LotR Limited Ed. DVD Extras (TTT, RotK) — Miscellaneous....
This penultimate "Limited Editions Extras" post presents a couple of unrelated screencap series, simply because neither has that many frames. First there are some shots of Elijah Wood performing Frodo struggling with Gollum in the Emyn Muil. Second, there are shots of Elijah watching as Sam's coverage is being filmed for their Sammath Naur scene.
From the Limited Edition DVD Extras for The Two Towers:
As I said in the previous entry, the Extras for The Two Towers are quite good. Frodo is in them frequently, but there not much that is good for screencaps. Most of his footage is too distant or blurry to make really worth-while captures. Frodo's segments are better to watch (and hear) as film.
One sequence did catch my eye, however. It was well-lit and focussed enough to be able to see Frodo clearly. I pause-stepped through it and chose the images shown below.
The first two show Frodo doing his "this is Sting" line, seen from the side, and without digital grading. The focus is quite good since Elijah had to hold the moment while camera and effects people figured out what they needed in order to add digital-Gollum later.
The ones that follow are face shots, fairly focussed, in which Frodo reacts to Gollum during the fight, having thrown Frodo against the rock wall. Gollum is not, in fact, there. Elijah has to recreate the scuffle from memory, so that close-ups can be made.
What fascinated me about them was how extremely young Elijah looked in these. I know we are always saying this, but in the last frame, in particular, he could be Huck Finn stuffed into Frodo's velvets and tweeds, with a mop of dark curls plopped on his head. He looks like a boy, not even a teenager, for heaven's sake.
~ Frodo struggles with Gollum in the Emyn Muil scene:
From the Limited Edition DVD Extras for The Return of the King:
The screencaps below were not ones I had planned to make. It was an interesting scene, but the focus was poor and the lighting for Frodo dim. But ms_banazira's comment in a previous entry inspired me to look at the sequence again. I decided to make the caps after all, "for the record", I guess.
In this sequence, the documentary photographer is filming the shooting of Sam's coverage for the Sammath Naur scene. "Action!" a voice calls out, and Sean advances down the stone causeway that leads to the Cracks of Doom. While he delivers Sam's lines, crew people angle reflectors at him and the mist-machine person shoots mist his way. Manufactured wind is blowing, lights flash on and off, simulating the flares of the fires of Mt. Doom.
Since the camera-person is planted right where Frodo would be standing when he delivers his lines ("I'm here, Sam", and, "the Ring is mine"), Elijah is not acting the scene with Sean.
Yet even as I say, "Elijah is not acting the scene with Sean," that is only technically true. As Ms_Banazira pointed out, Elijah is acting the scene, but he's acting it from a ladder off to the side, out of Sean's eye line.
Blurry and ill-lit as they are, these caps demonstrate how, off-camera, Elijah was performing the scene he'd rehearsed with Sean, but in his mind. Perhaps Elijah's coverage was going to be shot next -- he's clearly in costume and make-up for the scene. It would be a form of extra rehearsal to psych himself into the scene before he had to be filmed himself.
But whether he would be going on next or had already completed Frodo's coverage, it's an engaged, supportive actor who furthers the concentration and work of his fellows by investing himself wholly while they are performing -- even if he does not appear himself.
The screencaps below begin with Sam yelling, "Frodo!" Elijah is relaxed, seated atop the ladder by the rock wall. He holds a water bottle, merely a spectator, but soon is pulled into the scene, as his expressions and body-language show.
Frodo! Destroy it! Go on! Now!
Throw it in the fire!
Many thanks to Ms. Banazira (aka "HoneyElf") for inspiring me to go back and take a second look.
Incidentally, the Extras for the Limited Edition RotK DVD are really quite good. As with the Extras for TTT, while they are not chock-full of Frodo material, they are full of interesting stuff. I loved seeing how they made the rivers of lava, for instance, or how they evolved the sounds for the destruction of Barad-dûr, but things like that are not everyone's cup of tea.