I attended the world premiere yesterday and it was amazing.
I arrived around 7.00 and outside the Odeon it was packed with fans and journalists. I went inside and got seated. Inside the theatre they showed everything that was going on outside. The celebrities arriving, interviews etc. All of the main cast except Cate Blanchet was there and also, off course, Peter Jackson, Barrie Osborne, Saul Zaentz etc. Finally the doors of the theatre were closed and the light darkened. The excutive producers introduced Peter Jackson - afterwards Peter Jackson introduced the cast. Then the movie began... and it was amazing.
My favorite scene is when we see Arwen for the first time (that is also the first time we see an elf in the film) - that's art. But the whole movie has a kind of artistic feel to it. This is very much caused by the digital effects - but I must say that the effects are a part of the story, so you don't see the effects as just special effects - but you see it as a "natural" thing in the world which the movie describes - so it's not a "look what we can do" film (as we have seen plenty of times), but a movie where the effects are used to tell the story - that's rare.
All the actors were, without exception, excellent. Especially McKellen - the number of different facial expressions he is using...wow! There is something very wrong if he dosen't get an Oscar for best actor.
Well, since there's only 8 days to the real premiere, I won't go into details (write if you have any questions) - the overall impression is that the movie is massive, epic, ranging from ultra closeups to wide perspective shots - from good to evil - horrific to the cosy - sad to the fun etc. etc. We get the whole package.
After the movie buses took us to the afterparty in the Tobacco Docks. Inside a huge building Middle Earth came to life with stands of food and drinks, waiters in custome etc. Too amazing to describe. It was a great party where I had the chance to talk a little bit with Dominic Monaghan. On my way home in the bus I sat next to Andy Serkins who introduced me to the Director of Animation on the movie Randy Cook. He was glad (I hope) to answer any question I had in regards to this amazing production.
And that's it. An experience of life had ended - and all there is left is to thank all crew and cast for it all. Cheers y'all - well done.
I was there early and was one row back from the fence opposite the doors to the Odeon. The massed ranks of press photographers were just to one side and things looked good. Two young Sean Bean fan-girls in front of me and an American/Scottish Rings fan to one side (we got talking waiting for things to happen). A lot of people in the crowd were there just to see "stars", not necessarily those actually in the movie, but quiet a few had read the books and were there for the film itself.
It was cold but the crush of the crowd helped (except for my feet, despite the two pairs of socks I was wishing for hairy toes!!) and everyone was good-humoured. One of the Sean Bean fan club knew one of the door staff and he filled us in on the schedule - only two or three hours to wait.
Then it began and the "geeky fan-boy" inside me took over. Leaning to catch a glimpse, checking the faces, trying to spot someone without their make-up and telling the press pack who was who.
John Rhys-Davies was first, but reluctant to sign autographs. I did get a smile (I think) as I cried out "Khazad! Khazad!". It seems that most of the celebs had been advised/told not to sign - damn those PR people!!
Christopher Lee!! Looking tall, very tall, distinguished and old. Again, no signing on our section of the rail. A fan-boy to my right going hyper at his Hammer House of Horror hero!
Sean Astin, Sam, old chap! went in with a wave but amazingly returned to sign some books, mine and my American friends, of which more later, as the rest of the hobbits arrived. One down, many to go.
Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd spent a lot of time signing further up the line (good for them) but as they neared us Elijah Wood arrived and everything dissolved into a lot of group hugs. The PR wranglers sorted them out and led Elijah to the press bank beside us for photos. Our section was doing the best to get him to sign, but he said that he couldn't. The American beside me had an old, well thumbed, copy of the Fellowship and begged, and pleaded, refusing to give up and, eventually, Elijah took the book and pen to sign the front cover!! Kudos!! The PR wranglers took over again and Frodo was spirited away.
Gandalf was there! Sir Ian McKellen of course looking dapper with, I think, his two sons. Very graciously he left the photo call and signed the inside page of the, now very treasured, Fellowship for my colleague in arms. Wow! Fan heaven and backslapping! And then he, He, Gandalf, Ian McKellen, signed across the beard of the full-page Gandalf pic in my official movie guide. I looked at it and what a rush, "Gandalf! YES!!" I whooped and the venerable knight of the stage raised an eyebrow in my direction before exiting into the foyer.
Peter Jackson? Where? Peter Jackson!!! Suited and booted with an open necked shirt he again apologised for not being allowed to sign as he stood for photos just a few feet from us.
Viggo Mortensen, now this was one I really wanted, he looked very nervous about it all, his hair long and very red falling over a fantastic suit. No signatures though.
Liv Tyler, one of the loudest receptions of the evening I think, looking striking in a scarlet trouser suit. Photos only again.
Orlando Bloom was standing for photos until Elijah burst out of the foyer and actually leapt on him in a great hug. Kisses all round with Liv and a joint photo with Elijah and Liv.
Other celebs passed, with others commenting on who they were, pop stars and "b-lists" until "Sean!! SEAN!!" the two young girls waving and cheering as he spent ages talking to the TV crews across the walkway. The Hammer fan organised a countdown, "3, 2, 1, SEAN!!", a good dozen simultaneous voices attracting his attention, but to no avail. The PR hounds kept him at bay and, despite a wave and, I think, a promise to go in and come back out again, he never did.
It all began to die down, other celebs past, none, except for Enya, involved with he movie. Music from the film had been playing quietly and in snippets throughout the evening and Enya spent some time signing and talking about singing in Elvish, comparing it to Gaelic.
I had already started thinking about leaving, not wanting to wait the 3 hours until the end, when our fan-girls friend crossed the red carpet.
"I could only get one" he said passing a piece of paper to one of the girls. I glimpsed it, then looked again. A TICKET!! signed and stamped! A TICKET!!!! to the PREMIERE???? She was gone, running to find a gap in the barriers and walk down past the press leaving her friend to wonder how to fill in the time waiting for her friend to emerge and feeling a little sad "she hasn't even read the book".
I left them, promising to meet the holder of the triple signed book (Gandalf, Frodo and Sam, wow!) on the opening day at the 11:40 performance we both had tickets for. The rest descended on the heavy card posters, which had been slung over the rails, laying claim to any they could grab.