Lord of the Rings In Real Life – Movies In Real Life (Episode 3)


Created and Directed by: Charlie Todd
Music: Tyler Walker
Producers: Alan Aisenberg, Andrew Soltys
Editor: Denis Cardineau
Camera: Myo Campbell, Denis Cardineau, Kris Knight, Taylor Pow, Ilya Smelansky, Chloe Smolkin, Dave Szarejko
Sound: Harris Karlin
Photography: Arin Sang-urai (photo credit for all photos on this page.)
Props and Costumes: Aleks Arcabascio
Production Assistants: Aleks Arcabascio, Juan Cocuy, Ryan Creamer, Spencer Lindenman, Cody Lindquist, Michael Tannenbaum
Equipment Provided by: Kessler Crane


Gandalf the Grey: Erik Dies

For our latest mission we recreated the famous “You shall not pass!” scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, placing Gandalf the Grey on Central Park’s iconic Bow Bridge. Rather than facing off against a Balrog as he did on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, this time Gandalf faced an even more daunting foe, Central Park tourists. The tourists proved to be too powerful for Gandalf, as nearly every one was able to successfully pass.

This project is part of our new series, Movies in Real Life. Every Tuesday, we’re releasing a new video that brings an iconic movie moment to life in the real world.

Here’s an extra scene where Gandalf visits a drum circle:

Enjoy the videos first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos below.

Agent Erik Dies (who you might remember from the 1860s Bar mission) has an incredible beard. We knew that once we dyed it grey and added a long wig, he’d be the perfect Gandalf with his deep, bellowing voice.

Central Park’s Bow Bridge is the most well-known bridge in the park, and for good reason: it’s beautiful. It’s also heavily trafficked, so we would have no shortage of tourists and New Yorkers walking by.

We knew a man in a costume with a plastic sword wasn’t going to really be able to halt anyone’s park plans, but it was really funny watching Gandalf fail over and over again as he became increasingly frustrated with himself.

Most everyone who passed by interacted with him and left the bridge laughing. A few mistook him for Moses. Since when did Moses have a sword?

Gandalf tried a few strategies. The most successful was physically blocking the bridge with his sword and staff, though it never worked for more than a moment.

All in all it was a terrible day for Gandalf’s self-esteem, but at least he didn’t fall off the bridge to a fiery death.

Come back next Tuesday for the next installment of Movies in Real Life. Sign up for our email list or subscribe on YouTube to be notified when the next one is posted!

Mission Accomplished.


Watch the full series– all 13 episodes in one playlist:

– Episode 1: Rocky In Real Life
– Episode 2: Indiana Jones In Real Life
– Episode 3: Lord of the Rings In Real Life
– Episode 4: The Matrix In Real Life
– Episode 5: Back to the Future In Real Life
– Episode 6: Jurassic Park In Real Life
– Episode 7: When Harry Met Sally In Real Life
– Episode 8: Harry Potter In Real Life
– Episode 9: Spartacus In Real Life
– Episode 10: A Christmas Story In Real Life


Full set of photos from photographer Arin Sang-urai: Photo Gallery


Listen to the track by Tyler Walker: