The Press Online
January 21, 2000

Rings Film Bans Fan

WELLINGTON -- The Lord of the Rings movie has put a ring around one of its biggest fans by banning her from entering its film set at a Haywards Hill quarry.

Auckland-based Erica Challis, who runs an Internet web site about the $360 million movie project, has been served with a trespass notice banning her from entering the Wellington film set for two years.

Ms Challis said she was surprised to be served with notice when she had never attempted to visit the set. She had not trespassed on any of the film project's sets around the country.

"It makes them look ridiculous. It's like using a sledgehammer to squash a fly," she said yesterday.

The trespass notice was issued last month in Queenstown, where some filming had taken place, and was signed by Lord of the Rings head of security Barry Thompson.

Project producer Barrie Osborne, who was at filming in the Waikato yesterday, said the notice was issued because Ms Challis had indicated on her web site, The OneRing Net, that she would try to snoop on sets.

It was the first time the project had taken out a trespass notice.

"I don't want people to get an impression of this movie which isn' t the correct impression," Mr Osborne said.

"We would be glad to co-operate with her when we are ready and she submitted an official request to us for certain kinds of information, publicity photos, and those kinds of things."

He said that like any business, the film management had to guard against information about the project getting out before it was completed.

Ms Challis said the web site had a rider warning its spies not to do anything illegal to get information or photographs.