Scene

Script with scene shots

DESIGNERS

PRODUCTION

   

Production Designer Grant Major: We came up

 
   

with the various cemetery ideas, you know just as walk-throughs,

 
   

that, um, some of them had watercourses in them, and some

 
   

some of them were, were quite monumental and, and carved

 
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[They then climb up steep steps on the side of a cavern.]

Dwarves: "Ku Ba..." (Who cleaved...)

out of the rock and things and ah, Peter himself came up with this idea. One morning he came sort of bursting

Weta VFX Cinematographer Brian Van’t Hul: These stair shots . . . the miniatures were shot first, and then later, when they shot the live action, and when they

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[ Frodo climbing.]

Dwarves: "...Kana..." (...The Darkness...)

in, he said, “I’ve thought of what we’re gonna do for the cemetery

cut it all together and realized where the characters needed to be
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[ Pippin loses his footing and slips onto Merry.]

Merry: "Pippin!"

Dwarves: "...A Na..." (...Lord of...)

stairs. I wanna have these stairs that are precipitously steep

on the stairs – based on that we did a blue screen shoot. We actually had to
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and so it’s almost like

build as large
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you’ve gotta crawl on your hands and knees to get up this set of stairs.” So the stairs would be more vertical than they would normally be

a piece of the full-scale blue stairs as we could and then, um, using a combination of scale doubles and children and real actors,
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and then the mausoleums would be set on either side of it so, um . . .  Of course dwarves are of a smaller scale to humans, or to

um, shoot the characters going up them.

 

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Men if you like, so we

 
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had scaled down a lot of the stairs anyway. And, ah, we were faced with building these stairs that were not only incredibly steep

 
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but were also quite shallow in terms of where you put your feet, and, ah,

 
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for the actors to climb up them actually became very dangerous.  
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And I was quite concerned about  
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building a set that someone was going to have  
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  a bad accident on. But we actually scaled up the stairs in this case for the sake of safety but it was also . . .  It was a very steep set and I thought it came  
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  out quite, quite well. Quite  
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  an interesting piece of geography. And then