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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Movie Tech. Disc. 5 - Building Middle-earth: Props
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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 10:54am

Post #1 of 96 (865 views)
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Movie Tech. Disc. 5 - Building Middle-earth: Props Can't Post

PROPTOLOGY: The Journal of Props Professionals
http://home.eol.ca/~props/

Some Tips on Making Stage Props
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1097255

The Fan Club Magazine has an interview with Mick Weir, the Props Master on The Lord of the Rings. "My basic responsibility is to look after all the props, including the hero hand props and set dressing for the film. I have nothing to do with weapons or armor – Weta Workshop does all of that. But everything else falls under the art and props departments." (1)

One of the props makers working in the Art Department was Chris Streeter. There is an interview with him in the Fan Club Magazine, "‘A lot of research and experiment went into finding new things we could bastardize for use on a set,’ he says, ‘we used a lot of finishers and woodworking [equipment] like polishers. It all depends on the job, really. When you got the designs, you had to decide what it would be made out of – whether it would be a (one-off) or whether you had to make multiple examples of it’ If multiple copies were called for, he says, a mold was a good option for reproduction. The crew relied heavily on plastic urethane, paints of all kinds, esoteric glazes, and expensive gold leaf in order to obtain the most realistic finishes on all of their props." (2)

Something that I keep seeing, whether it be in regard to sets, props, or whatever, is the pressure of meeting deadlines. An example given in this article was the lamps that the Elves carried when they left Rivendell. Streeter was told that 50 Elven lamps were needed in two days. It took one day to find the materials and enough labor to do the job. The second day was spent with everyone making the lamps from patterns. Everything was broken down into steps and it was set up as a production process. The lamps were made out of cardboard with a candle inside each one. Luckily, none of them caught on fire.

When Streeter was asked what were some of his favorite props that he had worked on, he mentioned the chandelier that Gandalf bumped his head on, the leaded glass windows in Bag End, the firedogs in the Golden Hall, and the Elven telescope in Rivendell.

Some of my favorite props in the movies are the statues. The head sculptor was Brigitte Wuest. Brigitte Wuest grew up in Switzerland where she developed skills in drawing, painting, and above all, sculpting. She completed an apprenticeship in graphic design, prop-making, and model-making and then got her first contracted sculpting job sculpting for H. R. Giger. Giger is the Swiss artist that created the creature for the science-fiction movie Alien. In the mid-1990s she moved to New Zealand where in 1999 she applied for a job working on The Lord of the Rings. (3.)

On The Lord of the Rings, Brigitte worked collaboratively with Alan Lee. A statue would start with a sketch from Alan and a maquette would be created out of plasticene. After the maquette was approved, a large block of polystyrene would be ordered and the statue drawn up to the right scale.

Brigitte said "I would then do the first cuts with a hot wire, and then I would redraw it for the next phase, which was usually a chain saw. After that, it would get more and more detailed, and I would then use a knife to get the final shape and details. Finally, I would use different grades of sandpaper along with little blades to put all the finer details into the final touches." (3)

A few of Brigitte’s sculptures were the statues at Weathertop, elven sculptures at Rivendell and Lothlorien, the statue of Helm at Helm’s Deep, the headless statue at the Crossroads, and the large equestrian statue in Minas Tirith.

I asked myself, "If I could have one single prop from the movies, not a replica, but one of the actual props, what would it be?" It’s a really tough decision. I went through all of the obvious things, hero weapons, banners, rings and so on, and started narrowing things down. The Elven telescope would be really cool and there is a statuette of two elves dancing (in the scene where Elrond and Gandalf are discussing what should be done with the ring) that I have always had my eye on. I finally decided. If I could have but one single item from the movies, I would want Bilbo’s map of the Lonely Mountain.

If you could have one single prop from the LOTR movies, what would it be?

In my opinion the single most important prop in The Hobbit will be the Arkenstone. What should it look like; how big should it be; and how would you do it?

Does anyone have any experience with props or set dressing or anything of that nature?


Sources:
1. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine #4 (pgs. 16 & 17)
2. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine
#9 (pgs. 58 – 62)
3. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine
#11 (pgs. 40 – 45)


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 11:00am

Post #2 of 96 (341 views)
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Daniel Reeve [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of my very favorite props from the movies are Daniel Reeve’s maps and calligraphy. There is a very good interview with Daniel Reeve in Issue 7 of The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine. In this interview he describes how he became interested in calligraphy and The Lord of the Rings and how he ended up working on the movies.

He read The Lord of the Rings when he was about 15 years old. The ring inscription intrigued him and, as he had always been interested in riddles and decoding things, decoded it. He was also always drawing maps and so he and his brother made a map of Middle-earth. He always loved calligraphy and Elvish was one of those things that he just couldn’t leave alone over the years.

When production started on the movies, he was working at a bank as a computer programmer. "I sent in a sample of my work and a letter introducing myself and saying, ‘This is what I can do guys. Do you need any Elvish calligraphers?’ Immediately, [Art Department Manager] Chris Hennah called up and said ‘Come in – we need this sort of stuff.’" (1.)

He started out working part time on the movie props, after hours and in the middle of the night. The Props Master, Nick Weir, would call him up and tell him what was needed and he would bring it in the next day or in the next couple of days. He worked with dozens of merchandising licensees and at one point he was asked by New Line to prepare a massive style guide to ensure uniformity in graphic presentation. At that time the work load became too great to do part time and so he quit his job as a programmer and became a full-time freelance artist and calligrapher.

In the interview Daniel Reeve talks about doing the ring inscription, Bilbo’s journal, Isildur’s scrolls in Minas Tirith, Saruman’s book, the Book of Mazarbul in Moria, the map of Middle-earth, and much more. At one point he was asked to tell about the large book pages he created for the story of Turin Turambar in the Rivendell chamber.

"They were used to decorate the dressings for the Rivendell set. The Elvish verse of the Fall of Gil-galad, which I had to create to follow the first two that J.R.R. Tolkien did in The Lord of the Rings, was interesting. I did that in black and gold calligraphy. The list of Numenorean kings…there are all these details on the Rivendell set. The large book sitting on a lectern in Elrond’s chamber opens on a page. I also designed the Elven telescope that is seen in Elrond’s chamber. That was one of my favorites. The finished article wasn’t done by me, but I had drawn an Elven telescope, and the next time I turned up, there it was! I saw this beautiful brass telescope, and I said, ‘Wow, I designed that!’ The main props designer was away for a few weeks, and Nick Weir called me and wanted me to do some prop design for a few weeks, but I was only able to do a few things, including the telescope. I just drew them up, and Nick took them away and had them made." (1.)

He also talks about making and using actual quills to do the calligraphy with and teaching Ian Holm and Elijah Wood how to use a quill to do their scenes writing in Bilbo’s journal.

Besides the maps, books, scrolls, parchments and inscriptions found in the movies, Daniel Reeve’s work also extends to merchandising where he was responsible for lettering and design and, of course, the ubiquitous map of Middle-earth. In fact, if something has anything to do with The Lord of the Rings movies, Daniel Reeve has probably done artwork for it.

Daniel Reeve is currently a freelance calligrapher, cartographer, and painter and has worked on several other movies, including King Kong and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. One of his recent projects was the famous and beautiful map of TORN, which some of you just might have heard about.

In my opinion, Daniel Reeve contributed to a large part of the magic of these movies.


http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/

Sources:
1. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, #7, (pgs. 60-68
)


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 11:16am

Post #3 of 96 (321 views)
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One can hardly talk about The Lord of the Rings movies without talking about Weta. Weta was responsible for the design and fabrication of all the miniatures, armor, weapons, creature models and animatronics, prosthetics and special makeup effects.

In 1987 Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger set up a small 8 foot by 10 foot workshop in the back of their apartment in Wellington, New Zealand and started the business, RT Effects. They started out art-directing TV commercials and building models, prosthetics, and puppetry for low budget television shows.

In an interview in The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, Richard Taylor said "We got our first big break three years into our career when we were given the opportunity to create the puppet work for a New Zealand version of the Spitting Image show. It was while working on that show that we became aware of this young guy up the coast, and he became aware of us as one of a small group of people doing this kind of stuff. He was making this wacky sci-fi horror movie called Bad Taste, and he became aware that we were working on this show called Public Eye. We met and became instant friends – Tania, Peter Jackson, and I. We resolved that we would look for opportunities to work together." (1.)

"Jackson employed them in their first collaboration on Meet the Feebles (which, for those who have yet to see it, is often described as "the Muppets on acid"). Following the strength of that project, Taylor and Rodger went on to supervise the creature, gore and model effects, as well as to do a small amount of stop-motion animation, for Braindead (a.k.a. Dead Alive). Jackson, Taylor and Rodger continued in their work together on Heavenly Creatures, based on a famous murder case in New Zealand from the 1950s. It was during the making of this latter film that they leased one computer to do the small amount of digital morphing and animation required of the story. As the production drew to a close, Taylor and Rodger realized that if they let this one computer return to its leaseholder in the United States, it would be a big loss for the visual effects possibilities within their country. So, in 1994, pooling their resources, Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk formed a company called Weta, Ltd., which allowed them to continue leasing the computer. Thus were Weta's humble beginnings." (2)

At this time Weta was split into Weta Workshop and Weta Digital.

"Taylor continued to focus on physical effects and ran the Workshop (also owned by his partner, Tania Rodger). Which had seven departments: production, design, prosthetics, creatures, armor, weapons, and miniatures . . . The other half of the original company, Weta Digital, upgraded to fifty computers for The Frightners (1995). The success of that film’s effects – if not its box-office results – was what lead the Jackson team to consider Rings." (3.)

Here is a list of articles in The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine dealing with the work of Weta:

Issue 1, "Forging Swords With Richard Taylor", pg. 60
Issue 2, "Creating Sauron", pg. 58
Issue 6, "Uruk-hai Weaponry", pg. 54
Issue 8, "Elven Weaponry and Armor", pg. 48
Issue 10, "FIRSTHAND: Richard Taylor", pg. 48
Issue 16, "The Other Lord Of The Rings (chain mail)", pg. 40

http://www.wetaworkshop.co.nz/about/intro

Sources:
1. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, #10 (pp. 48 - 54)
2. http://mag.awn.com/...&article_no=1344
3. The Frodo Franchise, Kristin Thompson (pp. 293, 294)



OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 11:35am

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Peter Lyon made most of the steel "hero" swords used in LOTR. Lyon had always been interested in history and, in college, became particularly interested in the history of medieval Europe. He started playing fantasy role-playing games and from that became interested in medieval combat. He began practicing sword fighting at a club in Hastings and that led him to making his first sword.

"I started off making equipment for myself because I couldn’t afford to buy anything good from overseas, and basically there was nothing being made in New Zealand at the time." (1.)

It didn’t take long for other people to ask Lyon to start making swords for them. It took up more and more of his time until, in 1994, he decided to make a full-time job of it. Then in April 1998 he was asked to come work for Weta Workshop making swords for LOTR.

To make a sword, you start with the blade. Whether the blade is straight or curved, determine if Lyon will make the blade by forging or by cutting and grinding. The next step is to form a fuller in the blade. A fuller is a shallow groove down the center of the blade. Its purpose is to lighten the blade and improve its strength and flexibility. The opposite of a fuller is a rise which is used to make a sword more rigid. Next comes tapering the sword to its tip. After that the edges are roughed out. The part of the blade that fits up inside the handle is called the tang and the part that goes on the end of the handle is called the pommel.

"Unusual weapons, Lyon says, are a problem from a design perspective because, frankly, people have been in the blade business for thousands of years. ‘Anything that’s practical as a weapon has been done sometime in the past,’ he says. ‘So to try to make something that’s unique, yet functional and believable, was always a bit of a challenge.’" (1.)

Fantasy movies have a long history of ludicrously designed swords that no one would actually be able to use. Sword aficionados often refer to these as SLOs (Sword-Like Objects). But Lyon was not asked to make any SLOs for these movies. He received historically sound designs from the designers at Weta, some of whom knew a few things about sword fighting themselves, such as John Howe. John Howe is an experienced re-enactor which gave the two men a common background which ensured that they worked well together.

All of the weapons and armor in the movies was the responsibility of Weta Workshop. In total they built over 2,000 "background" weapons and over 200 "hero" weapons. About a third of the way into pre-production, John Howe was brought in and he educated the designers at Weta as to what a military weapon in the medieval era was about.

"With that education, the designers at Weta then went on to design the different weaponry. John Howe did design, or heavily influenced, specific designs. But for the most part, that design work fell on the shoulders of Ben Wootten, Warren Mahy, and Daniel Falconer, who are the three specific weapon designers at Weta." (2)

Only the "hero" swords used for close-ups were made of steel. The "fighting" swords were made of aluminum. It is normal in movie-making that a lot of swords get broken during fight scenes. There wasn’t enough time to make the estimated number of swords needed to allow for breakage, so the people at Weta had to come up with a sword that wouldn’t get broken. They came up with a blend of different urethanes for the hilt. The blade was aluminum which was fastened into the urethane hilt. They filled the end of the pommel and the handgrip with lead shot which created the correct balance and also acted as a shock absorber. When the weapon was struck the shock wave traveled down the aluminum, through the urethane and into the lead. Throughout 15 months of filming they had almost zero breakage.
Of course they had to make duplicate swords to different scales and they also made swords that were just urethane-cast of just the hilt and the scabbard for when an actor was on horseback or running.



Here are links for more information

http://www.swords.co.nz/
http://www.tms.org/.../0211/Byko-0211.html
http://bjorn.foxtail.nu/a_lotrinter.htm
http://www.wetaworkshop.co.nz/...w/profile/peter_lyon

Sources
1. The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine
, #17, (pgs. 40-47)
2.
The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, #1. (pgs. 60-67)


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 11:39am

Post #5 of 96 (307 views)
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Beam me up Scotty! [In reply to] Can't Post

A technology that I think will become another one of those ground breaking items, like motion control and computer graphics were, is "rapid prototyping" or "3D Printing." This is how 3D Printing works. You have a 3D model of an object on your computer. You send that computer file out as though you were going to print it, only instead of sending it to a regular printer you send it to a 3D printer and instead of getting a paper printout, out pops the actual object. Really!

There are all kinds of methods for doing this. One of my favorite methods works like this. You have a cylinder filled with a liquid plastic. In the cylinder is a platform that can be raised or lowered. Above the cylinder is a laser that can scan back and forward and be modulated on and off. Wherever the laser is focused on the liquid plastic, the plastic will harden to a solid. The platform starts out near the top of the liquid. The laser scans out a picture of one slice of the computer model and you end up with one slice of the object in solid plastic. The platform lowers down the thickness of one slice and the process repeats until you have the entire object as one solid piece of plastic. You can even make objects with moveable parts such as gears and so on.

This particular method is called Stereolithography. Here is a website that talks a little about it and what I think is a particularly fascinating application. What you can do is use a laser scanner to scan an actual object into the computer. You now have a 3D computer model of that object. That data can then be sent to some other location on the planet and printed out on a 3D printer. Although the original object doesn’t go anywhere, you could say that the object goes in here and pops out there. Cool!

http://www.sculptors.com/stereolithography.html

Here is another website for one company that makes 3D printers using a slightly different method. They have a photo gallery of some parts made with it.

http://www.desktopfactory.com/

Anyway, I thought that this would be a terrific way to make certain movie props, small ones that you needed really fast. I thought that this would be an interesting thing to post about and so I started doing some searches on the Internet for 3D Printing when I came across an interview with Richard Taylor about The Chronicles of Narnia.

Here is a section of it from:

http://www.comingsoon.net/...nianews.php?id=36748

"CS: How have you been able to work on stuff down in New Zealand while Andrew and the rest of the production team are up here in Czechoslovakia?

Taylor: Just very good correspondence through Roger [Ford]'s art directors. We have a production team that daily coordinates with us. They've 3D modeled it. It's amazing how the world has changed in the last five years for us all. He's 3D digitally modeled the castle, we get that data, we put that through our 3D milling machines and our 3D printers, we print pieces and mill pieces. We've had to custom build some machines to actually manufacture the coarse lines in the miniature and so on. It's been quite a mission. It's the same with the swords as well. We had two and a half months to deliver two and a half thousand weapons, so as in the previous film we couldn't hand grind the weapons. We actually purchased a very large 3D milling machine and digitally milled all the blades out, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week to actually get all of the saw blades made in time and then cast urethane hilts onto them all."

You might know that Weta would be ahead of me!

3D milling is a whole different thing and is a large part of what I am involved with at work. It is related to motion control and I will talk about that in Filming Middle-earth.


Elven
Valinor


Feb 8 2008, 2:55pm

Post #6 of 96 (282 views)
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This would have to be ... [In reply to] Can't Post

my favourite things about the movies - the fact that they had the work done by hand, by a calligrapher with passion for his art. They could have just had someone sit at a computer and just print the stuff out - but one of the many things I love about Daniels work is that each script is different depending on who wrote the text we see in the movie ...

Sarumans book is quite detailed with drawings and wording - it has a finer leaner script ..
Bilbo's Spidery font, which Daniel designed is very Hobbitish - round and jolly writing Laugh for a round and jolly folk.
The map work is absoluetley beautiful ...

I was disappointed that there was not much in the EE commenatrys of Daniel at work, though his work is throughout the movie ... and makes some very important appearances ..
Isuldurs notes
Bilbos book
Rivendell
Sarumans book
Arwens book
Eomers Death Warrant
The Menus
The Covers and inserts of the DVD's


These pictures of inscriptions come from:
http://www.elvish.org/...movie_otherinscr.htm

This is the Imladris book inscription ..



and the inscription written (modified) by Daniel Reeves




Eomers Death Warrant - from the Screencap Library ..




The Marazabul Book inscription




The Ring Of Barahir




Arwens Book




Collage of Daniels work




The Maps ...








Sarumans Book




The Moria Gates Inscription






It was with Daniels inspiration that I started doing calligraphy again ... this used to be my footer, and has been photo shopped (not very well) for lighting, but the calligraphy was done by me a few years ago ...





Thankyou Daniel for bringing back the ink and nib! Smile

... and thankyou OhioHobbit for including Daniels work in the threads, and for all your work ... and also a big thanks to the technical dept ... Alcarcalime!!
Another fantastic week!

Cheers
Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Starling
Half-elven


Feb 8 2008, 7:33pm

Post #7 of 96 (242 views)
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Wonderful [In reply to] Can't Post

So glad you posted this. Daniel Reeve' s work is incredible and I also wanted more about him in the EE's. It just looks so grounded in a real world, not something that was thrown together for a movie prop.

Your own work is beautiful - thanks for sharing your talent here. Smile


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 8 2008, 10:11pm

Post #8 of 96 (250 views)
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Your calligraphy… [In reply to] Can't Post

Looks terrific! I wish that I could do that. I bought some calligraphy pens and gave it a try, but I’m not very good at it. I haven’t given up though. But yours looks great!

Thanks for posting all those terrific pictures. I am just totally awed by Daniel Reeve’s work and I think that these movies would have lost a lot without it. It certainly helped make it feel like Middle-earth and, as you said, having the different scripts helped a lot. And what can I say about the maps? I wonder what Tolkien would have thought about Daniel’s work. I do wish that they could have spent some time on this in the extras.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 9 2008, 12:49am

Post #9 of 96 (265 views)
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I hadn't realised that Arwen [In reply to] Can't Post

was reading about the Paths of the Dead. That was when she dropped the book and Elrond took her cold hands in his, no? I'm just trying to place that scene in the movie - it was before Aragorn took the Paths of the Dead because Elrond hadn't travelled to the Firienfeld yet to give him the reforged sword. Was it after Aragorn had arrived at the Firienfeld, though?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Elven
Valinor


Feb 9 2008, 11:37am

Post #10 of 96 (285 views)
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I sent Daniel an email about his work on LOTR AND he replied!!! ... answers inside ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont usually have the backbone to just ask people and hope they will reply to emails, especially when it involves LOTR, I know people are busy, and have little time .. ... but I could NOT come to this thread knowing that there was just not enough information for us Font Fans without asking Daniel himself a few questions ... and so I emailed him about 5 ... and posted the thread link for him to review ... LOL!!!

... and Lo and Behold!! Smile Daniel graciously answered my main question, and this has been on my mind for ages!!
I thank him profusely!!
(please dont tell him about the geeky hand clapping and the squeeling on getting a reply Laugh) ...

So, from the email correspondence ...

I asked Daniel


Do you have a list of writings/calligraphy that you did?

Daniels reply ....

Here is a list of the work I did for the films - plus some of the work in the Style Guides and DVDs, and other merchandise.

Elvish Labels for Gandalf’s fireworks (some in 2 sizes)
Samples & map for Bilbo’s journal
Bilbo’s gate signs (2 sizes)
Shire map labeling
Thorin’s map prototype
Calendar pages – September, April
Thorin’s map final versions (2 sizes)
Extra fireworks labels
Orthanc material (book spreads, loose pages, diagrams, etc)
Bilbo’s framed elvish poems (clean and aged copies)
Bilbo’s party Invitations
One Ring writing
Bag End elvish book pages (2 sizes)
Red book proposed text
Another Thorin’s map, with modified dragon & mountain for close-up
Red book calligraphy, maps, illustrations (Bilbo and Frodo)
Red book extra insert pages
Elijah’s calligraphy training
Astrolabe lettering, samples + final
Barahir’s ring pages, samples + final + extra pages
Balin’s book pages (subsequently copied to bulk up book)
Rivendell maps (hero shots)
Designs for telescope, sceptre, scroll of kings
The Fall of Gil-galad (Rivendell chamber)
Samples of book spines
Calendar of Imladris conceptual plan
Moria gate inscription
Large book pages – the story of Turin Turambar (Rivendell chamber)
Elvish lettering for exquisite elvish bowl (to be engraved)
Orcish graffiti sample
Dunharrow map (hero shots)
The Scroll of Kings (Rivendell chamber)
Caradhras map in English
Scribe work in progress (Rivendell chamber)
Painting inscriptions (Rivendell chamber)
Book spines (Rivendell chamber)
Elvish verse books
Lettering for Gilraen’s plaque
Arwen’s book
Elrond’s monogram on drinking flasks
Balin’s book (hero pages)
Backup final pages of Balin’s book
Another Orcish graffiti sample
Dwarvish large book hero pages (Moria)
Theoden’s maps and scrolls
Medical scrolls for the Houses of Healing
Minas Tirith library scrolls and Isildur’s scroll (hero scroll read by Gandalf)
Minas Tirith tomb inscriptions
Elvish map labelling
Party invitations and replies
Sir Ian Holm calligraphy training
Pages for Saruman's Book
Example maps for prologue shot
Prologue Map - Master (Middle Earth)
Prologue Map – Close up (western lands)
Movie title samples
Beer barrel labels, tobacco labels, "Hornblower" marks, wine bottle labels
Faramir’s military map
Banishment order from King Theoden
Book pages describing “The Paths of the Dead”
Elvish scrolls and books for Arwen’s elven library shot
Movie titles “The Lord of the Rings” in various languages
Movie titles “The Fellowship of the Ring” in various languages
Movie titles “The Two Towers” in various languages
Movie titles “The Return of the King” in various languages

Titles and menus (in various languages) for all three Extended Edition DVDs
Maps for all three Extended Edition DVD covers

Lettering, name treatments, and fonts for the films’ Style Guides
Merchandising maps for the Style Guides
Various other artwork graphic designs in the Style Guides

Actual merchandise for various companies (see my website for more details)

Daniels website is www.danielreeve.com



I am too thrilled for words!
What a massive list!
There is scripting here I wasnt aware of, so Im off to find them in the movie scenes ... I cant copy from a disc, but if anyone has any of these pictures ... maybe we could make a collection of Daniels work over the week ...


and its confirmed! Daniel did do Eomers Banishment Order, and there are also Theodens Maps and scrolls, so yes, Rohan had writings! ... (I know these questions were asked about in one of the Screencaps - the one which shows Grima holding the Order out to Eomer)

WOOT!!! *happy dance*

Cheers all
Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Feb 9 2008, 1:45pm

Post #11 of 96 (237 views)
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Oh wow! [In reply to] Can't Post

That's quite an impressive list! No wonder he had to give up his other job to make enough time to do all this. His new one is so much more fascinating, isn't it? He could make an exhibition all for himself with all these fascinating things. Wouldn't that be great to see?

Thanks for being courageous enough to ask him at all, and for posting this. I'm sure you're going to treasure his answer! Wink

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


Elven
Valinor


Feb 9 2008, 4:03pm

Post #12 of 96 (274 views)
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Even better ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I missed one email ... Daniel says he is answering the questions one at at time ... SO THERES MORE to come!!

... and yes, I did ask if there might be a publication of his works. I cant wait to see the answer - I so dare not hope that far Smile but I would agree, it would be a wonderful book indeed!


But the list is so extensive! It is alot of work ...
I can only imagine ... it takes such a length of time to design script. Its not just a matter of having the words to write, but knowing or developing the type of font to be used, how it will fit onto the page, the spacing, the angle, the width of each letter, the nib to use, the colour of the ink, the texture of the parchment or paper ... the consistancy of the font ... the flow ... there are so many decisions to make ... and also Daniel had the challenge of a script that needed some revision ... in several fonts that was not familiar as just writing ... like writing another language .. like Japanese .. its very hard to understand how critical a line extention here or there is to the wording if you have no idea of what you are writing ... an extra stroke here or there or an extra dot can change the word totally ..

I know I mark out first my pages ... (if I cant use a guideline from underneath the page which I can see) I must rule the page lightly so as I keep the letters at consistent heights and widths .. prior to that I have chosen the words and the font to use to match those words - a form of expression in itself, I select the pen and nib - as the font height and width is sometimes reliant on the width of the nib. I usually have done a few drafts to get the words and spacing to my liking ... and then I map out where it will all go, and look best on the page.

I notice Daniels pages give the impression that they are aged ... and this in itself is quite a challenge to get right. Artificially aging paper is difficult (for me anyway) .. as any change to the paper surface usually requires care, as when the scripting is placed on the page in ink it can easily bleed into the paper if the paper has been coated with a water soluable ink wash, or if it has been coloured and it is too waxed, the ink may not take to the surface ... there's a whole list of things that can occur .... and when you make a mistake ... you cant just rub it out ... as the paper shows the rub marks ... its very frustrating ...


The papers in the LOTR may have been already artificially aged and then reproduced onto paper, so as this type of thing doesnt happen. Im not sure how this was approached - but the pages look great.


I wanted to show how easy it is to get right into something like calligraphy and make a mistake ... where hours of work go down the tube if it cant be mended ...
Below I have a picture of a map (enhanced shot) I was working on - it was in it's early stages of being finished, but this took me a while to get it to this stage. Its the complete map of Beleriand and the Lands to The North ... as I started to write in the names of places in ink and nib, I become very nervous ... I kept checking I was going to write in the right place and then bam ... I noticed I was making a mistake in the word Nevrast (you can see the beginning of an E, which has been changed to look like an R .. it would have said Neverast ... and tried to correct it ... not very well). With my mind on that, what did I do next ... made an unfixable mistake and rewrote a place twice AND I missed the spot .... see where there are two 'Brithombar" 's! - bottom left! Shocked This is what happens when I dont pencil in my places first ... *sigh* .. I wonder if Daniel made some mistakes and had to start again during his process ...







Does anyone have pictures of their calligraphy too - not necessarily 'mistakes' ... anything you've written?



And another question ... does anyone know if there's a picture anywhere for Elronds insignia?

Cheers
Elven


Cheers
Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 9 2008, 4:09pm

Post #13 of 96 (262 views)
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Arwen drops the book [In reply to] Can't Post

in the scene right after her return to Rivendell after seeing the vision of her son. Aragorn was still at Edoras watching Gandalf ride away when the vision scene began.


In Reply To


That was when she dropped the book and Elrond took her cold hands in his, no? I'm just trying to place that scene in the movie



I believe that in the original script she was to have found this book with information about the Paths of the Dead in the Rivendell library, and it was realizing just what Aragorn was going to have to do that made her drop the book.

I don't know whether Elrond already knew about the Paths of the Dead, or whether finding the information in the book was what led him to agree to reforge the Sword and take it to Aragorn.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Feb 9 2008, 6:13pm

Post #14 of 96 (236 views)
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More to come? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, I hope you'll share that with us, too! I am sure Daniel will not mind, as it's nothing private.

Ah yes - a book about his work would be even better than an exhibition, because there could be more explanations *and* we could buy it! *crosses fingers* It would be interesting to know how the aging of the paper was done and all that - had wondered that myself. As you said, that is a tricky business.

Your map is truly beautiful - how sad you made the mistakes! It must have been terribly frustrating to realise this wonderful work is ruined. And I don't do calligraphy, but I know how that works - sometimes I make silly typos and am angry at myself and of course, then I make even more typos and become even more angry and make even more typos ... you get it ... The more one thinks about the mistakes, the more goes wrong. (Only difference is that typos are easy to fix)

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


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 9 2008, 8:05pm

Post #15 of 96 (223 views)
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Way to go, Elven! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is really exciting! Sometimes it pays just to take a chance and go for it. It certainly paid off. That list is amazing, isn’t it?

You asked about a book? That would be absolutely fantastic. I know that between you and I there are at least two copies already sold. I would place mine right next to my copy of Alan Lee’s The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook. That would definitely make me dust off my calligraphy pens.

Thanks for the description of how you go about doing your calligraphy and about the problems of aging paper. And special thanks for the picture of your map (which looks wonderful, by the way) and talking about the problems you had with it. It made me think two things. First is that I certainly know how that feels because I have done things like that, too, and second, that I really need to make some time to get back into art. Isn’t that odd now? Reminding me of making mistakes makes long to try and make some more.

Speaking of maps, I’m not into roleplaying games, but I bought Maps of Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game. Needless to say, the maps are wonderful and a booklet came with them that describes the different areas of Middle-earth and inside the front cover is a nice little piece about Daniel Reeve.

Thanks again, Elven. This is really great!


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Feb 9 2008, 8:10pm

Post #16 of 96 (208 views)
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Make that three copies // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Feb 9 2008, 8:22pm

Post #17 of 96 (225 views)
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Please... [In reply to] Can't Post

reserve three copies of The Art of Daniel Reeve for Peredhil lover, Elven, and me.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 9 2008, 8:28pm

Post #18 of 96 (232 views)
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Speaking of Daniel [In reply to] Can't Post

we still have TORN map posters available, made exclusively for TORN by Daniel Reeve. See the sticky note on the Home Page!

/shameless plug Wink

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Starling
Half-elven


Feb 9 2008, 11:52pm

Post #19 of 96 (235 views)
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*jumps up and down in geeky fashion* [In reply to] Can't Post

This is great - thank you so much. Cool
Your work is beautiful. I think I would be too impatient to even try, it must be so frustrating when you make a mistake.

Regarding artificial aging of paper, I have a memory of someone saying they used old tea-bags to age paper in LOTR! I don't know where I got that (maybe it's an urban myth) but it wouldn't surprise me - it's kind of a classic Kiwi way to do things.

I'm so glad you e-mailed him.Smile


Elven
Valinor


Feb 10 2008, 3:31am

Post #20 of 96 (214 views)
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Bwaha! [In reply to] Can't Post

A wonderful shameless plug for Daniels work! No worries!

The torn Map is a beautiful, and should be added shamelessly to the list of things for LOTR!!

I have my copy Smile and its a treasure!!

Thanks entmaiden!

Cheers Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 10 2008, 4:44am

Post #21 of 96 (247 views)
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Daniel Reeves answers the question relating to "the individual styling of the fonts" .... [In reply to] Can't Post


Another reply from Daniel Reeve ....

I asked Daniel:

> I noticed that each character had their own 'scripting style' for example
> Sauruman's handwriting is lean and the font faces forward. Bilbo's spidery
> font is round and jolly - like him. Were these things you determined, and
> how did you approach each characters script?



Yes, it was up to me to come up different 'looks', so that it didn't appear that all of Middle-Earth had been documented by one scribe!

First, I designed alphabets for each main race, trying to capture their distinctive cultural elements. The Shire alphabet was the most important, of course, and is the most rustic, quaint-looking of them all. Naturally, the Gondor and Rohan styles were linked, since the are both of the race of Men, but the Gondor style is straighter, more austere, and able to be chiselled into stone, while the Rohan style draws on (our real history's) older, more obscure, more Celtic-looking alphabets. I also made an English-readable (ie. Latin) Elvish alphabet, because there were some things Peter wanted to be readable on-screen - and this later came into its own when I worked on the Style Guide lettering.

Having established these basic alphabets, I could then inject individual characteristics into the styles of individuals - notably Bilbo and Frodo. But there actually wasn't a huge demand for this, because many props were of unknown authorship, and were often in tengwar or cirth characters anyway. Even so, it's relatively straightforward to apply different styles to different pieces, simply by changing the proportions and slope of the lettering, exaggerating or eliminating flourishes, emphasising different strokes, changing line-spacing, creating different ornamentation, and by writing with different nibs, or using a quill instead of a pen, etc.


WOW!! More work and design!
I love the way that the fonts for Bilbo and Frodo being described as rustic and quaint.
There is a font called Uncial which is pronounced "un-shell" which I think is a good basis for the start of the what looks to be a Hobbits handwriting.
Its letters are quite round and flow from the hand nicely.
Daniels Shire font reminds me of this style - its very rustic and quaint!

Daniel had to teach Bilbo and Frodo how to write. There are two scenes where we see Bilbo and Frodo writing - one is the beginning of the movie, and the beginning of Bilbo's book - on Hobbits, then at the end Frodo is writing the last of his memoirs before he gives the book to Sam ... in both scenes the Hobbit write with a cut quill - which is a feat in itself Wink

from the screencap library
http://www.framecaplib.com/...es/rotk/thumb103.htm





From FOTR ... Bilbo starts his book.




Frodo finishing the last chapter in the Red Book










Some things I noticed from the pictures ...

The pages edges are ragged ... heavy good quality paper often has a ragged edge, though some papers or board are cold/hot pressed so they have a different suface texture. This is especially good for the type of pen, ink, surface you are creating to put your calligraphy onto.

The ink is a brown ink .... most art supply shops have different coloured inks, or you can make your own from gouche paints, or any paint usually ... from what I have read, Tolkien used a brand called 'Quill' which is still available ...

Hobbit are very neat writers .. LOL!! If you have ever seen the movie Shakespeare in Love, you will see that when writing with a quill, theres a whole lot of ink, on your fingers, and blotches on blotting paper, and usually no feather bits on the end of your quill pen ... the Hobbits did very well not to get covered in ink and have a blotchy manuscript!

As far as I can work out from the pictures ... the last bit in the title Lord of The Rings by Frodo Baggins may have been done by Elijah, as there is an inconsistency with the line (it starts to move upwards) .. and the accents over the letters ... there is also a gap difference in the two 'n' s.

and alas .. I could not find in the screencaps a picture of the "Party Business" sign. Maybe someone has a copy of it and can post it?

A big thanks to Daniel for his response about the developing of the scripts!!
Its very interesting indeed!! So much thought and preparation!

I really hope theres a book in store for us to read ...!!! *crosses fingers*


Cheers Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 10 2008, 5:05am

Post #22 of 96 (208 views)
Shortcut
Theres another thread added from Daniels response ... [In reply to] Can't Post

No, thats OK, the replys are not private ... they are for this discussion and thread specifically Smile. I told Daniel we were discussing his work, and gave him the link to the thread, so he could have a look too Wink


and mistakes ... Ive made a few ...
I did it myyyyyyyyyyyyyyy wayyyyyy!!! Laugh Laugh


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 10 2008, 5:11am

Post #23 of 96 (203 views)
Shortcut
We'll need a few then ... :D [In reply to] Can't Post

One to keep
One to drool over
and a couple to cut the picture out and paste on our walls!

I'd love to make a fimo transfer onto a tile - There and Back Again, in the scripting... and hang it on my front door .. I would, but I can never get the transfer to work!! Frown Wink

I'll put our order in then, shall I? LOL!

Cheers!


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Peredhil lover
Valinor

Feb 10 2008, 7:37am

Post #24 of 96 (193 views)
Shortcut
Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't realise they are still available. When the whole thing was organised, I was still lurking only and didn't think I could get one at all ;-)

Hm, I am very tempted to order one. Have to think about it and where it would fit on the wall in my flat :-)

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


Elven
Valinor


Feb 10 2008, 9:06am

Post #25 of 96 (289 views)
Shortcut
Daniel Reeves answers the question relating to the writings of Rohan ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I asked Daniel ....
> There was a discussion regarding the writings of Rohan - as much as we can
> determine, Eomers Death Warrant was the only written piece. Were any further
> writings done for them? Was a script developed for the Rohan's?

Okay, the previous email kinda covered this one: I developed a distinctive Rohan style, but I think the Death Warrant was about the only thing written with it. I created this prop during the "pick-up" shots (extra shots done some time after the main shoot, for The Two Towers in this case), by which time I'd already developed the Rohan look for the Style Guide. I now discover, by looking at my photo records, that I had done the earlier Rohan stuff (eg. the main map for the tent at Dunharrow) in a mixture of styles.

*********************************
So here we see some of the only writings of Rohan in the films, and its such a shame that this was only put into the Extended editions of the movie ...



This is an extract from the Art Director from the commentaries ...
Dan Hennah (Supervising Art Director/Set Director) "The Death Warrant ... I was disappointed it didnt make the film .. you know (laughs) ... It was great ... we actually made up Theodens seal and it was just a piece of dressing, and then all of a sudden it was a requirement for this Death Warrant – wow! Great! Lets get out the wax ...."
*************
This paper is almost like an old parchment - I love the colour.
I will always be curious as to what the full Banishment Order says ... I had a look and cant see a unfurled version of it, but basically it follows the lines of what Grima says to Eomer, and then the signature of the King - and the signature is great!! very scarey .. angular ... thick, simple ... a bit like Theoden at the time ...


Thankyou once more to Daniel for this insight!!! ... I will try to find a picture of the main map at Dunharrow ... and post it also!

Cheers
Elven x


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"

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