SHANNARA On MTV: A Day Off With The Actors

A fun trip for a rare day off Shannara filming!
A fun trip for a rare day off Shannara filming!

Greetings from New Zealand,

Having survived a hectic day 1, we had time off on day 2. So there is no report to give you except that we walked around Auckland and ate good food.

Today, Saturday, is day 3, and this was another day off because we are in the midst of a very large 3 day holiday that involves thousands of people trying to go somewhere. We decided to join the mob along with producer Dan, MTV executive Polly, and a driver who gave up his day off to drive a group of 13 film people around the island of Waiheke for wine tasting and lunch.

I was told the actors had not had much time off (if any) since filming started, and they were all very excited to be spending a day driving around a beautiful island off the coast of Auckland, visiting with yours truly and Judine. The start was a little wild because everyone had to get down to the ferry and aboard while fighting off hoards of weekend vacationers trying to do the same thing. But we all made it on and then rode half-an-hour to Waiheke where we all got to do it again trying to get off the ferry.

Our driver took us to Mud Brick Vineyard for a tasting and then on to Kennedy Point Vineyard for lunch. While doing all this we passed through some truly beautiful countryside and talked shop. This is a young enthusiastic group of actors, all of them telling me how thrilled they are to be in the Shannara TV show while I am telling them how thrilled I am to have them in the show. I like it that they mostly have not gotten huge exposure as yet and will not be identified with other shows. This way they will inhabit their characters and make them their own.

Click the thumbnails above to view larger images!

Everyone talked about the long hours spent on set. If you are called up for a particular day’s shoot, you can be out there for 12-14 hours. Much of what they do – given the nature of the story – is quite physical, and they really do have to work hard and be in good shape. I tried to picture myself at their age doing what they do and failed. I think I was reading books or something. The bonding with them was such fun, and no one said anything negative about their experience.

I come away from this convinced we have a great cast that is going to surprise you with its depth of character, and as with the sets Judine and I visited the other day, all of them exceed my expectations and are very much larger than life.

You, the readers, are going to be so happy with what you see on the screen. Remembering that this is not paint by the numbers but a fresh experience, a new rendering of a familiar story, will help you understand why I am so positive about what is happening. Those of you who have worried earlier about how this might turn out or who have pleaded with me to protect a story they have come to love will not feel disappointed.

More tomorrow, this time from another part of New Zealand. On Monday, I will be on set for filming and for interviews. On all days, we will send along fresh pix of what is happening.

Magic always, Terry.

22 responses to “SHANNARA On MTV: A Day Off With The Actors”

  1. I am SO excited…never thought I would see this happening!!! Got all my books out again yesterday and have them all lined up in the bookcase in order. Maybe I thought this would hurry the filming along???? haha

  2. This must be such an amazing experience for you Mr. Brooks, seeing your creation come to life! I am thrilled for you, and thrilled for myself as well as so many others who will get to enjoy “The Elfstones” all over again (or for the first time) on TV!

  3. Welcome back to our beautiful country Terry.

    I am sure there were less crowds at the ferry than at Armageddon!

    Waiheke is such a beautiful little place, hidden just off the coast of one of our largest cities, it’s beaches are also quite breathtaking.

    If you get the chance to road trip around this amazing country then I would strongly suggest visiting Kai Iwi Lakes, a few hours north of auckland, the main lake is like something from another world and is one of my favourite holidaying spots.

    Good luck with the rest of your weekend and the begining of filming.


  4. I wonder if there are roles whose casting won’t be announced until the series starts, or if they haven’t been mentioned because they’ve been dropped from the series entirely.

  5. Mr. Brooks,

    What an awesome experience it must be to see all of your life’s work opened up to a new world of people. I am so excited. Have fun!!

  6. Keep up the progress updates from New Zealand
    I’m very pleased Shannara is being developed for TV.
    I look forward to seeing the result with eager anticipation!

  7. New Zealand is such an amazing country, great food, great people and breathtaking scenery.
    Will WETA ( the team behind the LotR ) be involved, considering you are filming in NZ?

  8. Maybe someone could enlighten us: Who is Bandon? Found out on IMDB that this character appears in the series. Are there not enough strong characters in Elfstones that creating new characters is really necessary?! This makes me think which way the rest of the production might evolve. I still hope for the best, though…

    • Terry has said several times that there will be several new characters that are necessary to tell Elfstones properly on TV. And for all we know, Bandon is the name of one of the unnamed Elves who guard the Ellcrys. Don’t let these kinds of things worry you. Terry is on-set, has overseen every single script and kept them true to the book.

  9. I am getting more and more excited! Can anyone tell me who is who in these pics? i see Allanon, Wil, Ander, Amberle and Eretria.. are the others in these pics (beside Terry and Judine of course)actors as well? if so do we know who they are playing?