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Archive for September, 2004

Announcing One Ring Celebration 2005!

The One Ring Celebration is teaming up with Creation Entertainment to bring you ‘The One Ring Celebration‘ (or ORC), a three day party in Pasadena CA, January 14th-16th 2005. The event is TORn’s way of bringing an ‘Oscar’ party together for fans every year! More details will be posted soon, but while you wait, check out our website and mailing list! [Click Here]

Posted in Conventions, Events, Old Main News

Moscow LOTR Concert Details

TheHutt writes: Organizators of the LOTR Symphony concert in Moscow have launched their official site with information about the concert. The site contains information about the upcoming two concerts on 17th and 18th November at the Kremlin Palace. The concert will be under conduction of Howard Shore himself; the Norwegian singer Sissel is participating as well. The performing orchestra is the National Philarmonic Orchestra of Russia (NFOR) under the lead of Vladimir Spivakov. The choir will be the Choir of the Academy of People’s Art (Khor AHI) under the lead of V.S. Popov. [More]

Posted in Concerts, Events, Old Main News

New Line Options Funke’s ‘Dragon Rider’

Scholastic Goes Back to Press on Cornelia Funke’s Latest Novel

Dragon Rider Hits #1 on New York Times and Book Sense Best-Seller Lists

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ — Scholastic announced today that it was going back to press for 100,000 copies of its new breakaway best-seller, Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, bringing the total to 250,000 copies in print. Scholastic released Dragon Rider in mid-August with an initial print run of 150,000 copies. In less than a month the book hit #1 on The New York Times best-seller list as well as the Book Sense best-seller list. In the two short years since Funke’s debut in America, there are currently 2,000,000 copies of her books in print in the U.S. and Canada.

Scholastic is supporting Dragon Rider with a $150,000 marketing campaign including distributing thousands of advanced reading copies, a national print and radio advertising campaign and a national publicity campaign. Cornelia Funke will be touring to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in October, as well as to Boston where she will be a speaker at the New England Booksellers Association regional convention and Detroit where she will speak at the Great Lakes Booksellers Association regional convention. Funke will also be doing a live web chat on October 5 at 1 p.m. EDT. at

A best-selling author in Germany, Cornelia Funke made her American debut in the fall of 2002 with The Thief Lord and became one of the most successful first-time children’s authors in the United States. The book was a New York Times best-seller for 25 weeks and winner of the 2003 Book Sense Book of the Year Award. According to USA Today, ” … this exquisitely told tale of adventure and intrigue set in contemporary Venice can be read, or more accurately devoured, by teenagers and adults.”

In 2003, Funke followed up with another best-seller, Inkheart. The first title in Funke’s Inkheart trilogy was on The New York Times best-seller list for 21 weeks. The novel was also a Publishers Weekly and Book Sense best- seller and was a finalist for the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Award. The thrilling adventure about a young girl, Meggie, whose father can make fictional characters come to life by reading a book out loud, was hailed in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: “Funke once again proves the power of her imagination; readers will be captivated by the thrilling world she has created here.”

Cornelia Funke recently announced a deal with New Line Cinema who will develop her Inkheart trilogy as a potential kid’s fantasy franchise. In a Variety article, New Line executive Vice President Mark Ordesky said, “It’s the perfect segue from ‘Lord of the Rings’ to ‘Inkheart.’ Apart from Cornelia’s huge status within Europe, her international popularity is only just beginning to crest.”

Dragon Rider tells the story of Firedrake and Sorrell, two dragons whose peaceful valley is threatened with danger. Together they set off to find the mythical Rim of Heaven – the only place in the world where dragons can be safe forever. Along the way they meet an orphaned boy named Ben who volunteers to be their navigator and quickly becomes their friend. With an evil dragon hunter on their trail, their quest turns into a battle for survival. A true adventure, Dragon Rider is an exciting, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant tale about the power of belief and the true meaning of home.

Cornelia Funke is published in America by Scholastic in partnership with The Chicken House-founded in the United Kingdom by Barry Cunningham, the original publisher of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Mr. Cunningham first learned of Cornelia Funke through a letter he received from an eleven- year-old girl wanting to know why her favorite children’s writer wasn’t published in English.

Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct- to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company’s Internet Site,

Posted in Crew News, Old Special Reports, Other Crew

Sean Astin Book Tour Dates has released the entire booksigning tour dates and locations for next month. Sean Astin will be signing copies of his (first) new book ‘There and Back Again : An Actor’s Tale’ at the following locations; New York, NY, Huntington, NY, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL & Bloomington, MN. For more details follow this link. [More]

Posted in Events, LotR Cast News, Old Main News, Other Events, Sean Astin

Lee Signing Event at Harrods

Tauremorna writes: On October 5th, at 1-2 pm, Christopher Lee will sign copies of the DVD “Jinnah” at Harrods (87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge) in London. There will be a free exclusive documentary screening for the first 40 customers. Mr. Lee will only be signing “Jinnah” and no other items.

Posted in Christopher Lee, Events, LotR Cast News, Old Main News, Other Events

McKellen Auction for Charity

Claire writes: Don’t miss your chance to own a world exclusive piece of Lord of the Rings memorabilia! A doodle of Gandalf drawn and signed by Sir Ian McKellen is up for auction in aid of the Parkinson’s Disease Society. [More]

Posted in Ian McKellen, LotR Cast News, Old Main News

ROTK: EE High Rez Images

ROTK Extended Edition Images New Line Cinema has released some very nice high quality images from the ROTK Extended Edition. More images to be added soon, for now take a look at these great menu screenshots, and some pics of Gandalf, Sam & Frodo, and more! [More]

Posted in DVDs, Merchandise, Movie Return of the King, Old Main News

Howard Shore Concert in Chicago

Robbi writes: There are still a few tickets remaining for the upcoming Chicago LOTR symphony performances being held on October 8 & 9. Howard Shore will be holding a pre-concert Q&A both evenings. Certainly NOT to be missed! [Tickets]

Posted in Concerts, Events, Old Main News

Geddy Lee of ‘Rush’ Confirmed for ‘Ringers’!


HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA — TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2004 Geddy Lee, bassist and lead singer for the seminal rock group Rush, has granted an exclusive interview to the producers of the feature documentary, RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS.

His heartfelt comments on the power of J.R.R. Tolkien’s stories make it easy to understand how the world of Rock & Roll was forever changed by “The Lord of the Rings.” The fine connections between these two art forms is sharply drawn by Mr. Lee, as he explains the wonderful influence of Middle-earth on his early songwriting. The song “Rivendell” became Rush’s personal tribute to Tolkien, being written at a period when the most influential of rockers used Tolkien references in their most classic songs.

Rush, having retained through the years, the razors edge appeal to the rocker in everyone, has kept their music progressive and intelligent with the help of phenomenal singer/bassist, Geddy Lee. Starting his musical career rehearsing with his school friend Alex Lifeson, and playing all the tunes from the Brit’s blues of John Mayall and Cream, Geddy Lee took strides with his musicianship and talent and also rocked out to the music of The Who and Led Zepplin. Joining in to make Rush the first Canadian band to make rock history and has been considered one of the greatest rock bands in the world, was fellow band member, (drummer) Neil Peart.

Singer/Bassist Geddy Lee’s musical in-your-face approach to the instrument has been quoted to have, “impacted more bassists on a grand scale then any other bassist, in the last 20 years.” His unique sound and voice has been compared to the distinctive voices of such rock greats as Freddie Mercury and Ozzie Osbourne. His singing abilities only adds to the extraordinary bass skills that he somehow balances with stride. Geddy Lee is in the Bass Hall of Fame for Guitar Player Magazine and has also been voted as the Best Rock Bassist more than 6 times running. His current solo album is titled “My Favorite Headache” and is available on his website as well as Rush’s newest album “Feedback”. You can purchase these through the band’s official website located here:

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS features a dynamic rock-driven score with many recording artists who were influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien. Many have come forward to provide a new spin on nostalgic favorites from previous “Rings” adaptations.

About the documentary:

Very funny yet often moving, RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS shows the hidden power behind Tolkien’s books — and how after 50 years a single literary work continues to spark the minds and hearts of millions, across cultures and across time. Ringers explores the real foundations of Middle-earth; a community of true fans who share a common bond. Moving beyond “cult classic” and over several different generations, the film unearths academics, musicians, authors, filmmakers, and a plethora of pop junkies — the people gathered under the banner of ‘Ringer.’

RINGERS: LORD OF THE FANS spent 21 months shooting on three continents. Produced in association with the popular Tolkien fan-site, Ringers stands as the most comprehensive film document of the ongoing fandom of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Current “Ringers” Interviewees include:

Actor – Sir Ian McKellen, Actor – Dominic Monaghan, Actor – Andy Serkis, Actor – Sala Baker, Author/Filmmaker – Clive Barker, Writer/Director/Producer – Cameron Crowe, Actor – David Carradine, Author – Terry Pratchett, Author – Peter S. Beagle, Author – Terry Brooks, Musician – Lemmy Kilmister, Musician – Geddy Lee, Tolkien Scholar – Dr. Jane Chance, Chairperson of the Tolkien Society – Christine Crawshaw, Author – Colin Duriez, Filmmaker/Critic – Chris Gore, Writer/Publisher – Forrest J. Ackerman, Actor – Bill Mumy, Author/Broadcaster – Brian Sibley, Illustrator/Author – Colleen Doran, Illustrator/Author – Jill Thompson, and hundreds of Tolkien fans!

Visit our website!

Posted in Old Special Reports

Chance Thomas’ Lord of the Rings Themes Surpass 1 Million Downloads

Vivendi-Universal Games Registers Historic Milestone in Game Music

They have come relentlessly. Like an army of Uruk Hai. Month after month, the fans have come to to hear the music. More than a million have come, downloading MP3 after MP3 of Chance Thomas’ original music from Vivendi-Universal Games’ Lord of the Rings series.

“The response to Chance’s music at has been fantastic,” says Guy Welch, web marketing manager for VU Games. “Chance’s delivery of web-ready files, online liner notes, and behind-the-scenes photography helped us quickly create a unique way for fans to experience this brand.”

By the end of August 2004 the total had reached 1,080,213 downloads. And the phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. According to VU Games’ tracking, fans downloaded more music in the last month than they had in any previous month. This in spite of the fact that the most recent games (War of the Ring, The Hobbit) were released about 10 months ago.

“We’re not just talking about hits, measured in tens of millions. We’re talking about actual mp3 downloads, ” Chance said. “I never imagined the music would find such resonance with the fans. This isn’t Green Day or Britney Spears or the Black Eyed Peas. It’s a bunch of middle-aged guys playing violins. Orchestral, choral, and acoustic underscore written and produced exclusively for games. I’m not sure if anything like this has ever happened with game music before.”

But music agent Bob Rice, who represents many top game composers including Thomas, has a different view. “Actually, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Chance’s music for Lord of the Rings has richness, it has melody, it’s inspiring. And that’s why over a million people have taken the time and made the effort to download it. They want to hear it again and again. It’s just great music.”

Gael Schults, a life-long student and performer of ancient music ascribes the lure of Chance’s themes to their interplay of authenticity, accessibility and emotion. “Chance Thomas was able to get in touch with some deep emotion on that music. I still wake up hearing these pieces playing through my head, in those half-sleeping moments just before morning consciousness. It is a rare composer who can bring both the heart of ancient folk tradition and modern accessibility to the same table with this degree of palatable success.”

When asked what this means for music makers in gaming, Chance said, “Taken alone, this might be no more than a spectacular aberration. But in the context of everything else that’s going on these days – the sold-out live game music concerts, the recognition from BAFTA and the Grammys, and the relentlessly rising bar of game music quality – I think it portends amazing opportunities for us, and points to a significant trend sweeping through the entire world of entertainment.”

G.A.N.G. founder and President Tommy Tallarico, a renowned advocate for game music adds, “The winds of change seem to be upon us. This is just more proof of how important video game music has become in our culture. Not only is the game experience itself benefiting from talented and experienced composers like Chance, but this proves that the fans are interested in the music outside the game as well.”

Fans seem to support Tallarico’s view. Game music enthusiast Jesse Wang, representative of so many, said in a recent email to HUGEsound, “[These] soundtracks are absolutely amazing. I have never heard such passion and musical depth in a game soundtrack.” Adds Shults, “Chance’s innate ability to feel the ancient music so strongly…exceeds normal musical boundaries in it’s ability to be true to the writings of Tolkien as well as to Ancient Peoples everywhere, whether real or imagined!”

Chance Thomas’ themes for Vivendi-Universal’s Lord of the Rings game series can be downloaded at

Posted in Lord of the Rings, Music, Old Special Reports

Galway Concert in Rockford, Illinois

Anthea writes: James Galway, the flutist featured on the soundtrack of ROTK, will be appearing in concert tomorrow night at 7:00 in Rockford, Illinois with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are still available if any LOTR fans have taken an interest in this artist. Word is he will probably not be playing music from the movie, but it should be a great concert nonetheless. They can be purchased online or by phone.

Posted in Concerts, Events, Old Main News

GAMING: Online Mag Helps RPGers Unite

Joshua writes: I am currently writting articles for a great web-based publication entitled Hall of Fire. This publicaton is desinged by, written for, and upkept by fans of Decipher’s Lord of the Rings Role Playing Game. Hall of Fire includes articles with detailed information on gaming scenarios, character statistics, and rule alterations that are a must-read for any fans of the game. [More] [Gaming Havens]

Posted in Gaming, Old Main News