Andrew Lesnie’s 35 year career covered every genre of film that shot in his native Australia. His career moved to bigger-budget affairs after the success of Babe in 1995. He would go on to lens every Peter Jackson film for the last 15 years, including King Kong and The Lovely Bones, and of course every Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film.
His last work was on The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe’s directorial debut. Crowe broke the news on his Twitter last night:
Lesnie won an Oscar for The Fellowship of the Ring and a BAFTA for The Return of the King. Peter Jackson has yet to release an official statement, but according to Variety, the staff at WETA Digital are “saddened” by the news.
Richard & Tania Taylor, founders of the WETA Workshop, released a statement on their Facebook page:
Our memories of Andrew will always be of a wonderful and caring person who looked out for the technicians around him, was keen to have a good laugh and keep everyone jollied along even when things were at the most stressful for everyone. What an incredible man and we are very fortunate to have had the chance to work with him on so many wonderful projects.
Lesnie died of a heart attack on Monday (Australian time). He was 59 years old.
(Via The Film Experience)