7 Movies That Put Insane Detail into Stuff You Never Noticed
We know how film directors occasionally go a little bit crazy when it comes to certain minor details, including ones that 99 percent of the audience are never even going to see. A horrifying amount of time and work go into things that will be forever unnoticed by everyone except a few members of the crew. So let's again take a moment to appreciate the awesomely obsessive ...
The Lord of the Rings: Each Piece of Armor Has a Backstory
What's that? You didn't, because it was a massive crowd and the entire scene was filmed at night, in the rain? And because the mail is what they were wearing under their armor, so that only a few inches of it shows even if you freeze-frame on an individual soldier?
Well, that chain mail that you didn't notice, that you couldn't have noticed, was created by the costume department by hand, link by link working for two straight years, without stopping. They made 6 miles of the stuff (32,000 feet of it) this way, to lay unseen under the armor of the warriors of Middle-earth.
However, to truly appreciate the completely unreasonable level of detail director Peter Jackson insisted upon, you need to look at all of the armor and weapons featured in the films. Each race has specific traits and customs, and then within those races, each family has their own designs that are reflected in the equipment they wear. To quote the article sourced above:
Freeze on a scene in the Elf land of Rivendell and appreciate the bronze detailing of Legolas' quiver, crafted with the lost-wax process. Pause in an Orc battle scene and notice the varieties of helmets, some representing a family's standing within the Orcan culture, others illustrating that Orcs were scavengers who gathered armor and weapons that were dropped on battlefields. Stop on a closeup of a Dwarf and observe the belt buckles with squarish, angular designs that reflect Dwarven architecture.
More than 48,000 pieces just as detailed as these were made for the first film alone, to please the four people in the audience who would notice/care. And even crazier, each one of these helmets has a back story like a G.I. Joe file card -- rough leather and cracked metal for Orcs of low standing, long and misshapen for Orcs with (more) physical deformities; light helmets for scouts, and heavy bladed ones for berserk. All this effort just to be strapped onto an anonymous stuntman as he sprints toward a bludgeoning with prop swords.
They also crafted 10,000 hand-forged Orcish belt buckles that are virtually impossible to see in the middle of a sprawling CGI-enhanced melee. People don't even notice belt buckles in real life unless they're hanging out at the Double Deuce, so they can't be serious about that "squarish, angular design" nonsense about Dwarf belts.