Andrew Lesnie, Academy Award-winning cinematographer for The Lord of the Rings, has died at the age of 59 following a sudden heart attack.
Lesnie’s importance as a cinematographer can’t be overstated. He helped bring Middle Earth to life and did it in a way that seemed unprecedented. If you were following the monster production of the LOTR films, it’s still hard to imagine, not only that Peter Jackson and his crew were able to pull them all off, but make them as soulful and stunning as they are. Lesnie was at the forefront of that undertaking, setting the visual template for the MANY additional shooting crews working that production. But more than that, Lesnie’s visual style is still reverberating through modern blockbuster filmmaking and rightly so. When you watch any of the LOTR films today, they still signify the gold standard for what a film of that size and scope should look like.
Lesnie continued to work with Peter Jackson on King Kong, The Lovely Bones and most recently, The Hobbit trilogy. His other notable work included the two Babe films, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I Am Legend and a film that is currently in theaters, The Water Diviner.