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[icon] ELIJAH WOOD'S JOURNEY WITH FRODO - CHAPTER THREE - THE JOURNEY BEGINS - NotAlone
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Subject:ELIJAH WOOD'S JOURNEY WITH FRODO - CHAPTER THREE - THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Time:01:42 pm
Current Mood:productive
Chapter 3 is finally up folks - hope you enjoy it. I have included a couple of quotes from PJ's just-released biog but will put a spoiler warning so you can skip if you wish.

Just in case anyone wonders why I haven't included any screencaps from the actual films or quotes from the dvd commentaries so far, I will be incorporating those into the 'book' at a later stage, probably after the release of FOTR. I wanted to be able to have these in the correct sequence and because filming wasn't in sequence it wouldn't have worked out to do that yet - if that makes any sense;)

Once again I must apologise for the fuzziness of some of the screencaps - this is usually because the original source is poor quality but I want to include them because they're so evocative of that day:)




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Mary K. Donovan Steve Elzer
New Line Cinema/NY New Line Cinema/LA
(212) 649-4945 (310) 967-6654

“THE LORD OF THE RINGS” TO BEGIN PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN NEW ZEALAND

Peter Jackson Directs International Cast In Production of Unprecedented Scope

(Los Angeles, October 7, 1999) – The Lord of the Rings film trilogy begins principal photography in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 11, 1999, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Robert Shaye, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New Line Cinema; Michael Lynne, President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Cinema; Michael De Luca, President and Chief Operating Officer of New Line Productions; Mark Ordesky, President of Fine Line Features; and Jackson, who is also a writer and producer of the production. (cont'd) ...



Unprecedented in scope, the production breaks new ground in movie-making by filming the three titles in this saga -- The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King – not consecutively but concurrently, as though they were all one giant motion picture production
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved series of fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings franchise stars (in alphabetical order) Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Brad Dourif, Sir Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Sir Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, John Rhys-Davies, Stuart Townsend, Liv Tyler and Elijah Wood, whose casting was previously announced. (theonering.net)

And so on 11 October 1999 the four ‘hobbits’ found themselves in Mount Victoria Park, Wellington. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, as the saying goes...





“On October the 11th, NZ time, principal photography began as it has continued: Unpredictably! Nobody expected that the film crew and the four main hobbits would quietly invade a corner of one of the capital city’s parks for a week. Suddenly an area of the hilly pineforest on Mt. Victoria right near central Wellington was fenced off by security guards, and the hobbits’ flight from the Shire began. At the same time, the four Hobbit actors began the long process of becoming the inseparable friends that they are today. If this dynamic comes across in the film, that will be something that Tolkien would have applauded." (theonering.net)



“Hobbits loose in woods above Capital ~ By Tom Cardy
Part of Mt Victoria's Town Belt became a dense wood and a walking track for hobbits as filming began on The Lord Of The Rings today.
Producer Tim Sanders said the bush around Mt Victoria was ideal for a scene for the $360 million epic, which will be filmed at various locations around the country. Extra trees were taken in to make Mt Victoria's bush denser.
"We're pretty excited. It's been a long time in preparation - 2 1/2 years," he said. Depending on the weather, filming on Mt Victoria would continue for the next few days.
Film publicist Claire Raskind said about 140 crew were involved today, filming a scene with hobbits walking through the woods, including one of the film's stars, Elijah Wood, who plays the hobbit Frodo.
"We have some hobbits working today and that's pretty much it," she said. (cont’d) …





“The Post was not allowed on the set, but was allowed to look down from Alexandra Rd at the top of Mt Victoria where several equipment trucks and a wind machine were parked.
Film crew with several large lights could be seen hidden in the bush down a steep bank, but no sign of anyone with big hairy feet.
The only hint as to what audiences may see on film was a black horse wearing a medieval-style saddle and armour in the Mt Victoria Bowling Club carpark, with another two horses. Cast, crew and equipment were ferried up into the steep hill tracks using four and six-wheel motor cycles.” (Wellington Evening Post)

SPOILER ALERT!!! Quote from PJ's new biography after this pic!!





SPOILER

“ ‘The first day of filming’, recalls Elijah Wood, ‘we were all nervous, and I know Peter was nervous too. There was also a tangible sense of excitement amongst the actors, the crew – everyone. This was the beginning. The beginning of a journey that seemed like it was going to go on for ever. The end was so far away that it didn’t exist. The idea of beginning this journey with the four hobbits was fun for us because we’d already become quite close – but it also seemed really appropriate. It’s in the hobbit’s nature to be excited and full of life. So to start with that atmosphere was really cool.’ “ (Peter Jackson : A Film-Maker’s Journey by Brian Sibley)





END OF SPOILER






The first scene shot was the hobbits falling…





Hmmm – should I include the story of Elijah’s little mishap? Why yes, I think I should:D



During the fall – and I will quote Dom here – “Elijah let out a little tommy squeaker”.



Hysterical laughter ensues. “It was pressure gas” states Elijah.



He tries to explain that if Dom hadn’t landed on him it wouldn’t have occurred.



But it’s no good – Elijah resigns himself to merciless teasing!!











“I can’t wait to see if it shows up on the sound” Elijah says at one point.



"You gotta love your castmates!!"


The screencaps from this scene are a mixture of my own and mechtild's (the better ones!!) from her LJ post here http://mechtild.livejournal.com/51905.html

Next scene up was “Get off the Road”. Elijah receives some advice from dialect coach Andrew Jack



and from PJ.







This just begs for a caption!!







“You have big spiders?”
PJ has just asked Dom if he would mind having a big spider crawling over his shoulder and Elijah seems quite excited at the prospect of a huge spider as a cast-mate. Don’t think Frodo would share his enthusiasm!! And as a severe arachnophobe neither would I. I was fascinated to note that there was even an insect wrangler on this film!!















A scene from filming on “The Wooded Road” even made it onto this NZ ad!!




On the third day of shooting there was a great shock for the cast. Stuart Townsend, who had been cast to play Aragorn, was ‘let go’. It was decided that he was too young for the part. This was someone who had shared the same six week training period with the others and formed the same close bond with them – and now he was gone.

“A couple of us were crying” Elijah Wood recalls. “If you can imagine, you spend two months with someone that you assume you’ll be spending the next year and a half with. We had formed a tight bond with this guy. Whether it was right or wrong, it was traumatizing.” ~ Premiere




I know little about Stuart Townsend apart from his LOTR connection, but I can’t help but feel terribly sorry for him because of what he missed out on. Sometimes when I’m watching dvd footage of the pre-film training, it occurs to me that Stuart would have also been taking part in this, but that’s something we’ll never see. Back in LA after principal filming was over, Elijah would bump into ST at a Radiohead concert.:

“Wood: ‘Some people are mocking, when I tell them how sworn a community the team had been. But the other day, at a Radiohead concert, I met the actor Stuart Townsend who had been replaced by Viggo. It had been a hard decision for him, but that's the business. However, Stuart said that he's never felt bitter because he's missed three world hits. But he did miss the family feeling he had already developed after months of training together. I felt that he will never experience anything like this again.’ (Source unknown)

SPOILER ALERT!! Quote from PJ book below!!








“For the other members of the cast, as Fran recalls, the news came as a terrible shock. ‘The hobbits and Orlando were devastated: it was like “who’s next?” Allaying the immediate concerns of the core cast members was not easy: ‘It was’ says Fran ‘impossible really. They all liked Stuart and felt it as a painful thing. They were very professional but we felt that we had to prove ourselves to them, prove that we weren’t bloody-minded and fickle. It was only time that healed it’.” (Peter Jackson : A Film-Maker’s Journey by Brian Sibley)








END OF SPOILER

Viggo Mortensen was brought in as a replacement: "Elijah had an early dinner with Mortensen during which he found him hard to talk with. But when he started working, there was no question. This was Aragorn, this was the man who was meant to play this role. 'We had an immense amount of respect for him being able to jump in so quickly.' (Premiere)

"I bow down to Viggo. He came in and saved the day. A lot of things would happen on this film where a certain amount of trouble would arise, and then something would come along where it would not only solve it, but would seem like fate, like it was meant to be. And Viggo was one of those cases. …Someone just mentioned his name, they called him, he came and it was perfect. He was meant to play Aragorn, he is Aragorn.” (Elijah ~Premiere)



TO BE CONTINUED

Link to all chapters http://not-alone.livejournal.com/tag/a+journey+with+frodo
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shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 02:56 pm (UTC)
At the same time, the four Hobbit actors began the long process of becoming the inseparable friends that they are today. If this dynamic comes across in the film, that will be something that Tolkien would have applauded.

I love that. And most of these pictures are new to me, including the one of Stuart Townsend. Thank you so much for continuing this 'Journey' for us! I love how you weave the quotes, pictures, and your own thoughts into this.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 03:02 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for your kind comments - I'm so glad you're enjoying it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


summershobbit
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 03:38 pm (UTC)
This is just lovely, a wonderful recap. Beautiful really, I can't wait for you to continue with this. Love the captions too!!!
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 09:06 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - I'm so glad you enjoyed it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


gentlehobbit
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 04:27 pm (UTC)
Shirebound pointed the way to this story of "The Journey with Frodo". I really enjoyed it and have been learning new things. As Shirebound said, I love "how you weave the quotes, picutres and your own thoughts" together into this "journal". Thank you!
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:13 pm (UTC)
That was nice of Shirebound to mention my little 'project' and I'm so glad you enjoyed it - I certainly enjoy working on it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


notabluemaia
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 05:00 pm (UTC)
This is fascinating - I so enjoy reading your comments and excerpts, and you have pics I've never seen - thank you, thank you - it brings back the thrill of waiting eagerly for every little tidbit about the films.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:19 pm (UTC)
"it brings back the thrill of waiting eagerly for every little tidbit about the films."

I know what you mean - I can get completely lost when I'm working on this and really feel that I'm back in that exciting time. Thanks for the kind comments:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Subject:A Journey with Frodo - Chapter 3
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 05:15 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on incorporating some extracts from my new biography of Peter Jackson and, at the same time, leaving readers one or two surprises! :-)

Brian Sibley (www.briansibley.com)
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Subject:Re: A Journey with Frodo - Chapter 3
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:11 pm (UTC)
Hi Brian ~ thanks for dropping by:) I received your book on Monday and am looking forward to being able to read it properly – so far I’ve only had time to skim, but I can see it’s going to be a really good read!!

While I have this opportunity, I really must ask you something. Have you ever considered writing a book of this type on Elijah? His story is so amazing – this boy of 18 landing the role of a lifetime and spending all that time in NZ. I’ve considered asking him if he’d ever thought of writing a book about his LOTR experiences when I’ve met him at various cons, but time is so limited at these things and I wasn’t able to get round to it. But somehow, being the modest soul he is, I can’t really envisage him writing a book about himself. We’ve had Sean & Andy’s books, and they were great, but Elijah’s Frodo was the heart and soul of these movies – this book really needs to be written!!

Thanks for the link to your website – I will enjoy paying a visit:)
(Reply) (Expand) (Parent) (Thread)


ink_gypsy
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 05:31 pm (UTC)
I'm still surprised by PJ's miscasting of Townsend, who I like very much, btw, but who was obviously too young for the part. Since PJ was spot on with all his other casting, it seems strange he would have made that kind of mistake.

On the extras on the DVD of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which ironicly stars Stuart Townsend), Sean Connery says he was offered the role of Gandalf. Can you see him playing the part?
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, that mistake of PJ's was a strange business altogether. Thankfully we ended up with a perfect Aragorn, but it must have been terrible for ST.

I can't really imagine Sean Connery as Gandalf - but perhaps that's because Ian was so perfect it's impossible to think of anyone else in the part - and the same goes for the rest of the cast, of course - they all seemed born to play these roles:)
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aprilkat
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 06:32 pm (UTC)
Fantastic way to put together the story!
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


nuke33
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 09:08 pm (UTC)
This is such a special treat for all of us who are missing the days when LOTR was everywhere. A great way to look back. Thank you so much for this.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the kind comments - so glad you're enjoying it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Anonymous)
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 09:48 pm (UTC)
What an fascinating instalment, Pauline. So very nostalgic, but at the same time you’ve managed to include material that I, at least, have not come across before. I’ve often wondered about the Stuart Townsend situation and how his leaving affected morale.

“For the other members of the cast, as Fran recalls, the news came as a terrible shock. ‘The hobbits and Orlando were devastated: it was like “who’s next?” Allaying the immediate concerns of the core cast members was not easy: ‘It was’ says Fran ‘impossible really. They all liked Stuart and felt it as a painful thing. They were very professional but we felt that we had to prove ourselves to them, prove that we weren’t bloody-minded and fickle. It was only time that healed it’.” (Peter Jackson : A Film-Maker’s Journey by Brian Sibley)

Had ST actually filmed any Aragorn scenes, I wonder? Anyway, it seems his departure had quite an impact on the other cast members.

Poor Elijah, with his 'little mishap' and the subsequent teasing! But as usual, he takes it all in good humour.

Once again, lovely work!

Love, Blossom.

(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:48 pm (UTC)
Hi Blossom ~ glad you're still enjoying my little 'project' :)

Had ST actually filmed any Aragorn scenes, I wonder?

No, he hadn't - as stated in Brian Sibley's book, they knew they had to make a decision about ST before any Aragorn scenes were actually filmed - although they did do a dress rehearsal of the "Are You Frightened?" scene.

Poor Elijah - he really did come in for some ribbing over that little mishap, didn't he? :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


_celebrian
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-08 10:56 pm (UTC)
Once again, fantastic job on this. It is wonderful to be able to read the quotes and see the pictures and go back to what we've heard about that time. I know this takes a LOT of time and effort on your part, but I want you to know that it is very much appreciated. Some of the quotes are new to me too, so I love that. :-D
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words - it's true that this does take a lot of time, but I thoroughly enjoy every moment of it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 01:04 am (UTC)
Your response to Brian Sibley's comment beautifully voices what we all wish we could have said. Thank you.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:17 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it be wonderful - "Reminiscences of the Ringbearer" perhaps? I do wish Elijah had, or would, write a book. Andy & Sean were very quick off the mark with theirs, not that I blame them for that - but it only seems right that Elijah's story should be out there too. I hope Brian will consider this but I'm still determined to broach the subject with Elijah when the chance arises. I thought another good title would be "Little Shadow" - Elijah once said that Frodo will always be his little shadow:)
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sams_star
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 02:33 am (UTC)
Each installment gets better and better--thank you so much!
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much - glad you're still enjoying it:)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


budgielover
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 03:05 am (UTC)
I had missed seeing the first two chapters and just saw this one ... all I can say is "Wow! There are photos I've never seen before. And quotes! I am fascinated by the Making of Our Movies, and this is such a boost. Thank you so much for going to all this work, and please know it is appreciated.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your kind comments - I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Btw, if you do want to read the first two, I have tagged the entries - in case you don't know how this works, look for Entry Tags at the top of the page and click on 'a journey with frodo' - this will bring up the previous two chapters. Sorry if you already knew that:D
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layne67
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 03:55 am (UTC)
Here by way of shirebound's rec.

Thank you for writing this. Especially for that pic of Townsend as Aragorn. They were right. He looked too young too play Aragorn but you can't help wondering what's the "real" reason behind his dismissal. He was there for 6 weeks after all and suddenly he was too young?

Not that I want him as Aragorn of course because Viggo is Aragorn but yes, I wonder why ...
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:30 pm (UTC)
You're welcome:) Yes, they did rather seem to leave it to the very last minute before deciding ST was wrong. They were very lucky it worked out so well in the end - but, as Elijah said, it did seem that some things on this film were just meant to be. A bit tough on Stuart, though!!
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annwyn55
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 05:52 am (UTC)
Man, this takes me back to fantastic times. *sigh* I will definitely buy the book - thank you for this well-thought-out jaunt down memory lane!
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2006-11-09 09:43 pm (UTC)
"Man, this takes me back to fantastic times."

Doing my 'research' for this little project is a lovely way of reliving the whole journey:)
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[icon] ELIJAH WOOD'S JOURNEY WITH FRODO - CHAPTER THREE - THE JOURNEY BEGINS - NotAlone
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