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Lord of the Rings Media Movies Entertainment

LotR RotK Premiere Today In New Zealand 279

donnz writes "Things are getting a little out of hand in Wellington today. For those of you who have not spent the night sleeping on the sidewalk CityLink have been wiring up webcams all over the place. Keep up with all the news and links on Just to show we are twice blessed, the sun is shining."
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LotR RotK Premiere Today In New Zealand

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  • by Anonymous Coward
  • Using Linux and KDE (Score:3, Informative)

    by sultanoslack ( 320583 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:08PM (#7593648)
    It's also cool to note that they're using Linux and KDE in some of the rendering. See here [] for more details and screenies.
    • by Raindance ( 680694 ) * <> on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:16PM (#7593694) Homepage Journal
      I believe they used the linux platform as well to orchestrate the battles; in the massive melees they set up a bunch of orc and human models, defined their movement, gave them scripts and defined their objective as 'stay alive, and kill those not of your type', gave them scripts pointing to these objectives, and just *let them do their thing*.

      Much of the battle at Helmsdeep, for instance, is AI program vs AI program. Awesome.

      *of course, the first time they tried it, the humans broke ranks and just ran away from the orcs. What does that say?

      • by remou ( 146100 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:30PM (#7593762) Homepage
        > the first time they tried it, the humans broke ranks and just ran away from the orcs. What does that say?

        Actually according to TTT extended version DVDs, the AI's in the back just started running away from the battle. The reason being that they had programmed the AIs to start running in random directions if they coudn't see an enemy AI, hoping that like this the AIs would run into an ennemy sooner or later. If your AI is at the back of a 10000 people uruquai army, then this strategy won't really work, so they changed it...

        nothing to see here, move on....
      • by u-235-sentinel ( 594077 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:44PM (#7593827) Homepage Journal
        "*of course, the first time they tried it, the humans broke ranks and just ran away from the orcs. What does that say?"

        Sounds like that commercial was right "when the courage of men fail"... :-)

        Good thing we had Aragorn eh ;-)
      • "*of course, the first time they tried it, the humans broke ranks and just ran away from the orcs. What does that say?"

      • What does that say?
        That evil will always triumph because good is dumb?
      • > of course, the first time they tried it, the humans broke ranks and just ran away from the orcs. What does that say?

        --They weren't running away, they were executing a "strategic retreat" in order to set up an ambush. Breaking ranks was just to make it look convincing. (whistles innocently)
    • by 1984 ( 56406 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:24PM (#7593731)
      "...using Linux and KDE in some of the rendering."

      Linux is a pretty popular platform in the industry. Maya seems to be a little slower on Linux than Windows (don't flame me: talk to Alias). And expect to find tens or hundreds of nodes of Linux-based renderfarm all over the place. All our shots for Matrix III were rendered on Athlons running RedHat.

      • Good to hear they moved over to Mental Ray on Linux. When I interviewed with them a year ago they were 100% windows -- even on the farm.

        Now that it's over, what are you up to these days? Still working for them or have you moved on? Might have to update my profie so it's not so horribly out of date and we can move this conversation elsewhere.
    • by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:37PM (#7593791)
      They don't use Windows because it's a lot harder to write programs and you're pretty much locked into MFC if you want to write anything reasonably complex. On Linux, you get easier access to hardware without having to worry if some of the "black boxes" in Windows are going to get fucked up by messing with certain things. I've said this before and I'll say it again: Windows is not better than Linux, nor is Linux better than Windows. If all you're doing is entering stuff into a spreadsheet and surfing the net, Windows is better. If you need to write a lot of custom applications and don't want to spend years doing it, Linux is the way to go. Different uses demand different tools, which is why Linux will probably never seriously crack the desktop market, but will be (is?) a force to be reckoned with in a lot of "middleware" applications.
      • by McAddress ( 673660 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @05:08PM (#7593935)
        You should not be allowed to post on slashdot being that you are not a zealot of one OS.

        Everybody knows they could have done this faster and cheaper if they were running BSD.

        *ducks to avoid flames*

      • by msevior ( 145103 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @08:19PM (#7595063)
        *sigh* why do people who seem to understand things say this sort of thing. Nothing is static. In fact if all you're doing is entering numbers in a spreadsheet Linux is probally a *better* solution for the desktop.

        Linux loses to Windows on the desktop in the *range* of apps that is available and in the *range* of hardware that's available.

        Linux is not useful to Windows Geeks who inhabit slashdot because it doesn't have all the cool hardware support provided by leading edge hardware supplier. Still there is lots of cool hardware that *does* work well with Linux.

        Linux loses on the 20% of corp desktops that need a range of sophisticated apps. It loses in the consumer market because it doesn't come pre-configured and Johnny -down-the-street who maintains Joe-blows Windows box doesn't know Linux yet.

        Once a beachhead on corp desktop is established for 80% of machines that just do routine things, other opportunities will become available.

        KDE or GNOME are both excellent desktop environments.
    • Seems a bit of a shame that they only provide Windows Media Player streaming video of the premier though.
  • Good for NZers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NightWulf ( 672561 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:09PM (#7593657)
    As I understand the people of NZ were more than gracious to the film crew. Also who can deny the lush beautiful landscapes that NZ provided. I think it's only fair they get to see the movie a few weeks before we do. On a side note, with the success of a more than excellent translation of LOTR by Jackson, anyone else hoping that one day he may do a King Arthur tale? Perhaps a Once and Future King trilogy?
    • by AnEmbodiedMind ( 612071 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:14PM (#7593686)
      No, this is the premier for the stars... the rest of us New Zealanders will still have to wait a couple more weeks before it is released to the public.
    • Re:Good for NZers (Score:2, Insightful)

      by old_unicorn ( 697566 )
      Once and Future King - YES. The only book that always makes me cry, when Arthur stands up and explains to the hedgehog what it's all about. A brilliant book. There was a Walt Disny thing "Sword in the Stone" that was based in part of it, the lessons from merlin in the moat as a fish, etc, but there is so much more to the books.
    • Re:Good for NZers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Leme ( 303299 ) <> on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:18PM (#7593703)
      I'd kill for him to do a series based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R Martin [].

      Really I would.
    • by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:23PM (#7593730)
      Strange women lyin' in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a movie trilogy!
    • I'm waiting for the prequels: The Hobbit, episode 2, and episode 3, however the Tolkien family and Peter Jackson decide to write them.

    • Re:Good for NZers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TrippTDF ( 513419 ) <> on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:58PM (#7593876)
      Also who can deny the lush beautiful landscapes that NZ provided. Seriously. A friend of mine spent 6 months in Antarctica at a US research base (he only had an internet connection when a communications satellite was overhead... I think 8 hours a day or something) and then spent 6 months in NZ just traveling around... his photos were amazing, and I half expected to see Gandolf riding a horse in the distance. I would LOVE to go there some day, except I hear it's hard to get into the country sometimes.
      • Re:Good for NZers (Score:3, Informative)

        by twinpot ( 40956 )
        The only thing hard about getting into New Zealand is the 27 hour flight from Europe! It's at least three hours flying from Sydney to Wellington.
        If you're from Europe or North America you'll get a tourist visa at point of entry.
      • Re:Good for NZers (Score:5, Informative)

        by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @06:30PM (#7594458) Homepage Journal
        I would LOVE to go there some day, except I hear it's hard to get into the country sometimes.

        Yeah, that 20 minute drive can be a real pain in the ass...

        The only hard part is the flight to get there, after that it's pretty easy. The impressive part is that you can go from the beach, to snowcapped mountains, to a rainforest in a day. In fact, if you're a real masochist you can compete in the Speights Coast to Coast, a race from one side of the country, over the Southern Alps, to the other, and see some very impressive scenery on the way. Serious competeors complete the race without stopping. Normal people do the race as a 2 day event.

    • Re:Good for NZers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @05:25PM (#7594062) Homepage Journal
      As I understand the people of NZ were more than gracious to the film crew.

      Yeah, but given that most of the film crew were New Zealanders that's not that surprising. A lot of people dont seem to realise, this is largely a New Zealand film. The production money is from New Line, and that's US, but the director (Jackson
      ), screenplay writers (Jackson, Walsh, Boyens), casting, film crew, locations, costume design, and even the special effects (Weta Workshops, and Weta Digital) etc. are all New Zealand based. Even a large number of the actors are New Zealand actors - the leads, are, of course, big names from overseas, but many of the minor roles, Haldir, Celeborn, Denethor, Eomer etc. are all New Zealanders.

      And what's the easiest way to get a large army of orcs for battle scenes? Yes, that's right, they used the New Zealand Army!

      New Zealand provided far more than the landscapes - these films are (except for the money) New Zealand films.

      • Re:Good for NZers (Score:2, Informative)

        by AyeRoxor! ( 471669 )
        And what's the easiest way to get a large army of orcs for battle scenes? Yes, that's right, they used the New Zealand Army!

        Primer from the CIA World Factbook []:
        • New Zealand Military branches
          • New Zealand Army
          • Royal New Zealand Navy
          • Royal New Zealand Air Force
        • Military manpower - military age
          • 20 years of age (2003 est.)
        • Military manpower - availability
          • males age 15-49: 1,021,770 (2003 est.)
        • Military manpower - fit for military service:
          • males age 15-49: 859,505 (2003 est.)
        • Military manpower - reach
      • Damn straight. And you know as well as I do; everyone in Wellington knows at least 2 people that worked on the film.

        The streets here in Wellington are closed for almost two days so we can have a parade of all things. I'll just make sure I take my LOTR DVDs in the hope of getting them signed by someone important (then, EBAY!) and a camera for boasting purposes. This will be, after all, the first and last time this kind of thing happens in Wellington, I'm sure.

      • by MemoryAid ( 675811 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @06:36PM (#7594497)
        And what's the easiest way to get a large army of orcs for battle scenes? Yes, that's right, they used the New Zealand Army!

        I didn't realize the New Zealand Army was made up of orcs. No wonder they have never been defeated. Any opponents must be terrified. People just aren't used to fighting orcs.

  • Some more webcams (Score:2, Informative)

    by trystanu ( 691619 )
    These don't seem to be /.ed yet, at least, they're working for me (sourced from Downtown Courtenay Place ( Uptown Courtenay Place ( The red carpet (live 12noon NZ time) ( and Unfortunately no cams yet running from *inside* the cinema If you live in NZ, you can get some visit live streaming cam
  • LotR RotK? (Score:4, Funny)

    by BigJimSlade ( 139096 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:30PM (#7593763) Homepage
    STFU! I was ROTFL when I saw the NZ link on /. was totally FUBAR. I couldn't even RTFA!
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:36PM (#7593782) Homepage Journal
    Follow the link []. Not much else, statistics, dollars earned, blah blah blah.

    Here's hoping he's right. November's been a bit of a let down. Matrix Revolutions blew chunks (but nice CGI), Cat in the Hat is outright stupid and Timeline was underwhelming. Kill Bill Vol 1, however, was very cool and I'm looking forward to Feb. 20 to see Vol 2. (Did anyone else think of Sergio Leone's work while watching Kill Bill?)

    • (Did anyone else think of Sergio Leone's work while watching Kill Bill?)
      Not exactly a Clint paen to Sergio, was it but if anything it reminded me of a Python take of of him. I still think it was one of the best so far, but I still have great expectations of ROTK.
    • by devphil ( 51341 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @06:32PM (#7594472) Homepage

      If Jackson says it's the best, I'm willing to take his word for it. (Until I see it for myself, and even then I'll probably agree with him, because I have done so in the past.)

      I've been watching the making-of interviews and listening to the commentary tracks on the Extended Two Towers DVD With Extra Ass-Kicking And Shiny Bits. Jackson and Walsh explain their reasoning behind the "controversial" decisions (Elves at Helm's Deep, no Shelob, Faramir's initially a jerk, side trip to Osgiliath, etc). The decisions are actually all chained together. And now that I've heard the screenwriter's/director's side of the story, instead of just /. ravings, I have to admit that they probably made the right decisions.

      (Okay, maybe not about the Elves showing up. I'm still on deciding that one. The lack of Shelob (leading to the trip to Osgiliath) makes more sense now.)

      There's a great comment by Bernard Hill, who played Theoden. (Background: Many of the desired accents changed during the course of filming, and of course there's script rewrites and background noise and whatnot, so almost every actor had to go into a soundbooth at the end and record some overdubs of his/her previous lines.) Anyhow, Hill was recording the lines where the Elves walk into the fortress and he comes running down the stairs. As a joke on Peter Jackson, instead of "How is this possible?", he recorded:

      "Who the fucking hell let you lot in the gate?"

      • by nagora ( 177841 )
        And now that I've heard the screenwriter's/director's side of the story, instead of just /. ravings, I have to admit that they probably made the right decisions.

        Err, the screenwriter's/directors side of the story was on the screen. If their reasons have to be clarified by a commentary then they were the wrong reasons. This is a movie, not a seminar.


        • Answer 1: The movies were based on the book. The movies did certain things differently. It was interesting to find out why.

          Answer 2: The movies were not seminars, but the commentary tracks sort of were. Hence, a seminar-like approach was appropriate.

          Answer 3: Making a movie requires thousands of individual decisions, each of which can be individually justified (or not) without crossing the line from movie to seminar.
    • Wow. When i first read your post, i thought you said Sergio Aragone, creator of the comic Groo, the tale of a mendicant fool with a samurai sword and a pet dog, Rufferto, who is smarter than he is.

      At least the restaurant scene is not far off from a fray involving Groo - many body parts are always severed...
  • I'm here... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deminisma ( 703135 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:40PM (#7593808)
    Sitting in my living room about 20mins walk from the Embassy where the premiere is taking place. To be honest, I find the excitement the whole city is experiencing a little embarrassing. All four of our free-to-air television stations are doing specials tonight, the Dominion Post newspaper devotes the entire first three pages to it. I mean, really it is just a film premiere.
    Nevertheless, some of the buildings around Wellington look fantastic, a few adorned with giant models from Weta. I believe the red carpet is over 400 metres long, spanning the length of Courtenay Place, one of our largest streets.
    Should be interesting, but really the hype is almost unbearable.

    Just letting Slashdot know not every Wellingtonian is so damn excitable!
  • by stendec ( 582696 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @04:40PM (#7593810)
    Islidur dissapointed to find Gladden Fields already littered with corpses, rings.
    Dwarven metal-detector only turns up bottlecaps, shattered armor of comrades.

    Isildur, eldest son and heir of Elendil, was dissapointed late afternoon last Monday when his attempt to find the ring which slipped off his finger failed. "I was lookining all through the muck, between the reeds and shrubs, and I even wrestled a Gladden Gator to see if it accidentally swallowed it." The King of both Arnor and Gondor then employed his three sons to aid in the search. After much searching amongst the reeds, Elendur, eldest of Isildur's four sons, shouted in the gloom, "I have located it, father!" Unfortunately, upon putting the ring on, Elendur did not dissappear, leaving the red embarrasement on his face plain to the eye. "Must be some other ring," he grumbled. The many corpses strewn across the Gladden Fields did not help the endeavour either. "All of this cracked and broken armor is really throwing off the metal detector. It's like trying to find a needle in a bloody, corpse-strewn haystack. I can only hope my insurance covers this." When pressed for comment, Lloyd's of London only said that "Insurance for rings of power laden with the capability of invisibility is not available, not even for a king of the Numenoreans, largely because "invisible rings" are a huge source of insurance fraud." Later on in the day, the heir of Elendil was slain by an orc. "I can only hope the One Ring is not found by some scheming, hideous halfling-like creature which eminates bubbling-like noises, or else all is lost," he said in his dying words, before another arrow punctured his larynx.

    • Humorous diary of Saruman []
    • by stendec ( 582696 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @05:43PM (#7594190)
      Undead Witch King Riding Through Hobbiton Raises Only A Few Eyebrows

      Late Thursday evening, local hobbit Ted Sandyman was only mildly surprised to see the Witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgul, riding down the road leading up and over The Hill. "Aye, sir, I was a-walkin' down the road to go do some fishin' at the Bywater Pool when up comes this surly fellow all in black," the miller's son commented. "He says to me, he says 'Where can I find Bagginsssss' in a real gruff voice, as if he's the Lord of Angmar, much like. I give him the ol' long look and says straight to his face, 'If it's Baggins you want, then go up-on The Hill. But you look mighty famished, sir, as if you didna' eat for a few centuries.' I then offers him to come over to the mill for some biscuits and the like but 'ee says he hasn't 'et anything for a few centuries 'cuz he's been dead for a few centuries. Than he went a-gallopin' up to the Hill, not even bothering to bid me a good day." Another hobbit, Millo Burrow, also saw the forsaken slave of the second dark lord stroll through the town. "It musta been noon-day when I sees him. He was a-ridin' a black horse, and so at first I thought it was old Mr. Butterbur come from Bree on an errand, but no: I look closer and, bless my hide, it's the Lord of Angmar. I shrug my shoulders and go on my way, seein' as it's no business of mine as to what an eternally damned witch king is doin' in town. Prolly buying some fine Hobbiton cheese, no doubt."

  • Woah - walk to work at 9am along coutenay place, and I'm sure every teen girl is along the red carpet -- heaps of them with sleeping bags ! :P Can't imagine how busy it will be this afternoon - given the 'parade' is what - atleast 5km long?
  • by robschone ( 621997 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @05:50PM (#7594240)
    My cellphone has just started reporting that I am now located in "MiddlEarth" instead of "Wgtn CBD", you can't do anything here (Wellington obviously) today without some Lord of the Rings theme affecting it.
  • by A Fortiori ( 709662 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @06:16PM (#7594377) nz herald [] reviewer not allowed to spill the beans until after the premiere.
  • After all the hubbub about the Saruman scenes, I'm surprised there's noone blurping about whether they're in or out.

    I was a petition signer, and hope that the scenes made it back into the theatrical release. Of course I'm still undecided if that is a big enough issue to not see the film in the theatre. (Perhaps the number of small children in the lobby will be the stronger deciding factor)
  • by don.g ( 6394 ) <> on Sunday November 30, 2003 @06:43PM (#7594535) Homepage
    It's interesting to note (on a site supposedly containing "News for Nerds", anyway) the preparations CityLink have made to avoid running up a massive internet traffic bill with traffic to their webcams: they're using anycast to distribute content from the server nearest the viewer (thus reducing load on NZ's less than amazingly cheap undersea cables).

    They've got servers in Wellington and Auckland, plugged into both of the (CityLink-run) peering exchanges there, and they've got a box in the US advertising the same prefix ( - so if you're in NZ, and your ISP isn't crap, you'll get the local servers: everyone else will get the box(es?) in the US.

    There are more details here. []

    Anycast is also used for other stuff: the F (IIRC) DNS root server is anycasted for redundancy, and one of the IPv4 to IPv6 transition mechanisms uses anycast to locate a nearby hop-on point to the IPv6 network.
  • Oh my gods.
    I just turned on TV One - New Zealand's main TV channel, and they have a LOTR backdrop in the news studio.
    Paul Holmes, our equivalent of Larry King, is reporting live from the red carpet.

    Is it just me, or is New Zealand going a bit over the top here?

    I wonder if it's because of our inherent insecurity about being a small and ignorable country. Whenever we get some vaguely worldwide event (America's Cup, Y2K) we go totally over the top. Does anyone not in NZ really care?
    • Re:LOTR Saturation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Monday December 01, 2003 @01:21AM (#7596397)
      New Zealand has all the right to be very proud of Peter Jackson's magnum opus.

      After all, we are talking perhaps the most expensive and complex project in the history of motion pictures, one that would have cost 70 to 100 percent more if it had been done in the USA or the UK. The fact just the box office revenues from The Fellowship of the Ring more than covered the cost of the entire project (and then some! =) ) means New Zealand should be proud to be the place where one of the most profitable movie projects in history was made.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger