‘Lord of the Rings’ fight styles director to visit OSU
STILLWATER — He showed elves, orcs and goblins how to fight — and now fight-styles director Tony Wolf will present a lecture on physical theater and film at Oklahoma State University.
Wolf worked on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy with director Peter Jackson, creating distinct fighting techniques for the various races present in those films, based on the fantasy books by J.R.R. Tolkien.
“I’d worked with Peter as a stuntman and stunt coordinator on several of his early movies, and I’d heard that he was going to be doing ‘Lord of the Rings,’” Wolf said. “And at that stage, I had no concept of the scale of what the trilogy was going to turn into. But I suggested that it might be interesting if all of the different species and cultures of creatures and also humans featured in the movies had their own unique ways of moving and fighting.”
Wolf said each species’ fighting style took into account the visuals of the characters, the style of the species and what would be physically possible and reasonable.
“The basic process, obviously, we read Tolkien’s books, but he often doesn’t go into the kind of detail I’d need to develop the fighting style. He describes the broad sweep of the battle. … So a lot of my inspiration came from what the other production departments were doing,” Wolf said.
Wolf looked at the costume designs and creature designs from various other design departments. Wolf then created a set of aesthetic principles to define each particular culture in the fantasy world. He translated that set of principles into how the characters would move and use weapons.
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