[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
On March 12, 2000, Ian added several posts to his site. I've pulled a few excerpts here, but click the headings for the complete pages.

The Grey Book

Once the opening scenes of The Lord of the Rings had been completed, outdoors in the rolling pasture of New Zealand's North Island, there was speculation as to the future of the film village. The farmer who owns the site apparently wanted to retain the film's landscaping and hobbit holes once they were vacated by the production. Perhaps he was planning a supplementary income from tourists who would be visiting the geysers and hot water activity in nearby Rotorua.

I am a sucker for movie theme parks. Last year I spent a night at Disneyland Paris where, as on previous trips to Universal Studios Los Angeles, I was struck by an irony. ... Disneyland and Universal thrive because their customers enjoy live theatre just as much as going to the movies. Long live theme parks!

The Bag End designs could not be bettered. Their colours are warm with lots of wood and signs of industry, writing and cooking and overeating. Simply, they are hobbity and to me very familiar. They are in accord with my own untidiness and need to be comfy.

Once costed and approved by the director, the full-scale (and hobbit-scale) sets were built within the old warehouses that now house the production company. Under corrugated iron roofs there are offices, amenities, dining shed, trailers for actors, makeup, wardrobe as well three studios. We are settled amongst the flat suburb of Miramar behind the low ridge of hills that stretches into Wellington's harbour.

When he speaks, all I see and hear is Saruman, my old associate gone wrong. Except once when he rounded off a speech, at Peter Jackson's suggestion, with a snarl. To be within four feet of a Lee snarl is unsettling. I was glad he wasn't wearing his fangs.


Q: Have the producers actively used Tolkien's published letters?

A: The scriptwriters, director, designers and cast have available to them the full library of Tolkien and his followers. I enjoy the professor's letters and also his readings from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I am encouraged by the theatricality of his readings — full of rhythm and humour and characterisation.

Q: Have you heard anything about the type of score Peter Jackson is looking for? Is it going to be something unusual?

A: Well, what do you think? Maybe usual and unusual. Peter has not yet decided on a composer although he often mentions the importance of music in telling the story.

Bits and Bobs

Q: My favorite movie of yours is Alfred the Great. Did you do your own fight choreography in the film?

A: I was trained on the spot in Galway, Ireland,to do the fairly primitive broadsword fighting of the battle scenes. I was advised to use Errol Flynn's trick when mortally wounded - look surprised.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
Last year some of the posts I had written out and put on a posting calendar featured the wonderful words of Sir Ian McKellen from his Lord of the Rings diaries (The Grey Book followed by The White Book). This disappeared along with everything else, but the recent TORN posts reminded me that if anything must be recreated it's the observations from this most amazing man.

He wrote a wonderful entry on January 25, with a lot of details about how Gandalf's look finally came to be, the Hobbiton set, and this wonderful paragraph at the end:

"They had been filming without me for three months and I felt like the new boy at school as they re-grouped two weeks into the year. Term started with a rough cut of the action so far - those that didn't need major special effects added. A videotape was projected onto the screen of the cinema near the WETA workshops where the dailies are viewed. The soundtrack was uneven. The music was from other movies. And so the audience began by cheering their hard work like a home movie until the story took over and through the silence they watched Boromir die and the hobbits weep as they lose Gandalf to the Balrog. Peter had provided beer and wine but I'm off the alcohol and had two candy floss (cotton candy) and popcorn. Then a party at the house of Barrie Osborne (Producer) and his partner Carol Kim (Production Manager.) At the end of the evening Billy Boyd ("Pippin") persuaded me to follow him down the fireman's pole that falls twenty feet to the hall. And I wasn't even drunk."


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