Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord Of The Rings

July 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Movies That Changed Everything

I’m an aspiring filmmaker.  Like every filmmaker out there, I have a lengthy list of films that have inspired me along the way.  This series will examine twelve of the films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.  Films that have greatly influenced the filmmaker I hope to become someday…

The Lord Of The Rings

The Lord Of The Rings Gandalf

I look at this brilliant trilogy of films as a single inspiring masterpiece. A motion picture event like LOTR doesn’t come along often and I was blessed that it came around when I first became seriously interested in filmmaking.

I knew nothing about the books when The Fellowship Of The Ring opened.  I don’t even really remember the trailers of TV spots.  Truthfully, the only memory I have of the promotional campaign was a cardboard cutout of the Hobbits outside of my local Chapters.

I remember wondering why they had hairy feet.

It’s safe to say, I wasn’t a die hard fan of Middle Earth in book form.  Little did I know the films and ultimately their extended DVD releases would change the way I looked at movies forever.

The Lord Of The Rings definitely raised the bar for film adaptations. It’s impossible to ignore the sheer size of the task Peter Jackson and Co. took on.  The world J.R.R Tolkien created is so rich and detailed that anyone else charged with adapting it could have found the task impossible.  Yet the stars aligned for the New Zealand crew and we were treated to some of the best movies in history.

There are two reasons why these films have inspired me over the years:

  1. The attention to detail in unrivaled and the result is a world that truly exists on the screen.
  2. The documentaries included on the Extended Edition DVDs tell the equally compelling tale of how the filmmakers pulled it off.

Creating A World Many Already Knew

I can’t imagine the pressure Peter Jackson must have felt when he was conceptualizing the films. How can you satisfy the imaginations of millions of fans throughout the world?  Everyone had an idea of what Gollum might look like in their minds.  I believe it was because of that pressure that he rose to the occasion and left no detail unchecked.

The Lord Of The Rings Gollum

The effort of their entire cast and crew to create the world of Middle Earth is a monumental achievement.

It taught me to be dedicated to my films in the same way.  You have to think of everything in order to create a convincing story.

“You’ve got to know what you’re talking about.”

J.R.R Tolkien worked tirelessly to create Middle Earth, it’s inhabitants and it’s history.  The detail is unprecedented.  (I have gone back and read the first book.  The other two remain on my list of things to do.)

Peter Jackson and his talented team HAD to mirror his high standards and passion for the story.

They succeeded.  The movie is full of creatures and locations never before seen on the screen.  As you watch the films you are immersed in an incredibly imaginative and wonderful place.

Middle Earth comes to life and I’m inspired every single time I see it.

The Best Special Features You Will Ever See

Forgive the expression but the Extended Edition DVDs of The Lord Of The Rings are precious to me.

You simply can’t find any documentaries like this anywhere else.

Over 6 hours of incredible stories and personal tales of how the films came to be.

Everything from writing the screenplays to the final premiere are covered. (The editing docs in particular are incredibly interesting.)

By the end you truly understand how hard it was to complete this trilogy of epic films.  I honestly watch the special features more than the movies themselves.

Movies That Changed Everything

It’s fascinating to see the commitment and dedication of the cast and crew.  For an aspiring filmmaker, they are an instant reminder of why I wanted to get into filmmaking in the first place.

I love the collaboration, I love to be creative and I want to pour my heart and soul into the movies I believe in.

Some of the greatest movies of all time exist only because the people who made them believed in what they were doing.

It encapsulates the very meaning of the word: Passion.

Peter Jackson’s epic films have earned a special place in my heart.  Amazing movies.