The first scene filmed was the Wooded Road sequence where the Hobbits hide underneath the tree from a Ringwraith. The focus was generally on The Fellowship of the Ring when the Hobbits try to reach Rivendell, such as a single night in Bree exteriors, this was done with the hopes that the four actors playing the hobbits would bond. Second units also shot the Ford of Bruinen chase and the deforestation of Isengard. Liv Tyler generally came to New Zealand for stunts, and spent five days on a barrel for Bruinen whilst riding double Jane Abbott got to ride on horseback.
During the first month of filming, Stuart Townsend was deemed too young to play Aragorn, and within three days Viggo Mortensen became his replacement, just in time to film the Weathertop sequence. Mortensen, who decided to take the role in part because his own son was a book fan, became a hit on set, going fishing, always taking his "hero" sword around and applying dirt to his costume to improve costume designer Ngila Dickson's makeshift look. He also headbutted the stunt team as a sign of friendship, and bought himself his horse, Uraeus, as well as another horse for Abbott.
Sean Bean began filming in November for most of his scenes. Despite the focus on Fellowship, floods in Queenstown prompted the crew to shoot mountain interiors from The Return of the King for Elijah Wood and Sean Astin: a single day (November 24) of Astin's coverage from a pivotal scene. This would become a general failsafe measure if the weather disrupted the shooting schedule. Wood's coverage wouldn't be done until November 30, 2000. After this scene, when the flood ended, it was during this time shooting became focused on the battle of Amon Hen.
Read more about this topic: Principal Photography Of The Lord Of The Rings Film Trilogy, Schedule of Principal Photography
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