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Subject:A JOURNEY WITH FRODO~CH16~'NO TURNING BACK'
Time:05:06 pm
Current Mood:accomplished
Yay - sometimes it works out just right and I can actually post a new chapter of 'Journey' on Froday!!

For anyone unfamiliar with my pet project, 'A Journey With Frodo' (a work in progress) is the story of Elijah Wood's experience in becoming Frodo, from back in 1998 when the LOTR movies were just a whisper up to the triumphant Oscars of Feb 2004. In reliving Elijah's journey, and mine, I am using everything I can lay my hands on - behind-the-scenes material from the various dvd's, magazine articles, books, internet sites, tv coverage, word-of-mouth info, etc. Previous chapters can be found here "A JOURNEY WITH FRODO" You'll need to scroll down to find Chapter 1:)

Chapter 16 ~ 'No Turning Back' is here:







My arachnophobia is so severe that just to see the 's' word in print brings me out in goosebumps!! This is apparently something I share with Peter Jackson but judging by Elijah's delight at the idea of big spiders on set during the first day of filming, I don't think he's affected in the same way. However, this wasn't really something he needed to contend with during the Shelob filming - this time there were no actual spiders on set!!


"The sets were incredible - I mean these holes and halls and and very creepy and twisty caverns that they created." (Elijah, DVD)







PJ directs Elijah in the Light in Dark Places scene:







"Everything about spiders that scares me is in Shelob's performance." (PJ, Empire)





"Co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens delighted in the fact that she was female. They really got into the idea of some deep-seated Freudian rupture in Tolkien's subconscious. 'Are you kidding' cries Boyens. 'The boy-Hobbits have to enter this long, dark tunnel occupied
by a hairy beast. Peter kind of pulled us back from that!"
(Empire)



"Except, for Elijah Wood, Shelob isn't really there. 'They had a blow-up spider they used as a reference for the animators mostly', he explains, 'but it's never used in any sequence that I'm in. Mainly, it's black marks or a blank space that I look up to. So it was all
imagination'. At the time of shooting, Jackson's team at Weta Digital haven't quite settled on how Shelob's going to look. But that's not a problem for Wood. "It's not as specific as the cave troll or the Balrog because this is just a giant spider, so I could use my own imagination for that. We built this incredible set and it was basically me running around in fear for three or four days' ..."
(Total Film)







PJ discusses the web scene with Elijah and Andy:
"It's that realization that being in this web is actually fulfilling his plan. He basically says "Well, we'll just let the spider eat you, suck out your meat and then we'll come and get the Precious and you realize at that point of being stuck in the web what the whole plan was all about right from the beginning; what the tunnel, what the Winding Stair, what everythinng was all about."



Elijah watches as a stand-in named Zo acts out the web scene:





"Trouble is, Zo is stuck in there now"! Yeah, we're going to have to do it with Zo - it's gonna take like four hours!" (PJ, DVD)



"Oh, we'll just do a face replacement!" (Elijah)
"Zo is Frodo - she'll do a brilliant job - if she doesn't get eaten by Shelob in the meantime"! Are we ready for Elijah now?" (PJ)





This one is a bit wet. (Crew member, dvd)









"It was actually a lot of fun to be in that environment and especially for me to be bouncing around in the web for hours at a time!!" (Elijah, DVD)



In some of the takes of this scene which we didn't get to see in the film, Frodo conveys a level of panic and terror even greater than in the final cut - I think it's a shame some of these weren't included but I suppose they had their reasons.



Elijah is very happy with the scene:









And so is PJ:





Elijah has fun strangling Andy:)



















"There's a light up there!!"



"Someone's home!"



"It's like the world's largest condom. Ribbed for her pleasure" (SE DVD) I don't think Elijah really thought about what he said there. As an LJ friend pointed out - what would that make him?!! :D



"Elijah had to get wrapped up in this stuff and had to spend all day in it - I don't know how he went to the toilet 'cos he couldn't - go to the toilet. He couldn't even scratch his nose." (PJ. DVD)



"They wrapped him up in that cocoon, it was rubbery and it was tight - I don't think he could have gotten himself out of it and he just waited and knew that they'd cut him out eventually - wow!! (Sean Astin, DVD)



"Sean thought it was incredibly frightening and claustrophobic and there's no way I could ever be wrapped in the web and feel comfortable. It's surprisingly comfortable. I don't think I'd want to be in it all day though." (But, according to PJ, he had to.)





Apparently, during one of the takes, Sean accidentally got some dirt in Elijah's eyes - which must be pretty uncomfortable when you're wrapped up like a mummy!!

"If it gets in my eyes again I'm gonna have to hit you! I'll wake up from my little reverie and smack your ass!"



"Oh, I don''t mind that stuff - it's just the dirt. You get like dirt on your hands, that dust and stuff"



They realise that it's when Sean puts his hand down to adjust something that he's getting dirt on it.











"He's reputed to be one of the world's great staring contest champions." (Sean)

"I guess I do have a strong ability to stare." (Elijah)

"He's got these big, beautiful eyes but he can't see two feet in front of himself in broad daylight." (Sean)

"The great irony of Elijah is he has the biggest, bluest eyes - in the world actually - but they don't work very well."(Billy Boyd, dvd)



"My theory was that when he was a baby, because obviously you can't test a baby for how bad their eyes are, for the first couple of years he was just like this [see demonstration below] trying to focus and bring his world into view and they just stayed like that so as he
grew up his eyes just stayed at this constant state of surprisement."
(Dom, DVD)





"If it's uncomfortable Elijah you can blink if you want to" (PJ)



"This is a very rare moment where we actually have a tangible tower in the background. It's right there, the Dark Tower, so this is kind of a special moment - because normally we have like a sketch that we look at - literally just a sketch that'll give us a basic idea of
what the thing looks like and now we don't have to use our imagination because there it is.
It's lovely:"
(Elijah, SE DVD)



******


The Tower of Cirith Ungol:

There was probably more speculation about this scene than any other so it's a pity that there is very little behind-the-scenes material available. There was this - an orc grabbing Frodo by his hair which didn't appear in the film:



And there was this report from someone who was on set during the filming:

"Later, we sit and watch the filming, in the top room of the tower of Cirith Ungol. The scene is trimmed to its essentials. The dialog is not always Tolkien's, but I have to return to the book to be sure, the spirit is so close. I get to hear one of my favorite lines: "You can't go walking in the Black Land in naught but your skin, Mr. Frodo." The essence of Sam. Peter gives the dialog a subtext. Sam is thinking, "I'm going to destroy that thing that's causing you so much pain -- by myself if that's what's needed."

They spend all day on this bit, so critical to the emotional arc of the story. In the end, Sean Astin as Sam delivers the line with weariness, grief, determination, courage, and love. I leave with tears in my eyes."
(Bill Welden - Tolkien language advisor.)

I somehow think we did not get to see the version he describes, but I do envy him being able to witness that day's filming.

Something very exciting happened while they were working on this scene:







"You know, Empire had a special bearing on LOTR. It was the first magazine to ever put it on the cover. I remember when we got it. We were on set shooting ROTK, during the original photography period, up on top of the Tower of Cirith Ungol where Frodo has been captured by the Orcs and Sam has come to save him, and Sam stabs the Orc. It is the scene where Frodo says, "I've lost the Ring". And Sam says "No, no, I've got it, I just carried it for a while". And Frodo snatches it back. That is how much it is burned into my mind - I can remember from 2000, the day we were shooting. Somebody brought it on set. I didn't even know it was happening, I wasn't expecting it. And someone said,, "Oh, have you seen this"? I remember Sean and Elijah were really excited and they came down and it was like, "Oh my God'. This was when suddenly the enormity of what we were doing impacted on us. We felt we were making a movie that no-one knew much about, trying to do it as secretly as possible and it was all very much under the radar, and even though I knew that come 2001 there would be a lot of publicity, we weren't expecting it quite that early. It was exciting - those kind of things give you a little bit of a boot up the backside. You come to realise that you had better make a good movie. No turning back now." (PJ, Empire)

The first ever LOTR magazine cover - 'EMPIRE' FEB 2001:



******


"He has the biggest, bluest eyes ... in the world actually ..."






TO BE CONTINUED

Link to all chapters: "A JOURNEY WITH FRODO"
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chicoriumeyes
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 05:09 pm (UTC)
What a special Froday post! Many of these pictures brought tears to my eyes, as though Elijah made the perfect Frodo, it's fascinating to see the switch from his acting to real life moments in these pictures.

Lovely job, as usual,and so much appreciated!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 09:39 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - glad you enjoyed this chapter:)
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karin_woywod
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yippie ! A new chapter ! This is absolute, utter bliss ! Thank you so much for it !

Love,

- Karin.
(Reply) (Thread)


not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 09:40 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, Karin - I'm glad you enjoyed it:)
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shirebound
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 05:17 pm (UTC)
it was basically me running around in fear for three or four days' ..."

Elijah did a phenomenal job on this scene.

Those shots are just stunning. Thank you so much for gathering all of this together for us!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 09:42 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome:)

Elijah did a phenomenal job on this scene.

Agreed!!
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marigold6
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 05:39 pm (UTC)
How perfect for a Froday! And some wonderful pics that I've never seen - and I thought I had seen just about everything there was. (((BIG HUGS))) Thank you, dear, for all your efforts.

I love that last one - such a silly...
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 09:43 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - I'm so glad you enjoyed it:)
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peripety
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 05:44 pm (UTC)
It looks so fun and challenging and exhausting for the actors! Love all the bits about his eyes *g*
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 09:48 pm (UTC)
It looks so fun and challenging and exhausting for the actors!

You're right - and how satisfying it must have been for them all to see it turn out so brilliantly:)

Love all the bits about his eyes *g*

Me too - I doubt anyone else has ever had their eyes discussed to such an extent!!
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primula_baggins
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 06:17 pm (UTC)
“I don't think Elijah really thought about what he said there. As an LJ friend pointed out - what would that make him?!! :D”

I disagree, I think he knew exactly what he was saying!

I love the delight on his face when he’s watching the “caught in the web” part.

I didn’t think the Shelob part was all that good. Of all the parts of the movies, this was my least favorite. It might have been better if they had shown Frodo’s terror they say was filmed. It wasn’t scary at all to me. Although, I’m not afraid of spiders, maybe that’s why. ;-)

Odd about the cocoon, Elijah said they took him out of it every few hours and then put it back on. I guess people recall things differently.

"If it gets in my eyes again I'm gonna have to hit you! I'll wake up from my little reverie and smack your ass!"

LOL! I don’t remember him saying that! : D

“The Tower of Cirith Ungol: There was probably more speculation about this scene than any other”

Yes, remember how people said Frodo would be nude in that scene? I couldn’t imagine a PG-13 movie with nudity, but it was more than a little exciting to speculate.

LOL! I always love seeing the last photo! Our dear Elijah, keeping up his sense of humor in a very dark film.


Thanks, hon!

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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 10:06 pm (UTC)
I disagree, I think he knew exactly what he was saying!

Do you? I'm not sure - I know he is without ego but would he really call himself the world's biggest ****!!? Don't suppose we'll ever know the answer to that:D

I love the delight on his face when he’s watching the “caught in the web” part.

Oh and me - it's adorable:)

I didn’t think the Shelob part was all that good. Of all the parts of the movies, this was my least favorite. It might have been better if they had shown Frodo’s terror they say was filmed. It wasn’t scary at all to me. Although, I’m not afraid of spiders, maybe that’s why. ;-)

Well, I wouldn't say it was one of my favourite scenes but I did find it pretty terrifying - especially the bit where Shelob is standing right above him and he's unaware - but then I am hopelessly arachnaphobic!!

Odd about the cocoon, Elijah said they took him out of it every few hours and then put it back on. I guess people recall things differently.

Perhaps PJ wasn't on set all the time and didn't know about that - unless he meant sort of on and off all day.

LOL! I don’t remember him saying that! : D

It's on the Special Edition DVD :)

Yes, remember how people said Frodo would be nude in that scene? I couldn’t imagine a PG-13 movie with nudity, but it was more than a little exciting to speculate.

It certainly was but - as you say - it was pretty obvious there was never going to be complete nudity. However, I always hoped there would be implied nudity - by using shadows, careful draping of covers, etc - to demonstrate that he'd been stripped of everything as in the book.

Many thanks for your interesting comments, Prim:)






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rakshi
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 06:35 pm (UTC)
I'm in absolute heaven every time you post one of these. Deep, deep gratitude, sweet lady. These are treasures.

Love...
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 10:08 pm (UTC)
Bless you for your kind comments, Rakshi - I'm so happy you continue to enjoy my labour of love:) *hugs*
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(Deleted comment)

not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 10:12 pm (UTC)
Many thanks, Mews.

The acting he does in this role is so natural and subtle and internal that it's easy for some people to dismiss it as not really acting.

I know exactly what you mean - he seems to become Frodo so naturally that it's hard to believe it's acting. And, of course, that is the most skilful acting of all:)
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ismenin
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Time:2008-06-27 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! A wonderful Birthday Present for me. Hugs. :D xxxx
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 10:16 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday, Issy!! I hope you've had a lovely day - I'm so glad you enjoyed this chapter on your special day:) *hugs*
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mechtild
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 08:59 pm (UTC)
Oooh, wonderful, Not Alone! I'm going away for a week tomorrow, so what a treat to see this new chapter! Your behind the scene material is terrific, amplified by the well-chosen quotes. The top image, so large and excellent, made me gasp. I've never seen it. And although I've seen the funny picture at the bottom before, I've never seen any but small versions of it. EXTRA treats!!!

Can't say I agree with this person you quoted:

"Later, we sit and watch the filming, in the top room of the tower of Cirith Ungol. The scene is trimmed to its essentials. The dialog is not always Tolkien's, but I have to return to the book to be sure, the spirit is so close.

The tower scene was one of the scenes notably *not* in the spirit of the book, although it wasn't a bad scene. The book scene was one of the most moving memorable scenes in the three volumes, even for readers who were not Frodo fans in particular. The movie scene, however, was just one in a series of scenes whose purpose was to move the story towards its climax. ["Frodo, having foolishly dimissed his faithful friend and servant, is attacked and taken prisoner; Sam, ever faithful, performs a daring rescue; they escape and continue on with the Quest."]

I thought the person's remark that followed that was also interesting:

I get to hear one of my favorite lines: "You can't go walking in the Black Land in naught but your skin, Mr. Frodo." The essence of Sam. Peter gives the dialog a subtext. Sam is thinking, "I'm going to destroy that thing that's causing you so much pain -- by myself if that's what's needed."

Again, there's that Sam-directed subtext again. The subtext of the scene is that Sam is the hero who will see the Quest through, in spite of the actions of Frodo, the master he has pledged himself to follow to the end. In this scene, as in others--a scene that was an important revealer of Frodo's fortitude and determination (in this case, in spite of having been tortured and nearly driven mad under questioning by his Orc captors)--the scene became a scene to show *Sam's* fortitude and determination instead.

I suppose I'll always chafe at the way they undercut Frodo's character to bestow his virtues onto Sam (who already has plenty of virtue in his own right), as much as I love the films otherwise.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 10:30 pm (UTC)
Many thanks, Mechtild - glad you enjoyed this chapter:)

"The book scene was one of the most moving memorable scenes in the three volumes, even for readers who were not Frodo fans in particular. The movie scene, however, was just one in a series of scenes whose purpose was to move the story towards its climax.

You're absolutely right. I think out of the whole trilogy this was the one scene where I was hoping they would stick faithfully to the book version which was heartbreakingly beautful. I really wish it hadn't been trimmed down so much - perhaps if they could have just had a few minutes less battle coverage:(

Again, there's that Sam-directed subtext again. The subtext of the scene is that Sam is the hero who will see the Quest through, in spite of the actions of Frodo, the master he has pledged himself to follow to the end. In this scene, as in others--a scene that was an important revealer of Frodo's fortitude and determination (in this case, in spite of having been tortured and nearly driven mad under questioning by his Orc captors)--the scene became a scene to show *Sam's* fortitude and determination instead.

You know, that hadn't occurred to me before you pointed it out - and again, you are absolutely right. I wonder why they did that.

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aliensouldream
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-27 11:20 pm (UTC)
This is amazing! I love that you bring together so many sources - it really does give a better insight to the whole process. Many of these pics I had never seen before. He even looks perfect wrapped in the web :-) Thank you very much for this chapter. The whole project is a great idea and a wonderful record.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 08:12 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for your kind comments - I'm so glad you enjoyed it:)
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patian912
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 03:36 am (UTC)
Having wandered in here tonight from I don't remember where, reading the WHOLE thing at one sitting I get no sense of the time, effort and devotion that has gone into your "project". Having however noticed the litteral "years" you have been at it I must say it is as intriguing as the original movies and just as developed. You are to be commended, thanked and praised for this epic. I will now become a devoted follower and ask that you keep up the quality work you have shown thus far. Thank you seems inadequate for the enjoyment I have experienced but the only words I can find.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 08:20 pm (UTC)
reading the WHOLE thing at one sitting

I'm so flattered that you stuck with it - must have taken quite a while:)

Thank you so much for your kind commments - I do hope you will enjoy the rest of the journey:)
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tariana
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 04:27 am (UTC)
Just wonderful, and so much work! I love all the detail and seeing all the things I'd never known about.
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 08:21 pm (UTC)
Many thanks - i'm so glad you enjoyed it:)
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elycia
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Time:2008-06-28 11:04 am (UTC)
I love this series to death. Thank you SO MUCH for taking all the time to prepare and post it for us!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 08:22 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome - I'm so glad you're enjoying the journey:)
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janejanejane
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 11:58 am (UTC)
Awwww, lovely! Thanks so much for this latest chapter, you've done a great job as always :-)

I don't know how Elijah coped with being wrapped tightly in that "ribbed condom" for so long, he's such a professional! The whole scene sounds a bit of a nightmare to film with dirt in Elijah's eyes and him having to stare like that.

I'd be interested to see the scene where Frodo is trapped in the web and shows even more terror... Elijah is such a good actor and his face expresses so much, he's wonderful!

Looking forward to the next chapter when you get around to it :-) Good work, dear friend!
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not_alone
Link:(Link)
Time:2008-06-28 08:28 pm (UTC)
You're welcome Jane - glad you enjoyed this chapter:)

You're right, that scene did involve a great deal of discomfort for Elijah - he's such a trouper:)

I'd be interested to see the scene where Frodo is trapped in the web and shows even more terror... Elijah is such a good actor and his face expresses so much, he's wonderful!

It's on the ROTK Special Edition dvd - part of the Costa Botes documentary on the second disk:)

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[icon] A JOURNEY WITH FRODO~CH16~'NO TURNING BACK' - NotAlone
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