VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 40 POSTED ON: 7/4/2011
05.10.07 The following is an article from the Pulse-Journal newspaper distributed in Warren and Butler counties of Ohio, with a circulation of over 50,000. This article also appeared in several local papers in the Cincinnati tri-state area. To see a picture from the article go to the M.A.R.S. Productions photo gallery. The Pulse Journal Life & Leisure May 10-16, 2007 by Hayley Day, Contributing Writer YOUNG MOVIE MOGULS Mason sisters transform filmmaking hobby into production company For 16-year-old Rachel and 17-year-old Ashlee Scott of Mason, two's a company - literally. These teen professionals, who began filming home movies 10 years ago, transformed their hobby into a production company, M.A.R.S. Productions in 2001. Rachel writes and acts in the 20-plus movies the two have made, while Ashlee directs and edits. "Whether I'm successful or not, I'm going to be making movies for the rest of my life," Ashlee said. While the girls measure success by producing films they enjoy, TheOneRing.net, "Lord of the Rings" conventions and even USA Today blogs measure it in the advanced and creative work the girls do at such a young age. Since the showing of "Middle Earth Idols" - a spoof on "American Idol" featuring "Lord of the Rings" characters - at a convention last year, the girls have been on a whirlwind trip of fame. Celebrities the girls have met and some they have even worked with include: -Dean Haglund from "The X-Files"; -Daniel Reeve from "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "King Kong" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"; -Andy Serkis from "Lord the Rings" trilogy; and -Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes from The Sci-Fi Channels "Ghost Hunters." Wilson, who met the girls at a convention last year, refers to the rising stars as his little sisters. ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING Despite the rich and famous company they keep, the girls finance all their own productions themselves. Their first major film in 2004 cost more than $5,000, all of which the girls made babysitting 32 different families, working seven days a week for nine months. Due to their busy schedules, the girls - who are home-schooled - enjoy little down time. Their mother, Terrie Scott, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, inspired the girls to film. As the "M" for Mom in M.A.R.S., Terrie helps the girls write some of their movie scripts and has taught them to use the film equipment. One of the girls' upcoming projects includes producing a screenplay written by their mother, which they hope will be shown in theaters. As for now, they're trying to cope with fame. "It's weird for people to be nervous to meet you," said Rachel. "At some conventions, it's like we're celebrities." Other films the girls made include: -Queen Mary" (2007) - a documentary of Darkness Radio's paranormal retreat aboard the haunted luxury liner Queen Mary, featuring interviews with Wilson and Hawes. -"Dork of the Rings" (2006) - a parody of Tim Richardson's film with the same title. The Scott sisters won the movie's film competition where they received a cameo and their fan film was included in the dvd set. 04.20.07 Stanley Hotel March 29-31, 2007 All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. The Shining, written by horror legend Stephen King is a terrifying psychological thriller. The haunted hotel and slow mental breakdown of Jack, much to the horror of his wife and son, provides the premise for one of the most famous horror movies of all time. Stephen King wrote this tale at the Stanley Hotel in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado, based on his own personal experiences while staying at this hotel. I remember being curled up on the couch with our Mom watching this movie years ago. It was different than the usual horror flick. This movie was methodical in the way it preyed on your fears. I'd never seen a film quite like it before. And, wasn't soon to forget it. Our dear friends at Darkness Radio returned for their second jaunt to the Stanley Hotel for their paranormal retreat and investigation, accompanied by Jason & Grant of TAPS and a host of other paranormal guests and experts in the field. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit this historical hotel and see first hand if it was indeed worthy of its reputation as being one of the most haunted places in this country. Rachel and I arrived on Wednesday evening, always impressed the sheer beauty of the setting. Nestled between the Rocky Mountains and Roosevelt National Forest, the Stanley Hotel is remote and tranquil with breathtaking views all around. The hauntings of the Stanley Hotel merely serve to add to the charm and intrigue of this place. We met up with our paranormal friends on Wednesday evening for our first investigation alone with the experts in the field. Led by our buddy, Patrick "Sonic" Burns of "Haunting Evidence," the K2 meter was active and as the night wore on our fatigue got the better of us. A decent case of giggles took hold of us as Darkness Radio's Dave Schrader was on a roll with his food analogies. Patrick "Sonic" Burns and his "Flash – ah aaa." I couldn't believe that someone beside us had ever seen that movie "Flash Gordon" and publicly admitted it by singing the theme song. At one point, Grant leapt to his feet and rushed into the bathroom. Once inside Grant said, "Guys, come film this." Patrick and I without question ran into the bathroom, reluctantly, to film God only knows what. Wondering why we were following Grant into the bathroom to film him tinkle, or so we thought. Luckily and sparing years of therapy, for us and Patrick, Grant was merely following his instincts about believing the bathroom was currently active with paranormal activity. Phew! What a relief! It was nice being able to investigate with such a small group. Big brother, Grant Wilson (from TAPS and Ghost Hunters) was also on hand to assist with the investigation. It was a late night, but extremely interesting and fun. By Thursday, the fans of the paranormal had begun to arrive. The atmosphere was enthusiastic as everyone was anxious to begin his or her investigations of this place. The weekend opened with autographs and pics of the featured celebrities, always gracious and eager to spend time with the fans. Grant and Jason did their usual faces at our camera every time they spotted us. Chris entertained us with his chair levitating routine, an upgrade from the floating pen of the Queen Mary, while Patrick had an amazing offering of his original photography on display. Friday included panels by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, noted paranormal author, Chad Calek and Adrian Vallera, from the upcoming series "Terrornormal," Patrick Burns, paranormal investigator from Court TV's "Haunting Evidence," Adam Blai, psychologist and demonologist, and Russ Clarke, hypnotist. The charity auction took place on Friday night and had a very special meaning to our family. The generosity of everyone there was amazing and heartfelt. For those of you who have yet been able to attend a Darkness Radio event or met any of these people first hand, they are the best group of people you could ever hope to meet. Genuine and the kindest folks we've ever had the pleasure of working with. Funny and devilish as all else, just like us! They're like family to us and we feel very blessed being a part of their world. I hope everyone that's a fan of their television shows or a fan of the paranormal has the opportunity to experience one of these events one day. You won't be disappointed. After the charity auction, it was time to investigate the Stanley Hotel. Jason and Grant were located in the Concert Hall, Patrick had room 217 (Stephen King room), Chris Fleming (from "Dead Famous") and John Zaffis (demonologist) were in room 1302 of the Manor House (where the table jumped when Grant was changing the tape), Adrian was in 401 (which is the room Jason was in when the glass broke and the closet door opened), Everyone was assembled into the MacGregor room and split into small groups and sent to one of these locations. Throughout the night, the groups would rotate locations. Rachel and I weren't newbies anymore, so we knew what to expect. For Rachel, the coolest place in the Concert Hall was below it in the caves, which is more like a passage that runs alongside the mountain. Rachel went down there four or five times and stayed there for 20 minutes at a time. While Rachel was investigating the cave, I was moving around to various locations within the Concert Hall. While I was filming in the main area of the Concert Hall, several people were capturing some unusual anomalies. I was having severe camera issues. I had three fully charged batteries, each with 272 minutes and within five minutes they would go dead. I had to keep running back to the front desk, where they were charging my batteries for me. I wasn't the only one experiencing camera problems. Digital still camera, EVP recorders, camcorders were all experiencing shut downs with fully charged batteries. Cell phones were even being affected within the hotel itself. There's some sort of disturbance at the Stanley Hotel. It was very frustrating trying to film under these conditions. Rachel moved from the cave to another room in the basement. Grant told the story of the last visit to the Stanley while in this room a chair flipped over from behind him and went past him. Rachel thought she'd check out the room herself. Grant escorted Rachel to the room and talked about the history of the room for a bit and gave her his K2 meter. Rachel says she got a very weird feeling as soon as she stepped into the room. The room was pitch black. Rachel went into the room by herself. She asked to be given a sign of its presence, if in fact there was anything there. The K2 meter immediately went crazy and stopped suddenly, followed by the door forcefully slamming shut. Scaring Rachel. She called out for Grant. No answer. Rachel ran to the door and found out that she was totally alone in the hallway. She ran down the hallway calling after Grant. She found him talking to some people and asked him if he had slammed the door. He told her he'd been standing there talking to these people since she stepped into the room and they verified that. Rachel told him what happened. Then, Grant and Rachel both went back into the room. But, now the room was completely dead. Grant had to leave because a woman claimed to have been pushed. Rachel stayed in that room till Grant came to get her 20 minutes later. That was the scariest thing that happened to Rachel all weekend. That and having our locked hotel room door open all the way and then close itself, as if someone had just entered the room. Creepy. When I went to the room Patrick was investigating, they had what appeared to be 6 or 7 spirits present, trying to communicate with them. There is supposedly a spirit maid there that tidies up the place. A group with Patrick actually witnessed someone's coat sleeve being lifted and put back down. In room 401, where Adrian was, something was lifting coins off a glow stick and spinning the glow stick. Before you ask, "Did anyone get this on film?" Again, it's next to impossible. The camera batteries just go dead. You just have to experience it firsthand to believe it. This same night, Jason also saw a black mist going across the ceiling in the Concert Hall and caught it with his still camera. He showed Rachel and I the pictures. Interestingly enough, it was around the same time and right outside the door that got slammed on Rachel. The Stanley was hopping with paranormal activity! It was amazing. Not for the faint of heart. A good way to start off the weekend! On Saturday, we were late getting up the next morning because neither of our cell phone alarms went off. We're not the only ones this happened to either. As a matter of fact, Rachel's cell phone stopped working all together. A white haze is the only thing visible in the display screen. She even took out the battery and SIM card. No change. She wasn't able to use her cell phone all weekend long. It was the weirdest thing. Oddly enough, as soon as we left the parking lot of the Stanley Hotel, her cell phone returned to normal. What the heck? We felt like we were in "Silent Hill," for those of you familiar with the game and movie. Saturday's panels included: Mark Macy, who discussed spirit photography, J. Allan Danelek, author of "The Case for Ghost," Chris Fleming, psychic sensitive from the Biography Channel's "Dead Famous," and, John Zaffis, demonologist. We were eagerly anticipating dinner, because both our "Queen Mary" film and "Most Haunted" parody were premiering that evening. We were too nervous to eat. We had lots of people come over and comment on my opening for the Queen Mary film, because of the way I edited to appear like an old vintage film. Everyone enjoyed it. Several people said that they wanted to buy a copy. Our "Most Haunted" parody was a huge hit. We were so happy. People were wiping back tears from laughing. Sweet. Chris Fleming said, "That was hilarious! I was laughing so hard I was crying." Cool. Throughout the rest of the weekend, people kept doing Rachel's impression of Yvette saying, "Frightening," especially Chris. Everyone loved it. Patrick's favorite part was the "cold spot" part and the Grunge jumping onto the pool table shot. Jason told Rachel she was cute with a British accent. Grant loves all of it. Dave and Tim loved it, so that was good. We were just glad that poking fun at the paranormal world went over so well. Or more to the point, making fun of that particular show. Note - Within the next couple of weeks, we will have a dvd available featuring both the Queen Mary and Stanley Hotel films, plus our "Most Haunted" parody. After dinner, Jason and Grant held their panel. It was very funny. They showed some really interesting footage and some scenes that never made it onto TV. Very cool. It was around 9:30pm when they finished and time for the investigations to begin again. Jason and Grant had the entire fourth floor this night. Chris and John had room 217. Patrick had 1302. Chad and Adrian had the Concert Hall. Rachel and I spent the entire night on the fourth floor. Rachel and Catherine were in room 418 with 3 or 4 other people. Rachel and Catherine sat inside the closet to do some EVP work. They heard the other people leave the room. Then, we heard footsteps walking up to the closet door, again they're in pitch dark. They called out to see if anyone was still in the room. No answer. Catherine turned on her flashlight to check the room. It was empty. They started hearing what sounded like a little girl talking to them inside the closet. Nothing more happened in that room. While in room 405, Rachel tried to provoke a spirit. A strong odor of cologne suddenly materialized in the room, Rachel got a sharp pain in her head, and then the K2 meters went crazy. Someone knocked on the room door. The meters stopped, the smell was gone and Rachel's head stopped hurting. It was really weird. Other than the continued issue with the camera batteries, I didn't personally experience anything. But, this was the day our locked hotel room door opened and closed on its own. It was a relatively quiet night, especially given all the activity from the previous night. On Sunday, the weekend was over, but we got to stay over an extra day and spend the night in the Stephen King room. Thanks, Dave! We had lunch/dinner with Grant. Saw a bunch of elk on a golf course. And, we did some more preliminary photography of the hotel and surrounding grounds for our film. The second group was due in later that afternoon. Later that evening, we stayed for the autograph session for the next group. After that, we got together with Rosemary, Tiffany Johnson (a psychic), Beth (from Planet Paranormal) and Bree. The six of us girls went down into the "spooky tunnel" (as Dave calls it). This is where Jason and Grant heard the little girls voice during the live Halloween episode. When we were down there, we thought we also heard a little girl whispering, especially in the employee passageway. We left the area because everyone's equipment shut off – even the EVP recorders. We all went back to the lobby to wait for Grant to be released from the fans ("Release the Grant!") and for Dave to get the key to the Concert Hall. We all tried hard to entertain ourselves while we were waiting to go to the Concert Hall. Chris Fleming did his impression of bug boy from MIB. Jason was beating up Rachel. Tim and Dave were doing amazing impressions that had Rachel and Grant on the floor laughing. It was after midnight. The only people in the Concert Hall at this time were Jason, Grant, Patrick, Chris, Adam, Rosemary, Dave, John Zaffis, Planet Paranormal crew and four others (including Rachel and I). This is when Adam started using "a little box thingy," which is an experimental device. Let's just leave it at that. Out of all the equipment that I've ever seen anyone use to date, this was certainly the most interesting and convincing. We spent the evening using this device in various locations in the Concert Hall and its basement. We had a lot of success using it. It was down right frightening, especially since I personally have not had anything major happen to me other than feeling weird or the camera issue, until I was present to see this device in action. Both Dave and Grant were worried about me because I was getting visibly disturbed by what I was witnessing and hearing. Rachel found the device to be creepy and disturbing. Gave her a horrible headache. It was really cool being able to investigate with all of the leaders in the paranormal field together at one time. It was also good working experience. We finished up in the Concert Hall and some of the group was heading over to room 418. The rest of us said goodnight. It was decided by Adam that Rachel and I should not accompany them into this next area while using this device, for our own protection. We, of course, wanted to go and film, regardless the risk. Adam explained to Grant, who pulled us aside and explained to us why it was in our best interest not to be there for this next part of the investigation. We understood why, but we can't go into it here. Wiser minds prevailed and we said our goodnights. We appreciate their concern for us and respect their opinions. As we all headed back to the main hotel, Dave received a phone call about a white mist moving around in the Manor House. We all ran over there. But, were too late to catch anything. We all hung around there awhile longer to see if anything else would happen, which it didn't. Grant walked us back over to the main building. It was after 4am now. This was our night in the Stephen King room. We set up two cameras in the room, cross angles. I decided to leave Rachel in the room awhile since she appears to be more sensitive to these things than I am. Rachel was exhausted and fell to sleep right away. We have not gone over the footage from this night yet, so I can't tell you what if anything happened. I went downstairs to sit in the lobby for a while. It was well after 5am now. Grant was still in the lobby, trying to keep people awake so they didn't miss their flights that morning. Grant and I ended up in the Music Room. I was so tired, I don't even remember how or why we went in there. We were lying on the floor talking for the rest of the night and well into the morning, in between Grant making funny noises at people in the lobby. I had to go up to our room three times to keep changing the tapes in the cameras. At one point, I was so sleepy that Grant offered to change the tapes for me. I said no. He said, just give me the keys and I'll do it, because I could barely move. Mind you, he was no better off. But, then I realized and told grant that if Rachel wakes up in a dark room and sees a shadowy male figure, changing our tapes, that she'd probably throw something or attack him. So, bad idea. It was pretty funny, but you know what people get like when they haven't had any sleep. We were laughing at absolutely everything. We were all just ridiculously tired. I fell asleep on the Music Room floor of the Stanley Hotel. Grant woke me up to let me know the sun was coming up. He knew I wanted to get some exterior shots in the morning. I did some filming outside and then promptly fell asleep on the couch in the lobby. Grant woke me up again and sent me to my room where I slept until check out. As much as we love our paranormal family, it was time to say goodbye. We had to say goodbye to everyone. We had to call Grant's room and wake him up. He was awake by the time we got over there. He looked like we felt. haha Yeah. .Sleep deprived. Our second investigation and Darkness Radio retreat came to an end. Boo. We had a great time. The best view ever. Great group of people. The staff at the Stanley Hotel was incredibly friendly (helping me with my batteries all weekend long). The Stanley Hotel definitely lived up to its reputation. Thanks to everyone for making this another memorable weekend for us and our family. Love you all! Thanks for everything!! See you at Eastern State and Waverly Hills! 04.20.07 Note: I realize we are posting this out of order – Stanley Hotel should come first, but Grand Slam is fresh on our minds and want to get this down before we forget it completely. The Stanley Hotel trip will follow in the next day or two. Promise. And, this is long . . . To: Reanna, Grant, Michael & Kathy ~ really missed having you guys here this weekend. Grand Slam Summit Burbank, California April 13-15, 2007 The 15th annual “Grand Slam: The Sci-Fi Summit,” took place this past weekend at the Burbank Airport Marriot Hotel, brought to you by Creation Entertainment, featuring such guests as George Takei, Walter Koenig, James Marsters, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber and many more! This was our first Creation convention that was not strictly Lord of the Rings related, and our first convention where we weren’t either filming the event itself or screening one of our films. Going to a convention just for the fun of it was a new concept to us. Special thanks go out to Creation for their hospitality. You guys are great! We’ve made some really close friends through Creation and it was nice seeing them again. For those of you Sci-Fi fans that weren’t able to attend this fantastic event, we’ll do our best to share with you our memories of the weekend. FRIDAY: The event opened on Friday to an enthusiastic crowd welcoming guests from the Star Trek and Stargate genres. Star Trek veterans Walter Koenig (Chekov) and George Takei (Sulu) took the stage later in the afternoon to entertain the fans and answer questions. George shared with us how much of an impact Star Trek fans had on their lives. April 12, 1961 is the day that Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human being to “boldly go where no man has gone before…” He also became the first man to orbit the earth. On April 12, 1976 the first space shuttle was unveiled to the public by N.A.S.A. George told us the story of how back in the 70’s, Star Trek fans rallied to have the first space shuttle named after the U.S.S. Enterprise. The entire cast of the original series proudly sat in the first row for these ceremonies. And, as a full orchestra played the Star Trek theme, the Space Shuttle Enterprise was rolled out onto the tarmac. He shared with us how honored the Star Trek cast felt and how moved they were to be a part of this historic event. The Enterprise and Pathfinder shuttles never took flight, but served as prototypes and public displays for N.A.S.A. and visitors to experience. My sister and I found this story to be particularly fascinating because during a visit to the Kennedy Space Center when we were just toddlers, we actually got to tour the Space Shuttle Enterprise. And, we had both attended Space Academy twice and space exploration means a great deal to us. If we were not pursuing a film career, this is what we would be doing. Rachel’s dream has always been to be the first female on Mars. Maybe one day, we can actually film in outer space. I had the honor of serving as Commander on the Space Shuttle Endeavor and Rachel served as Endeavor’s Space Shuttle pilot during our six hour mission. Our team was awarded the honor of “Most Outstanding Team” upon completion of our training and Rachel received the award for “Most Outstanding Cadet.” George hopes to raise awareness on the importance of further space exploration and the necessity for funding, as do we. I didn’t realize how much of an impact Star Trek fans had on the space shuttle program until we met George Takei. There will be no trips to Mars or galaxies beyond our own, if the space program does not receive the support that it needs to continue the dreams that Gene Roddenberry and so many others like him envisioned. We’d also like to talk about our photo op with Walter Koenig. The first time we met ANY Star Trek actor was this photo op. Our Mom was a Trekkie. We’d watch the original series with her on her collection of VHS tapes of the entire series. “Mirror, Mirror” and “The Trouble with Tribbles” being two of her favorite episodes. Mom was really excited that we had the opportunity to meet two Star Trek legends. Walter being the first… Even though Star Trek is not my main area of interest (LOTR being my favorite), I am still a fan. Just the sheer longevity of the series commands respect. I never imagined that one day we’d actually meet someone from perhaps the greatest science fiction series in the history of television, certainly one of the most influential. We were both nervous as we waited in the photo op line to meet Walter. When our turn finally arrived, we approached Walter. He smiled warmly at us and said, “I didn’t know that Star Trek fans could be so pretty,” which immediately melted our nerves away. That was a real Keanu Reeves “Matrix” moment, “Whoa.” Lol That’s not what we were expecting. He then began flirting with Rachel, much to everyone’s amusement. Walter was so nice and incredibly friendly. We were worried that he and George would be rude to us like a couple of other famous actors had been from another popular movie series (not LOTR), and were surprised to find otherwise. As we left, Walter said, “If only I was fifty years younger… “ which sent our Creation photographer friend, Chris, into hysterics...the bastard. Haha The first thing Rachel did was call our Mom and tell her what had just happened. =) Very, very cool. At the autograph sessions we were able to talk to both gentlemen in more detail about our films, show them our books and what we hoped to achieve with our lives. The first thing George said to Rachel at our autograph session was, “So, what’s with this Gareth guy?” Rachel nearly died. George was referring to Gareth Reeve, son of New Zealand’s LOTR calligrapher Daniel Reeve. Everyone on the planet seems to think they know about Rachel and Gareth! Rachel growled in frustration and asked George how he had heard about Gareth. He started laughing and said, “I hear things.” So, here Rachel was…talking to George (aka Lt.Sulu) about Gareth of all things. Will wonders never cease? Once Rachel cleared up the misconception with George that she was not engaged to be married at such a young age to Gareth, we started to talk about our “LOTR: The Return of the King” parody. He was very impressed that we were able to do that being so young. When it was our turn to visit with Walter, he also opened the conversation by stating that he had heard Rachel was engaged to Gareth. Walter wanted to congratulate her. She shot a look that would kill at Creation friend JC, who was laughing behind her. Rachel looked around the room, speaking to no one in particular, “Are you people insane? I am not engaged to Gareth Reeve!” No one seemed to believe her. Lol After we set Walter straight on the whole Gareth thing, we talked about how glad we were that they were so nice and he asked us what stars had been mean to us, which sparked an interesting conversation as to the physical attributes of the characters and the people playing them. Haha He said he himself had similar experiences with people from the same movies series. We talked and laughed about that for a while. We can’t tell you what was said, but it was all pretty funny. Besides rude actors, we talked about our films and he once again commented on how he wished he was fifty years younger. Haha George and Walter are real sweethearts and we’re glad we were able to meet them. Friday evening consisted of a variety type show, which started off with Walter reading excerpts from his upcoming novel. Sounds great! George sang a few songs from the 1940’s. He was really good. He tied the music back to his childhood experiences of being a young Japanese boy in America during WWII and being held in one of the Japanese encampments. Next, Marc Alaimo conducted an acting class by bringing volunteers on stage from the audience to read a couple of paragraphs from Hamlet, straight through, correctly and while maintaining the proper accent. No one was able to do it right and he said he’d only had three people ever get it right – Rachel became the fourth to get it right. Earlier in the day, Marc put Rachel to the Hamlet test and she passed. Very cool. We were going to meet up with a group from Creation to continue the pool match that began with the Weta/Sideshow guys at ORC, but everyone was too tired. SATURDAY: Saturday was an early start. The day was filled with panels, autograph sessions and photo ops with people from all the different Star Trek series, as well as Smallville, Highlander, Buffy, Angel, Eureka and Heroes. We really enjoyed this. It was fascinating learning about so many different productions and their behind the scenes information. We got to meet Justin Hartley (Smallville’s Green Arrow), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Spike) and Hayden Panettiere (Claire Bennet from Heroes). James was really interested in the fact that we had our own production company and asked that we employ him one day. Hayden was happy that she had found other teenagers her age at the convention to talk with. Kate, who runs Katee Sackhoff’s fan club, told us that Katee knew we were there and was anxious to see us! Cool! Reanna stop reading now: James was our first autograph session of the day. We hit it off with him real well and spoke to him at great length about our work. He wanted to make sure that we understood what an honor it was to be a guest at a Creation event, as we were at ORC and Grand Slam, and then when we told him our ages he was totally shocked. He assumed we must have been well out of college already. He thought is was just amazing that we had accomplished so much already for our ages. And, he thought it was so cool that we’d actually been able to work with talent such as Dean Haglund. He wanted to know what it was like working with the different celebrities we had in our Middle Earth Idols film. He came around the table, gave us both a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Then, sat back down and talked to us some more about our films and what an amazing year we’d had. He reminded us that he needs us job and asked us to remember him. We asked him if he watches the Sci-Fi channel series “Ghost Hunters,” and he said he did. We told him one of the autographs he was signing was for Grant Wilson’s wife, Reanna, which he thought was very cool. He thought is was cool that someone associated with a show that he was a fan of, was actually a fan of his too. He finished signing our books and pictures and then gave us some packages of trading cards to keep for ourselves and friends. He said it was a shame that they weren’t able to come and that he would have liked to meet them. (annoying lack of babysitters) Anyway, James was a really nice guy. Very sweet. Reanna start reading again…lol Justin’s autograph session was next. Justin’s very tall, a total sweetheart and drop dead gorgeous. That pretty much sums it up. Yeah. The costume competition soon followed with Klingons, Battlestar Galactica characters and an assortment of other creatures from “The Fly” and even “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Our favorite had to be the Cylon. James gave a concert later that evening featuring blues and country music. He did a really good job with it. The fans really enjoyed it. The dessert party followed. The dessert party is a chance to talk to the guest in an informal setting over icecream and other treats. Guests visit each table (one at a time) to talk to fans. The dessert party at ORC is where we had the special appearance by Andy Serkis. We had six other girls at our table. The first guest to visit our table was Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth & Hellboy). He was really nice and asked us a lot of questions about our work. We talked a lot about the Academy’s process for selecting foreign film winners too. William Gregory Lee (from Xena & Dark Angel) came over after Doug. He was really cool. He and I got into a lengthy discussion about silent films. He and Doug Jones are in a new movie that was made like a silent film, but it’s really a talkie. Robert O’Reilly came to our table next. We had already met him the day before. He told us he talked to his three sons about us. He talked to us about how professional he thought we were and how impressed he was. That’s always nice to hear. Robert caused a ruckus at the table by thinking one of the ladies at the table was our mother or older sister. This got all the girls laughing. Adrian Paul (Highlander) spent time at our table after Robert. The first thing Adrian said to us was, “You don’t look like you belong here.” Meant to be a compliment. He was very nice and ready to take on the world for us against anyone that has ever mistreated us. Chivalry and all that. Very, very sweet. He wanted to know our history too – the other girls at the table were telling him a lot about us. Adrian also asked if a different lady at the table was our mother. The entire table started shrieking in laughter and all the other actors in the room came over to ask what all the commotion was about. After Adrian left our table, Hayden (from Heroes) came over and gave Rachel and I hug. She was glad to be with girls her own age. We gave her a copy of “Middle Earth Idols” because she had told us earlier that she was a HUGE American Idol fan. She held on to our dvd and wouldn’t even let anyone else touch it. Haha She was really nice. She said she wanted to work with us. Reanna wanted to know if Hayden watched Ghost Hunters too, and she does. =) She talked to us a lot about our films and upcoming projects. We’ll definitely work with her one day. Hayden is someone we’d hang around with. Ellen Roth (from Dead Like Me) came over to our table. She was really nice too. Very cool too. She let us take a picture with her. She hadn’t had anything to eat and neither had we. We laughed about that. We talked about ways to get some food to her. She’s so tiny! When we saw her the next morning, I walked over to her and asked if she’d eaten yet, which she said no!!! I offered to go get her a drink and some shrimp – anything. She looked like she was starving to death. She gave me a hug and said she’d be going home soon and would just have to wait. Seriously, I felt like I needed to force feed her. Love her, but she needs to eat more. Ellen is very sweet. We’d hang around with her too for sure. Robert Duncan McNeal (from ST: Voyager) and Connor Trainneer (ST: Enterprise) paid us a visit next. They were both really nice too. Matt Frewer (The Stand, Taken, Max Headroom) came to talk with us next. He was really nice and actually said that Rachel reminded him of Dakota Fanning (who happens to be one of our favorite actresses). It was weird meeting him because we had actually just finished watching him in the mini series “Taken” and “The Stand” just last week. Tracey Scroggins (Highlander & Babylon 5) was the last guest at our table. She was really nice too. We were talking to her about our Mom and she asked why Mom hadn’t come to the convention, so we explained to her about Mom having cancer. She got really upset when we told her that. She was also very impressed with our work and our determination to succeed despite any adversity we may face. Everyone was too tired to do anything else after the dessert party and Sunday started even earlier … If we were lucky, we’d catch a couple of hours of sleep. We never get straight to sleep, because we always call our Mom and talk to her for awhile. Rachel later had to wrangle Adrian for some food. They stood toe to toe, staring each other down over the last morsels. She demanded he hand over the plate. He eyed her in amusement. She stepped closer to him and assured him she wasn’t backing down. A big guy like him could spare a bite. He ended up conceding and handed over the plate to Rachel and proceeded to collect the last remaining item instead. Rachel promptly reminded him that I needed to eat too. Adrian laughed and handed the dish over to Rachel. SUNDAY: No sleep. We shared four shrimp on the day before, which made up our entire food intake and we were feeling the effects of that big time now. Got cleaned up and dragged ourselves like zombies down to the convention center. Note: Dave, Grant and Jason make sure we eat… They don’t let us get away with being too busy to eat. 8am… Exciting!!! Breakfast with Katee and Jamie from Battlestar Galactica!! Thanks Creation!!! Katee, Jamie, Michael Trucco (Anders from Battlestar Galactica) & Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh from Battlestar Galactica) were brought into the room where the breakfast was being held. Katee waved at us from across the room with a big smile on her face! She was so happy!! So were we!! We hadn’t seen her since Starbase Indy back in November. They were onstage for a photo op before sitting down. I was heading back to the table at the same time Jamie was walking over to our table. Katee was taken to another table first. Jamie sat down in the open seat beside me and said, “Good morning, how’s breakfast?” He was British. Now, this might not come as a surprise to most of you Battlestar Galactica fans, but we’re working 24/7 at our jobs, our films or taking care of Mom – we’re lucky if we get time to watch TV at all. But, Battlestar is one of our favorite shows, we just don’t have time to follow up on the personal cast bios. Sooooo, we had NO idea he was British. Apollo… British? At first we thought he was joking. We almost laughed. Rachel and I both turned our heads and looked at him and in unison said, “What the heck?” Rachel was about to say “That’s a really bad British accent,” but stopped herself when we realized that he wasn’t joking. Jamie looked at our puzzled expressions and asked us what was wrong. We told him we didn’t expect him to speak as he was . . . as in British. Apollo is British? Huh… He laughed and said, “I get that a lot.” I don’t believe the puzzled looks left our face the entire time Jamie sat with us. It was like finding out after years of watching films that Harrison Ford (the Han Solo) was in reality British and sounded like a Hugh Grant knock off. We were stunned. I wanted to tell him to stop talking like that and talk like Apollo. Haha At one point, Jamie was talking about his experience in the Tom Hanks film “Band of Brothers” and the way he said Tom Hanks just sent Rachel and I laughing. Jamie started laughing right along with us. He knew we couldn’t quite wrap our minds around the fact that he had a British accent and sounded nothing like Apollo. I don’t even remember everything we talked about – just that we wanted to keep telling him to stop talking in that accent. Stop talking like that . . . lol He explained to us that it was easier for the show’s producers to have him speak as if he was American, rather than have Edward James Olmos speak with a British accent… uh, huh. I swear I just wanted to smack him upside the head and make him speak like Apollo does… Really took us by surprise. I do remember him asking us if we’d seen any good movies lately… We all said, “300.” (or 299 as our Mom calls it). Jamie said he’s good friends with the lead actor in that film. And, we told him we had just met David Wenham a few weeks ago at ORC. (sigh) (shut up, Grant) David Wenham…hmmm. Oh, where were we? Jamie… British Apollo – that’s right. It was Sayid (from LOST) all over again. We had no idea he was British either!! Michael Trucco (Starbuck’s hubby in the show) came over to our table. We held our breath, half expecting him to speak French… But, no… he was American. He was telling us stories about the day he found out his character was a Cylon. And, his reaction to Starbuck’s demise… Katee didn’t feel he was reacting appropriately. Haha It wasn’t registering to him what she was telling him. Michael was very entertaining. Starbuck’s hubby left . . . Katee was at the table next to us, squirming in her seat, looking at us and smiling. We all just kept laughing at her. She was so fuuny. Finally, they released her to our table. She ran over, squeaking, and hugged the life out of us!! Rocking us back and forth, like a crazy person. She was giddy. It was really cute! We were so happy to see her again too. She sat down and said hello to the other people at the table. The first thing she did was apologize to us again for not being able to appear in our first episode of Middle Earth Idols and explained to the other nice people at the table what had happened to prevent her from doing so. Katee was supposed to appear in our ORC film, but something happened that made that impossible. She filled us in on more details and it was even worse than when we last had heard about it. Personal stuff… Katee offered to film her part while we were at Grand Slam, but we all doubted that there’d be enough time. And, she also offered to get a limo so us girls could go out to dinner later on and catch up on things. Katee’s one of the coolest people we’ve ever met. We filled Katee in on everything she’s missed. She wanted to know all the details of the film and who we put in the first episode, how the premiere went, how it was received…the USA Today blog about our film and all the scoop on our latest projects with Darkness Radio. She was very proud of us. And, she couldn’t believe how far we’d come just since we saw her last. Let’s stray from reality a bit here… Katee asked how Grant was . . . and we told her that he’s a big fan of hers…. She swooned… Sighed and then swooned again… lol Sorry, Grant. That is slightly exaggerated. Haha She is a fan of the show. She asked, “He’s the bald one, right? We said, “No, that’s Jason.” Katee said, “Oh, the guy with tattoos?” And, we told her, “No, that’s Steve.” She looked confused and asked, “The Dude Run guy?” We explained, “No, that’s Brian.” Katee said, “Huh… There’s a fourth one?” We told her, “Yes, the one that says EVP all the time.” Katee said, “Oh, that’s Grant?” One word for you Grant… CHINA We’re just kidding. She loves you Grant! Everyone loves Grant! We love Grant! Poppy, you will meet her at Dragon*Con 2007 . . .best get your mind right. (Grant - don’t call me up and yell at me now!) Back to reality… Anyway . . . Katee and breakfast. Had a wonderful time (in between the swooning…sorry, had to throw that in there)… We talked to Katee for quite some time, but then she had to leave us. She came back and gave us a hug a couple more times and then had to leave. We’d catch up with her again later on at the photo ops. Sunday was an incredibly busy day, so we had to rush from breakfast to Jamie & Michael’s photo ops. When we came into the room Jamie said, “Gosh, you two are gorgeous. Damn.” Sweet. He was talking to Chris and JC about us. Jamie gave us both a hug and a kiss on each cheek. He was really, really nice. Very cute too. Michael said we were adorable. He was incredibly sweet too. After their photo op, the Battlestar Galactica panel began. Katee & Jamie spoke first and were later joined by Michael and Kate. Their panel was really funny. Fans were asking really good questions. Katee kept cracking up laughing. One of the best panels we’ve ever been to. Their panel was really interesting and very informative. The most interesting story they shared was the one about Starbuck’s demise. Katee wasn’t allowed to tell her fellow cast members that they hadn’t seen the last of Starbuck. Her Mom even came on the set, crying, about Katee leaving the series. All part of the act. They wanted everyone to be upset, make it as believable as possible. Katee couldn’t keep the lie up for long, so after a few days they had to let the cast in on the secret. Katee’s photo op was next. Rachel and I were first. Katee started jumping up and down, squeaking again. Rachel ran over and gave her a hug. Ashlee did the same. As we were leaving, Katee called after us saying, “Love you, girls!” We told her we loved her too! We went to get our pictures taken with Oliver and James Phelps (the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter movies). Four red heads together… We walked into the photo op room and Rachel noticed that Stan Ianevski (Harry Potter’s Viktor Krum) was in there, sitting in a chair. I didn’t see him. JC came over to talk to me. He asked me if I was excited to see Viktor Krum. I told JC that Viktor Krum wasn’t his real name. JC and I started bickering back and forth about Stan. JC was conveniently blocking my view of Stan, who I still did not realize was in the room. JC kept teasing me about Stan being my boyfriend. Meanwhile, Rachel kept trying to get my attention, but I kept telling her to be quiet. Rachel just wanted to tell me that Stan was listening to everything that was being said and laughing his head off. The Phelps twins were laughing too. I punched JC in the shoulder, trying to get him to go away. He eventually left me alone. Rachel points out that Stan is sitting right there, about four feet away from me. I deny it. We got our pictures taken with the twins. After that, I found out that was in fact Stan in the room. Perfect timing. Now, we had to get our pictures taken with Stan. Rachel went first and introduced herself to Stan. When it was my turn, Chris changed the music in the room to some kind of Hawaiian love music. I shot Chris a look. I walked over and introduced myself. Stan said it was very nice to meet me. We overheard Stan telling Chris that we were gorgeous as we were leaving. Very cool. There were so many girls sobbing about getting their pictures taken with the Harry Potter guys…weird. Like they were the Beatles or something. We have never felt the need to sob hysterically over anyone we’ve met, sorry. I got choked up over Andy Serkis, but I wasn’t hysterical. We stood by the side with JC watching the show . . . Every two seconds a girl would run up the hall screaming and sobbing. We couldn’t help but laugh. It sounded like people were being murdered. Even the male fans were crying. Stan and the Phelps twins knew we were there watching and kept looking over at us. The twins kept laughing with us, Stan kept smiling at us, but he looked mortified when the fans would come in crying and screaming. Poor guy. We had to get our autographs with Katee, Jamie, Michael and Kate. I stuck my head behind the curtain to see how many people were back there and saw Holly (Dean Haglund’s manager). We had met her at Starbase Indy. I had no idea she was at the convention. Holly shrieked and ran around to give me a hug. She ushered me back to where Kate Vernon was and started telling her how we knew each other. So, we got to talk to Holly and Kate for a while before they had to leave. It was really nice seeing her again. Michael was in the room all this time sitting next to Kate, listening. He made some comment about us being close to Katee (Starbuck) and asked where we knew her from. He noticed how excited she was to see us. Michael said it was nice to meet us and he wished he had more time there so he could hang out with us too, which was really cool. He’s very cute and a sweetheart. We had him sign our books for us. We thanked him. He gave us a hug and we headed over to Katee and Jamie. There was a herd of people waiting for Katee and Jamie. When we got up there, Katee started squeaking again. She’s so funny! She signed our stuff and gave her a copy of Middle Earth Idols and the Queen Mary film. She was very happy to get them and she still wants to work something out so she can be in a future episode. We talked about the celebrities we had in Middle Earth Idols. We talked about getting together at Dragon*Con and about the Ghost Hunters TV series. We asked her to call Grant, but he didn’t pick up , so she left a message for him. Soon after Katee had to leave for a commitment in Vancouver. We went over to Jamie’s table. He looked over our books and talked to us for a while. He wrote “employ me” in my book! We still don’t remember much that Jamie said…still thrown by the accent. lol He did come around and give us each another hug. Sorry guys . . . just wasn’t prepared to hear Apollo speaking British. He was very nice! We watched the rest of the Harry Potter panel with the Phelps twins and Stan Ianevski. They seemed a bit nervous to be on stage answering questions. Their panel was interesting. After their panel, they signed autographs. We went to Stan first. Interesting how the girls waiting for the Harry Potter fans were balling their eyes out. All we could hear was sobbing fans. The first thing Stan asked us was what Middle Earth Idols was…we gave him our business card. He said it was awesome and Lord of the Rings was one of his favorite movies. We talked to him a great deal about Middle Earth Idols and he said he couldn’t wait to go home and watch it. He asked us a ton of questions about MEI and our ROTK parody. He looked through our books. He thanked us for being normal. We mainly just talked about Lord of the Rings stuff. He said it was nice to meet us and we said our goodbyes, because we had to go see the twins. The twins asked us where we were from and started talking to us about Lord of the Rings. They’re huge fans too. They talked to us about our movies for a while too. They both gave us a hug. They were both really nice. They said we could be the entire Weasley family – the four red heads together. Grand Slam was coming to a close. We had lots of people to thank and say goodbye to. Once again, Creation put on another great convention. It was nice to go someplace and not work, although we were still working promoting Middle Earth Idols and M.A.R.S. in general. We hardly slept for three days, but anyone that goes to these things knows that’s part of the experience. What good would a convention be if you weren’t so tired the following days that you can barely remember what happened? The highlight of the weekend for us was seeing Katee again and Apollo being British, of course. It was one of the best conventions we’ve been to. Grand Slam becomes another page in our history as we look onward to editing the Stanley Hotel film and the numerous other projects demanding our attention. Thanks go out to Adam Malin & Gary Berman of Creation for their generosity and hospitality! Thanks to the staff and volunteers of Creation for making Grand Slam so memorable. Special thanks to JC and Chris for being such great friends! We love you guys! And, to Grant for keeping us company throughout the weekend with your humorous text messages. Wink, wink, wink 03.25.07 Middle Earth Idols It was actually our Mom who came up with the idea of Middle Eearth Idols over a year ago. We were watching Taylor Hicks audition for American Idol. Rachel and I sat on the bed beside her. She started laughing and said, if Gandalf were a singer, he'd be like Taylor Hicks. The three of us laughed and started talking about what attributes our favorite LOTR characters would have in a singing competition. Rachel and I started working on the concept for turning the idea into a music video to enter into the ELF contest in New York (7/06). It was a huge hit at ELF. We were thrilled! They even laughed at Aragorn and the horse, which was very disturbing, funny...but disturbing. Well, we think of some pretty crazy things when we're up all night with Mom and we haven't had more than four hours of sleep for every 48 hours of work in how many years now??? How do you think Marie Antoinette singing "Dancing Queen" was born? LOL We get slap happy and the ideas just flow. Luckily in the audience watching Middle Earth Idols (the music video version) just happened to be the Celtic band Emerald Rose, Billy Boyd, John Noble (Denethor) and LOTR calligrapher Daniel Reeve. John Noble was the first to tell us that if Denethor could perform a number it would definitely be "Disco Inferno." He loved it. So, did Daniel Reeve and Billy Boyd. Billy was a bit disappointed that we didn't include Pippin, but we told him we were already working on a film version featuring the Top 12. We asked him to pick a song that he'd like to see Pippin perform. He said any John Lennon song. Hence, "Imagine." The fans seemed to really love the concept of Middle Earth Idols, which really meant a lot to us. Makes all the hard work and no sleep worth it. We already had our Top 12 worked out and had over 94 songs selected for the various characters to work with. What we needed was judges... At first, we were going to do the judging ourself. Rachel does a mean Simon Cowell impression (watch our "Most Haunted" parody online tomorrow to see how well she can do Yvette). Then, someone at work said, you should ask Kiran Shah to be one of your judges. And, we were like, "No, you're insane." But, then we thought about it. We had met Kiran at Dragon*Con, even had dinner with him. He was such a nice man. What the heck? The worse he could say was no. We had been keeping in touch with Kiran and wrote him an email just to run the idea past him. Much to our surprise he said yes without hesitation. We made sure he understood that we couldn't pay him anything. Being poor starving artist and all... Literally. He said he'd be happy to do it for us - no problem. He'd seen some of our previous work. Wow. Shock set in... November 2nd, 2006. And, we had all our judges secured then within the following two weeks. Shock that has not worn off to this day... 15 & 17 yrs. old and Kiran Shah is going to work in our movie? Yes, definitely SHOCK. Kit, Kiran's nephew not only offered to film it for us in London, but asked if we wanted Kiran in front of a green screen because he knew that we used a lot of chroma key in our films. We didn't want to put them out, but they were only too happy to do it. Wow, again. We sent him a script and we have to be honest with you, every step of the way they could not have been more generous with their time. They were constantly asking us if we needed more lines or if we needed anything else at all. As it was Kiran filmed over 50 minutes of dialogue for us. Feeling really, really brave . . . We contacted Dean Haglund, whom we had also met at Dragon*Con. We've been watching the X-Files since birth. Huge, huge fan! I'm sure he thought we were total nerds at D*Con. But, the important thing is that he remembered us. He remembered the two red headed sisters filming Dragon*Con. So, we did the unthinkable. We opened a MySpace account. Something I thought we would never do simply because we have ZERO time. It's all we can handle working two jobs, taking care of Mom, the house, the meals, and trying to work on our film career without trying to manage yet another web site. (sigh) But, we did. Networking. That's all we could think of. Networking. We sent an email to Dean, basically re-introducing ourselves and presenting the concept of Middle Earth Idols. Then throwing all caution to the wind - asked him if he'd be interested in being one of our celebrity judges. Again, without even a day passing, he responded with a loud YES!! Love to! Us and Langly??? Working together . . . Beyond cool. The nerds in us were screaming loudly!! Originally Dean was going to film the role himself and mail us his tape to be edited by me - but as it turned out, the three of us were all going to be at the same convention over Thanksgiving. Dean offered to try and film it over that weekend, time permitting. So, of course, I'm thinking... Sweet. Me directing Dean? The shock just deepened. It was strange enough that he was actually going to be reciting lines of dialogue that we wrote without having any clue how we were going to edit them together - TRUST US we said, and he did. I was a bit nervous - after all - I am 17. Dean is Dean. Watching X-Files every day (at least once) is a law in all states, is it not? We didn't know until we actually got to the convention how everything would play out. But, one way or another - Dean was going to be one of our judges. I remember Dean reading the line, "Dude, he talks like a freakin insect!" Rachel, myself, Alexis Cruz and about thirty other people standing around watching the film shoot started laughing. Dean raised his eyebrow and looked at me over the script. I corrected him, "No Dean, that's 'He talks to freakin insects, not talks like one." More laughter from the background. I assured him it would all make sense when it was edited together. He laughed, nodded and said, "I'm sure it will." Love the guy. We adore Daniel Reeve - I yelped at him (as all my friends know) at ORC 2006, which was our very first convention. Those elevator doors opened and in he stepped. The nerd overtook me and yes, I yelped at the man standing there holding all the LOTR maps and drawings bundled in his arms. He might as well have been holding the Holy Grail -where those THE maps form the movie, uh huh? Yelp indeed. Asking Daniel was a tricky one... Love him to death. Love his family. They are super nice people. Gareth is adorable and a great guy. But, Daniel is Daniel - very reserved, so incredibly smart and a true artist. Very proper, very much a gentleman. It took me awhile to get comfortable even calling him "Daniel" - it was always respectfully Mr. Reeve. How to ask... Should we ask? Hmmm... We talked to Gareth about the idea of being one of our judges and he loved it, but that wasn't really a surprise. He's a LOTR fan just like us. We just had to get the nerve to ask Daniel Reeve now... I thought about it for a few days and finally sat down to write my email. I included two scripts - one where he was a very nice judge and the other where he and Gareth argue back and forth and at one point he even grounds Gareth. I wasn't excepting a yes, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. No word. Not for a couple of weeks anyway. Rachel would ask me if we heard back yet. Nope... Finally, we came home from work and there was an email from Daniel Reeve. Much to our surprise - he said yes. He and Gareth would love to do it. Naaaa... Daniel Reeve? He was incredibly busy, but asked when we would need it by, so I gave him a mid-January deadline. I'd be well into post production by then, but wanted to give him as much time as possible to get the tape to us from his location in New Zealand. I didn't ask him what script he was going to use. I'd simply edit around whatever choice he made. Nice judge or dad/son squabble. Can't believe he picked the squabble one, but so happy that he did. LOL That was our favorite version! We love Sci-Fi - the Sci-Fi channel is on our house pretty much 24/7 (not that we're watching it all the time), but we're always up working and the noise of the television helps keeps us awake. And, when we take breaks there's always something on Sci-Fi we can watch. We've been watching Ghost Hunters since it first aired. No, we're not some idiots that blindy believe specks of dust are orbs or any other such nonsense. We try to remain open minded about that sort of thing and would try to find a logical explanation for things like that. Not that we're saying such things don't exist. Too many unexplained things in the universe to make a blanket statement like that. Anyway, we met four of the Ghost Hunters from the Sci-Fi Channel while we were at Dragon*Con. Jason, Grant, Steve * Brian. Really nice guys. We had written a few letters to their main site about having one of them be a guest judge, with no response. They gets tons of mail - totally understand that. But, we finally got a hold of Grant and went through the whole "Do you remember us from Dragon*Con" business and would you mind...??? We knew he was a HUGE Tolkien fan from talking to him at D*Con. Never forget it... Grant sent us an email that same day saying, "Ash, anything for you girls, hon." Aaaahhh! Grant Wilson - wow. Oh, this was so cool. Now, we had Kiran, Daniel, Dean and Grant. We wanted Grant to be oblivious to what was going on, just be so absorbed with his work that he wasn't paying attention to the show. We sent him a script and he was totally cool with it. Seemed like we had known him our entire lives. His wife, Reanna, was going to help him film his part. We wanted someone from TheOneRing.net to be a judge. How can we not have the best LOTR website represented in our film? We took a chance and approached Michael Regina about the idea. Big brother, LC, doesn't like being in front of the camera, and from what we read, Michael Regina had experience with film already. (more to follow) 03.11.07 ORC: Encounters with David & Andy Note: See a few pics in the gallery! More pics and news to come! FYI, Gollum won the vote as everyone's "favorite" for the film we showed on Friday! Didn't see that coming! LOL Another full day ahead of us, but we did want to share these two photos with you. Last night, at about 10:30pm, Andy Serkis surprised the group attending the Dessert party with a special appearance (after BeeCake's concert). As he entered the room, we all bursted into cheers! Andy's #2 on my list of folks we HAVE to meet and there he was standing right in front of me, tired from his trip from New Zealand, but cheerful just the same. He made sure he spent time at each table. We patiently waited for our turn, then stood up and cheered again as he approached our small group of eight. Andy was pleased with the reception we gave him. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I was never at a loss for words with Elijah or Billy or any of the other wonderful people we have met, but with Andy - I just couldn't seem to find the right words to tell him how much he has inspired our film career and how much we admire him. He certainly didn't help matters when he said, "Oh, you're the MARS girls, the Middle Earth Idols girls, right?" OMG. Andy Serkis KNEW who we were. How is this possible? He immediately began asking questions on what we did with Gollum in our film. He couldn't believe that Rachel played Gollum stating we were both "too gorgeous" to play Gollum. Throws me when I hear that Rachel whipped out her cell phone to show Andy a picture of her as Gollum. He cringed and started laughing. Rachel then proceeded to tell Andy what we did with Gollum. He broke out into laughter and started shouting, I knew it! I knew that's what you were going to do! Brilliant! I can't wait to see it! Were my ears working correctly? Did Andy Serkis just show genuine interest in our work, us - 15 & 17 yr olds from Ohio? Holy you-know-what. Okay - my brain really went bye bye then. I must have gone pale. Andy actually asked me if I was okay - guess I looked like I was going to collapse to the floor. I told him I was okay, just in a bit of shock as I was not expecting to be sitting two feet away from him at the table having a casual conversation. He told me it was okay and that he was just a regular person. He might be a person, but he sure as heck is not "regular." I was truly awe struck for probably the first time since Rachel and I met Astronaut and Senator John Glenn several years ago. Our friends at the table rescued me by breaking into other details about our film, which everyone seemed to really love. Andy was lively and charming as all else. He spent over thirty minutes with us and I honestly can't recall all that we talked about, but I'm sure it will come back to me. We were able to snap this picture with him before he headed off to bed for the night. Okay - no laughing, but I actually cried when he left. Yeah, corny and so unlike me to fall apart over a celebrity, but he's just meant so much to us and his work has really inspired us in so many ways to become dedicated film makers. It was an honor beyond words. Rachel was bubbly as all else, but then turned to me and saw that I was crying and she just got this look on her face, like, "Who died?" Silly of me to do so, but meeting Andy and hopefully one day Peter Jackson is right up there with if we ever had the opportunity in another life to meet J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Without a doubt, one of the best moments of our lives. I wanted to run to every Creation staff member and thank them personally for this wonderful surprise. Thanks for the hug, Magid! Thanks to Andy for being everything I thought he would be and more! Our film premiered on Friday and it was great! The audience was receptive and it was without a doubt the best experience we had at a film screening thus far. They loved it and we loved sharing it with them. We love to make people laugh and share LOTR with others, so it was awesome. We worked so hard on this film and it means a great deal to us. To work with Kiran, Daniel, Grant, Dean, Alexis, Michael and Emerald Rose was such an honor and amazing. If nothing else had happened all weekend long it would have been a perfect weekend for us just with our film showing but no...so much more in store for us at ORC. David Wenham. Wow. And, wow again. Okay - another first for me. Apparently, if I am to believe my sister and darling Creation staffers Chris (the photographer) and volunteer (JC) I went completely red faced after David Wenham gave me a hug and told me I was gorgeous. And, stayed red every time we saw him or he spoke to us then after. Interesting. I'm not in the habit of blushing around celebrities, but David Wenham well . . . yeah. Wow. I will be forever teased about this, for sure. Stop laughing Grant, you are evil! Calling me Tomato Face and all. LOL Grant told me I'd be swooning over David and he was right. Go figure. Oh, well. I'll never live that one down. He was just well. . . yeah. Wow. Great seeing Billy again and meeting his band members, who were all as charming as Billy. GREAT concert, had a fantastic time. That was a real treat. Love those guys! They feel like old friends. =) So, another day at ORC and another day for me to do something out of character... haha Our Middle Earth Idols "Sneak Preview" shows today. Hurrah! Can't wait to watch it with the other LOTR fans! We'll see Andy today again - can't wait. We're giving him a copy of our dvd today. Can't wait to hear how he likes our Gollum. Our film shows in the time slot right before Andy takes the stage. How cool. Promise not to cry when we have to say goodbye to him...well, maybe a tear or two. It's one of those moments that will be vivid in my memory forever, just like when Daniel Reeve stepped onto the elevator with us at ORC 2006 and I yelped at him. He turned around, grinned and introduced himself to us. A real Hallmark moment. =) Seeing the Sideshow/WETA folks again with the "Told you..." - you sure did. Thanks for believing in us. Love you guys too! ORC feels like one big family reunion this time around. Been an amazing weekend and we hate to see it come to an end. Thanks to all of you for your support and for making this weekend so amazing! Thanks to everyone: guests, fans and Creation staff for making it such a memorable weekend for us in so many ways. 02.12.07 Queen Mary...things that go bump in the night. Current mood: sleepy Queen Mary...things that go bump in the night. Sorry this is a bit late. We have two films in post production and that translates into nothing but zombie time with deadlines to meet. We did want to share our thoughts and impressions from our trip to the Queen Mary last month. In 1997, we sat in a crowed theatre to watch one of the greatest motion pictures ever made Titanic. I was 8 yrs. old and Rachel was only 6. The first movie poster we ever owned was from this movie and our very first crush was of Leonardo Decaprio. Fast forward to 2006, the year we made our first public screening of one of our films. An amazing year to be sure and we met so many wonderful people. One of these wonderful people happens to be a Ghost Hunter, whom we befriended at Dragon*Con a few months ago. We joined MySpace back in November, not really knowing what to expect. But, we soon began to grow a network of incredible people, many we had already met, but a lot of new faces too. One of the new faces to us was Darkness Radio. It here we learned of the Queen Mary trip. When we saw Titanic it was on the verge of our film making endeavors and this movie had a great influence on us, so it held sentimental meaning to be able to experience a ship even larger than the Titanic. We were fortunate enough to be given permission to film the Darkness Radio/TAPS event. To be honest with you, as we stood at the foot of that giant ship. we felt a bit like Kate Winslet about to embark on some grand adventure. What a thrill to be there! The accommodations were amazing in themselves, two portholes with a view of the ocean and Long Beach! Wow! (stop laughing Grant) We found out soon that we were directly across the hall from one of the most haunted rooms. Lucky us! We explored the ship and it proved to be as grand as we imagined. The Darkness Radio guests were entertaining and enlightening. The highlight of the trip to the Queen Mary were of course the investigations themselves. Our first paranormal investigation. Two nights, for several hours, investigating the pool room, engine room and boiler room. It was an interesting experience filming in this kind of environment. The night vision lens of the camera served as our eyes in the dark, but it was the physical effects of being onboard a ship that is supposedly haunted that we were in no way prepared for. For no reason, I'd become increasingly dizzy to the point I would have to leave the area or risk passing out. The feeling of unease followed you in many places for unexplained reasons. Rachel seemed especially sensitive to her surroundings and neither one of us was trying to actively seek out any paranormal experience. Nonetheless, it managed to find us. We're both very scientifically minded and prefer a rational explanation for what happens around us. However, a great many things we experienced on the Queen Mary we can not explain. Even within our own quarters, we were resigned to shutting our eyes at night and not opening them again till daylight, despite what we may have heard or felt in the room with us. We both had very personal experiences onboard that ship that left us unnerved and we really had to focus on our job of filming the events and the investigation, even when we felt too uncomfortable to stay, we held firm. It is certainly an experience we will never forget. It was also a very interesting observation of human nature. We don't know what is on the Queen Mary. But, something is there. Something has remained that should have long passed over to the other side. I have no proof of this. We walked onboard with no expectations and skeptical minds, but left knowing that something very strange lurks within the confines of that ship. Whatever that might be...we have no answers. Trying to be professional when you're scared out of your mind was quite a challenge . . . We got the footage we needed. And, we're anxious to share our Queen Mary film with the rest of you, as soon as it premieres at the Stanley Hotel event. Yes, we're going on to film the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Hmmm. redrum and all... Can't wait. And, we'll be joining our friends at Darkness Radio and TAPS for the Eastern State Penitentiary also. We had a wonderful time onboard the Queen Mary and especially enjoyed filming our first paranormal investigation. I have nightmares of a tall man wearing a ducky blanket sleeper, wandering the corridors of the ship. . . Oh, wait - that actually happened. LOL Special thanks to Grant Wilson for being such a perfect gentlemen, fellow goofball, the dearest friend and taking care of us at every turn. Thanks to Jason Hawes for keeping us safe by making sure we didn't break our necks or run screaming like banshees through the corridors. Thanks also to Patrick Burns for being a fellow camera geek and all around sweetheart. Last, but not least, a very special thanks to Dave Schrader for welcoming a couple of strangers on the recommendation of a certain Ghost Hunter friend of ours . . . and making us feel like lifetime friends. Thanks for the opportunity and for welcoming us to your team. Your kindness and generosity will always be appreciated. Love you guys! Flashback: "Save the tripod!!" 03.07 to present USA TODAY BLOG and COMMENTS ...and in the darkness bind them There is absolutely nothing decent, reasonable or correct about mashing up The Lord of the Rings and American Idol. Even YouTube cowers in fear, refusing to allow a feature- sized "clip" onto its site in one piece. And having Denethor sing "Disco Inferno" is just sick. In short, checking out TheOneRing.net's convenient collection of all five Middle Earth Idol segments is probably the most darksided thing you could possibly do at this juncture, and I'm right there with you. Not since Frodo's impromptu concert in Bree has hobbit-related entertainment gone so spectacularly wrong. (Bonus for serious online-community followers: Michael Regina appears to be doing the Paula Abdul role. Heh.) MC wrote: 51d ago That is a crime against nature itself. BAH! It burns, it burns. Make it stop. *totally scarred for life* Recommend | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 51d ago And you can't possibly be done watching yet. Love it. Recommend 1 | Report Abuse BALTHOR wrote: 51d ago It looks like somebody is having fun with a web cam and a computer program. Recommend | Report Abuse geldorn wrote: 51d ago Given that the filmmakers are only 15 & 17 years of age, I think they are extremely talented. Their parody is hilarious!! It's called sense of humor.... Get one. Recommend | Report Abuse ladyhawke wrote: 51d ago Balthor? You think this was done by a webcam? Please, tell me where I can buy one of these magic webcams then! LOL It's called a camera - I've seen these young ladies' films at conventions. Know a lot of teenagers using chroma key? They rock! MEI is brilliant! Bravo, ladies! Recommend | Report Abuse jenrls wrote: 51d ago I love these young girls! I think they are wickedly clever! Fantastic work on their parody! And, in American Idol fashion, I give major props to TheOneRing.net for featuring it! Best fan film I've EVER seen! Recommend | Report Abuse lucas31 wrote: 51d ago I loved this film! Love the judges & the spoof. Saw this premiere at ORC earlier this month. Received a standing ovation from us LOTR fans! Rocked the house! Even Peter Jackson pokes fun at our beloved LOTR. Keep up the good work MARS girls! Cheers! Recommend | Report Abuse claire34 wrote: 51d ago OMG! LOL! Love Middle-earth Idols! Who would have thought two seemingly harmless young ladies could come up with such a wicked parody! Saw this at ORC!! Hilarious!!!!!!! Recommend | Report Abuse MC wrote: 51d ago My reaction was from Gandalf doing "A Change is going to come" and a Hobbit singing Imagine.... Recommend | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 51d ago Could someone pass poor Geldorn the sarcasm cup? S/he's looking a little bereft, poor thing. Seriously, 15 and 17? I'm even more impressed. Anyone have a link to a site where they talk about how it came together? I think we'd all be interested to know more. John Riverson wrote: 51d ago FYI, Billy Boyd himself picked the song "Imagine" for Pippin to sing in this film. He's a fan of ME Idols, just like most of us LOTR fans. If thousands can tolerate "Brokeback Mt. Doom," fans can really appreciate this funny and well made spoof. It's the best fan film I've ever seen. At ORC, Andy Serkis stayed to watch Gollum's duet and even he laughed throughout. Try to appreciate the accomplishment itself in that two teenage girls made this - on their own. They love LOTR and making movies. And, work their butts off to finance it themselves. Props to them indeed. I met them at ORC and was impressed by their professionalism and maturity. If Dean Haglund (who I think is brilliant) can believe enough in these kids to be a guest judge, that says something, not to mention Michael Regina, Kiran Shah, Grant Wilson & Daniel Reeve. These kids are the real deal. And, I understand that there are some LOTR fans out there that hate parodies of any kind. Luckily, the majority will be laughing just as much as those of us at ORC were. As for the webcam comment, that's absurd. Try making this with a webcam. Recommend | Report Abuse John Riverson wrote: 51d ago And, what better song than "Imagine" to describe the idealic lifestyle of the Hobbits? It goes with their very mindset. Recommend | Report Abuse claire34 wrote: 51d ago Yeah, they are just 15 & 17. Sisters. Rachel (15) plays all the parts except Aragorn, Pippin & the host. That's Ashlee (17)(the editor & director) playing Pippin. They do have a website at: www.marsproductions.net and you can visit them on myspace at: www.myspace.com/mars_productions Really, really nice girls too. Smart as all else. Total nerds too! LOL Gotta love 'em! Total, total nerds!! Recommend 1 | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 51d ago Hey John R. -- good to know re Billy Boyd. I thought it was a great choice. Could have personally done with much, much, much less Michael Jackson, but the Gollum / Smeagol duet more than made up for the blood shooting from my ear canals re that. And yeah, definite contender for Best Fanfilm Ever. Gotta admit I liked it a lot more than Brokeback Mt. Doom, mainly because there's some good stuff layered in from both the filmverse and surrounding areas. (Like I said, would folks not following the online community get the Michael Regina thing? Who knows, maybe they would; I confess I haven't watched an entire episode of American Idol and yet I understand the Paula Abdul thing.) As someone who prefers the book, I'll admit I'm still waiting for the LotR parody of my dreams -- hello, the protagonist starts his journey with a hangover and spends one of his final lengthy speeches pondering what it would be like to read about his quest -- but who knows. Perhaps someone's writing that script as we speak. And pay no attention re webcam comments. We're pretty sure that guy's a bot. Recommend | Report Abuse Charles Peterson wrote: 50d ago My wife and I are longtime Tolkien fans. My kids loved the movies, but have yet to show an interest in reading the books. I watched the Middle Earth Idols film this evening, all of it. Loved it. Grabbed my wife and kids and then we proceeded to watch it together. All of it again. My teenage boys just about fell of their chairs when we visited the website and they saw the beauties that made this. Made them want to put down their game controllers and pick up a camera. Seems there's some mighty talented young ladies putting a new face on their generation and my boys don't want to look bad! lol I don't usually care much for fan films, but this one had me in stitches! I must admit I loved the Michael Jackson bits (I had the vinyls). Dates me, but hey. My wife just about died over Legolas (Prince was her man) - she loved it. Gollum was frightening, but pure brilliance. My boys loved all of it. Can't believe the youngest is playing all those parts. Amazing. The oldest sure has an eye for editing. And, the interaction between judges was clever. Roswell, people! And, talks to freakin insects?? And, was that my wife shrieking during "It's raining men" ? ? lol Bravo, girls! Can't wait to see more of their work in the future! Recommend | Report Abuse rose42 wrote: 50d ago I realize that it's unusual for youTube or any website to put a feature on that's this length, but you must understand that it was made for the One Ring Celebration (ORC), which is a Lord of the Rings convention held each year. The majority of fans are not able to attend ORC, but TOR.n recognized the popularity and worthiness of this film (and its filmmakers in particular) and wanted to share it with all the LOTR fans, not just the ones that were at ORC. With the LOTR feature films behind us and the future of "The Hobbit" uncertain, I admire these girls for keeping Tolkien alive for all generations and giving fans something entertaining to share with each other. When most teens want nothing more than to lounge around or hang out at the mall, I applaude these young ladies efforts, dedication and ambition, and wish them well. I watched this with my grandkids and it was a hoot! We loved it! The range of music had something for everyone! Cheers! Recommend | Report Abuse maverick66 wrote: 50d ago AG, most folks wouldn't have a clue who Michael Regina is, but again MEI is a LOTR fan film. What LOTR fan doesn't watch TORn regularly? We all know who Michael is. He's like our LOTR leader, lol. Putting something on YouTube is a necessary evil these days, if you want the world beyond your doorstep to see your work. I was sitting here at my desk earlier thinking about Legolas perfoming to "Can't touch this" and smirking. Can't touch this, how true. I think they did an amazing job! Well done! And my personal favorite was Eowyn singing "Uninvited" to Wormtongue. Brilliant. I dig chicks with swords too. lol Recommend | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 50d ago I'd add a comment at this juncture but every time I look at manges' avatar I start giggling so hard I have to step away from the laptop. Loving this thread; truly Tolkien fans are the best in the world. (Still pondering "Imagine" though -- great choice for Pippin in any context, but for hobbitdom as a whole? Definitely one of the differences between movieverse and bookverse.) Recommend | Report Abuse maverick66 wrote: 50d ago Movie hobbits for "Imagine" I'm sure. They're painted in a much more favorable light in Peter Jackson's version. I'm sure that's why Billy suggested a John Lennon song to the girls for his character. Also, wanted to add that my wife was hooting and hollering at Daniel Reeve anytime he appeared in MEI. Daniel & Calligraphy - brings sexy back. lol I for one would love to see what these young minds could do with The Hobbit. Recommend | Report Abuse maverick66 wrote: 50d ago And, stop laughing at my sexy avatar. Must be the hat... =P hobbitgirl wrote: 50d ago Hope you don't mind if I post a comment here too. Middle Earth Idols: read about it on TORn. Watch it all. I loved it! It was so funny. I can't believe the girls that made it are my age and younger!! It was cool seeing Daniel & Kiran in their film. I also like XFiles and Ghost Hunters. Loved seeing Grant & Dean there too. Of course, Michael Regina - I now have a face to a name. So, you're the butt kissing judge? lol I was just really impressed by their work. Not like they have a studio helping them out or anything, They do that all by themselves. Very cool. Never give up, never surrender girls! You all did such a good job. What a funny idea - American Idol and LOTR combined. That's brilliant! LOVED it!! And, my non-LOTR friends loved it too, because of how similar it is to the real American Idol. Don't have a favorite performance - enjoyed them all. Great editing. The many faces of Rachel....awesome! Nice dance moves too, girl. Kiran and Dean duking it out! Daniel grounding his son. Michael and the big blue eyes straight from the easter eggs, nice touch girls. Grant's evp's - ahh! And, loved seeing Emerald Rose! Thanks for giving us LOTR fans a healthy dose of fun! You girls rock!! => AG, thanks for letting me add my two cents worth! Recommend 1 | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 50d ago Hi hobbitgirl! Glad to have your comments -- all people of good will are welcome here. I think I'm equally impressed with the girls' ability to plan and execute a project of this scope (though believe me, I'm not sure the ability to bring off a big project gets better when one gets older; in some ways it may even get worse) and their ability to keep the *tone* so on-target throughout. Anyone could probably whomp up 100ish minutes of video, but 100ish consistently funny minutes, with jokes and references consistently building on each other? That's a whole different level. Even better, there's joy in this project from start to finish, and they obviously got other folks to be joyous too. That's truly an amazing feat. There's no one in the video who doesn't look mighty amused to be there. Most impressive! (Even if "Disco Inferno" is still just so, so wrong. So funny. So wrong.) Of course, what worries me is that a day later, I'm still wandering around matching songs and characters. This is unfortunate, as "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" (Death Cab for Cutie) was a song I really had an entirely sufficient mental video for. I sure didn't need that overwritten by Sam singing it in Cirith Ungol... Recommend | Report Abuse bob t. wrote: 49d ago After reading your review, I wasn't sure whether you actually liked this film or where warning us about standing on the threshold of hell. lol But, from your comments I can see that you do like it. Morbid curiosity got the best of me and being a fellow Ringer myself, I finally set some time aside to see what all the buzz is about. Watch all five parts. Twice. (just had to see it again for all the stuff I missed while I was laughing) First, let me thank you for your write up - it gave me the nudge I needed to invest the time in watching a film online. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the professionalism of this film by the teenagers sisters. Loved seeing Kiran and Daniel. And, when Dean asked "How many half bloods have you fathered?" And, the sheepishly grinning Aragorn held up four fingers, I nearly fell off my chair. You're right, it's so wrong and so right. Insanely clever. And, obviously, Gollum is the proof of alien existence! Didn't you know? I love anything that's well written and this fits the bill. I didn't notice "Imagine" as much as I did "Mad World." I thought that was pretty powerful. To each his own - I also loved seeing Frodo start doing the Thriller zombie number after he was stabbed. I admit I was a Jackson fan back in the day. You just need to be opened minded to the concept...what if? And, these girls delivered the "what if" factor in spades. An American Idols like competition in Middle Earth? And, Michael Regina laughing while the other judges looked mortified at Gollum's multiple personalities and singing voices? He was so Paula. lol Kiran taking off his jacket to start one up with Dean? Dean's look when he said, "Damn pixies!" Such a Langly moment. What more can I say? Thanks for bringing this amazing fan film, by two extremely talented young filmmakers, to our attention (for those of us who don't always get to check TORn on a regular basis). I laughed from beginning to end. Even Boromir cracked me up as he slid onto the stage...the ring really messed him up, didn't it? lol He'd be such a rocker too. And, Legolas would be oh so cool. I think I'll watch again later tonight and be sure to pass it along to my other Ringer friends out there. Nice job, AG, we all have a devilish side and this had me thinking of other kinds of sick and twisted ways to manipulate plot and characters. LOL Gotta love LOTR, their fans and I'm glad these kids embraced Tolkien rather than Star Wars or we'd be missing out on this gem. Best, Ron Recommend | Report Abuse celticprince wrote: 49d ago LOL!!! That was the funniest thing I've ever seen LOTR related! Dying here! When Gollum switched back to Warwick, I let out such a yell! Can't stop laughing! And, ladies...it's raining men indeed!!! Briliiant!!! Simply brilliant! You girls are a force to be reckoned with and I'm keeping my eye on you! Best wishes and I hope you make it really, really big!!! I'm sure you will! LOTR rules! Thanks for the LOTR blog, AG. Sean Coming at you from NYC Recommend | Report Abuse celticprince wrote: 49d ago Don't mean to go off topic hear, but I was checking out their website (thanks Claire) and they just added (since I watched MEI last night) a parody of that British show, "Most Haunted." OMG, they totally nailed it. These girls are freaking brilliant! That show is such a crock anyway and they so, so nailed it. Major applause here - sorry for the off topic, back to many happy LOTR thoughts! Recommend | Report Abuse Tim Reynolds wrote: 48d ago I’ve seen blurbs on TORn about this film. FYI, I have a strong dislike for fan films. 99.9% of them are pure garbage. Why should this be any different? Is it worth watching? The skeptic in me said don't bother, well maybe just a little peak. Hope you will indulge me here. I would like to share my take on this film. Opening shot, nice chroma key and virtual set, impressive opening. I could tell this was not the typical “grab the camera” fan film. This was well thought out, well written and well executed on every level. We met the Top 12 contestants and I was intrigued. Two teenage sisters did this, 15 & 17? I’m thinking I’ve got some serious competition heading my way and they’re called MARS Productions. Make note of that folks – The host introduced the judges and I liked what I saw. The editing was excellent. The dialogue reminded me of the sharp, intelligent humor we find from Second City or SNL. These girls know their stuff – they did their homework. Denethor – Disco Inferno. Sick, but oh so funny. Burn, baby burn. Gimli – talking tribble and capitalistic furball! Loving it. Regina’s loving everything – uh, oh. Mr. Nice guy. The judges are cracking me up. Eowyn, loved it. A great tribute to LOTR. And, I also dig chicks with swords. Gandalf the old crooner, loving the music selections, very diverse, offering something for everyone. Dean was seriously cracking me up. Kiran’s playing a tough guy. Loving this. Daniel Reeve and his son are at odds. Grant Wilson of Ghost Hunters is oblivious. That’s when I called my wife in to watch. The host announced Smeagol/Gollum… Really good Gollum makeup. Starts singing “What a wonderful world,” I’m really loving it now. Gollum switches over to Walk this way and I’d swear there were moments when the real footage looks like Gollum is singing too. Great editing. Gollum switched back to well, I won’t spoil it for you… But, now I’m thinking this film is something special. Gollum was brilliant. Legolas – aaahh. That was good and so true. Very believable. Frodo comes on to sing Thriller and my wife is practically pushing me out of my seat to sit directly in front of the computer. She was a major MJ fan. Very cool effects and more great dancing. Great editing. Boromir a rocker dude, very well done. I noticed all the lights changing and that’s on a virtual set, lots of frames involved to do that I know. I’ve worked on a few independent films myself and I can tell you that this film was exceptionally well made. I can’t believe they are this far ahead at their ages. That’s just fantastic. A few audio issues, but that’s to be expected. I’m sure they did the best they could without the resources a studio would have, but they did marvelous work. I hate calling this a fan film, because there’s no comparison between this and other fan films. This was not an easy film to make, the chroma key and virtual sets. Outstanding job. We’ll definitely be seeing more of these two girls. As a LOTR fan and filmmaker myself, I loved it. I hope more people get to see it. Thanks for letting me share with you. Recommend | Report Abuse USA TODAY Staff AG wrote: 48d ago Tim -- WOW. That was a very cool analysis; I learned a lot. (In a previous life I watched production staffers wrestling with chroma keys, and what you're saying confirmed my suspicion that what we see in the film isn't *nearly* as easy as they made it look.) Thank you! And Sean, I must admit I have a weird weakness for those horrible haunting-type shows -- ripe for MST3K treatment, every single one -- so I can't wait to see what the MARS team hath wrought. It'll be my reward for finishing the post that's been on my must-write list for two days now. Yeah, that seems fair. Ron? Ponder with me for a moment the contestant that (THANKS, PETER JACKSON! THANKS A WHOLE BUNCH!) *should* have made the Final 12 and didn't for obvious reasons: Tom Bombadil. The musical-selection possibilities just boggle the mind, don't they... :-D Recommend | Report Abuse strider81 wrote: 47d ago Hey, thanks for the article and link to MEI. Cool blog here! Legolas as Prince rocks! Even has the same mannerism and gestures! Cracked me up! Loved the film! Way too good to call it a fan film! Cheers! -Jacob Recommend | Report Abuse jewels56 wrote: 47d ago Hey, Jewels here. I was at ORC too. This film rocked! Never seen such a reaction from a film made by fans before! The LOTR fan were dancing, singing and shrieking at the judges and performers! A really good time! Just wanted to add Emerald Rose to the mix too. They were the special musical guests and a perfect fit for the spirit of the films. Best Celtic Band around! Cheers! Recommend | Report Abuse entwife wrote: 45d ago HILARIOUS!!!! Love it. Frodo and Thriller - wow! And, thanks celticp for the Most Haunted mention, watched it, loved it and you're right! They nailed it! gossan wrote: 44d ago LOL!!!!! Way too funny! I felt like I was watching an actual tv show. Fantasic film! AG, I swear your write up is a bit confusing as to the love it or hate it, until I read your comments. Thanks for steering us folks (not able to attend ORC) to this LOTR gem! Five Stars!!! Recommend | Report Abuse haley84 wrote: 43d ago I admit I'm a huge American Idol fan and a Ringer to boot. This was very cool! Love the songs, love the performances and the judges were hilarious! Extremely well done. I'm floored that this was done by a couple of teenage sisters. Loved it! Amazing work, girls!!!!! Recommend | Report Abuse Hobbit_fancier wrote: 43d ago I am about as angry as they get right now. Honestly what gives any of you the right to degrade two extremly talented young ladies with the hearts of gold As a friend of Ashlee and Racheal Scott I think it is so dumb of anyone to degrade them the way this does. They are true RINGERS, and deserve the respect they have earned by being talented!!! Love you Two kids....... Kaylie Recommend | Report Abuse tisha67 wrote: 43d ago Okay? Angela? You wrote this. It really sounds like your trashing the film. A few people commented on not knowing whether you like it or hate it - please clear it up. If you like the film, this article could really be taken the wrong way. I certainly wouldn't want the young girls to take it the wrong way either. I noticed that you did you mention the film's producers, M.A.R.S. Productions. TheOneRing.net did not make this film. I think that's what MrCere was trying to clear up by his post on TORn yesterday. Has anyone even bothered to let the girls know about this article? From their site, I learned they're off filming at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado for the paranormal investigation with Ghost Hunters Jason & Grant from the Sci-Fi Channel series. I doubt they even know about this yet. For my part, I love this film!! Thought it was incredibly funny and very well made. Keep making those good movies!! Cheers all! Recommend | Report Abuse bethany wrote: 33d ago I thought this film was delightful! Witty and incredibly well made. As a fan of the Idols series and Lord of the Rings, this appealed to me a great deal. The fact that the film makers are so young is even more intriguing. Cheers! Recommend | Report Abuse tana wrote: 31d ago I was at Starbase Indy last November and met Ashley and Rachael from MARS there. Everyone from the celebrities on down were impressed and won over by these young girls. They displayed a level of professionalism and class that I find to be rare these days. And, they worked their butts off! They have really come along way in such a short time, and they deliver the talent and professionalism to make others take notice. Loved their Idols film, just LOVED it. Can't wait to see more of their work!
Pages to are hidden for
"05"Please download to view full document