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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
***FOTR EE APPENDICES DISCUSSION: Design Galleries – The Peoples of Middle-Earth*** (part 3)

Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 10:33am

Post #1 of 20 (547 views)
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***FOTR EE APPENDICES DISCUSSION: Design Galleries – The Peoples of Middle-Earth*** (part 3) Can't Post

To find the Design Galleries, put in Disk 3 of FOTR EE. Choose Designing and Building Middle-Earth, then Design Galleries, The Peoples of Middle-Earth.

When you choose the people you want to look at, you will see a page of explanation. If you choose Slideshow, it will step automatically through your choice. There is audio commentary with some of the choices which are marked with a “wax” seal. If you want to spend more time looking at the images, you can choose to step through the pages of images one at a time.



I am not really going to be asking questions in these discussions. If you have a comment you would like to make, or a question that might make things clearer for you, please post it.

Today we are going to visit the good folk at Isengard!

Saruman:



I don’t know who drew the two drawings of Saruman, but they are very much how I have always "seen" Saruman. I think Christopher Lee did an excellent job creating Saruman. His height and his bearing very much gave Saruman the arrogance required for the part. I would, though, have like to see his "many colors" robe when he revealed himself.

Uruk Hai:



The concept drawing that is first on the top row is by Warren Mahy. I think it gives a more "animal" quality to the face. The second drawing is by Alan Lee. It is one of the pictures that has narration for the artist to tell us something about his drawing. It shows the Uruk being "born." The last concept drawing also shows a "birth." It is by Warren Mahy. I really didn’t like the birthing scenes. How did they get into the ground for the Orcs to dig up?

The bottom row shows shots of the stuntmen who portrayed Uruk. The first two look like standard costume shots. The next two are of Lurtz. All the prosthetic makeup that he is wearing looks most uncomfortable; but he did a really good job as Lurtz. He actually made Christopher Lee look small! The last shot is from the attack at Amon Hen where all the Uruk come at Aragorn.

Tomorrow we take a quick peek at Bilbo Baggins.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 12:19pm

Post #2 of 20 (271 views)
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I like that top left concept of the Uruk-Hai ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't recall anything like that ever being in the movie, but I like the snout, and the way it curves right into the forehead. I always like Orcs that don't look at all human, because to me they're supposed to be abominations. The best thing I've always loved about the Uruk-Hai is their shields, the way they're designed as a secondary weapon, but are still capable of protecting it's owner.


weaver
Half-elven

Jun 23 2009, 2:19pm

Post #3 of 20 (292 views)
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Saruman of many colors... [In reply to] Can't Post

You know, given how talented the costuming and effects crew was, I'm also kind of surprised they didn't include Saruman's transition from white to many colors...maybe seeing Bakshi's attempt, which made me think Saruman had a disco-light under his robe, really turned them off on the idea.

Other than that, Saruman's outfit really suits Christopher Lee in the same way Viggo's Strider really were an extension of his character. It's one thing to design outfits like that, it's another to put them on people who can carry them off well...

On the Uruks, I'm always torn between liking the more realistic sense you get of them with costumed actors in those parts, vs. the kind of more "monster-like" looks they could have gotten had they opted for CGI. I suppose if they had enough time and money to treat them all with the same TLC as Gollum, we might have had the best of both. But given the limits they had, and their approach to the films as "history" more than "fantasy", I can see why they went the human rather than technology way with the Uruks.

The whole breeding aspect of the Uruks is interesting, but may be one of those things that was better not seen -- raises too many questions about just how it was done; it's perhaps more believable to just be told that this was what Saruman was up to, rather than having the Uruks crawl out of the mud like that.

Though I do like the birth of Lurtz -- especially when the first thing he does upon "awakening" is strangle that poor orc...and Christopher Lee's "calculating glee" at seeing what he's created is the icing on the cake.

Weaver





One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 3:35pm

Post #4 of 20 (266 views)
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Kudos to costumes [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I am glad they kept it consistent with costumes and make-up. In my honest opinion, the less CGI there is in a movie, the better. I mean, yes, there are some cases when you need it, but as proven here, you don't need CGI to make Orcs. However, as you said, with the use of computers they could have made more disgusting, over-the-top Orcs, but just think of Gothmog. Perhaps if they took the next step, they could've looked completely inhuman altogether. But still, I think in the end it's better to be consistent.


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 4:14pm

Post #5 of 20 (260 views)
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Yes, [In reply to] Can't Post

That Uruk looks less human and therefore more menacing.

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Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 23 2009, 4:19pm

Post #6 of 20 (266 views)
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Disco fever! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know there is material that changes color when it moves. I think a robe out of that would have been terrific. Maybe it wouldn't film properly!

I certainly could have done with out of "mud" births. TMI, for sure!

We could have had Saruman come up on a standing Lurtz strangling an orc without seeing the rest!

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 24 2009, 5:37am

Post #7 of 20 (256 views)
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Great posts, Alcarcalime! [In reply to] Can't Post

That costume was great, though I kept waiting for it to change colours, too. Oh well, maybe they decided it looked too cheesy. Anyway, Christopher Lee looked perfect in this costume. I really liked him in that role, it was easy to believe he had once been a good one, but turned to the wrong path out of arrogance.

As for the Orc births ... it might have been a bit of TMI, but I suspect the guys had a lot of fun with these scenes. They left me wondering - when Orcs are breed in this way, how then did the half-Orcs come into being? Though I admittedly don't want to think too much about other possibilities, either Crazy

Anyway, I loved Lurtz, even if he was a nasty guy and killed poor Boromir. But he was a good-looking Uruk-hai, much prettier than all these ugly Orcs Tongue

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Elven
Valinor


Jun 24 2009, 9:55am

Post #8 of 20 (263 views)
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Thanks Alcarcalime ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I middle sketch of Saruman captures him perfectly - a sage - I really like that drawing.
And Christopher Lee needed his maturity and age to get this charater right and I think he looks wonderful and even 'magnificent' in his costume with his stature, and his white hair and flowing robes - its a very powerful image to see such a wizard dressed all in white robes - it is almost angelic, very powerful in its symbolism.

As for the Urak-kai, I thought thet were living machines and the way they finally looked I thought was another thing they got as right as they could. There seemed to be so much work that went into the costumes and design - I know they had trouble seeing though (there's that shot of the UK running down the stairs very cautiously taken from the flying fox camera) - that made me think - sissys Laugh

But the first sketch looks to me like a Cave Troll design - or it leans that way ...

and yes, I think Lurtz was the most handsome of the Urah-kai ... if there is such a thing.

and on another level, because of the birthing pits and these scenes and looking at the designs - everything just seems overly masculine, To me it just accentuates the lack of female presence in Tolkiens world ... ah well ... Smile

Cheers
Elven x


Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 24 2009, 10:37am

Post #9 of 20 (255 views)
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Yes, Lurtz was good. [In reply to] Can't Post

He pretty much made the other Uruk look ordinary. But, of course, Lawrence M. (not even going to try his last name) is a pretty impressive looking man!

Well, the Saruman story line was realistic. You always hear about people who make tragic compromises and alliances in their quest for power.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 24 2009, 10:43am

Post #10 of 20 (254 views)
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Yep, yep! [In reply to] Can't Post

I certainly agree with what you've said.

My favorite shot of Lurtz is in the Appendices where he is posing for the cameria with some sort of fluffy hot pink hair thing holding back his hair. Here is this huge guy in all this prosthetic makeup with a bit of pink fluff on top of his head! Loved it.Wink

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


Elven
Valinor


Jun 24 2009, 10:51am

Post #11 of 20 (297 views)
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and this one .. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved the phot you talk of - but I dont have a copy of that one - drats. I'll have to see gramma about it Wink

but I liked this one too ..




Swishtail.

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


sador
Half-elven

Jun 26 2009, 6:22am

Post #12 of 20 (243 views)
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I second that. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"We always elected master from among the old and wise, and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men." - the Master of Lake-town.


sador
Half-elven

Jun 26 2009, 6:29am

Post #13 of 20 (258 views)
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I didn't like Lurtz at all [In reply to] Can't Post

But that's storywise, not because of any design problem. I just feel that the Ugluk-Grishnakh and the Shagrat-Gorbag scenes were among Tolkien's best, and PJ and crew didn't even come near to portraying them convincingly (while they did well with Gothmog).
Lurtz especially, as he dwarfed Ugluk. The movie always leaves open the possiblity that Ugluk refused Grishnakh's orders simply out of ignorance - as a one-track-minded second-in-command, which can't be talked to reasonably for dear life. Ugh!

"We always elected master from among the old and wise, and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men." - the Master of Lake-town.


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 26 2009, 10:04am

Post #14 of 20 (250 views)
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I see what you mean. [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't particularly happy with the character of Lurtz, just impressed with the man playing him! He certainly looked intimidating.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


sador
Half-elven

Jun 26 2009, 10:32am

Post #15 of 20 (246 views)
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I agree with that. [In reply to] Can't Post

Lawrence M. radiated power and ferocity, and showed us both the semi-human and the monstrous sides of the character.
Only I would have prefered the balance to be slightly different - not more CGI-like, but more human-like.

"We always elected master from among the old and wise, and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men." - the Master of Lake-town.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Jun 26 2009, 6:45pm

Post #16 of 20 (239 views)
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True [In reply to] Can't Post

Lurtz didn't have anything to do with the book, that's true. But as an Uruk, he looked good, and not as nightmarish as Gothmog, even if the latter might have been more in keeping with what Tolkien had envisioned. (Admittedly, we've been calling Gothmog 'potato head' and similar niceties quite frequently Wink) And I liked how Lawrence Makoare was playing Lurtz.

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jun 29 2009, 4:44pm

Post #17 of 20 (239 views)
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What an interesting parallel [In reply to] Can't Post

Both Saruman and the Uruk (Lurtz in particular) have such a great presence. One is lordly, the other beastial... but both command their space! I just love the sketches. What always knocks me around is how much the artwork of the characters matches the individuals who finally portay them and bring them to life!

This is great, Alcarcalime! I've GOT to carve out some time and sit and watch these!!!!!! FRONT TO BACK!!!! *huggles*



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."
~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 29 2009, 7:50pm

Post #18 of 20 (249 views)
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You know, [In reply to] Can't Post

you can just watch one set at a time and thereby watch them all over time.

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batik
Tol Eressea


Jun 30 2009, 2:55am

Post #19 of 20 (251 views)
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PoMe 3: Saruman and Uruk-hai [In reply to] Can't Post

Is the 2nd sketch of Christopher Lee as Saruman? If not, could have fooled me!

re: birthing--some kind of play on God creating Men from that earth and/or Aule creating the Dwarves because of his "impatience to behold the Children of Iluvatar" (according to Foster's "The Complete Guide to Middle-earth")


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Jun 30 2009, 11:58am

Post #20 of 20 (262 views)
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I don't think . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

that is Christopher Lee specifically. Just a concept drawing for what Saruman should look like. It seems they cast well for that part!

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