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EE Commentary Transcripts
The Ring Goes South

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<< The Departure of the Fellowship

Peter (cont.): [The Fellowship walks out of the Imladris valley, screen cap] These are combinations of miniatures and matte paintings and various waterfalls photographed from different places in New Zealand. (beat) That ruin is a computer-generated ruin. [screen cap] I flew around in a helicopter with our aerial crew, shooting these scenes. We had doubles that we took down to the South Island. (beat) [The Fellowship passes between the two rocks] And this is what we call our ‘hero Fellowship shot’. It was done against blue screens with a scenic plate of the South Island of New Zealand. This is a great location: I really love this. It’s just out of Te Anau, near Lake Manapouri, and it’s just a great part of the country. I really loved filming this stuff.

Philippa: Bill the Pony. We actually didn’t have Bill – for a while – in the script. And then Pete –.

Peter: No, Bill the Pony was added much, much later.

Philippa: – pretty determined to stick Bill in, but Mark Ordesky didn’t realise this, and when he came down one day, he saw this pony and he said, “What they hell’s this pony doing?” [Philippa laughs] We said, “It’s Bill! Bill’s back in!”

Peter: Well, the reason why we didn’t have Bill was because of the problems of shooting on the mountains. We thought, “How on earth are we ever going to get a pony up onto these mountains?” but we [Philippa laughs] solved that by resorting to what’s called the ‘Pantomime Pony’ which is simply to have a pony placed by two people: somebody’s the front end and somebody’s the back end, and in quite a few scenes – especially the scene in the snow, where Fellowship are walking – that’s actually Bill the Pantomime Pony, the fake pony, which solved the problem of having to transport the real animal to all these far-off locations.

Philippa: [Merry and Pippin wrestle with Boromir] We wanted this connection, of course, between Boromir and Merry and Pippin: it’s very, very important for the end of the movie.

Peter: This was shot in a National Park at the top of the South Island, and again it was a location, actually, that was offered up to us by a helicopter pilot. We were flying around, going somewhere else and Bill the helicopter pilot said to me, “Oh, I saw a really interesting place that I’ve never seen before: it’s on the side of a mountain, about fifteen miles away, and there’s all these weird rock formations” and I said – I immediately got interesting – and I said, “Oh well, could you fly us there now and give us a look?” and he flew us over this location that you’re seeing now, and this was… it was amazing. With all these incredible, weird rocks it was something almost like Easter Island; and, so, I just thought we’ve got to shoot something there, so I thought this scene, ultimately, would be a really good one to go back to that location, and so we went back there and dumped the crew on top of this mountain and shot the scene.

The Pass of Caradhras >>

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.