Chris White’s Work On ‘Lord of the Rings’ in the News

March 1st, 2004 - April 1st, 2004

Categories: Animation, MFA Thesis, Software, Video / Film, VR Art

Chris White surveys the ‘Black Gates’
Chris White surveys the ‘Black Gates’


Watching Gollum, a computer-generated character in “The Two Towers,” the second movie in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Gar-Field High School graduate Chris White knew he wanted to be a part of the third film.

“The first film was impressive,” White said, “but after seeing the second one, this is a project you want to work on.”

The 31-year-old, who grew up in Woodbridge, was a sequence supervisor for special effects in “The Return of the King,” digitally creating characters and the destruction of the Black Gates of Mordor.

His art with the visual effects team helped “The Return of the King” win 27 Oscars from 11 nominations.

“We’re still buzzing down here,” White said via phone from New Zealand. “We had a big party here [in Wellington] which they were showing up there [in the United States].”

White was doing graduate work at the University of Illinois at Chicago in electronic visualization when he saw “The Two Towers.” He e-mailed his resume to Joe Letteri, “The Return of the King” visual effects supervisor, with whom he worked previously at George Lucas’ visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic. In June 2003 he moved to an ocean-front apartment in New Zealand and worked on the film in its final six to seven months.