LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?

December 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?


I watch the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy at least twice a year.  The second I finish watching the films, I immediately watch the incredible special features included with each film.  These wonderful documentaries are THE most in depth and interesting special features I’ve ever seen.  Indeed, the story of the filmmaker’s journey is as compelling as the movies they dedicated themselves to create.  Each and every person associated with these legendary films brought so much passion and commitment to their craft.  It’s beyond inspiring.  As an aspiring screenwriter, it makes me feel lazy and that’s a GOOD thing.

I’m at the point where I can pretty much recite the documentaries from memory.  It’s fascinating to watch their journey play out.  It’s so inspiring to watch people pour so much effort into something they believe in.   So much thought is put into every detail no matter how small it may seem.

What’s even more inspiring is the leadership shown by director Peter Jackson.  Throughout the documentaries, people sometimes question whether or not he has pushed them beyond their limits.  Only to discover that they are truly capable of remarkable things when challenged.  Peter Jackson commanded a well oiled machine with thousands of artists willing to do whatever it took to achieve his masterful vision of J.R.R Tokien’s world.

The documentaries themselves are split on two discs for each film.  One disc is devoted to pre production covering everything from inspiration, to the screenplay (nice) and finally the creation of all the sets, props, weapons, armor and more.  The second disc chronicles the production itself with tons of behind the scenes footage from the set.  This disc is complimented by an in depth look at the fascinating post production process.  This includes the tale of Weta Digital and their Oscar winning visual effects work.  There is nearly 6 hours of content to view for each film.  All of this is complimented by lengthy interviews with the cast & crew.

It’s a phenomenal wealth of information for anyone who loves ‘making of’ documentaries.  In fact, these documentaries redefined what special features could be.


I sincerely hope The Hobbit will come packaged with more amazing stories from the set.  Actually, I’m not concerned.  It has to!

We’ve already been treated to tons of behind the scenes videos including these:

It’s great to see so many familiar faces hard at work again.  I’m already planning on skipping the initial Blu Ray release in order to save my money for the inevitable extended editions.  More inspiring documentaries are on the way and like the movies, I can’t wait to follow the journey over and over again.

LOTR Extended Editions: The Best Special Features Ever?