INTO THE RING'S EVIL:
STUNTS AND ACTION
"This film required actors in tremendous physical shape, both because of the battles they go through and the fact that the Fellowship journeys over water, under the ground, and across mountains to destroy the Ring." Barrie M. Osborne
Los Angeles, 2001 The soaring action of The Lord of the Rings also required the design of unparalleled stunts under the direction of stunt coordinator George Marshall Ruge. His crew not only helped to choreograph massive battle sequences filled with ancient (and newly invented) fighting techniques, but worked with cast members and stunt extras balancing on high cliffs, scaling castle walls, falling out of boats, and charging through forests on horseback. The stunts for this film are unique because there are so many characters who fight differently. It was a challenge for the stunt department to stage battles with so many different sizes, styles, and movements.
Bob Anderson, the world's top sword master, who has consulted on such films as Star Wars and trained the legendary Errol Flynn, was also brought in to train the actors in different fencing techniques. An expert in medieval arms, Anderson read the novel and then developed sparring methods based on Tolkien's descriptions of each culture. For example, he determined that the hobbits are so small, they should fight as a team. Some, like the axe-wielding Gimli the dwarf, use other kinds of weapons. A commando army of stunt performers was given special training to perfect the unique fighting styles of the orcs, the Uruk-hai, the ringwraiths, the elves, and the other civilizations in Tolkien's universe. An expert in firing ancient English longbows was also brought in.
The stunts required not only a massive human effort but an animal one as well. The Lord of the Rings used more than 250 horses, including a corps of 70 specially trained horses who take the Fellowship members across the lands of Middle-earth in The Fellowship of the Ring. Among them are the five miniature horses used for the hobbits and the two proud white Andalusians used to bring Shadowfax, the wizard Gandalf's mysteriously wild and courageous steed, to life. This multifaceted department was helmed by head animal wrangler Dave Johnson, horse coordinator Steve Old, horse technical advisors John Scott and Lyle Edge, and horse stunt coordinator Casey O' Neill.
For Peter Jackson, it was all part of an effort to reflect the realistic pandemonium of battles, from the adrenaline rush of the crowds and the hammering hooves of the horses to the heart-wrenching screams and valiant cries in the background. Despite the sophistication of the stunts and effects throughout The Lord of the Rings, in the end Peter Jackson kept the focus on a simple enemy: the Ring. "What's so interesting to me about the Lord of the Rings trilogy is that the ultimate villain of the entire epic story isn't a fire-breathing dragon or killer robot or massive shark. It's a tiny thing," he says. "The evil is more psychological, intangible, something each character encounters in his or her own way."
* * *
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Character: Frodo Baggins
Description: A shy but forthright hobbit who undertakes the quest to destroy the Ring
Elijah Wood has been widely regarded as one of the most gifted actors of his generation. After coming to attention in Paradise
, he went on to star in Radio Flyer
, Forever Young
, Huck Finn
, The Good Son
, The War
, and Flipper
. He also appeared in Internal Affairs, Avalon
, and Back to the Future Part 2
Most recently Wood was seen in James Toback's Black and White
, Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty
, Ang Lee's The Ice Storm
, the sci-fi thriller Deep Impact
, and the crime comedy Chain of Fools
. He also lent his voice to the animated film The Adventures of Tom Thumb and Thumbelina
Wood was named 1994's Young Star of the Year by NATO/ShowEast following his performance in The War
Description: A very powerful wizard who faces his greatest test in destroying the Ring
Sir Ian McKellen has been thrilling audiences for 40 years on both stage and screen and has won over 40 major acting awards. Born in Lancashire, England, he most recently starred as the superheroic Magneto in the hugely successful screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics classic X-Men
His other recent films include Gods and Monsters
(Academy Award nomination for Best Actor), Apt Pupil
, and Richard III
(co-screenplay writer and executive producer). The protean McKellen's memorable screen performances include Six Degrees of Separation
, Cold Comfort Farm
, Swept from the Sea
, The Keep
, and many more.
McKellen has also starred in the telefilms Rasputin
(Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor), And the Band Played On
(Cable Ace Award), Walter
(Royal Television Performer of the Year), and most recently, David Copperfield
for BBC TV. His many stage performances are legendary. He has acted in and produced classical and new plays for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre in London and on tour.
His solo shows Acting Shakespeare
and A Knight Out
have been acclaimed throughout the world.
On Broadway, he played Salieri in Amadeus
(1981 Tony Award for Best Actor). The 2001 Broadway season opens with Ian McKellen as Edgar in Strindberg's Dance of Death
. Complete credits are available on www.mckellen.com
Character: Aragorn, aka Strider
Description: Brave, rugged Aragorn has spent long years in exile wandering the wilderness but he is about to face his greatest adventure as he joins the Fellowship
Since his screen debut as a young Amish farmer in Peter Weir's Witness
, Viggo Mortensen's career has been marked by a steady string of well-rounded performances. Critics have continually recognized his work in over thirty movies, including such diverse projects as Jane Campion's Portrait of a Lady
, Sean Penn's Indian Runner
, Brian DePalma's Carlito's Way
, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane
, Tony Scott's Crimson Tide
, Andrew Davis's Perfect Murder
, Ray Loriga's La Pistola de Mi Hermano
, and Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon
Born in New York to a Danish father and an American mother, Mortensen spent the early part of his childhood in Manhattan. His family traveled a great deal, and he spent several years living in Venezuela, Argentina, and Denmark. He began acting in New York, studying with Warren Robertson. He appeared in several plays and movies, and eventually moved to Los Angeles, where his performance in Bent
at the Coast Playhouse earned him a Drama-logue Critics Award.
Mortensen is also an accomplished poet, photographer, and painter. He is currently working on his third book of poetry, and will be showing new photographs and paintings in 2001 and 2002 at Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles as well as at the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art in Athens.
Character: Sam, or Samwise Gamgee
Description: An ordinary hobbit who becomes the most extraordinary and loyal of Frodo's friends
Sean Astin made his feature film debut in The Goonies
and soon had a starring role in the critically acclaimed Rudy
. Other film credits include Bulworth
, Courage Under Fire
, Memphis Belle
, Encino Man
, Like Father Like Son
, Where the Day Takes You
, Staying Together
, War of the Roses
, and Safe Passage
Astin received Best Actor honors for his performance in Low Life
at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival. Astin has also been seen in the recent indie releases Deterrence
, The Last Producer
and Boy Meets Girl
. He made his professional debut with his mother, Patty Duke, in the television after-school special Please Don't Hit Me Mom
A promising director, Astin garnered an Academy Award nomination for his short film Kangaroo Court
, which he also coproduced with his wife, Christine. A Directors Guild of America member, Astin also directed an episode of the HBO anthology series Perversions of Science
Astin has earned a degree in history and American literature and culture from UCLA.
Description: The elf princess who falls in love with the mortal man Aragorn
Liv Tyler made an auspicious film debut with the leading role in Silent Fall
, directed by Bruce Beresford. After another lead in Empire Records
, Tyler portrayed a waitress in a local diner in Heavy
, a favorite at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Tyler went on to shine in Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty
, Inventing the Abbotts
, and Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune
She recently reunited with Altman to star in the critically acclaimed Dr. T and the Women
, with Richard Gere.
Tyler's other recent work includes Onegin
, costarring Ralph Fiennes, Plunkett & Macleane
, and One Night at McCool's
opposite Matt Dillon.
Character: Pippin, or Peregrin Took
Description: A fun-loving hobbit with a nose for trouble
Billy Boyd, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, began his acting career in the Scottish television series Taggart
. He went on to amass UK television credits including Soldiers Leap
, Coming Soon
, Julie and the Cadillacs
, and Chapter and Verse
. Boyd made his feature film debut in An Urban Ghost Story
but will first be seen by international audiences in The Fellowship of the Ring
On the stage, Boyd has performed in various UK productions including The Speculator
, Election 99
, An Experienced Woman Gives Advice
, Therese Racquin
, Britannia Rules
, Kill The Old
, Torture Their Young
, The Chic Nerds
, Much Ado About Nothing
, The Merchant of Venice
, and Trainspotting
Boyd is also a skilled musician who plays the bass, drums, and guitar as well as singing both baritone and tenor.
Character: Merry, or Meriadoc Brandybuck
Description: An adventurous young hobbit who joins Frodo's quest
Dominic Monaghan, who will be introduced to international film audiences in The Fellowship of the Ring
, is best known for the British television drama Hetty Wainthrop Investigates
. His other television credits include This Is PersonalThe Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper
, and a leading role in Monsignoir Renard
, a new series starring John Thaw.
Monaghan's film debut was in Bomber
, with Rutger Hauer and Martin Shaw. On the stage, Monaghan has performed in the UK productions of The Resurrectionists
, and Annie and Fanny from Bolton to Rome
Character: Bilbo Baggins
Description: Known for his own adventures, Bilbo bequeaths the Ring to his cousin Frodo
Ian Holm has earned respect and praise from theater, television, and film critics alike. He won a BAFTA Award, a Cannes Film Festival award, and an Oscar nomination for his performance in Chariots of Fire
. His memorable film performances include Another Woman, Hamlet, Frankenstein, Henry V, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ
, and The Madness of King George
Holm has also appeared in Greystoke, Kafka, Time Bandits, Brazil, Alien, Dance with a Stranger
, and Dreamchild
. More recent films include Big Night, Joe Gould's Secret, Night Falls on Manhattan, The Fifth Element, A Life Less Ordinary, Bless The Child, Beautiful Joe
and the acclaimed lead in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter
Holm also starred with Dame Judi Dench, Leslie Caron and Olympia Dukakis in the television movie The Last of the Blonde Bombshells
. He will next be seen in the Hughes Brothers' horror-thriller From Hell
, with Johnny Depp.
Appearing in numerous productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Holm has earned the Evening Standard Award (Best Actor) for Henry V
and The Homecoming
, the latter for which he also won a Tony Award (Best Supporting Actor) for the Broadway production. He won rave reviews and an Evening Standard Award for Harold Pinter's Moonlight
. His recent performance as King Lear at the National Theatre won him an Evening Standard Award, an Olivier Award, and the Critics Circle Award.
He was nominated for an Emmy Award (Best Actor) for the televised version. Holm has also appeared in dozens of prestigious films for television. In 1998 he was awarded knighthood.
Description: Lethal with sword and bow, Legolas represents the elves in the Fellowship
Orlando Bloom, who makes his major feature film debut in The Fellowship of the Ring
, graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. During his time at Guildhall, Bloom performed in the productions Little Me
, A Month in the City
, Peer Gynt
, Twelfth Night
, Trojan Women
, The Seagull
, Three Sisters
, Recruiting Officer
, Uncle Vanya
, A Night Out
, and Mystery Plays
Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent. At 16, he moved to London where he joined the National Youth Theatre for two seasons and then gained a scholarship to train with the British American Drama Academy. On completion of his scholarship, Bloom played the lead in A Walk in the Vienna Woods
. Bloom's screen debut was in the feature film Wilde
. He was then accepted to Guildhall and chose to put his screen career on hold for the opportunity to further his education.
After graduating from Guildhall, Bloom performed in the television series Midsomer Murders
Description: Once the head of the Council of the Wise, Saruman has succumbed to the lure of power and evil
Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, born in Belgravia, London, entered the film industry in 1947 and was for a time under contract to the Rank Organisation. He has appeared in numerous theater and operatic performances, television, and has recorded radio worldwide. Lee has filmed in English, Russian, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.
He has appeared in over 250 films and television productions, among which the best known are A Tale of Two Cities, Dracula, The Wicker Man, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Three
and The Four Musketeers, The Man with the Golden Gun, 1941, Airport 77, Gremlins II, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Jinnah
, and the BBC's production of Gormenghast
. He will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode 2
The directors for whom he has worked include John Huston, Raoul Walsh, Joseph Losey, George Marshall, Orson Welles, Nicholas Ray, Michael Powell, Edward Molinaro, Jerome Savary, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis, Tim Burton, and George Lucas. He has also appeared as host of Saturday Night Live
in 1978, the third highest rated show of the series.
Lee is the only actor who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft, and he has played both King Charles I of England and King Louis XVI of France. He is an accomplished screen sword fighter and an honorary member of three stuntmen's unions.
Lee is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as being the international star with the most screen credits, numbering nearly 300 film and television productions, and was recently awarded the London Film Critics Dilys Powell 94 award for his work as an actor and for his services to the film industry.
Description: An elf queen who is very powerful and in her own way perilous
Since graduating from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Blanchett has worked extensively in the theater, primarily with Company B, a loose ensemble of actors including Geoffrey Rush, Gillian Jones, and Richard Roxburgh based at Belvoir St. under the direction of Neil Armfield. Her roles included Miranda (The Tempest
), Ophelia (Hamlet
for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award), Nina (The Seagull
) and Rose (The Blind Giant Is Dancing
For the Sydney Theater Company (STC) she appeared in Caryl Churchill's Top Girls
, David Mamet's Oleanna
(awarded the Sydney Theater Critics Award for Best Actress), Michael Gow's Sweet Phoebe
(also for the Croyden Wearhouse, London), and Timothy Daly's Kafka Dances
(also for the Griffin Theatre Company), for which she received the Critics Circle Award for best newcomer.
For the Almeida Theatre in 1999, Blanchett played Susan Traheren in David Hare's Plenty
on London's West End.
Her television credits include lead roles in Bordertown
, both for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
Her film roles include Susan Macarthy in Bruce Beresford's Paradise Road
, Lizzie in Thank God He Met Lizzie
, an anti-romantic comedy directed by Cherie Nowlan, for which she was awarded both the Australian Film Institute (AFI) and the Sydney Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress, and Lucinda in Oscar and Lucinda
, opposite Ralph Fiennes and directed by Gillian Armstrong, a role that earned her an AFI nomination for Best Actress.
In 1998, Cate portrayed Queen Elizabeth I in the critically acclaimed Elizabeth
, directed by Shekhar Kapur, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama and a BAFTA for Best Actress in a Leading Role as well as Best Actress Awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the London Film Critics Association, On-line Film Critics, Variety Critics, and UK Empire Award.
She also received a Best Actress nomination from the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, and Sciences.
In 1999, Blanchett appeared in Pushing Tin
with John Cusack, a black comedy about air traffic controllers directed by Mike Newell; An Ideal Husband
, directed by Oliver Parker; and The Talented Mr. Ripley
, directed by Anthony Mingella, for which she received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She most recently starred in The Gift
, directed by Sam Raimi.
Blanchett will be seen in Sally Potter's The Man Who Cried
, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Additionally, other upcoming films include Heaven
, opposite Giovanni Ribisi and directed by Tom Tykwer, and Bandits
, with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thorton, directed by Barry Levinson.
Cate is currently in production playing the title role in Charlotte Gray
, directed by Gillian Armstrong and based on Sebastian Faulks's best-selling novel. Upon completion, she will go into production on The Shipping News
with costar Kevin Spacey. Lasse Hallstrom will direct the film, which is based on the 1994 PulitzerPrize winning novel by Annie Proulx.
Description: Boromir joins the Fellowship despite deep misgivings about destroying the Ring
Sean Bean has dazzled audiences in such films as Essex Boys, Ronin, Airbourne, Anna Karenina, Goldeneye, When Saturday Comes, Scarlett, Black Beauty, Shopping, Patriot Games, Caravaggio, Lorna Doone, The Field, Stormy Monday
, and Windprints
, among others. He will next be seen in the sci-fi thriller Equilibrium
and in Gary Fleder's Don't Say a Word
, with Michael Douglas. He is currently shooting Tom and Thomas
for director Esme Lammes.
For television, Bean has starred in numerous BBC productions including The Sharp Series
, Bravo Two Zero
, Lady Chatterley
, Tell Me That You Love Me
, and many more.
Bean has appeared in several stage productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company including Romeo and Juliet
, Fair Maid of the West
, and A Midsummer Night's Dream
Description: Gimli is stout-hearted and loyal, with a quick laugh and a quicker temper
Veteran actor John Rhys-Davies has been delighting audiences on both stage and screen for more than thirty years. He began his stage work at the critically acclaimed Madder-Market Theater in Norwich and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Rhys-Davies has appeared in well over a hundred plays, including 26 Shakespearean productions in which he has portrayed everyone from Othello to Macbeth to Claudius to Falstaff. His stage work includes many seasons at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Rhys-Davies made his feature film debut in The Black Windmill
, starring Michael Caine, where he was blown up before the title sequence. His 80-plus film credits include Raiders of the Lost Ark
, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
, and many more.
For television, Rhys-Davies garnered an Emmy nomination for the miniseries Shogun
and has starred in Sliders
, The Untouchables
, I, Claudius
, The Naked Civil Servant
, and War and Remberance
, as well as many other telefilms and series.
Description: Born of a human father and an elf mother, Elrond chose to be an elf, and is the father of Arwen
Hugo Weaving's many film credits include The Matrix, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Interview, Bedrooms and Hallways, Exile, Strange Planet
, and Proof
. His performance in The Interview
earned him an Australian Film Institute Award (AFI) and a World Film Festival Award (Montreal) for Best Actor.
Weaving also received the AFI for The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
For television, Weaving has appeared in Halifax 3
, The Bite, Lust
, Bangkok Hilton
, Dirtwater Dynasty
and the mini series The Custodian
, among others. A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Weaving has performed in numerous stage productions, including many for the Sydney Theatre Company.
Description: A hobbitlike creature but the corrupting influence of the Ring warped his mind and deformed his body
Andy Serkis most recently appeared as the eccentric choreographer in Topsy Turvy
and as the coked-up yuppie in Career Girls
. He will soon be seen opposite Michael Caine in Shiner
. Other film credits include leading roles in Mojo, Among Giants, Loop, Sweety Barrett, The Jolly Boys
,and Last Stand
as well as major roles in Stella Does Tricks, Five Seconds To Spare, The Near Room
, and the forthcoming Pandemonium
His extensive television works include a highly acclaimed performance in a recent adaptation of Oliver Twist
, and lead roles in The Jump
and the series Finner
along with many guest appearances in Shooting the Past
and Touching Evil
Serkis has played a huge range of parts in theaters in London and across the UK. Recent critically acclaimed roles include Potts in the original cast of Mojo
by Jez Butterworth, King Lear
, and Hush
all for the Royal Court Theatre; Hurlyburly
at the Old Vic and Queens Theatre; Decadence
at the Bolon Octagon, and Caberet
at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.
Description: The lordly husband of the elven queen Galadriel
Born in New Zealand, Marton Csokas's film credits include The Monkey's Mask, Broken English, Down and Under
, and Rain
. For television, Csokas has performed in a range of dramas including The Three Stooges
(AFI Nomination), Farscape
, Halifax f.p.
A graduate of the New Zealand Drama School, Marton's performances on the stage include New Zealand's productions of Arcadia, Angels in America, Julius Caesar, Glorius Ruins, Amy's View
In Australia, Csokas has performed on the stage in A Clockwork Orange, Twelfth Night, The Herbal Bed
, and Andromache
as well as an Australian tour of Ladies Night
Marton also cofounded the Stronghold Theatre in Australasia, which has created such pieces as Possibilities, Meeting Place
and Media Sluts,
all of which played to great acclaim.
* * *
PETER JACKSON (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER)
Longtime J.R.R. Tolkien fan Peter Jackson makes history with The Lord of the Rings, becoming the first person to direct three major feature films simultaneously, Jackson previously received widespread acclaim for his 1994 feature Heavenly Creatures, which was awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
Written by Jackson and his collaborator, Fran Walsh, the film is based on an infamous New Zealand murder of the 1950s, and tells the story of two intelligent and imaginative young girls whose obsessive friendship leads them to murder one of their mothers.
Other film credits include The Frighteners, starring Michael J. Fox, the adult puppet feature Meet the Feebles, and Braindead, which Jackson cowrote. Braindead played at festivals around the world, winning 16 international science fiction awards, including the prestigious Saturn.
Jackson also codirected the television documentary Forgotten Silver, which also hit the film festival circuit.
Born in New Zealand on Halloween in 1961, Jackson began making movies at an early age with his parents' Super 8 camera. At seventeen he left school and, failing to get a job in the New Zealand film industry as he had hoped, started work as a photo-engraving apprentice. After purchasing a 16mm camera, Jackson began shooting a science fiction comedy short, which three years later had grown to a seventy-five-minute feature called Bad Taste, funded entirely from his own wages.
The New Zealand Film Commission eventually gave Jackson money to complete the film, which has become a cult classic.
BARRIE M. OSBORNE (PRODUCER)
Barrie M. Osborne most recently produced the worldwide box office blockbuster and groundbreaking special effects award winner The Matrix. His other producing credits include John Woo's Face/Off and China Moon. He has served as executive producer on The Fan, Dick Tracy, Child's Play, Wilder Napalm, and Rapa Nui.
A native New Yorker who earned a degree in sociology from Minnesota's Carleton College, Osborne rose to the rank of first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before entering the film industry in 1970, as an apprentice editor and assistant production manager. Accepted into the trainee program at the Directors Guild of America, Osborne worked under the tutelage of directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Alan Pakula, and Sydney Pollack on films including The Godfather Part II, Three Days of the Condor, and All the Presidents Men. He subsequently worked on a number of films in various capacities, including Apocalypse Now, The Big Chill, The King of Comedy, The Cotton Club, Peggy Sue Got Married, Cutter's Way, and Fandango.
During a two-year tenure as vice president for feature production at Walt Disney Pictures, Osborne oversaw features including Ruthless People, The Color of Money, Tin Men, Three Men and a Baby, Tough Guys, Outrageous Fortune, Roger Rabbit, and Good Morning, Vietnam.
TIM SANDERS (PRODUCER)
Producer Tim Sanders teamed previously with Peter Jackson as coproducer on The Frighteners. His diverse film credits include serving as producer on Aberration; as line producer on Traps, Reckless Kelly, and Til There Was You; as associate producer on Melvin, Son of Alvin and Razorback; as production manager on The Year of Living Dangerously; as unit manager on Race for the Yankee Zephyr, Gallipoli, and The Survivor; and as location manager on Touch and Go.
For television, Sanders executive produced the series Shortland Street and Marlin Bay; produced the series Plainclothes, Return to Eden, and the miniseries Fallout and The Last Frontier;
line produced the series White Fang, Which Way Home and A Dangerous Life; and associate produced the telefilm Angel in Green. Sanders was also supervising producer for the miniseries Iran. Sanders has held posts as head of production at South Pacific Pictures in New Zealand and producer of film and television development, Communicado, New Zealand.
FRAN WALSH (WRITER/COPRODUCER)
Fran Walsh garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for the feature Heavenly Creatures, which she cowrote with her collaborator Peter Jackson. Other writing credits cowritten with Jackson include Forgetten Silver, The Frighteners, Meet the Feebles and Braindead.
Walsh, who has a background in music, began her writing career soon after leaving Victoria University, where she majored in English literature.
PHILIPPA BOYENS (WRITER)
Philippa Boyens makes her debut as a screenwriter with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Prior to this, Boyens worked in theater as a playwright, teacher, producer, and editor. Boyens moved to film via a stint as director of the New Zealand Writers Guild. Her love of J.R.R. Tolkein's work brought her to this project, having been a fan since she was eleven years old. Boyens was recently named by Variety magazine in its list of ten writers to watch and, along with Walsh and Jackson, has begun work on their next project.
MARK ORDESKY (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)
In 1997, on the heels of his savvy acquisition of Oscar-winning Shine, Mark Ordesky began his tenure as the head of Fine Line Features. At 34, Ordesky became one of the youngest executives in Hollywood to head a motion picture company. Ordesky has created a unique film culture at Fine Line that supports the efforts of the creative community and has established ongoing relationships with such directors as Bernardo Bertolucci, Lars Von Trier, and David Mamet and a haven for emerging talent such as Sundance winner Gavin O'Connor. Ordesky has also nabbed such acquisitions as Saving Grace, Bernardo Bertolucci's Besieged, Oscar-nominated Before Night Falls, Tumbleweeds, and The Sweet Hereafter.
Ordesky's career at New Line Cinema began over ten years ago as he developed a taste for material as a script reader for Chairman Bob Shaye. Working his way up the ladder at the mini-major, Ordesky did everything from managing the company's relationship with John Waters to successfully introducing Jackie Chan to U.S. audiences with the smash success Rumble in the Bronx. Fine Line's recent slate includes David Mamet's State and Main and Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark.
BOB AND HARVEY WEINSTEIN (EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS)
Brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Cochairmen of Miramax Films, founded the company in 1979. The two native New Yorkers named their company after their parents, Miriam and Max, who introduced them to a love of cinema.
Miramax and Dimension Films have released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films of the past decade, including the recent Chocolat, Shakespeare in Love, Life Is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella), Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, The English Patient, Scream and Scream 2, The Crying Game, The Piano, Il Postino, Cinema Paradiso, The Wings of the Dove, My Left Foot, Sling Blade, Kolya, and Farewell My Concubine, among many others. These films and others have received 134 Academy Award nominations and 40 wins in the past 11 years.
RICK PORRAS (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER)
Rick Porras associate-produced Contact and previously worked with Peter Jackson as postproduction supervisor on The Frighteners. After graduating from Stanford University, Porras ventured into the film business as a buyer for Filmline International, attending the international festivals and markets. Porras then joined Robert Zemeckis Productions as a production assistant and later assistant to director/producer Zemeckis on the HBO series Tales From the Crypt: Yellow and the feature film The Public Eye. Porras continued working with Zemeckis in other capacities, including production associate on Death Becomes Her and postproduction supervisor on Forrest Gump. He was also postproduction consultant on Tales from The Crypt: You Murderer and to the South-Side Amusement Co.
ELLEN M. SOMERS (ASSOCIATE PRODUCER)
Ellen M. Somers was producer/supervisor on What Dreams May Come, which won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Prior to that Somers was hired by Warner Bros. as vice president of production-digital studios to build Warner Digital Studios. The studio quickly grew to over 160 people and in less than two years produced visual effects for Eraser, Mars Attacks, Batman, Robin, and the Iceman, My Fellow Americans, and Vegas Vacation, while producing stunning effects for the advertising community. Somers personally production-supervised Mars Attacks and Batman, Robin, and the Iceman.
While head of production for the critically acclaimed Boss Film Studios, Somers production-supervised visual effects on such films as Ghost, Alien III, Batman Returns, Cliffhanger, Outbreak, and Species. Somers also worked as executive producer, line producer, and visual effects supervisor on numerous commercials for clients including Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Budweiser, Miller, McDonald's, and others.
ANDREW LESNIE, A.C.S. (DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY)
Andrew Lesnie held the Australian Cinematographers Society's coveted Milli Award for 1995 and 1996, making him Australia's Cinematographer of the Year two years running. Most recently he won the 1997 Australian Film Institute Award for best cinematography for Doing Time for Patsy Cline, and a 1997 ACS gold award for the same film.
He won the 1996 ACS Golden Tripod Award for Babe, in 1995 for Temptation of a Monk, and in 1994 for Spider and Rose. His other feature credits include Two If by Sea, The Sugar Factory, Fatal Past, The Delinquents, Dark Age, Boys in the Island, Daydream Believer, and Unfinished Business, among others.
Lesnie also handled second unit photography on Farewell to the King, Incident at Raven's Gate, and Around the World in Eighty Ways. His television credits include The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy, Melba (ACS Merit Award), and Cyclone Tracy (ACS Golden Tripod Award for best photographed miniseries). In addition, Lesnie has garnered ACS awards for the short films The Outing and The Same Stream.
RICHARD TAYLOR (CREATURE, MINIATURE, ARMOUR, SPECIAL MAKEUP EFFECTS SUPERVISOR)
Richard Taylor, director of the special effects company WETA, has been special effects designer on all of Peter Jackson's feature films, including The Frighteners, Heavenly Creatures, Braindead, Meet the Feebles, and the television documentary Forgotten Silver.
Other feature credits for Taylor include Heaven, The Ugly, Once Were Warriors, Jack Brown Genius, Tidal Wave, The Tommyknockers, and A Bright Shining Lie. For television, Taylor has designed creature and special makeup effects for Hercules, Xena: Warrior Princess and Young Hercules.
Taylor and his partner, Tania Rodger, have received numerous international special effects awards, including Best Models and Miniatures (Spain), and a Saturn Award nomination for Jackson's The Frighteners. The couple also garnered Best Special Effects Awards for Braindead at Stiges Festival-Spain, Avorez Festival-France, Portuguese Film Festival, Silver Scream Award, Holland, and for Meet the Feebles a Best Physical Effect Award at the Fanta Festival-Italy.
New Zealand Film Awards include Best Contribution Design for Braindead, Heavenly Creatures, Forgotten Silver, and The Ugly as well as nominations for Jack Brown Genius and Heaven.
GRANT MAJOR (PRODUCTION DESIGNER)
Grant Major received a New Zealand Film and Television Award for Best Design on Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures in 1995. Two years later Major picked up the same award for The Ugly.
Major's other film credits include Jackson's The Frighteners, Memory and Desire, The Abberations, Jack Be Nimble, An Angel at My Table, and, as art director, for Other Halves. Major's work as an art director for television includes telefilms Hercules and The Grasscutter, the series Hanlon, as well as commercials and news programs. Major also worked as a production designer on the telefilm The Chosen.
Born in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Major's career in design began at Television New Zealand. His background ranges from production design for the Commonwealth Games ceremonies to designer for the New Zealand Pavilions at the World Expos in Australia and Spain.
NGILA DICKSON (COSTUME DESIGNER)
Ngila Dickson, born in Dunedin, New Zealand, received the Best Contribution to Design Award at the New Zealand Television Awards in both 1997 and 1998. For her work on Xena: Warrior Princess, Dickson garnered the Best Costume Award at the 4th International Cult TV Awards. Dickson's film credits as a costume designer include Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, Jack Be Nimble, Crush, Grampire, Ruby and Rata, User Friendly, and the telefilm Rainbow Warrior.
For television, Dickson has designed for the series Hercules, Xena, Warrior Princess, High Tide, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Ray Bradbury Series.
HOWARD SHORE (COMPOSER)
Howard Shore has composed evocative music for a long list of motion pictures. Most recently his scores have been heard on such hits as High Fidelity, Dogma, Analyze This, and eXistenZ. Prior to these assignments, Shore scored The Game, Cop Land, That Thing You Do!, Looking for Richard, Crash, The Truth About Cats & Dogs, The Score, and The Yards.
He also worked on two films for director Barbet Schroeder, Before and After and Single White Female. In addition he wrote the music for Tim Burton's Ed Wood as well as the brooding, gothic score for Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs. The Canadian-born composer also wrote the scores for nine David Cronenberg films, including The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, and M. Butterfly.
As one of the industry's most celebrated composers, Shore's body of work includes scores for many of the more prominent films of recent years, including Martin Scorsese's After Hours, Robert Benton's Nobody's Fool, and Joel Schumacher's The Client, as well as Big, Seven, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Philadelphia.
Shore was the music director for the first five seasons of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
JAMIE SELKIRK (POSTPRODUCTION PRODUCER)
Jamie Selkirk has collaborated with Peter Jackson on the majority of his films, first as editor, sound editor, and postproduction supervisor for Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles, and Heavenly Creatures. With Jackson's Braindead, Selkirk made the move to associate producer/editor and then to producer and editor on The Frighteners.
Selkirk's other credits include Jack Brown Genius, The Lie of the Land, Battletruck, The Scarecrow, Wild Horses, and The Silent One.
Selkirk's career in editing started at the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporations. He moved to editorial as a trainee editor and began cutting newsreels, current affairs, documentaries, and dramas. Before his foray into production, Selkirk formed his own post-production company, Mr. Chopper, and worked on a variety of productions and television commercials.
JOHN GILBERT (EDITOR)
John Gilbert has been involved in the postproduction of over 20 feature films. His editorial credits include Crush, Via Satelliete (Best Editor Award at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards), Punitive Damage, and associate editor on Peter Jackson's The Frighteners.
He also produced the short film Willy Nilly.
John Gilbert's first position in the film industry was with the New Zealand National Film Unit during a break from university. Gilbert never returned to his history and anthropology degree but moved on to TVNZ, where he worked as an assistant editor, then editor.
As a freelancer assistant editor and sound editor, Gilbert edited many short films, documentaries, and television dramas, including The Lounge Bar, Jean Batten Garbo of the Skies, Street Legal, The Chosen, and Coverstory.
MICHAEL J. HORTON (EDITOR)
Michael J. Horton first began working as a film editor with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in the mid-sixties. His credits include such films as Goodbye Pork Pie, Smash Palace, Utu, The Quiet Earth, Footroot Flats, Once Were Warriors, and What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted, among others, as well as coeditor on the made-for-television movie directed by Peter Jackson and Costa Botes, Forgotten Silver.
Born in Lower Hutt, Wellington, in New Zealand, Horton was educated at Saint Patricks College in Wellington and has also edited numerous commercials in New Zealand and overseas.
JIM RYGIEL (VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR)
In 1980, after earning his M.F.A. degree from Otis Parsons School of Design, Rygiel joined Pacific Electric Pictures, one of the earliest companies to employ computer animation for the advertising and film markets. In 1983, Rygiel's work took him to Digital Productions, where he began work of The Last Starfighter, a film notable for its pioneering use of digital imaging in place of models for the space ships.
While at Digital Productions, Rygiel's commercial work was nominated for numerous awards and he won a prestigious CLIO award for the introduction of the Sony Walkman. From 1987 until 1989, Rygiel supervised numerous projects while at visual effects companies Pacific Data Images (PDI) and Metrolight. In 1989 Rygiel was asked to form and head a computer animation department at Boss Film Studios.
This department of one grew to over 75 animators and 100 support staff within a few short years, winning another CLIO Award for the Geo Prism automobile commercial. While at Boss, Rygiel supervised many feature films, both as digital effects supervisor and visual effects supervisor. His credits there include Starship Troopers, Species, Outbreak, Air Force One, The Scout, The Last Action Hero, Cliffhanger, Batman Returns, Alien III, and Ghost.
In 1997 Rygiel went on to supervise The Parent Trap, Star Trek: Insurrection, Anna and the King, and 102 Dalmatians.
Rygiel is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
ALAN LEE (CONCEPTUAL ARTIST/SET DECORATOR)
Alan Lee, who is responsible for the fifty watercolor illustrations in the centenary editions of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's Ring, and The Hobbit, provided conceptual sketches for the design of The Lord of the Rings.
Lee has long had a preoccupation with the Celtic and Norse myths which influenced Tolkien. His other illustrations include such fantasy works as Faeries (with Brian Froud), The Mabinogion, Castles, The Mirrorstone, The Moon's Revenge, Merlin Dreams, Black Ships Before Troy, and The Wanderings of Odysseus.
Lee has received several prestigious awards including the Kate Greenaway Medal for Black Ships Before Troy. Most recently, Lee garnered the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards of 1998.
Lee began work in the film industry as a conceptual designer on the film Legend. Other credits for Lee include the feature film Erik the Viking and the acclaimed television miniseries Merlin.
JOHN HOWE (CONCEPTUAL ARTIST)
John Howe is best known throughout the world for his contributions to a wide range of Tolkien projects such as calendars, posters, and jacket illustrations and he brings his passion for Tolkien's work to conceptual drawings for The Lord of the Rings.
Howe has worked quite extensively for the European film industry, illustrating Bande Dessinée comics and numerous books, primarily fantasy, historical, and children's titles. He decorated the reception of the renowned Maison d'Ailleurs, the Museum of Science Fiction in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, and has personal exhibitions on show throughout Europe for the past twenty years. He has also produced backgrounds for animated television.
DAN HENNAH (SUPERVISING ART DIRECTOR)
Dan Hennah was the art director for Peter Jackson's The Frighteners. Other feature film credits as art director include Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, White Water Summer, and Savage Islands; as supervising art director on The Rescue; as production designer on Mesmerised, and as dressing prop on Mutiny on the Bounty.
As a production designer for television, Hennah's credits include the Cloud 9 television series The Tribe, Twist in the Tale, William Tell and Treasure Island. Further television credits find Hennah as associate designer on 99-1, art director on Heart of the High Country and production designer on the movie-of-the-week Adrift.
Born in Hastings, New Zealand, Hennah went on to study architecture at the Wellington Polytechnic School of Architecture. Hennah's first position in the film industry was as a production assistant on the film Prisoner.
PETER OWEN (MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN)
Over three decades ago Peter Owen started work at Bristol Old Vic while a student of modern languages at Bristol University. After working in theater, television, and opera all over Europe, Owen began work as a film makeup and hair designer on The Draughtsman's Contract. His other early films include Prick Up Your Ears and Dangerous Liaisons. More recent feature credits include Little Women, Age of Innocence, Oscar and Lucinda, The Bird Cage, Beloved, The Portrait of a Lady, Onegin, and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, for which he received the first Annual Hollywood Guild of Makeup Artists & Hairstylists' Best Character Makeup, 2000.
Owen's company with Peter King, Owen & King, counts as regular clients Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Robert De Niro, Helen Hunt, and Ralph Fiennes, among others.
PETER KING (MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN)
After training and working as a hairdresser, King joined Bristol Old Vic and worked on his first film, The Draughtsman's Contract. Thereafter King worked for Peter Owen on numerous opera, theater, and film productions until they formed a company with Caroline Turner.
His early work as a designer includes The Blackheath Poisonings, Secret Weapon, Princess Caraboo, FairytaleA True Story, and Batman IV. More recently he has worked on Avengers and Little Voice and received BAFTA Nominations for Velvet Goldmine and An Ideal Husband.
As a company, Owen & King have as regular clients Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Malkovich, Bruce Willis, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz, Robert De Niro, Helen Hunt and Ralph Fiennes, among others.