I rewatched the extended edition of Lord of the Rings recently.
I make the tradition of watching it every year because I utterly adore these films, and they are my favourite franchise from me being a child. They also make up some of my most visceral memories of being absolutely struck with awe when I went to the cinema.
And to this day, they still hold firm in their look, aesthetic and artistic execution. In fact, they set a benchmark that overrides so many films released today. Purely because Peter Jackson and his team were willing to put hours of work in where others would just stick it into CGI, especially these days.
So usually when I watch the films, I get the middle earth bug and do a bit more digging, I read the books, I look up YouTube videos exploring the films and this time round, I watched the appendices through from start to finish.
It is honestly astonishing to see these documentary films unravel the process of making the films in such a generously informative way. The time, years and personnel that was involved is remarkable and so many people around Peter Jackson put their heart and soul into this project.
I’ve learnt about costume and sculpture design, script writing, camera work, sound design and effects. I also was fascinated by Howard Shore’s approach to writing the music and having a live feed between Abbey Road and New Zealand shows that these guys knew how to work remotely decades before COVID ran amok!
Having watched the series, I’ve been inspired to attempt to give to my creative projects, the same energy, desire and passion that these people did. I also learnt that so much of what makes the films so good is the willingness for happy accidents to occur, or the desire to push each other to go that one bit further.
Watch it and you’ll learn so much about different worlds of work within the filming industry. You’ll also crave for more films that have departments dedicated to bigatures as well!