[LMB] More Casting Ideas

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Fri Jan 28 00:34:35 GMT 2011

Y'all have touching faith in what CGI can manage, not wholly wrongly, but in
LotR the height adjustments were -not- CGI'd at all.

1. Doubles. Almost very principal actor had two body doubles, one a 7-footer
+ and one a very short person, so that depending on what was needed one
could have an actor playing a hobbit-with-a-human-or-elf seen as pint-size
or an actor playing a human-or-elf-with-a-hobbit seen as oversize.

2. Forced perspective. When e.g. Frodo and Gandalf are seen face-on sitting
on the cart in Hobbiton, they were actually sitting on a strange zig-zag
bench which put Frodo about 3 feet behind Gandalf -- and the camera very
carefully tracks from a position which makes them -look- to be side by side.

3. Some scenes, notably Gandalf and Frodo at Bag End, were filmed in two
parts on two sets, identical but for size -- a 5-foot ceiling (and all else
scaled appropriately) for Ian McKellen and a 12-foot ceiling (ditto) for Ian
Holm. Watch carefully and you'll see that it's all reaction shots, so you
never see both actors side-by-side with faces showing.

(For lots more detail, see the 12 hours of documentation included with the
director's cuts.)

I'm not saying it ain't -possible- to cast Mr 6'4'' as Miles or Ms 5'2'' as
Taura, but you'd better have a -biiiig- budget, and someone as obsessive as
PJ to direct the whole shebang.

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)
Director of Studies in English, St Catharine's College

General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs

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