SPOILER Behind the Scenes at the Gates of Mordor – A Report from the Front Lines

by Dec 16, 2000Lord of the Rings (Movies)

There’s a Secret Squirrel in there somewhere…!
Secret Squirrel #1 reports back in with a wonderful recount of his experience at the Gates of Mordor. You can read his first report here!

I noticed a quote from from the book (someone trying to figure out which hill of men we are) well from what I understand we are the ONLY hill – although camera tricks and CGI may help… but Aragorn rides up and down in front of us along with Legolas, some people who may or may not be the sons of Elrond (they might also be Mounted royal guard of Rohan – it’s been a while so I can’t remember too clearly), Gimli, Gandalf, one or maybe two hobbits (once again – it’s been a while). Originally we were in straight lines and regiments on the dune but Peter decided he wanted a more ragged look. Like we had just arrived (were bloody tired) and had fought a battle a short time before. This is why the Gondorians and Rohan soldiers are scattered around and mixed up. The Rohan were supposed to have been so badly depleted that we had reverted to “family” groups.

Where you see the two guys at the top of the image is the top of the dune and behind is hundreds of spears poked into the sand (quite a large number with flags attached).

On the second day of filming they increased the armys size by using a blue-screen two trucks long and just over one truck high – biggest blue screen I’ve ever seen.

Viggo Mortensen came in and said his lines (this is when we react to the 30,000 orcs comming out of the porter-loo and are heartend by Aragorns words), then they took the blue-screen away, shifed us all down the camera frame one third and ran through the whole process again with just “aragorns” audio and an audio que to react to. And then we did it a final and third time shifting to the other side of the camera frame (reacting to the same audio).

Most of the dialog is straight from the books – gave me a tingly spine.

I did a couple of spy reports from “Mordor” some time ago after i got back with my impressions of what it was like being there those who are curious should look them up.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents…

Secret Squirrel #1 over and out!


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