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Old 07-12-2016, 02:44 AM   #41
Nerwen
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1420!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
At no point did I say "word-for-word."

I said that the movie would need to be longer than 2 hours to include THE ENTIRE book.

And that is due to the Heuristic Used in Screenwriting of an approximately 1-Page:1-Minute for Script:Screentime.
Excuse me. You have *not* merely said the movie "would need to be longer than 2 hours". You have been advocating a 9-12 hour version, and claiming it to be mandated by the "rules of Screenwriting"(!)

Edit: And once again, that "heuristic" does not apply to the task of adapting a novel, and thus remains irrelevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini
You don't seem to care about the actual evidence here, and seem instead to be relying upon what Jackson produced as the only possible means of depicting The Hobbit in three films, when he cut out vast swaths of the book, and included much that was utterly superfluous in its place. Unless these is some real evidence for why 20 minutes per chapter (and, to include ON AVERAGE, since that seems to be a tricky concept for some) is too long, then that remains a fair standard for length of a production.
Yes, well, I'm starting to think reading comprehension might be tricky for some...

Quote:
You might claim that some Chapters can be Significantly shortened (and I have no doubt that it would absolutely be possible to shorten some chapters), but unless you can show that this is the case AND that ALL CHAPTERS would then fit into a roughly 6 - 10 minute, on average, running-time, then the Movie simply would not fit into a 2 - 4 hour production without citing substantial amounts of material.

And the only way to do that is to detail the specific scenes that can result in an average 6 - 10 minute per chapter production.
I have explained to you that your approach would result in numerous scenes of enormous length. The burden of proof is on you to show it wouldn't. But, then, you won't even acknowledge that 20 minutes *is* an abnormal length. So I don't know where we go from here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
You simply ignore what anyone else says just so you can rabbit on with your own theories. I would like it if you's please go back and read what I said, rather than continually talking over everyone.

No where, and at no time, did I mention a 2-4 hour production. No where did I refer to a single film. Ever. That is a figment of your own imagination.
Morth, he may be confusing you with me, in that I have mentioned a single film as being *typical* for a book of "The Hobbit's" length- i.e. an average novel. Which it is. I didn't say a film of "The Hobbit" in particular couldn't or shouldn't be longer, I was just countering Marhwini's repeated assertion that the "rules" of adaptation required this- specifically that they required a 9-12 hour treatment. (Or sometimes 6 hours. Seems to vary.)

Now, Marhwini, I think I have been very patient with you so far. However, your circular reasoning, appeals to imaginary authority, misrepresentation of others' statements, misrepresentation of your own, refusal to consider counter-arguments (or, often, acknowledge their existance), apparent belief in the automatic correctness of your every pronouncement, and above all, your general tone of high-handed superiority... these things do begin to grate.

Enough. You obviously feel passionate about your concepts, but unfortunately you haven't come within a hundred leagues of demonstrating convincingly how or why they could work, nor does it seem you ever will.

Now how about we just drop the subject and let Aaron have his thread back?

Edit: x'd with the man himself.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:03 AM   #42
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Marhwini, thus is a reply to your last post, with which I crossed.

You clearly don't grasp my point.

Yes, it is possible to write scenes 20 minutes in length. It is possible to write scenes 300 minutes in length.

The point is that you shouldn't.

Now rules can be broken, and "Three minutes" is a guideline, not an absolute, but I assure you that if you were to submit a script anywhere packed with 12, 15 and 20 minute scenes, it would almost certainly be summarily tossed in the bin.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:07 AM   #43
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Now can we please just stop this?
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
I would have cut the mountain chase/factory sequence. Really doesn't make Smaug look like an effectual villain and muddles his perfectly good reasons for attacking Lake-town.

No, what am I saying? It would be like cutting out the Warbats!

By which I mean: these are weird films, and changing a single aspect won't fix that. I think they might as well be as over-the-top as they can be.

Re: Azog. Indeed, why not have his son in that role? What does Azog "have" over Bolg? Well, he "died" (or, originally, just died, without the quotes), and I guess it's the rule now that everyone has to think the bad guys are dead, so they can be shocked on learning otherwise. Drama, you know.
You are right about the chase segment. For whilst it was an entertaining visual spectacle, it rendered poor Smaug rather impotent.
Same with the Goblins, and their apparent inability to defend themselves as they are hewn down in their hundreds.

Had we seen the Dwarves slowly accumulate more and more wounds - some losing limbs, some being horribly scorched by Smaug, some just being jittery and terrified of having to fight again - it would have presented things in a different light.
But instead, we have absurd scenes where, if memory serves, Thorin and another Dwarf all but point and laugh at the prospect of taking on about a hundred Orcs singlehanded.

The heroes in the LOTR trilogy either had to connect themselves to a massive army, or else hide and hope to Hell someone didn't gut them like a fish. But for some reason, the movies turned into a video game.
Go to Point A, defeat 500 Orcs, Go to Point B, repeat.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:45 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
You are right about the chase segment. For whilst it was an entertaining visual spectacle, it rendered poor Smaug rather impotent.
Same with the Goblins, and their apparent inability to defend themselves as they are hewn down in their hundreds.

Had we seen the Dwarves slowly accumulate more and more wounds - some losing limbs, some being horribly scorched by Smaug, some just being jittery and terrified of having to fight again - it would have presented things in a different light.
But instead, we have absurd scenes where, if memory serves, Thorin and another Dwarf all but point and laugh at the prospect of taking on about a hundred Orcs singlehanded.

The heroes in the LOTR trilogy either had to connect themselves to a massive army, or else hide and hope to Hell someone didn't gut them like a fish. But for some reason, the movies turned into a video game.
Go to Point A, defeat 500 Orcs, Go to Point B, repeat.
Losing credibility is always a potential problem with recurring villains or ones who get a lot of screentime, but as you say there are ways around it.

I do think the length of the films to be once again part of the problem- I guess they felt if they restricted Smaug to just his appearances in the book, it would be- relative to the running time- almost a blink-and-you-miss-him situation.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:08 AM   #46
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Losing credibility is always a potential problem with recurring villains or ones who get a lot of screentime, but as you say there are ways around it.

I do think the length of the films to be once again part of the problem- I guess they felt if they restricted Smaug to just his appearances in the book, it would be- relative to the running time- almost a blink-and-you-miss-him situation.
The problem with Smaug in the book is that his death does not serve the narrative - but the symbolism Tolkien wanted to convey.
Had he been trying to write a simple adventure story, then yes, the heroic Dwarves would kill him in fair battle, or perhaps even Bilbo would find his courage and strike the killing blow himself?
But who defeats him? The very people he was gloating about destroying. With the help of a thrush. The Dragon, a destroyer of both man and nature, is undone by his own sins coming back to haunt him.

Just as Thorin's party is, when the Orcs arrive to avenge the Great Goblin, and, in Bolg's case, Azog.

A book can take these kinds of huge risks, and trust the audience to perceive the moral message in it all. But films, especially big blockbusters, often seem to be designed as disposable, forgettable cash-grabs.
In that regard, the films were very, very successful.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:34 PM   #47
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I did read what you said.

And maybe if you have read works like Gone with the Wind you would realize that the movie contains far less than half the book (maybe even less than ¼ of it, but it has been almost 30 years since I read it - so I would need to find a coy of it to detail what all was left out). The film left out a gigantic Plot-arc concerning the KKK, among other things:

https://gwenonichi.wordpress.com/201...and-the-movie/

So citing it isn't exactly supporting that a long book can be translated to the screen in a single movie without cutting anything out.
I have read the book. It is in my collection. It is rather presumptuous, but not at all surprising, that you should consider otherwise. I am well aware they edited it. But again, they made a movie out of 63 chapters and even so it was a mammoth 3 hours, 41 minutes long. It is considered one of the greatest movies ever made. Gone With the Wind won 10 Academy Awards, including an Oscar for Hattie McDaniel, the first black actress to ever win.

I would suggest it would not be any better if you dragged out every subplot and nuance, drained every bit of dialogue and plopped it wholesale into 21 mind-numbing hours worth of film as you suggest. To even argue the point is inane. By your muddled logic that makes seven 3 hour movies. Or perhaps you would prefer ten 2 hour movies. Anyway one divides it, the math is just plain dumb.

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These aren't "Theories" I am talking about.

Even Nerwen recognized that there is a recognized Script:Screen relationship that the movie and TV industry uses.
I realize you like to make grand pronouncements, but your theory is not a law, even though your every utterance demands that it be so. Let it be written, so let it be done!

Here is a list of novels made into superb movies that in no way practiced your theory:

The Godfather: 32 chapters, film run-time 2 hours, 58 minutes.
Marwhini's Law - The Godfather should be 10 1/2 hours long.

Schindler's List: 40 chapters, film run-time 3 hours, 15 minutes.
Marwhini's Law - Schindler's List should be over 13 hours long.

The Silence of the Lambs: 61 chapters, film run-time 2 hours 18 minutes.
Marwhini's Law - Silence of the Lambs should be over 20 hours long.

To Kill a Mockingbird: 31 chapters, film run-time 2 hours 10 minutes
Marwhini's Law - To Kill a Mockingbird should be over 10 hours long.

Dr. Zhivago: 16 Chapters (yes, only 16 chapters, but 592 pages), film run-time 3 hours 20 minutes.
Marwhini's Law - Dr. Zhivago should be 5 hours and 15 minutes long and Sir David Lean should have been fired for making the movie too short.

I could make an unending list of great movies from books that do not fit your crabbed criteria. But I have to reply to one final point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Pardon me if I have been speaking in terms of total hours of screen time, instead of how many films.

It is an industry standard that we talk about a typical film having a run-time of about 2 hours.

Thus a run-time of 4 hours would be considered to EITHER be a very long single film.... Or, more likely, it would be broken into two halves and released in two parts, as two separate films.

So that sounds a little disingenuous to claim you never said anything about a 2 - 4 hour production, when you are claiming "two films tops" (which would be roughly 4 hours).
No, I have no interest in pardoning you. Confess your sins to a priest. Start with Pride.

I've just offered several films that don't meet your 2 hour matinee movie standard; in fact, the average film time has been increasing yearly, particularly for more serious, award-worthy films. The Hobbit was originally considered to be a two film venture, until greed got in the way and they threw everything and the kitchen sink in to make three films. With pacing and judicious editing, there is no need for 3 films.

The Chapter "Flies and Spiders" is mostly descriptive. The majority of "Barrels out of Bound" has Invisi-Bilbo(TM) rummaging around Thranduil's manse. "The Return Journey" is literally only 8 pages long, and "A Thief in the Night" is only 6 pages.

Stop, just stop.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:30 AM   #48
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Even Tolkien, himself, when responding about the Zimmerman script knows when adapting novels to the big screen you are inevitably going to have to cut out parts of the novel.

As it is, Jackson actually filmed every chapter in The Hobbit, it's just he either drastically altered the story when adapting novel to screen, or he threw in a bunch of garbage to bloat the story into 3 films. But every chapter from The Hobbit gets covered in the Jackson movies.

The Lord of the Rings was a story big enough to contain Jackson where he had no choice but to make cuts that ended up focusing his movies. I was re-watching the FOTR Appendices recently and Jackson repeatedly said, FOTR had to be about Frodo and the Ring. Any scenes that took the audience away from Frodo and the Ring was getting cut out of the theatrical and only placed if it added new and necessary information (like Gandalf's imprisonment in Isengard and learning of Saruman's treachery). In my opinion, FOTR turned out to be Jackson's best work and there's a lot that had to get cut out, which is just necessity when adapting novel to screen.

The Hobbit films should have been about...well The Hobbit. But The Hobbit story was too small to contain the greed for more money. The care, passion, and attention to details in making FOTR was clearly noticeable and translated to the quality of the film. It's a shame that if the same care and passion was given to making The Hobbit films (instead everyone just looks rushed and tired) then they could have been highly enjoyable. The Hobbit should have been a much easier story to film, and as Morth said, should only take 2-films at most.
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Old 07-13-2016, 02:51 PM   #49
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This does seem to be pointless as the point I am making seems to be completely ignored.

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Old 07-13-2016, 02:53 PM   #50
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I should also say:

Yassa massa... I be a stopping' now.

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Old 07-13-2016, 07:25 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
I should also say:

Yassa massa... I be a stopping' now.

MB
Good.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:11 PM   #52
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Taking the discussion back around to the topic, what if the thing to change was not something global but rather one detail, or one scene?

I haven't watched the last movie, and barely remember the second, so here's one thing I would change with the first one: cut the part where Radagast faints after taking a whiff. It's bad enough that he's a walking comic relief and Saruman comments on him eating too many mushrooms. At least spare us the smoking.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:43 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Taking the discussion back around to the topic, what if the thing to change was not something global but rather one detail, or one scene?

I haven't watched the last movie, and barely remember the second, so here's one thing I would change with the first one: cut the part where Radagast faints after taking a whiff. It's bad enough that he's a walking comic relief and Saruman comments on him eating too many mushrooms. At least spare us the smoking.
Well, that's what comes of decades of "weed" jokes. Perhaps fandom as a whole needs to shoulder some of the blame.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:34 AM   #54
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Taking the discussion back around to the topic, what if the thing to change was not something global but rather one detail, or one scene?

I haven't watched the last movie, and barely remember the second, so here's one thing I would change with the first one: cut the part where Radagast faints after taking a whiff. It's bad enough that he's a walking comic relief and Saruman comments on him eating too many mushrooms. At least spare us the smoking.
I'm going to be honest, I hated that Radagast was involved at all.
I have always seen him as a coward, one of those who sat on the fence, puttered about, and let others fight and die for him. I didn't appreciate him being shown as some selfless hero, or even a harmless and doddering eccentric - because I don't view neutrality as being harmless when the stakes are so high.
Had he appeared, made some infantile excuse as to why he couldn't get off his rear end and do something, and then wandered off, that would have made more sense.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:14 AM   #55
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The Hobbit and a Bridge to The Lord of the Rings

My thanks to everyone for resurrecting this thread for additional discussion. With the unfortunate film butchery of The Hobbit now consigned to the dustbin of history, it will probably take a long while before someone comes along with any appetite -- let alone studio funding -- for another go at a film adaptation. Yet, as we all know, many classic tales have seen mutliple remakes over time as generations change and different directors bring different viewpoints to the telling of the same story.

I think I recall another person mentioning the original Robocop, by Paul Verhoeven. Someone made a remake of that classic film a few years back and after seeing only a few scenes, I quit even trying to watch. But I still go back from time to time and watch the original: a very well made film. Great social satire eviscerating the Reagan Era, too. The same goes for The Time Machine, by George Pal. I saw it three times at a walk-in theater back in my junior high school days. I have DVDs of the original plus a remake starring Guy Pearce. Some better updates on the technology in the remake, but not a better story. Again, the original far outshines the remake. On the other hand, I very much prefer the remake of The Count of Monte Cristo, starring James Caviel and Guy Pearce. Really crackling dialogue, great acting, and some interesting twists on some basic elements of the story. Here, in my opinion, the remake far outshines the original.

Sorry for going on at such length setting up my answer to the orignial thread question, but if I could change one thing, I would go back to the original production idea of making The Hobbit as a single film with a follow-on "bridge" movie -- or several of them -- taking the story through sixty-some odd years from the ending of The Hobbit to the beginning of The Lord of the Rings. Specifically, I once imagined The Hobbit ending with Gandalf and Balin visiting Bilbo at Bag End for a little reminiscing -- as in the book -- then switching to a final scene of Smeagol/Gollum emerging from beneath the Misty Mountains, filled with rage and longing for The Precious, snarling and gulping:

"Where is it Presciousss? Where is The Shire? Where is Baggins? Thief! We hates it! We hates it forever! And we will find it, won't we precious?" Something like that. And then Gollum slinks off into the night, setting up the beginning of the next film with Smeagol/Gollum as the primary character and Andy Serkis doing the voice work as only he can. Come to think of it, someone could probably just skip remaking The Hobbit and get right to The Adventures of Smeagol/Gollum, with those other characters like Aragorn and Elrond, et al, in supporting roles.

Anyway, probably not a chance of any of this ever happening, but if I could change one thing, I would change back to the original concept of a single, self-contained Hobbit followed by a "bridge" movie, or several of them, depending upon audience hunger for more of Middle Earth and especially more about Smeagol/Gollum who pretty much stole the show in The Lord of the Rings in my opinion.

Anyway, my thanks again for bringing back the discussion of changes, remakes, etc.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:04 AM   #56
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White-Hand I hope there are more adaptations

I agree with you, Michael, in wanting more adaptations of Tolkien's works, in the same way that there are many adaptations of the works of other authors. Only then will we be able to put the Jackson adaptations in any kind of reasonable perspective. I admit to being prejudiced by the hype surrounding those adaptations, including too many people saying, 'Isn't Peter Jackson wonderful!'
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:30 PM   #57
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My thanks to everyone for resurrecting this thread for additional discussion. With the unfortunate film butchery of The Hobbit now consigned to the dustbin of history, it will probably take a long while before someone comes along with any appetite -- let alone studio funding -- for another go at a film adaptation. Yet, as we all know, many classic tales have seen mutliple remakes over time as generations change and different directors bring different viewpoints to the telling of the same story.
As I mentioned elsewhere:

It will take a lot more than someone else wanting to produce Tolkien's works.

They will have to pass the Tolkien Estates Purity Test in order to gain the rights to any of his works, and they would have to accept the Estate's retention of Veto Rights on anything to do with future productions.

I got to speak with a representative of the Estate in the process of other academic work in 2013, and the discussion briefly veered into the territory of the movies.

At that time they were already really upset by Jackson.

And when I spoke with the representative again in 2015 it would be difficult to describe the anger they expressed over The Hobbit in civil language. It would be even more difficult since technically our conversation was supposed to be on a completely different topic.

So, unless a Production Company is capable of describing to the Estate how they (the Estate) Interpret JRR Tolkien's views regarding Middle-earth, and the importance of various things (such as Authorial Primacy) that Tolkien himself felt important....

It is unlikely that another movie or movies will be made.

And appealing to the "They like money like everyone else" would be missing one of the key aspects of the Tolkiens:

That their religious beliefs trump pretty much everything, and that those beliefs are not for sale for any amount of money.

That is likely to be a hard thing for many people to accept, but I have encountered a LOT of people for whom there were things more important than anything that exists, or could exist (short of the Sacred being made physically manifest).

I am not especially Religious, but having spent most of my life studying beliefs in one aspect or another, it is something I understand pretty well.

Hopefully, when Saul Zaentz license expires, we will see a production of other works of Tolkien that cleave more closely to Tolkien's vision of his world.

MB
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Old 08-13-2016, 12:26 PM   #58
William Cloud Hicklin
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Change one thing?

Easy: reverse the decision to make it in the first place.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:32 PM   #59
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Change one thing?

Easy: reverse the decision to make it in the first place.
Unfortunately, that would require Superman to reverse the orbit of the earth, thus changing the whole time/space continuum. Which would be messy, particularly for people with vertigo.
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Old 08-23-2016, 06:50 PM   #60
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Unfortunately, that would require Superman to reverse the orbit of the earth, thus changing the whole time/space continuum. Which would be messy, particularly for people with vertigo.
Ok ok already...I'll get back to work on the time machine.

My one change would be for the director et al to pick a tone and stick with it. Kids movie? Teen drama? Do physics apply or not?

Will there be a 'message,' will I care about any of these characters, will it make me want to go back and reread the book?

Or, at the end of all things, will I wish that it were never made?
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