Fran: ‘The Stouthearted’ in the book.
Philippa: Which is just, actually, a bit of a mouthful when you actually say it: it doesn’t scan, does it?
Peter: [Gollum’s Plan] This is probably the longest continuous CG shot ever done for a film, in actual fact:
it’s – I think it’s over two minutes long, and it was a nightmarish shot. It was the very first Gollum shot
I ever gave to Weta to do, which –. I handed it over to them about two weeks after we shot it, which would probably
be about three years ago; and it was the last shot that they finished [laughs], which is, kind of, the way it was always going
to be, because it’s so difficult. We filmed Andy Serkis doing this exact performance, and then we had to then film with
our Steadicam – because it wasn’t motion-controlled, it was just shot with the Steadicam – we then had to
have the Steadicam operator film an empty version of what Andy had just done, trying to remember all the timing, and remember
exactly where Andy was, because he was basically filming absolutely nothing. He had no reference for where his camera should
be, so it took us all day: it was a shot that took all day long to film, right from the morning to the evening; and then,
much, much later, we had Andy reproduce his performance again in a motion-capture suit, so we had our motion-capture stage
laid out with where these pine trees were so he could grab onto a piece of wood that was supposed to represent the pine tree.
It was all measured out very carefully and reproduced in the studio; and it was just a very technically long and… but
it was all done as one continuous shot with no cuts. It’s kind of audacious, but I just thought it would be a nice way
to end the film.
Philippa: It certainly helped make him feel more real, that you do something like this.
Peter: Yeah. Well, it’s –. I just think if you’re dealing with something artificial like Gollum,
if you can do, then, on top of that, do something weird, like do a long, continuous, two-minute shot with no cuts, you’re,
sort of, somehow drawing people’s attention from the fake… fakery.
Philippa: [at same time as Peter] Yeah. Absolutely.
Peter: It’s kind of weird, because it’s not the way that you’re used to seeing that kind of thing
Peter: And the final shot of the film, which we deliberately wanted to evoke the final shot of Film One, as well,
which was basically to show that the journey is continuing with the crane-up, but now they’re, obviously, a lot, lot
closer to Mordor than they were at the end of the first film.
Philippa: [fade to black] That end.