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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Flooding of Isengard

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Philippa: [laughing] [?] fake! No, it’s all real, and it did happen! [The Flooding of Isengard] But these Ents are real.

Peter: The attack on Isengard by the Ents was actually a scene that we always wanted to do, but it was never really addressed until the last minute, and it was literally in the last… I’d say the last three months of post-production [Philippa: Mmm.] on ‘The Two Towers’ that we even started to put our minds to it; and it was… We had to storyboard, do animatics; there were various crude animatics that were very quickly done, and then Weta just had to go for it. It was not really an afterthought, because it was something we always wanted to show. In the book, this doesn’t happen in the book: what you see is – you see Merry and Pippin after a big battle has occurred and they, sort of, tell the other guys that, you know, “Oh, it was amazing, you should have seen it, there was this big attack,” you know.

Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Yeah, to report it, yeah.

Peter: It was reported [Philippa: Yeah.], but we wanted to make it real time.

Philippa: [screen cap] I love him!

Peter: [Ent set on fire] This was interesting, because we set the Ent on fire…

Fran: Him we called Moses.

Peter: Moses. Moses the Ent was set on fire and I said to Weta, “You know what, we can’t really have a burning Ent: I mean, the kids are going to be really upset at that and it’s not good,” so we then looked at one of our flooding shots that happens later, and we came up with the idea of having him douse himself in the flames; and that idea only really came because of the fact we’d set him on fire in the first place. We felt this, sort of, degree of guilt [Philippa laughs], we somehow had to, sort of, help him.

Philippa: Explaining it to your six-year-old.

Peter: We had to help him. (beat) The dam was a huge miniature that was made, and it was really destroyed in the way you’re seeing it here: it was a fantastic model that Weta had put together, and they dumped these massive tanks of water behind it and just blew it apart. I think they did it two or three times. (beat) [Saruman views the oncoming water] We didn’t actually have any shots of Christopher Lee reacting to the flood, because a long, long time earlier, when we had filmed Christopher Lee’s shots, we didn’t know that he was going to be reacting to the flood [Philippa: No.] because we weren’t sure that we were going to do the scene, so we took some footage that we had of Christopher that’s actually going to appear in ‘Return of the King’ when he’s stuck on top of his tower, and we found a bit where he turns towards Wormtongue, in actually fact, who’s on the tower with him, and that spinning round that he does there was actually spinning round to talk to Wormtongue, except it was – looked like a great reaction for the water coming down the hill [Philippa agrees], so we found a bit we could use.

Fran: Mmm.

Peter: It’s always hard to do water in movies, but, you know, this doesn’t look too bad. All of the water here is pretty much real; it’s obviously a miniature: it was a huge, big miniature that we made. That’s CG-water in this particular shot. [screen cap] That’s mostly computerised water.

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The Lord of the Rings and its content does not belong to me, it is property of the Tolkien Estate;  the commentaries transcribed here, as well as the images used, are the property of New Line Cinema.