Alex Funke (Director of Photography)
Chuck Shuman (Director of Photography)
David Hardberger (Director of Photography)
The miniature production unit staffs a crew of twenty and is guided by
Director of Photography, Alex Funke. All of the miniatures are housed and
shot within an enormous 24,000 square foot warehouse stage.
To start the process, a scale miniature is built and ranges in size from a
few centimeters to several meters, affectionately coined "bigatures". Each
model is created to an astonishing level of perfection by an artist at the
WETA workshop. The Miniatures crew then lights the model and replicates the
environment captured when the live action was shot. Special cameras, cranes
and structures are used so that technicians can move smoothly around the
entire model creating huge sweeping crane type shots as well as delicate
To create the lava and volcanic eruptions featured on The Lord of the Rings,
artists use a series of pumps, hoses and liquid concoctions that, when
combined with dramatic lighting, create a realistic environment.