We went down to Indianapolis with a group of homeschooling friends yesterday to see the Lord of the Rings movie exhibition. The exhibit has travelled around the world, and the last stop was the Indiana State Museum.
We got to see a bunch of the props and costumes from the movies, as well as interactive demonstrations of some of the technology. There was a laser-scanner that would take a digital map of your face and render it in stone (not real stone, just on the screen.) There was a motion-capture "studio." My personal favorite was the part explaining how they managed the size differences of the characters. I had read about it and seen the documentaries, but nothing expresses it like this :
My little brother comes up to my chin, or thereabouts. He loves the picture where he's bigger.
There was a wall where you could be measured to see what race you belong to (men, elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs.) I was either a short girl elf or a tall boy goblin. I'll take being an elf. Patrick was "a human....possibly."
I loved seeing the costumes up close, especially the elves. (Silk velvet, crystal beading....) The swords were awesome. It's one thing to watch the documentaries about the props and hear how intricate they are, and how much effort was put into everything, but when you see it all up close it's fantastic.
There was some really cool stuff at the gift shop too, but it was all pretty expensive. There were elven cloaks for $900 (or hobbity scarves for $300.) I skipped those. I did almost buy a life-size cardboard cut-out of Aragorn for my bedroom door....too bad there was no good way to get it home.