July 27, 2001
Three years ago a friend dropped a web-page print-out on my desk at work. Peter Jackson might (or might not) be producing and directing a film version of The Lord of the Rings. I wrote a letter, offering to help with Tolkien's languages, and got a friendly, encouraging response. We continued to exchange letters, and then one day I was on the phone with the producer, negotiating terms of employment.
Now (although my work is done by e-mail, telephone, and fax machine and does not require me to be in New Zealand) I have made the pilgrimage, together with my son Chris, so that I can really get to know the people I am working with.
Alan Lee's office is at the end of the hall. He will fly home to England tomorrow before returning to finish up his work, but we spend a bit of time together. Over a photograph of a beautiful hill, with Alpine mountains visible in the distance, he has laid a piece of tracing paper, and drawn Edoras. You will surely have seen photographs of this full-size set under construction. Looking carefully at the mountains in the background I imagine I can see the Starkhorn, the Irensaga, and between them the Dwimorberg. Only change the Mediterranean scrub for grassy savannah, and this is Rohan.