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Last night's movie was advertised as

Film: 7:30 pm
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
World Exclusive! Pre-film Q and A session with the designers behind Lord of the Rings

They probably toned down who was coming in order to keep the audience containable. Billy Boyd (Pippin), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), John Howe and Alan Lee (visual/conceptual design), Dan (set design and art direction) and Chris Hennah (art department manager) were all there! It was good! It was exciting! Unfortunately, they were in a hurry to start the movie at 8pm promptly, and it took a bit to disperse the crowds of autograph seekers (to be fair, some of them were friends of mine - and successful in their seeking). Consequently we had barely 15 minutes of Q&A with them.

On the bright side, the questions were actually pretty good ones, and everyone on the panel had an equal opportunity to speak. It was very much worth going. Added bonus: I now know what the mystery woman in the mask from the party the night before looks like - and I saw another 4 or so people from the same party in the audience. It's a small world. And I'd never have known it was happening if aliciam hadn't mentioned it. Thank you!

I hadn't seen the movie (again) since January or February, and I enjoyed it a great deal more for it - in a way, it was actually better than I had remembered. Scary moment: when I noticed a visual discontinuity. Bad detail checking. I'm scared I noticed.

Related Trivia: IMDB's page dedicated to movies in Elvish!

Additional Notes (inspired by an email from dominicmonaghan.net - a fanclub; 6 Nov 2002)

Everyone up on stage was very tolerant with the autograph-and-photo seekers, and Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd very patiently posed with person after person for photos. Well - actually - all the photo seekers who made it up there in time were female. During the Q&A, the two actors had a wonderful and subtly expressive rapport. John Howe or Alan Lee commented on how wonderful it was to see their works realized by such talented actors. Dominic Monaghan (who gave up trying to make his tiny microphone work the way it was meant to and just spoke into it in his hand - it wasn't working correctly) looked up, around slightly, then behind Billy Boyd, and then they both shook their heads. No talented actors there. That kind of thing. Subtle, effective, and funny, without eclipsing the speaker.

Seeing John Howe again was good too. He was the Artist Guest of Honor at Ad Astra this past spring (and Alan Lee will do the honors next spring). Rarely do I meet someone with such a deep-seated sense of who an artist ought to be, and the importance of faithful recreation. He believes this things deeply, to his core. He's not talkative, but - to Ilana's relief especially - spoke his fair share at the Q&A session. More, in fact, than he'd spoken in the entire panel that Ilana attended back in the spring. He doens't like to be redundant, but when he has something to say, he will say it.