The Lord Of The Rings | Cinema Secrets


Hi, I’m Jamie from Alltime Movies, and today
we’re going to Middle Earth to reveal Lord of the Rings’ Cinema Secrets. Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s
fantasy saga made a whopping $2.9 billion at the box office and nabbed 17 Oscars. But
this much-loved trilogy could have been very different… Sean Connery was first offered the role of
Gandalf. But he turned it down, because he didn’t understand the story. Tim Curry and Jeremy Irons were both considered
for the role of corrupt wizard Saruman. Instead, it went to Christopher Lee, who was desperate
to play Gandalf, but eventually settled for the next best thing. Stuart Townsend beat Daniel Day-Lewis and
Russell Crowe for the role of Aragorn, but 2 months into rehearsals, Peter Jackson realised
he’d made a terrible mistake casting a young actor for the part. Filming had already begun
when Viggo Mortensen took over. But before Peter Jackson, there were several
less successful productions of Tolkien’s masterpiece. In the 1960s, The Beatles wanted to not only
produce, but star in their own Lord of the Rings feature, with Stanley Kubrick as director. John Lennon would have been cast as Gollum,
Paul McCartney as Frodo, Ringo Starr as Sam, and George Harrison as Gandalf. Luckily, Kubrick
thought that a Lord of the Rings adaptation was impossible, so that horrorshow was never
made. But 40 years later, CGI allowed the trilogy
to finally be made with groundbreaking special effects. And the movies’ most ‘precious’ CGI
creation is, of course, Gollum. Andy Serkis brought his slimy creature to
life with a motion capture suit and a team of highly skilled 3D artists. Using a new
CG technique called ‘subsurface scattering’, the digital team were able to simulate light
reflections bouncing onto objects, to create the illusion of real skin. But not everything in the trilogy uses sophisticated
techniques. Many of the ‘special effects’ are just old-fashioned movie tricks…. For these scenes, the films used forced perspective
to make Frodo and Bilbo look small. Ian McKellen is positioned closer to the camera than Elijah
Wood and Ian Holm, to create an optical illusion that he is towering over the wee Hobbits. And in the Prancing Pony, some of the actors
are walking around on stilts. Speaking of ponies, in some shots Sam’s
noble steed, Bill, is in fact 2 people in a very convincing pantomime horse costume. And to create the illusion of vast size and
distance across Middle Earth, set design created polystyrene miniature models, and positioned
them far away from the camera. Or should I say ‘bigiatures’ – the model of the Barad-Dur
is 15 feet tall! Ear’s one for you. Lord of the Rings used
1800 pairs of latex ears and feet during production, because they damaged so easily. The costume
department had a special oven for cooking latex, which they had to keep running 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week. In the Fellowship of the Ring, the scene where
Aragorn throws an apple at Pippin took 16 takes to get right. The trilogy has hundreds of stunt scenes,
so naturally the cast got a few bumps and bruises along the way. In this shot, Peter
Jackson praised Viggo Mortensen for this brutally emotional performance, when actually, Mortensen
had just broken two of his toes kicking the Orc helmet. Ouch. And in these shots of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas
chasing after the orcs, all three are injured. Orlando Bloom had recently fallen off a horse
and broken two of his ribs, Mortensen’s toes were still broken, and Gimli’s stunt
double was suffering from a knee injury. Now that’s dedication to your art. Fortunately, not one of the 300 horses featured
in the trilogy was harmed. That’s because during the intense battle scenes, all injured
stallions are all computer generated. There’s a lot of creepy sounds in Lord of
the Rings. But the voices of the Orcs were created from the sound of cute seal pups.
(Does that make them less scary? Nope. Still terrifying) And what Hollywood classic would be complete
without the ‘Wilhelm Scream’? And Sean Bean had to learn his entire Mordor
speech after receiving it only the night before. One does not simply learn a script… And yes, this really is Elijah Wood leaping
onto Bucklebury ferry, not his stunt double. But watch closely and you’ll find a few
subtle tributes and Easter eggs. In Fellowship, Frodo finds a book containing
Runes, these read: “”Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun
with the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the keyhole.”” This is a direct reference
to the map that appears in the Hobbit, and the runes explain how to find the entrance
to the Lonely Mountain. This shot of Proudfoot at the party in (film)
is homage to Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 adaptation, and so is this shot, when the hobbits hide
from the Ringwraiths under the roots of a tree. And Jackson also managed to slip in a few
cameos. Here’s his son and daughter with Bilbo, at Helm’s deep…and of course he
wasn’t going to make a 680-minute motion picture with out making a few appearances
himself, here, here, and here. Thanks for watching Lord of The Rings’ Cinema
Secrets. See you next time!

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