Lord of the Rings cinematographer Andrew Lesnie passes away at age 59

Andrew Lesnie lord of the rings

One of the many things that captured the hearts of fans for Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy was the look. Andrew Lesnie, the director of photography for the films, had an important role in capturing the look of Middle-earth. Sadly, it has been reported that he has passed away at the age of 59 due to a heart attack on Monday.

Lesnie, an Australian native, won an Academy Award for his work in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. He worked with Jackson on other projects including the Hobbit trilogy, King Kong, and The Lovely Bones. He also worked on Rise of the Planet of the ApesI Am Legend, and many more.

His most recent work was for The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe’s directorial debut. That movie debuted in the States over the weekend. The actor shared his sentiment on Twitter.

Peter Jackson took to his Facebook to write about his memories with Lesnie:

Being an only child, I grew up wondering what it would be like to have a brother. It wasn’t until today, in trying to deal with the terrible news of Andrew’s passing, that I came to realise how much he had become that person for me – someone I could intrinsically love and trust – which I know now means someone who is up for all the good and the bad. Andrew was an irreplaceable part of my family and I am in total disbelief that I’ll never again hear his infectious laugh, nor benefit from his quiet wisdom, or enjoy his generous praise. Andrew created unforgettable, beautiful images on screen, and he did this time and again, because he only ever served what he believed in – he was his own artist, separate from me, but always working generously to make what we were trying to create together better. On set we developed an ability to work together using a minimum of words – a rare meeting of minds. I will always remember turning up, countless times, at five in the morning – all those quiet moments I had with him when I could step on to set and know he was there – unfazed, ready, listening, interested, more importantly – ready to catch me if I faltered. He always had my back. The more anxious I became, the more calm he would be. A solid rock in the unpredictable world we both chose to work in. After 17 years and 8 movies together, the loss of Andrew is very hard to bear.

My heart goes out to Jack and Sam, of whom he was enormously proud and to Marce, who gave him so much happiness.

Dearest Andrew, you never sought nor wanted praise – you never needed to hear how good you were, you only ever cared about doing great work and respecting the work of others. But on behalf of all those who were lucky enough to collaborate with you, love you and in turn, respect your mastery of story, of light and of cinema magic – you are one of the great cinematographers of our time.

Rest in Peace, my friend.

I’ve seen him many times when watching the behind-the-scenes extras for the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions. He was always happy and excited to be a part of the films.

Rest in peace, Andrew Lesnie.

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