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September 17, 2006 - October 17, 2006

10-17-06 Latest News

A tough 'Hobbit' to start
Xoanon @ 8:39 pm EST

From Variety

MGM's recent announcement that it intended to release "The Hobbit" and, hopefully, get Peter Jackson to direct it, caused major buzz in Hollywood.

It also caused a frenzy among Jackson fans, who have been lobbying via petition on the fansite TheOneRing.net for Jackson to tackle the "Lord of the Rings" prequel ASAP. The petition tallied nearly 50,000 signatures and was submitted to MGM and New Line, which share film rights to "The Hobbit." (MGM owns distribution rights; New Line owns the rights to actually make the movie.)

Reflecting just how important Jackson's online fan base was to the success of the "LOTR" pics, MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands responded to the petition, saying: "MGM would be thrilled to collaborate with the Academy-Award winning director on this MGM/New Line Cinema production. And, I'm sure to the delight of the 50,000 filmgoers who have petitioned us in recent weeks, demanding we bring this film to fruition, we have had a few initial conversations about the project with Mr. Jackson's representatives."

Ken Kamins, who manages Jackson, would not comment on the matter. But people close to Jackson say it's not likely the director will turn to "The Hobbit" anytime soon -- at least not until the lawsuit between Jackson and New Line over "Lord of the Rings" revenues is settled.

Jackson's suit claims he's still owed money from the trilogy, including revenues from distribution deals abroad. Sorting through the various overseas deals and payments is a complex matter, however, and no damage amount is specified.

But considering the "LOTR" trilogy grossed close to $3 billion worldwide in ticket sales alone, shouldn't New Line be working a little harder to make peace with Jackson? After all, Time Warner stockholders would no doubt be tickled to hear that an "LOTR"-type film was in the works, with the potential for LOTR-type grosses.

In the meantime, Jackson is busy with a number of other projects. He's working on the script for "The Lovely Bones," based on the novel by Alice Sebold, which will be his next directing gig. He's also exec producing Universal's "Halo" and producing U's "Dambusters," and just acquired rights to a trilogy of fantasy novels by Naomi Novik about a Napoleon-era ship's captain and a heroic dragon named Temeraire. The multi-hyphenate is also launching a videogame studio with Microsoft.

Frodo fans will just have to sit tight.

10-15-06 Latest News

2006 Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival
Xoanon @ 4:27 pm EST

Rocky writes: For Toronto residents and visitors, you may be interested in attending the 2nd Annual Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival.

Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival Announces 2006 Programme

Toronto, The Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival has announced its line up of films for the second annual event, which is taking place October 27-29, 2006 in Toronto. More than 45 films will be presented including features, shorts, animation and documentaries; many are Canadian or World Premieres. The films, which delve into the world of mythology, mysticism, magical realism, legend and science fiction, have been chosen from submissions from around the world. The festival is taking place at Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto campus. The complete programme is available at www.fantasyworldwide.com.

“Our aim is to showcase fantasy films that are inspiring, enlightening and entertaining,” says Johanna Kern, executive director of Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival.

Highlighted Feature films include:

Sidekick, Canada -- a comic book obsessed computer geek discovers that his friend has telekinetic abilities. He endeavors to turn him into a superhero, with the hope of becoming his trusty sidekick, but learns that not all people with extraordinary abilities are meant to be superheroes. Director: Blake Van De Graaf. Winner of ‘People’s Pick for Best Flick’ Award 2006 Canadian Filmmakers Festival.

Mee-Shee, UK -- A fun-loving nine-year old has the adventure of a lifetime when he uncovers the world’s biggest secret: Mee-Shee, a loveable water giant. Incredible monsters and amazing special effects from Academy Award winning Jim Henson’s Creature shop. Starring: Tom Jackson, Bruce Greenwood, Daniel Magder, Joel Tobeck, Rena Owen. Director: John Henderson Canadian Premiere

Gamerz, Scotland / UK -- An off-beat comedy with a love triangle set in the fantasy, role-playing society of Glasgow University. The hero is the Game Keeper, a geeky genius who builds an imaginary world – and has a fatal weakness for the sexy goth girl who thinks she’s an elf. Director: Robbie Frazer. Canadian Premiere

Spectres, USA -- Some of Sci-Fi’s most famous faces. Marina Sirtis, co-star of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” meets up with “X-Files” regular Dean Haglund, Tucker Smallwood of “Space: Above and Beyond, Linda Park of “Star Trek: Enterprise;” and Alexis Cruz of “Stargate,” to create a dark and eerie tale of a supernatural phenomenon. Director: Phil Leirness

Laura's Star, Germany / Animated Feature -- Laura is new to the neighborhood, and a little homesick. Then she rescues a fallen star who is homesick too - and shares a friendship that makes her new surroundings feel like home. Directors: Piet De Rycker, Thilo Rothkirch. Coproducers and distributors: Warner Bros.

Short Order, Ireland / UK / Germany -- Fifi has an uncontrollable talent for culinary seduction. Over one busy night in the culinary underbelly, boredom will become fantasy as a little bit of love and wisdom come together where life is a buffet and everything is Short Order. Starring: Emma de Caunes, John Hurt, Cosma Shiva Hagen, Jack Dee, and Vanessa Redgrave. Director: Anthony Byrne. Short Order was nominated for 8 Irish Film and Television Awards and won in the Production Design category. Canadian Premiere.

Highlighted Documentaries include:

The Gathering: Return of the Whale Dreamers, Australia -- by producers Julian Lennon and Kim Kindersley. The wisdom of Indigenous Elders from around the world permeates this film, offering up the familiar warnings of where humanity seems to be going, but it also reflects back to us that we collectively can come back from the edge of extinction. For the first time on film, Aboriginal Whale Calling ceremonies are shared. Guest Appearances: Jack Thompson, John Hurt, Julian Lennon, Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush. Director: Kim Kindersley. Best Film Award, Byron Bay Film Festival. Canadian Premiere

The Secret, Australia -- Leading scientists, authors and philosophers reveal the secret that has transformed the lives of those who lived it: Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare and Einstein. This is the secret to everything – joy, health, relationships, money, love and happiness. Directors: Drew Heriot, Damien McLindon, Sean Byrne. Canadian Premiere

Huldufolk 102, USA/Iceland -- Beneath the quiet veneer of Iceland is an invisible nation of Hidden People. Tales of these beings challenge human perceptual limitations and reveal the mysteries of the natural world. Director: Nisha Inalsingh.

Highlighted Shorts and Animation include:

Cost of Living, Canada; Lesson Number Five, Lebanon; Guide Dog, USA / Animation – (sequel to the Oscar nominated "Guard Dog"); Delivery, Germany / Animation; The Orchid and the Rose, Canada/ Animation; and many others.

Tickets can be purchased at Innis Town Hall (University of Toronto campus) during the Festival.
Festival weekend passes are available online (Pay Pal). For group tickets presales, contact info@fantasyworldwide.com.

Fantasy Worldwide is an independent, not-for-profit organization and the only film festival of its kind to showcase a broad variety of fantasy and science fiction genres.

Note: official selection is subject to change. Please visit the Festival website for final selection by October 1, 2006.

10-11-06 Latest News

Signed LOST Poster & Awesome RINGERS Props Auction!
Xoanon @ 7:49 pm EST

LOST fans unite! Here is your chance to get 6 cast & crew autographs all at one time, on a huge 40" x 27" promo poster!

We enjoyed making fun of the over-the-top LOTR merchandising in our Mariachi Sing-Along, as seen in the award-winning indie documentary RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS, and now several original, authentic toys and props shot for B-roll in the film are offered on eBay! Though many items were filmed for the segment on a soundstage, not all made the final cut, but many are now permanently etched in 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:

EXCLUSIVE Autographed LOST Poster (Monaghan, Fox, Lilly)
TTT RoseArt Board Game
Special Edition Collector's Series Frodo w/ Fabric costume
Applause Frodo & Sam Replicas
Gandalf & Shadowfax Deluxe Horse & Rider Set
Sharku & Warg Beast Deluxe Beast & Rider Set
Toy Biz Strider Action Figure (rectangular J-Hook package)
PUZZ-3D Hobbiton 3D foam-backed Puzzle/369 Pieces
Sideshow/WETA "Industry of Isengard" Medallion RARE/LOW NUMBER!
Toy Biz Orc Overseer Action Figure
VERY UNUSUAL Gandalf Diet Coke / McDonald's Hat Pin
Lurtz Toy Biz Action Figure
Applause 'Screaming' Nazgul Coin Bank

10-07-06 Latest News

'The Hobbit' Petition: MGM Speaks!
Xoanon @ 8:58 pm EST

Lith writes: Here is a report on the deliveries of The Hobbit Petition to MGM and New Line on September 22nd. The petition, with the 39116 signatures accumlutated at the time of printing, was delivered to the studios along with a copy of MrCere's open letter to the studios. Though we have had no feedback at this time from New Line, I did receive this very cordial email from Theo Dumont of MGM today, with full permission to pass it along. It should hearten fans a good bit.

"Dear organizers of The Hobbit Petition:

We would like to give you the official statement from MGM. Feel free to pass this along to your members and affiliated web sites. Thank you and please see below:

"Peter Jackson's phenomenal success with The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes him the first and most ideal choice for directing The Hobbit," said MGM. "MGM would be thrilled to collaborate with the Academy Award-winning director on this MGM New Line Cinema production. And, I'm sure to the delight of the 50,000 filmgoers who have petitioned us in recent weeks, demanding we bring this film to fruition, we have had a few initial conversations about the project with Mr. Jackson's representatives."

Best regards,

Theo Dumont
Manager of Public Relations
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc."

9-27-06 Latest News

Tolkien Lecture in Missouri
Xoanon @ 11:48 am EST

TORN Staffer MrCere sends this along: Colin Havard: An Inkling's Son Remembers J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis. Presented with Mike Foster

Thursday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m., at St. Louis Community College, South County Education & Training Center, 4115 Meramec Bottom Road, St. Louis, Missouri.

Mark Colin Havard, the son of Dr. Robert (Humphrey) Havard of Oxford, who was the personal physician of Tolkien and Lewis as well as a member of the famous "Inklings" fellowship, occasionally attended Inklings sessions along with his father. His recollections of those men and those meetings, house-sitting for Lewis at the Kilns, and other anecdotes comprise this evening of literary reminiscence.

Prof. Mike Foster, the North American representative of the Tolkien Society, teaches a course on Tolkien at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

The event is free and open to the public.

9-24-06 Latest News

Wood's Simian Takes Bite out of 'Apples'
Xoanon @ 2:03 pm EST



New Magnetic Wonder Released on February 7

Los Angeles, CA – September 19, 2006 – Celebrated indie rock band The Apples in Stereo have been signed to a new label and will release their first album in five years, the pop triumph New Magnetic Wonder. Scheduled for release on February 7th, New Magnetic Wonder marks the debut album to be distributed on Elijah Wood’s newly formed Simian Records (co-released and distributed via Yep Roc Records/Elephant 6/Redeye Distribution).

Apples lead singer Robert Schneider met Wood at SXSW music festival in Austin, TX in 2003. As fate would have it, the Apples, who recently departed from their long-time label spinART, were looking for a new label at exactly the same time Wood was launching Simian Records.

“I've been a fan of the Apples for years,” said Elijah Wood. “I’m truly honored and excited that New Magnetic Wonder will be Simian Records first release.”

Glenn Dicker, President and Co-owner of Yep Roc Records continues, “Everyone at Yep Roc is very excited about the relationship we are building with Elijah and his new label. Given our mutual passion for the Apples, this is a fantastic record to get the ball rolling with on this new venture. We're looking forward to doing many new projects together in the future.”

New Magnetic Wonder is an ambitious LP clocking in at 53 minutes containing 14 songs and 12 additional musical segue-ways (or 'link tracks' as Schneider refers to them). The album features an array of special guests including many members of the Elephant 6 collective. Sticking with their indie-rock pedigree the Apples sought the production skills of acclaimed engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Sebadoh, Phish, Sean Lennon) who mixed their last record “Velocity of Sound.”

Recorded in five cities (Brooklyn, NY; Lexington, NY; Denver, CO; Athens, GA; and Benton, KY) over 12 months, the recording and completion of New Magnetic Wonder spanned great change within the band (which includes bass player Eric Allen and guitarist John Hill). New Magnetic Wonder led Schneider through a labyrinth of new directions, including the recent departure of the band's longtime drummer and second vocalist, Hilarie Sidney, to focus on her own band The High Water Marks, as well as Schneider’s invention of a new musical scale.

The “Non-Pythagorean Scale” will be featured on an enhanced portion of this multimedia CD release, which includes digital files for MIDI usage and an in-depth description by Schneider of the Non-Pythagorean scale both in both document and video form.

New Magnetic Wonder contains such fist pumping anthems as “Can You Feel It?,” the 70’s AM radio-esque “Same Old Drag,” the slice of infectious vocoder heaven “Joanie Don’t U Worry” (a ‘link track’ throwback to the ‘Computer Love’ of the late 80s/early 90s), and the Mellotron majesty of “Energy.” This is perfect music for Jeff Lynne and Brian Wilson to make-out to.

However, this is a mere fraction of New Magnetic Wonder’s pop conquest!

National and regional tour dates for the Apples in Stereo will be announced shortly.

Track Listing:


1. Can You Feel It?
2. Skyway
3. Mellotron 1
4. Energy
5. Same Old Drag
6. Joanie Don't U Worry
7. Sunndal Song**
8. Droplet
9. Play Tough
10. Sun is Out
11. Non-Pythagorean Composition 1


12. Hello Lola
13. 7 Stars
14. Mellotron 2
15. Sunday Sounds**
16. Open Eyes
17. Crimson
18. Pre-Crimson
19. Vocoder Ba Ba
20. Radiation
21. Beautiful Machine Parts 1-2
22. Beautiful Machine Parts 3-4
23. My Pretend
24. Non-Pythagorean Composition 3
**Composed by Hilarie Sidney

'John Howe--There and Back Again' Screening in Wellington
Xoanon @ 12:21 pm EST

Fraser writes: The New Zealand screenings of "John Howe--There and Back Again" are the Asia Pacific Premiere for this Swedish/Swiss documentary which features in the 2nd DOCNZ International Documentary Film Festival that starts in Wellington this week (according to the Festival programme).

The two screenings at Wellington's Paramount Theatre (about a hundred metres/yards north of the ROTK World Premiere Venue--the Embassy Theatre--in the city) are at 12.30pm Tuesday 26 Sept and at 8.40pm Thursday 28 Sept.

When I bought a ticket to each yesterday (Saturday, Wellington time), I was told very few had sold!

Here are details from the programme:

"Animation has seen major developments in the film industry in recent times and one of the most successful fantasy illustrators in the world today, John Howe, is responsible for the mysterious and magical images found in the Lord of the Rings triology. Featuring interviews with Peter Jackson, H.R. Giger, and Howe's collaborator Alan Lee, the film explores how fantasy and reality collide in John's work as well as in his own personal world."

Festivals: Espoo Cine 06, Neuchatel Int. Fanatstic FF 06.
Director: Francois Boetschi & Anders Banke
Running Time: 52 mins
Sweden/Switzerland 2004

The great news is that the Festival programme advises that all films are either in English or have been subtitled (I think this documentary might have been in German or French originally) so English-language ringers like me can now appreciate it too!

Anyone wanting to make a special trip to Wellington to see this documentary (which has already screened twice in Auckland) can purchase their ticket(s) from the Paramount Theatre by phone or fax.

Phone Wellington 384 4080
From Australia: 0011 64 4 384 4080)
Fax Wellington 384 4408
From Australia: 0011 64 4 384 4408)
Disabled access available
Theatre website: paramount.co.nz

9-17-06 Latest News

Oxonmoot 2006 Report!
Xoanon @ 10:27 pm EST

Oxonmoot 2006 Images
Click for more images

Pippin Skywalker writes:

Dear Middle Earth Inhabitants,

I am herein endeavoring to give a faithful account of the spectacles and debacles that made up the wonderful Oxonmoot 2006. This year the event was held at Somerville college, a serenely beautiful 19th century college with beautiful gardens and shire like flowers growing everywhere. It was a very mild september weekend and wonderful for the events which were held in a tent set up in the main college quad. This tent known affectionately as the Marquis, served as one of the main locations of the lectures and festivities.

On Saturday there were a number of lectures given from different speakers from all over the world throughout the day. Jessica Yates, a lady who read English at Oxford University read us her paper on the Palantir. Some of things she mentioned and discussed were the changes Peter Jackson made from the book in omitting any adaptation of the scenes of Denethor's palantir that are present in Tolkien's story; this was apparently done to avoid repetition since Saruman had already haughtily flaunted his palantir thus ousting poor Denny from more dramatic screentime (alas!).

Another illustrious speaker at the event was a gentleman from Brittany, France--Jean Chausse. He is a part of the quiet yet ever present French Tolkien Society and gave an interesting talk on redemption as depicted in Tolkien's work. Some of the discussions that went on concerned the characters who underwent a change and were redeemed and other such as Boromir who exhibited a more pagan sense of honor by covering his wrongs with his death (I do not fully agree with this, but I am merely reporting others thoughts here, so I will carry on. :) ). Someone in the audience pointed out that Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, the crotchety relative of Frodo and Bilbo actually underwent a redemption process at the end of Return of the King. The suffering that she experianced under Saruman's short lived tyranny transformed her into a much kinder and therefore much respected and love hobbit dame.

Overall,the discussion was a very interesting illumination on many of Tolkien's characters and their changes of character and perspective. The portrayel of despair in LOTR was also a major theme that caused many interesting thoughts and questions to flower at the end of Chausse's lecture--the different outcomes of despair in Denethor, Theoden, and Eowyn (the the latter mentioned by yours truly) were examined at some length. One of the great strengths of Oxonmoot is the delight of the speakers and attendees in picking good topics and questions and really appreciating the vast richness and depth of Tolkien's themes and characters. I have rarely been disappointed in any of the lectures I have heard at these events and I highly reccomend them to any future attendees.

One thing I can definitively say about the members of the U.K. Tolkien Society is they certainly know how to have fun and do so in such a way that is both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. They are wonderful group of interesting, smart, and merry hobbits who love Tolkien and his works, and like hobbits are fond of good company and good fun. I will never forget the joy of dancing in Merry and Pippin's Dance Workshop where 20 jolly souls waltzed around an Oxford quad with the alacrity and joy that Tolkien would have admired in hobbit dancing. Much merriment was also to be had at the annual Tolkien art slide show which is assured to make even the most mundanely morose Sackville-Baggins fall out of a chair laughing. I know I personally have not guffawed so heartily at the weird concoctions of some artists' interpretations of Middle Earth and its citizens. It would make a humorous streaming video one day if the Tolkien Society would soften a little to minor media presence--eh Mr. Morgan? ;)

I attended the international Tolkien Society meeting where all the societies from around the world meet together to discuss major happenings with Tolkien's estate, copyright issues, and the opening and closings of Tolkien societies. Countries present included Greece (ony 2 years old!), Israel, Germany, Norway, and New York (unofficially represented by myself--no worries Anthony and Jessica. :) ). I hade never been to a meeting quite like this. I can only imagine what Tolkien would think of his fans coming together and discussing issues on societies devoted to his works with all the seriousness of the Parliament in Britain. :) It was a very informative meeting however, and I learned much about the woes of international societies and the issues great and small that concern them. Saturday night was the main celebratory event devoted to singing, drama, and the most lively Middle Earth fashion show you could imagine! There elf maidens, an elf warrior, the ladies of WEST--ernesse (girls dressed in cowgirl outfits portraying people of Westerness far in the future!). There was even a female balrog--terrible to behold!

Sunday morning dawned and awakened many sleepy hobbits from their beds to go on a Tolkien walking tour. This was a lovely and serene experiance--the combination of history and the soft, quiet light of the early morning were a fair combination. After this everyone hopped on buses to attend the beautiful memorial service known as Enyalie at Wolvercote Cemetery. The sun was shining blithe and bright, everyone gathered near the Professors grave in song and a sweet rememberance. Many very poignent and moving stories were told of Tolkien's life were told the most moving of which was the story of the death of Tolkien's best friends in the war. Mr. Smith, one the last surviving member of Tolkien's society of childhood friends from the TCBS was quoted before his death in the war as telling Tolkien how he would carry on the legacy of the other members after they had all died. Smith said to Tolkien he would continue to speak for the voices of all his fallen friends and would carry on the great tradition they had had together. Not long after the this last, beautiful letter, Mr. Smith was died of injuries from a shell that exploded near a sidewalk he passed. Tolkien, who contracted trench fever was spared an early death by his removal from the Somme to England. He awoke to clean sheets and a familiar setting much like Frodo awakened after his trials and terrors in the peace and beauty of Rivendell. After Tolkien recovered he would indeed continue the legacy of his friends and it was through their sacrifice, love, honor, and heroism that some of the greatest works of the 20th century were born. The blood of these great men of valor was not in vain--their strength and courage is remembered for all eternity by heaven and the beautiful characters and stories that Tolkien created in their honor. I firmly believe that is was not intellectual cleverness, nor knowledge, nor mere delight in imagination that made Tolkien's works great--it was love, courage, and wisdom born out of suffering that made these stories immortal--the suffering of Tolkien's friends and Tolkien himself. His works are a memorial not only to his dear friends but to the many men and women of honor who have died in the name of freedom and goodness. To quote Samwise Gamgee,they are an everlasting tribute to all that is good and worth fighting for in the world.

I hope you have enjoyed this report my dear hobbitlings. I write to you as one inspired and gladdened by the memories of wonderful people and wondeful weekend. I hope in the future some of my readers will perchance enjoy a lovely summer experiance at an Oxonmoot in the future. Cheers friends. :)

P.S. I would like to thank the following people for their time,kindness, and good company--Jean Chausse, P.T. Morgan, Tal Katz. It was a wonderful meeting all of you. :)

One 'Dork' Movie To Rule Them All
Xoanon @ 7:50 pm EST

South Bend, IN September 2006 -- It's "One spoof to rule them all! according to Peter Lyon who designed and created the hero swords for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy.

The ambitious parody movie "The Dork of the Rings", which was produced in the Michiana area and is being heralded internationally, will be shown on the I.U.S.B. campus in Wiekamp Hall, Room 1001 on Saturday, September 23 – 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 24 – 2:00 p.m.; Friday, October 6 – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 7 - 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 8 – 2:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 at the door.

The 100-minute film was produced in Indiana and Michigan over the last two and a half years by director Tim Richardson and his company Richardson Productions LLC in conjunction with Somehow Cinema. Richardson grew up in Granger, Indiana, is a current resident of Edwardsburg, Michigan and an I.U.S.B. alumnus. The screenings are sponsored by the I.U.S.B. Alumni Association. More information about the film can be found at www.dorkoftherings.com.

The story revolves around a young Throbbit, Frudo Buggins, who must stop the insidious Dork-mart corporation from taking over Muddle-earth with its endless franchises. The only way to do this is to deliver the One Ring of Circular Credit to Bank Boom to close Lord Mauron's account and stop the evil empire from spreading. Pursued by Nosedrools and Sporks, Frudo is joined by his plump companion Ham, Randolf the Wizard, Gimpi the Dweeb, Legoblocks the Elfis, Arogant the Rangler, Princess Femowen and the annoying creature Scrottum.

The film held its World Premiere and two other screenings this August at the enormous GenCon convention in Indianapolis to packed audiences and a few weeks later it graced the big screen at the IMAX in Indianapolis, which was organized by Woodworks films. "The film is huge in its scope," says filmmaker Gary Wood. "It's not your normal low-budget, independent movie. It's the perfect example of what you can accomplish if you don't limit your vision to what you think you can accomplish and, rather, just go about accomplishing your vision--and limitations be damned!"

Over half the film was shot against a giant green screen sound stage Richardson's crew constructed themselves. The post-production art team consisted of around 30 artists including digital artists, matte painters, sculptors, graphic designers, illustrators, animators and costume designers.

Michael Kouroubetes who co-wrote, produced, and acted in the film says, "It was kinda' like a bonsai tree: looks great, but it takes a lot of patience to grow. We owe so much to ever evolving consumer level technology. Without the advent of terrific software and faster PC's, this movie would've cost hundred's of thousands more to make."

Art Coordinator Ian Strandberg created many of the digital backgrounds and offered input to the wide variety of artists working on the project. "The task of making FX for 'The Dork of the Rings' is not about fooling the audience. Most audiences are too sophisticated to be hornswoggled by the likes of us. Rather, I look at the dork FX first as a matter of entertainment and second as a matter of suggesting that no matter how crazy something seems, it can be sold as a stylistic choice and not an anomaly of artistic temperament."

The scriptwriting process began in January 2004 and the 18 days of principle photography followed that summer and fall. During the long post-production process, which included not only the digital effects but also re-dubbing all the actors' voices and creating foley and sound effects, the cast and crew were also busy marketing the film.

The Dorks first traveled to TolCon in Seattle in 2005 where they previewed the film and also met Elijah Wood's scale and stunt double from the trilogy, Kiran Shah, who they were able to recruit to do a comical introduction for the movie where he claims he auditioned for "Dork" but was rejected as the lead actor's stunt double because he was "too tall." Shah has been in many films and was seen most recently as the White Queen's sleigh driver in "The Chronicles of Narnia."

Since Tolcon, they've previewed behind the scenes footage and clips from the film at GenCon, Ring*Con in Germany, Dragon*Con in Atlanta, The Fellowship Festival in Toronto, ELF I & II in Orlando and New York and The One Ring Celebration in Pasadena just to name a few. At these conventions they've met with sword maker Peter Lyon and actors Sean Astin, John Rhys-Davies and Elijah Wood and talked up their dorky movie. Lyon gladly agreed to send copies of the movie directly to Weta Workshop head honcho Richard Taylor and hopefully director Peter Jackson himself.

Speaking of directors, in order to assist with the promoting of "Dork" the film's "co-director" Jack Peterson (with his large girth, fuzzy beard and huge round glasses) has been making the rounds at these events interviewing stars such as Justin Long ("Accepted"), David Prowse ("Star Wars") and Doc Hammer ("Venture Bros.") for his online video reports. By shear brute force, he has pushed his way into semi-celebritydom, even appearing as a special guest on a Tolkien panel with Shah. " You simply can't miss me, " say Peterson. "Elijah Wood told me I was awesome, and at over 300 pounds, he's quite right."

"The Dork of the Rings" was recently one of only three feature films to be selected for Dragon*Con in Atlanta, the country's largest Sci-fi/fantasy/horror/pop culture convention held over Labor Day weekend. The film's own Randolf the Wizard was a huge attraction at the event, garnering the actor numerous television and print interviews during his visit.

Now that he's famous, actor David Kiefer who plays the doddering wizard Randolf says: "I can't even eat a ham sandwich without someone coming up to me." He's been a big hit at all the conventions and his costume won him and his Indianapolis-based designer Janice Bennett the Staff Choice Award at GenCon 2005 in the costume competition.

Over 150 actors and crew came from all over to help on the film: Chicago, Peoria, Indianapolis, Louisville and all around South Bend. "Everyone was very excited about this project and I think they all had an awesome time on the set. It was cool to not have to worry about whether anyone was going to show up or not, as can be the cast in making indie movies where folks work for free, but everyone was very dedicated so I feel very blessed," says Richardson.

Their original soundtrack was created by veteran film composer Mark D'Errico from Colorado whose score definitely captures the "Rings" flavor. They also recruited The Great Luke Ski to do a theme song for the movie. Ski is a Wisconsin-based comedy song performer who has been Dr. Demento's most requested artist since 2000 and is best known for his hit song "Stealing Like a Hobbit," a parody of Eminem's "Cleanin' Out My Closet."

Pre-orders for the DVD have been pouring in at studio-style pace. The Dorks plan to enter the film in festivals and screen it at as many conventions as possible worldwide and their first scheduled international engagement is in Germany this November.

Just what Europe needs: More American Dorks.

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