The Extra’s View of Orc Fighting – has Comments About the Filming

by Jul 31, 2001Lord of the Rings (Movies)

I got the following from The orignal source is from I’ve edited it a bit, so if you want the orignal with all the colorful language, head on over to the link below.

They were planning on a turnout of about 9,000. They found out the night before {Tuesday} they were down about 3,000, which meant a 3 hour delay on the start time while they scoured the schools. They arrived at Victoria Uni, both Open and Wellington Polytechs and every high school within an hours drive, in about 30 buses and army trucks and said hop in. They turned you down on a haircut/color basis, not on your race. So not turned down were Asians, Maoris, Blondes, Samoans, Tongans etc… I would have thought that in a battle between Orcs and men, Samoans only confuse things.

We were divided into 5 layers that reflected our proximity to the cameras. I was in layer 5 which was essentially moving wallpaper. We were the only layer that got wooden weapons. We were the only layer that wasn’t choreographed. Our only instructions were that no one should be within 4 meters of anyone else. Presumably that’s where they plonk CG orcs.

We were given one of 3 weapons. A painted silver long sword with sanded handle, my axe on a stick thing {Halbard?} or a spear. Whoever was contracted to make the weapons obviously saw the spears as a way to save a bit of money and just sharpened the end of a rough pine post. Which meant you got a splinter just looking at it. So you had all these guys who were holding onto them with tee shirts. There were about 5 spears to everything else.

There were huge empty squares marked with black tape. ‘Don’t go into these!’ they said. ‘They are on fire.’ ‘Don’t go onto that, it’s a monster’ etc…

Drinks were brought out on 4 wheeler bikes with polystyrene cups! We were told to put them in the bins at the back of the bikes, but of course guys were smashing the cups with their swords. So after the first drinks break they said that you had to come to them to get the drinks, while they whined every time you walked over the ‘fires’. Huge delays.

We had time to kill as everyone was being told what to do. Someone had some tennis balls, and cricket games started throughout layer 5. You had to use your own weapon, because the guys with swords were scared of getting them nicked by the guys with spears {the guys with spears played touch with a rolled up tee-shirt}. Our game ended when someone hit our ball with the sweetside of his axe into layer 3 where it was slain by a knight.

After the first take, they realized that letting layer 5 decide its own fate wasn’t so wise. Whoever we were fighting was getting massacred.

They spent about 30 minutes in tents between takes reviewing what they had got, after which our section master told us that all those with odd birthdays were to die by the time the blue helicopter made is pass. So you had all these guys swinging their axes, looking up at the sky to check on the blue choppers progress. Then when it was about 100m away {at a height of about 150m} in unison all these guys lie down and close their eyes. By the 4th, about 5 hours later, pretty much everyone went down.

You had to turn in your weapon, and machine washable tunic on your way out to a policeman!

For those wanting to get Where’s Wally with it: Spot the Hawkes Bay rugby jersey. Spot the actual fight {during take 2}. Spot the guy who fell off his horse during the best shoot {shoot 3} and stopped the whole thing. Spot the teenagers pulling the fingers at the choppers during the 4th etc… etc… etc…


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