The LOTR Movie Site
March 17, 2000

Insider Info ... Well, Sort Of

The Lord of the Rings movies are very much a Peter Jackson interpretation of Tolkiens works. The Intention is not to make an exact screen representation of LOTR, but are made knowing they can never compete with the books, but with some modifications the books should yeild a great movie. Of course the movies also have to conform to the money providers criteria, which includes a major part for an american sweetheart (Liv Tyler) and a PG rating to ensure they are financialy rewarding.

The 'atmosphere' of the movie wont be aiming at a total realism (like Braveheart) but will be leaning towards films like The Labrynthe or more recently Sleepy Hollow or Merlin (although to a far lesser extent (than all of them that is)) this may seem less 'serious' but any attempt to make a fantasy story into a movie like braveheart turns out corny. In my opinion this will give greater effect to the movie, for after all who forgot The Labrynthe? However the movies will neither be predominantly the make-up and model look or the clean computer graphics look (I hope you know what I mean) and wont take the easy way out, like some films,  of just doing everything with make-up or everything with computers but will combine the best of both worlds.

The models and props are well detailed all based on sketches done by Alan Lee who provides the prop builders with a range from which they select, Some are quite extravagant, for example if a particular tree is important it will be built down to the very leaves Alot of the models have that rustic and distressed look which may not be totally realistic but I think suits the atmosphere, unlike some films were old things look old even in the olden days (whats with that?). I don't know what happened to John Howe, he seems to have disappeared, although some of his concepts for the exotic creatures are still being used, perhaps then, he is working with the computer graphics department.

Based on previous work of the computer graphics people I'd say they will be good, in both the areas of shrinking real people/blue screening etc and 3d graphics like gollum (who is completely computer generated (Imagine trying to create a gaunt gollum by adding make-up)).

The acting, accents, costumes, and make-up seem to be really good from what I can tell, despite minor drawbacks such as Liv Tyler refusing to ride a horse (a fake horse had to be constructed for close ups).The battle scenes will be as realistic as PG allows. Anyone who has seen Braindead knows Peter Jackson isn't scared of a little gore (I'm not suggesting it will be like that). The orcs look as you would expect with Howe and Lee as art directors.

The sets seem to be well done, although the hobbit houses look a bit cute, but it will probably look a bit different in the movie. The New Zealand scenery (as seen in Xena (although used to better effect ofcourse)) will give it an exotic feel if not one that Tolkien had imagined.

All in all all the elemnts seem to be coming together well (Ihave no idea what the music will be like) to make a good movie even if it is not as grand as the book (A movie can't necesarily give the same feel as a book).