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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
So it is confirmed, Beorn will not be CGI? PHEW!
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Mar 26 2013, 10:20am

Post #1 of 26 (2150 views)
So it is confirmed, Beorn will not be CGI? PHEW! Can't Post

An interview the Swedish moviepage Moviezine.se did with Richard Armitage maybe confirmes my terrible nighmare to be UNtrue? That Beorn will not be CGI? :)

I will write it down first in Swedish and try to translate it.

Beorn ser fantastisk ut

- Han är hur stor som helst och ser helt otrolig ut. Hans huvud, man kan knappt tro det. Han bär också prostetik men hans otroliga blå ögon syns, avslöjar Nesbitt om Mikael Persbrandts karaktär.
- Det fina med Mikael är hans distinkta röst, vi lyssnade på honom i hörsnäckan och det var lätt att föreställa sig vad han gör med karaktären. Han har en bra röst, och hans look är fantastisk. Jag älskar karaktären, säger Armitage.


Beorn looks fantastic

- He is really big and looks unbelieveable. His head, you can't believe it. He has also prostetic but you can see his blue eyes, James Nesbitt confirmes about Mikael Persbrandts character.

- The wonderful thing about Mikael is his distinct voice, we listened to him through our earbuds and it was easy to imagine what he does with his character. He has a good voice, and looks fantastic. I love the character, says Armitage.

Sorry for bad english translate!

But what do you think? Will he be CGI or not? Of course in bear form he will be CGI.

I think i am more anticipated about Beorn than Smaug to be honest, i don't know why, it is not just because he is from Sweden like i am, but i have always loved Beorn so much.

I really really hope PJ and team will make him unforgettable, in a good way!

"Good morning!" he said at last. "We don't want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water." By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.
"What a lot of things you do use Good morning for!" said Gandalf. "Now you mean that you want to get rid of me, and that it won't be good till I move off.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

The Shire

Mar 26 2013, 10:27am

Post #2 of 26 (1106 views)
you can't tell for sure yet [In reply to] Can't Post

The production team changes their mind about Azog as well, very late in the production, and switched the initial bad guy out with a 100% CG character.
But what i noticed in the preview was that the orgs where prostetics in the costumes and then their heads was CG.
This seems like a good way to do it, so most likely Beorn will be a mixture of prostetics and CG.

Lieutenant of Dol Guldur

Mar 26 2013, 10:47am

Post #3 of 26 (1078 views)
I don't think that they've cast a real bear ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

So at one point he will transform into a complete CGI character. Tongue It would work very well if there's already a little bit of CGI on his "human" shape.

I also can't imagine that they change their minds about Beorn the same way they did with Azog. Azogs whole storyline was new and nobody expected his role to be that important. But Beorn is a very beloved and (after Smaug the most) anticipated character. He's not a last minute creation. I'm pretty sure that they noticed the criticism about the last minute design change of Azog and that some call him even 'unreal', 'too much CGI' or 'uninspired'. I personally like the 'son of Khal Drogo (Game of Thrones) and Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)' description most. Doing the same mistake with Beorn would be a great mistake and much more fans would be angry or sad. But I'm sure they'll do it right.

Mikael Persbrandt is a great actor. I'm not from Sweden but from Germany and I've seen lot's of his work because much of it was also co-produced by German television and film productions and we got to see it very early. I'm really looking forward to see him in action and it would be even greater if Peter Jackson and his crew became sucessful in not showing Beorn (and Smaug) until the movie comes out. It is difficult in modern days of smartphones and internet but it would be great to see him for the first time on the big screen!

"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."


Mar 26 2013, 11:28am

Post #4 of 26 (1063 views)
Sounds like they will be using the dual set technique [In reply to] Can't Post

From your translation, it would appear that Persbrandt will play the character himself with some added
prosthetics, but due to the large size difference between Beorn and the dwarves, they will need to use
the dual set technique they used with Gandalf in the "Unexpected Party" scene. Thus Persbrandt will act on
one set and the dwarves will act the same scene on a larger scale set, and the two will be put together later by
computer. This is why the actors playing the dwarves need to wear the "ear buds" that Armitage mentions,
so that they can be cued as to when they need to speak their lines.

Don't mess with my favorite female elf.


Mar 26 2013, 12:26pm

Post #5 of 26 (1019 views)
I don't see the need of CGI for an oversized human [In reply to] Can't Post

They needed the CGI in order to have the more freedom in design for Azog, and make him less human, but Beorn is nothing more than a very big man, CGI would be as unecessary for him as for Thranduil or the dwarves, more unnecessary even since he is the most human looking of them


Mar 26 2013, 12:46pm

Post #6 of 26 (968 views)
CGI [In reply to] Can't Post

CGI will probably only be for background and blending. We have seen the scale of the set. As stated earlier in the thread they will will likely use the dual set/slaved camera technique for a a lot of the scenes of Beorn along with Gandalf and the Dwarves. In an article early on Perbrandt said he is 3 meters tall in the movie so they will be dealing with the scale issue of a 10 foot tall man, 6 foot tall wizard and a troop of 4-5 foot tall dwarves. We saw how small McKellen and the rest looked in comparison to the set pieces in one of the production blogs so they will likely be filmed on that set with Persbrandt on a normal scale set somewhere else. I think that is where the CGI will come into play. My guess is in appearance Beorn will be all Persbrandt with traditional prosthetic, makeup, wig, etc.

(This post was edited by BeornBerserker on Mar 26 2013, 12:50pm)


Mar 26 2013, 12:49pm

Post #7 of 26 (1009 views)
Beorn's appearance [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very much hoping that Beorn in human form will not be CGI. Obviously in his bear form he will have to be – it would be rather difficult to use a live Brown Bear! (I hope, incidentally, that the bear part will be based on a European Brown Bear rather than a Black Bear, which is American.)

I'm really looking forward to the actor's performance. There are some very good Scandinavian actors, although I am not sure whether I've seen this one in the dramas I've watched. (I remember none of the actors' names in these dramas.)

I also do not want to see Beorn before the film comes out – I want him to be a surprise, like Smaug. Smile

(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Mar 26 2013, 12:51pm)


Mar 26 2013, 12:53pm

Post #8 of 26 (964 views)
I would wager that it's actually a tri-set [In reply to] Can't Post

As Gandalf will also be in those scenes, they'll need to be working on 3 seperate scales (dwarves/Bilbo, Gandalf, Beorn). I'm really curious to see the behind the scenes filming of those sequences.

"Here is a book very unsuitable for dramatic or semi-dramatic representation. If that is attempted, it needs more space, a lot of space."

- J.R.R. Tolkien, 1956


Mar 26 2013, 1:06pm

Post #9 of 26 (929 views)
I'm also relieved. [In reply to] Can't Post

We might have had another Beowulf on our hands. *Shudders*

Wait, when were there rumours of Beorn being CGI?

"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended."

"You think you world is safe? It is an illusion. A comforting lie told to protect you. Enjoy these final moments of peace. For I have returned to have my vengeance. So, shall we begin? " - John Harrison/Khan/Sherlock/Smaug (Star Trek: Into Darkness)


Mar 26 2013, 1:14pm

Post #10 of 26 (950 views)
I'm happy that Mikael will have a facial prosthetic [In reply to] Can't Post

His face is too kind to play Beorn, even with a wig and beard.

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2013, 1:36pm

Post #11 of 26 (925 views)
It never occurred to me that Beorn in his human form would be CGI [In reply to] Can't Post

When he transforms into a bear, that will obviously be CGI.

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2013, 3:25pm

Post #12 of 26 (853 views)
Check the new GOT trailers [In reply to] Can't Post

theres a real bear there.Wink

Vous commencez à m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2013, 3:44pm

Post #13 of 26 (800 views)
Maybe for close-ups he will be the actor in prosthetics, [In reply to] Can't Post

but i can't imagine that he won't be entirely cg in bear form. Maybe motion captured, but still cgi.

I haven't read that part of The Hobbit since middle school, and don't remember much of anything about Beorn other than he turns into a bear, so i'm really looking forward to seeing how this character turns out.

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2013, 4:27pm

Post #14 of 26 (785 views)
Beorn ser fantastisk ut [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in Pennsylvania (USA), a group here has a Viking longship, sails and rows it and does living history. It was so cool to see your Swedish post!

We have used "ut!", but what is the correct translation?

If I remember right, "beorn" is bear in the Norse (Swedish, Scandiavian, etc) languages.

I think many characters work better as actors in makeup than CG. It's a bit more real.

Go outside and play...

Tol Eressea

Mar 26 2013, 4:53pm

Post #15 of 26 (770 views)
bears bears bears... ( we now pause for a moment of science...) [In reply to] Can't Post

I always saw Beorn as a brown bear. The Kodiak bear (a subspecies of brown bear from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska) tops out at over 1100 lbs, topped only by some polar bears (arctic animals tend to the spherical or large, it conserves heat). The Kodiak has the additional coolness factor of a scientific name which makes him sound like he's from Middle Earth: Ursus arctos middendorffi ...

Beorn, of course, would be a BOUS (bear of unusual size).

American black bears: (size of a large man)
Genus: Ursus
Species: U. americanus
Males — 250 lbs. (range from 125 lbs. to over 600 lbs.) Females — 150 lbs. (range from 90 lbs. to over 300 lbs.)

American brown bear (grizzly): (size of a small horse)
Genus: Ursus... Species: U. arctos
Subspecies: U. a. horribilis
Most adult female grizzlies weigh 130–200 kg (290–440 lb), while adult males weigh on average 180–360 kg (400–790 lb).

Kodiak bear: (size of a horse, one of largest bears)
Species: U. arctos
Subspecies: U. a. middendorffi
The Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi), also known as the Kodiak brown bear or the Alaskan grizzly bear, occupies the islands of the Kodiak Archipelago in South-Western Alaska. Its name in the Alutiiq language is Taquka-aq. It is the largest subspecies of brown bear and one of the two largest members of the bear family, the other being the polar bear. Few Kodiak bears have been weighed in the wild, so some of the weights are estimates. Size range for females is from 225 kg (500 lbs) to 315 kg (700 lbs) and for males 360 kg (800 lbs) to 635 kg (1400 lbs). Mature males average 480–533 kg (1,058–1,175 lb) over the course of the year, and can weigh up to 680 kg (1500 lbs) at peak times.

Polar bear: (think: tank, with fur)
Genus: Ursus... Species: U. maritimus
A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (770–1,500 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size.

Eurasian brown bear:
Ursus... Species: U. arctos...
Subspecies: U. arctos arctos
The weight varies depending on habitat and time of the year. A full grown male weighs on average 265–355 kg (583–780 lb). The largest Eurasian brown bear recorded was 481 kg (1,058 lb) and was nearly 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long. Females typically range between 150–250 kg (330–550 lb).

My cousin is a PhD bearing entomologist; besides battling giant centipedes in Chinese hotel rooms, being lemur groomed, and avoiding methane cooking hillbillies in the backwoods of Tennessee, she has encounted a vast number of black bears. Most are happy (unlike Gandalf) to let you pass. One objected (or perhaps needed second breakfast, and smelled peanut butter sandwiches in her backpack), charged, she attempted to duck it with a roller derby move called juking (she was part of the Hard Knox Roller Girls of TN...), that didn't go well... she ended up with the bear sitting on her while several of her friends tried to figure out how to lure/chase it away. Ultimately, it was driven off (they're not very aggressive) and she suffered a cracked rib or two... she had been between a bear and a rock. I could not make this stuff up. She needs to write a book, I keep telling her. (You can probably find her sciencey stuff under Carla Snelbaker-Coots)

Go outside and play...


Mar 26 2013, 5:13pm

Post #16 of 26 (766 views)
Beorn as human won't be CGI [In reply to] Can't Post

Beorn as a bear definitely will. When they referred to the prosthetics, they probably meant he needed extra things to add to his face, like bigger features, beard, etc. Now the bear has to be CGI. It'd look silly seeing a human in bear prosthetics, and they wouldn't be able to use the bear form to its full extent due to limitations.

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Mar 26 2013, 5:36pm

Post #17 of 26 (731 views)
Actually, Beorn is the Old English word for bear... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the Swedish word for bear is björn (bjørn in Danish and Norwegian).

"Ut" is the Swedish word for "out", but not in this context. "He looks fantastic" translates to "han ser fantastisk ut".

Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Mar 26 2013, 6:48pm

Post #18 of 26 (691 views)
Thanks that was a great explanation [In reply to] Can't Post

I am looking forward to Beorn In a big way.

I hope they skip CG for the human form, especially after the really bad renders of CGI Azog.

Kind of my boggles my mind how great the cgi animals look (save for the warts), but how rushed the orcs look. So I am crossing my fingers that all will be right with Beorn in his dual forms.

I want him to be a surprise as well.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


Mar 26 2013, 6:50pm

Post #19 of 26 (704 views)
There's nothing wrong with the CGI in AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post

The CGI on the goblins and Azog was great. Don't just blame the CGI because you don't like their decision to use more CGI instead of prosthetics.


Mar 26 2013, 7:05pm

Post #20 of 26 (689 views)
Difference of opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

You like him, that is great. I am not attacking most of the CGI in AUJ, just the characters that took me clean out - Azog and the Orcs-Wargs. I did not mention the goblins who were great.

The orcs and wargs do not look realistic enough to me especially when you consider how well Gollum, the trolls and the many animals of Mirkwood were rendered.

I don't like CGI when the characters look so rushed they take me clean out of the movie. Azog looked rushed and with the last minute change from prosthetics to CGI it boggles my mind how much they rushed such a pivotal character. I hate it when my world immersion is yanked out from under me.

Hopefully this will be fixed for subsequent appearances, and yes while I prefer old school practical make ups, when CGI is done right I have not a single complaint. I loved every inch of Rhosgobel/Mirkwood.

So in terms of Beorn, if the human is partially CGI, I hope Weta take their time as they will with his bear.

Enjoy your day Smile

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.

(This post was edited by ByThorinsBeard on Mar 26 2013, 7:08pm)


Mar 26 2013, 8:22pm

Post #21 of 26 (657 views)
Design [In reply to] Can't Post

Seems like you have problems with the design of the orcs/Azog then, rather than the actual CGI.

Wether you like the design or not, i agree that these are opinions. But i really don't understand how people can say the actual CGI/effects were bad aswell. You can use the "it's just my opinion" excuse for it all you want, it's still wrong.

For example, i also thought the Wargs didn't look realistic enough, but i think this has got more to do with their design (and more specifically, their eyes) rather than the CGI. Because if you compare the actual CGI of the wargs from AUJ against the wargs from LOTR, they're miles ahead.

Also, don't take this as a personal attack or anything. I know this post may sound a bit hostile, but that's not my intention.


Mar 26 2013, 10:18pm

Post #22 of 26 (591 views)
European or Eurasian Brown Bear [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is the Eurasian (or European) Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos) that we are looking for when it comes to Beorn. Wink


Mar 26 2013, 10:50pm

Post #23 of 26 (564 views)
Not personal no...// [In reply to] Can't Post


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.

Tol Eressea

Mar 27 2013, 3:27am

Post #24 of 26 (513 views)
bearrrrrrrrrrrrzzzezzzz [In reply to] Can't Post

indeed! Of course he would be a particularly large and "magical" sort of European brown bear... ursus arctos arctos beornis...

am I remembering correctly that "berserker" basically means "bear shirt"...?

Go outside and play...

Tol Eressea

Mar 27 2013, 3:32am

Post #25 of 26 (513 views)
beorn to be wild.... [In reply to] Can't Post

cool! thanks!

... if I try to type the Swedish word, my keyboard will explode.... if I try to say it, my head will...


(I am a really bad Viking)...

Go outside and play...

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