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The Trouble of the Rings
Ring*Con 2005 Screening


On Saturday, October 10th, a somewhat unique event took place - a German premiere of "The Trouble of the Rings 3" on a big screen in front of a large audience. This was possible due to the kindness of FedCon GmbH with which our Art group could arrange a showing of TOTR3 during the Ring*Con 2005 convention.
The timing for this showing was excellent - Saturday, 5pm. To this, there were both positive and negative aspects. The event took place in Gondolin, the small hall with ca. 800 seats. This hall had been full throughout the Saturday: already before the screening, during the lectures and the Video contest, there was no free seats left. Anyway, after the Video contest the audience was in a good and jolly mood, ready for a good laugh. Though having set there throughout the day was also a disadvantage: after having spent several hours in a stuffy room, folks would just want to step outside, grab some air or see the auction with Mark Ferguson. That's why most people left hastily during the end credits rolled. Although - there still were some enthusiasts, who watched the credits until the very end and amused themselves about elvish names like "Galoperidol"...
Originally some of the makers should have come to this screening: The producer Ldora (Elena Dorokhina) had won the Ring*Con ticked as a prize for winning as "Best Parody" in the Ring*Con 2004 Video Contest (with the TOTR supertrailer). The sound director and Legolas actor TGR (Vladimir Alimin) was also coming, with a regular Ring*Con ticket. However, the German embassy in Moscow has very few Tolkien fans among them - they did not grant the required visa for coming to Ring*Con. That's why the translator and poster designer Peter "TheHutt" Klassen (my humble self) had to present this screening. The choice of the subtitles (German or English) was voted by measuring the applause - the method which worked well during the Video contest before. "German" won.
First, the trailer for the new production of the Fellowship Art Group was shown to the audience: "Trespassers Are Strictly Welcome" aka "Vhod Kategoricheski Razreshen". This trailer has been finished just a few days before the con and didn't impress anybody. Though it can be understood - it was a non-Tolkien genre, with a heavily accented English and a confusing editing - the audience stood silent. After that, the mood got jollier - the Supertrailer for the TOTR trilogy received much laughter once again, as back in 2004 (at the Ring*Con 2004 closing ceremony). The promotion trailer for the DVD was also good for some laughs, as well as the film rating by the MPME ("Motion Pictures Association of Middle-Earth"). The rating is "Rated O: Restricted for Orcs (also Goblins and Trolls)". And then it got really quiet, and the first images flickered on the big screen: the Fellowship logo, the ASiD Studio Logo...go...
Generally - there had been big laughs all the time. The translation of the dialogues (which was created in a project at the German forum) was done rather well and the audience appreciated almost all the gags. Some didn't work out, and some scenes (like the heroic battles) were not intended for laughs anyway. However, as a whole, I was sitting with my back to the audience and was listening with tension, how they would like my work (the translation of the third part is done by me completely). And the tension was loosening with every laugh... SPOILERS AHEAD!
The first spot with laughters was Smeagol's grandmother's meat mincer (and these were some dirty laughs, heh-heh!). And it continued this way all the time. There were, surprisingly, some giggles as Merry & Pippin were dancing on the table and it nearly collapsed under them. "Frodo Lives - Gandalf for President" got a tremendous reaction as well as Frodo's accusations "You've flooded Numenor and closed Valinor." to Sam. The Nazgul who descended from the skies and the host of the Oliphaunts got some awesome gasps - though the battle scenes did not cause much reaction otherwise. But some jokes inbetween (like "Rings of Power - Throw in here" at the Crack of Doom) worked out very good. The original conception of Denethor caused much fun, and the dialogue about catapults was hilarious - however "Many as hell, Sire" by Beregond did not play out so well like it did at the Russian premiere. To my greatest joy, most of the transferred allusions (which replaced the Russian ones) were still funny. And as Jack Sparrow appears among the Pirates of Umbar, there were many whispers and recognizing exclamations. "I know your face... Eomer" was, I think, the biggest laugh. During the coronation scene the amount of laughs was rather declining - however, there weren't too many jokes left anyway. And during the final smile of Frodo you could hear an excited "Aawwwwwwww" from the audience...
And at the end, as the credits started to roll, there was a grand applause. I was sitting there quietly and felt glad for all who created this great project and who could not be there to witness this.
Peter Klassen