With his sixth and final epic film based on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien about to hit theaters, Peter Jackson has decided to end it all with a bang… or in this case, a 45 minute fight scene. The fight takes place at the base of the Lonely Mountain and the five armies (hence the title) are all after the recently recovered dwarven treasure of Erebor. But how do you do 45 minutes of fighting without it being overwhelming or desensitizing?
"We have a rule that we're not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters," Jackson said in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview. "Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue."
And how do you plan out such a huge skirmish?
"There's a lot of logistics that have to be thought through. We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics."
"Before we could loose the first arrow, we had to design the landscape itself and figure out, 'Okay, if we have 10,000 orcs, how much room are they going to take up?' " Jackson says. " 'Are they going to fill up the valley or look like a speck?' Then we could start drawing the arrows on the schematics."
You'll notice on the graphic above the word Eagles. Seems the Eagles are part of the battle including the Lord of the Eagles. The eagles have been a bit of a sticking point to some fans and have even been the topic of parodies. This has not gone unnoticed by the film director.
"Tolkien uses eagles in a way that can be kind of awkward because they tend to show up out of the blue and change things pretty quickly. So here they're just part of the plan, not the saviors. I mean, I do realize that if the eagles had just been able to bring Frodo to Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings and let him drop the ring in, those movies would have been much shorter."
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies opens in theaters December 17th.