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Lords Of The Geek

December 12th, 2005

Last Friday, my friend Rob and I made a geek pilgrimage to Indianapolis to visit the Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy Exhibition, which showcased props and costumes from Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. It was truly a nerd paradise, and the beauty of being accompanied by Rob as opposed to say, my wife, is that we could spend two hours oohing and ahhing over the exquisite level of detail on display. (Not that my wife wouldn’t ooh or ahh about anything, but it woudn’t be Orc armor.)

Unlike the items on display in the similar Star Wars-themed exhibit several years ago, these withstood close scrutiny, and both of us were impressed by the tiny Elvish runes and other imagery that would never be seen on screen, but were crafted in lovingly obsessive detail nonetheless. Most amazing was the effigy of the deceased warrior Boromir laid out in a funeral boat; the skin texture was so realistic that I half believed someone had stuffed and mounted actor Sean Bean.

The lighting and presentation were equally dramatic throughout the hall, from the full-sized, armored figure of Sauron and the 10-foot-high “miniature” of the Tower of Orthanc to the One Ring, suspended in a lucite pillar within a darkened, “flame-lit” room.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, so you’ll have to be content with the couple seen here. The one on the right is from one of the interactive areas which showcased the film’s special effects; in this case, a demonstration of the forced perspective used to turn full-sized people into “hobbits.” You should know that an even fruitier version of this photo exists in which Rob and I got into character as halfling and wizard. And no, I won’t be posting it!

The exhibit runs through January 3, 2006, after which it will be sent back to New Zealand for permanent installation. It’s definitely worth the trip!

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