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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

LotR Limited Ed. DVD Extras - EW goes over his lines....

Posted on 2006.10.13 at 14:47
Note: My apologies to dial-up customers, since there are twenty-eight images in this entry.

I actually capped this clip last November for an entry called Elijah in costume, laughing. That is because this footage also appears in a featurette called, Languages. This was included on the DVD extras I screencapped last fall from the theatrical version of FotR.

In this sequence, which looks early in filming, Elijah, costumed as Frodo, is going over his lines with Andrew Jack, the bearded man to the left. A female crew person, unseen except for her hand, is on the right, holding an umbrella for shade.

At the point that Elijah realises he is being filmed, he responds with surprise then begins to break up. "Hi," he heralds the viewers cheerily, "as I go over my lines!" In a laughing aside to the camera person he adds, "and embarrass me -- yeah." He seems more surprised than embarrassed, laughing at himself and the situation: caught unawares yet again. There is a slight edge to this interaction, but mostly it is humorous, an example of a young actor learning one more lesson in being able to go with the flow during this new filming situation.

I should imagine that this was something that happened repeatedly at first: actors and crew members not realising they were being filmed suddenly noticing and experiencing a brief flash of, "What was I just saying or doing?!?"

But as the filming went on, people seemed to pay less and less attention to it, like families do that allow a filmmaker to come into their homes to make a documentary. Also, on the LotR shoot, cast and crew were together long enough to get to know the two people behind the camera. Eventually, its presence became so familiar it was a part of the scenery.

In this instance, as the camera continued to focus on Elijah, the crew person with the umbrella finally motioned the camera away as if to say, "All right: enough. This lad needs to get back to work."


Enjoying this sequence again on the new DVD extras, I decided to make a few more caps, since I had never done any of the section before he starts to laugh.

What a revelation when I compared the newly made caps to the ones I made last year! The lighting and resolution were so much better -- even without any further tweaking -- I decided to make a new set.

Why this might be of interest to some of you considering whether to buy this set for the extras -- especially since some of it (like this scene) already appears elsewhere -- is this:

If the picture quality is noticeably better here, perhaps it is better in all the material?

Below are two unretouched screencaps from the same scene, but from the two different DVD's. As you will see, the footage from "Languages" released in 2002 is formatted for a standard TV and has more of the sides cropped off, while including more of the top and bottom. The cap from the new DVD is formatted for the newer rectangular TV screens. But the main difference I see is in the crispness.

Perhaps for the new set of DVD's the Costa Bote footage was further processed for exposure, and especially for resolution? In the older screencap, you can really see how much darker and less focussed, almost smudgy, the frame is.

Remember, both caps below are unretouched.

~ Screencap from the Costa Bostes extras, from the new Limited Edition of FotR:

~ Same screencap from the "Languages" featurette, from the TE edition of FotR:


So, the technical talk all finished, here are the new screencaps.

As usual, the frames have been cropped to take away the black edges, then tweaked for exposure and sharpness. They still are not perfectly focussed, but they are massively improved over the caps I made from the older extras.

I really do just love this sequence. It is so rare we get to see Frodo in high spirits and really laughing. Although this is not Frodo but Elijah in costume, I still enjoy looking at them as Frodo pictures, seeing the both them mixed together -- actor and character -- in the one person.

I've left a little break between frames 12 and 13, to highlight where Elijah notices the camera.

~ From the FotR Limited Edition DVD Extras, Elijah rehearsing with Andrew Jack, head dialect coach:

Full listing of Frodo and Elijah screencaps HERE.

~ Mechtild


melyanna_65 at 2006-10-13 17:18 (UTC) (Link)
Bless him! As I said in my previous comment this guy has a lovely laughter and like to laugh a lot. What a gift to see that beautiful face brightened by his smile!

And yes, as you pointed at me before, I was really blessed to witness "his brightness" for real. A lot of smiles and laughters that day!

*hugs you!*
mechtild at 2006-10-13 20:42 (UTC) (Link)
Isn't he a "little ray of sunshine", though? *tweaks his merry little cheek* I still love thinking about you meeting him, Melyanna. You wrote such a fine report, making us all feel as though we'd met him in a special way, too.
shirebound at 2006-10-13 17:20 (UTC) (Link)
How wonderful. I love all these.

And this scene reminds me of when I asked a friend of mine in England if any American actor had ever -- in her opinion -- "nailed" a British accent in a movie. She replied that Elijah Wood in "Lord of the Rings" was the best and most accurate she ever heard. :D
mechtild at 2006-10-13 20:46 (UTC) (Link)
One of my theatre friends who had spent a year at Oxford was totally floored hearing him speak in the extras for the first time. She had assumed he was a British actor. If he does the role in The Oxford Murders as written with the student coming from Argentina, I hope they have another good dialect coach to work with him. I think he could use the acting "handle" of a foreign accent to help him more distinctly develop his character, so I am really keen to see him not play it as another American student abroad.
lily_the_hobbit at 2006-10-13 17:58 (UTC) (Link)
I do like him when he smiles.
mechtild at 2006-10-13 20:46 (UTC) (Link)
You and me both.
mariole at 2006-10-13 18:07 (UTC) (Link)
I remember this featurette so well. When he burst into that self-depracating, totally unself-conscious laugh, I just fell in love with him. This was a wonderful fan moment that I will treasure forever.
mechtild at 2006-10-13 20:48 (UTC) (Link)
And a great source of icons, too! I'll have to re-do my "Hilarious!", "No shit!" and "Oops!" icons now that I have these with the better resolution.

I loved this moment when I first saw it, too, Mariole. I didn't have a crush on him or Frodo at all at that time, but I thought it terribly endearing. Who didn't want to squish him?
hobbitlove83 at 2006-10-13 20:46 (UTC) (Link)
That is just soo beautiful!!
I really was in need of some loveliness, and your LijFrodo just did the trick.

Thank you so much for sharing, darling Mechtild!!

*happy hugs*
mechtild at 2006-10-13 20:49 (UTC) (Link)
Is it a bleak day there? It's grey, windy and snow-flurrying here. A perfect day for a laughing Frolijah. :)
ms_banazira at 2006-10-13 21:07 (UTC) (Link)
It's fun seeing Elijah in costume struggle just a little bit to remember a line, because when he finally gets in front of the camera and does his thing, there is no doubt that it's Frodo you're seeing. Which just amazes me no end; it must take such talent, intelligence, and concentration to do that.

Saw your comment up there regarding "The Oxford Murders"; I hope they have a good dialogue coach too. Of all his movies my faves are LoTR and The War. For some actors it seems to be putting on a costume helps them become the character . For Elijah it seems a good accent is the key.
mechtild at 2006-10-13 22:32 (UTC) (Link)
I agree, Honey. I think he really needs a few "externals" to latch onto to help him create a distinctive character. To slip into someone else's speech and mannerisms is just as powerful as slipping into a different head of hair and suit of clothes. All of these things help an actor get a feel for a character on the inside, even though they are on the outside.
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-10-13 22:33 (UTC) (Link)
Me, too, Mews. What a face! Not only beautiful, but so expressive.
bandwench at 2006-10-13 23:47 (UTC) (Link)
I remember screen caps from this behind-the-scenes footage as being some of the very first I ran across so very long ago, and so early in my Frodo fascination. (This scene and him in the snow wearing Gandalf's hat and sunglasses! Ü ) They were so endearing in combination that I had to devour all the extra scenes hoping to see just a glimpse more of him being so silly and happy again.

I think you are right, that we see so little of Frodo being happy and carefree in the movies that we really crave just a bit more, and this is one way to get our fix.

The new caps you made of this are incredibly brilliant and crisp compared to the older ones. I squeaked in happiness when I saw how bright and detailed they are, because I do so love this sequence. The hand over his mouth, the "oh dear" look and just a touch of self-consciousness--not something we get to see often from him. This scene always feels like we got a peek at something special and fleeting and we should be very thankful for getting to be a part of it. *happy sigh*

Thanks so much for capping this . . . they are just so, so good for me! *hugs*
mechtild at 2006-10-13 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
The hand over his mouth, the "oh dear" look and just a touch of self-consciousness--not something we get to see often from him. This scene always feels like we got a peek at something special and fleeting

That is so well-put, Bandwench. How could we not love him? He's just so dear in this sequence.

And we *are* pretty thankful for having been made part of it, yessirree Bob.

(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-10-14 14:24 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, White Gull. This pain...have you had it seen to? Or is that what fic-writing is for? *teasing* I actually enjoy that sort of pain -- if you mean the pain that comes from experiencing what is extremely beautiful and/or moving.
whiteling at 2006-10-14 14:32 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, what a delightful set of screencaps! How can one not love this guy. His laugh jumps on you like a sweet and playful squirrel.
mechtild at 2006-10-14 15:24 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Whiteliing, what a great way to express that feeling! *giggles inanely*
verangel at 2006-10-14 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
wow...this is so cool. I didn't know this was in the theatrical extras. I am not sure I was aware there even was a theatrical extra. I have the extras from the extended version. Now you make me want to get the new DVDs!!!
Was this whole sequence included in both??
:)hugs ya!!
mechtild at 2006-10-14 21:28 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, this whole sequence was in the "Featurettes" for the theatrical version DVD (two disc set). The theatrical version had one disc of special features which included the featurettes as well as two TV specials that had come out before FotR was released. A lot of that material, though, shows up later in the extras made for the EE versions. This sequence of Frodo laughing is in the new extras, too, since the footage was shot by Costa Botes. The material in the newly issued DVD sets ("Limited Edition") consist entirely of footage Costa Botes shot during the making of the films. Since his footage was used to make the documentaries for all the EE's, it's not surprising that there is a good deal of overlap.
taerie at 2006-10-14 17:29 (UTC) (Link)
I haven't really seen the extras on any of them. (Well, except the one about training the horses of course.. THAT I had to watch.)
So I hadn't seen this scene except for what you posted before of that laugh. (Well I know what WG is talking about. My bones hurt when I see this much concentrated gorgeousness and cuteness. I think that is probably what they mean when they say I feel it in my marrow.)
I chuckled so much over this that Matt had to come and see what was tickling me so much. He looks for all the world like a hobbit cub in school trying to remember something important. I imagine Frodo looking like this in one of Bilbo's lessons.
That pumping the arms around in frustration trying to somehow clear the roadblock in the brain. So cute! I get the feeling in a lot of the extras from looking at his face that he is aware of the camera.. This one is obviously candid. He would be on his grown up dignity much more if he knew he was being filmed. He is so adorable! Thanks for these!!!!
mechtild at 2006-10-14 21:33 (UTC) (Link)
I get the feeling in a lot of the extras from looking at his face that he is aware of the camera.. This one is obviously candid.

Yeah, it was clear from his reaction that he did not at all know the camera was on him earlier. He was a good sport, though. As I said, they seemed to get used to the camera running all the time as time went on. I think as the "Extras" began appearing on DVD's, they came to trust the judgement of the editors more. -- that the filmmakers weren't going to go out of their way to make the actors or crew look bad, but chose moments in the candid filming that would not seriously embarrass them.

P.S. I love all those looks of concentrated effort on his face, too.
frodos_smile at 2006-10-14 22:07 (UTC) (Link)
Ohmigosh, he's just soooo adorable!!!!!!!! in these caps! I really enjoyed watching this segment of the documentary, but to see him frame by frame is even better, visually, that is. What a darling!

Thank you for sharing these, mechtild! :-)
mechtild at 2006-10-14 22:26 (UTC) (Link)
It is my pleasure, Frodo's Smile!
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-10-16 10:48 (UTC) (Link)
...is a joy forever.

I just love the gap between his teeth.

Thank you Mechtild!
mechtild at 2006-10-16 13:04 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that gap always makes his smile goofily endearing -- and young (like he still has his baby teeth). In the screencaps for the "improv", the picture that's third down shows his gap, and he looks about ten years old. I keep imagining his face is covered in freckles in that shot, too, such a kid he looks.
julchen11 at 2006-10-20 23:48 (UTC) (Link)
*sigh* This smile, unbelievable. He kills me with this smile all the time and it's sooo easy to love him, isn't it? He's amazing.
It's all said above and I totally agree with everything friends say.
Thank you once again my dear Mechtild, it was and still is a pleasure to be here.


Have a wonderful weekend, I'll come back soon.

Love and kisses

mechtild at 2006-10-21 00:04 (UTC) (Link)
This smile, unbelievable. He kills me with this smile all the time and it's sooo easy to love him, isn't it?

Isn't he a delight? But you knew that. *smooch*
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