How the film "The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring" was filmed: footage from the filming and 35 interesting facts about the film (33 photos)

Category: Movie, PEGI 16
16 January 2024

The first part of the film "The Lord of the Rings" is a truly spectacular film and probably the largest-scale fantasy.

1. As you know, the Lord of the Rings film series was based on the books of the English writer John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, which he wrote back in the mid-50s of the 20th century. But initially, Tolkien had no plans to write a series of these books.

John Tolkien - author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

It all started back in 1937, when Tolkien published his book The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. Readers liked this book so much that they began to demand a sequel. As a result, Tolkien decided to meet the readers and a little more than 15 years later he released a sequel called “The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring.”

The Lord of the Rings trilogy captivated the audience even more and caused a real sensation. That is why the filmmakers decided to film this series of books, and not “The Hobbit.”

Although, it is worth noting that the film adaptation by Peter Jackson was far from the first. Back in the 70s, productions and even animated cartoons were released. Moreover, in the 80s, the Soviet television play “Guardians” was released, which was also based on the work “The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Why, even The Beatles at one time planned to film a musical adaptation of this film, where the participants would play Frodo, Sam, Gandalf and Golum. They even bought the film rights and wanted to bring in Stanley Kubrick as director. But he called the work too heavy and abandoned the idea. And then the idea of making a film faded away.

2. The script for the film was constantly rewritten, and right during filming. The filming itself began in 1999 and lasted for 15 months.

3. Initially, Peter Jason planned to make two parts of the film, but then he changed his mind, deciding that the most correct decision would be to film each book separately.

4. Before filming began, a storyboard was created (something like a comic book), and then actors were invited to voice the characters. After that, the actors voiced all the events that were on this very storyboard. So Peter Jackson wanted to see how it would look and if he had missed anything.

But that's not all. To better understand how everything would look on screen, visual specialists created individual scenes using 3D images.

5. All the big trees in the elven forest were fake. They were made from polystyrene. According to the authors, creating this location was one of the most difficult moments during the filming of the film.

This is understandable, because the work is truly large-scale and painstaking. According to the decorators, they had to paint each leaf by hand so that no one would notice the falseness.

6. Filming of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy took place in New Zealand. Moreover, due to the scale of the project, the country's government even created a separate ministry for Lord of the Rings affairs.

7. During the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf, it seems to us that Gandalf is much taller and bigger than the hobbit. But in reality this is not the case, and computer graphics with chromakey have nothing to do with it.

This scene was filmed in such a way that Gandalf was sitting closer to the camera, and the hobbit was further away from it. Well, thanks to the right angle, it seems to the audience that the magician is much larger than the halfling.

The same is true in the scene of Frodo's ride with Gandalf in the carriage. Actor Elijah Wood was behind Gandalf rather than next to him. Although, of course, it is worth noting that the difference in height between the actors is really considerable. Elijah Wood (Frodo) is 168 cm tall, while Ian McKellen (Gandalf) is 185 cm tall.But the natural difference was of course not enough.

Many newlyweds do roughly the same thing. I mean those very photographs where the husband allegedly holds his wife in the palm of his hand.

8. But of course, not in all scenes it was possible to create the illusion of a difference in height between hobbits, dwarves and people with Gandalf. In these cases, either chromakey (blue screen) was already used, or doubles were used - children and dwarfs.

So, for example, the scene where Gandalf gives Bilbo his staff and hat when he comes to visit him was filmed using chromakey, and the actors themselves were filmed separately from each other, after which these scenes were combined.

Well, in some moments, where there was no need to show the characters’ faces, enlarged hand models were used.

9. Peter Jackson personally played cameo roles in each part of the film. Also, his children appeared in cameo roles in each film.

Well, one more detail. In Bilbo's hole, directly above the fireplace, there are paintings of Bilbo's parents. They depict Peter Jackson and his wife.

10. More than 1,500 pairs of latex feet and ears were made for the hobbits. Because the feet wore out quickly, they had to be replaced very often. To be more precise, they were simply consumables, since after removing the legs and ears they could not be used again.

11. Remember the moment from the beginning of the film when Gandalf hit his head on the ceiling? This was not written into the script. Actor Ian McKellen really took a hit. But Peter Jackson liked this shot so much that it was included in the final version of the film.

12. The actors playing hobbits had a particularly difficult time putting on makeup. The fact is that in order to make up the legs and glue the feet, they had to stand still for a good hour.

13. John Rhys Davis, who played Gimli the Dwarf, also had a hard time. Not only did his image require a lot of makeup, but he also developed an allergy to this very makeup.

14. To make the visitors of the tavern in Bree look much more than hobbits, in some scenes the extras were dressed in large suits and they were forced to walk on special stilts.

14. Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, is the only member of the cast who knew the writer John Tolkien personally. Moreover, he was a real fan of the Lord of the Rings book series and re-read these books about every year. Therefore, it is not surprising that he agreed to star in the film adaptation. True, he initially counted on the role of Gandalf. But he was not hired for this role, fearing that, due to his age, he would not be able to handle active and combat scenes.

15. There are rumors that the moment when the orc threw a dagger at Aragorn, and he fought it off with his sword, is not staged. The actor was supposed to throw the knife past, but it rushed straight at Viggo Mortensen, after which the actor successfully fought it off with his sword. The moment was both shocking and amazing, which is why it was captured on camera.

But personally, I think this is a story. Somehow everything looks very sweet. And it’s unlikely that anyone would allow a real knife to be thrown at an actor (even if it was missed). Still, safety precautions and all that. The only thing I can believe is that the knife was a fake.

16. Remember the scene when Frodo loses the ring in the snow and then Boromir picks it up? It was impossible to take such a shot with a real ring, so I had to create an enlarged copy.

The very ring that Frodo picks up was actually huge and weighed as much as three kilograms. And yes, this is the most three-kilogramPeter Jackson himself eventually took the ring as a souvenir.

17. Mountain filming took place in the real mountains of New Zealand, so the film crew and actors traveled there by helicopter. Various sources write that Sean Bean (Boromir), who was deathly afraid of flying, was the only one who got to the filming location by land. Although, Olando Bloom said that Sean Bean still flew with everyone, but he was literally white with fear and even grabbed onto his leg.

18. Andy Serkis has become famous for constantly playing various mythical creatures. In the film "The Lord of the Rings" he played Golum. The actor was put on a special suit with sensors, after which the actor acted out all the movements and emotions. Well, then, using motion capture technology, graphics were superimposed on the actor.

19. Not only Golum was filmed using the movements of a real person. The same cave troll that wounded Frodo (unsuccessfully) was also filmed with human help, and then graphics were superimposed on it.

20. Sir Sean Connery was offered to play Gandalf, but he flatly refused this role, since according to the contract he had to participate in the filming for 1.5 years, and he also did not like the script, or rather, he simply did not understand it. And two years later he completely ended his career.

But the role of Frodo could have been played by Jake Gyllenhaal if he had not failed the audition.

But the actor Stuart Townsen was originally cast for the role of Aragorn. But on the fourth day of filming, Peter Jackson decided that Townsend did not fit the role because he looked too young (the actor was 25 at the time), while Aragorn should have looked like an older man. Therefore, 40-year-old Viggo Mortensen was cast in this role.

Uma Thurman was not averse to playing Arwen when Jackson offered her the role. But at that time the actress was pregnant, so she could not take part in the filming and her role went to Liv Tyler.

21. Actor Sean Astin was too thin to play chubby Sam, so he specifically gained 14 kilograms for the role.

22. A regular theatrical cut of a film lasts about 3 hours, while the director's cut lasts just over 4 hours. Can you imagine how much material didn't make it into the final version that most of us saw?

23. John Tolkien's son - Christopher called the film "The Lord of the Rings" simply terrible, and that it completely kills all the ideas that his father put in the books.

24. It was originally planned that the voiceover at the beginning of the film would be read by Frodo, that is, Elijah Wood. But his voice was too inappropriate. Therefore, it was decided to hold an audition among several actors who played in the film. Peter Jackson considered the voice of Cate Blanchett, who played Galadriel, to be the most suitable.

25. As you know, most often scenes in films are shot out of order (one of the exceptions is the film "Gladiator"). For example, one of the first to film was the scene with the death of Gandalf, namely how Frodo screams when Gandalf falls into the abyss. It is noteworthy that at that time none of the actors had yet seen Ian McKellen as Gandalf.

27. In those moments when there was no filming, the actors went surfing.

28. The huge cake at Bilbo Baggins' birthday was made of polystyrene, just like the trees in the elven forest. But almost immediately after the candles were lit on the fake cake, it caught fire. We had to urgently extinguish the structure.

29. Do you remember how the leaves were falling during the Ring Brotherhood of Steel council in Rivendell? Despite the fact that the scene itself was shot on chromakey, the foliage was real. The assistants sprinkled these leaves on top.

30. All the actors who played hobbits (even children and extras) wore wigs. The only exception was Peter Jackson's son Billy, who had perfect hobbit hair.

31. After graduationDuring the filming, 8 of the 9 actors who played the main characters got corresponding tattoos with the elven number 9. Only John Rhys Davis, who played Gimli, abandoned this idea. But Peter Jackson got a tattoo of the elf number 10.

32. Vigo Mortensen is a fan of foreign languages. He himself speaks several languages fluently. That's why he asked the director to give Aragorn as many lines as possible in Elvish.

33. Orc blood is black. To achieve this, the actors playing the orcs rinsed their mouths with an oral solution mixed with a black licorice solution.

34. The scene where Sam drowns underwater at the end of the film and Frodo pulls him out was not actually filmed underwater. Actor Sean Astin was simply blown on by a fan to make his hair flutter. Well, then the scene was processed on the computer to give it an underwater look (yes, I know there is no such word).

35. Viggo Mortensen, who played Aragorn, performed all the stunts himself, which is why he was injured more than once during filming. Sword maker Bob Andersen even called Mortensen the best swordsman he had ever personally trained.

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