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Doug Adams, well known musician and writer who worked closely with Howard Shore on the musical score for The Lord of the Rings, gave a brilliant talk on the musical themes of The Lord of the Rings, specifically the four themes associated with the ring and how they are woven together throughout the three films. He confirmed that the final boxed set CD, with the music from The Return of the King, will be issued in 2007 on a four-disc set. Doug is also completing the book, The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films, which will be the definitive and official guide to Howard Shore’s 12-hour musical score. The book will be out around the end of the year and may be accompanied by multimedia material demonstrating the music. A CD version of The Lord of the Rings symphony is also under discussion.
Doug demonstrated the musical themes he discussed so audience members could hear and understand more about how the themes relate both to the action and mood of the specific scenes in the films where they appear and to other themes associated with that character or kingdom. On Saturday, in the second part of his talk, he will play some surprise elements most fans have not heard before. I’ll cover his talks in more detail in tomorrow’s report.
King Kong music trivia: Do you know who plays the conductor in the Broadway theatre scene in Kong: Eighth Wonder of the World? Yes, it’s a Howard Shore cameo! And his wife is seated in the front row.
Keith Stern, webmaster for Sir Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Sean Astin, Lynn Redgrave, and LOTR dialect coach Andrew Jack, talked about his work as a pioneer in the use of the Internet for film public relations and how the Internet is dramatically changing that industry. Fan web sites such as TORn and www.kongisking.net have built strong fan communities that closely follow a film’s development from production through post-production to release and beyond. These communities generate a strong sense of involvement and excitement with a public relations value well beyond what the studios themselves may spend. I’ll talk more about Keith’s presentation as well tomorrow.
Keith shared many of his treasures from his trip to New Zealand and from his years of working with Ian McKellan. He wore a shirt McKellan had given him, and displayed McKellan’s LOTR set pass, access to the Academy Awards ceremonies in February 2004, his Certificate of Nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Fellowship of the Ring, fabric samples from Gandalf the White’s robes, one of Gandalf’s prosthetic noses, a complete LOTR cast and crew contact directory (oh, the phone numbers one could have copied – actually they were mostly for agents), unopened gold-stamped script binders, and a signed t-shirt.
New this year at ORC is the beautiful Middle Earth retreat hosted by Tolkien Forever, the Los Angeles smial of the Tolkien Society. Lounge decorated with beautiful Tolkien-themed banners and artwork centerpieces and enhanced by the soothing sounds of Howard Shore’s soundtrack. Kristie Fogtik, founder of Tolkien Forever, and member Debbie Hayes were among those welcoming guests to the retreat.
Friday night’s evening event began with the Costume Gala, hosted by Adam Malik and TORn’s own Garfeimao and judged by Judy Grivich (workmanship) and filmmakers Ashlee and Rachel Scott (presentation). This year’s gala featured 18 entrants and a good number of Arwen and Eowyn costumes, along with elves, hobbits, and an Aragorn. Best Youth award went to a young Eowyn. Sam and Frodo won Third Place and had a strong local rooting section. Arwen in Mourning won Second Place. The gala’s only Aragorn won First Place
Following the gala photo ops, the Hindi Sisters entertained the audience with a short Hobbity dance number set to “Too Sexy.” The beloved Brobdingnagian Bards, Andrew McKee and Mark Gunn, performed for over an hour their wonderful Celtic Renaissance music, including Wild Mountain Thyme, The Unicorn Song, and a slightly off-topic but nonetheless entertaining Jedi Drinking Song. Fans lined up afterwards to purchase CDs and get autographs and photos. Learn more about this great duo and hear sample MP3s at http://www.thebards.net.
Coming up Saturday: Billy Boyd, David Wenham, the Sideshow Collectibles Creative team, and more!
Garfeimao writes: ORC began yesterday with some very cool panels and video presentations, a wonderful costume contest, art show, and performances by the Hindi sisters and the Brobdingnagian Bards. Here are some initial pictures from the show.
Tolkien Forever (Southern California Smial of the Tolkien Society) is hosting a fan lounge and have called it the Middle Earth Retreat. Each part of the room represents a different land in Middle Earth, with the Shire, Rivendell, Meduseld and Minas Tirith all represented.
The room is a place for fans to come and relax between panels and autograph lines, meet up with their friends or make new friends, and enjoy the Fellowship of other fans. There will be a raffle at some point during the weekend, and some of our scholars will be stopping by for some informal discussions throughout the weekend.
Some of the decorations in the Middle Earth Retreat are handmade items that belong to various members of the group and are on gracious loan for use at the convention. I hope everyone attending or thinking of attending takes the chance to enjoy the room and it’s hosts.
The show opened on a bright note, courtesy of Doug Adams who has been working with Howard Shore on bringing the Complete Soundtrack Recordings to life, and will soon be publishing a book about the entire process. He’s been using a keyboard to demonstrate key musical motifs and how they are related to each other and to the various characters and lands of Middle earth. For his Saturday panel he promises some real surprises regarding information about the Return of the King Complete Soundtrack boxset. BTW, he did announce that this boxset will be 4 CDs so they can fit everything on there they want to release.
There were a few other announcements, but I’ll leave that for other reviewers and official announcements (like, for instance, a release of a live symphony performance)
There was a Fan Filmmaking 101 panel, which included Carlene Cordova and John Welch from Ringers and Ashlee and Rachel Scott of M.A.R.S. Productions who brought Middle earth Idols to the show. They talked a lot about preparing scripts for filming, planning the shoot, so you get everything you need before editing. They covered Fair Usage and Copyright issues. They gave a lot of information for those who are interested in fan films or of moving from fan films to a more professional level of filmmaking.
Finally, the opening of the evening’s entertainment saw another fabulous costume contest. There were Hobbits, Elves and Men (and women) present and accounted for. There were some really beautifully detailed dresses and armor, with just about everything being homemade. Some of the workmanship was truly extraordinary, so here are some pics, and I’m going to now name the winners.
1st place, Youth Division – Brittany Weistling as Eowyn in the Shieldmaiden dress.
3rd place, adult division – Jan Jarrell and Cathy Greutert as Sam and Frodo (they had awesome packs and detail work in their costumes)
2nd place, adult division – Mary Hale as Arwen in the Mourning Gown.
1st place, adult division – Morgan Weistling as Strider/Aragorn. His costume was distressed using multiple techniques to give it that thoroughly lived in look, complete with dirt and blood and all manner of gunk. The time period is supposed to be just after the battle with Lurtz, when he puts on Boromir’s bracers.
Thus ends the tail of day 1 at ORC 07. Saturday will see Billy Boyd’s charity brunch, and then his appearance, along with David Wenham later in the day. Many of our scholars will kick into gear on Saturday on both the main stage and in the Hobbit Track. Sideshow will have two panels and be doing a giveaway.
Greg Wright sent down some 300 books to hand out for free and will be doing a book signing after one of his panels. Doug Adams will also do a signing of the Liner Notes booklet from either of the Complete Soundtrack Boxsets. In the evening, we will get to hear the sounds of one of Scotland’s newest bands, Beecake, featuring Billy Boyd.
After that there will be a Dessert party, and then the party will move over to the Daily Grill bar. We are going to close down the bar in high fashion, and in memorium of TORn staffer Balin, who passed away a year ago this month. We’ve dubbed Saturday evening Balin’s Bash, so any Ringers in the area who aren’t attending the convention, but want to hang with fellow Ringers, please feel free to stop by the Daily Grill after about 10pm. And if you can’t stop by, please raise a glass and toast to departed friends who are missed but not forgotten.