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January 24, 2000 - February 05, 2000


Helms Deep Wrapping up?
Xoanon @ 13:18 EST
From: Cathy

Looks like they may have completed the first part of filming at Helms Deep. All of the lighting towers and equipment have been removed from the top set with the two long turreted walls.

There has been a lot of work done on the buildings at the bottom of the hill.The large white shapes that you can see in the site photos further down the page are starting to take shape. They appear to be part of a wall, which is being carved out to appear like stone. I think they are probably going to finish these in the same stone look finish as the large building behind them.They seem to form a kind of wall which would enclose a courtyard, or maybe they are going to be smaller buildings.

The large building is a square front with a huge archway in the centre with two smaller ones either side. Above this there is a row of 12 long thin slit type openings, which run right across the building. The building has been made to look like it is set back into a stone hillside.

The other 2 sets have also had a lot of finishing off done to them as well. One appears to be a rock wall with a tunnel in it and about 5 arch shapes doorways. To the right is a square section with a long slit window in it. Maybe this is part of a castle?

The last set appears to be quite complex, with several levels and large areas inside (which of course I can't see) More later as this takes shape.

Visit our Scrapbook to take a looksee at pics from Helms Deep, as well as other sets.


The Two Towers Stage Play Reviewed
Xoanon @ 16:12 EST
OVERNIGHT REVIEWS'The Two Towers' at Lifeline Theatre

By Chris Jones

Thursday, February 3, 2000

The perennially beloved tales of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien occupy a distinctive and rather peculiar niche in British literature history.

On the one hand, Tolkien's works are a uniquely fantastic mixing of mythology, medieval archetypes and monsters. Given his singular penchant for rich detail and complex backstories, the South African-born scribe would doubtless have been welcomed to the Nintendo or Atari payrolls, had be been writing 50 years later. But then there's also no denying the literary merit of remarkable Tolkien works like "The Hobbit" (written in 1937), a story that many of us read as a child and never quite forgot. When you add in the books that made up "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, there's a good argument that Tolkien was greatly ahead of his time, anticipating our later obsessions with the works of Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.

Even today, Tolkien has dedicated fans of all ages. One could spot them easily enough at last Thursday's opening of "The Two Towers" at the Lifeline Theatre. The people not of that church were simply entertained--if also slightly puzzled--by James Sie and Karjen Tarjan's adroit dramatic adaptation of the fiendishly complex "The Two Towers" (Book 2 of "The Lord of the Rings").

But the real Tolkienites leaned forward in their seats, nodded from time to time with recognition, and spent the evening sporting huge grins. It was clear that Ned Mochel's epic production had impressed these devotees with its authenticity, veracity and faithfulness to the author.

Theatergoers who have never read the book will still enjoy a very entertaining and impressive effort. But since this is actually the second of a three-part series of stories, you might want to do some preliminary reading if you hope to actually follow the plot.

Despite Lifeline's small size and far from extravagant budget, Mochel's richly detailed production employs complex sound reinforcement, numerous puppets and models, live-action battles and a variety of other theatrical tricks. Since it's far from easy dramatizing a novel featuring a huge and deadly spider (among other non-human things), this is really imaginative work

But it's the exuberance of the acting that really makes the show. Even though the production has a sense of humor (and this Dark Kingdom stuff can be deadly without a light touch), Mochel obviously told his all-male cast that they had to convince their audience that all of the events in Tolkien's Middle Earth are matters of life and death. As a result, the show is breathlessly paced and conveys much of the excitement of the novel.

The shows at Lifeline have been patchy of late, so it's especially thrilling to sense this important theater return to its core mission with such power and passion.

Xoanon @ 15:50 EST
Super Ringer Spy Leo has snapped a few pics of Tongariro National Park, and now we truly see why they want this area to be Mordor.

Click on the images to see them in full size in our Scrapbook


More Info on Tongariro
Xoanon @ 09:53 EST
I've done some digging to find out more about this place destined to be an area of Middle-earth.

Established in 1887, Tongariro was NZ's first national park. It is dotted with many still active volcanoes. In the winter is serves as a ski area, in summer a great place to hike.

Visit Volcano World for more info.

Located on the North Island

Arwen bearing arms?
Tehanu @ 04:51 EST
Well, we don't know if she's fighting or not. But our intrepid fly-on-the-wall at the Helm's Deep set says that Liv Tyler is there, now, doing SOMETHING during all these battle scenes.


Spy Report: Helms Deep set details!
Xoanon @ 15:04 EST
From: Cathy

From where I live I can almost see between the walls (of the Helms Deep set). The walls have large walkways on top. At the moment the front wall has 3 of the large ladders against it.

Filming was taking place on the top of the back wall last night. It had 1 ladder against it placed on the inside (between the walls) and the camera and lights were at the back. On the right side of the back wall there was a large flame buring and 2 smaller ones on the front wall. Between the walls towards the back there appeared to be a large fire burning at times and they were producing lots of smoke from the fire and from a large cylinder thing(have no idea what this was....maybe dry ice?).

There was a lot of fighting going on with large swords which appeared to be a silver colour. Some of the cast had arrows in a holder on their back and metal head pieces.(Boy do I wish I had stronger binoculars to get more detail)

There is still a lot of building going on on the bottom wall (there are 4 in total)

Will keep you posted as I see anything exciting.

Images: Some Spy pics from Helms Deep as well as Hobbiton.

The End of Hobbiton?
Tehanu @ 05:08 EST
We've received a report that the set for Hobbiton has been finished with, and burned to the ground. Apparently the burning was captured on film.


Why I do not think this is a picture from LOTR
Xoanon @ 20:30 EST

Click here for more of this..whatever it is

This is the caption that goes along with the article:

Light's, camera, action . . . send in the hobbits

Cast and crew from The Lord of the Rings get filming under way at Breaker Bay Beach, near Wellington. Intrigued bystanders were left guessing which part of the J. R. Tolkien saga the filming was dealing with. The actors were not hobbits, one onlooker said. "But they don't look like elves . . . no pointed ears." No-one would say what part of the saga was being filmed.

What's wrong with this picture? Well, first off, It's got NOTHING to do with LOTR. Who is this rather young blonde person with this staff? who knows, and the priest like figures in robes, no idea. That's why I think it must be something to do with 'Cleopatra 2525' or something the like, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. What do you folks think?

Here is a list of a couple of projects filmed or filming in NZ right now. There is more going on than LOTR. [List]

Workers in Helms Deep!
Xoanon @ 17:32 EST

Click on the image for a larger version

Armor/Weapons Details!
Xoanon @ 09:22 EST

Xoanon here, sometimes I just get plain lucky, here I was, sitting by my computer when that wormhole opened up again! This time I heard a sweet elven voice, she told me many things that I cannot repeat, but she did tell me about the swords and armour/shields that will be used in LOTR.

The voice called to me, and she said 'the swords were covered in sheets of 20 carat gold! There will be elven writings and designs etched onto them'.

She said 'the extra's swords were made of some sort of aluminium from Australia...apparently it's quite strong and looks real authentic'.

Unfortunately the wormhole closed, but not before promising me more goodies!

Yet Another Spy Report, possible filming location?
Xoanon @ 09:08 EST
From: Leo

I thought you might be interested to know the following: a few days ago I went past the area in which they plan on filming ( in the Tongariro National Park, at the Tukino Skifields ), and I took some pictures of the area. I think there are two options on what they are gonna shoot: a: which is the more likely because they are planning on shooting this autumn, it's Mordor. or b: which it could well be, it's Hollin and the gates of Moria.

What made me think this: the area before the skifields is a barren land with a lot of low vegetation, plants etc. And at some points there are some small streams flowing through, which could well be the ones from the gates.

Spy Reports Abound!
Xoanon @ 09:00 EST
We've been getting about a million spy reports a day here at TheOneRing.net. So I've taken the best of the bunch and posted them. Do you live near a LOTR set? Drop me a line!


Have just read the spy report re the bright lights on the Helms Deep set. They certainly are bright at night.

We live on the hill opposite. Have finally bought a pair of binoculars to get a better look at the set, and hopefully some of the filming.

Most appears to be taking place down in a hollow just below on of the large walls ( so we can't really see much) They have erected a wind break fence so now we can not see where the cast have been waiting (blast)

Will keep you posted if I get to see any thing exciting.

From: Sledge

The entrance to Dry Creek Quarry has traffic cones down the middle of the road and traffic controllers managing access in and out of the site and on to the public road.

I travel to Wellington (week) daily by train, passing the quarry and tent village where it's all happening.

Last Friday I was on my way over the "Haywards Hill" and stopped at the entrance to the quarry to check progress on the sets. I was surprised to see apparently no-one at the gates, no cones, and 2 large marqee tents at the base of the castle ramparts being built.


Helms Deep/ Quarry Rumblings..
Xoanon @ 09:12 EST
This should all be classified as RUMOR since I cannot confirm it at this time:

Heard this week that nearby residents had been complaining about the bright lights shining through
the night as filming took place at Dry Creek Quarry. Rumour around the set has it that the same residents will be offered a whirlwind tour through the set on the fleet of minibuses.

Other info picked up this week:

The coffee bill for this movie will be around NZD$200,000 (US$100,000).:

Waitresses tour the set offering actors tea and coffee constantly

There are several types of coffee available, and at least 10 different teas

The minibus windows are lined with a dark one-way film that hides the occupants

The entrance to Dry Creek Quarry has traffic cones down the middle of the road and traffic controllers managing access in and out of the site and on to the public road

Smaller shoots are taking place at many locations in the hills along the Hutt Road

Security guards with dogs are patrolling the difficult terrain all around Hels Deep

Thanks to GC for the tip!


Warrior Details!
Xoanon @ 19:42 EST
I am currently chatting with a good friend who is a Rohan Warrior extra.... when asked about costumes :

"oh we are just in standard sort of viking type gear - (person's name) is playing as an elf and their costumes are kewl - he is one of the few guys skinny enough to fit them lol"

Filming at "Helms Deep" will apparently take 5 weeks.....so about 1 down and in the middle of week 2 I guess

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