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.