Topps Card featuring Bruce and Bernard Hill behind the scenes. Gamling card from Helms Deep Expansion set of Decipher's role playing card game. Gamling and King Theoden, Decipher card name-King's Mail.
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Gidday you lot

     Well, it�s been a long time since I added some kind of personal touch/comment to this here site, so I figured I would do a belated report on my last session of shooting for the Return Of The King, and thus for the entire LOTR trilogy.

    On Monday the 30th of June this year, 2003, I was flown down to Wellington, to be on hold for filming my last shots the next day. As it turned out I did not shoot my final material until Wednesday the 2nd of July. However that Monday, when I arrived at the hotel in Wellington, I got a call to inform me, a taxi would pick me up and ferry me to a goodbye gathering for Elijah, Andy and Dom, who were all filming their last day on this amazing 4 year journey.

    As it turned out, I got to the lot ahead of time and was able walk through and watch Elijah and Peter filming their last scene together. That experience in itself was a memory I will treasure for many years to come. The emotion of witnessing these two wonderful people complete this epic aspect of what has been a 4 year relationship, was just one massive privilege. There were tears in many peoples eyes, including mine.

    Very soon after this moment I found myself in a make up trailer with cast and crew alike, amidst the popping of champagne corks and yells of delight and disbelief that this side of the gig was over. A party ensued, with presentations and wonderful speeches, along with some bloody great out takes etc. Definitely, a highlight of my all experiences in Middle Earthdom was being witness to the amazing Andy Serkis coming out that night, and laying down some hip hop in the character of Gollum/Smeagol. Quite surreal. Two days later on Wednesday I did my last work on Mr. Jackson's rendition of Mr. Tolkien's magnificent creation. What a day!!!

    I shot my stuff (no details, you�ll have to wait !!!), and was told to stay at the studios for a party to say goodbye to Billy and the amazing Mr. McKellan. After a fantastic and challenging days shooting, I was finished and so headed to the party. Great conversations were had, beautiful food was eaten and some quantities of alcohol were consumed (me drink?!!!�..no way Jose!)

    Anyway, it came time for Peter and Barrie to make their speeches and presentations to Billy and Ian. We all gathered around, cast, crew and production staff. Try to imagine what it was like when Peter got up and said first up that he would like to ask Bruce Hopkins to come forward, (aagggghhhh, was I in trouble?!). I went up to the stage and Peter proceeded to give an incredibly generous speech regarding my work and the reasons they decided to expand my role. Then came one of the most mind blowing moments of my life (nothing will ever quite beat watching the births of your children, but this was bloody close, well not really but ...you know what I mean, hopefully), Peter presented me with a sword and a clapper board. This was beyond what I could have hoped for out of this journey and I can say I was pretty damn high for a number of days after this event.

    Billy and Ian were then presented with their swords and clapper boards, and consequently gave their speeches in reply. To be there was to witness real humility, these guys, Ian and Billy, as with Elijah, Dom and Andy on the Monday, spoke from their hearts and were able to express the fact that even for the big stars of this journey, it was an honour, privilege, and humbling experience, to work alongside the people that had been part of making these films happen, from Peter through to every member of the crew and production Need I say a number of us partied into the night.

    I really cannot portray in words the joy of this wonderful time. I give massive respect and thanks to Peter, Fran, Phyllipa, Barrie, Mark and all the LOTR �family� (all 1500 or so of them) for adopting me into the clan. They slaved for years and I was able to pop in every now and then to share precious moments.

    Thanks also to you, as you read this, for your ongoing support.

    I�m outta here, I�ll chuck in another rave some other time, be cool and spread the love (Rohans have a slight hippie gene from way back, check out the hair and beards man!)

-Bruce Hopkins