VFX artists have praised the 1987 horror film The Gate for using a similar trick seen in The Lord of the Rings movies 14 years before the fantasy trilogy was created. The Gate follows two young boys who accidentally release a malevolent supernatural entity from a massive hole in their backyard. The film was praised at the time of its release, though it hasn’t garnered the same popularity as cult classics of its time.


Now, Corridor Crew has released a video where VFX artists react to The Gate and its visuals, comparing one key element to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

While analyzing The Gate starting at 0:45, VFX artists Niko, Wren, and Sam discuss the use of forced perspective in the film to make hordes of tiny, demonic creatures look small. This same type of filmmaking technique was used in The Lord of the Rings to make Hobbit characters appear shorter.

How The Lord Of The Rings VFX Stand The Test Of Time

Frodo waking up in Rivendell in Lord of the Rings

Forced perspective was first used in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, making Frodo Baggins and other Hobbits look small in comparison to Gandalf. This allowed director Peter Jackson to better reflect J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writing about Middle-earth when bringing The Lord of the Rings to the big screen. It also made for a unique element of filmmaking at the time, even if movies like The Gate had done similar VFX earlier.

However, not all VFX in The Lord of the Rings trilogy aged well. VFX supervisor Eric Saindon says he has a lot of notes about Gollum regarding the problems he notices now that computer-generated VFX have come so far in recent years. While there are some flaws in The Lord of the Rings VFX through a modern-day lens, it doesn’t negate the impressive nature of the films even over two decades after their release.

While The Lord of the Rings trilogy may have embraced forced perspective, The Gate had perfected the technique long before Jackson and his filmmaking crew did. The early use of this VFX technique shows how films often use past techniques to try to improve on them. Without The Gate, it’s possible The Lord of the Rings‘ use of forced perspective wouldn’t look nearly as polished.

Source: Corridor Crew/Youtube

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