Hobbitfan writes: I have just returned from Annie Collins’ lecture on editing ROTK. She began with a great clip of Jamie Selkirk talking about the editing process of the movies.
She described how she got the job (first she helped storyboard animation, then digital work, then editing) and what it was like to work with Peter Jackson. We saw several clips of her, Jamie, and Peter editing portions of ROTK (every single time PJ was reclining on a couch), including a very interesting and unfamiliar scene between Faramir and Denethor, with Denethor upbraiding Faramir for letting the Ring be taken to Mordor by a “half-wit halfling”. Faramir shoots back that if Boromir had taken the Ring, Denethor would not have known his own son.
Then five different takes of John Noble getting tears in his eyes and growling “Leave me!” ROTK:EE, perhaps? Peter made some very funny jokes, especially when they were editing the lighting of the beacons and he said something along the lines of, “Wow, imagine if you’d been up there sixty years and you’re about to retire, and now you finally get to light the beacons and your matches are wet!” Annie described how Peter would always get home at half past five to be with his family, and that they couldn’t work on Saturday mornings because that was when Billy Jackson had soccer.
After this we saw three different versions of the great scene of Rohan vs. Mumakil outside Minas Tirith,;the first being very basic and choppy with blocky computer graphics, the second having some matte painting and better animation, and third was the finished copy. By far the most amazing part was when she told us a story about trying to get the scene where Sam rescues Frodo from the Black Tower emotionally right. All the actors were gone, so Fran Walsh had to work with what they had. The first version was okay, but, as Annie put it, Frodo seemed “mad as a hatter” and Sam was still goody-goody; basically, one-dimensional characters with not a lot of drive. Then we saw the scene that ended up in ROTK, using the same shots and only a few different takes, but edited so differently, the mood was entirely different. Then came question time and people with tickets got into the exhibit for only five dollars (if you weren’t a member). All in all a wonderful experience.