Chapter Three: THERE AND BACK AGAIN: A Geek’s Adventure in Middle Earth! – Ain’t It Cool News

by Dec 17, 2000Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News braves the Doors of Moria set and makes side trips to the Houses of Healing and Fangorn Forest.

Here is a brief excerpt:

As the crew begins moving screens… getting rid of the bed… I begin to see something that is like a defribulator to the heart… THE DOORS TO MORIA. Christ… those are the doors to Moria. That means THE WATCHER OF THE LAKE… that means uber frickin coolness. I ask a fella, “Um, are they shooting the doors today?”

Pray Pray Pray…


Alright! I’m quite excited about this. But for now, I’m off to STAGE K, where Ian is topless laying upon snow or some sort of powder… this is post fight with the Balrog… Motionless against a sparkling pure powder bit of snow. This is shooting on a small part of the stage, the rest of STAGE K is taken up with an amazing recreation of a bit of FANGORN FOREST! I just wandered around the forest, looking for Treebeard… he’s here somewhere, I suppose. I tell ya, exciting times.

Oh Christ. I’m getting really emotional right now… as I type this, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippen are shooting their scenes at the door… as Frodo’s leg is grabbed by a tentacle or something… from the lake. I’m typing this live as I watch it. Elijah has been rigged to be dragged at a phenomenal rate of speed…. Here we go… rehearsal. Frodo is laying… Pippin, Merry and Sam are behind him… suddenly they have Frodo ripped out of their hands as he is pulled out of shot…

Christ, the doors to Moria. Those of you that know.. KNOW how cool this must feel. For me, in the entire 3 part story 1 book (and that’s how it is) arc… these doors, this first action sequence… lead into the most arm-chair gripping… terrifying scare sequence of them all. I can just hear John Rhys Davies talk about his long lost family member that never returned from this place. The first orcs… the Balrog… all of that, it all starts with these doors, those bloody damn tentacles… This is the s*** right here. I’m shakingly excited… on one side of me is one of the make-up effects guys, on the other a CGI Weta Digital Effects consultant flagging things that they’ll need to do… I hear them discussing the intrinsic quality of the tugging of Frodo… “Needs to pull along more horizontal, before the vertical lift” …and I completely agree. They had one take that was PERFECT. I just saw GANDALF THE GREY walk on set… hehehehehe…

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Be sure to also follow the links below to read Harry’s previous reports:



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