The Beacons Are Lit!


Here is an example of motion from a very popular film that most of you have probably seen, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. In this scene the young master hobbit, Pippin, is tasked by Gandalf the White (previously Gandalf the Grey) to light the beacons of Amon Din. These will signal the Riders of Rohan to aid Gondor in it's time of need.

In this scene we follow the climb of Pippin upto the beacon and from the camera angles we can tell that he is climbing vertically and at an extreme height. That really isn't as important as the following sequence after the first beacon is struck. Taking full advantage of Large-screen Digital Cinema, Peter Jackson, portrays a beautiful landscape view of the mountains upon which the beacons rest. We get the sense that we are moving, like the signal itself, from the movement of the camera over the mountains, while they remain stationary (as do the fires). This is a cool effect because we know that the fires are visible but they are not a moving signal. It is a conveyed sense of motion through sight, a motion paradox.

The last thing I wanted to mention was the percieved speed of the scene. The camera moving over the landscape seems ot be moving rather slowly, but at the same time shows the huge expanse of space that is being traversed. This feeling is amplified once you realize how large mountains are, and also if you are familiar with a map of Middle Earth ;).


I know this movie is very popular and oddly enough I have never seen it! But I like how it does a view of the whole area so you can see just how hight this guy is climbing and then it focuses back on the main character to make the scene a bit more intense.

I found this scene in Return of the King to be perhaps the second most compelling scene in the entire trilogy. It shows a beautiful symbol of unity regardless of previous strife. The only scene I can think of that I found more moving is when Aragorn tells the hobbits that they shall bow to no one, which is followed by Aragorn and his entire kingdom bowing to the hobbits.

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This page contains a single entry by krame432 published on March 25, 2013 11:50 AM.

Prompt #8: Time & motion was the previous entry in this blog.

Motion: Aaron Bergland is the next entry in this blog.

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