Amazon Prime’s upcoming “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series is reportedly going back to predominantly practical effects and prosthetics for its depiction of the Orcs in Middle Earth.
Peter Jackson’s original “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was mostly the creation of practical creature makeup and prosthetics work, but “The Hobbit” relied heavily on fully CG creations like Azog and Borg.
Speaking to IGN, executive producer Lindsey Weber and prosthetics department chief Jamie Wilson say that visual effects were only utilized to make minor tweaks to prosthetics during action scenes or to showcase large armies impossible to pull off practically. Wilson says:
“We did decide from the outset that we would try and make this a very real show. So therefore, we tried to use real prosthetics and everything and minimize the visual effects, because there are hundreds of productions that are heavy on visual effects, and you can see it, that the human eye is getting better and better and knows what is real and knows what isn’t, because we are just getting so deluged with all this product that you begin to know.
A lot of [VFX work comes in] when you get into stunts and action, some of the stuff the human physically can’t do. So therefore it turns into a visual effect. So there was a lot of that. Also, a lot of stuff with prosthetics is beasts and creatures that then need further enhancements or whatever.”
As the series is set in the Second Age as opposed to the thousands of years later Third Age of both film trilogies, the look of the Orcs have been tweaked to be “part of a wilder, more raw, Second Age, Middle-earth, Closer to where the First Age ends” says Weber. That results in a “desiccated” look as these creatures aren’t so organized and are more scavengers.
“The Lords of the Rings: The Rings of Power” kicks off on September 2nd on Amazon Prime. Head over to IGN to check out a full gallery of Orc close-up shots.