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News Alert: Making of Lord of the Rings trilogy using video conferencing

  • 21 January, 2004 09:12

<p>Polycom video conferencing enabled Lord of the Rings director to film trilogy concurrently with multiple crews in numerous locations</p>
<p>Use of Polycom’s video communications resulted in lower production costs and ensured artistic integrity across three titles filmed over 274 days in 150 locations</p>
<p>SYDNEY, Australia - January 21, 2004 - Polycom, Inc. has announced that its industry-leading group video communications system played a key role in the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy; the final chapter of which, The Return of the King, was released worldwide on 17th December 2003.</p>
<p>Through videoconferencing, director Peter Jackson was able to be in three places at one time managing multiple film crews at various locations across New Zealand. In a first for a large-scale film production, all three episodes of the trilogy were shot at the same time by the same director.</p>
<p>Jackson's use of video communications provided significant financial and artistic benefits in the film series production. The director viewed footage as it was being filmed by linking the movie cameras into Polycom’s video conferencing systems and viewing the footage over a high-speed network connection from either the Pinewood editing studio in the UK, the main studio in Warkworth, New Zealand or somewhere on location. The real-time interaction with the film crews and location directors resulted in fewer re-takes, which shortened filming time and saved major costs.</p>
<p>“Peter Jackson would watch what the locations were filming and then make suggestions,” said Duncan Nimmo, IT manager for 3Foot6 Limited, the company formed to make the film. “Jackson suggested changes such as different lighting or camera angles, and could see differences in the way certain types of characters moved or acted and make sure that the film conformed to his overall vision. This didn’t just save time, it made the overall film a better one.”</p>
<p>Video conferencing also played a key role in the post production process. To help meet the important post production delivery date, the crew used Polycom’s systems which enabled the director to provide input from New Zealand to the music studios in London on the final music score. This highlights how such technology can provide significant benefits to the film making process by unlocking new, more effective methods of production.</p>
<p>"We are very proud that Polycom’s products were able to assist Peter Jackson in the making of the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. We are constantly amazed when we find out how customers are using video communications in different ways thus demonstrating the versatility, reliability and adaptability of Polycom products and solutions," said Jean-Francois Poulain, Vice President and Managing Director, Polycom Asia. "The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively over distances enabled the director to make decisions faster, save time and reduce production costs".</p>
<p>Satellite communications proved essential to a film series shot in just 274 days at 150 locations across New Zealand. Although the video conferencing system was originally conceived for video communications alone, the ability to integrate phone and network services became a critical part of the operation.</p>
<p>The production crew used high frequency radio transmitters and military grade fibre optic cable to connect crews operating at great distances. Once the signal was received, it was fed through the analogue video inputs on the back of the Polycom video conferencing system and was ready for transmission. The footage was then transmitted over satellite to the director, whether he was in the central studio or out on location.</p>
<p>Far from being operated in a stable environment, Polycom’s video conferencing systems were used in sub-zero temperatures in the winter, exposed to searing heat in the summer and bounced around in the back of a variety of vehicles over thousands of kilometres without a single fault being recorded.</p>
<p>Polycom’s video conferencing systems run full-motion TV-quality video and can deliver near CD-quality audio for the most effective remote communication available today. An embedded Web server handles diagnostics and simple software upgrades over the Net. In addition to the simple Graphics User Interface (GUI), the voice tracking camera and preset tracking function means that customers can adapt the product to fit their needs.</p>
<p>Jackson made movie history by filming all three parts of the "Rings" trilogy simultaneously. The first two films have earned a combined US$1.8 billion and won a total of six Oscars. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is distributed by New Line Cinema; a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner.</p>
<p>About Polycom
Polycom, Inc. is the world's technology leader of high-quality, easy-to-use video, voice, data and web conferencing and collaboration solutions. The Polycom Office is our continued commitment to make distance communications as natural and interactive as being there by providing best-in-class conferencing solutions that are interoperable, integrated and intuitive to the user. The Polycom Office is based on industry standards and supported by an open architecture that promotes interoperability in multi-vendor environments and complements leading network infrastructure platforms. The NASDAQ-listed company is based in Pleasanton, California, USA, and has Asia-Pacific offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and India. For additional information, visit the Polycom site at www.polycom.com.au <http:>
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<p>Polycom and the Polycom logo are registered trademarks and The Polycom Office is a trademark of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries. 2003, Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved.</p>
<p>Note to Editors:
For a description of how Polycom’s video conferencing systems were deployed please see the special extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Disc 4, Music and Sound, Music for Middle-Earth, Segment 9).</p>
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