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November 01, 1999 - November 08, 1999


1st Hobbiton Pic!!
Dwane Dipply @ 2:24 pm EST


Another report from the Wellington film set!
Tehanu @ 3:30 pm EST
Cast your mind back to October. The first days of Lord of the Ring filming.
On the Thursday, I had heard that there was filming going on on Mount Victoria. I drove up there with my mate, and we ran around for an hour without finding anything. So we drove home. However, on the way home, what did we find but a road packed with traffic cones and signs saying People Crossing. So we got out of the car and investigated.

To set the scene, this all took place on top of a forested hill (it's not a Mountain, despite the name) in Wellington, windy and sunny, say 18 degrees C? Anyway. We found a path leading downhill by a little construction building shed-type thing. There was a lady in a reflective jacket on a 4-wheel drive buggy. She drove the buggy downhill, and we followed quietly. The path was muddy and well-tred. We turned a corner and found some metal bars, obviously used for scaffolding. Had we found our grail? We searched for Elijah, to no avail. I turned to my friend and told him to 'Be vewwy vewwy quiet. I'm hunting hobbits!'

What we *did* find, however, was a fork in the path. One way, the high road, led to a blue and white tent, some more scaffolding and a platform, a bunch of pot-plants, a sack full of leaves (many of which were scattered across the path, and, when we looked up, an elaborate mechanism of ropes that lead to... a large, constructed tree-stump. Oh, and the buggy-lady was there too, reading her paper.

Having done plenty of research, I knew that this was the fabled tree that Elijah and his hobbitty clique would hide from the Nhazgul behind. I was in awe. Of course, I was also fearing that the buggy-lady would escort us out, so we quietly took the low-road down the hill, as inconspicuously as we could. "Hi!" I heard, coming from behind me. She'd seen us. I turned around, flashed a grin, then hurridly walked down the hill.

We reached the bottom a bit later, following the buggy tracks, and saw a park, with truck tracks and a large dumpster. We decided to go back up the hill. Having reached the fork once more, we decided to talk to buggy-lady. She was friendly enough, and easily excited. She told us that we had missed the filming, and that the place had been packed. "There were, oh, like, 20 trucks up top, and like, 50 down the bottom, eh!" She didn't know who Elijah was, so I decided to walk on and investigate the tree. As we turned she asked us: "Hey, yous don't have no camera in that bag, eh?" Which translates to: "Excuse me, but you do not happen to have a camera in your bag, do you perchance?"

"Oh, er, naah, naah, of course not. We're just going for a walk, you know?" She went back to reading her paper as we breathed a sigh of relief. We checked which way she was looking and took three photos whilst coughing, to cover up the sound. Unfortunately they are slightly blurred, but you can still see a)The fake hollowed out tree in all its glory. b) The striped tent. c) The path, with the fake leaves, and a white sack which previously bore them. d) Part of the tree-lifting mechanism and e) the scaffolding and platform.

Yes, that *is* the path upon which whe hobbits walked, and that *is* the path upon which the black horse which you have seen earlier walked. And that *is* three tree that Elijah in all likelyhood probably touched. So did I. We left the path and headed on up the hill, finding numerous cups of coffee littered all over. I hope they're going to clean it up.

Afterwards, we went down to the park by car. We found lots more coffee cups and KFC bags strewn all over. We swung on the swings that Elijah probably swung on. And then we remembered the dumpster.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your trepid explorer and narrator lowered himself to searching the dumpster. We ripped open bags to investigate. We found BILLIONS of coffee cups (apparently $30,000 has been spent on coffee alone so far), lots of KFC, pieces of paper with things like 'DIALECT COACH' and 'HORSE WRANGLER' written on them, a mouldy watermelon, some polysterene wrapping and a mop. Nothing too exciting. But it was fun.

Then, as a final mission, we thought we'd investigate the tree once more, and try to get a photograph of it from where the camera would be. We missioned up the hill (not through the path, mind - through the scratching bushes) and reached it. We ran up to it, saw that the buggy-lady wasn't there and... well... took our own souveneir. Part of the tree. Yes, I now own perhaps the first piece of genuine Lord of the Rings memorabilia in the world. Then we heard the buggy and sprinted, so we didn't get the photo.

That was my day, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoy my prize. Additional rumours I have heard: Extras are taken to the sets *blindfolded*, the Scouring is in but quite small, and Stewart Townsend was fired because he never turned up to sword-fighting practice. I'm not sure about any of them, except maybe the second.

Oh, and I scouted the Chocolate Fish Cafe. Nice food. I would have gone to the Quarry but I was beaten to it. Sod it.

Sam B. - the spy with no (middle) name.

Pictures to follow soon! As soon as Calisuri can post them up!

tree 1tree 3tree 2


Who needs special effects when...
Calisuri @ 11:42 pm EST
Hey folks, got a nice pic from a fellow ringer McBride:

Mt. Cook


I was stuck late at work last week and snapped at sunset piccy of Mount Cook (3754 metres) . We get some awesome sunsets here in the Southern Alps . Though they might not use Aoraki (Mount Cook) as Caradharas - it shows that PJ won't need too many effects.

All the best

Thanks for the pic McBride!

Wanaka Pic
Dwane Dipply @ 11:30 am EST
Aiglos sent in this pic of Wanaka, from the South Island. The crew are preparing to set up camp here to film until the december break.

Thanks to Aiglos for the image!

Ian Muses on Rings
Dwane Dipply @ 11:28 am EST

This came from the entertainment section of advocate.com

McKellen muses on his Lord of the Rings role As Ian McKellen puts in his time playing the mutant villain Magneto in next summer’s blockbuster X-Men, currently filming in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, under the direction of Bryan Singer (Apt Pupil, The Usual Suspects), he’s also filing stories for his own Web site, www.mckellen.com. In his latest letter to Web surfers, McKellen shares his thoughts about how he’ll portray the iconic wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which he’ll start filming in New Zealand once X-Men wraps.

Thanks to Aiglos for the tip!


You ain't seen nothing yet!
Tehanu @ 8:22 pm EST
No offence to Wellington, but wait til we see the stuff they're filming in the South Island! Now, THAT's Middle-earth! (Tehanu drools in anticipation, as she scrubs down her hiking boots, fluffs up her tramping socks and polishes her telephoto lens...)

Amazing Xtem Pics!
Dwane Dipply @ 6:57 pm EST
Hey, Xoanon here under the name of Dwane, but it's the big X here.

How excited am I see see these films? My excitement is reaching a fever pitch, and it's not even a month into filming!!

These pics given to me from Super Ringer Spy Xtem givem me more slobbering time at my monitor. From what he tells me, this is the 'Quarry' everyone is talking about. And the other 2 are from the Bree set.

I cannot even begin to imagine hoe beautiful the landscape in New Zealand is. Every picture I see blows me away. It truly is Middle-earth.

Here they are, enjoy!!
Helm's Deep Helm's Deep
Helm's Deep Helm's Deep
Helm's Deep Helm's Deep
Bree Bree
Bree New Line Studios
New Line Studios New Line Studios
New Line Studios

South Island Report
Dwane Dipply @ 8:30 am EST
From: Ian

Hi There

I live in Wanaka (South Island of New Zealand). Two aircraft arrived with 43 people and a large amount of film equipment.

The crew are filming near a place called Tarras and this evening I drove out to look see. From Maori Point Road I could see a large marquee and associated tents in a small clearing amongst a large number of wilding pine trees.

The area is quite flat and very hard to see from the road.

No entry signs everywhere.

The place is signposted from Wanaka township with pink arrows and signs saying "Jamb".

Will keep checking and let you know more.

-Great! All you South Islanders, keep those eyes open!


TV News Report
Xtem @ 12:11 am EST
Channel 1 news here in New Zealand at 6pm tonight featured a report on the filming. They showed shots of the Harcourt Park set, with a close up of the fake tree that was created, with a good shot of the leaves. Then it switched to an interview with Rick Poras, associate producer. With a stand-out American accent, he basically said that he hoped that the tree looked as good on the film as it did in real life.

Next shots showed an interview with small time company owner of the cranes that were hired to hold the lighting for the filming, and then switched to show a Real Estate agent talking about how the film had helped the industry.

Final shots had an interview with the owner/manager of the Chocolate Fish cafe, which is a favourite with Peter Jackson. She basically said that she over-heard Elijah Wood say to Liv Tyler "you don't need to wear sun-glasses or turn up your collar here, no one recognises you!"

The report ended saying that the film crew would be moving down to Queenstown, in the South Island, next week.

Unfortunately TVONE hasn't posted this story in their web page, but they might do it over the coming days.


Dwane Dipply @ 11:55 pm EST
click for larger version
click for larger version

New set
Xtem @ 5:45 pm EST
Just a short update to let you people know that the set explained in the article "Barren Landscape" has been discribed by insider 'Tui' as the set for a "castle". Speculation is that this is going to be Helms Deep.

Photos coming soon!

Exclusive Script Scoop!
Dwane Dipply @ 2:04 pm EST
Greetings, Quickbeam here!

Even we Green Books Staff have spies roaming about Hollywood! Here's our first big scoop for you (we can't let Xoanon and his pal Dwane Dipply have all the FUN, now can we?)...

This is your first look at the "false script cover" PJ created to disguise all of his LOTR scripts. This is a common practice in showbiz for high-profile projects. The main idea: If you want to keep copies from disappearing out of your office (or hotel room) then make it look as BORING as possible, so it has no resemblance to your real project at all! They know full well that Internet spies are prowling about everywhere and have had to come up with increasingly clever ways to deter them (Er…I mean, to deter US).

click here for a larger version

This is just COVER ONE for "The Fellowship of the Ring," and the text reads:

Part I of Three
3rd Draft

An affectionate coming of age drama set in the New Zealand Boy Scout Movement during the “years of turmoil” …1958-63.

Screenplay by

Fredricka Wharburton, Percy J. Judkins, Faye Crutchley & Kennedy Landenburger

There are different covers for the other two scripts, each with similar deceptive emblems and names. Peter Jackson must be ‘Percy J. Judkins’ and his wife Frances Walsh has become ‘Fredricka Wharburton!’ Hee-hee! This is just hysterical to me… Speaking for myself, if I saw a script lying around called JAMBOREE I know I would never bother to swipe it!

Much too hasty,


Cast Quarters
Dwane Dipply @ 6:59 pm EST
From: Tomsk the Rumourmonger

I've heard rumours that Liv Tyler (and perhaps other cast members) are currently living in an apartment on the top floor of an apartment in the downtown region, between (names witheld) Streets. I used to live in the building myself, and know that some of the LotR crew have been staying there. Since several of the apartments are often let out to companies for short term accommodation, the rumour doesn't sound too far fetched.

The sightings of Tyler & Elijah Wood at Matterhorn are widely reported (I overheard one young woman in a cafe saying to another: "let's hang out at Matterhorn to see if we can see Elijah Wood"), so no doubt they would have moved on to avoid the star-spotters. Perhaps to Motel, or Q?

Barren Landscape...
Dwane Dipply @ 9:56 am EST
David C has sent me the latest on a possible filming location. It appears that the production is doing something that Doctor Who fans should know about, they're filming in a rock quarry:

Unfortunately i'm not a great follower of the movie or the book, but living in the Wellington area though you might like this bit of information. One of your spy's may be able to make something out of it, and follow it up.

I drive past a large quarry on the Wellington to Upper Hutt state highway every day. Over the last week i've noticed a large amount of scaffolding being erected high up in the quarry. Today the scaffolding was being covered in new plywood. It looks awfully like a film set for some sort of scene set in a very barren terrain. Sound familiar?

The quarry is the Dry Creek Quarry on Haywards Hill, and can be looked over to from the top of Stokes Valley if you have anybody interested in following it up. What ever it is it's not the normal sort of thing built in a quarry.

Any ideas?

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