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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
**TTT-EE Appendics Discussion: Warriors of Middle Earth, Part 3 -- "Whoa, I hope this works out well!"**’

weaver
Half-elven

Dec 9 2010, 6:51pm

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**TTT-EE Appendics Discussion: Warriors of Middle Earth, Part 3 -- "Whoa, I hope this works out well!"**’ Can't Post

Helm’s Deep was the heart and soul of the stunt team’s work in TTT.

Here are some quotes from this part of the feature:

"Helm’s Deep was certainly bigger, stranger, more difficult than anything I had ever seen. Just the terrain was difficult -- it was a rock quarry and there were real rocks all the way around, uneven ground, everywhere…" -- George Ruge, Head Stunt Coordinator

"They worked for over four months in that battle, three months of which were at night in either manufactured rain or real rain in somewhat hellish condition, as a battle would be." – Barrie Osborne

"I’ve never seen any group of stunt people take more of a beating without complaining at all. They took a real pride in always stepping it up another notch and really staying amped during all those months of shooting. They demanded everything from themselves and from everyone else." – Viggo Mortenson

What was the hardest part of the Battle for the stunt team?

“…the high falls off the castle at Helm’s Deep. We would have maybe six guys dying, falling off the wall…it would be about 25, 30 feet as soon as you fall off…you have no peripheral (vision)…as you’re falling down, your eyes kind of see the mat, but when you turn over – you’ve got to land on your back -- you can’t see anything and it’s like, ‘Whoa, I hope this works out well’. – Sala Baker

That was the hardest part, that was the biggest surprise, having to put on something you can’t breathe through well and having to spot your ground, your mark. -- Mana Davis, Stunt Performer

Who directed it?

“One of our 2nd unit directors, John Mahaffie, he’s a wonderfully patient person, very well organized and incredibly focused…I thought he’d be a great fit for what was already going to be chaos of Helm’s Deep.”– Peter Jackson

Here’s one of the anecdotes from this part of filming:

“We had the Elves on set and we were filming them and they were a little bit reticent to show the same aggression as the team of stunt boys in the Uruk Hai, who’d been with as a team for some time…In the end the Uruk Hai who were standing off camera behind us watching what was going on started to taunt them… and jeer at them just like you would in war – ‘Aaahhh, your mother!’ -- in the end they started doing a Maori haka which is a war challenge.” – John Mahaffie, 2nd Unit Director

“They began to get their weapons and they’d start smacking them against their chest-plates and chanting at the Elves, teasing them, taunting them… of course these Elves have got arrows cocked in their strings ready to fire down onto fictitious Uruk Hai…” -- Richard Taylor

“We didn’t realize they were shooting while we were doing it so, we thought they were just giving us a lot of flack, so some of us were going back at them the next minute we heard ‘cut!’” – Mana Davis

“We had a few modern day gestures creep into the program there we had to cut…it was one of those fantastic, wonderful spontaneous moments (laughs)…you had to be there.” – George Ruge

Questions:

1. Were you surprised that Jackson did not direct this battle himself? And that a “patient” guy got the job of directing a huge epic battle?

2. Which stunt team moments stand out for you, from the Battle? Did it surprise you that the "falls" were the hardest thing for the crew to do?

3. Did the Elven extras sufficiently rise to the occasion?

4. Did you spot any “modern day gestures” in the Battle? I just wonder if they got them all!

5. In the end, how effective was the approach Jackson took, for you, when it comes to this Battle? Could they have gotten the same impact on screen without going through such effort? Did it "work out well?"

6. Other comments or observations on the stunt team’s work at Helm’s Deep?

Weaver




(This post was edited by weaver on Dec 9 2010, 6:57pm)


Darkstone
Immortal


Dec 9 2010, 9:13pm

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1. Were you surprised that Jackson did not direct this battle himself?

No, I knew he was a great delegator. Unlike GDT who said he was going to film every scene of The Hobbit himself.


And that a “patient” guy got the job of directing a huge epic battle?

Best way to do it. You don’t want someone who gets in a hurry and forgets safety.


2. Which stunt team moments stand out for you, from the Battle?

The Uruks.


Did it surprise you that the "falls" were the hardest thing for the crew to do?

Not when you consider all the weight of the armor and the constricting masks.


3. Did the Elven extras sufficiently rise to the occasion?

I thought so.


4. Did you spot any “modern day gestures” in the Battle? I just wonder if they got them all!

Does the Wilhelm Scream count?


5. In the end, how effective was the approach Jackson took, for you, when it comes to this Battle?

Quite effective.


Could they have gotten the same impact on screen without going through such effort?

They could have green screened it. But films like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow always seem too fake to me. I think cgi is best leavened with a bit of reality.


Did it "work out well?"

It was very impressive. As it should have been as the first major engagement of The War of the Ring. This is like Pearl Harbor, you know. It has to be very engaging emotionally.


6. Other comments or observations on the stunt team’s work at Helm’s Deep?

I hope they get the same esprit de corps for The Hobbit. And Bob Anderson. He’s 88 but he’s still active.

******************************************
Not all who wander are lost.

(But that's the way to bet.)

 
 

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