SPOILER Week 3: Beren’s Adventures on the LOTR Blue Screen Set – Company of the Ring: Tol Galen

by Jan 10, 2001Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Beren, webmaster of Company of the Ring: Tol Galen, landed himself a six-week job working on the blue screen unit during the final phase of Lord of the Rings principle photography.

Here is an excerpt of his report about Week Three on the job:

“The next day’s call sheet was another I misplaced, I do remember one scene we were shooting that day and that was Frodo and Sam running down Mt Doom, lava hot (well very hot I suppose) on their heels then they had to leap over a gap to save themselves. I was on the wind machine that day, which was a very hard task to perform. The FX guys set it all up and I had to turn the switch from off to on and back again when it was required. This was also the day the distributors came around, and always up the front was our friend Cirdan from over at Der Herr der Ringe, who had scored a trip over here with his employers the German distributors.

“Anyway Wednesday was a good day, I got to see Gil Galad. Now Mark Ferguson makes a great Gil Galad, he’s very tall and can look very nodal. We where doing a shot basically of the three elven rings. The other two had already been shot previously and we had to add Gil Galad in to the shot. This was a bit different this time though, Marks costume was blue, which on blue screen can cause a bit of a problem. Basically if we filmed him on blue he would disappear, so for this scene we were the green screen unit.

“This wasn’t too hard to achieve really, we didn’t have to paint the floor green or anything like that. All you have to do is put up a small green screen at the back, then lay reflective film on the floor and there you have it. Now the scene was the three elven ring bearers having a look at their rings putting theirs hands together and pulling them out again.

“We set up a ball on a pole for Mark to put this hand on to so he was in the right position to be touching the hands in the pre-shot footage. After a couple of takes that was the shot done and we moved on.”

Please click on the link below to read more, including scenes involving the bridge at Khazad-dum, Frodo and Arwen at Rivendell, and Merry and Pippin with Treebeard.


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