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An excellent Deadline story: looking back on FOTR's magical 24 minutes in Cannes

Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 9 2021, 4:41am

Post #1 of 13 (1749 views)
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An excellent Deadline story: looking back on FOTR's magical 24 minutes in Cannes Can't Post

https://deadline.com/...-feature-1234785740/

There's plenty of new stuff in here, including the stress on distributors and just how tetchy things got between PJ and New Line during filming.

I remember this moment in Cannes. It felt like MSM finally understood what what was coming with these movies, and anticipation (outside of the fandom) abruptly ramped up.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


lurtz2010
Rohan

Jul 9 2021, 5:59am

Post #2 of 13 (1721 views)
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I really hope they release that reel one day [In reply to] Can't Post

Based on some descriptions some of it is actually different from what was in the films.

Where you there Ataahua or do you just remember the online buzz after it happened?


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 9 2021, 7:02am

Post #3 of 13 (1717 views)
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Can you *imagine* being at Cannes for that? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't there but just the thought of being in the middle if that wonder and excitement is ... well I don't actually have a good word for it but the thought makes me happy. Smile

Still trying to get my head around it being 20 years ago, though!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 13 2021, 2:01am

Post #4 of 13 (1650 views)
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Boy, that brings back memories. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do remember the doom and gloom stories, and how eagerly we all awaited the news and reports from Cannes. It really did turn the tide when the media suddenly realized that the fantasy film they'd been scorning was more than shiny swords and tacky costumes, and this gamble might just pay off big. It took them rather longer to quit thinking LOTR only appealed to teenage boys, but they (mostly) eventually figured that out too.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 13 2021, 3:33am

Post #5 of 13 (1643 views)
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I remember feeling confident [In reply to] Can't Post

that the film-makers knew what they were doing when the black and white cast photos came out. God knows when that was - before Cannes, certainly. Those pics were our first look at what we'd be seeing on screen and the costuming/overall looks indicated how much thought and effort had gone into each character.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 14 2021, 3:46am

Post #6 of 13 (1596 views)
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Yes, the cast photos were a major confidence booster. [In reply to] Can't Post

It was the first promo pic of Bilbo holding the ring and smiling down at it that did it for me. Like they had reached into my head and made the picture in my imagination real.

Actually, even the casting announcements were reassuring, because you could tell who most people were cast as without being told, which made it clear they were casting to the book characters. At least for me, because I've seen so many beloved books mangled in the adaptation and cast with people who bore no resemblance to the characters in the book.
But we were watching all the tidbits we could get, most of the people at Cannes had seen zero of the stuff we had seen, I can only imagine the impact of seeing the preview with no prior knowledge.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




lurtz2010
Rohan

Jul 14 2021, 10:05pm

Post #7 of 13 (1555 views)
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What was the reaction like online after the first trailer came out? [In reply to] Can't Post

that was actually released before Cannes wasnít it?


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 14 2021, 11:24pm

Post #8 of 13 (1554 views)
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I can't recall whether it came out first... [In reply to] Can't Post

It probably did, but it didn't have a huge amount of finished footage, just a few character glimpses and a lot of teaser things, like a few seconds of the cave troll in greyscale computer model phase, no textures (I remember those couple of seconds causing some of the biggest reaction, second only to the Fellowship money shot). The response among the fan community was great, and it was downloaded a huge number of times (over a million, I think?) in the first 24 hours - huge for then, anyway, as that was still dial-up era. I know I started downloading it at midnight and I think I could finally watch it at 3am. You couldn't just go click on some website and watch it streaming like you can now, it took a certain amount of dedication to download and watch it. So the fansites were very excited - we here at TORN debated and dissected and speculated and obsessed over it in detail, as did many others, and some of the geekier entertainment sites talked about it, but it didn't really hit the big mainstream media outlets.

The thing with the Cannes reel is that it was A) finished footage and B) included a whole section of the film instead of the standard trailer style jumping between a few seconds of this and a few seconds of that, and C) was shown to an audience of industry people and journalists, a group who were unlikely to have been downloading early preview stuff or lurking on fansites looking at spy reports. Also, as we learned over the next few years, very few entertainment writers or industry people had actually read the book, as was very obvious when they wrote any articles about it. It was very much in the subculture "genre ghetto" and carried the stigma of being "for teenage boys playing D&D in their parents' basement" (yes, some articles actually said that), so the advance stuff really didn't mean anything to those people if they even saw any of it. There was this whole divide between the fans' anticipation and the industry's dire predictions. Fantasy was NOT a respected genre, and no fantasy story had ever been taken this seriously before. It was always a little cheesy or campy, and definitely not heavy on realism.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




(This post was edited by Silverlode on Jul 14 2021, 11:25pm)


lurtz2010
Rohan

Jul 15 2021, 1:17am

Post #9 of 13 (1544 views)
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I think that BTS teaser and then a proper film teaser both came out in 2000 before Cannes [In reply to] Can't Post

The actual film teaser being that one that starts with Frodo catching the flying ring with red clouds in the background then ending with the fellowship shot with the dates of each film to be released. After Cannes in 2001 they released those two main trailers later in the year.

Going back and watching them now they look very amateur compared to trailers made today. Even the final trailer doesnít capture the epic quality that the film was actually going to be. The colour grading and dialogue were obviously still unfinished but even the editing itself was extremely average.

What was the response on here like after FOTR was finally released? Is there any kind of archived threads from back in those days or is it all lost forever?


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 15 2021, 2:05am

Post #10 of 13 (1538 views)
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I have half a memory [In reply to] Can't Post

that the really early stuff on TORN was lost in a server crash. Silverlode, does that ring a bell with you?


In Reply To
Is there any kind of archived threads from back in those days or is it all lost forever?


After FOTR was released, it was like a tsunami of new board members overwhelmed everything. It was *very* energetic and gushing on the discussion boards; discussions were lasting no more than a few hours before they were pushed off to page two by the volume of new threads. The positivity about the movie and its depiction of Middle-earth was only just more prominent than the amount of fangirling over Legolas.

When that initial surge of 'WOW!' got out of people's system, the pick pick picking over details began in earnest.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Fantasy novel - The Arcanist's Tattoo

My LOTR fan-fiction


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 15 2021, 4:58am

Post #11 of 13 (1526 views)
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You're right, sadly. [In reply to] Can't Post

A massive server crash deleted much of the site at one point (post-LOTR but pre-Hobbit). They put back together as much as they could, but a lot of the main site stuff was lost, including nearly all of the massive image gallery. Frown Some of the old boards remains but is unsearchable at this point. There has been talk of working through what remains to reformat it to be viewable, but most of it is tagged with IP addresses, so it would be a lot of work to get it in a form that could be public. Some people had saved various threads over the years, and some of them have been reposted from time to time. I lost most of what I had in a computer crash of my own. Some stuff might be findable on the wayback machine, but I don't know how much.

As to the reaction after the release of FOTR, that evening I left the boards their usual close-knit, friendly selves full of book-loving Tolkien geeks, showing 1-2 days of posts on the first page of each board, and went off to a midnight premiere and line party. I came back around 4am, eager to post my thoughts and geek out with my friends, only to discover the "posts showing" time down to less than 1 hour, and the place awash in no-text messages like OOOOOOMMMMMGGGG LEGOLASSSSS IS SOOOOO HOOOOOOOTTTTTT!!!!!1!!!!!!11111 posted by MRSLEGOLAS45843 less than a minute ago

It was a huge shock, and for a while I wasn't sure if the place would ever regain a measure of sanity, but eventually most of the drooling abated and some actual discussion returned, though it took some dedicated posting on the part of the old regulars who had stuck around to reestablish the tone and style of the place after the wall of all caps and txtspk. Several of the oldtimers left during that time and never returned, sadly. But amid the chaos we also gained a number of newbies who stuck around and are now some of our most valued oldtimers. This pattern repeated for the release of each movie, although not quite to the same extremes as with the first.

Silverlode

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.




Annael
Immortal


Jul 21 2021, 3:22pm

Post #12 of 13 (1256 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Overnight the boards moved from an average age of mid-30s and more male than female to being heavily dominated by teenage "Orli-lovers" as we dubbed them, and the discussion devolved significantly. We lost several of our most revered posters who had no tolerance for silliness.

There was also a great deal of heat between the "purists" who took exception to every deviation from the books in the movies, and those who shrugged and said "adaptations." The moderators were very busy!

I am a dreamer of words, of written words.
-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


NottaSackville
Tol Eressea

Jul 22 2021, 12:35pm

Post #13 of 13 (1211 views)
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This is a fun thread, thanks for these memories! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was one of those post-movie joiners, so never got to see the transition.

Happiness: money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important and so are friends, while envy is toxic -- and so is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude. - The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner as summarized by Lily Fairbairn. And a bit of the Hobbit reading thrown in never hurts. - NottaSackville

 
 

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