There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through. We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.”
The mega-melee takes place at the foot of the Lonely Mountain as various armies vie for the newly reacquired dwarven treasure of Erebor. Like so much in Jackson’s Middle-earth, it represents filmmaking on the largest possible scale.
“Before we could loose the first arrow, we had to design the landscape itself and figure out, ‘Okay, if we have 10,000 orcs, how much room are they going to take up? Are they going to fill up the valley or look like a speck?’ Then we could start drawing the arrows on the schematics. We have a rule that we’re not allowed to go more than two or three shots of anonymous people fighting without cutting back to our principal characters,’ he says. ‘Otherwise the audience just ends up with battle fatigue.’'