Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


The Making Of The Fellowship Of The Ring

The Making Of The Fellowship Of The Ring


Review By Cunning Vixen
From: http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/8/1090159778

Yesterday, at the Auckland International Film Festival, I got to see Costa Botes' documentary, ''The Making of the Fellowship of the Ring,'' of footage never before released from behind the scenes of the LOTR filming. This documentary has been released for the NZ-based film festival only, and New Line Cinema asked that it have the caveat of being a "Work in Progress." Costa Botes, the filmmaker, was there to have a discussion with the audience after the film was shown.

Costa Botes is a longtime associate of Peter Jackson. He received permission to do his own documentary project around the Lord of the Rings moviemaking, with some caveat involving New Line Cinema permission to distribute the results. Costa Botes, working on his own without New Line input, used a different documentary editing style than that usually seen for the LOTR filmmaking material. Instead of packaging snippets like jewels on a CD, or smoothing them together with voiceovers and shots of luscious New Zealand countryside, he went for a raw approach, letting the material speak for itself, without voiceover or apology. The results were fascinating for an LOTR fan.

This documentary showed the gritty, hardworking, industrial side of the LOTR filming. Living in NZ, it really brought it home to see LOTR work going on in the distinctive New Zealand warehouses and cheap cinderblock offices, hearing the whine of machinery in the background. There was a lot of hilarious footage of extras being trained by the set swordmaster. All these people, in a New Zealand rugby club gym and wearing sweatpants, armed with Middle-Earth style weapons and practicing their orcish growls...Not all of the industrial footage was charming. It was a bit strange to see the Bag End set with wires and ventilation channels running through it, and the scene where the set of Galadriel’s glade was “taken down” was shocking.

Another shocking thing was how, even when the costumed cast were mingling with the crew, they still came across as otherworldly. This was especially true of the battle scenes - there were glimpses of the Elvish charge at the Last Alliance, and of the orc/human scrimmage at Amon Hen, that were, even with film crew visibly mingled in, still stunning. "It's the biggest low-budget movie ever," one of the film staff said.

The hobbit actor cuteness just did not stop. Billy, Elijah, Dom, and Sean, all in costume, clowning around with their also-costumed size doubles, or singing in barbershop quartet style. Sean lent a serious note as an on-set accident involving one of his hobbit-made-up feet was shown. Their funniest bit was a series of sly asides that took the piss out of the The-Cast-Were-Really-Friends mythos promoted by New Line. It was obvious both that they were really friends and that they were making fun of the fact that everybody knew it.

There was a great section where we got to see Viggo Mortenson sneaking off to the side of one set to cast a few trout flies, and a long section showing Liv Tyler filming the flight to the ford scene. Poor Liv, it turns out, endured being smacked in the face with branches repeatedly to get that one good branch-in-face shot. Then there’s the priceless sight of all the Nazgul standing around under bright blue and green umbrellas as it starts to rain. (At the Q&A, someone asked if any of the actors didn’t like being filmed backstage – a pointed question considering the near-absence of Sean Bean and Orlando Bloom in this documentary. Mr. Botes said no.)

At the end, Mr. Botes took our questions. I asked if this work-in-progress was going to keep its raw, speaking-for-itself feel in the final version. Mr. Botes replied that this was, according to him, the final version, and that the work–in-progress had been what New Line demanded to have the film released at this film festival. Later questions revealed that Mr. Botes has two more documentaries in the same style and that he is flummoxed by New Line’s not allowing him to release all of them as a DVD set. This is understandable considering that the documentaries are 5 years of Mr. Botes' work.

Perhaps New Line Cinema is intimidated by the bulldozers and the sight of the hobbit actors making very casual jokes, and thinking that it would ruin the impact of the films. Well, the films are out; their mythos is established; and all the other LOTR fans out there will really enjoy Mr. Botes' documentaries. His different approach made for an enjoyable documentary, both serious and showing the humor of the LOTR filming teams.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news