More on the Gandalf Photos from TVNZ|
Tehanu @ 10:57 am EST
The 'Wheel' we can see in these two
"In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax...."
Plus the white horse has no bridle or saddle, which is how Gandalf rides him.
Oliphaunts and Nazgul! |
Tehanu @ 5:50 am EST
Well,the big squashed thing at Queen Elizabeth Park has stirred up some rumours. How could it not? Our correspondent writes:
"the picture of the 'Nazgul' creature from the Evening Post has caused a bit of controversy. The angle of the photo makes it difficult to make out the shape of the creature, but i went to the Park and got a good look it and it looks more like an Oliphaunt than a Nazgul.
This creature has 4 legs, rough leathery skin, and a platform strapped on its back. This makes me believe that it is an Oliphaunt and not a Nazgul as first thought. The platform on the creature's back is quite large and could hold several men. I always imagined the Nazgul-steed carried one passenger only, so therefore would only need a single saddle.
A very tall actor in armour was spotted on set. Could this be the Witch King? If so, then maybe the Nazgul will be a CGI creature."
Thanks for that! Meanwhile the Evening Post has revised its opinion too, as you can see over at Stuff
Madame B and the Witch King!|
Xoanon @ 12:27 am EST
Madame B sends in the latest from a set very close to Wellington called Queen Elizabeth Park in Paekakariki. Check out what she has to say!
I am a Kapiti Coast Local who happened to stumble on a Lord Of The Rings Set in Queen Elizabeth park which is situated at Mc Kay's Crossing, Paekakariki.
The Set is located on private land but you can see it from a road within the park. I was strolling there with my mates when one shouted out "What the B....Y! H..L! is that!?"
We sprinted down a track, leapt the fence and crossed some farm paddocks dodging the cow pats. From our vantage point behind a gorse bush we saw the huge black figure my friend had seen from the road. It was a guy approximately 7 feet high, and twice as wide, dressed in the most evil looking black armor I have ever seen. This guy really was huge!
"Now, being a fan of the book, I'd come across a picture of the Witch King on the net.
PJ's Witch King looks very very similar. Except for a few details. The Witch King in the picture is a skinny-looking thing. This Witch King is not! The crown in the picture is a pathetic-looking thing. This Witch King's crown is massive! The armour on this Witch King covers the whole body and is as black as the darkest night! This Witch King has a mace! ( as does the Witch King in the picture.) This Witch King sure knows how to use it too!
He was a smashing up a stuffed dummy with that mace big time! That sight made me nervous....we just took off out of there!
Stills from Monday TVNZ|
Calisuri @ 11:08 pm EST
Thanks to Ianman for sending in these stills from and interview monday night on TVNZ on the Holmes Show.
Check out the new shots of Gandalf and Eomer?...or is it Saruman and Grima?
More evidence that the Scouring of the Shire is IN|
Tehanu @ 8:41 pm EST
This just arrived from a contact in Wellington:
"Not sure if this is anything too important, but just so you know how many different toys they're making, I know Ted Sandyman (played by Brian Sergeant) has been made into a toy - and he seems to be a very small character... can we expect to see similar small characters, maybe some other minor Hobbits?"
My thought was, well, yes, maybe. But on the other hand,without including the Scouring of the Shire in the movie, Ted's character has a miniscule presence in the story. Would they take things to that extreme? Or, as others have speculated, has Ted Sandyman's role expanded to take on more of the mischief-making in the Shire, seeing as how Saruman ends up impaled on a spike at Isengard (and I'm fairly sure of my facts here)? My bet's on the latter.
Great New LOTR Set Pics!|
Xoanon @ 12:19 pm EST
Ringer Spy Painty sends in some great pics from NZ, including a Nazgul Bird and some amazing set pics!
Toy Biz News!|
Xoanon @ 12:08 pm EST
I don't know if you have heard about this, but I just got info from Toy Biz as to the scale of the upcoming toys for the LOTR movies. This is exciting in that the scale matches those of the Toy Vault Toys!!
"The size of the Lord of the Ring Movie figures will range from 4 3/8" for Hobbits to 6" for humans to the largest, a Cave Troll, 10" figures. Using the scale of 1 inch = 1 foot, each figure is a different size based on its type of character and then proportionately scaled down to a collectible figure size.
Hobbits = 4 3/8"
Another set near Wellington, and lots of action at Wingate.|
Tehanu @ 11:08 pm EST
I have discovered another LOTR set near Wellington. It is located at Queen Elizabeth Park, next to McKay's Crossing, which is just south of Paraparaumu on State Highway 1. (From memory, this will put in on a narrow strip of coastal land with an almost-sheer wall of hills behind - T.) I could see a few tents and 'Jamb'signs, but I did not have time to have a good look, as I was just passing. I will see if I can find out more about this set for you.
Lots of action at Wingate too. Horses, Orc extras, Gondorian Knights, and possibly Men of Rohan were seen at the set. A very short actor in robes (A child or a very short adult) was wandering about. The green windbreak screen covering the fence is a nuisance, but there are several good viewpoints on the surrounding hills, and a lot can be seen. I am not sure what city is being portrayed at Wingate, and the 'Jollywood' building across the road from the set is curious.
Inside the Wingate set is a signpost with the word 'Pollywood'. Obviously a reference to the polystyrene and wood construction of the set, and possibly a link to 'Jollywood'. And I thought LOTR crews had no sense of humour :)
Many thanks to Robbit the Hobbit once again.
The Dominion Article|
Xoanon @ 8:32 pm EST
Ringer Spy Robert H sends in another great article from The Dominion.
Tehanu @ 6:23 am EST
An alert observer at the Wingate set wrote in:
"Now about this Jollywood business. What absolute rubbish! They have leased or bought the buildings across the road from the set. When the day's filming is over, a couple of huge buses park on the road outside the "Jollywood" buildings. I suspect the extras go over there and gather after a day's filming, before getting on the buses. I have noticed people leaving the set, not in costume, walking across the road and entering the "Jollywood" buildings. "
Another correspondent confirmed that indeed 'Jollywood.com' exists as a domain name, but:
"... the site was registered on Jan 7, 2000, by an individual with no apparent organisational affiliation-- at least, none was listed in the WHOIS record, and the person who registered the domain doesn't bother to use their own mail server. Probably this is just typo-squatting for hollywood.com."
They appear to be based in California.
"There were these guys in black medieval looking armor doing a scene on and in the castle battlements. The scene consisted of the guys walking up and down stairs through what looks like a ruined castle. The guys in the black armor were carrying really tall spears... I saw a crowd of extras all dark haired wearing brown cloaks gathered in front of the ruined castle. A lot of the extras seemed to be carrying bows and spears of various descriptions. There were other guys walking around in green cloaks and I spotted a child-sized actor walking around in a hooded green cloak...I spotted two flash-looking actors in rather flash looking armor, lurking in the shadows in the castle archways."
Thanks to all our newsgatherers.
Hmmm, that scene just described could be anything, really. Any guesses? Some people have said we could be seeing something in Osgiliath, like a bit of Faramir and Boromir's story which is only reported in passing in the books. But the presence of a hobbit double (Pippin?) suggests that we could be seeing Minas Tirith after it's suffered being burned and pounded by the siege engines of Mordor.
New York Times Images - Zoom!|
Xoanon @ 9:15 pm EST
Little did we realize we can zoom in on these wonderful photos:
And who might this be?
New York Times gives us Rohan!|
Xoanon @ 6:29 pm EST
Ringer Spy DD travels back in time to show us some great pics that will be in this Sunday's issue of the New York Times!
Snapping at PJ's Heels.....|
Tehanu @ 7:46 pm EST
Sam sent this in from Wellington, in reference to our news from the Wingate set:
"Two bits of news here. I was talking to one of the Wingate guards (nice guy, actually), and he told me that there was a company working hard to get LotR footage and sell it over the internet, and it was the one with the Jollywood sign, previously mentioned. That building was right opposite the set, and had dark windows and white vans and stuff. www.jollywood.com has recently been registered, don't know if this is related...
Also, those rectangular pits no-one knows anything sbout? They're probably, the guard says, for burning the set once they're finished there. There are already broken polystyrene columns in one pit, that I could see. The guard wouldn't give me any. :-) Apparantly, they tried to dump a whole lot at the nearby dump, but it was polystyrene, so they weren't allowed to. But if anyone wants to check the dumps, it may be worth it!"
What the...? Are people going mad? Is somebody telling whoppers?(wouldn't be the first time!) Is this Jollywood thing at all plausible? Well, keep your eyes open, Sam!
Cast News: David Wenham talks LOTR|
Xoanon @ 7:30 pm EST
From: Karl J
He is now busy playing Faramir in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The massive production has been enclosed in a George Lucas-like cone of secrecy. Can Wenham offer any insights?
"It is shrouded in secrecy, but that's fair enough, because Peter wants to make it a great surprise when eventually the first film's released in a years time. It's such an enormous project, hugely ambitious, but God, it's so exciting."
Had he read it?
"Now I have!" he says. "When I got the job I hadn't read it, but, I must say, I'm not the only actor where that's been the case! Now that I've discovered the book, I keep thinking, 'Gee, I wish I'd read this when I was in my teens'."
So, david. The Lord of the Rings. Whats it about? Twenty-five words or less. he laughs.
"Well, it's just a bloody good road movie, I suppose!"
Kaitoke and Wingate.|
Tehanu @ 2:28 pm EST
We got another report from the 'Upper Hutt Local' about filming going on round Kaitoke, the same reserve where earlier Anduin scenes were filmed. Our spy reports that Frodo and Sam were there, and it looked like they might have been filming the scene where they leave the river and walk inland, at the breaking of the Fellowship. That's the last time they're filming in that location, according to our source.
Wingate has come into use now: "They are now filming at Wingate, they just started filming today. They have leased some factory buildings across the road from the set. I know this because they have a sign on them that says Jollywood. There were just a lot of extras there I didn't see any of the big names."
End of Principal Photography: Decmber 22?|
Xoanon @ 9:41 am EST
Ringer Spy John Doe gives us a nice update on the shooting schedule for LOTR. Apparently he sends word that principal photography may end on December 22.
That is what I have been told. They were all scheduled to go thru till Dec 22nd I think, but now have lots of post work shooting that won't fit in the current schedule. Will probably be only Unit 1b that may be filming past Dec 22 from what I was told. I heard a rumor of this about 3 weeks ago, and 2 others have discussed it with me and they have heard from their supervisors that this may be the case.
Also I've been told that unit 1b can't film north of Wellington as there are budget restrictions and 3foot6 won't pay accommodation for 3 nights for the whole unit.
Unit 1b is currently filming around Wellington in various locations.
In Kaitoke, Poets Corner and the studios. These have all been night shoots. They have some amazing props including a couple of large full size elephants which I would guess to be used as Mammoths or something.
Another set I've visited recently was a large forest in a warehouse. The trees are being made from parts of other trees. I.E. they are being pieced together. Also they had one tree that was built on Mechanical Arms.
Xoanon Note: Well, those elephant things are obviously oliphaunts, can't wait to see those on the big screen!
LOTR Score News!|
Xoanon @ 7:27 pm EST
Ringer Spy Vans sends in news regarding who, what, when and where they'll be scoring The Lord Of The Rings!!
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will be recording the soundtrack (presumably only to the Fellowship) in April 2001.
Musicians - The entire New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, see below. I don't know who will be conducting it. Possibly Howard Shore himself, I guess, if he does much conducting.
Dates - A number of dates in the first weeks of April (I only had a very brief glance at their callsheet). These are "booked solid", so it's definitely going to happen then.
I know quite a few of the players in the NZSO, but they won't get the music until a week or so before I should think.
That's really all I know. I doubt Howard has even started on the music yet - these things tend to get done very quickly indeed.
The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor Matthias Bamert
Conductor Laureate Franz-Paul Decker
Concertmaster Wilma Smith
David Wenham Interivew!|
Xoanon @ 11:54 am EST
Aussie Ringer Spy Matt dishes out the goods and sends us a great interview with David Wenham (Faramir)!
This morning a local Melbourne (Australia) radio station interviewed David Wendham (Faramir), and I managed to tape it for your listening pleasure.
He mostly talks about his latest film, but they discuss LOTR for a couple of minutes. Interesting.
Text of the interview follows:
Radio Host: And you'd know our next guest as diver Dan from 'SeaChange', but he's also the star of a new film that's out this Thursday it's called 'Better Than Sex' please welcome David Wenham!
David Wenham: Thank you very much
RH: Now Dave, the film's great but when you read the script did you think to yourself 'I'm going to be naked...am I ok with that?' or is that not an issue for you?
DW: It wasn't the first thing that popped into my head, I read the script and though 'ooh this is a fairly funny script', it's a poignant script, good character, and um, well the issue of the nudity was about 5 or 6 down the list.
RH: Oh really? 5 or 6 down? You're going to be naked on a 30-foot screen, simulating sex, and, you naked and it's only like, 6 down for you?
DW: Absolutely, if you think about it too much you'd just
DW: Well yeah, you'd be disrobing and getting in front of the cameras you'd be saying 'ooh, no I'm not going to pull down the trousers'
RH: Great work, both yourself and Susie Porter, I thought it was terrific acting, particularly because while I was watching the film I realized 'wow this is weird' there's scenes of you walking outside but you don't say anything, then there's scenes in Susie's bedroom, and then there's scenes of you on a stool sitting next to a fixed camera. Now as an actor, that must have been so hard to get the performance rolling because I imagine you shot all the apartment scenes in one go, and allot of those had voiceover on them so that wasn't there when you were shooting them it must have been bizarre direction, but very hard I would have thought to; 'ok, where's my performance how do I show nuance in all these things'...was it like that? Was is a process like that or was it different?
DW: It wasn't exactly like that, but you always have to be aware of where you are with any specific time within the film, and you're right we shot everything separately, we shot everything in the warehouse over a five week period, we shot the exterior stuff another time, and all the camera stuff, the times where the actors actually talk to the camera we shot on one particular day. Why I like the film is that fact that it's about little moments in relationships, especially those first few days meeting somebody new, and you're not used to the person's body, to their mannerisms, their behavior so it's a time of discovery.
RH: Yes, and it also portrays very well the wariness, you know you're kind of stalking around each other a bit, you know, fighting the attraction because of the fear you know what can happen when you're attracted to someone, and I thought it portrayed that really well to, you know that 'I'm really hot for you yeah, but at the same time I'm getting a bit nervous about this now, this has gone beyond the one night stand bit that I was quite comfortable with'.
DW: Yes, that's right, and I suppose the character I play, Josh, has the escape clause in place because he works as a wildlife photographer who's based in London and he's got a plane to get to, so he's got to get back to London in a couple of day's time
RH: Yeah I like that; it was one of the reasons for the characters to get together because 'ah he's going in three day's, what can happen?'
RH: And we find out of course, with amusing consequences
DW: That's right, things can and do go wrong within a one nightstand.
RH: Is it very different to do a film where essentially in a two-person play? There's only you and another character, some other character's drift in but you only interact with one or two other characters in the whole film, does that make for a different acting experience for you?
DW: Yes, more intense and probably more pleasurable as well, I didn't think about it, it's only in retrospect that I think about it now, the fact that it was an intense 5 week period with Susie Porter, and it was somebody who I got on with extremely well, a lot of laughs I had with her
RH: You're lucky, because essentially you're going to be naked
DW: Absolutely, yeah
RH: That's another think I wanted to talk to you about, did you know who you were working with, and is that one of your 5 factors? After you looked at the script and the story, and you look at the actors and go 'not her, she's a bitch, I couldn't stand being this person close to and sharing the work load with someone I don't get on with'
DW: Yeah, I've been extremely fortunate, I did know what Susie was cast in that role, I was very pleased about that. But it would be an issue if it was somebody I knew that is just wouldn't work.
RH: Even if they just had a different work ethic to yours
RH: Because there's only two of you
RH: So if there was someone who is 'oh I don't want to learn my lines and I'm late for everything', and you're not, by week 2 you'd be driving each other mad, like a real couple. All movies, as it seems to me as I talk to actors and directors, all movies change and metamorphosis in the editing suite, but particularly this scene because of the way the scenes are shot and voiceovers and such, what did you think when you sat down and saw the final version?
DW: Very happy, I only saw it was all the bells and whistles on it, with the soundtrack and whatever and I was very pleased and very happy. It's good to do a job where you can sit there and not cringe too much and think 'yeah I'm quite happy with it'
RH: Was it as you imagined?
DW: It is actually, yeah
RH: So the film you had in your head you actually saw on the screen?
DW: It was, yeah
RH: But I'm sure people listening to this are going 'duh' but in fact it's really rare isn't it? That the thing you signed on to do ended up actually looking like that on the screen.
DW: Because there's so many variables in making a film, things can go wrong, people's performance can be not what you imagined, music can make a difference, the way the film is cut can alter it completely.
RH: The investors decided they wanted a different ending
DW: Yeah absolutely, they can do an old re-shoot and shoot the ending; I've done that to.
RH: All right, let's talk about some other things, Sea Change, do you still get stopped in the street with the 'Hay diver Dan!'
DW: Not as often anymore, I am recognized, but very few people actually approach me, I must give off the hey-don't-come-near-me-vibe.
RH: Ah, so they point at you instead
DW: Well, like I don't even get that much really, I just get funny looks and whispers
RH: Will that change with Moulin Rouge? What was that like to work on?
DW: Well, I could get people saying 'ooh, there's that effeminate writer going by', but it was allot of fun, I do play an effeminate writer in it.
RH: Well I guessed, otherwise you've given out a little bit more of yourself than I asked!
DW: (laughs) yeah
RH: Still, you're opening up (laughter) so what was (Moulin Rouge) like to work on?
DW: Very exciting, Baz Luhrmann, very interesting to work with
RH: Yes, he's exciting, Nicole Kidman I'd find very scary and daunting, because you got the 'curise' machine behind her
DW: Oh no, she's wonderful
RH: Oh really? What about all the flunkies and PR people and all the 'excuse me not that angle, excuse me let me see the script, excuse me could get out of the way' what about all that?
DW: Well as a fellow actor, I'm not aware of all that, we're just there attempting to play a character, do your job and enjoy.
RH: ok, Lord of the Rings, how did you get that project and what are you in Lord of the Rings?
DW: What am I? I play a character called Faramir, who is a Stewart of Gondor and who ends up being...um yeah can't say
RH: Yes, don't look into the fire! Don't look into the fire!
DW: Yes! Exactly
RH: Don't do it! You're going to go mad! You're going to take Gandalf away at a crucial time! That little halfling is going to have to stand up.
DW: You should have got a gig in that
RH: Man, I could have
DW: Why didn't you?
RH: I don't know, they wouldn't take my call, story of my life.
DW: (laughs) How did I get a gig in (The Lord of the Rings)? Um, I don't know really, Peter Jackson saw a film I did a while ago called 'The Boys', he seemed to love that, and for some strange reason he was interested in me being involved in this film. I put something down on tape, I thought nothing of it, and didn't think anything would come of it, but they perused me and eventually found myself in it.
RH: Had you read the book? Do you know it?
DW: Had I read it? No I am probably one of the few people in the world who hadn't, I knew of it's existence, but never picked it up because there weren't enough pictures in it for me. The cover pictures were great, the maps were difficult to read all those funny names, but no, now I know a little more about it
RH: Have you read it since?
DW: I have, I flicked through it, it's taken me a while
RH: You haven't read it have you?
DW: (laughs) I have read it!
RH: Yeah, sure
DW: I have
RH: You look like me at school going 'I have read it!’ I looked at the Ralf Bakshi...thing...good enough, has it come out in comic? (Laughter) David, your career has gone from strength to strength, is it a planned thing, or can you not plan, as an Australian actor, you just kind of swing on the monkey bars, or swing on the rope and hope there's another one when you come off the swing.
DW: Yeah, I think I'm doing the monkey bar swing at the moment, it's very difficult to plan, it's all left up to the fate of the gods really. You can only plan so much, the only things that have been the result of my own work, as far as my career path has been the film 'The Boys' and the film I just completed doing which is called 'The Bank', everything else has been, just sort of happened in a way.
RH: Yeah, it's karmic
DW: I make that sound easy, it hasn't been easy
RH: No, it's the luck of the draw, because even as we speak now, people are working on another film in another city talking about you. Which makes it more important that your body of work stands up, because essentially that's your calling card, would you go back into television? Would you ever do television if the right thing came up?
DW: Absolutely, I love television, I think it's a great medium, I've talked about this before I think its a very underutilized medium, I don't think we produce enough television in (Australia) which appeals to other things other than the lowest common denominator, I say that because I've done wonderbout and SeaChange for the ABC, which I'm very proud of
RH: Well David you can be very proud of 'Better Than Sex' it's a fantastic film, it's out this Thursday, congratulations and thanks for coming in today for a chat
DW: Thank you very much
Tehanu @ 5:11 am EST
Not far from the old Rivendell set is Kaitoke, and a local gave us this report from there:
Hi there Tehanu
It is the Upper Hutt Local here. Here I was taking the dogs for a walk in the Kaitoke Regional Park, north of Upper Hutt, when I stumbled upon one of those Lord Of The Rings Sets you lot go on about. Now I felt in a good mood, so I thought to myself "well I might just do a good deed today and let those crazy Lord Of The Rings fans in on this."
Well they have got their Jamb signs up at the Te Marua turn off, which is just past the speed-way. So I drove my clapped out old ute down the park road. I came to a gravel road leading down to the river. They had their cones up, and a movie crew sign. Now I was a bit wary of going down there, cause I have heard they can get a bit rough with the locals. So I headed on past and drove on up the road a little ways. I tell the dogs to shut up and head on down the bank, sneaking up the river in the bushes. I put the muzzles on the dogs cause I don't want them attacking the movie people.
Trucks were arriving and parking up down by the river. I spotted a bus and some of those big movie star trailer type of things. A big truck arrived with some kind of portable hot showers on it. Well that's what it said on the side folks.
There was some of those security type dudes hanging about. One was smoking. I hope he don't set fire to the bush, should be alright we've had a bit of rain. I spot some kind of movie lights positioned by the bank. Yep looks like they are just setting up folks. Suppose it won't be long before the rest of you lot are down here to have a look. Well that's all folks.