119 Filmmaking Journey Book*

Filmmaking Journey 1

The Lord of the Rings: A Filmmaking Journey

This is a memoir book/pressbook, issued at the end of the trilogy releases.


The Lord of the Rings: A Filmmaking Journey.


Chris Smith (editor).

Release Date

Late 2003, to coincide with the completion of the LOTR trilogy and release of ROTK.




Published by HarperCollins on behalf of New Line Cinema.

Outer Dimensions

9.25″ W x 12.5″ H.


Approximately 0.5″ inch thick.

Page Size

Single page approximately 9″ W x 12.25″ H. Page spread 18″ W x 12.25″ H.

Number of Pages

96 pages.


118 full-color photos.

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Filmmaking Journey 4


The Lord of the Rings: A Filmmaking Journey is an exceptionally rare pressbook covering the entire Lord of the Rings film trilogy from Director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. This hardcover book was published by HarperCollins on behalf of New Line Cinema. It was issued in 2003 as a limited-edition tribute book, celebrating the completion of the trilogy. The book apparently was given only to cast and crew, attendees at the final Oscar night party, and a few select others.


In my research on this book, I have not found a total for the number issued. However, it is definitely rare and very hard to come by. I can recall only having seen about 8 copies of this Filmmaking Journey listed on eBay in 2009-2010 (through May). We should only expect it will become even more scarce and expensive, as interest in Lord of the Rings is renewed by the forthcoming Peter Jackson films based on The Hobbit.


More a memoire and photography album than a marketing pressbook, A Filmmaking Journey focuses on the personal experiences of cast and crew instead of production and promotion information. It includes a total of 101 quotes from all major cast members and most of the lead crew members – director, producers, screenwriters, editor, director of photography, costume and set designers, artists, art director, heads of Weta Workshop, composer, etc.

This lavish volume abounds with the hallmark high-quality photography we’ve come to expect from the many books related to the LOTR film trilogy. Its 96 pages include nearly 120 color photos, with about 20 double-page spreads and 20 full-page photos. Most photos are at least a quarter page in size. The selection includes many of iconic photos and scenes, as well as behind-the-scenes candid shots.

Covers and End Papers

A sturdy black matt construction-type paper with gilt artwork has been glued onto the original cover. (According to Springlering’s excellent eBay review from September 2008, the cover underneath contains a photograph of Aragorn on horseback and has a different title.) This process generally leaves some unavoidable wrinkles and/or ripples in the construction paper cover and the glossy black end papers on each of the several copies I’ve seen.

The front cover features The Return of the King wordmark and a circle of Tengwar (Elvish) lettering of the inscription found on The One Ring, both in gold foil. The back cover features the New Line Cinema logo, also in gold foil. This construction-paper cover has been glued over the original photographic composition cover (i.e., glued over the library binding which has no dust jacket, because the photographic design is typically adhered right onto the book’s cover boards).

Other Features

The pages in Filmmaking Journey are not numbered and the book does not have a table of contents. So I spent nearly 10 hours creating LOTR Collector Notes for this book. The notes include a page-by-page listing of quote-givers, photograph contents and size, and page numbers to make navigating this Journey book as easy as possible. The Collector Notes also include additional details on the background of the book.


Check to see whether the glued-on cover is fully intact and the gold-foil print is sharp. Most covers also include minor ticks and smudges. See if the glossy endpapers have picked up fingerprints.


A Filmmaking Journey has fluctuated significantly through the years. In the mid-2000s, I rarely saw this volume appearing on eBay. When it did, the price often went over $100 and sometimes beyond $200. I think I got mine for $60-something, and that was a bargain at the time. Since then, the price has generally gone down, but $60 seems to be the current average price (2010).

Index to Page Layouts

The pages in this book are not numbered and there is no table of contents. An index of page layouts, photos, and quotations from cast and crew is forthcoming.

First edition of this description: May 2010.