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Blog: Here At The WETA Workshop

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Last night I FINALLY found a use for the hours and hours of time I spent a couple of years ago SLOGGING through the DVD Extras for Lord Of The Rings. Nowadays, when I get a boxset, i tend to just watch THE ACTUAL PROGRAMME that I wanted to watch, but when Lord Of The Rings came out i thought it was IMPORTANT to sit and watch EVERYTHING.

I gave up when it came time for the Commentaries, but everything else, i was THERE. And by golly, there was a LOT of it, tons and tons and tons of documentaries about filming techniques, modelling, CGI, forging swords, elven languages, THE LOT. At the time I kept thinking "Do i really need to watch this? Surely I could go outside into the sunshine instead?" but put such unworthy thoughts aside and PLOUGHED ON. And last night, FINALLY, there came a moment when I thought "Hang on! Some of that was useful!"

For LO! i was STORYBOARDING!

The GRATE IDEA for the NEXT video is going to involve all the Vlads ACTING in a STORY, and as it probably WON'T be being done at my house (and so any missed bits can't be redone there and then) I thought it was probably a good idea to do a bit of PREP and work out how it would go, to make sure we film everything. I started drawing it on a bit of paper, like a comic, but it got too complicated to work out what should go there so i cunningly PHOTOGRAPHED each individual frame, loaded them into the computer, and then stuck them into Sony Vegas in time to the rough version of the song!

It looked just like the Storyboard version of the film you get on the DVD extras! OK, not EXACTLY - it lacked ORCS for example, and the drawings weren't QUITE as details, or indeed GOOD, but it did look pretty cool, I thought, and FANTASTICALLY it made me think "But hang on, that won't work... and we'll need to do something else in this bit." JUST like what a proper DIRECTOR would do, properly using a proper storyboard for the proper reason!!

I was so pleased it was all I could do NOT to go out and recruit blacksmiths in order to set up a specialist silversmiths to make the buckles on our costumes!

posted 1/5/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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