rachel Scott write: GenCon has come to a close once again, but what a wonderful weekend it was! I don't think anyone attending had time to sleep! The biggest problem with GenCon is there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all they have in store for you there! Gaming, RPG, LARP, TCG, tournaments, art shows, celebrity guests, comics, Star Wars, LOTR, musical guests, 24 hours of films from "Aliens" to "Princess Bride" plus an amazing Film Festival where fans showcase their own work in several categories from short films to full length features! Not to mention vendors galore and tons of free goodies!!

Four days, twenty-four hours a day of fun, gaming and films and we still didn't have time for everything! Talk about exhaustion!! Everyone present had an amazing weekend. The new games that were previewed were incredible and we can't wait for their release. Darth Vader and his gang were there to take pictures with fans, as well as other well known action heroes. Richard Hatch and Kevin Sorbo were among the guests attending this weekend.

Our "Dork of the Rings" friends had wonderful world premiere on Friday evening to a packed theater. The cast and crew were on hand throughout the weekend to answer questions for Dorker fans. And, at the DOTR booth, fans were lining up to buy their DOTR dvd, just released this weekend at GenCon, but available online at www.dorkoftherings.com for anyone that wasn't able to attend. We had two of our own fan film showing throughout the weekend also, "LOTR: Return of the King Sneak Preview parody" and our DOTR fan film (www.marsproductions.net). It's always fun watching films with other fans! We met so many incredible people and were sorry to see the weekend end!

GenCon is just an awesome gathering of a variety of art forms and entertainment that there is something there for everyone! Those of you on the west coast can attend GenCon in Anaheim, California on November 16-19, 2006. If you can't make it this year to GenCon, mark your calendar for next year - August 16-19, 2007 in Indiana! www.gencon.com Don't miss out on all the excitement! I've sent along some pictures of GenCon for all to enjoy! Thanks!

Ashlee & Rachel Scott
M.A.R.S. Productions

More ELF 2006 Images
Xoanon @ 7:22 pm EST

More ELF 2006 Images

Liana writes: It was another wonderful weekend with LOTR fans at ELF II. We arrived the night before from London and enjoyed a night on the town in New York City. What a marvelous city! This was my first convention and my two friends and I were anxious for the next day to begin.

Friday began with a music video, which was very entertaining. Followed by one of my favorite people, Daniel Reeve, who gave an informational and interesting presentation sharing his work with us all. I tried my luck at the LOTR Trivia Contest and soon learned I was out of my element, but having a great time! Everyone was very friendly. Some skits based on the "Princess bride" movie were done and that was very clever. Time to meet my first LOTR celebrity at the photo op - John Noble. What a charming person he was! He was next on the schedule with his wonderful stories. And, later that evening we were treated to an evening of chat and laughter with John Noble, Daniel Reeve and the other LOTR fans present.
By the time the first day was finished, I had forgotten all about my fear of flying, because I was having so much fun! Loved the autograph sessions.

Saturday began with what has to be my favorite memory of the weekend, simply because of the crowd reaction and the brilliance of the clip itself - Middle Earth Idols. I feared we might be crabby after the previous late night, but once the first chords of this music video began we were all cheering and on our feet! The American girls, teen film makers Ashley and Rachael, that did this were one of the winners of the music video contest over the weekend, well deserved too. What a delight! Soon, I was whisked off to my photo op with Sean Astin. He was also as nice as could be! Daniel Reeve gave another wonderful presentation and unfortunately, the Elijah Wood telecast wasn't working properly, but Sean Astin delighted us all with his humor and wit. More skits followed, hilarious like the day before. There was an auction, which I tried very hard to win something, but was outbid each time. Drat! Lynnette Porter gave a talk on Tolkien and his Hobbits, which was very interesting.

Saturday evening was full of fun once again with Emerald Rose playing throughout the night, as well as a costume and talent contest. What fun!

Sunday morning was the charity brunch with Billy Boyd. What a wonderful opportunity to be up close and personal with one of my favorite Hobbits, and for a good cause. He joined us at each table and chatted for a while. The Sunday programming began with another music video and Micheel Drout for a lecture on Tolkien's world. The young filmmakers from the day before introduced a film clip called Dork of the Ring and then came out on stage for a Question and Answer session, which was very interesting. They did fantastic for being so young and facing an audience like that drilling them with questions! We were then shown three of their own fan films, a Dork of the Rings fan film, Return of the King spoof and treated to an encore performance of Middle Earth Idols as the crowd cheered! So much fun!! Coleen Doran followed this with her amazing work! I later bought one of her prints to take back to England with me. More trivia contest and skits followed! Time for our photo ops with Billy Boyd. What a treat! Following that, we were shown another music video and then Billy came on stage to entertain us and even auctioned off some more items for us. Billy was wonderful!! We had another chance at an auction, and another chance for me not to win! But, it was worth a try!

I didn't know what to expect when I arrived for ELF, but I am so glad I came. It gave me a lifetime of memories and I can't wait to travel on to California for ORC in 2007. Thanks to all the wonderful fans and guests from all over that shared their time and talent with us! Here are some pictures I took over the weekend.

8-12-06 Latest News

ELF 2006: Sunday Images & Report
Xoanon @ 1:10 pm EST

ELF 2006 Images

TORN Staffer Garfeimao writes: Sunday at ELF began with the Charity brunch with Billy Boyd. Over $5000 was raised for the Scottish Youth Theater, and part of that came from an impromptu live auction of one of Billy's shirts. This would not be the only impromptu auction Billy hosted this day, but I'll get to the other one later. Billy wandered around chatting with everyone at each table and was a gracious host, as usual.

Once the brunch was over, everyone went to the main hall and filled up the seats. Michael Drout was first up on stage and his presentation on Tolkien and Beowulf transfixed the audience, as his previous panel had on Friday. And as with the Friday presentation, it began with the recitation of the opening of Beowulf in the original Anglo-saxon.

While Michael was on stage in the main room, Colleen Doran was giving a panel on how to get into the Illustration business in the second room. I know several people were in there to take advantage of such a valuable resource.

After the Dork of the Rings presentation, Ashley and Rachel Scott got up to talk about it and their fan film for it. The DOTR guys were not present at ELF, so the Scott sisters were their proxies. I think they handled their first onstage panel quite well. They have two other conventions this summer that their fan films have been accepted to, GenCon and DragonCon. Real Life issues may keep the girls home during GenCon, and I'm unsure of their status for DragonCon but their fan films will be shown.

After their panel was done, Colleen was on the main stage and maintained her informal style by sitting on the edge of the stage. She shared her knowledge of reference materials needed to be a good illustrator. She also shared some very funny stories of some of the LOTR actors who have modeled for these reference pics. Once Colleen was done, we moved into the audience participation segment of the day.

First there was the yes/no trivia competition where the winner is the last person standing. After that came the final installment of the "Is this a Kissing Book" skits. It's always fun to see fans turn into big hams when put up on stage.

Billy Boyd finally made his appearance on stage and started off with a bang. Or rather, the kicking over of various mic stands around the stage. While on stage, he decided to do another impromptu auction and sold his cool leather braclet he was wearing that day. How cool is that? It was won by a young lady in a nice Eowyn White Gown.

Once off stage, Billy spent the afternoon doing his autograph session and chatting with the fans. It was a pleasant way to end the official portion of the show. Afterwards, long after the dinner hour, con attendees decended upon the bar in the hotel. Again, the best way to end a LOTR event is hanging with friends laughing and having fun.

GenCon 2006 Report
Xoanon @ 12:51 pm EST

GenCon 2006

Erwin writes: GenCon 2006, an amazing 4-day gaming convention, opened in Indianapolis yesterday to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands ready to immerse themselves in every form of gaming imaginable. Whether your passion is dominating your opponents in the Battle for Middle Earth II and Halo, getting lost in a TCG or strategy board game, sitting back for hours watching films or kicking up your heels at the GenCon dance - there's something here for everyone. GenCon runs 24 hours a day!

The most awaited film of this epoch, The Dork of the Rings, graced the screens last night at GenCon 2006 to a packed house for a sneak preview. Co-Directed by the world-renowned filmmaking genius and hot dog enthusiast Jack Peterson, it is an epic story of friendship and honor you won't want to miss! Joining their DOTR friends for the sneak preview were teenage filmmakers Ashlee and Rachel Scott, with screenings throughout the weekend of their LOTR: ROTK parody and winning DOTR fan film at the GenCon Film Festival. Dork of the Rings director Tim Richardson, along with cast and crew, will be available throughout the weekend to sign autographs and answer questions. Dorkers rushed to be among the first to own a copy of this very special film, now available on dvd at www.dorkoftherings.com.

The gaming and merriment continued well into the wee hours of the morning! Tonight, GenCon rolls out the red carpet for The Dork of the Rings world premiere. We'll have another huge crowd on hand for this very special event. Check out www.gencon.com for more information on how you can get in on all the fun and excitement too! See you there!!

8-09-06 Latest News

Own a Piece of RINGERS & Very Secret Diaries History!
Xoanon @ 4:44 pm EST

Everyone loves the wickedly funny “Very Secret Diaries” as created by fan fic phenom Cassie Claire. This spoof of Fellowship characters has appeared in the award-winning indie documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS, in an outrageous sequence where Toy Biz Action Figures and character voices were filmed on a mini set!

The original, authentic toys and props used in RINGERS are now offered on eBay! Now is your chance to own a piece of indie film history.

Check out this sequence from the film (Quicktime required) and join the auctions!

Small file [100kps]
Large file [800kps]

The entire series of RINGERS eBay auctions are found here:

8-08-06 Latest News

ELF 2006: Saturday Report
Xoanon @ 2:14 pm EST

ELF 2006: Saturday Report

TORN Staffer Garfeimao writes: Saturday had Sean Astin as the main guest, replacing Elijah Wood as the headliner. It was announced that Elijah might be able to do a webcam conference call sometime on Saturday, but the technical bugs never quite worked out. So Sean did his appearance, handled the autograph line like the champ he is, and then we were hit by another missing guest.

Our musical scholar, Doug Adams, had been unable to fly out of Chicago on Friday due to bad weather. He had suggested doing a webcam appearance as well, and with the set up for Elijah, this was a more than acceptable solution. And then there was silence from Doug all day on Saturday. Turns out that the power went out in his area and he was without cellphone and computer to communicate this.

Luckily, Lynnette Porter was able to step in and dig up one of her past presentations and fill in Doug's panel time. Who says Professors can't be heroic? Daniel Reeve also gave a nice talk, and I believe he freaked a few people out by showing a picture of a bunch of Weta bugs. I've seen one in person, and ICK is all I have to say on that matter.

Saturday evening's entertainment then kicked off with a costume contest and talent contest. There were some fabulous costumes, especially the three Elegant Elves that won, and some really fun talent performances. I have to say the rousing singalong of "I would be a Wood Elf" was the clear winner, but everyone else who competed in the talent portion did an excellent job.

After the awards were given, Emerald Rose jumped on stage and the party was GO. We had a conga line that must have been at least 50 people long, and the jumping and dancing didn't stop until well after Midnight. With everyone's energy levels up, several groups clustered in the lobby, and I saw the Pizza delivery people show up several times, including our group. This hotel has lots of lobby space, so hanging out was easy and fun and the hotel was casual about it all. A really great ending to the middle day of the con. Sunday's report coming soon.

8-07-06 Latest News

Adam Klein's "Leithian" Music Samples
Xoanon @ 5:04 pm EST

Osse from tolkien.cyberdusk.pl writes: I would like to inform you something, what can be interesting for you and your site users..

I have heard about Tolkien opera "Leithian", and about premiere from your site. But there is something nee. Now there is possibility to hear and download music clips form the opera from Prologue to 7 scene as well as libretto to the opera.

The composer Adam Klein is not allowed to sell the music and make money form it. But he can give free clips or CD with music to some people on the condition that they won't be sold.. . or use for commercial purposes. I think that he is a great artist and Tolkien lovers and music is much more important for him then money and he want to share his opera with another Tolkien's fans. Follow this link for samples. [More]

At our site we usually write Polish, but we made a few interviews for example with Ted Nasmith, Anke Eissman, which have also English (oryginal) veriona). If you are interested you can look here. [More]

8-05-06 Latest News

"Mr. Bliss" - Fan Animated Feature Film
Xoanon @ 10:23 am EST

TheHutt writes: "Mr. Bliss", a children's story by J.R.R. Tolkien, has came to life in Russia. The uncommercial society "Tolkien Text Translation" has produced an animated film based on Tolkien's illustrated book. The animation was created from the original drawings by the Professor himself.

Mr. Bliss, a weird but lovable man with a love for top hats, goes out to buy a motor-car. After trading it in for his bicycle, he decides to visit his friends, the weighty Dorkinses. However, on his way, he is getting out of the frying pan into the fire: numerous car crashes, an encounter with three bears and a night hunt in the woods...

The first screening of Mr. Bliss outside Russia took place on TolkienThing 2006. Another one will be taking place on November 10-12th in Fulda, Germany, at the Ring*Con 2006.

Click here for the trailer

8-01-06 Latest News

Barbara Remington Interview
Xoanon @ 4:58 pm EST

N Marion Hage writes: I write for Andwerve Literary Journal, a Los Angeles based publication. I'm an avowed Ring Nut and recently had the chance to interview Barbara Remington, who illustrated the first licensed version of The Hobbit and the three The Lord of the Rings books for Balentine.

Barbara discusses the crazy atmosphere surrounding the Tolkien novels, how in haste to beat "Ace" to the punch, Balentine gave her the impossible task of illustrating a story she'd never seen, something they'd done once before when they asked her to illustrate The Hobbit. Barbara is a devoted Tolkien fan and sought afterwards to get permission to publish a book of illustrations based on an informed knowledge of the story, but the Tolkien estate balked. Although she laments not having seen the books first, she takes it all in stride, explaining that no one had a clue what they were dealing with when Lord of the Rings came to America.

I've seen Barbara's illustrations and they are indeed quite good. She is in my mind a precious treasure and part of Tolkien Lore. She laughed at Tolkien's comments on "The Pumpkin Tree", but didn't take it personally, and understood fully why he was initially frustrated with Balentine for printing The Hobbit with a lion on the cover, when there was no lion in the book. Here is a link to the interview. [More]

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