Frank writes: Not sure if this is has already been reported or not by other sources but I though it was interesting. A member of the Home Theater Forum, which is one of the most respected HT discussion boards on the net, recently posted the following message on the FotR EE DVD thread. Now this may be unconfirmed as it is coming from a 3rd party, but the members of this forum are very trustworthy.
Vickie should know that a friend of mine met Andrew Lesnie at a special cinematographer’s seminar here in Melbourne a couple of months ago and spoke to him for about 15 minutes. He said Lesnie was very nice, open and friendly and happy to chat about anything – my friend also said you could tell Lesnie was buzzed about the movie and his involvement with it. (The seminar had just rescreened the ‘Mines of Moria’ sequence and Lesnie looked proud as punch – what a scene to put on your resume…). Some comments Lesnie made to my friend, some of which may have appeared elsewhere on the web…
THE TWO TOWERS is much, much bigger in scale than FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Lesnie really had a ‘wait till you see it!’ vibe about it.
THE TWO TOWERS will look a lot better in theaters than FELLOWSHIP did. The entire Super-35 to digital grading to final print process entailed some generation loss with the final theatrical print of FELLOWSHIP, giving the film a slightly grainy look that many HTF folk would probably recognise from other Super-35 theatrical releases. Lesnie said they were now using a new procedure for the release of THE TWO TOWERS that enabled them to make a direct transfer to the final print (?) at a particular stage of post, rather than utilising an intermediate transfer as they did with FELLOWSHIP. Essentially, THE TWO TOWERS will appear a generation or more sharper than FELLOWSHIP did in theaters, giving it a cleaner look and one that more accurately represents what they originally shot. Lesnie seemed confident that they had the problem ‘licked’ and that you’ll notice the difference when THE TWO TOWERS finally comes out.
Lesnie’s first meeting with Jackson was a funny one. Jackson asked Lesnie if he’d seen any of his previous movies, and Lesnie mentioned that he’d seen BRAINDEAD (known as DEAD/ALIVE in the States). Jackson asked Lesnie what he thought of it, and Lesnie (who doesn’t like films that are too gory) was somewhat embarassed to admit that he thought it was disgusting and that he wasn’t able to get through it. Jackson didn’t mind and was happy that Lesnie was honest about it. Lesnie also seemed pleased that they’d developed such a good working relationship since.
Finally, my friend asked Lesnie a little about the circumstances following Lesnie’s ‘sacking’ from the shoot of John Woo’s MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 in Sydney, a professional set-back that luckily allowed Lesnie to work on Jackson’s trilogy. (Lesnie shot BABE here in Australia and was hired for Woo’s movie with a lot of publicity – he was later taken off the project amid lots of rumours and speculation as to the reason why). My friend asked if Lesnie had ever seen the final movie, given the evident ‘bad blood’ at the time (which Lesnie dismissed a little, saying that his removal from the project was one of those things and Cruise and Woo were both good guys). Jackson apparently flew an early print of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 over to the NZ site and he and Lesnie had a bit of a giggle watching it in a private theater whilst in the middle of their own shoot.