- Production Notes Sources
- Tables of Contents – LOTR Press/Production Notes
- Promotional/Tie-In Books on Film Production
- Pressbooks/Press Books
The Lord of the Rings is one of the more well-documented movie series of the past few decades. Perhaps that is because, in part, they were shooting all three simultaneously, with production processing back-to-back. Also, they were pioneering new or adapted forms of special effects, and had to calculate that into the planning process. Altogether, this meant a huge amount of pre-production work to find all the necessary shooting locations, schedule several camera crews, plan out the use of sites, produce all the costumes and props and buildings that would be needed, etc. Simply put, it was an immense process – but the results proved it was immensely worth it! And so, the production notes offer a wealth of details about the ground-breaking teamwork and techniques used to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s vision of Middle-earth to life.
Production notes are immensely helpful – and interesting – for engaging with a film’s creators, how the movie came into being, and the unique “slant” the filmmakers and actors decided to take with the material they had to work with. But words on a page of production notes certainly don’t have the same level of impact as they do when accompanied by photos from the films themselves plus behind-the-scenes activity. And that is what pressbooks provide that mere production notes can’t.
And the high level of quality for photography, design, and printing in The Lord of the Rings linen pressbooks make them a rarity among the materials I’ve seen in my media studies of the past few decades. The series of tie-in promotional books on the production of each film are both beautifully done and helpful, but they just cannot match the exceptional level of quality of these linen pressbooks.
PRODUCTION NOTE SOURCES
Production notes (sometimes referred to as press notes) are designed with film previewers, reviewers, and promoters in mind. Given that these audiences can help make the film a financial success, it is crucial to give them the detail they need to “get it” about the movie. So, press notes are expected to cover important aspects of how a film was made, who was cast in the key roles and why, intriguing anecdotes and quotes from cast and crew, and unique behind-the-scenes issues or techniques used. Not only that, but production notes also give important clues to why the filmmaker(s) chose the source material, and the purposes behind the making of the movie. All this together provides a wealth of information for an engaging movie review.
Production notes – in longer or shorter versions – typically show up in a multitude of places and forms:
- Printed press packs and digital press kits (longer versions, usually text with no photos)
- Pressbooks (same as in press kits, but with photographs)
- Promotional/tie-in production books (edited or otherwise condensed versions), such as books dealing with concept art, pre-production, cast and crew, and photo plus text synopsis of the story.
- Trading card sets. Believe it or not, these usually give short profiles of key characters with studio portraits or shots grabbed from the film; give an overview of the entire storyline augmented by photos; and zoom in on special features or behind-the-scenes activities with candid photos.
So, depending on your purposes, you can find a source customized for you!
When it comes to the where, why, and how The Lord of the Rings Trilogy got made, the Film New Zealand website is a great place to explore for background. It focuses on New Zealand standing in for Middle-earth, but includes many other intriguing elements. Among them, their site offers links to PDF production notes for all three LOTR movies:
- The Fellowship of the Rings (47 pages).
- The Two Towers (50 pages).
- The Return of the King (62 pages).
(Thank you FILMNZ for posting these!) They have provided us with the standard press/production notes. The tables of contents are in the next section.
TABLES OF CONTENTS – LOTR PRESS/PRODUCTION NOTES
The Fellowship of the Rings – Production Notes Table of Contents
- Introduction to The Lord of the Rings – 2
- Taking on Tolkien: Peter Jackson Brings the Fantasy to Life – 4
- Many Cultures of the Ring: The Cast and Characters – 7
- Imagining Middle-earth: The Design – 13
- WETA Gets to Work – 17
- From Hobbits to Elves: The Costumes and Make-Up – 18
- Breaking Digital Ground: Visual Effects – 21
- Into the Ring’s Evil: Stunts and Action – 23
- The Music of The Fellowship of the Rings – 24
- Middle-earth Down Under: New Zealand – 25
- Cast of Characters – 27
- The Filmmakers – 37
The Two Towers – Production Notes Table of Contents
- Introduction to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – 1
- Taking on Tolkien: Peter Jackson Takes the Epic Novel to the Screen – 3
- The Fellowship Broken: The Story of The Two Towers – 5
- The Real and Imagined Combined: Designing The Two Towers – 13
- From Maquettes to Massive: WETA Workshop Meets WETA Digital – 15
- Gollum and Treebeard: The Digital Characters of The Two Towers – 18
- A World of Scale: Practical Locations and “Bigatures” – 20
- Battles on a Massive Scale: The Stunts and Action of The Two Towers – 23
- Songs of Middle-earth: Sound Design and Music – 25
- Awards and Box Office: The Fellowship of The Ring Around the World – 27
- Cast of Characters – 29
- The Filmmakers – 41
- Opening Credits
- End Credits
The Return of the King – Production Notes Table of Contents
- A Note From Peter Jackson – 2
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Introduction – 3
- Destiny, Heroism and Hope: Recurring Themes of The Return of the King – 5
- Buying Frodo a Chance: The Story of The Return of the King – 12
- Stepping Up to the Challenge: The Final Production in the Trilogy – 18
- Stylistic Harmony: Locations, Sets and Miniatures – 22
- Intimate Focus: Capturing the Human Drama on Film – 27
- Human Emotion amid Epic Battles: Stunts and Visual Effects – 29
- New Characters And Civilizations – 34
- From Minas Tirith to the Crack of Doom: Key Locations – 35
- Cast of Characters – 37
- The Filmmakers – 42
PROMOTIONAL/TIE-IN BOOKS ON FILM PRODUCTION
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which publishes The Lord of the Rings for the US market, also released many individual specialty books and multiple series that present aspects of production for the film trilogy. Here listed are most of those tie-in promotional books, published in the early 2000 decade to coincide with releases of the LOTR trilogy films.
Normally I would link to the publisher’s website, but in this case, it seems something has happened to the old Houghton-Mifflin LOTR page and I have had difficulty with quite a few broken links there, and lack of web pages for many of the later tie-in production books. The new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt site has mostly just Hobbit and Lord of the Rings versions in the “search” function, so that isn’t exactly helpful either. Thus, the links here are to Amazon listings.
However, the old Houghton-Mifflin Press room pages provide many helpful press releases, teacher’s lesson plans, and reader’s guides. Go to this particular booksellers’ page, and then do a search there for “lord of the rings” and see what you find … Also see the page on this site, 408 Houghton-Mifflin Books for links to teacher’s guides, lesson plans, and reader’s guides for various Tolkien books.
The “Art of” LOTR Series
- The Art of The Fellowship of the Ring, by Gary Russell. I don’t have a copy of this book yet, so here is a link to a press release and description for the Art of FOTR book on the old Houghton Mifflin site. (192 pages)
- The Art of The Two Towers, by Gary Russell. I don’t have a copy of this book yet, so here is a link to a press release and description for the Art of TTT book on the old Houghton Mifflin site. (192 pages)
- The Art of The Return of the King, by Gary Russell. I don’t have a copy of this book yet. (224 pages)
- The Art of The Lord of the Rings, by Gary Russell. This final volume in the series features 500 works of art selected from The Lord of the Rings films. It includes concept art pencil drawings, color sketches, watercolor paintings, storyboards, and other forms of pre-production artwork. Chapters: Visual Effects Design, Conceptual Art: Alan Lee, Conceptual Art: John Howe, Weta Workshop, Weta Workshop: Maquettes, Digital Paintings, Closing Credits. (The last section is one of my favorites, with an afterword by Alan Lee, and thumbnail versions of his “photographic pencil sketch” series that was used for the credits of ROTK.) One of this book’s most helpful features is that specific artists share their personal reflections, which are immediately followed by selections from their LOTR portfolio. That was a great way to organize the material! (224 pages)
The “Making of” LOTR Series
- The Making of the Movie Trilogy, by Brian Sibley. This book is advertised as featuring over 300 behind-the-scenes photos, and indeed, there are typically three to five smaller photos per page spread and about half of them are photos related to production rather than just pictures from the final film. There are a few concept art drawings, mostly in the section on costume design. Topics covered: Weta Workshop and creating the many cultures of Middle-earth. Finding filming locations. Stage dressing. Miniatures and “big-atures.” Props makers. Costume design. Prosthetics, wigs, and make-up. Stunt extras. Filming, directing, special effects, and music. This book has two pages about the New Line Cinema/Lord of the Rings publicity party at the Cannes 2001 Film Festival. It includes five photos. This also contains content similar to the list of topics and interviews found in the set of 18 LOTR Fan Club magazines. The endpapers are a detail map of Rohan and Gondor. (192 pages)
The “Official Movie Guide” Series
- The Fellowship of the Ring Insiders’ Guide, by Brian Sibley. This is a “young reader’s” edition that shares behind-the-scenes material on the making of the first movie in the trilogy. (80 pages)
- The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide, by Brian Sibley. Sections include: The Road to Middle-earth (tracking both Tolkien’s development of The Lord of the Rings, and how Peter Jackson developed as a director), and The Journey. The second section overviews production processes from book to script, concept art and creating cultures that stay true to Tolkien’s world, an introduction to friends or foes, Weta Workshop, The One Ring, make-up and prosthetics, languages of Middle-earth, filming and directing, and the cast as a true Fellowship. There are also several pages on each of the main 15 characters – the nine of the Fellowship, plus Galadriel and Celeborn, Bilbo, Saruman, Arwen, and Elrond. (120 pages)
The “Photo Guide” Series
- The Fellowship of the Ring Photo Guide, edited by Alison Sage. Over 70 photos, focusing on key characters and plot points and including direct quotes from the filmscript. Designed for young readers (age 9+). (48 pages)
- The Two Towers Photo Guide, edited by David Brawn. (48 pages)
- The Return of the King Photo Guide, edited by David Brawn. (48 pages)
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Photo Guide, edited by Alison Sage. (160 pages)
The “Visual Companion” Series
These form a sort of encyclopedia of Middle-earth, focusing on characters and their races/cultures, along with the history, places, landscapes, and artifacts in the War of the Ring. Includes photos on every page spread – sometimes entire pages or spreads; no behind-the-scenes or concept art. Text by Jude Fisher, photography mostly by Pierre Vinet, Chris Coad. Individual film books are approximately 72 pages each, and the final compilation volume is 224 pages.
- The Fellowship of the Ring Visual Companion, by Jude Fisher. Covers history (the Rings of Power, the Last Alliance), the Free Peoples of Middle-earth (Hobbits, Men, Elves, Dwarves), the Istari (Wizards), and the Dark Powers (Orcs, Uruk-hai, the Nazgûl). Includes a gatefold double page spread with a map of Middle-earth and inset photos of various locales. (72 pages)
- The Two Towers Visual Companion: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, by Jude Fisher. Focuses on the parallel journeys of the three groups after the dividing of the Fellowship: The Ring Quest (Frodo and Sam), The Captives’ Journey (Merry and Pippin), The Companions’ Journey (Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf the White), and the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Includes a gatefold double page spread with a battle plan for the Battle of Helm’s Deep. (72 pages)
- The Return of the King Visual Companion: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, by Jude Fisher. The Ring Quest, The World of Men, The Shadow, The War of the Ring, and the final resolution of The Ring Quest. (72 pages)
- The Lord of the Rings Complete Visual Companion, by Jude Fisher. This 224-page “omnibus volume” has nearly 300 photographs, including new photos taken from the Special Extended Edition version of the film. It also includes a new section and subsections that complete the plotline: The End of the Third Age (The Crowning of King Elessar, The Breaking of the Fellowship, The Grey Havens). (224 pages)
Specialty Books: Concept Art
- J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull. Contains 200 reproductions of original artwork created by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Chapters: Early Work; Visions, Myths, and Legends; Art for Children; The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings; Patterns and Devices; Appendix on Calligraphy; Select Bibliography; and Index. (208 pages)
- The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook, by Alan Lee. This is a truly amazing book filled with concept art drawings, pencil drawings of the actual film characters in costume, and a few full-page reproductions of watercolors – all from Alan Lee, one of the main conceptual artists, along with John Howe. This is an excellent, comprehensive source for viewing many of the intricate designs and interlaced symbols that ended up being embedded in the architecture, banners, manuscripts, costumes, etc. Chapters: Concerning Hobbits, Barrows and Breelanders, Rivendell, Moria, Lothlórien, Borderlands, Rohan, Fangorn, Edoras, Helm’s Deep, The Road to Mordor, Ithilien, Minas Tirith, The Armies Gather, The Blow Falls, The Stteward’s Tomb, Grond, Cirith Ungol, Mordor, and The Grey Havens. (192 pages) owe.s
Specialty Books: Maps and Atlases
- The Atlas of Middle-earth (Revised Edition), by Karen Wynn Fonstad. A comprehensive set of maps, plus descriptions of Tolkien’s work as a cartographer. Regions and time periods covered: The First Age, the Second Age, the Third Age, Regional Maps (the Shire, Eriardor, Wilderland, Misty Mountains, Brown Lands, Wold, Downs, Emyn Muil, White Mountains, Mordor), The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Thematic Maps (landforms, climate, vegetation, population, languages). (210 pages)
Specialty Books: Props, Design, Special Effects
- Gollum: A Behind the Scenes Guide of the Making of Gollum, by Andy Serkis and Gary Russell. How Gollum was brought to life, from concepts, to digital effects and motion capture technology, to voice development. It also includes reflections on the scenes with Gollum throughout the trilogy, plus behind-the-scenes photos and drawings, and material from interviews of those who brought Gollum to life. (120 pages)
- Creatures of The Two Towers, by David Brawn. Includes concept art sketches and watercolors, photographs, and text descriptions. Covers different races and cultures, as well as creatures (like the Balrog and Shelob). This is like a very scaled-back version of the Visual Companion “encyclopedia” entries. There is a folded poster of the scene with the Balrog in Moria attached to inside back cover. (48 pages)
- The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare. An Illustrated Guide to the Battles, Armies and Armor of Middle-earth, by Chris Smith. The front and back endpapers show a map of Middle-earth with key to “Sites of Important Battles.” This is “the” extensive resource on the different races involved in the War of the Ring, along with individual fighters from those cultures; and their weapons, the battle sites, and strategy plans for key battles (The Last Alliance, Moria, Helm’s Deep, the Siege of Gondor and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields). There are typically three to five smaller photos per page spread, and a significant amount of text. Also, this book gives many close-up photos of details on weapons and other cultural implements and artifacts, and the intricate design and artisanship that often goes by so quickly on screen that it can’t be observed well. There’s also a very cool “Range Weapon Comparative Chart” that shows the “maximum effective distance” of the typical Middle-earthian axe, spears, and arrows from various cultures. Six pages glossary. (218 pages)
Cinefex magazine contains photo essays that describe and illustrate the numerous kinds of special effects that go into a particular film. On this blog, page 404-Cinefex, I have provided an in-depth look at the three Cinefex issues devoted to The Lord of the Rings, and compiled there a listing for each LOTR issue and the relevant articles, advertisements, and photos.
- Cinefex #89, April 2002 – The Fellowship of the Ring, with 1 article of 56 pages, 7 ads, and 58 photos.
- Cinefex #92, January 2003 – The Two Towers,with 1 article of 51 pages, 9 ads, and 55 photos.
- Cinefex #96, January 2004 – The Return of the King, with 2 articles totaling 57 pages, 11 ads, and 61 photos.
PRESSBOOKS / PRESS BOOKS
Introduction ~ LOTR Pressbook Publication
The trilogy of The Lord of the Rings linen pressbooks pretty much represent the pinnacle of what a pressbook can be. The production notes are informative and well written. The photography is exceptional. And the quality of the design and printcraft are exquisite. These are exclusive books, with no ISBN numbers, as they were never intended for sale, but as sources for film reviewers and as gifts.
Perhaps the high-quality production value put into the FOTR pressbook was toward getting the first film in the trilogy well promoted. Its success was needed to launch the franchise. Peter Jackson was a relatively unknown director, it was not known how much appeal the story would have beyond those already fans of Tolkien, and it was crucial to get the series started well. Thankfully, the promotions worked.
Page Size and End Papers. The series of official LOTR pressbooks are oversized square books (cover size is 11.75″ x 11.75″). The book features a natural linen cover, which is unusual to find in this era. (Sometimes this type of cover is called “grasscloth” instead of linen.) The title is imprinted with very dark brown ink. The end papers (inside covers) are a rich chocolately brown in FOTR and ROTK, and a dark burgundy in TTT. There is no printing on them.
Pages and Photos. The page counts grew with each film. FOTR is 60 pages, TTT is 70, and ROTK is 80. Illustrating the production notes are numerous photos – many of them taken directly from scenes in the theatrical version of the film, but some also from behind-the-scenes work. For instance, the FOTR book is 60 pages long, and has 58 photos – 20 of them full-page in width (with borders on top and bottom).
Production Numbers. The number of each version published is not known, though there are some reasonable estimates available from “Springlering” – one of the foremost collectors of LOTR Trilogy movie memorabilia. (Her virtual handle comes from the vivacious Hobbit dance known as “the Springlering” – described in The Fellowship of the Ring as “a pretty dance, but rather vigorous,” with much Hobbity leaping about.) I’ll quote her estimates later, in the specific descriptions for each pressbook.
While exact production runs are not known, the range of editions is. Five editions were produced: three in French, one in Spanish, and one in English.
- The Fellowship of the Ring was published in French, English, and Spanish. They were produced by New Line Cinema (in English) or by New Line’s international film distribution partners, Metropolitan Filmexport (in French) and Aurum (in Spanish).
- The Two Towersand The Return of the King were published only in French – there are no known versions in any other language. (This is why the tie-in production books listed earlier are so helpful, because they cover similar information but in English.)
Relative Rarity. All editions are hard to find, based on how infrequently they show up on auction at eBay, or are available from specialty bookstores. The Two Towers is especially rare among the French editions, which is kind of curious, as TTT items in some other categories are also more difficult to find. (For instance, as of late 2012, the Japanese movie programme for The Two Towers typically costs a third more than those of the other films – if you are even fortunate enough to find a copy on eBay.) The Spanish edition for The Fellowship of the Ring pressbook is nearly impossible to find (only 50 copies produced, according to J.R.R.T. Books) and the English edition of FOTR is very rare.
Contents. The pressbooks give production information about bringing Tolkien’s masterwork to life – including the cultures, design, prop production, shooting locations, costumes, special effects, stunts, soundtrack, cast, and filmmakers.
The Fellowship of the Ring Editions
The Fellowship of the Ring linen pressbook was printed in three languages, with varying estimated production runs:
- French – Le Seigneur des anneaux: La Communauté de l’anneau (estimated run of 1,000 or less, according to Springlering’s eBay Guide on FOTR pressbook). Distributed by Metropolitan Filmexport.
- English – The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (no estimated run figures have been suggested, but the extreme rarity would indicate it was likely a far smaller than the French edition). Distributed by New Line Cinema.
- Spanish – El Señor de los Anillos: La Comunidad del Anillo – (estimated run of only 50 copies in Spanish, according to J.R.R.T. Books, in the description of the copy they have for sale). Distributed by Aurum.
FOTR Pressbook ~ Table of Contents
The following table of contents is taken from the English edition of the pressbook.
- Front Cover
- Inner Page [Title Page]
- Table of Contents. “I will take The Ring,” he said, “though I do not know the way.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
- Introduction to The Lord of the Rings – 4 [3 photos]
- Taking on Tolkien: Peter Jackson Brings the Fantasy to Life – 7 [7 photos]
- Many Cultures of the Ring: The Cast and Characters – 13 [8 photos]
- Imagining Middle-earth: The Design – 22 [6 photos]
- WETA Gets to Work – 29 [3 photos]
- Middle-earth Down Under: New Zealand – 33 [4 photos]
- From Hobbits to Elves: The Costumes and Make-up – 36 [3 photos]
- Breaking Digital Ground: Special Effects – 40 [3 photos]
- Into The Ring’s Evil: Stunts and Action – 43 [1 photos]
- The Cast of Characters – 45 [18 photos]
- The Filmmakers – 53 [2 photos]
- Copyright page: © 2000-2003 New Line Productions, Inc.
- Back Cover [website addresses]
- The copyright page showing 2000-2003 doesn’t fully make sense. If this English edition was printed before the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, you’d expect them simply to put the single year the item was published – 2001. However, since this was an exclusive, internal publication and not registered with an ISBN, they could put whatever dates they wanted and for whatever reasons. The film release years were set, the production notes were likely written in 2000 in order to have time for the printing of the pressbook to be available in time for the May 2001 Cannes Festival. Anyway, just noting this detail, because it raises questions that may turn out to be nothing, or something.
- The FOTR linen pressbook contains all the sections found in the FOTR production notes except for one section on The Music of The Fellowship of the Rings.
- I have not taken the time to check the texts of pressbook and production notes side by side, but my general impression is that they are the same.
- On page 38, there is a very rare photo of Arwen wearing a light purple gown and a gossamer shawl. I believe I have seen this image only here in this pressbook, and in one or two other places – definitely on a promotional photocard from Taiwain, and possibly in a film magazine published in Hungary. (Sometimes particular photos are found published more in international venues.)
Cannes Film Festival 2001 and the FOTR Linen Pressbook
After a 20-minute first-look reel of The Fellowship of the Ring at Cannes 2001, the media “buzz” on the movie was spectacular. The original seating of several hundred viewers had to be repeated several times more during the Film Festival. This was followed by a huge promotional party (details of which can be found on my Cannes Film Festival 2001 page).
Fortunate members of the international press at Cannes 2001 received a copy of the extremely rare 60-page “linen pressbook” from The Fellowship of the Ring. From all I have read over the years, the pressbooks distributed at that year’s Film Festival were mostly those in French. However, a very small run of an English edition was also printed, and some of them definitely were also distributed at Cannes as well.
Sidenote: Whether English versions were available at Cannes 2001 was a detail I tried to find out for a decade. Finally, I found a note in my files from 2009 with the text of an eBay auction for an English-edition FOTR linen pressbook. The description notes that the book was given to a member of the US press corps at the Cannes Film Festival 2001. So that would confirm that at least some English pressbooks were distributed at that event.
Those are the kinds of details of provenience and provenance (where a cultural object was found, and where it has gone since then) that can easily get buried or lost over the years. (The first career I ever declared I wanted to pursue when I grew up was to become an archaeologist. And, as a futurist trained in “strategic foresight” skills, I am kind of like “an archaeologist of the present,” trying to detail what current cultural trends are and to discern where the most influential trends could lead us in the long run.)
The Two Towers Edition
The Two Towers linen pressbook was printed only in French:
- Le Seigneur des anneaux: Les Deux Tours (estimated run of 400-500 copies in French, according to Springlering’s eBay Guide on TTT pressbook).
It was 70 pages long, and had 59 photos: 19 full-page photos and 40 small- to medium-sized photos (18 of them thumbnail head shots of cast members in costume)
TTT Pressbook ~ Table of Contents
The English translations for the French chapter titles are adapted from the English edition of the production notes.
- Le Seigneur des Anneaux – Les Deux Tours: L’histoire [Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers: The Story] – 3
- Notes de production: La Fantasy, de J.R.R. Tolkien à Peter Jackson [Production Notes: Peter Jackson Takes on the Fantasy of JRR Tolkien] – 5
- Les Deux Tours: La communauté brisée [The Two Towers: The Fellowship Broken] – 9
- Unir le reel et l’imaginaire: L’aspect visual [The Real and Imagined Combined: Designing] – 19
- Des étres imaginaries plus vrais que natures: Effets et creation [Imaginary Beings More Real Than Nature: Effects and Creation] – 25
- Un monde à plusieurs échelles: Décors reels et maxi-maquettes [A World of Scale: Practical Locations and “Bigatures”] – 31
- Des batailles titanesques: Cascades et action [Battles on a Massive Scale: The Stunts and Action] – 37
- Les chants de la Terre du Milieu: La conception du son et de la musique [Songs of Middle-earth: Sound Design and Music] – 41
- Ceux de la Terre du Milieu: Acteurs et actrices [Those of Middle-earth: Actors and Actresses] – 47
- Derriére la camera: L’équipe technique [Behind the Camera: The Technical Team] – 59
- Fiche artistique et technique [Artistic and Technical Credits] – 68
The Return of the King Edition
The Return of the King linen pressbook was printed only in French:
- Le Seigneur des anneaux: Le Retour du roi (estimated run of 1,500-2,000 copies in French, according to Springlering’s eBay Guide on ROTK pressbook).
It was 80 pages long, and had a whopping 89 photos: 18 full-page photos and 71 small- to medium-sized photos (19 of them thumbnail head shots of cast members in costume)
In her eBay Guide, Springlering suggests that ROTK had the largest run of the Trilogy pressbooks, as New Line was increasing its promotional efforts for the final installment of the trilogy.
ROTK Pressbook ~ Table of Contents
The English translations for the French chapter titles are adapted from the English edition of the production notes.
- Avant-propos par Peter Jackson [Foreword by Peter Jackson] – 5
- Notes de Production [Production Notes] – 8
- Loyauté, destine et espoir: Le Coeur du retour du roi [Loyalty, Hope and Destiny: The Heart of The Return of the King] – 8
- Donner une chance à Frodon: L’histoire du retour du roi [Buying Frodo a Chance: The Story of The Return of the King] – 17
- Relever le défi: La production finale de la trilogie [Stepping Up to the Challenge: The Final Production of the Trilogy] – 24
- Décors en extérieurs, décors en studio et miniatures: L’harmonie visuelle [Locations, Sets and Miniatures: The Visual Harmony] – 30
- Se concentrer sur le drame humain [Intimate Focus: Capturing the Human Drama on Film] – 37
- L’humain au Coeur de batailles épiques: Cascades et effets visuals [Human Emotion Amid Epic Battles: Stunts and Visual Effects] – 38
- Nouveaux personages, creatures et civilizations inédites [New Characters, Creatures, and Civilizations] – 45
- De minas tirith aux crevasses du destin: les lieux [From Minas of Tirith to the Crack of Doom: Key Locations] – 46
- Ceux de la terre du milieu: acteurs et actrices [Those of the Middle-earth: Actors and Actresses] – 49
- Derriére la camera [Behind the Camera/The Filmmakers] – 61
- Fiche artistique [Art Credits] – 77
- Fiche technique [Technical Credits] – 78
For More Details …
The Cannes/FOTR pressbooks and the follow-up TTT and ROTK linen pressbooks are all very rare items. For further details and relevant reviews by Springlering on eBay, see the following links. (Springlering ranks as one of the world’s top collectors of items from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and she compiled some very helpful research in her series of LOTR item reviews.)
- Lord of the Rings Press Books: The Fellowship of the Ring
- Lord of the Rings Press Book : The Two Towers
- Lord of the Rings Press Book : The Return of the King
You can find different language editions on abebooks.com, from the specialty Tolkien bookstore in Ireland: J.R.R.T. Books. At this time (October 2012), this store has a copy available for sale of all five LOTR linen pressbooks: the three French-language pressbooks, as well as the English and Spanish editions of FOTR.