The Fellowship of the Ring - Production Notes

Last Update: 08 December 2001


Long-time 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 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 co-wrote. Braindead played at festivals around the world winning 16 international science fiction awards including the prestigious Saturn. Jackson also co-directed the television documentary "Forgotten Silver" which also hit the film festival circuit.

Born in New Zealand on Halloween in 1961, Jackson began at an early age making movies 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 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 1st 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, 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.

Fran Walsh garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for the feature Heavenly Creatures, which she co-wrote with her collaborator Peter Jackson. Other writing credits co-written with Jackson include Forgotten 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.

Producer Tim Sanders teamed previously with Peter Jackson as co-producer 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.

Philippa Boyens, who makes her debut as a screenwriter with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Prior to this, Boyens worked in theatre as a playwright, teacher, producer and editor. Boyens moved to film via a stint as Director or the New Zealand Writers Guild. Her love of J.R.R. Tolkien'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 their list of Ten Writers to watch and along with Walsh and Jackson, has begun work on their next project.

Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne are the Co-Chairmen and Co-Chief Executive Officers of New Line Cinema Corporation. Since Lynne joined the company, they have together guided New Line's growth from a privately held distributor of art films into one of the entertainment industry's leading independent motion picture production and distribution companies.

The Lord of the Rings represents the first in an ambitious trilogy of films shot concurrently over an unprecedented year and a half of production. The film is a vital part of one of the most impressive slates in New Line's 34-year history, which includes the upcoming I Am Sam, John Q, Blade 2, About Schmidt, and Austin Powers in Goldmember. New Line has released such blockbusters as the Rush Hour and Austin Powers franchises, as well as the hits Wag the Dog, Boogie Nights, The Wedding Singer, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask and Seven. The company's specialty division, Fine Line Features, has released such acclaimed films as the Academy Award-nominated Best Picture Shine, Dancer in the Dark, The Anniversary Party, and The Sweet Hereafter.

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 on-going 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.

Brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen 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.

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 A.C.S. gold award for the same film. He won the 1996 A.C.S. 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" (A.C.S. Merit Award), and "Cyclone Tracy" (A.C.S. Golden Tripod Award for best photographed miniseries). In addition, Lesnie has garnered A.C.S. Awards for the short films The Outing and The Same Stream.

Richard Taylor, director of his 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 Effect's Awards for Braindead at Stiges Festival-Spain, Avorez Festival-France-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 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 Aberrations, 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.

John Gilbert has been involved in the post production of over 20 feature films. His editorial credits include Crush, Via Satellite (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.

Rick Porras associate produced Contact and previously worked with Peter Jackson as post production 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 post-production supervisor on Forrest Gump. He was also post-production consultant on Tales From The Crypt: You Murderer and to the South-Side Amusement Co.

Jamie Selkirk has collaborated with Peter Jackson on the majority of his films, first as editor, sound editor and post production 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.

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, McDonalds, and others.

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 the "Ray Bradbury Series."

HOWARD SHORE (COMPOSER) has composed evocative music for a long list of motion pictures. Most recently, his scores have been heard on such films as The Cell, Dogma, eXistenZ and Analyze This. In addition to these assignments, Shore has scored Philadelphia, Seven, Looking for Richard, The Game, Copland, Crash and The Yards. He wrote the music for Tim Burton's Ed Wood, as well as the brooding score for Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs. The Canadian-born composer has also composed the scores for nine David Cronenberg films including Crash, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and M. Butterfly.

As one of the industry's most celebrated composers, Shore's body of work includes many 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, Mrs. Doubtfire and That Thing You Do!
Shore was the music director for the first five seasons of NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

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, 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 Moons Revenge, Merlin Dreams, Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus. Lee has received several prestigious awards including the Kate Greenway 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 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 Dessinee 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 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.

Over three decades ago Peter Owen started work at Bristol Old Vic while a student of Modern Languages at Bristol University. After working in theatre, television and opera all over Europe, Owen began work as a film make-up and hair designer on The Draughtsman's Contract. His other early films include Prick Up you Ears and Dangerous Liaisons. More recent feature credits include Little Women, Age of Innocence, Oscar & Lucinda, Bird Cage, Beloved, Portrait of a Lady, Onegin and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow for which he received the 1st 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 DeNiro, Helen Hunt and Ralph Fiennes, among others.

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 production until they formed a company with Caroline Turner. His early work as a designer includes The Blackheath Poisonings, Secret Weapon, Princess Caraboo, Fairytale-A True Story and Batman !V. 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.

ENYA (COMPOSER AND PERFORMER OF "MAY IT BE" AND "ANIRON") is one of the world's best-known female artists of the '90 s, having sold an astonishing 50 million albums worldwide. She ranks alongside Cher, Tina Turner, Madonna and Whitney Houston in total sales.

Enya made her WEA debut in 1988 with the universally acclaimed album Watermark, which has passed 10 million sales worldwide, and has gone platinum in 14 different countries. "Orinoco Flow," taken from Watermark, was a hit in every country in which it was released.

The follow-up album, Shepherd Moons, was even more successful, selling an amazing 11 million copies worldwide.

She has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning The Best New Age Album for Shepherd Moons in 1992, and for The Memory of Trees in 1996.

In 1997, Enya released a 'Best Of…' collection entitled Paint The Sky With Stars, which featured two new tracks. Selling 8.5 million copies worldwide, the album took Enya's total world album sales to 44 million, including 3.5 million in the UK and over 12 million in the U.S. Paint The Sky With Stars is perennially in the top 100 catalogue albums in the U.S. These massive sales have propelled Enya to the position of Ireland's best-selling solo artist ever.

Her music first came to prominence after appearing in the major BBC TV series The Celts. Enya's music has since graced several major films, including L.A. Story, Green Card, the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman film Far And Away and Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence.

Although fronted by Enya, the music released under her name is the result of a collaboration between Enya, producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan. Enya has previously stated that without any one of them, 'Enya' could not exist.

With 50 million albums sold since 1988's Watermark, this means that Enya has sold an average of over 10,000 albums per day. Enya - one of the world's most accomplished female artists - returns with a new single, "Only Time," and her first new studio album in five years, A Day Without Rain.


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