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516Re: LOTR, a whine for Matt

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    Jul 29, 1999
      I just wanted to further defend my saying:

      > Actually, it makes sense to film in New Zealand.

      It would seem that if one were to make a movie about place X, the obvious
      place to film it is in X. But that's not always the case. For instance, if
      one wants to make a film about turn-of-the-century New York, with streets
      crowded with immigrants and pushcarts, the best place to film it is not New
      York, but (I'm told) Montreal, which has some streets that look like
      turn-of-the-century New York.

      If it's true that Tolkien based some scenes from _The Lord of the Rings_ on
      places near where he grew up in Birmingham, it's also true that there's no
      longer anything there that looks Middle-Earthish to my eyes. Birmingham
      looks to me very much like a modern city. If I were to compare it to any
      American city, it would be Baltimore. It's not that there's any particular
      building or anything in the skyline of the two cities that looks particularly
      alike, but they are of approximately the same size and both grew up in the
      nineteenth century and were greatly built upon in the twentieth century.
      They both seem to me to be generic bland big cities.

      If we are to look further at the counties that constitute the western half of
      the Midlands area, there are little pieces that would be acceptable terrain
      for the Shire, assuming you do a little pruning of modern signs and such. I
      think, though, that you would have a lot of trouble finding enough open space
      even for scenes in the Shire.

      On the other hand, I've been told that there are many different types of
      scenery in New Zealand, and most of it hasn't been turned into a cliche by
      overfilming (the way, say, that Monument Valley has been turned into a cliche
      by Westerns). Peter Jackson has to film almost 9 hours of film set in a
      large variety of kinds of scenery. Perhaps he has decided that wandering
      around the world finding precisely the correct look for each scene would be
      too expensive. Perhaps he is correct in thinking that he can find the
      correct look just in New Zealand.

      Wendell Wagner
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