This is regarding a screening at the University of Oklahoma of Costas Botes documentary of the making of the Lord of the Rings movies.
He noted that this is a work on progress, it's not finalized, and some of the footage may never be seen again if they make many changes to the documentary. There were no captions explaining who everyone is in the documentary. They have over 1500 hours of footage from the sets, and are trying to narrow that down to a total of 16 - 18 hours of documentary. His plan (which he mentioned New Line Cinema might disagree with) is to release a documentary for each of the three films, as well as a 'best of' documentary. He would like them to be on DVD so people can skip around to see related sequences (such as creating ideas for hobbiton, then the set creation, then working on size scale problems in hobbiton, etc). And, unfortunately, Costas mentioned that he didn't think any of the documentary would be released until all three films are out.
All the footage shown was from FotR. Costas said something along the lines of "my hide's not worth enough to show footage from the other two movies."
Now for some of the things you get to see....
-- Viggo Mortensen fly fishing between takes.
-- Ringwraiths holding umbrellas.
-- Multiple sized recreations of the same sets and items, for the different scale shots (such as 3 versions of the front door to Bag End, one regular size, one small, and the one that was outside on the actual Hobbiton set).
-- lots and lots of incredible foam sculptures and miniatures
-- Liv Tyler riding a fake horse on the back of a pickup truck.
-- all the 10000 artificial leaves wired onto trees in Hobbiton
-- Armorers working on chain mail, which they had 10 km of if the chain pieces were laid end-to-end.
-- Some very funny scenes of the main hobbit actors in-between takes.
-- Alan Lee drawing in the forest.
-- miniature replicas of full sets, just for working out camera moves
-- animatics from the larger shots
-- lots of swordfighting practice
-- Peter Jackson complaining that they need a sofa to properly look at shots from the day in their screening room.
-- A girl who's only job is to watch for airplanes and tell the film crew when it's clear (they were near an airport).
-- some very tiny actors dressed just like the main hobbit characters, standing right beside the real actors
-- Ian McKellan giving a Sean Astin stand-in dummy (mannequin) a smack on the nose
-- Sean Astin getting medical treatment when he rams a stick through the bottom of his foot. Elija Wood comforts him by pointing out "man, that is a LOT of blood."
Overall, I was really impressed by what I saw. It gives you a sense of what it took to create this incredible set of films, what a huge, complex undertaking it really was. And it was very entertaining.
I can't wait until it's finished and available.