[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
August 2: According to the Evening Post, several cast members attended the opening of "Blowing It," a play at the Bats Theatre: Elijah, Ian McKellen and Bernard were the three specifically mentioned. The play was directed and co-written by Stephen Sinclair, who worked on early scripts of the film. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pull up the page in the wayback machine.

August 3: Ordinarily I don't link to the Cast Watch updates because we can't go back in time and see what was on television on a specific date (*g*) but this one is a little more interesting. Next week a new play, "The White Devil," starring Hugo opens in Sydney, Australia. I guess if they needed confirmation that Elrond's scenes had been shot that might be it.

August 3: Ain't it Cool News confirms that Howard is in "final negotiations" to do the score for the films. According to AICN it comes from "one in the know in the land of Holly."

August 3: Interest in and excitement over Howard being the composer begins to ramp up. TORN finds an extensive biography at UK Movie Music (not all of it is available, but the main page is archived) and quotes from a couple of reviews of past films (Silence of the Lambs and M. Butterfly). Howard is described as a "highly respected composer amongst film music critics, and has a difficult, confrontational style which constantly challenges the perceptions and ideas of film music."

August 3: "Pulp," a New Zealand pop culture magazine, published a satire of all the rumors swirling around the production; the scan is in the scrapbook. Some of the hot scoops: Mary Tyler Moore replaces Liv as Arwen, Peter buys the New Zealand army, takes it out to play over the weekend and now can't find it. *g*

August 4: A spy report comes in from Wingate: they've flooded the set and, in addition to the large wheel already reported, there's driftwood and other detritus floating in the water. This person was able to see all of this as they passed by on the train. A few more details are provided in a later report, including spotting "an actor in white robes, with long white hair and beard."

August 5: The slightly expanded preview footage has been shown at ShoWest and ComicCon and now people lucky enough to attend the "surprise movie" event in Denmark (it was a monthly midnight screening of a film not scheduled to open in Denmark for another month or so) had the great fortune of seeing it too. It's clear from the fan's report that the audience was really excited; talk about a clever way to continue feeding that rabid anticipation. *g*

August 5: Loop got a huge scoop, posting a fantastic article about Weta Workshop and the duo behind it, Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger. It starts off with the news that as of March 2000 Weta had been working on the film for nearly three years. There's a lot of background about how Richard and Tania got started in the business, their first work with Peter and the formation of Weta. It really is a great read; well worth a few minutes and thanks to the Reading Room it's still available.

August 5: Several cast members attended an All Blacks game (rugby) in Wellington, including Ian McKellen and Sean Astin. I wonder if this is when this picture of Ian and Dom was taken; if anyone knows, do tell. :-)

August 6: Kind of related to filming, a contestant on a reality tv show called "The Money Game" earned about $7,400 auctioning a copy of Lord of the Rings that had been signed by six cast members; there's no word on how she got it. In the end she lost to a guy who made a sound effects CD who somehow made $18K. Go figure.

August 6: The Sun Herald publishes an interview with Hugo. I haven't read that many articles about him so I found it really interesting. There's not a lot about LotR (obviously) but we do learn that after he finishes work on the play "The White Devil" he has to go back to New Zealand and complete his scenes.

August 7: A TORN spy ends up being late for work because they couldn't resist the lure of the set at Wingate. But I imagine it was worth it as it seems they saw some of the scene of Gandalf, Théoden, Aragorn and Éomer confronting Saruman at Isengard. Ian McKellen was on Shadowfax and behind him actors on "several brown horses." They recognized Legolas and Gimli and were confident they saw Merry with one of the other riders. Ian was delivering lines to a camera mounted on scaffolding about 20 feet in the air.

August 7: SFX Magazine publishes two little blurbs about Lord of the Rings: the first mentions that a board game is being designed (illustrated by John Howe) where players become the Hobbits on the quest to destroy the ring; the second quotes Ian denying the rumors that Arwen will be accompanying the Fellowship.

August 7: I was wondering when this rumor would hit and it appears today is the day. An article and a picture showing a wizard impaled on a giant spiked wheel is posted; in the article the writer wonders if this could be Gandalf and asks if this is how the film will show his demise after fighting the Balrog. Let the intense speculation begin! :-)
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
July 25: Wired posts an article about all of the thefts (Lord of the Bootlegs) and at the end mentions that after two weeks of filming in Wellington the production heads down to Mount Potts station to film "dramatic exteriors." Stuff.co.nz publishes more details about one of the people charged; apparently the costumes and props he stole were valued at more than $200,000. The defendant said he "was obsessed with Lord of the Rings and intended using the clothing and props to set up a shrine, and to show he had worked on the film."

July 25: The UK Sunday Star Times publishes an interview with Cate. Generally, this isn't super newsworthy (other than I think Cate is awesome *g*); much of what she says has been printed in other interviews. No, what makes this interesting is that the reporter, Ian Markham-Smith, demonstrates astounding journalism integrity and fact checking prowess by using a summary of the story written by the Tolkien Sarcasm Page: "For the uninitiated, Galadriel is the good sister of the evil but beautiful Queen Beruthiel, who imprisons the Fellowship of the Ring in the forest of Lothlorien. In the book, Galadriel frees them from her sister's clutches." Um, ok. The full Tolkien Sarcasm synopsis is really out there and is worth a read. Oh, and TheOneRing.com transcript (linked above) has some great movie-hater comments.

July 26: The full ComicCon report from Quickbeam, a TORN staffer, is posted. Highlights include his perspective of the preview footage, Ian's surprising the crowd as the lights came up, and his lunch with Ian and Bryan Singer.

July 26: I can't find the article anywhere online, but the New Zealand Herald reports that Geoff Murphy has joined the production to direct the second unit.

July 27: TORN received many reports from fans who were able to see the footage shown at ComicCon and compiled some of their reactions, along with reports from other online sources. The general consensus is WOW!

July 27: The Wellington Evening Post publishes an article about Operation Piece, the sting operation undertaken by the police to catch the men who had stolen film footage, props and costumes from the production. There are some interesting details, including the fact that 90- and 45-minute video tapes were up for sale for $180,000 (NZ).

July 27: Mark Ferguson announced on the Good Morning Show that he was playing Gil-Galad and had shot his scenes at Ruapehu.

July 29: I tried so hard to find these but have had absolutely no luck. Normally I wouldn't post it at all but on the off chance that someone out there remembers this and might have saved them I thought I'd include it. *g* Realmofthering.com got a hold of two maps: one that was used for building permits at Dry Creek Quarry for Helm's Deep and another that shows "the location of each part of the set." Unfortunately, that specific page won't even get pulled up in the wayback machine, and the only reference I could find (outside of TORN) was Tolkien Movies and the pictures are no more. I did find another interesting piece of info while looking for the construction maps: the Helm's Deep set is being taken down (beginning with the castle miniature and fake cliff pieces and moving on to the main gate) and surveyors were out recently presumably beginning to plan for building Minas Tirith.

July 30: No pictures are still available, but the Realm of the Ring folks posted a picture of progress at the Wingate sight; the picture was named "wingate_spikeywheel" and I'm thinking Isengard.

July 30: Empire Magazine reports that Fellowship will be released in the UK on December 14, 2001, five days before the US, what they call an "unusual coup." There's a picture of the hobbits tumbling down the hill with the news blurb. It's captioned as the actors but even blurry these look like the stunt doubles to me. What do you think?

July 31: Back in February TORN posted an interview with John Astin where he says he believed Sean's daughter would be playing Elanor Gamgee (Sam's daughter) in Return of the King. Today they posted two pictures that "may or may not" show the father and daughter. And of course they were right. :-)

July 31: E!Online updates its site with some more "insider" info. First a really nice interview with Sean Astin ("It's more than an acting job--you're part of this great moving machine." And on Elijah: "I'm this unhip married guy, but now he's got me listening to Ween and Travis and Björk.") And in the Q&A section, in answer to a question about the Elves voices we learn that only 2 percent of the recorded dialogue is usable, so the actors have to look forward to a lot of rerecording.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
July 18: Stuff.co.nz posts an article about the hush-hush nature of New Zealand Defence Force's involvement with the film. It reports that 100 soldiers will be part of filming next month but NZDF will not confirm it; it sounds like this might have been a somewhat touchy subject as the army had a large peacekeeping force in East Timor at the time. (A couple of days later TORN posts a report from Radio New Zealand saying there are 660 troops in East Timor out of a total of around 4,500 who are enlisted and surmises that 100 soldiers for the film shouldn't be a problem; I suspect any issues some people may have had had less to do with troop readiness and more with appearances but I could be wrong.) One slightly confusing point for me was the mention that filming would take place at Mount Potts Station which I believe is the Edoras location. I always thought the army was involved in the final battle outside the Black Gates but perhaps they were Rohirrim earlier in the film as well.

July 18: TORN transcribes an article from the Hollywood Reporter about Wellington becoming a South Pacific Hollywood. The mayor is quoted as saying when he toured the Stuart Little production in LA, SONY was most interested in connecting with Weta because their work was so impressive.

July 20: Earlier this month a former stunt man was sentenced for trying to sell stolen film footage. Now Radio New Zealand reports that another man is due in court today for stealing footage and the police are talking to a third. Later that day there are even more details. Some of the things that the second arrested man was accused of stealing were "design concepts, images and props, including two swords" and yet a third man was arrested "in connection with money laundering charged" related to the production. The following day TORN posts some specifics of what the men stole and/or were in possession of. And finally, the production company won a civil suit against a former security guard who had taken 500 photographs of sets and cast members in costume; he may also have stolen some things as well and criminal charges may be brought.

July 20: This is the day of the Hollywood Ball, part of the Winter Festival in Queenstown. The hobbits and the elf will be attending. You can see them all tuxed up in this collection of pics; I don't know where the caption came from under the pic montage but here we have more proof that somehow people were getting Dom and Billy mixed up which is just very strange. I had a few different ones saved and uploaded them to LJ. On July 22 there's an article about the event ("A night for hobbitnobbing") with a few quotes from Elijah (apparently he planned to go snowboarding while in Queenstown *g*).

July 21: Last week a picture of what I called a cave troll posted from the VSDA Convention. A Spanish site gets word that it was an Olog-Hai or a hill troll, so likely the ones in Mordor and not the one on Moria.

July 22: Christopherleefanclub.com gets a great quote from the man himself about the project: "It has always been a dream of mine to bring to the screen the marvels of this wonderful work and this has allowed me to take part in a production which could well be the pinnacle of my acting career."

July 23: Quickbeam, one of the TORN staffers, attended ComicCon and wrote a report on the extended Rings footage shown to a packed room of fans. The full list of what was shown is posted (including 'big people' animatronics and more MASSIVE effects shots) but the big surprise was when the footage ended Ian came up on stage to say a few quick words (one quote: "When I get back to New Zealand tomorrow, I will give them [the cast] all your love.") There are a few pictures of Ian in the ComicCon set: with Bryan Singer, on stage after the LotR preview, with Chris Clairmont, and signing autographs at the Marvel booth.

July 23: Months of speculation could be coming to a close. SoundtrackNet reports that Howard has been hired to score the films; they call him a "rather unconventional choice." We now know how brilliant a choice it was.

July 23: A spy reports that a new set is being built in Wingate, including a "big spiky wheel." It's in the early stages, but a couple of pictures are posted in the scrapbook.

July 23: Some interesting bits of info about the Edoras set come in. Tussock grass is being transplanted from the Christchurch showgrounds to use along the riverbeds near the set. And the production is renting nearly all of the holiday houses at Lake Clearwater; one person has rented out their home for six months for $27,000 (NZ).

July 24: Billy, Elijah, Dom and Orlando had lunch at Queenstown Mall today; the archived article at stuff.co.nz has one picture of Billy and Elijah but the press was kept at a distance and weren't allowed to talk the guys. We have confirmation on the snowboarding (they went to Coronet Peak) and after lunch they're flying to Wellington to get back to work.

July 24: Principal photography is scheduled to resume today!

July 24: TV Guide posts a brief interview with Ian, mostly about being a gay actor in Hollywood but there's one little Rings mention.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
July 11: Nine months of production and the end is still a few months away. They're in the middle of a six week break and "most of the cast has scattered." I wonder what everyone got up to.

July 13: Salon has a great quote from Ian Holm: "I'm not allowed to say much about it, but it's going to make 'Star Wars' look like a weekend in the lavatory." Kinda cold but funny. *g* I love how proud they all were of the project.

July 13: IGN.com published an extensive interview with Ian McKellen as the X-Men premieres. It's really good with some excellent quotes ("In a year's time or so, my Magneto doll will be able to zap my Gandalf doll, and I don't know who's going to win.") but I think TORN pulled the best quote of all about his personal fulfillment from acting: "Always the group that I'm working with. I move from job to job, from family to family, from group of friends to group of friends – sometimes they're old friends, but often they're new ones. For the time of working, the experience is so intense – it's like you're all climbing Everest together, or going on a trek or a journey. You're all interdependent ... You've all got your different jobs – some more crucial than others, maybe – but you're all needed. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing for a human being, because that's living life as it's meant to be. You're in your own village. Some people may enjoy being the leader of the village ... That's not really my style. I just like being there, and in it. That's the satisfaction that I get." Just in case you're not able to view the internet archive link or reach all parts from the first installment, I've provided links to all four pages here (one, two, three, four).

July 13: One of the "scattered" actors was on Ellis Island for the X-Men premiere. BBC News Online had a brief sound byte with Ian but it's gone the way of the dinosaur; thankfully TORN transcribed it.

July 16: I don't know where Bean "scattered" but a lot of his Essex Boys promotional interviews began to be published, including an article from This is Essex and one from The Sunday Times. In the first there's a brief mention of Lord of the Rings, with Boromir being such a big departure from Jason Locke he was thinking of his daughters when he accepted the role in hopes Rings "will be something his girls will be proud to see him in." The Times article has a bit more about the films and the intensity of the shoot.

July 16: Last week we got a sneak peek at some of the helmets and battle gear that were on display at the VSDA Convention. A few more pictures come in this week, including a couple of shields and sculptures of a cave troll and a dwarf.

July 16: A spy reports that the film folks are looking for locations to shoot close ups of battle scenes in Twizel and the Desert road when production starts again (currently believed to be around July 24). Specifically they're looking "around the area by the wind turbine in Brooklyn Wellington and all around Wainouiomata and Eastbourne." The next day TORN reposts three pictures that one of its spies took near the area around the Christmas holidays.

July 16: The New Zealand Herald publishes a short interview with Karl ("you must love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art"); there's only a brief mention of Rings but it's a nice overview of Karl's early career.

July 17: I knew Christopher Lee had been in the new Star Wars films but had never heard that Marton was. But TORN gets a report from the Star Wars site that he's been cast in the second film as "a planetary leader." I looked at his IMDB listing and the only mention is as the uncredited voice of Poggle the Lesser (who I don't remember, but then again I don't remember much from those films *g*).
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
July 4: Stuff.co.nz reports on the E!Online interview with Cate, touching on the highlights including trying to not make elvish sound like "badly done Shakespeare."

July 5: New Zealand Horse and Pony publishes an article about the horses of the film; if the horses and their training and relationships are of interest it's full of information. The stables were on an 80-acre farm near Waikanae. It seems they saved some horses from being slaughtered (I didn't think it was possible to love this film any more but there you go *g*) and the make-up was so realistic the first time the vet arrived and saw a horse with a gaping wound he almost panicked.

July 5: Some new pictures of Lyall Bay are sent to TORN. This area was recently the site of some filming, most likely Dunharrow by the descriptions.

July 5: The final DragonCon report is posted, with some really nice bits from Karl and Brad. There are a few pictures, one with Brad and a fan, one of Karl signing someone's shirt and then one of the signature. My favorite part about the first Karl pic is the sign behind him. It says "Herc Xena Caesar & Cupid" with no mention of LotR. How times have changed. :-)

July 7: Foxnews.com posts an article about the filming. A very quick skim tells me it basically repeats most of what's already been reported elsewhere but I'm including it here in case I missed something new.

July 8: Two spies (a husband and wife team) stay at Fernside Lodge and ask the proprietor about the filming. They learn that filming took place over four days, and Cate and Sean Bean were both there (I'm thinking they were the only people that were recognized). A tree with large roots for docking canoes was built alongside the lake.

July 9: TORN transcribes an article from Empire Magazine about Fellowship, which is listed as the number one film "in production." Their description: "Once upon a time, in a mythical world far, far, away, there was a ring, a very special one. And the rest is simply history..."

July 10: The person who was arrested for stealing some film footage pled guilty and was convicted of two charges; sentencing is next month. It was apparently an ex-stuntman.

July 10: Earlier in the month TORN received word that the trailer could hit theaters in November, possibly before "Little Nicky." Today they get confirmation from Ain't it Cool News that the trailer will make its debut before "Thirteen Days," which will be released on December 20.

July 10: IGN shares a huge find with TORN. Their editors attended the VSDA convention (I think that stands for the Video Software Dealers Association, which is now the Entertainment Merchants Association) in Las Vegas and at the New Line booth there was a display of some of the helmets and battle gear made for the films. The set of five pics seems to have a little bit from every culture.

July 10: There's an interview with Ian in Starlog Magazine; TORN transcribes it and posts two small scans. Nothing earth-shattering is revealed but there are some lovely Ian quotes about the production and Gandalf.

July 10: A little less than six months remain for principal photography and Bernard was confirmed as Théoden back in March, but it's only today that TORN confirms that Kevin Conway will not be in the films. He apparently was offered the part but turned it down because of the scheduling demands. As he says to Starlog Magazine: "I pulled out of Lord of the Rings, which may yet prove to be one of the bad mistakes in my career." Can't really say his career has suffered, though, so who knows how much more of a boost it would have gotten had he accepted the role.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
June 27: Scoop gets the scoop once more, publishing two pictures of one of the detailed statues from the Helm's Deep set.

June 28: Included more for insight into how much fans wanted to examine every scrap of information: Ever since reporting that Robyn Malcolm would be playing Morwen, fans have been trying to figure out who the character will be in the story. They hunt down that Morwen was married to Thengel and was, therefore, Théoden's mother. Since it seemed unlikely that Théoden's mother would be in the films, the consensus is that the character is merely named after her.

June 28: Scans of the latest Vogue are posted, featuring the one and only Cate on the cover. There's a brief blurb about the films ("I'm really looking foreward to it because it's not a territory I've ever stepped into before technically."); scans of the full article are the TORN scrapbook and better quality pictures of the photoshoot are at cateblanchett.net.

June 29: News of another addition to the Weta crew: Carlos Rosas is reported to be heading for New Zealand to work on the film. His bio says he was a senior animator at Weta Digital.

June 29: Scans from a hard-to-get Brazilian magazine are posted. I can't read it but it sounds like this article has a lot of great information about the films and Tolkien. If you can read Portuguese and would care to translate for us, that would be very cool.

June 29: Entertainment Weekly lists the Pacific Rim the 'IT' spot for making movies. Along with Lord of the Rings, The Beach, M12 and Moulin Rouge have been filmed in the area.

June 30: Apparently last month's Empire Magazine posted a list of the most anticipated films and left Lord of the Rings off. Clearly they saw the error of their ways (probably spurred on by thousands of e-mails and letters from fans) and this month LotR sits in its rightful place at the top of the pile. The article calls it the "War and Peace of the nether world" but it's still good to see Empire was quick to act on its mistake. :-)

June 30: TORN receives a report from a 'spy' about the extended preview footage shown at ShoWEST. The person was blown away: "From what I saw, we have absolutely nothing to worry about. The film is in safe hands."

June 30: E!Online publishes an interview with Cate and it's lovely. Her humor, her grace, her intelligence: it all shines through in every word. When asked if she finds it "intimidating to be one one of the few women" in the film: "Not when you're Galadriel! I've got these glam-disco boots, which make me as tall as anyone!" And in response to a question about how she's "putting the character together" she says: "I look at Alan Lee's drawings, and I'm working with makeup artists and costume designers and WETA technicians, who've all grown up with the books. So, it's the perfect environment, really, because you're able to witness the physical expression of people's connection to the book and then mine that. Moment by moment, you're trying to make it as real as you can." The full article is on the internet archive.

June 30: French Premiere magazine featured an article on Lord of the Rings and posted pictures of the two newest movie posters on its Web site. We've seen similar versions posted before; the Fellowship is great, but I particularly love the shot of the Ringwraith. TORN also posted a scan from Total Film about the official Web site.

June 30: CounterAction magazine, a New Zealand retail trade publication, posted an article about filming at Ruapehu and the impact it had on local businesses. It's still available through the internet archive.

July 1: Brad Dourif and Karl Urban appeared at DragonCon and by all accounts were a hit. Michael Martinez's report at Suite 101 gives some specifics and there are some great fan pics and a brief report archived from an old geocities site.

July 1: One of the TORN presenters at DragonCon picks up some info "in the hallways" that the movie trailer will begin airing in theaters in November 2000. TORN later hears from Hollywood-type people that November sounds right, possibly before the Adam Sandler movie "Little Nicky."

July 3: Fans had been wondering if Shelob would be in the film or if she would go the way of Tom Bombadil. There seems to be confirmation that she'll get her screen time when E!Online answers a fans question, saying the scenes haven't been shot yet but when they spoke with Sean Astin he said he was looking forward to filming them.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
June 20: Cinescape sends TORN a great new ad that's been published in several trade publications; the ad was part of New Line's licensing efforts.

June 20: A scan of the cover of Mad Movies is posted showing Boromir holding the ring (and delivering one of my all time favorite lines from the trilogy *g*). This is the issue where the interview with John Howe was published.

June 23: A fan who had seen some of the filming at Ruapehu posted pictures of what they say was found in the area after the crew left: some burlap-like fabric that could be part of an Orc's costume. I found the new link; the relevant post is the second on the page.

June 24: Entertainment Weekly named Peter the IT director as part of its 2000 'IT' List. The scan is in the scrapbook. My favorite part: "When exhausted from the 'grueling length of the shoot' ... Jackson asks himself, 'Is there anything else I'd truly rather be doing?' I always say, 'No.'"

June 25: There had been some rumors of props and things being stolen from the production, but now someone was arrested for stealing the actual film. I couldn't find the first article, but the second was in the internet archive. It sounds like people were selling rushes online. A transcript of The Dominion article about the arrest was posted the next day.

June 25: A couple of weeks ago, in response to allegations that the horses were being treated cruelly on set, a reporter from The Dominion newspaper was invited to see first hand how the animals are trained and worked. TORN was able to post the transcript of that article. A few excerpts: "Watching him [Dan Reynolds] at the Te Horo stables, it’s apparent that the key is persuasion." "The most difficult trick to date has been getting a horse to rescue a wounded Aragorn, nuzzling the body, before helping him to safety." "The Te Horo team also has deer, sheep, rabbits and ferrets. All have important parts to play in THE LOTR. As do pigs and ducks and goats and cockroaches."

June 26: Some great shots of the Edoras location are posted. They just scream Rohan and are a really nice quality.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
June 13: Weta had to scramble to stop an auction on eBay that claimed to be selling swords that had been made for the film. Barrie is quoted as saying that despite having thousands of weapons, everything is accounted for and none have been "given away, lost or sold."

June 13: Fans get a look at the paintings from John Howe's 2001 Tolkien calendar and can't help wondering if they're a sign of bigger things to come.

June 14: A couple of days ago TORN reported that a new location, the Clareville Showgrounds, had been selected if the weather forced the crew inside. A local fan tracked down what they believe is the outdoor set just north of Featherston. Later TORN hears rumors that the scenes being shot here feature elves, in particular Cate and Craig; Hama is also noted as being part of the scenes but he was never with any elf other than Legolas. More information is tracked down, with the Featherston location possibly being used for the gift giving scene as the Fellowship leaves Lothlorien.

June 15: More new pictures of the production, this time featuring the Fellowship and the Ringwraith entering Hobbiton.

June 16: Cate's in New Zealand, she's been spotted at the Featherston location, and now there's word that filming is specifically taking place at Fernside Lodge. Browsing through its Web site shows why this place was chosen.

June 19: There's not a lot new in this article, but for people who want to see everything there's a scan of an article in Sci-Fi Magazine talking about the preview, the LotR fans and how New Line hopes to build enthusiasm for the films through the online community.

June 19: TORN manages to get ahold of some promotional materials New Line is using during meetings with potential merchandising businesses. There are a few scans in the scrapbook, but the most interesting part to me was how the company described the people they met with. Rather than being schmoozy and stereotypically Hollywood, the reps were "passionate," "enthusiastic," acted like they were "part of something special." I just love hearing how everyone involved with this project was committed 110% and probably felt so lucky to be there.

June 19: Two more pictures are released, this time of Arwen and Frodo being chased by the Nazgul, one of my favorite scenes in the trilogy.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
June 6: Peter stopped filming for the day in order to carry the Olympic torch as it made its way through Wellington. Fans shared a couple of pictures with TORN. Go Pete!

June 6: The crew may have left Tongariro and Ruapehu but TORN is still fortunate to be receiving reports from someone who was able to see some of the filming. The report outlines much of what they saw, including Frodo and Sam and some scenes from the prologue, and the full set of pictures (22 shots over two pages) are posted in the scrapbook.

June 7: TV1 aired an interview with Ian which was taped "at the opening of the OutTakes Film Festival in Wellington;" a transcript of the interview was posted on one of the forums. He talks about how proud New Zealanders should be of the films and all the local talent that have helped make them, three hours in makeup to become Gandalf, and of leading the Fellowship across Caradhras, including "two very attractive young men, Viggo Mortenson and Sean Bean."

June 7: InQuest Gamer publishes an article about the films; the scan is somewhat fuzzy but readable. One bit of new info revealed in the piece: Fellowship will end with Boromir's death, which occurs at the beginning of The Two Towers in the book.

June 9: Back on May 28, TORN posted scans of a feature in New Zealand Woman's Weekly that had several new and exclusive pictures of filming at Ruapehu. Thanks to one of their spies, TORN was able to get its hands on the original pics from that article. The full set is posted in the scrapbook.

June 10: More coverage of the hunt for horses and riders: New Zealand's One Network News ran a story about the latest "auditions" being run by Steve Old. Riders were being asked to charge in formation; there are a couple of caps from the story.

June 11: The official Web site posted a new "Live on Set" audio clip and TORN shared the transcript. The person speaking is unknown but they have a lot of great things to say about Peter.

June 11: The Sunday Star Times reports that Robyn Malcolm, a "Shortland Street" actor, has been cast in the films. I looked her up and she's the woman who played Morwen, the Rohirrim woman who puts her son and daughter on the horse to escape the wild men. The article said her first scene was with Liv, so either the person was confused and meant Miranda or she filmed a scene with Arwen at Helm's Deep that was later cut.

June 12: Some more information about the filming at Lyall Bay. A TORN spy reports that several "white medieval tents" were set up between a fence and a "rocky cliff face" and they saw Viggo leading a horse through the tentline. Sounds an awful lot like Dunharrow to me.

June 12: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about Lord of the Rings, its popularity ("Darth who? Hobbits rule.") from generation to generation, and how each decade ushered in "a different type of LOTR fame."

June 12: More new first look pictures, this time featuring Bilbo and Hobbiton.

June 12: Large trucks and camera equipment were seen at the Clareville Showgrounds in Wairarapa, and an article in the paper confirms that an indoor set is being prepared in case weather stops the crew from being able to film at an as yet unknown outdoor location in the area.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
May 30: TORN posts a first look at Gimli in all his wonderful dwarf regalia.

May 31: E!Online breaks the news that Bruce Spence has been cast as the Black Lieutenant. TORN wonders if this means he'll be playing Sauron and then is bombarded with e-mails from fans with their ideas. The general consensus is that he'll be playing the Mouth of Sauron.

June 1: The next set of E!Online articles are up and just as wonderful as the ones that came before. First is a round-up of the latest news, including a small account of filming some of Boromir's lines during the Council of Elrond and that Ian celebrated his birthday with the cast and crew and a drag queen. *g* Then the newest On Location article features a long interview with Ngila Dickson about the costumes. There are some nice bits in this, such as: "Arwen's frocks, for instance, were originally designed as warrior woman ready-to-wear for the horse-riding Elf chick on the move" "Each character needs a set of five shirts for each scene--one each for the actor, his body double, stunt double, scale double (for the Little People) and horse double." "Because the Hobbit actors are still growing ... and doing so much physical training and fighting, their shirts need to be remodeled periodically to keep up with their expanding muscles." (I deliberately snuffed down my Viggo fangirlness, but there's also a lovely bit about Viggo too. *g*)

June 1: An ad to sign up with a talent agency is posted, specifically looking for horses and riders. The scan gets cut off at the original site but when you save and view it you can see the whole thing. (I also uploaded it to LJ.)

June 4: The Compleat Sean Bean sent TORN scans of an interview with Sean from 442 Magazine, a football fan publication. There's only a brief mention of Lord of the Rings but it still has some nice info in it. Scans are in the scrapbook, but larger versions are at the original site.

June 4: A TORN spy reports that filming has taken place in warehouses near the airport in the evening. The only thing they could see inside were a row of tents (or rather the tops of tents) in navy blue and white. They wonder if this is part of Bilbo's party.

June 5: The first pictures of forced perspective in action and Aragorn are posted. In the first, fans got a look at Frodo and Gandalf riding in the wagon, the first time we were able to see how well the camera and set tricks would work to make Elijah and the others look hobbit sized. In the second, the first look at Viggo as Aragorn.

June 5: IGN FilmForce posted an interview from Disappearer with Ian. Not a lot of info but still fun to read. The full piece is on the wayback machine.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
May 23: More confirmation that much of what was being filmed at Ruapehu were the scenes for the prologue. The report mentions the Department of Conservation trying to get the crew to protect the moss (there's some talk about this in the extras on the Fellowship limited edition 2-disk set; I couldn't find a clip of it online but will keep looking). Hugo's size has surprised some extras, saying he looks nothing like Agent Smith. A joke from Bernard while filming Helm's Deep as they try to keep the gate closed: "C'mon chaps, it's the Jehovahs Witnesses trying to get in!" And in keeping with the "Mythology of Viggo," the extras continually report that Viggo is one of the nicest guys, going down to the pub with everyone after work for a drink, and Hugo is also a love, lining up with them during dinner breaks.

May 23: SFX Magazine has a brief interview with Christopher Lee (the scans are in the scrapbook) where he says he believes Lord of the Rings will "create film history."

May 24: A spy report of filming outside Moria. There's really not much here but they did catch site of Peter, Legolas, a couple of hobbits (probably scale doubles), Bill the Pony and Viggo hanging out with Bill and his wrangler.

May 24: Apparently there had been some reports on the internet about the horses being treated cruelly, and in some cases dying, while filming. The Dominion reported on the charges and the Ministry of Agriculture and the International League for the Protection of Horses investigated but found no truth to the allegations. The production also invited the Dominion reporter to the set to see for himself.

May 26: Another spy report, starting in Helm's Deep where they got to walk around the quarter scale set; they saw miniature arrows and bags of flour and took some of the "rock" as a souvenir. Then they headed over to Moria and saw Sean fighting nothing in the water. They also thought they heard a woman's voice and speculated that Arwen might be there. If it wasn't a crew member's voice I don't know who they heard; maybe since we know Billy had "screamed like a girl" during the fireworks scene they actually heard him. :-) Later they learned that parts of Rivendell will be reshot in the same location as Moria and that Cate will be arriving on Monday.

May 26: TVOne reported that the production was going to be using a snow-making machine, costing $1,500 NZD to make 1 ton of snow. Caradhras here we come!

May 26: This has absolutely zero information, but it's fun to see how every little thing was analyzed and guessed at during that time. A frame in the preview has a weird smudgy looking thing in the sky and the speculation ensues. Could it be a Nazgul?

May 27: Another LotR cartoon hit the net, this time from UserFriendly.org. Techies (and Woodstock funnily enough) goofing off at work to watch the preview (and Liv) over and over again.

May 27: TORN publishes a translation of a French magazine interview with John Howe. There's a lot of information about his experience working on the films, in particular pre-production.

May 28: Another one for the tech lovers among us: a press release from LambSoft mentions that its MoveTools are an important part of the pre-visualization process at Weta Digital, helping them to experiment with different shots before filming.

May 28: New Zealand Woman's Weekly hit the jackpot, publishing a bunch of exclusive shots of from filming at Ruapehu. The pictures mostly feature Frodo and Sam, but there are also shots of Gondorians, Elves and Orcs from the prologue. The TORN news link has a transcript of the text, but the full set of pictures are in the scrapbook.

May 29: Apparently there was another fan-wide ruckus after a TORN spy thought they heard a woman's voice during filming outside Moria and speculated it was Arwen. They receive some news that leads them to think the scenes being shot were actually outside the black gates at Mordor. How this would make Tolkien purists happier I don't know since Arwen shouldn't be at Mordor either. Plus, the spy saw Sean Bean fighting and Boromir didn't make it to Mordor. Me thinks this post could have caused even more of a ruckus.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
May 16: A TORN spy reports that filming recently occurred at Lyall Bay in Wellington. Apparently it was a quick stop, filming during the day and into the night and then clearing out the next day. According to wikipedia, Lyall Bay is a popular surf beach so I wonder if anyone we know caught a few waves there. *g*

May 16: The Realm of the Ring managed to nab a couple of great shots of Gandalf leading a charge of horsemen, most likely Éomer and the Rohirrim's arrival at Helm's Deep. Pretty cool stuff. (If the wayback link doesn't work for you, let me know; I grabbed a screen shot.) A few days later TORN posts a spy report describing the scene and how the hill was reset between each take.

May 17: More spy news, this time settled around Rohan. Speculation that the Ents will be in the film after seeing them filming the Uruk-hai running away from the Rohirrim toward a blue screen that will eventually be a forest; confirmation that Minas Tirith will be built in the same quarry as Helm's Deep with production happening in the spring; and torrential rain has slowed filming at Haywards Hill. After this the spy also was able to see some filming of Dunharrow, including Viggo walking along the tentline.

May 18: At this moment Karl was in Cannes promoting The Price of Milk and The Irrefutable Truth About Demons.

May 18: Ian was featured in an article in Cinescape Magazine. It mostly talks about his role in The X-Men but there's a brief bit about Gandalf as well. The thumbnail is of a different article, but the larger scan (and transcription) is in the scrapbook.

May 18: Kind of off topic but kinda fun too: A picture of a nebula on the Pearl Jam album "Binaural" reminds some folks of the Eye of Sauron. :-)

May 19: There didn't seem a reason to post this here, but since TORN mentions it during a call for things to highlight "the lighter side of Tolkien" I'm going to link to Leonard Nimoy's opus "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins." Enjoy!

May 19: Word reaches TORN of a set in the Hutt Valley in an industrial area near train tracks. The belief is this the set of the Gates of Moria (and from what we know now I'm thinking they're right).

May 20: A continuation of a spy report from Ruapehu, this time with pictures and a description of "Orcland," the area that housed costume and makeup for the Orcs.

May 21: TORN gets a hold of two new promotional pictures, one of Arwen and the other of Saruman.

May 22: The New Zealand Listener published a great interview with Liv; the scans are in the scrapbook (click each for full size). There's some info new to me (although probably common knowledge to big Liv fans) about how she learned Steven Tyler was her dad, and some nice quotes, including what it was like to work with Peter ("He's such a sweet man.") to Hollywood's obsession with skinny women ("I don't understand it. I mean, I'm hungry, I eat.").
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
May 10: This is a fairly extensive spy report about what this person saw as they walked around the Helm's Deep set. There are a lot of details of what the set was made from and how it looked to walk through. At the end are some interesting "facts," including that Helm's Deep won't be destroyed for at least five months (which may be true but seems to give very little time for Minas Tirith to be built and filmed) and that Arwen will blow the horn at the Hornburg. Gandalf's arrival and charge down the hill will be filmed before the 12th in full view of the road. Oh to have been on that road to see it. *g*

May 11: Today marks the completion of seven months of filming! And there's still several months to go. :-)

May 11: Two TORN staffers go on a hunt for the Weathertop location. Their report and accompanying pictures are posted as a NZ Exclusive.

May 11: I was able to track down the last recordings TORN posted of Tolkien reading from his notes and unpublished manuscript. But this time I've come up empty. mp3lit.com updated its Tolkien page with an audio file of Tolkien reading an unpublished poem originally intended to be part of "The Mirror of Galadriel" chapter. If anyone has better luck in hunting this down, I'm sure a lot of people would be extremely excited to hear it.

May 11: Mountain Scene reports that Rings will be returning to the South Island around August and September after a brief break in July. Hotel rooms have been put on hold and an assistant publicist says most of the production will be heading to the "bottom areas of the South Island," including Queenstown. They quote a "Rings super-snoop" as saying the weather conditions should be ideal for shooting scenes in the Misty Mountains.

May 11: A new spy report says the production is currently behind schedule. The current filming at Helm's Deep "may have to go for another week due to 'a few hiccups' with the cast and crew," and there's talk of an "unexpected re-shoot" that will include Viggo and Liv. A set has started to be built in Methven for shooting in August rumored to be a battle scene with Éowyn. Later that day they post some basic info and a pic of Methven on the South Island.

May 12: Another spy report that repeats much of what has already been posted. However, there's an interesting bit at the end where they witness some filming of Dunharrow and believe they're seeing Aragorn (who in this case is Viggo's body double) and 40 Dunadain. Shows how tricky it must have been making guesses based on the books without knowing what had been changed.

May 12: A local spy finds out that two Andalusian horses that were recently sold came from the filming. The report has some brief information about the breed and some speculation about who might have ridden them. Because a lot of black horses were also up for sale as well, they imagine these could have been the horses ridden by the Ringwraiths.

May 13: I'm a little frustrated because I can't track down the article, even on the wayback machine. But I found another reference to it at Ain't It Cool News that seems to say The Daily Express had just talked to Ethan Hawke after he'd returned from finishing negotiations in New Zealand. But after contacting some sources AICN reports that Hawke will not be in the films at all and had not been meeting with anyone in New Zealand. This is the original link for the Daily Express article if anyone would like to have a go.

May 14: A great little shot of one of the signs the crew uses to direct people to a location, or a jamboree. :-) A larger image can be seen in the scrapbook.

May 14: A bit of frustration. herrderringe-film.de posted some new official images but the internet archive version only displays one of a set of three. I for one would love to see the Viggo, Billy and Pete pic so if anyone has these shots it'd be great if you shared. :-)

May 15: Shots of sets being built at Mount Potts Station are posted. At the time they can only guess what they might be but we now know them as the incredible sets of Edoras. The full size scans are definitely worth a look. The Press Online later confirms that "Three hundred cast and crew, and a similar number of extras and horses, will descend on Mount Potts Station, near Lake Clearwater, in August." (The full article isn't archived.)

May 15: Uglúk and Háma have been cast! Nathaniel Lees will be Uglúk (apparently the Uruk-hai who takes command after Lurtz is killed, and later Captain Mifune in "The Matrix") and John Leigh will be playing Háma (later to be Mick Fa'auigaese in "Diplomatic Immunity" with Craig *g*).
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
April 25: Luck was on the side of two TORN spies when they happened upon the filming of the Last Alliance in Tongariro National Park. The full report has several pictures of the site and later that day TORN posted a zoomed in close-up of two actors or extras in costume on a ski lift going to or from the set.

April 26: Scans of an article and a comic published in The New Zealand Listener are posted. The comic is a funny look at the "Ringwars" between fans and the article is all about the internet, the fans and the huge anticipation for the films. It's a little difficult to read but you can still make it out.

April 27: TORN linked to an article about the movies from Dagbladet, a Norwegian newspaper. The link still works but it seems to now be a collection of articles about the films and they don't seem to go back to 2000 (although I can't say that for certain). If anyone speaks (or reads) Norwegian and would like to share a good translation of the articles that would be wonderful.

April 28: Scoop published a report from Whakapapa that includes a lot of fun info about filming. Part of a large tent that the lodge owner said was being used for costumes collapsed under the weight of an unexpected snow. The production took up most of the accommodations in the area, including backpacker huts. There were a few pictures posted; they're marked as a location for Edoras but everything else from TORN talks about this area being used for filming Mordor (and during this time the Last Alliance).

April 28: Michael Martinez posted another article at Suite 101, this time about ghost stories of Middle-earth. "Middle-earth's first ghost stories were probably the long-forgotten tales the Elves made up about Melkor's monsters before Orome discovered their home at Cuivienen."

April 28: A new spy report is posted. Filming of the Last Alliance at Tongariro National Park has been cut short because of the weather; instead of staying for another month they'll wrap there in a week. They'll start filming at Helm's Deep again soon, including some interiors and more battle scenes. And some "super secret" scenes were just shot at Stonestreet but no word on what they were.

April 29: A new article from E!Online is published, with tons of behind-the-scenes info about the costumes and armor being used during the filming of the Last Alliance and Frodo and Sam in Mordor with an army of Orcs. It's a really fun read.

April 30: The Sun Herald in Australia published an interview with Miranda; the scans are in the scrapbook, a little difficult to read but worth the effort.

April 30: A collection of pics of Andy in "Arabian Nights" are posted; he played Kasim, Ali Babba's brother.

May 1: Somehow TORN got its hands on the audition scripts. They're not posted but they plan on comparing them to the Miramax scripts and the books and writing a report on what they find. It seems they had scripts for just about all of the major characters (Aragorn, Arwen, Bilbo, Boromir, Denethor, Elrond, Eowyn, Faramir, Frodo, Galadriel, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Saruman, Theoden, and Wormtongue).

May 2: One of the extras turns spy and sends TORN a few small bits of info. The party they had at the end of shooting at Ruapahu had a bar tab of $15,000 (!!) and this person felt Hugo looked "terribly frightening." Not exactly how I'd describe Elrond in any scene but maybe up close it had a different effect.

May 2: TORN receives final confirmation that Karl has been cast as Éomer; in fact, Karl was on set that day. And I will be eternally grateful for that exceptional piece of casting. :-)

May 3: The New Zealand Herald has a quote from Barrie Osborne about the snow that cut filming short at Mt. Ruapahu: "We were supposed to be on Mount Doom, it is hot with lava flowing, so the snow wasn’t really appropriate."

May 3: A report comes in about what was being filmed only yesterday: the Black Gates of Mordor scenes. Viggo, Ian, Billy, Dom, Karl and Orlando were all spotted on set, plus scale and body doubles and a slew of extras. Filming was taking place at the Rangipo Desert at Tongariro National Park; a picture of the area was posted later that day. On May 4 they post a list of several scenes that were recently shot around Tongariro; in addition to the Black Gates the crew filmed Chetwood Forest, Emyn Muil West, the foot of Mount Doom and the Gorgorath Plains.

May 4: Scale doubles are just a part of our Lord of the Rings vocabulary now, so it's nice to see TORN post an article explaining who they are, when they might be used and providing names of those doubles they've been able to confirm so far. Tall Paul is on the list (or rather Paul Randall), Brett Beattie for Gimli, Fon for Pippin, Kiran for Merry (although we know he also doubled for Frodo and a young boy named Martin also doubled for Merry early on) and B.K. or Bhoja Kannada for Sam.

May 5: Another call for extras goes out, primarily for Elves and Uruk-hai. If you were very slim and over 5'10" you could have been an elf; well-built and over 5'9" might have made you an Uruk. Liz Mullane, the casting director, warned this might be the last chance to be an extra on the films. A couple of days later the New Zealand Herald publishes a brief article about the extras casting; auditions were held at the National Dance and Drama School and hundreds of people stretched down the street for a chance to be in the movies. According to a publicist the production needed to "replenish their 'background players' cast."

May 5: Another report about filming at Mt. Ruapehu. After they were snowed out of their original location (Happy Valley) the crew moved about a kilometer and wound up shooting near the side of the road (so no real escape from onlookers, whether casual or dedicated Rings hunters). Everyone was so into fighting each other in the battle scenes that they had to use an air horn to signal the end of filming instead of shouting "cut."

May 7: The Compleat Sean Bean sends word that Sean will be returning to New Zealand around May 12.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
April 18: The FoxTrot cartoonist Bill Amend seemed to be in full Rings anticipation mode with a new strip for nearly every day of this post (the words link to one of the different strips at GoComics.com). Jason and Marcus are cast as Frodo and Sam and are giving Peter much grief. (Personal favorite: April 20 and a horror worse than Ringwraiths or Orcs.) On April 22, TORN reports that Bill Amend has been in touch and may do a Q&A with TORN soon.

April 18: Nothing revealing in this mega-short blurb about the films from Newsweek but the header made me laugh: "A new sci-fi spectacular is coming, and it’s jar jar-free."

April 18: It seems only a week and a half after the preview made people lose their minds, fans had a new thing to anxiously anticipate. Word comes from Cinescape.com that trailers for Lord of the Rings will begin showing in theaters in either the summer or fall.

April 18: Ian responds to a fan's question about Narya, the Ring of Fire, saying that "by the end of the third film Narya will be in evidence."

April 19: More news for the tech lovers: TORN reports that Weta has purchased a film scanner from Imagica Corp. It scans "filmed plates into a computer for further manipulation." Right now Weta estimates they will have around two million frames of "VFX imagery."

April 20: TORN transcribes an article from the Vancouver Sun about the conflict of the studio trying to keep the production under wraps versus the fans who are doing everything possible to bust through the secrecy. Also mentions a petition signed by nearly 9,000 Tolkien purists urging the film makers to honor the "integrity" of the books.

April 21: MacCentral reports that in one week the online preview was downloaded a record-breaking 6.6 million times. It also notes that while it wasn't immediately possible to save the clip, Mac users flooded QuickTime message boards to share methods of getting around the problem. In case you didn't see the post, you can still download the preview thanks to the generosity of [livejournal.com profile] nerwende and [livejournal.com profile] haltis.

April 21: I hope some will like this bit of Rings-inspired silliness. Was there a secret message embedded on the Windows 98 CD? Check out the wayback link to find out.

April 24: Completely unrelated to LotR, but check out this picture of a Magneto action figure. His hand is bigger than his head!

April 24: Not much info at all really, but Kiran Shah was interviewed by the BBC for a segment on taking risks. He mentions having to wear a lot of padding and that some of what he's doing for the films is very dangerous.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
My apologies for a less than active April. Life is keeping me off balance at the moment but I hope to be able to at least catch up on the TORN News posts soon.

Because we need a second post for the master list of TORN News items, I'm pulling the older items into this new entry. New TORN info never posted before are under the last two cuts (September 13 - 26); everything from August through September 12 is under the first cut.

Older News )

September 13 - 19 )

September 20 - 26 )
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
April 11: There's a brief mention of Lord of the Rings on Scoop about sword play on Mt. Ruapehu being captured by TV3. It notes that while the production has tried to keep sets under wraps, inevitably things are leaking out. It reports that someone claims to have shot so much video they could sell it for $40,000. A later post from the same day describes TV3's coverage, describing the sword practice being done by about 20 "humans with black/dark blue capes."

April 11: Because it was posted on the 10th this was already linked last week, but since April 11 is officially six months into shooting, we might as well link to TORN's coverage recap again. :-)

April 11: An article about the online preview is posted at Mr. Showbiz, reporting on the record-breaking number of downloads and how the New Line marketing folks have "embraced more than two dozen" fan sites to help keep excitement high from filming through the release of the films. TORN also transcribes brief blurbs about the preview from several news sources.

April 13: TORN was able to post an interview Newsmonitor Services Limited conducted with Barry Osborne. It's seems to be a word-for-word transcript so a little awkward to read but still fun. Apparently Barry was answering questions while standing on Mt. Ruapehu. They cover a variety of topics (including the size of the actors' trailers and how long Peter has been working on the films - more than four years at this point) and this is one of my favorite quotes: "I did Apocalypse Now years and years ago in a huge compound, a scope I thought I would never see again I am seeing on this film."

April 13: There were several updates to the Green Books, including a theory about the creation of the Silent Watchers and an article about the extreme passion of Tolkien fans.

April 14: The last post had a link to a live chat Ian did to promote X-Men, now we have a picture to go along with it (and the added info that he was in Los Angeles at the time).

April 14: A new "live on set" feature was added to the official site, with Peter talking about how great it was to share some of the footage with the fans.

April 16: The Foxtrot comic had a news report about Frodo and Sam being recast "by a pair of hobbit-sized unknowns." I couldn't find an archive of the original "news" report but in trying to hunt it down I did find a strip where Jason is doing his own frame-by-frame analysis of the internet preview.

April 17: I have looked at one mini-microscopic part of this, but the idea fascinates me and I plan to find time to take a look very soon. Mithrigil Galtirglin from Xenite.org wrote a script for a satirical Lord of the Rings musical called "Peter's Rings." I could only find it through the wayback machine so hopefully the links continue to work. It was inspired by Tolkien purists' reactions to just the idea of these films being made, let alone the actual footage. All I have to say is, anything that has Ian singing "Oh what a concept, Oh what a film! The universe has gone to town over the shoot of some movies called 'Lord of the Rings'" to the tune of "Oh What a Circus" from Evita is going to be on my reading list.

April 17: A radio report talks about filming at Whakapapa Ski field on Mount Ruapehu for battle scenes in Mordor. Apparently people are being taken up on the ski lifts.

April 17: An employment ad with a very neat graphic from Weta is scanned; the image can be seen in the scrapbook. They were looking for senior level Creature Animators, Matte Painters, Shaders, Texture Painters, Digital Modellers, Compositors and Production TDs.

April 17: Michael Horton has been hired as a third editor for the film, joining Jamie Selkirk and John Gilbert. And there was some talk about whether the stunt coordinator would be changing. At this time Greg Powell and Bruce Brown were both listed on IMDB as stunt coordinators along with George Ruge but apparently there were rumors that Powell was leaving and might be replaced by Ruge. We know now that Ruge was the stunt coordinator but Powell receives an uncredited mention in his IMDB bio; Bruce Brown must have left the film or was never part of the project because there's no mention of the films on his page.

April 17: Another Foxtrot comic, this time with Jason and Marcus upset over missing the casting call. I tracked it down at GoComics.

April 17: I think the TORN headline says it best: utterly cool piece of audio. *g* They found an excerpt of Tolkien reading Lord of the Rings at mp3lit.com (about 6 minutes from The Two Towers). These were recorded before the books were published so must be from his original manuscript and notes. Unfortunately that page can only be seen through the internet archive and the audio files are gone. However, I found two sites with the audio still up and running and it is very very cool. First is from a 2005 post from Record Brother and you can right click and save the two mp3 files listed after a kind of odd intro. Second is from HarperAudio and there are four excerpts in three different formats.

Again, I didn't do any catch-up updates. It appears that I can't add anything more to the main post so I'm going to have to do a little shuffling and probably spam you a little adding a second page of old updates. I hope to get that done this week and then get back on track.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
I haven't been linking to merchandise posts because that's not what this comm is all about, but I did want to mention this item in case anyone has a copy and would be willing to share. On April 4, TORN posted a New Line announcement saying that everyone who purchased a copy of The Lord of the Rings from the New Line store would get a copy of a letter from Peter "about his love for the books and his plans for the film." It sounds very cool, so if you're one of the lucky folks who has a copy it'd be wonderful if you posted it.

April 4: I'll be catching up on Ian McKellen's posts during this period soon, but this one needs to be shared. At the bottom of the E-Post from April 3, Ian posted a picture he took of himself as Gandalf in shadow. It's a great shot and must have been an incredibly fun teaser.

April 5: Another "spy" report, this time with info on scenes currently being shot. Craig was working on a blue screen set with the body doubles for the hobbits, Gimli, Boromir and Legolas. (Maybe something on the flets that didn't make it into the film?) The caverns under Orthanc are being shot (the Uruk-kai "assembly line") and more night shoots at Helm's Deep. Christopher Lee has finished work and returned to England. Any additional Saruman work will be done with a double.

April 5: An audio clip of Peter talking about the first time he read the book was posted on the official Web site. TORN provided the transcript. He was 18 when he read it back in 1979 so I guess in a way this movie was 20 years in the making. *g*

April 6: The official press release from New Line about the exclusive online preview is posted. "The exclusive 'First Look at Middle Earth' will feature on-set interviews with the cast, showcase the technology used to re-create J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantastic settings and creatures, and will give fans a glimpse into the WETA workshop where much of the technical wizardry is being orchestrated. Director Peter Jackson narrates the segment as he gives the first virtual tour of the technology and talent that will bring the legendary tale to the big screen." I would have been quite hugely excited; I can imagine how everyone else felt. The preview was set for 12:01 am on Friday, April 7. Considering New Line is in California the assumption is that that's pacific time.

April 6: For those interested in cast comings and goings, The Compleat Sean Bean gave TORN info on a private screening of Essex Boys so promotion for that film is likely one of the reasons Sean had to leave New Zealand. And Liv was spotted about town by Scoop. One of the pictures doesn't load and I'm not sure why this means the worry about Arwen Warrior Princess could be put to rest. I'm guessing at one time there was more to this article but this was all the wayback machine could pull up.

April 7: So today was the day of the great first look at the film! The exclusive online preview of the movies on the official Web site hits the net and the fans must have gone wild. I suppose the only downside to trying to relive those moments is that a lot of things are just gone now. TORN posted a frame by frame fan analysis of what was shown which is great; at the top are some updates with corrected info but the majority of the eight pages is pure on the fly craziness for the movies. :-) Each picture is clickable so you can see the screencaps at full size. If any of you lucky folks who were around to eagerly anticipate these movies happened to download this preview and would like to share it, I and many others will give you great thanks.

April 7: For the tech lovers among us, a press release is posted about Weta Digital installing the "Discreet inferno system" at their facilities; Jon Labrie, at the time Weta's Chief Technical Officer, is quoted as saying it "will be the hero compositing seat in our visual effects facility." Not really sure what that means but the footnote says that Discreet has award winning inferno and flame visual effects tools which make me think of the Balrog. I know there were other instances of fire but I just loved what they did with that creature.

April 7: More on the internet preview. A fan who was a computer science student offers a suggestion that one of the screenshots (third one down on the page) is showing the use of "laser stripe scanning": building a model and then scanning it to create the animation. There's some more information on the process in the post, including a link to the Digital Michelangelo Project.

April 8: As can be expected, the buzz about the film preview is not about to die. In addition to TORN's own frame by frame post, Michael Martinez posted his own analysis at Suite 101 and the Daily Radar also posted a shot-by-shot look, rating what they saw on a 9 ring scale. (None of the pictures load through the wayback link.) And finally, The Evening Post publishes "By Gandalf, He's Done It"; you can see the scans in the scrapbook.

April 9: Very brief article from NZ One News; the full text can be found through the internet archive. They write that the preview received hundreds of thousands of hits on its release from around the world.

April 9: An excerpt from an interview with Ian Holm is posted. He notes that he ages from 111 to 170 in the film and says it's the "most extraordinary makeup" he's ever seen.

April 10: Last week TORN posted the rumor that Paul Sutera (Peter Brady in the Brady Bunch movie) had been cast as Lotho Sackville-Baggins. This week they get word that he's telling all his friends and family that he has the part. Not sure if he ended up on the cutting room floor or if Lotho ended up as just a nameless extra in the background. Whatever happened I don't think he's in the movie.

April 10: More spy reports coming in. Filming at Helm's Deep has stopped; Peter offered free beer and champagne after shooting the final take. The breeched wall and ramp are being torn down, but the spy reports that sections of the fortress will be rebuilt; filming has also almost wrapped at the Stone Street Studio version of Helm's Deep. The Uruk-hai creation sequence is in the can, and there will be three weeks of filming at Tongariro National Park to shoot the last alliance between Elves and Men for the prologue.

April 10: There was some discussion about how Orcs were created (I know we can all hear Saruman telling Lurtz how the Orcs came to be *g*). TORN looks at whether we can see if the filmmakers took the Elf and Orc connection into consideration when designing the characters with a side by side comparison of Legolas and one of the Orcs.

April 10: Ian McKellen participated in a Yahoo Chat to promote The X-Men but questions about Lord of the Rings were inevitable. TORN posted a few excerpts.

April 10: The online preview broke records. In the first 24 hours it was available, 1,671,000 people across the globe downloaded the preview, more than any other film marketing footage ever release (including The Phantom Menace). The full press release from New Line is posted at TORN.

April 10: In honor of the six month filming mark on April 11, TORN posts a summary of all the news and rumors they've collected. It's a nice recap of the info so far.

Sorry, no catch-up updates this week from the news missed last year. I hope to have more of those next week.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
March 29: TORN receives word that Paul Setura (Peter Brady in the Brady Bunch movie) has been cast in the films. He'd auditioned for Lotho Sackville-Baggins but this person didn't know what part he'd actually received. Just a rumor until they can get confirmation. I suppose with makeup this guy could have been part of the Sackville-Baggins' in the movie, but a quick look at his imdb listing says no.

March 29: One of the spies collects information that filming took place at Kaitoke "a while ago" for about eight days; this was a location for Rivendell. The crew is currently packing up the set and heading out. Currently filming is taking place in Lower Hutt behind the Helm's Deep set. In about a week there will be a lot of activity at Ruapehau with five filming locations, and in about six weeks a very long shoot is planned in Canterbury. The spy seems to believe this is a location for Rohan and Helm's Deep battles.

March 31: TORN created a sort of "daisy chain" of the actors, connecting them through either joint projects, co-stars, or films in the same series. It's kind of fun, even if one connection includes an actor not actually in the films.

March 31: TORN publishes a press release announcing that a company called Nothing Real is shipping the latest version of Shake, a compositing software for digital content.

March 31: New Line announces that footage will be publicly released on the official site on April 7, the first time fans will get a chance to see some of the film. TORN starts a countdown and posts a preview image each day.

March 31: A new article is published on E! Online, this time focusing on Rivendell and the actors who are filming there. It took a little hunting to find this, but the full piece can be found here. While the reporter was there they were filming the Fellowship leaving Rivendell to begin their journey. There are a few brief descriptions of the sets, and nice interviews with Liv, Viggo and Orlando.

April 2: A brief report from someone who went to the opening of Viggo's exhibit at the Robert Mann Gallery (see previous TORN News for the initial report of the show). Viggo was there for the opening on March 24; when asked he said he was having a good time in New Zealand.

April 2: TORN posts a scan of an article (I can't read the publication name) with some odd errors (says the films will be released six months apart, still has Stuart Townsend playing Aragorn). But nearly a third of it seems dedicated to questioning whether a filmmaker like Peter could do Lord of the Rings justice. The writer is clearly not a fan of Pete's earlier work.

April 3: A short piece from IMDB is posted about the women in the film and how talk of their expanded roles has caused consternation with some fans.

April 3: A scan of a short article about The Film Unit, the post production facility Peter purchased in 1999, was posted. There's information about the facilities and some of the projects that have used the facility.

A few updates (Sep 6 - 12) were added to the main TORN News post, including news that Orlando had been cast and people trying to figure out who he is and what he looks like.
[identity profile] foxrafer.livejournal.com
March 22: Not exactly film related, but the April 2000 issue of SFX Magazine published the results of the SFX Reader Awards Top 50 Books of All Time and "nothing could touch" Lord of the Rings, which came in number one. According to the excerpt in scrapbook: It not only romped home, but lapped the competition time and time again.

March 22: Word has it that some of the crew are getting ready to head up to Tongariro (Mt. Ruapehu). It's guessed that they're preparing to shoot scenes in Mordor. The next day it's reported that the people cast as Haradrim have been told to be available "from the end of April to mid-May" and will be working at Mt. Ruapehu. Official word that the Department of Conservation had given the green light for filming comes on March 23.

March 23: A casting call for extras has been advertised, auditions being held in three locations in the center of the North Island. If you had been in New Zealand and matched the following descriptions, you might have had a shot (*g*): Type a) Men and women 5′10″ and over, between the ages of 18 and 40, of slim build. Type b), men 5′10″ and over, with fair or grey hair, bearded is OK, between the ages of 18 and 50, with an athletic build. A few days later, March 27, there's a call for extras to play soldiers some time around April 13 - 15 at Mt. Ruapehu.

March 23: Peter and most of the cast are all in Helm's Deep for some intensive filming. They report that all other filming has been put on hold for seven days because of the work at Helm's Deep but I'm not sure if I believe that's true. It's also noted that filming will begin in Minas Tirith in November. If true I guess that gives them about six months to change the quarry from a Rohirrim stronghold into a Gondorian city.

March 23: Exciting news: Éomer has been cast! While they don't have a name, one of the spies says it's "a relative unknown" and is "likely not an American."

March 24: A set of spy pics of various current, past and future sets and locations. Included are pictures of the "Helm's Deep Base Jamboree" where the cast and crew eat and hang out, shots of the place where the Bree exterior sets used to be built, pictures of the woods where the Hobbits encounter the Black Rider, three shots of Stonestreet Studios and a picture of Orthanc being built. The first three pictures in the complete set are from last week's news; the rest are all from this post.

March 26: More for those who like little tidbits about the cast's off-camera movements: Liv attended a cricket match today (Australia v. New Zealand). The next day TORN posted a picture; Bernard was also there.

March 26: The French magazine Starfix has a short article about filming, including some great pictures of the Hobbiton, Helm's Deep and Rivendell sets; the scan is here.

March 27: Apparently the internet was abuzz with rumors that David had been cast as Faramir. TORN's contacts hadn't confirmed the information, but I imagine it's only a matter of time.

March 27: Viggo had a solo photography exhibition, Errant Vine, at the Robert Mann Gallery in New York from March 24 - May 13, 2000. The original exhibit info at the site is gone now; some text from the page is on the TORN post, including this excerpt: "Mortensen’s mixed media has the true nature of outsider art but also take the purposive form of work by an artist who reinterprets the hours of his existence." In 2001 there was an article in Art Business News about "celebrity art" where Mann talks about Viggo's need to create (thanks to Viggo-Works for the text) and if you want to see the list of exhibits from that year at the Mann Gallery, check out the archive.

I didn't see this listed in the TORN archives (I might have missed it), but there was an article called "Hobbits in Cyberspace" published in the Wall Street Journal on March 21. Someone on the TORN forums posted the full text (the scan in scrapbook is unreadable). Quick excerpt: "But stemming this horde of ardent movie fans on the Internet is kind of like trying to stop a wildebeest migration, particularly on a project as popular and ambitious as 'The Lord of the Rings.' ... But well before production began in October, rumors were flying on the Internet about casting, budget, and script. There isn't any way to beat this stampede; the question now is how Hollywood can turn it to its advantage."

A few updates (Aug 30 - Sep 5) were added to the main TORN News post, including a whole bunch of casting news and rumor smashing.


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