Special Effects of The Lord of The Rings Film Trilogy - Scale - Size Doubles

Size Doubles

In the Middle-earth storyverse, Hobbits are 3 ft 6 in tall (109.73 cm), Dwarves are taller at about 4 ft 6 in (140.21 cm), and Men and Elves are average human height ~5–6 ft (~152-182 cm). However, the films only use two scale sets instead of three: this is achieved by simply casting taller than average actors to play Dwarves, then combining Dwarves and Hobbits into one size scale. For example, John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli, is taller than Elijah Wood, who played Frodo. Thus in the ending shot of the Council of Elrond scene when all nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring are standing together, Rhys-Davies and the four hobbit actors were filmed all at once, then the human-sized characters (Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas) were filmed in a second take, then the two shots were composited at different scale to make one image, with the initial dwarf/hobbit character shot made smaller. A practical upshot of not creating a third scale for Dwarves is that in a scene in which only Dwarves and Hobbits interact, no scale doubles are needed. For example, when they are entering Lothlórien for the first time and Gimli claps Frodo on the shoulder and says "stay close, young hobbits", the entire scene employs no size doubles, because Rhys-Davies is naturally the proportionately taller height needed between Dwarves and Hobbits.

Read more about this topic:  Special Effects Of The Lord Of The Rings Film Trilogy, Scale

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