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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Mo-capped Manu

ShireHorse
Rohan

Nov 13 2013, 12:32pm


Views: 1157
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Mo-capped Manu Can't Post

I've just done a marathon through all the Extras on the EE and one of the most interesting bits, for me at least, was the section on the creation of Azog. I then began to wonder why we only ever seem to discuss Azog as a bit of CGI without giving credit to the actor, as we do with Andy Serkis.

No, he's not a cartoon: there's a real mo-capped man in there and I think he does an excellent job.

I think that those who are hung up about keeping Azog alive "because it's not in the book" or moan about the plastic nature of his white skin, should put these complaints aside for one moment so that we can concentrate on the actual performance.

First, I'm one who would go along with Jackson and say that it's a good idea to keep Azog alive as the main orc antagonist and not muddy the waters by suddenly producing Bolg at the Bot5A, someone we would have no investment in. It makes absolute sense, in the same way that we are going to get an expansion of Bard's character so that he's not just some 2D 'hero' who pops out of nowhere to kill the dragon.

Secondly, I was impressed by how much effort PJ and the team put into 'finding Azog'. He started out as an actor (not Manu) in prosthetics and they spent so much time searching for the right look and making full costumes, only to realise that it wasn't going to work at the 11th hour. The fact that they didn't shrug and say, 'Well, too late now - it's good enough', just proves to me their dedication in trying to get things right.

The 'Bolg' costume was, in fact, an early Azog attempt because Tolkien says he was crowned in metal. I've never liked that costume although I know that some did. It would appear that they didn't waste it, however, but dressed some random orc in it for the battle before Moria. They have, however, kept the leather skirt made from the faces of dwarves which I thought was a good touch. BUT, the information in the Extras have led me to conclude that we are NOT going to get Bolg in these films.

Yes, it was a pity that the CGI Azog was not created until the last moment, but not through lack of trying. Once they had decided on a mo-capped actor, a lot of effort was put into designing the look and I am personally happy with the end result.

They had six weeks to put it all together and I have great admiration for the CGI team under pressure and for Manu Bennet's performance. I love his voicing of the Black Speech. He had a lot to learn and I think he's got the right feeling for the language and the threat in Azog's voice.

I also love his stance. He is a 'hero orc': he's got to be a fearsome antagonist for Thorin, and not just because he's so much bigger. The way he holds himself, his arrogance, his eye-rolling is obviously in part based on a Maori warrior, something 'other' to Western eyes and therefore spot on for an orc; but Iron Age warriors, one imagines, also had this boastful tilt of the head and carriage before they went into battle.

Here's the wonderful Maori Haka that the All Blacks, the Kiwi rugby team, always perform before every match to intimidate the 'enemy':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFsL6o8y5s

All I can say is, well done, Manu, for giving us so much so late in the day. I'm looking forward to seeing how your character develops.

Subject User Time
Mo-capped Manu ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 12:32pm
    I agree that not enough credit is being given to Manu. Boromir Stark Send a private message to Boromir Stark Nov 13 2013, 12:47pm
    I saw Manu at some event (on screen) Glorfindela Send a private message to Glorfindela Nov 13 2013, 12:51pm
    Well said! LordotRings93 Send a private message to LordotRings93 Nov 13 2013, 12:53pm
    They kinda have to bring Bolg into these films Azaghâl Send a private message to Azaghâl Nov 13 2013, 1:39pm
        What dynamic? arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 1:42pm
            Airthmancer, I replied to your comment in the AUJ changes thread with the same thing: Boromir Stark Send a private message to Boromir Stark Nov 13 2013, 2:25pm
                Brother, AUJ EE material *spoilers?* arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 5:09pm
        I am sure he will be in it. Arannir Send a private message to Arannir Nov 13 2013, 1:44pm
            Agreed. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 1:47pm
            It's been indicated that the father/son dynamic ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 2:17pm
                I don't know... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Nov 13 2013, 2:38pm
                I would say... droidsocket Send a private message to droidsocket Nov 13 2013, 7:49pm
    Two things... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Nov 13 2013, 2:07pm
        Bolg replacing Azog Shirriff Anthony Send a private message to Shirriff Anthony Nov 13 2013, 2:32pm
            I disagree, Shirriff Anthony. ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 3:00pm
        This... sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 3:05pm
            Gosh, s.b, you make one little joke ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 3:26pm
                Well, like i said, sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 3:56pm
            EE extras (*spoilers?*) arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 4:55pm
        Hmm... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 4:40pm
            Though there would be less motive on Thorin's side... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Nov 13 2013, 5:07pm
                No argument from me! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 5:25pm
                    Present but not correct? Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Nov 13 2013, 5:43pm
                        "needlessly" arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 6:23pm
                        You're absolutely right. sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 9:47pm
            I'd probably just leave it out. sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 9:29pm
                I really don't understand ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 10:20pm
                    Necessity of three films... Salmacis81 Send a private message to Salmacis81 Nov 13 2013, 11:12pm
                Well... arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Nov 13 2013, 10:45pm
                    azog DjU Send a private message to DjU Nov 13 2013, 11:21pm
                        Really? (I've not got the EE yet!) Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Nov 14 2013, 7:48am
                            Agreed starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 14 2013, 7:50am
    Well, for me anyway, the actor is part of the problem. sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 3:00pm
        Sauget.diblosio, ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 3:18pm
            I didn't say anything about sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Nov 13 2013, 3:39pm
                You were talking about LotR, s.d, ShireHorse Send a private message to ShireHorse Nov 13 2013, 4:00pm
                    There is Another Angle to This... Bombadil Send a private message to Bombadil Nov 13 2013, 4:52pm
                        It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk... Eruvandi Send a private message to Eruvandi Nov 13 2013, 7:43pm
        I quite liked the performance starlesswinter Send a private message to starlesswinter Nov 14 2013, 6:21am
    For me... jtarkey Send a private message to jtarkey Nov 13 2013, 5:56pm
    My first reaction to Azog and co Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Nov 13 2013, 7:04pm
    I love, love love Manu's performance as Azog MatthewJer18 Send a private message to MatthewJer18 Nov 13 2013, 7:09pm

 
 
 

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