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My LOTR Diary
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lord of the rings

What follows is a detailed journal of my life on the day of December 18, 2001, leading up to the Dec. 19, 12:01am showing of the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.


5:30am
I'm out of bed. It is way too effing early - I usually get up for work about 7 or 7:30, and, even though I went to bed about an hour earlier than normal, my body still hates me. Going to shower and shave.

I can already tell, this will be the most exciting journal EVER.

6:10am
I'm in my car, getting ready to drive to North Central Los Angeles (I feel it best to enter this while my car is still parked in my garage, rather than as I am driving on the freeway. Safety First - that's my motto. One of them, anyway.). For those of you who don't know, that's not a great part of LA. Not so bad as South Central or some other places, but not great. I realize I haven't told you why I am up so early - I'm going to the Humane Society to adopt a cat. It'll be an Xmas gift for Shannon's sister-in-law. We saw the cat this weekend, but, thanks to the antiquated systems on which the Society runs and the endless bureaucracy of such places, we not only could not get the kitten on Saturday (for good reason - it had just come in and was being observed for health), but we could not even pay for the kitten and have them hold it for us until they were satisfied with its health. Instead, they told us to come back at 8am today and hopefully nobody else will be here for that same kitten, or there will be an auction.

I don't think I'll bid on the cat, if it comes to it. It's too effing early.

8:40am
Okay, I got the cat. Not in my possession, technically - they're now taking it to the vet to be spayed. No one else was there to thwart me, thankfully. Now I've got to try to fight the traffic and get to work. In Los Angeles terms, a 40 mile trip during rush hour might as well be a trip to the moon - it will take just as long, and is fraught with peril. Also, you have to pee into a tube.

9:50am
Got to work okay. Traffic was surprisingly not bad - must be 'cause lots of folks are already on vacation for the holidays.

I suddenly realized that nothing in this journal so far has been about the Lord of the Rings. This does not bode well for you, dear reader.

12:11pm
I'm going to lunch with some of the guys at work. $0.99 Big Macs at McDonalds. They'll most likely make fun of my LOTR plans tonight, but I care not one whit, as members of the Fellowship are stalwart chaps.

3:25pm
The Vet called - the cat I picked up this morning is spayed and ready to come home with me. Today has been so very hectic, I wonder if I'll have the chance to really relish this day of days after all. I'm leaving for North Central LA again in a moment. At this time of day, I expect it'll take me 2 to 2.5 hours from work. Gotta love LA.

7:10pm
Got lost on the way to the vet, but traffic was not too bad (Holidays, I guess) so I'm home already, cat in hand. I'm going to make some dinner and take a quick nap, so I can be truly ready for tonight. I'll bring my laptop with me so I can keep you, dear reader, updated.

8:12pm
I'm leaving to pick up my friend Rick, so we can go stand in line at the Chinese Theater and get great seats. I'm so excited now, I just peed a little. Peter Jackson, I am your loving Cocker Spaniel puppy, and you are my stern but caring master who brings such treats to me as I never can believe! I don't expect to be first in line (we'll get there about 9pm), but the theater is huge, so I'm sure we can get some choice seats. The girls (Shannon, Val and Jeanette) will join us later, as they haven't the constitution for such a wait. Ah, what delicate flower is woman.

9:08pm
We are first in line! I shit you not - first in line! It seems a bit oddish. Maybe we overestimated the hype. Maybe we are just such geeks, blinded by the soft blue glow of our geekhood in response to the closing presence of LOTR that we assumed everyone else was as excited as we were. Could we have been wrong?

The lady at the door seems to confirm that we are first in line. However, she speaks so very little English that I am troubled. Rick is going off in search of someone with a little better command of the language. I'll hold our spot.

First In Line!

9:20pm
We are not first in line. What's more, the fucking movie isn't even being shown in the main theater! It's being shown in one of the fucking theaters inside the new mall! Fucking Vanilla Sky is in the main theater. Vanilla Sky?!?!?!

About 20-25 other geeks were in the theater when we got here. We're all bundled up, toting coolers and playing cards (or CCGs), and some of us have brought lawn chairs. We all expected to wait in line outside the main theater. We are all crabby.

Some fat chick in the front row of the second level is saving two full rows of seats, presumably for some Tolkien fan club. The theater is small enough and enough good seats are available that no one really cares (though I've heard it is sold out, so eventually people will be pissed). My fellow geeks and I make loud sarcastic remarks about 1 person saving 40 seats, and she pretends not to notice. If this were the main theater and she'd staked out so many choice seats, she'd be beaten savagely. As it is, we are all still too numb from disappointment to act. She's lucky.

It's now 9:28. T minus 2:32. And counting.

10:41
The theater is full enough now that we've had to drape our belongings across the three extra seats that Rick and I are saving. Fat Chick still has only 5 people in her section - she's screaming like a harpy at anyone who encroaches on her space. A couple of people have just ignored her and sat down. What can she do?

Mostly, the crowd is jovial and excited, even with the disappointment of being in a smaller theater. The geeks around us are very personable, and we've had some nice conversation about geeky things like fantasy movies, television, the George RR Martin Song of Ice and Fire books, and, of course, the LOTR series.

Rick crawled over the divider into the premier seat section. The seats are enormous, leather beauties. I got a pic of him lounging. Someday when I'm a movie star I won't have to climb that 6 foot wall to sit there.

Someday...

11:21
The girls have arrived. The theater is now pretty much packed. It looks like Fat Chick actually had only about 20 friends - the rest of her seats have gone to other folks.

The atmosphere is charged. People are getting antsy. All of us who have been here a couple of hours have downed a couple of sodas, and are soaring on caffeine and sugar. I'm gonna go pee now, in hopes I'll then be able to hold it through the following 2:58. By the time I get back, I'll most likely not be able to write more, as the movie of the decade will be about to start.

When next I write, dear reader, I'll be a changed man.

2:48am
The film broke! I've got only a few minutes. People are yelling at the projectionist to get it fixed. I've never seen that actually happen in a movie - the screen got all jittery, and then it melted through! Frodo had just begun to climb the stairs to contemplate his leaving, with Boromir following.

I'm sure they'll fix it. I hope they'll fix it.

The movie RULES, btw. So far, at least.

4:10am
I'm home now, and exhausted. The movie was fucking great, and, for my money, lived up to every bit of the hype, even with the broken film. I can't fucking believe the thing broke - how bizarre. I'd intended to write a little mini-review here, but I'm just to fucking tired. I'm going to bed. I've got to get up for work Ine just over 3 hours.

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Rules!!!!!!

end of essay
David Nett Portrait David is an actor, writer and producer in Los Angeles. He's the founder and editor-in-chief of CSP, and a founding producer of the acclaimed Lucid by Proxy theater company. Despite all this, he still has to hold down a day job in the dot-com world, where he does product and interaction design. His acting has been called "committed," "detailed," "fearless," "hilarious" and "heart-rending" by the LA Times and Backstage West. His writing has been called "articulate and commanding" and "eminently readable" by Flak Magazine. His tenth grade Geometry teacher said he "does not work well in groups." | more essays by David
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