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Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  1,421 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Film-making history was made when, in The Two Towers, an actor's performance and digital animation were seamlessly integrated to create the world's first totally lifelike computer-generated character. Now Andy Serkis tells his own story about how a three-week commission to provide a voiceover for Gollum grew into a five-year commitment to breathe life and soul into The Lor ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 22nd 2003 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Return of the King by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
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30th out of 127 books — 57 voters
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Community Reviews

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Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies spark debate. You have the wonderful people who say, "they're too long and have things with pointy ears. Yuck!". You have people who say, "the books are better" (and these people are right). You have people who say, "the books are better and Jackson should meet a Balrog in a dark alley".

But I like to think most of us are like me. Yes, the books are better, but the movies were cool too.

We can quibble about what got left in and taken out. (No, I don't miss
Lovely little book which is basically an abbreviated diary of Andy Serkis' time creating Gollum in the LOTR trilogy of movies.

Much information for the technically minded and for Tolkien geeks.

Gorgeously illustrated with scenes from the movies and MANY behind the scenes shots.

An editing nightmare. I picked up this book because I love "making-of" featurettes about movies and I thought this would be similar. Ugh. The editing of a book has never stood out to me so much before, and it was NOT in a good way.

For starters, as commendable and inspired as Andy Serkis's performance as Gollum was, his writing is average, even in final book form. He frequently brings up things that are irrelevant to the story he is telling, and even uses the same example to illustrate his point
A fascinating look at one of the most interesting characters within ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Indisputably distinctive and intriguing, Gollum/ Sméagol has to be one of the most fascinating creatures that dwells upon Middle-Earth with his past partly remaining a mystery. I was delighted to find a single volume dedicated to this slippery character who was central to Frodo’s journey, and was the most complex of all creatures ~ topping the Dwarves, Elves and Wizards! It is the fact that instead of just
J. Bryce
Andy Serkis's own story about how he was hired to "voice" Gollum in Peter Jackson's film trilogy of The Lord of The Rings, and how that voicing changed and evolved as both his potential, and that of the CG crew, evolved to full fruition. Cover The Fellowship of the Ring well, and The Two Towers, but there's not much here on The Return of the King, and of course nothing on The Hobbit. But if you're into filmmaking, and the LotR films, you'll find this fascinating.

There's even hope, according to a
I've always loved behind the scenes stuff and this book was able to give me a glimpse behind the curtains of one of the best movies I've ever seen. The good thing is that it's written by one of the actors, not by a writer or by a journalist, but by a person who was actually there. Andy Serkis is an amazing actor and he's an amazing writer. He was able to make me believe I was on the set too. He also helped me understand the process of movie-making and he answered a lot of questions I had about t ...more
C.C.R. Sorge
very interesting.
Feb 26, 2008 Anna-Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lord of the Rings fans.
This book is great. It's by Andy Serkis who played gollum in the Lord of the Rings as most of you probably know. Its really his Lord of the Rings story and a American actors view of New Zealand I found it really funny being from New Zealand. But its great and worth reading.
I finished this just now, and wow, what an interesting book! I thought I'd seen this in shops, but if I have then I've obviously never opened it up (more fool me!), thinking it was something completely different.

Have to say kudos to Andy Serkis for managing to explain what he did so well, and in such an interesting manner as well. If there were more I'd definitely read them!
Filled with interesting facts and lots of humor, this is the #1 place to go for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings films. Actor Andy Serkis gives an engaging and humorous first-hand experience of his performance and the digital animation that brought Gollum to life. A must-read for all LOTR fans!
Of all the "behind the scenes" books (with the exception of the "Art" ones) this is probably the most interesting. It's not just photos and little comments, it's a real description by Andy Serkis of how Gollum was created: the challenges, the technical solutions, the script and Andy Serkis' experience and "voyage" with the character.
A wonderful insight, written by Andy Serkis, into the world of creating Gollum. I thought it was a brilliant read, and it just added to my enjoyment and appreciation of the masterpieces that were the Lord of the Rings films.
For those interested in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings or a seminal stage in the art of motion capture, Gollum: How We Made Movie Magic is a treat. A very specific treat.
Tirah Meier
Very interesting book, with behind the scenes on how movies are made and creating CGI. Also, great look behind the making of Lord of the Rings and the cast/characters.
Loved the novels. Loved the movies. Love this book as it takes the reader behind the scenes for an intimate, first hand look at how movie magic is made.
Jun 01, 2012 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: film
I love behind the scenes books an features and this one doesn't disappoint.
My copy of this is also signed: 5 stars. ;-)
Jan 28, 2010 Kolby added it
i like my smegles.
Melissa Ford
Melissa Ford marked it as to-read
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Andy Serkis is a British actor, producer and director best known for his role as the schizophrenic Hobbit-like creature known as Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Serkis returned to the role briefly in the first part of Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy. On The Hobbit Trilogy trilogy, Serkis is the director of the second unit.

Serkis is known for mostly his Motion Capture work but has
More about Andy Serkis...
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Chronicles II: Creatures & Characters

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