Jackson's vision Rings true to Tolkien's novel

Story by Jack Foley

"I started with one goal: to take movie-goers into the fantastical world of Middle Earth in a way that is believable and powerful." - The Lord of the Rings director, Peter Jackson.

The story of how Peter Jackson brought JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy is almost as epic in scale as the movie itself; but from researching its beginnings, it is easy to tell that the project became a labour of love for the New Zealand-born director.

From the start, it was clearly a mammoth undertaking, but Jackson feels it was worth it. "I've spent seven years of my life on this project so far," he notes, "pouring my heart into every single aspect of it. But I think that's the least we owe to Tolkien and the legions of fans around the globe. They deserve our very best efforts."

Jackson began by working on a trilogy of screenplays with fellow writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, a process that took three years in itself. For the first movie, The Fellowship of the Rings, they paid particular attention to Tolkien's many vivid descriptions of characters and places, hoping to build a viscerally true and vibrant world that would pull audiences into the adventure as virtual participants.

"We constantly referred to the book, not just in writing the screenplay, but also throughout the production," explains Jackson. "Every time we shot a scene, I re-read that part of the book right before, as did the cast. It was always worth it, it was always inspiring."

Early on in the development of the screenplays, Jackson took the bold decision to shoot all three films at once, something which has never previously been done. He felt that in order to do the tale's epic nature justice, he had to shoot it as one big story. It was a decision which resulted in a record-breaking commitment of time, resources and manpower.

The director immediately engaged the services of WETA Limited,