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Subject:A Journey With Frodo~Ch.15~Guest of Honour
Time:09:45 pm
Current Mood:relievedrelieved
I can now bring you the next chapter of 'A Journey With Frodo'. We have now reached the shooting of scenes from ROTK - Elijah and PJ's favourite of the Trilogy. I post this with the greatest of relief - about ten minutes ago I thought I'd lost the whole thing - I pressed something and it was gone and the automatic 'save LJ entry' didn't appear to be working. I then discovered I'd actually posted it - unfinished!! So before I do anything else silly here is Chapter 15 ~ 'Guest of Honour'.






Frodo and Sam’s first scene in ROTK is, of course, in the culvert on their way to the Crossroads. While the actual journey to the Crossroads was shot on the North Island, the culvert scene was shot in Okahune on the South Island in a burnt-out area which, according to Dan Hennah, looked like a World War One battlefield - “You certainly got the feeling it was the destruction of Mordor, the destruction of life”. It was also shot on what Elijah described as “a day that was frighteningly cold”!

"There was this aura about ROTK that was quite special - I mean obviously we were skipping around quite a lot but whenever it came to doing something for film three there was this kind of excitement." (Elijah, DVD)









"The Morgul Crossroads was shot in a forest near Wellington - it was just a scrubby bit of farmland - we picked it because it had these interesting shapes of these trees - sort of splintered and split.”(PJ, dvd)




This shot is not in the film:


On this day there was a very special guest joining the cast for lunch - Sir Edmund Hillary (now sadly deceased). PJ kindly gave Elijah, Sean and Andy a copy each of Sir Ed’s book and a 5 dollar bill bearing his image for him to sign.



"To our surprise Sir Edmund Hillary visited that day. It was a true honour for everybody I think to be in his presence - I mean he's on the NZ 5 dollar bill!" (Elijah, DVD)







Sir Ed has requested to see a certain scene


“Oh my God - I haven’t seen this!!” (Elijah, dvd)


“Well, you’ll have to pay - it’ll be out in two years time!!” (PJ, DVD)


He rushes to the monitor for a closer look!!




*****


The Stair to Cirith Ungol:

The scene on the ledge of The Stair where Frodo sends Sam home was shot in two parts - one year apart!! Sean’s scenes were shot in November 1999 and Elijah’s one year later in November 2000. How this state of affairs came about was covered in Chapter Five and for anyone wanting to refer to this here is the link http://not-alone.livejournal.com/59571.html#cutid1 - you’ll need to scroll down a bit.

"What happened is that we didn't end up going back to that squash court to finish that scene until Dec 2000" (PJ, DVD)


"So essentially the people of Queenstown were without squash for over a year. It was just one of the many sacrifices of making these films. (Elijah, DVD)







Even though they were indoors, the stairs were quite slippy and difficult to negotiate.
Elijah was in front of me and the pointy end of his scabbard poked me in the face all the time - I was sure I was going to lose an eye on that thing. There was lots of slipping and banging your head."
(Sean, DVD)


"A year later, we were back in the squash court, and this time the heat was on Elijah. He had to get his head back into a scene that had been half-filmed so long ago. He knew that he had to deliver a performance that matched the emotion of Sean's takes, and that he did to perfection. What is amazing when you look at the finished scene in ROTK, is to think that every tie we cut to and fro between Frodo and Sam we are actually jumping back and forth across a year-long gap." (PJ, "Peter Jackson:A Film-maker's Journey" by Brian Sibley)




"The original version of that scene had Frodo pretty aggressive, borderline psychotic saying, you know, 'Get out of here - you can't help me', in a really kind of venomous tone." (Mark Ordesky, DVD)


"What we were playing really was that Frodo was a junkie by this stage, that he was addicted to The Ring." (Phillipa Boyens, DVD)


"And it was changed later as we had more time to think about it. We realised that this was a little bit too intense for Frodo. They had me doing additional dialogue recording to sort of tone it down to keep the intensity but not make it so evil, so I asked them if they had any other takes - did we ever do any versions that weren't nearly as intense - and I had, there were a couple in there that were a little bit calmer, certainly for the go home moment - it was more quiet and subdued." (Elijah, DVD)


"Peter Jackson explains how, at first, he had to spur on Wood to inhabit the darker side of Frodo. 'He was having to summon up feelings of genuine hatred that he didn't enjoy doing,' says Jackson. 'Those were the times when I had to say to Elijah, 'I'm not quite believing it - let's do it again.' And when they did it again, he was there."

I propose to Wood that when darkness doesn't appear easily in someone, especially someone as upbeat and positive as he, one wonders whether there's no darkness there, or that it's buried very deep. And is even darker.

"Because it doesn't get air," he nods, considering the notion. "When something doesn't get air, it smells worse."
(Rolling Stone)



"What was it like to be part of Frodo's quest as he nears Mount Doom?"

"It was an amazing thing as an actor to watch the relationship of Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood. How could Elijah, who is so sweet and has such goodness in him, communicate the idea of trying not to give in to pain and suffering and darkness and hatred and villainy and treachery? You can see it on his face, you can feel it. The audience is in for a real treat--and for a bit of pain."
(Sean,lordoftherings.net)

*****


The Minas Tirith Press Conference



On 10 November 2000 PJ held his first press con in a large tent on the Minas Tirith set.





Glimpse of another world
by Diana McCurdy
The Press


Scoring a visitor's pass to the Lord of the Rings film set in Dry Creek Quarry, Wellington, is like winning a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

The set crouches in the hills just above Avalon. Gothic-looking towers and stone walls jut out above the treeline. From the roadside, it appears to be a gateway into another world.

A slight breeze curls over the towers and plays on the faces of curious onlookers. It seems to whisper an invitation, hinting at mystical encounters and unworldly experiences. This is a place where orcs might lurk. Or elves might dance.

There's been so much speculation, so much secrecy, and so much controversy about Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic tale, that the set has been imbued with almost magical qualities.

Even the external scaffolding, and the dozens of cars parked below the set, cannot detract from its air of mystery.

Once inside the gates, the atmosphere is surreal.

Famous and familiar faces wander casually around a medieval-looking courtyard. Elijah Wood (Deep Impact) stands alongside Sir Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters and much more), Viggo Mortensen (A Perfect Murder, Psycho), and John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones).
These are the people that hold Tolkien's epic tale in their hands. Arguably, they know his characters better than anyone else. For the last year, they have been living and breathing Tolkien's Middle Earth as no others have done before them.

For Elijah Wood, the length of time needed to film a movie trilogy has been a Godsend, allowing him to reach an intimate understanding of his character Frodo Baggins. "That's taken some time. It's taken a year, I think, for all of us. That's the great thing about being able to make the film like this ... we've all been able to live in our characters for such a long time. So I've been able to see my character through all his changes and all the growth." The experience has been a watershed in his career, he says.




From The Otago Daily Times:

"Secrecy has surrounded the filming of Lord of the Rings, but last weekend director Peter Jackson eased security to allow journalists a look around one of his Middle-earth sets near Wellington.

If the obvious bond between the actors of Lord of the Rings is anything to go by, we're in for something special when The Fellowship of the Ring is released Christmas 2001.
The way the dozen actors so easily played off each other and gave director Peter Jackson a hard time was more typical of a family get-together at Christmas than a bunch of diverse egos that are thrown into a melting pot to see who can survive. Jackson, the chef here, has got his $650 million recipe right: to a base of stunning New Zealand landscapes and the world's best-known fantasy novels, add an energetic young cast with a pinch of experience, measure out a handy quantity of Kiwi ingenuity from his special effects workshop and simmer slowly for 14 months. Think about it. On what other job would an actor or actress spend more than a year doing the same project, with the same people, halfway around the world? The impression I got at a press conference earlier this month, at the Dry Creek Quarry (the set of Minas Tirith) about 25km north of Wellington, was that the actors thought they were a part of "something". (cont'd ...)



How about this from the movie's Frodo Baggins, Elijah Wood: "What drove me to be here was to work with Pete - I was a fan of his work - and to be a part of something so beautiful and so epic, you know. To recreate Tolkien's vision on film and to spend a year doing it with everyone involved and sharing their love of the project and that was what enticed me to do it." On a lighter note, Wood said one of the hazards of working with such a large cast is that eventually it will get back to you that they have seen one of your movies on TV. Dominic Monaghan, who plays Merry, said how incredible it was that he and his fellow actors were so like the film's characters. "Elijah is Frodo and no-one else could play Frodo. And Sean [Astin] has so many Sam qualities. When you think about all the fellowship, everybody has these things which are innately their character." (cont'd...)



Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf, said it felt like they were physically in the places from the books. When looking at the benefits of the movie, English actor John Rhys-Davies said it would be the biggest movie of all time - "These three films are going to be bigger than Star Wars." However, the most telling of all comments was probably the director's admission that it was a privilege for him, and every other person involved in his project, to have been involved. Jackson said he was the lucky guy, because his vision of the fantasy would appear on screen. "It dawns on me from time to time that here I am in Bag End, or here I am in Helms Deep, and there's Aragon there and there's Gandalf and here's Frodo. There's moments when you do feel that you're physically transported into the book. "Everybody will be able to share the movie when it comes out on the screen but it's a real privilege for the few of us that were sort of physically there standing in the same room as these characters - being able to walk through doorways and look around corners that people in the movie won't see." (cont'd...)




For the less sentimental, here are the best quips from the press conference: English actor Sir Ian McKellen said his trip to New Zealand was a wonderful opportunity to see Australia; Sean Astin said he knew as soon as he saw Elijah Wood in potato chip commercials he wanted to work with him; and bad guy Andy Serkis, who is the human form of Gollum/Smeagol before they get "morphed" by computer graphics, said it was great to play a character so deeply flawed, psychologically obsessed and paranoid "like everyone here". But it was English actor John Rhys-Davies, who plays the dwarf Gimli, who stole the show. He started the press conference by claiming he was Peter Jackson and went on to embarrass the director by claiming the movie trilogy would be bigger than Star Wars. After Jackson said he had a small project set up after he finished with Lord of the Rings - a New Zealand movie being shot in Wellington - Davies cut in and said: "Yeah, the Holy Bible"."
(David Williams ~ The Otago Daily Times)









*****



"How could Elijah, who is so sweet and has such goodness in him, communicate the idea of trying not to give in to pain and suffering and darkness and hatred and villainy and treachery? You can see it on his face, you can feel it."




TO BE CONTINUED

Link to all chapters:
http://not-alone.livejournal.com/tag/a+journey+with+frodo
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trianne
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 09:16 pm (UTC)
Sweetie - you *are* going to cut this, yes? They're lovely images, of course, but this is a very long entry ;)
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:26 pm (UTC)
OMG - that was quick!! I'd actually pressed the post button by mistake before I'd finished the entry - much to my relief 'cos I thought I'd lost the whole thing:D
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lijahlover
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 09:44 pm (UTC)
Wonderful pics and entry hun *hugs*
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:28 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - I think you actually caught it when I'd posted it too soon by mistake but there's not all that much different - just a few finishing touches:)
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belleferret
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:02 pm (UTC)
I so love all your posts. I was oblivious to most of the pre-publicity for LOTR, and missed all the excitement and anticipation.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:32 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - I wasn't really aware of the pre-publicity at the time either - I only joined the 'journey' after I'd seen FOTR for the first time in Jan 2002.

Btw, you caught this post when I'd accidentally pressed the post button too soon!! It just needed a few finishing touches:)
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ismenin
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:32 pm (UTC)
Wonderful, my love! Thank you so much for taking all that time and effort to post this for us. I really, really appreciate it. Snogs you.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much Issy - I'm so glad you enjoyed it:) *hugs*
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shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 10:40 pm (UTC)
every tie we cut to and fro between Frodo and Sam we are actually jumping back and forth across a year-long gap

How cool is that? Thank you for another beautiful segment.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 03:41 pm (UTC)
You're welcome:) It's amazing how well that scene turned out considering the shots were a year apart!!
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mechtild
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 11:12 pm (UTC)
This was FANTASTIC, Not Alone. I've seen the extras, seen caps, but this presentation is SO GREAT!!!!

I loved your side-by-sides of the shooting of the "Go home, Sam" scene. Brilliant!

You photos and commentary are just a GIFT to us, Not Alone. Thanks so much!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 03:44 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for your kind comments, Mechtild:)
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telstar_gold
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 11:16 pm (UTC)
Fascinating as always, & such wonderful pics! Thanks for all your hard work.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:02 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - glad you enjoyed it:)
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primula_baggins
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-18 11:44 pm (UTC)
I've seen a few of the photos from the first press conference before, but I never knew what they were. Thanks for the explanation, now I know. He looks so young in these photos now!

Thanks again. I'm so glad you didn't lose your post!

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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:05 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, Prim.

He looks so young in these photos now!

I've always thought how very young he looked at that press con - I don't know if it's the hairstyle (which I really like) or just the fact that he looks so slightly built next to the others:)
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(Deleted comment)

not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:06 pm (UTC)
Many thanks, Mews. I'm so glad you're enjoying it:)
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graymouse
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 12:54 am (UTC)
In case I forget again...thank-you. This is so lovely.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:07 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - glad you enjoyed it:)
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verangel
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 01:55 am (UTC)
Oh heaven. I needed this tonight. It is so freakin wonderful to go back and see these moments, the pictures. I love the differences you see in their beings even in costume, when off camera. Especially in Elijah. His personality is so obviously different in so many ways. You can see the Elijah vs Frodo. Whereas with Sean, you can't so obviously see the differences. OH...the moments from 1999 to 2000 in filming. Incredible. But this moment is amazing.
"I propose to Wood that when darkness doesn't appear easily in someone, especially someone as upbeat and positive as he, one wonders whether there's no darkness there, or that it's buried very deep. And is even darker.

"Because it doesn't get air," he nods, considering the notion. "When something doesn't get air, it smells worse." (Rolling Stone

He really said that??? It is so profound from one so young.

I still have more to read. I just had to stop here after this comment.
hugs you close...thank you xoxoxo v
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:12 pm (UTC)
He really said that??? It is so profound from one so young.

Yes, he did - he would have been 21 at the time of The Rolling Stone interview. He never ceases to amaze me - Miranda Otto really hit the nail on the head when she said "He has the innocence of a child but the wisdom of a 90-year old man"!

Many thanks for your kind comments:)


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_celebrian
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 02:47 am (UTC)
Fabulous as always. I haven't read much online tonight because I was away for the weekend, but I made sure to read this. Thanks for all your hard work on these. :-)
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:13 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - glad you enjoyed it:)
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frolijah_fan_54
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 03:43 am (UTC)
SQUEEEEEEE - a new chapter!! You always manage to include at least one pic I haven't seen and this is no exception - there were several from the press conference I hadn't seen before.

Even though I recognize pics and bits and pieces in here, to have it all together like this in such incredible detail is just amazing.

Because it doesn't get air," he nods, considering the notion. "When something doesn't get air, it smells worse

It almost sounds like Mikey from the Ice Storm!!

Thanks so much for all the work you put into this - I have all the chapters printed in a binder and it's such fun to add each new chapter and go back to read them all again and again. *hugs*
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 08:27 pm (UTC)
I just saw your reply to my 'correction' entry and I was thinking, "That's odd - I don't remember replying to Frolijah's commment and I know she left one". Sure enough when I looked back I had in fact missed you out - I do apologise!

Even though I recognize pics and bits and pieces in here, to have it all together like this in such incredible detail is just amazing.

One of the many reasons I decided to do this was to get everything Elijah/Frodo related together into one place - I had so much LOTR stuff in the way of mags, and video clips as well as all the various dvds, which was wonderful, but I wanted to extract all the Elijah bits and have them together instead of having to search around for him!!

It almost sounds like Mikey from the Ice Storm!!

Yes, it does! There was another interview, I think it was Premiere, where he used the Mikey quote about molecules!!

Sorry you had to reprint the title page again - I've done so many silly things with this post I think I'm going round the bend:)

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budgielover
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:29 am (UTC)
panic attack!

My dear, have I missed Chapter 15? I couldn't bear to miss one, but can't find it!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 04:15 pm (UTC)
Don't panic - you haven't missed a chapter - it's just that I'm going round the bend and I gave this chapter the wrong number!! I wouldn't have known if it wasn't for your comment, so thanks:) I've now amended the entry.
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(Anonymous)
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 05:32 am (UTC)
wait, you cut something? dont cut anything! all your entries are great.

ah yes the Minas Tirith presscon, and the presaging-- albeit infamous-- Star Wars comment (you have no idea how that little phrase caused a ruckus in the *other* fandom ;)). i remembered after reading the article for the first time i had a sense of "peace". sure there were still a lot to be anxious about, but it was like i could see the light at the end of the tunnel, come what may, filming is almost over, and in about a year we all will finally see the finished product, which could send us fans to the high heavens-- or the depths of hell :p

going through these scenes, re-reading articles, reliving memories, its all kinda bittersweet. there is a *lot* of good, but at the same time it re-opens old wounds about Movie Frodo that i thought have healed over time. Elijah will always bear the image of Frodo to me, and i always remind myself that the book is separate from the film, but with so much of the film getting things right its upsetting to see what it got wrong-- particularly on the main protagonist of the tale (of all things to get wrong!). its just so overwhelmingly disappointing at how much potential was wasted from both the actor and the character.

sorry about the drama, i'll get off my soapbox now :O


anyway, keep up the good work NotAlone! yours is one of the best blog entries on Frodo and LOTR anywhere on the net :)

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(Anonymous)
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-05-19 05:36 am (UTC)
sorry i fogot to sign my post above. its me, Steelsheen

~ Steelsheen
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