updated: 20/01/2004

elf makeups: The Lord Of The Rings

Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy has many strengths: not least the special effects, costuming and makeup.

Arwen Undómiel, (Liv Tyler) and the Lady Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) are elves: nevermind all those orcs, the elves’ ears are wonderfully delicate and translucent. There is a separate page illustrating Liv Tyler’s makeup application.

Peter King and Peter Owen rightly won awards aplenty but behind them was a massive team effort. The makeup department for The Fellowship of the Ring (from where these images came) is listed on IMDb as: Norman Cates, prosthetics technician; Jason Docherty, prosthetics technician; Sean Foot, prosthetics technician; Marjory Hamlin, makeup supervisor; Peter King, hair designer & makeup designer; Tammy Lane, prosthetics technician; Peter Owen, hair designer & makeup designer; José Luis Pérez (as Jose L Perez), key hair stylist & key makeup artist; Rogier Samuels, prosthetics technician; Gail Wilson, hair & makeup coordinator; Jeremy Woodhead, makeup artist.

And that does not include Weta’s contribution across the whole gamut of special and visual effects. Richard Taylor runs Weta and has a long-time association with Peter Jackson; this is what he had to say about Weta’s input to the Lord of the Rings trilogy:

Weta Workshop has been responsible for the design, fabrication and onset operation of five departments for this epic film trilogy. We have manufactured over 1200 suits of armour, 2000 weapons, 68 miniatures, 12 major creatures, all of the special make up effects and prosthetic suits for the films and multitudes of gore and injury rigs. We have been working on the project for four years to date and at the height of filming have serviced seven shooting units and two miniatures units. By opting to house so many departments under one roof, we have sought to paint Tolkien’s Middle-earth with a singular brush stroke. We have approached this massive project with a level of passion and enthusiasm we feel befitting of such a visionary epic. The Lord of the Rings is a work of modern English folklore and to be given the honour of portraying it through film in our own unique way has been a great gift for all of us at Weta.