11:11 Ming-N: hey ya...just wondering, did you do a blog post on the lord of the rings premiere?
11:13 me: I did in the old blog that was attached to Jeff Ooi's ScreenShot, that site was hacked and completely gone! Why?
Ming-N: ahh... shame...Ashley (new guy) is a huge LOTR fan
was going to show him the picsare they online anywhere?
me: May be I should do a deja vu piece :)
11:14 I am sure it will be highly popular :)
11:15 Ming-N: definitely! especially with The Hobbit starting filming next Feb11:16 me: That is a good idea! I will, soon...
So to Ashley who recently moved log stock and barrel from England and all the LOTR fans, here it is again!
Most of the photos below were NOT in the original post, so please enjoy ;)
Wellington, Monday 1st December 2003
I took time off and left work at 1 pm, my boss wish me good luck!
The radio announcement make everything look bad... "more than 100,000 fans clammed into the CBD in Wellington, massive traffic jams!"
Instead, I arrived into town from Tawa (7km away) in 15 minutes and park my car in the indoor parking of Reading Cinema (NZ$8.00 all day) which is a stone throw away from Embassy theater, where the premier will be shown!
They say you can't beat Wellington on a fine day, how true!
Once outside the Reading Cinema I got a little stunned, it is only 1.30 pm and it look like 100,000 fans are already stationed all over Courtenay Place!
And that red carpet look a mile long!
You might wonder how I get a high vantage shot of the carpet and crowd?
My Canon D60 with a 15 mm fish-eye lens is mounted on a mono-pod, the self-timer was activated; I hold up the podded camera overhead and wait for the shutter to go off! Neat trick eh?
Even arriving "early", I had to squeeze in the "second row" among the crowd; the girl in front of me said she has been waiting since 9 am!
And I was told there were 400 fans who slept along the red carpet since last night!
I asked the fan in front of me what she got written on her arms, it turn out that her name is Holly Julius and the Elvish written on her arms read..
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them; one ring to bring them all and in the darkness, bind them."
That, of course was spoken by Gandalf... duh!
Thats Holly in her LOTR t-shirt, LOTR book; bear (?) and she also have a LOTR ring which she bought for NZ$300.00!
It was a hot and sunny day, I respect the incredible patient of the fans, standing there for hours!
I am feeling my head and neck staring to fry under the cloudless, blue ozone hole!
To remain saint, I changed to a 70-200 zoom lens and photograph an Elf!
Finally the parade started off from the Beehive at 3.30 pm and worm it's way towards us at Courtenay Place.
Below are the pictures I managed to take, being sandwiched between screaming and with more shoving and pushing is NOT an ideal photo opp situation!
I envy those media photogs on the red carpet! I had that privilege once, those were the days :-)
Maori warriors from The Land With The Long White Cloud.
Heart throb of the fans, Orlando Boom; hard at work!
That is the only picture I am able to take of stunning Liv Tyler!
Holly's dream come true when Peter Jackson leave his mark on her LOTR book! My Canon D60 with 17-35 lens was wedged behind her head! Talk about shooting blind!
Guess what? I missed Elijah Wood!
He just will not come over to our side of the road even though "our" fans scream till my eardrums burst!
My wife got a shot of him in a car at Lambton Quay though, pity she only have with her a Kodak first generation digital compact!
Even Gollum is welcoming tourists at the Wellington International Airport.
Now that it is all over, is it worth loosing half a day pay for standing in the sun and being squashed by the fans?
It was hard work for these old bones but it is fun!
Famous Last Word:
When shooting event like this, it pays to have a very wide zoom (17-35) attached.
DO NOT try to frame your shots; you will miss most of them!
Adopt the "point and shoot" style and let the auto focus and wide angle take care of the frame.
This is where digital is KING, after the shoot, heavy cropping time in the computer!
Oh.... what about the ladies? Wow! They are all in their best dresses! Here are some of them!