Review by Dean Allen
of only a handful of writers who was allowed access all areas on the production,
noted Tolkien authority, Brian Sibley, is as close to the overwhelming amount
of 'making of' documentaries available on the DVD than is possible in print
With complete access and exclusive behind-the-scenes images, Sibley's book may have a confusing order, a boasting 'here-I-am-on-set-and-you're-not' tone and a distinctive lack of comment from Peter Jackson and the cast, but is, nonetheless, rewarding stuff. Particularly for those interested in just how much detail was afforded to the effects, model work, costumes and sheer effort by everyone involved.
For sheer detail on often-forgotten behind-the-scenes work from the man who built the Ents, a guide through the cavernous WETA workshop, where literally hundreds of feet, ears and weapons are lying around, to the creation of the 'bigatures' (miniatures only a lot bigger), and the scoring of the film.
Sadly, any significant detail on the actual filming of the movie is reduced to one chapter and it's only here where Jackson and his cast are quoted.
Yet it's the images that you will repeatedly come back to the book for as, with unprecedented access, come images that you never usually see, from warehouses full of costumes and armour, to the sheer scale, and often remoteness of the locations and dogs and humans interacting with the miniatures.
Whilst it is a significant improvement on last year's Official Guide, the Making of the Movie Trilogy book is an often fascinating look behind-the-scenes and one that fans of the films will get a real kick out of.
(Brian Sibley - HarperCollins - £9.99)
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