Today is the official release of the movie "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers". The Los Angeles Times chose to focus on one character, Gollum "who was born a hobbit-like creature named Smeagol but transformed into something far more frightening through his own encounter with The Ring." (This quotation comes from one page of the film's website on visual effects.)
Here are some quotes from the article: please note that you need to register -- it's free -- for accessing it.
Technically, Gollum is not a "he," but an "it" -- an agglomeration of 1s and 0s that required six years of research, scores of computer programmers and countless cycles of processing power to make the animated amphibious creature as believable as human actors.
The key, though, was a human actor -- a classically trained Shakespearean stage player named Andy Serkis whose face never appears on-screen, but nonetheless infuses Gollum with enough sadness and pain to make him perhaps the most believable computer-generated character in a movie.
Making Gollum believable was the biggest technical and artistic challenge for Peter Jackson, who directed "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. In the J.R.R. Tolkien series on which the movies are based, Gollum is a central figure, a Hobbit disfigured and driven mad by the power of the One Ring.
"Peter's biggest fear, even back in the earliest days, was that audiences would not think of Gollum as a 'he,' " said Lulu Zezza, a former production supervisor on the "Lord of the Rings" series.
"Peter thought the success of these movies hinged on Gollum being real, being believable," she said. "If he missed on Gollum, if he didn't create the hugely dimensional character that he is in the books, the movies would fail."
The article is very informative. Please read it completely to know more about the making of Gollum. I don't have time to make more comments: I have to see the film.
Source: P.J. Huffstutter and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2002 (Free registration requested)
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