SHANNARA On MTV: Filming Begins

Terry is in New Zealand for the initial filming of Shannara!
In New Zealand for the initial filming of Shannara!

Dear Readers,

Am now in New Zealand on site for filming the Shannara series. This is the start of a daily report on what is happening with the time Judine and I are spending as visitors to the film sets and outdoor sites. Will send along what pictures I can, but as you can probably guess there is some secrecy involved in all this. So some things I might wish to send will have to wait for their proper reveal time.

The trip over was rough, and some of us got no sleep on the airplane. When we arrived, it was around 9 am, but we got our room, got cleaned up and went straight to lunch with two of the executives from MTV who were on site for the network for the filming. Julie and Polly were very open about their excitement for the show, and much was accomplished during our discussions. Everyone at MTV is working very hard on making the show a success, and nothing is being held back.

When I went afterwards to view the sets that have been constructed, I discovered they were not exaggerating. We were able to view five different sets, including one of the Ellcrys, and every single one was incredible. When writing Elfstones, I had a vision of how every thing would look in any given reader’s mind. But what had been created here for the TV show is way beyond what I had expected. The sets are every bit as wondrous and massive as I have imagined, the detailing incredible, the scope astonishing. Viewers are going to be blown away. This is the look I had always hoped for.

So, as I said to Shawn earlier, just WOW.

After that, while still upright despite no sleep for twenty-four hours, we went out to where they were filming to have a look at the process. Met a lot of the film crew first, then found Poppy Drayton and said hello. Watched a forest scene being filmed, met various people involved at the top end of the pecking order for filming, ate dinner with the actors and staff, and spent a little time visiting with director Jonathan Liebesman.

By then we were too tired to stand, so even though there was an important scene being filmed around 10 pm, we had to give it up. Must tell you these people work long, tough hours well into the night. Hope to experience that first of the week when filming resumes. Will report on what I discover then, but will cover other stuff over the weekend. It is now Friday here, so next report will be sometime tomorrow. What a cool adventure so far!

Be well, Terry.

32 responses to “SHANNARA On MTV: Filming Begins”

  1. Love all your books and cannot wait for this series to air. (I just hope it will be available in the UK) Have a good sleep. Will look forward to reading more of your reports tomorrow.


  2. I have been waiting 25 years for this. I cant wait until my daughter sees this with me.

  3. Welcome to New Zealand Terry Brooks.
    as an avid reader and huge fan im so excited for the upcoming series. All the best…
    ps if u come to Taupo u will be very impressed with our amazing playground. …

  4. Awesome Terry. It would be so cool if you made production videos/blogs like Peter Jackson did during the filming of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and shared them with all your dedicated fans!

    • That would be pretty awesome. Unfortunately, Terry won’t be there long this trip. But he does plan on taking lots of pictures and having stories to go along with them!

  5. I do hope Terry does these updates often. It’s always interesting seeing how these are made. I’ve always been the guy to pay extra to get the behind the scenes dvds, so this is of particular interest to me :p

  6. This is simply amazing. To have the author come along and share his excitement and approval just makes it the more wondrous. The only times my expectation is placated is when I imagine Terry (who brought us Shannara) sitting over lunch with Allanon and Eventine or Azog the Defiler and Gimli, or whoever these people can become, and then instead of excited I’m just perplexed.

  7. The Elfstones of Shannara was the first book I ever read that I could NOT put down! It was the first book that got me hooked on reading fantasy. I can’t wait to see how MTV translates this book to television! I’m sure it’ll be epic!

  8. It’s still so surreal to know that this is actually happening. I’m bursting with excitement and anticipation. The Elfstones of Shannara is one of…if not THE most important book to my love for reading and narrative fiction. I truly do hope that the series ROCKS, stays true to the books, and achieves the level of acclaim/notoriety that Game of Thrones has. I would love to see more and more new fans of Shannara brought in via the series. After all these years, my imagining of the literary work will finally have a real life counterpart. I’m SO ready for the ride…

  9. Have been following Terry since pretty much the beginning when The Sword first hit Hardback many moons ago. Has long been a wish for someone to turn his books into movies. Hopefully The Landover series will be next. By the way, I’m 61 now and still love his books. I have most of them on my Kindle Fire now.

  10. Is Terry doing any appearances/signings while here in NZ?
    I have a load of 1st edition hardbacks that need a signature … 😉

  11. I’ve been a Terry Brooks book fanatic for 30+ years and can’t wait to see the magic of his book pages coming alive onto the screen. I hope this is just the beginning and his other book series are not far behind following this one on to the screen too!!
    From what Terry has reported so far, everything seems to be meeting his expectations, which cranks up the excitement for us fans. For me, the wait, has awoken my inner ” I believe in Father Christmas child” and turned me into a fidgeting, restless wreck, counting down the days until that magical day is here!

  12. These books taught me to read novels, even though it took me 2 years to read one book, the journey inspired me to not give up and then studying and making short films half my life this is something so exciting I cannot even explain how I feel! 😀

  13. I am so happy for you! This must be the ultimate goal of any writer – to see your work brought to life. Enjoy every moment. You have earned it!

  14. Can’t wait to see it, can you let us know the Actors names and the parts they will play. Look foreword to reading your daily blog. X

  15. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule, to update your fans on your adventure. I am relieved to know you are keeping an eye on production. Wondering if any of the actors were fans of your writings?

  16. I started entered the world of Shannara through The First King about 15 years ago. Ever since then there is always a tale of Shannara by my bedside, daily beckoning me to take a few moments to visit my favorite place.

    I am super excited about the show and I’m so glad that every thing has met/exceeded Terry’s expectations. I would like to say that I really hope that this show does not reach a level of notoriety in the way Game of Thrones has. Its basically nothing but a porn show though people pretend otherwise. Shannara is better than that. Terry Brooks has purposely written his books, created his world, without the influence of overt, perverted, and descriprive sex between his characters. I hope MTV stays true to this. I hope they will allow Shannara to be loved by the masses because of the amazing elements it already contains, and not soil, degrade, or defile the true essence of this fantasy world with perverted things that don’t belong there.

  17. This is the first I have read about the series. I hope it airs on a channel I get with my current listing, and not something I have to pay to see. My first book was Jerle Shanarra, and I was hooked. I think I own all of your books in hard cover now, and have read some more than once already. I have my 11.5 yr old son reading the Sword trilogy right now (three novels in one hard cover).
    I have played on LegendMUD ( for decades now, and one of my favorite character builds is my ArchDruid Sibwarra, inspired by the Shanarra Druids.