- Title: Peter Jackson, "Lord of the Rings" to World War One
- Date: 8th November 2018
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 9, 2018) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR, PETER JACKSON, WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE LACK OF WEST INDIES OR INDIAN SOLDIERS IN THE FILM, SAYING: "But you see what also happened in the First World War is the, is they didn't allow any soldier, any, any coloured, coloured person was not allowed to fight, if you can believe that. They didn't want, they didn't want to, to, in a blunt way they didn't want brown people shooting white, white men. They didn't think, at that particular point in time, that was a very good look. So all of these soldiers, all the South African, West Indian soldiers, the Maoris from New Zealand, they were all relegated to digging trenches or cutting down trees doing, doing lumber work, just lugging stuff around. They weren't actually, they weren't given guns, they weren't, I mean the Indian soldiers were the, some of, some of the Indians fought - the Sikhs and the Gurkhas fought yeh."
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2018 11:01
- Keywords: Peter Jackson They Shall Not Grow Old soldiers WW1 First World War Lord of the Rings
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00895N8E3D
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY ORIGINALLY RAN ON OCTOBER 9, 2018 - THIS IS A RE-PUBLISHED STORY - NUMBER 4013
For his new World War One documentary film, "They Shall Not Grow Old", director Peter Jackson was adamant the soldiers should tell their own stories.
To do that, the acclaimed New Zealand director hired forensic lip-readers to go through old silent film footage of the war and uncover the conversations that took place in the trenches and on the battlegrounds 100 years ago.
Those words were mixed with interviews with former soldiers from 600 hours of tape in the BBC archives to create a documentary that includes only the words of the soldiers themselves, in a full-colour war as they would have seen it.
"There's been lots of documentaries made on the First World War...and I just decided for this one to strictly just use the voices of the guys that fought there," Jackson, director of the "Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" series told Reuters on Tuesday (October 9). "So no historians, no narration, no nothing."
Old film was meticulously restored. Computers were used, not only to add colour to black and white footage, but to remove imperfections, fill splices and reconstruct missing frames from film that was shot with fewer frames per second than today.
Forensic lip readers, who usually work with the police determining what people say on silent security camera footage, were able to decipher the words spoken long ago on film.
Actors were hired to give the soldiers on screen a voice. The film will have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival next week.
"It's not the story of the war," said Jackson. "It's the story of the human experience of fighting in the war."
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