SARASOTA, Fla. - Actor Elijah Wood is the latest film professional to participate in the Ringling College Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab. He is at the Sarasota school for art and design today to go over film clips with students and discuss his own experiences in filmmaking, from his successes as a child actor ("Avalon") to his more recent roles in epic storytelling ("Lord of the Rings") and dark characters ("Maniac").
"I'm utterly gobsmacked by the college and the technology the students have at their disposal," Wood said.
He was impressed with the hands-on experience Ringling students received through programs like the Digital Filmmaking Studio Lab and said it was invaluable.
"It makes me a little envious of being a student at a college like this."
Students discussed many of Wood's film roles with the actor, including some of his most challenging.
"The scale and scope and responsibility that comes with doing something like 'Lord of the Rings'" is something that Wood took very seriously. He said his role in "The Ice Storm" was a benchmark of his career.
"Working with Ang Lee as a director had a lot of influence on me," he said.
Wood says he chooses carefully which films he's a part of, and he's especially mindful of the cult status of films like "Lord of the Rings" or "Sin City."
"I never consider it just a job. I love it too much and I have far too much invested into a project to look at it like that," he said.
While his visit to Ringling focused on clips from his own range of movies, the actor said he would like to come back and talk about films that he loves. What would be on the list?
"Delicatessen." "Harvey." "The Graduate." "Being There."
"We are looking forward to Elijah Wood sharing his experience with our filmmaking students," said Ringling College president Dr. Larry R. Thompson in a press release.
"He has been the central lead in an impressive roster of fine film and television projects and his unique viewpoint as one of the younger actors to have worked with our students. Having ‘grown up' in the business, Elijah has an incredible amount of experience for someone his age and we think he will be a particularly insightful guest for our students. "