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The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide Paperback – November 6, 2001
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It's one of the most anticipated movies ever, and now you can see for yourself how the magic of Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece was created on screen in The Lord of the Rings: Official Movie Guide. Brian Sibley's straightforward approach takes the reader from the initial conception of the movie as it was developed and passed around studios (it initially started life as a two-hour condensed version of the three novels) to the months of complicated special-effects work necessary to do justice to Tolkien's extraordinary imagination. The book features interviews with all the key cast and production members and is liberally decorated with full-color photographs and behind-the-scenes images from the film itself. Sibley manages to document perfectly the filmmakers' painstaking attention to detail, much of which will be missed by many moviegoers, but he also captures a sense of camaraderie from all involved who wanted to make the best movie possible.
If it's facts and background trivia you are after, then this is the best place to be--the perfect starting point for those new to Tolkien or eager to find out more about how epic movies are put together. Dedicated Lord of the Rings fans who have been following the epic moviemaking process via the Internet won't find anything here they didn't already know, but this is still a very good companion no matter what level of knowledge or understanding you have of the greatest work of fantastic fiction ever written. --Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk
From Library Journal
A behind-the-scenes look at bringing the book to the screen that is chock-full of pics from the flick. If the film is as big as predicted (think Star Wars big!), you might want to buy a few copies of this and the Visual Companion volume.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Sibley himself is quite a Tolkien scholar himself, and tells the tale from his unique perspective. In addition to being the producer of the classic 1982 BBC Radio production of The Lord of the Rings and appearing in the extended edition DVD's of the Peter Jackson films among some of the other great Tolkien scholars, he happens to be a cousin of Fran Walsh. Who better to give us a new look behind the scenes?
Brian Sibley's book has 120 glossy pages and includes beautiful colored pictures that gives us behind-the-scenes glimpses as well as shots from the film itself. The many topics covered include: "From Book to Script" which covers the process of adapting the complex novel into a series of 3 films; "Speaking the Languages of Middle Earth" - incorporating Tolkien's different languages in the film; "From the Director's Chair" - Peter Jackson's perspective; "The One Ring" and "Of Wizard Beards and Elf Ears" - a look at the props and costumes; "A Workshop of the Fantastic" - WETA's special effects role; "Seeing Tolkien`s World" and "Fantasy to Reality" - artists Alan Lee and John Howe's significant contributions to the film visuals, characters and sets as well as the role of the art department; and, most significantly, "The Fellowship, Friends and Foes" - casting info and an introduction to the principal actors of the first film.
I do have to point out that Tolkien's notable creatures - such as the Balrog and Gollum - are not shown anywhere in the book. I'm sure they were purposely (understandably) omitted to preserve the element of surprise for the first film. It also appears that this book may just be the first of a series by Brian Sibley, primarily since it only covers topics relevant to the first film (for instance, pictures of Bernard Hill who plays "Theoden," Miranda Otto who plays "Eowyn" and other actors and locations from the 2nd and 3rd books are absent in this book). Though it is not explicitly mentioned, I would have to assume that there will be similar movie guides released in 2002 and 2003.
These points noted, I have to stress that this is a thoroughly enjoyable and informative book and I could not recommend it highly enough. This is a book that any Lord of the Rings or film fan should be without!
A good supporting publication for great film trilogy.