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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:03 am 
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Andrew Lesnie, the Oscar-winning cinematographer who filmed Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and three “Hobbit” movies, died on Monday in Australia. He was 59.

His death was announced by Ron Johanson, president of the Australian Cinematographers Society, who said Mr. Lesnie had had “a serious heart condition.” He did not give further details. Mr. Lesnie also filmed Mr. Jackson’s remake of “King Kong,” and his crime drama “The Lovely Bones”; “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” directed by Rupert Wyatt; the Will Smith film “I Am Legend,” directed by Francis Lawrence; and “The Last Airbender,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan. He had recently completed work on “The Water Diviner,” Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, which opened in American theaters last week.

Mr. Lesnie was best known for the epic “Lord of the Rings” fantasy trilogy, adapted from the J. R. R. Tolkien books and released from 2001 to 2003, and their prequels, the three “Hobbit” films, released from 2012 to 2014. Mr. Jackson said in a 2004 interview with digitalproducer.com that he had been impressed by Mr. Lesnie’s technique in shooting “Babe,” the 1995 film about a talking pig who preferred to be a sheepdog, and its sequel, “Babe: Pig in the City.” “I’d never worked with him or even met him before,” Mr. Jackson said, “but he’d shot the ‘Babe’ films. and I thought they looked amazing, the way he’d used backlight and the sun and natural light to create a very magical effect. ‘Babe’ had that larger-than-life feel about it that I wanted.”

For the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Mr. Lesnie managed nine camera units that filmed primary photography in New Zealand for all three movies over 16 months while often battling the elements. (The films were released on a staggered schedule.) He shot from a special perspective to make the actors playing the diminutive hobbits appear smaller than the other cast members, an impression later enhanced by special-effects technicians. “I just try to understand the character’s emotional state and to look at what we are trying to say with the scene,” he said in an interview with International Press, “and then I design the lighting accordingly.”

Mr. Lesnie was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1956 and began his career as a camera assistant on the horror film “Patrick” in 1978 while still a student at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. After graduating, he worked on other films and on television shows in Australia and made a documentary in 1980, “The Comeback,” about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to bodybuilding. In 1993, he was named cinematographer of the year by the Australian Cinematographers Society for the film “You Seng,” or “Temptation of a Monk.”

Mr. Lesnie won the Oscar in 2002 for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first film in the trilogy. He dedicated the award to his partner, Bronwen, and his sons, Jack and Sam, who survive him.


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/movie ... .html?_r=0

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Peter Jackson on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-ja ... 4375646558

Being an only child, I grew up wondering what it would be like to have a brother. It wasn’t until today, in trying to deal with the terrible news of Andrew's passing, that I came to realise how much he had become that person for me - someone I could intrinsically love and trust - which I know now means someone who is up for all the good and the bad. Andrew was an irreplaceable part of my family and I am in total disbelief that I’ll never again hear his infectious laugh, nor benefit from his quiet wisdom, or enjoy his generous praise. Andrew created unforgettable, beautiful images on screen, and he did this time and again, because he only ever served what he believed in - he was his own artist, separate from me, but always working generously to make what we were trying to create together better. On set we developed an ability to work together using a minimum of words - a rare meeting of minds. I will always remember turning up, countless times, at five in the morning - all those quiet moments I had with him when I could step on to set and know he was there - unfazed, ready, listening, interested, more importantly - ready to catch me if I faltered. He always had my back. The more anxious I became, the more calm he would be. A solid rock in the unpredictable world we both chose to work in. After 17 years and 8 movies together, the loss of Andrew is very hard to bear.

My heart goes out to Jack and Sam, of whom he was enormously proud and to Marce, who gave him so much happiness.

Dearest Andrew, you never sought nor wanted praise - you never needed to hear how good you were, you only ever cared about doing great work and respecting the work of others. But on behalf of all those who were lucky enough to collaborate with you, love you and in turn, respect your mastery of story, of light and of cinema magic - you are one of the great cinematographers of our time.

Rest in Peace, my friend.

Arohanui,

Pete


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As a fan, I would link to thank Andrew Lesnie for his work on the Middle-earth movies. Behind the camera he was able to create some truly sublime moments, and I still remember him from the DVD extras joking around about The Lord of the Rings trilogy being the biggest set of independent movies ever made.

I would also like to link one of Lesnie's best scenes - The Death of Kong



While others might not like Peter Jackson's King Kong, I think you will agree that there too are some wonderful scenes. And this is one of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:22 am 
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Thanks for posting this, Beutlin. It is a big loss.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:21 am 
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Yes, thanks, Beutilin. So terribly sad. :( RIP Andrew...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:27 pm 
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What awful news he was no age, still his family can take some solace that he has created an enduring body of work

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:56 pm 
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But he wasn't even 60 yet. There was so much more he might have done. And the loss to his family and friends is terrible. There's so much grief in PJ's note.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 1:38 am 
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Oh my. :(


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 7:08 pm 
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So very sorry to hear this.


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