It is not my intention in writing this to reveal any secrets about the films, nor to uncloak any of the things which rightly remain a mystery about the production.
I seek merely to divulge to those of you who are more unfortunate than I some of those things which have made me so immensely proud of having been, in some small way, involved in this film.
I have completed 3 days as an extra on LoTR – not as large as some, but more than the one day that some people have been able to manage. I am blessed with a fantastic manager in my real job, and it is to him that owe the greatest thanks. At least one extra I spoke to had quit his job in order to work on LoTR, such was his desire to be involved.
Being able to combine my love of film and LoTR has been something unreal. I have learnt so many things that I didn’t appreciate about the creation of a motion picture (such as how hard a gopher actually works), or what is involved in bringing even 40 seconds of action to the screen.
The thing that struck me the most about the production? Attention to detail. Most of you have probably read about Peter Jackson, and have an appreciation about his absolute drive and dare I say fanaticism about bringing this to the screen correctly – what you probably haven’t heard is that this drive and fanaticism has become so infectious that EVERYONE on set is so into this thing, that nothing escapes their attention. Whether it’s the special effects team checking costumes between every take, or camera crew asking extras to move this way or that, these people are just SO addicted it isn’t even funny.
The sets I have seen are so intricate in detail, the planning so meticulous and the sheer effort being expended so great, that those of you with any doubt as to whether these films are going to be great need not worry – sleep easy my friends, these films will be nothing short of fantastic.
Forget anything about extras being mistreated – I saw Peter Jackson walk onto the set between takes to tell one of the extras that what they had done (without prompting) was so fantastic that he wanted it done again – he didn’t send an AD to say it, he did it himself.
My two regrets? That I can’t make it back next week for more work (I think I’ve stretched it at my real job as it is), and that I didn’t have $20 stuffed into my costume at the time the guy with selling the LoTR cap’s came around so I could buy one.
I’m hooked. I’m not telling anyone about any details I’ve seen, or what this looks like, or how this person does what. I know these things, and yet I am so far addicted that I don’t want to let those things go.
I can understand everyone’s clamouring for detail, but please don’t panic.
This is going to be special.