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EE Commentary Transcripts
Night Camp at Fangorn

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Peter: [Night Camp at Fangorn] This scene here is actually an assembly of three different scenes, really: we originally, back in our first shooting – you know, the principal photography – we shot two different scenes, because there were going to be two camps that night to show the passing of time, that they were going to – the Uruks were going to – rest up, they were going to have a bit of dialogue, then they were going to run again, and then there’d be another scene at night the following day; and then, later – a couple of years later – during our pick-up shooting, we shot some additional dialogue that we wanted to add to it, and then eventually, we, sort of, took everything we had and just cut it together in one scene. So the scenes talking about the trees in the forest, which Merry and Pippin are doing, was dialogue that we added during post production – we shot this, although we’d already shot the scenes of them arriving and being thrown on the ground a couple of years earlier. And then the scene that has the attack, where the horsemen arrive, was yet another scene that was going to… was supposed to be a night or two later; but we ended up just incorporating it into this one scene and making it just one particular – one longer – section.

Philippa: [Orc: “Why can’t we have some meat?”] This is actually Andy Serkis’s voice, by the way. He did this Orc – and he actually did the Uruk-hai who spoke the other line previously.

Peter: Was that when you were doing ADR in England with him, when you wanted him to do a few extra Orc-voices?

Philippa: Actually, no. It was here in New Zealand.

Peter: Oh, was it?

Philippa: But… Yeah, but… Fran just let Andy have a go at it, and so he did and it was good. [GrishnŠkh: “What about their legs?”] This is a voice by a lovely English actor called Jim Dunk.

Peter: This whole concept is a little bit obscure for people that don’t know Tolkien, about the Uruk-hai and the Orcs having this rivalry: it’s much clearer in the books. We, sort of, have obviously incorporated it into here, because it’s great, I think, to have these baddies having their own internal, kind of, arguments – there is a whole story in the book about where these Orcs come from and… They’re actually sent from Mordor, aren’t they [Philippa: Mmm hmm.], in the books?

Philippa: Some of the Orcs are from Moria, who were already in the pack, and then there’s the…

Peter: [at same time as Philippa] Oh, that’s right. And they kind of… they squabble…

Philippa: … the ones from Mordor who waylay them.

Peter: … and argue. We originally emphasised it a bit more in the very first version of the scene that we shot, didn’t we?

Fran: Yes, it just got too confusing, when you had, essentially, two evil forces having an internal conflict when you had the Hobbits also at risk – it was…

Peter: Kind of [?] off the point.

Fran: [laughing] It was off the point, and a bit confusing to get into that level of detail.

Philippa: It didn’t move the story forward at all.

Fran: No, it was just… it just waylaid everything.

Peter: It does; but on the other hand, it kind of adds authenticity to it, you know: that’s… The upside of it is that to have something that feels off-the-point but does, you know, feel kind of real, it somehow makes an audience –

Philippa: It can do.

Peter: – you know, it makes the audience buy into it [Philippa agrees] a bit more. But it is true: you don’t want to confuse people: that is, you know, something to try to avoid at all times. (beat) [GrishnŠkh is stabbed by the Rohirrim] The Orc here is played by a great New Zealand actor called Stephen Ure, and Stephen is such a great actor at playing Orcs that we use him in all three movies, playing different Orcs [Fran: Hmm.], so there’s often – when an Orc is delivering dialogue, whether it be in, you know, the first, second or third film, it’s often Stephen under different make up.

Philippa: Mmm.

Peter: So he plays a lot of different Orc-characters. And he looks different in each rŰle, because, obviously, he’s wearing the prosthetics. (beat) I loved the idea, way back when we were writing the screenplay, about, you know… [stutters] us the audience thinking that Merry and Pippin might be dead, and I thought that was just really cool.

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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.