Here is an excerpt of his report about Week Five on the job:
We were shooting Gandalf as he rides Gwaihir, so he was on a barrel type thing that could be tilted and moved around to make it look like he was on the eagle. We had an animatic of the scene to try and kinda match and when you look at what we are doing you kind of think, “that doesn’t look like it”. But when you see it over laid with the animatic it was amazing how close they were.<
The next shot was another Balrog shot that we didn’t pull off this day and ended up shooting as the very last shot for principle photography on the blue screen unit nearly two weeks later. The next shot was Balrog stuff again, just as Gandalf starts his decent.
The final shot for the day was the final go at the running away from the Balrog scene. We had three more characters to add in for this shot, Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli. Again it was basically the same as the last two passes, except with different characters.
Please click on the link below to read more, including scenes involving the watcher in the water, Gandalf’s resurrection, Fangorn forest, the Houses of Healing, and Beren’s report on the 35 minutes of footage he saw.