Here follows some of what was discussed at the book signing with Jude Fisher & Brian Sibly.
As with other recent signings it was an intimate gathering of 20 to 30 people upstairs at Ottarkars book shop in Milton Keynes UK.
They began by telling us how they came by Tolkien & LOTR, Brian had tried several times to read the Tome but never got past the first 100 pages but whilst laid up in Hospital he made it past that magical hundredth page & the rest is history.
Jude spoke of her first encounter on the film set after being summoned (yeah what a chore that must have been!) & on seeing Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn surrounded by some Hobbits on a hill with mist swirling around the summit she knew that this was a once in a life time project.
With her background deeply connected with Tolkien & working with illustrators & artists such as Alan Lee & John Howe this was Aragorn as she had always imagined.
Brian said he was overwhelmed at the detail on the sets & spoke of Bilbo's dwelling how in the real world to construct such a burrow was an absolute nightmare even down to the intricate door hinge that held the green wooden door in place with the door knob in the middle exactly as he had imagined from reading the book & Alan Lees artwork.
He later told us Bilbo's house was quite surreal because you first walked into a lager than life size set so you were a Hobbit & directly behind was a Hobbit scaled set that made you feel like Gandalf having to duck & crouch to walk through.
The issue of size didn't end there they had to find very large livestock to move around the village to keep everyone in scale, he said there were some very large cows & monstrous sheep wondering about Hobbiton.
Jude said that Peter Jackson had gone with Alan Lee's feel for the world of Tolkien: landscapes, buildings etc. & for action scenes & the different races of middle earth John Howe's art had been used, the Stone troll came straight from the pen of J Howe.
I asked if they had acquired any keepsakes from the filming both said no & that Newline cinema were very strict about the whereabouts of props but Jude recalled that Ian McKellen had managed to get himself a rather splendid door knocker from err I can't remember sorry! But it was very nice!
Peter Jackson had been tagged Sauron, sitting his directors chair overseeing all, Jude remembers him sitting with 6 or more monitors all showing different scenes taking place at the same time, the power of it all!
Jude said the filming at Helmís Deep was possibly the most arduous & probably fraught with the most injuries to illustrate this cast sported t-shirts with Helmís Deep but the M crossed out!
The thing that brought a grin to my face was when Brian confirmed the films length at around 2 hours & 45 minutes, although neither of them had seen more than 20 minutes in rushes.
Miramax or Newline, apparently when Peter began his quest to find a backer Miramax stepped up but after a short time it was clear they were looking for a single film & told Peter how to go about this, now at the time Mr Jackson had envisaged the Tome in 2 parts & all credit to him he declined & the they went their separate ways.
Newline then entered the room & to Peterís surprise they offered a three film deal the rest is history, I feel Miramax may sack lynch someone for being a little narrow minded!
Well thatís about it suffice to say we gathered up are shiny new books cards & anything else relating to the world of Tolkien & waited in line for some signing, all credit to my girlfriend who cornered a sales assistant & acquired a promotional bill board for me, much to envy of several otherís who like most English are too polite to ask, Ha!