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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Spoiling of Isengard

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Peter (cont.): [Saruman speaking to Sauron through the palantír] Now the palantír is a device that’s, obviously, in the books, and it was difficult to visualise, because it is, basically, a psychological instrument: that it allows your mind to connect with other places, but doing that sort of thing in a movie is always difficult, so we created the sense that the Eye of Sauron was, sort of, visible within the palantír to give some sense of whom Saruman is connecting with. (beat) That’s not a real tree being pulled down there, I have to say now. I’m sure Tolkien would have been absolutely appalled at the concept that a real tree was being destroyed, but that was an artificial tree that was buried in a hole in the ground in Harcourt Park in Upper Hut. [Shot of Gandalf waking up on top of Orthanc, pulling up to see the whole of Isengard] Shots like this are interesting in the sense that they combine CG with real photography: we filmed Ian on the stage walking across the top of the tower, and then he was combined in with a miniature and a CG tower. (beat) The trees being pulled down are pure Tolkien: I mean, one of the themes, obviously, of ‘The Lord of the Ring’s itself is the way that industry destroys nature.

Fran: Is that the same tree coming down from three different angles?

Peter: I think so. [Philippa laughs] I think so, I think it might be. I think we had two trees that got torn down.

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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.