DragonCon 2000: Final Report
If you missed our Friday report, check it out here.
Calisuri and Corvar spent another long day at DragonCon greeting fans, networking, rubbing our sore feet, and spreading the word about the Lord of the Rings movies. Scott Murdock stopped back by and was again a tremendous help. Scott had spent the night making us some excellent signs instead of Calisuri’s poorly hand written ones. Thanks again to Scott and the many other people who have helped us out over the last few days.
Calisuri had the opportunity to attend the Brad Dourif and Karl Urban panel, where he found these Lord of the Rings cast members slightly reluctant to share any inside information on the films. While it was expected that we would not find out much new, what was not expected was the chemistry that Karl and Brad had with the crowd that gathered to ask them questions. Here are a few things that we did learn:
- Brad Dourif has filmed scenes with Christopher Lee already and is not expected back to the set until early next year. He mentioned that working with Christopher Lee was a wonderful experience. Apparently, Christopher Lee is quite the Tolkien scholar and was not afraid to speak up about errors. At times, Lee would correct even the production’s ‘tolkien experts.’
- Some battle scenes have already been filmed with thousands of extras. Karl Urban mentioned he participated in a very large battle with the help of the New Zealand Army. While he was not specific, he did mention that each race had a different fighting style. As Ringer Spy Galadriel has suggested, he describes the elf battle tactics as “smooth” and “fluid” compared to the rough nature of orc combat.
- Karl described his helmet as having “Eomer, Third Marshal of the Mark” written in Rohan around the forehead area and very elaborate decorations elsewhere.
- Mr. Dourif did reveal that he was not the first choice for Grima (I found this VERY interesting, considering he is perfect for the part). He did say that the first choice was an english actor and would not be more specific.
- Brad described how the production has linguists on hand at all times to insure that accents and languages are being spoken correctly. He even took a two-week course on his specific accent for the role of Grima.
(PS – We aren’t allowed to provide the pictures from this session per DragonCon request. No biggy, we have some other pictures from fans a little later on)
One of the highlights of the day was running into Jeff from TheForce.net. We talked quite a bit about Episode II and some of the secrets behind the production. TF.net is the site that started this whole online movie/rumor extravaganza. Sure they might not have been the first site, but they hooked Calisuri into checking their site out multiple times a day. Cal’s original idea for TheOneRing.net was to be to LOTR what TF.net was to Star Wars. We can only hope we have achieved such excellence. As you can tell, we were pretty psyched to finally met Jeff and even more psyched when he gave us t-shirts. (Calisuri has been wearing it for the last 2 days…hey…come on…its Star Wars)
Oh, and remember Fiends Carnival of Souls from Friday’s report? Well, we found a LOTR tie in for the band! Jason Moss the band’s headman is a Auckland (New Zealand) native who has relocated to the Atlanta area! Small world!
While Calisuri, Corvar and Scott slaved away at the booth, Jincey once again put her heart and soul into the events at the Tolkien Track. Here’s a quick review:
Turnout for the second session of LOTR Trivia Contest was a little low. However, Jincey persevered and managed to give 5 t-shirts to the lucky contestants that showed up. These folks were so good that Jincey didn’t even need to give them the options! They would nail the answers on the first attempt!
“The Secrets of the LOTR Movies Revealed” session was packed as usual. Once again, we can’t say too much about what was shown, but we wowed quite a few folks.
Brad Dourif showed up for his second session of “Grima Wormtongue Speaks,” and everyone had a great time. He talked a bit about the costumes and how his wormtongue costume was the most elaborate he had ever worn. He said the details are so small that the movie going audience will probably never even notice them, but they are there. According to Brad, even the elvish script on props is real Elvish and not just eye candy. Brad also talked a good bit about his language coaching. He sits in a room for an hour each day with a language coach and practices his accent. Another interesting fact he let loose…Grima is not pronounced Grime-a but instead Grim-ma. Hey! We didn’t know that..:) Overall, the session was great for Mr. Dourif and his fans.
All of us were thoroughly pooped by the time all the events for the day had ended, so we headed back to the hotel and ate like kings. (well, those of us who didn’t get sick did!) Corvar headed off to check out The Changelings at 11 and Jincey and Calisuri headed to the happenings after the Grand Masquerade! We didn’t plan on being right smack dab in the middle of the ‘walkway’ but somehow we managed to be front row for an amazing costume show. Besides the security guy that kept forcing us to show our cameras (I used a metallic pen to fool the genius) we had a great time hanging out with some folks from the CHUD table and ogling at the amazing costumes. Below you will find some of the more elaborate ones. (Hopefully Jincey will send me her negatives so we can show you the REALLy cool ones)
Thus ended the Saturday events at DragonCon.
The third full day of DragonCon started out as the rest. We rushed our large supply of t-shirts and multimedia up the 3 blocks from our hotel. Today our mission was to get rid of as many t-shirts as humanly possible. (Less to carry back) So what did we do? Who would have figured that showing “exclusive” footage would sell those things like hotcakes! Yes, we showed the “exclusive” footage to every passer-by in an attempt to make up for our presentation room being so small. Every single fan was blown away and completely amazed. Every jaw was on the floor. It was a great day. (PS – Half of the profits from the t-shirt sales are going to the Salvation Army, who had the unfortunate luck to have their world convention in Atlanta the same week as DragonCon. We have NEVER seen so many terrified people in our lives! LOL We figure a donation might help them deal with the trauma.)
The one cool fact we did find out on Sunday was that the theatrical trailer for FOTR would be out in November. Possibly before the latest offering from Adam Sandler, Little Nicky.
Corvar attended another sparsely populated “Tolkien Webmaster” meeting. Once again, proof that no matter what we think, WE aren’t that important! 😛
After we packed our booth up in record time, asked Jincey to go get the car, and ran out to the hotel entrance Calisuri noticed someone wearing a TORN t-shirt with a signature on the back! After yelling through a crowd of people, we met up with Chris LoPresto and JJ Kropp. Two lucky guys that had a chance to met Karl Urban and get his autograph! JJ sent along these couple of pics of the ‘merchandise’ and we have one of our own. Pretty cool to see a TORN shirt signed by Karl, I must admit! JJ also had a chance to snap a shot with Grima himself! (See below)
I want to take a sec to thank all the great people we met at this Con, and to mention just a few:
- Xenite.org – Michael Martinez did a great job with organizing this years Tolkien Track. We just need to help him convince Ed Kramer(Chairman of DragonCon) that Tolkien stuff needs a bigger room! 🙂
- Zealot.com – Thanks to Shane and Joe for stopping by and introducing themselves.
- CHUD.com – We finally got a chance to met the makers of the coolest sewer on the internet!
- Lucas Leverett – As you can see in many of the pictures, Apple computer played a major role in our production. Lucas was an Apple rep visiting the Con as a fan.
- Steve Babb and Glass Hammer – These musical magicians are coming out with a Tolkien pub song CD very soon. And if it sounds like what we heard at the Con, we can’t wait!
- Dept 13 – Bob from Dept 13 was just a fun guy we met sat night for a few minutes. Something to do with horror films…check out his site
- The Privateers – Karl Urban‘s latest TV show. Check it out!
- The Jedi Women – Hey, Calisuri misplaced your card! Doh! But it was great to met you folks! UPDATE!Ringer fan Stacy wrote in to remind me who she and the Jedi Women were! (And I did finally find their card!) Check out their The Qui-Gon Jinn Discussion List
We look forward to attending next years DragonCon. DragonCon 2001, the year of Tolkien fandom!
“How much did this thing cost again?”