This exclusive interview with a very relaible source from the set talks about somw sword fighting, Blue Screen CGI and PJ himself!
(Amyd) can I ask you a few questions about the movies?
(Source) Sure, shoot.
A- did you by any chance happen to be on the set when WETA guys were around?
S- Ummmm, a few.
A- Did you happen to be when they did stuff for later post on computers, or was it just model shooting and stuff like that?
S- When there has been cameras present, I’ve seen guys dressed up as, I assume orcs, but with some of them the standard rubber masks are a bright green; and then we’ve gone through various practice rallies (sword fights), on a blue-screen set, with the camera set up on some rails, moving to the left, then flying above us, and the wrapping around. I think they may have just been seeing how various things work.
A- Was the camera guided/moved by a human or was it automated, controlled by a computer?
S- Automated, we had to be pretty exact in replicating the strokes (swings) as well
A- you didn’t happen to notice the name of the automated camera crane did you?
S- No, too busy watching the other guy’s blade. I only really noticed it because of the way the track curved, it looked like a piece of modern art.
A- So, did they happen to have a computer to preview the shots on or were they just recording for later viewing?
S- Oh, they had various monitors, but yeah, I got the opinion they were just looking to see how various moves looked.
A- Did you get to be close to the camera? Did you happen to see what type was it? Arri… Aaton… etc
S- Nope, it all looks the same to me. I was more interested in the buffet table they had at the back of the room. They’d set various things up while we ate and drank. I’m surprised by the amount of food located on any set I’ve been on. Even for tv commercials. (very true, some buffets are better than the actual production! -Xo)
A- k… did they actually shoot takes? With camera rolling?
S- Well, they played back various shots and asked us to keep out arm in, or step back a bit, at various parts in the rally
A- Did they have a sound crew on location? for live recording?
S- No, no sound, I would have noticed that.
A- Did they use a clapper-board?
S- yup, but I never saw what was on it. They’d say “take” we’d hear a small clap, and then someone behind the monitors, (no, not PJ, I would have noticed that) yelled out Go! Well, action
A- Were you present when they did takes with hobbits or supposed elves, when they would have to use force perspective techniques and all that?
S- I’ve never seen the hobbits or the hobbit doubles. I’ve just seen a couple of women dressed as elves talking to each other as I walked by them off set though that was another time, not that day, when I had the second audition.
S- So, were there guys with weird remote controls being agitated around the set when the camera started rolling?
S- Actually, there were people worrying about the lightening of everything, even the blue floor, and they were getting orders about increasing this and dropping that from others behind the monitors.
A- aha… k… that would be the gaffers, electricians and ACs So, did you see Lesnie? the DoP (Director of Photography, AKA Cameraman -Xo)
S- ha, beats me 🙂 I just recognized the woman from Trio Talent, and they gave us a couple of minders for the group
A- Any particular WETA folks? that you got a name for… recognized/etc…?
S- Nope, didn’t recognize anyone else.
A- what did you think about PJ?
S- He was pretty cool and friendly at the second audition. Seemed concerned that if I could see without my glasses, what was I studying, had I seen any of his films.
A- really? what did you say?
S- Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir….
A- so, he really gets involved in almost every aspect of the filming?
S- I said I’d really been fooled by Forgotten Silver, and how I’d wanted a part in the Frightners., Well, that was the first and only time I’ve seen him
A- oh… he wasn’t on the bluescreen set?
S- I didn’t see him