When hi-tech meets high fantasy

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"Weta Digital, a firm formed by Rings director Peter Jackson […] runs the third largest supercomputer on the planet if you count the number of processors, 3300, it can call on, says Scott Houston, chief technical officer at Weta. […] Weta’s data store is 500 terabytes in size spread among 220 million files. Some of that data is a few years old because some sequences, such as the Balrog from the Mines of Moria, appeared in more than one film.
Finding and moving the data for that sequence out of storage so it could be reworked for the second film took about three days. […] One of the longest special effects sequences was the Battle of the Pelennor fields that took place in front of Minas Tirith.
The battle pitted 120,000 digital orcs, each with its own AI fighting style and armour against 8,000 digital Riders of Rohan."

I liked the making-of coming with the Extended LOTR I DVD, but come on, stop the artistic pretense and happy talk among actor "friends." I’d like to see how project management and IT were handled for this massive endeavor. Plus, Jackson must be a hell of a salesman to have convinced producers to let him lead the trilogy, considering the relatively low key efforts he had previously directed. What an individual and team achievement!

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