Ringers: Lord of the Fans at Dragon*Con

Ringer Celebriel attended the Dragon*Con Sunday panel on “Ringers: Lord of the Fans” with filmmakers Cliff Broadway and Jeff Marchelletta. This, the last of their three panels at Dragon*Con, focused directly on the development and forthcoming release of the film. Cliff mentioned that, while “Ringers” is being released on DVD, it is possible there will be theatrical screenings in key markets, which will generate interest in the film (and provide opportunity for line parties and other Ringer events!). The panel opened with a rousing performance by Emerald Rose, whose music is featured on the soundtrack. (There may be a film soundtrack album in the future as well.)

“Ringers” is a 97-minute feature length film examining Tolkien’s books and their franchise from the 1950s to the 21st century. It’s based on over 150 hours of interviews. Development sped up when Jeff pitched Tom DeSanto (X-Men) and he came aboard as Executive Producer. They got Ian McKellen to make a surprise appearance at ComicCon in San Diego when McKellen was on his way to New Zealand to start working on “The Lord of the Rings.” At ComicCon in 2003, they recorded fan impressions in a “confessional booth,” many of which were used in the film.

After the release of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” Cliff and Carlene Cordova recorded cast and crew at various award season events, realizing along the way that the story was becoming much bigger than first imagined.

Making the film took them to England and New Zealand and all over the United States. On the New Zealand visit, Cliff was able to appear as an extra in “The Return of the King,” playing a Gondorian looking over the walls of Minas Tirith toward the battlefield, standing next to Irolas. His comment: “My little geek heart almost burst out of my little geek chest!”

The November DVD release by Sony Pictures will include not just the film but also added value material such as “The Ring Comes Full Circle,” a making-of documentary. Other bonus features include the deleted scene “Tatoo You,” memorable confessionals from fans not used in the final film, interview footage with Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, and Andy Serkis, “Making Lord of the Rings Cool Again” (a segment about Peter Jackson’s filmmaking), and an alternative film soundtrack that’s like a party conversation. Cliff summed up, “We made it because no one else would. We are bigger geeks than you can imagine.”