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Old 07-09-2016, 01:45 PM   #1
Aaron
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If you could change ONE thing in The Hobbit triology

What would it be? Because, let's face it, the movies are an appalling mess, raised above mediocrity solely by the practiced hand of its amazing cast.

So, what would you change?
Me myself, I would cut out Azog entirely and focus instead on Bolg. Thorin is not an honorable hero, he loses his virtue as soon as he tastes power. It's a big theme in the story, the moral ambiguity, and Bolg is an important part of that - an Orc avenging his father, and Orcs in general wanting to avenge the Great Goblin. There was so much they could have done with the idea. But instead they played the story as Good vs. Evil, rather than the more complex moral tale Tolkien was telling.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:49 PM   #2
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The one thing I would change about The Hobbit movies?

That They were Green-lit to be produced by anyone involved with the original Jackson effort (which I also thought messed up). At least The Lord of the Rings was nearly tolerable.

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Old 07-09-2016, 07:39 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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Change one thing in the Hobbit trillogy? Easy. Don't make it a trilogy.

But seriously - I'm with Nerwen. I don't think one aspect would make much difference in a sea of nonsense.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:04 PM   #5
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Perhaps if a single change of "appropriate amount of focus on Bilbo" was made, that might have a ripple effect of bringing a lot of other things into line. If the films concentrated on Bilbo as the protagonist there'd be less opportunity for a lot of the extraneous nonsense that I think formed the most objectionable content of the trilogy.
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:59 PM   #6
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Change one thing in the Hobbit trillogy? Easy. Don't make it....

But seriously - I'm with Nerwen. I don't think one aspect would make much difference in a sea of nonsense.
Here... I fixed it.

But The Hobbit could very easily have been a Trilogy.

The Hobbit has nineteen chapters.

For a six hour Trilogy, that is an average of 20 minutes a chapter.

And that is without adding a single thing to the story.


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Old 07-10-2016, 02:16 AM   #7
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Here... I fixed it.

But The Hobbit could very easily have been a Trilogy.

The Hobbit has nineteen chapters.

For a six hour Trilogy, that is an average of 20 minutes a chapter.

And that is without adding a single thing to the story.


MB
Hmmn. I don't see how this could be done without drawing out each section interminably. And wouldn't that require adding things anyway? "The Hobbit" (the book, I mean) generally goes into much less detail than "The Lord of the Rings"- compare the first part of "Fellowship", where Frodo et al are essentially retracing Bilbo's journey from the Shire to the Misty Mountains. This is partly due to the books being written for different audiences, and partly because more *happens* to Frodo's party over the same period.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:05 AM   #8
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I'm surprised that I'm the first one to suggest: no Tauriel.

She is to "The Hobbit" as Jar-Jar Binks is to "Star Wars".
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:18 AM   #9
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I'm surprised that I'm the first one to suggest: no Tauriel.

She is to "The Hobbit" as Jar-Jar Binks is to "Star Wars".
I was trying to imply that in my suggestion. I feel like if you make the films into actually the story of Bilbo, characters like Tauriel just naturally sort of evaporate.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:19 AM   #10
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I'm surprised that I'm the first one to suggest: no Tauriel.

She is to "The Hobbit" as Jar-Jar Binks is to "Star Wars".
What, you mean she's secretly the Dark Lord?

Makes sense. After all, have not advanced Tolkien scholars conclusively proven Tom Bombadil to be the Witch-king?
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:01 AM   #11
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Hmmm....If you could change ONE thing in The Hobbit triology?

I would change the title header from The Hobbit to something more appropriate. Like Peter Jackson's Amok I, II and III. That way, I wouldn't have even paid attention that the movies were made.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:02 AM   #12
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here... I fixed it.
:d

[seriously, what's wrong with this smiley? Why doesn't the picture show up? I keep typing in : D, and it just reverts to lowercase. ]
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:36 AM   #13
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Let me try.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:38 AM   #14
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As you see, it's working for me. Very odd.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:49 AM   #15
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:d

[seriously, what's wrong with this smiley? Why doesn't the picture show up? I keep typing in : D, and it just reverts to lowercase. ]
Your smiley is licking its nose. Which is kind of gross.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:41 AM   #16
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Your smiley is licking its nose. Which is kind of gross.
But rather impressive.



[It's working now --- weird.]
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:48 PM   #17
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Hmmn. I don't see how this could be done without drawing out each section interminably. And wouldn't that require adding things anyway? "The Hobbit" (the book, I mean) generally goes into much less detail than "The Lord of the Rings"- compare the first part of "Fellowship", where Frodo et al are essentially retracing Bilbo's journey from the Shire to the Misty Mountains. This is partly due to the books being written for different audiences, and partly because more *happens* to Frodo's party over the same period.
20 minutes a chapter (on Average) is a terribly short amount of time for each Chapter, given that some Chapters can be easily produced as nearly an hour each.

By the rules of Screenplay writing, and alteration to a script, The Hobbit should technically be a 9 to 12-hour set of movies (That is: Using the usual formulae for turning a Novel into a Screenplay, and then a Screenplay to a Script, and then the translation of the Script -> Movie, and how much time is generally given per-page of script).

Jackson did turn The Hobbit into a disastrous set of movies.

But that doesn't mean that The Hobbit as a set of movies is necessarily a disaster.

It just means that Jackson had no clue how to properly translate the Novel to the screen, as he turned it into a travesty whose inclusion of all manner of idiocy obscured the greater sum of material that he cut out, which should have been left in.

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Old 07-10-2016, 01:52 PM   #18
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Hmmm....If you could change ONE thing in The Hobbit triology?

I would change the title header from The Hobbit to something more appropriate. Like Peter Jackson's Amok I, II and III. That way, I wouldn't have even paid attention that the movies were made.
I thought pretty much the same thing.

If these movies weren't Marketed as "Tolkien" they could have been pretty fun.

The Analogy I tend to use is:

Jackson has taken three guys in Black Robes, handing out Pizza and Beer in an auditorium, and told us that it is a Catholic Mass in a Gothic Cathedral.

There are some elements of this that are shared with a "Catholic Mass in a Gothic Cathedral." But the claim that this is what it really is really begs the question of understanding anything about Catholic Masses, or Gothic Cathedrals.

One can say the same about Jackson's "interpretation" of Middle-earth.

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Old 07-10-2016, 06:49 PM   #19
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1420!

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20 minutes a chapter (on Average) is a terribly short amount of time for each Chapter, given that some Chapters can be easily produced as nearly an hour each.

By the rules of Screenplay writing, and alteration to a script, The Hobbit should technically be a 9 to 12-hour set of movies (That is: Using the usual formulae for turning a Novel into a Screenplay, and then a Screenplay to a Script, and then the translation of the Script -> Movie, and how much time is generally given per-page of script).
Okay... I have a media background myself, and this is the first I've heard of there being any "usual formulae" that can *predictably* turn a novel into a script based simply on the number of pages. Novels are all over the place in the amount of time they cover per page, plus of course the pages themselves vary wildly in their formatting according to the whim of the publisher. Different editions of a book will have a different number of pages.

Now, there *is* a formula for predicting film length from the number of pages in the script- but that's because scripts do have standard formatting. In fact that's *why* they have it. Are you sure that's not what you were thinking of?

This is not to say that you're wrong and I'm right about whether a faithful "Hobbit" Trilogy would be viable, just that I don't believe that an appeal to abstract "rules" and "formulae" is particularly useful here. Understand that I am not dismissing your idea out of hand, either- I'm actually curious. How would you go about this? Where do you think each installment should start and end?

EDIT: But this should probably have its own thread, so we don't hijack Aaron's.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:47 PM   #20
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You're not familiar with the 1 Page = 1 Minute rule?

That is for Screenplay/Script -> Screen-time.

http://johnaugust.com/2006/how-accur...er-minute-rule

And the heuristic can be googled, where you will see that there is a LOT of discussion on the issue, but that it remains a Heuristic (general rule-of-thumb).

And for working from Novel -> Screenplay/Script, usually you translate roughly 3 - 5 pages to 1 page of Screenplay/Script.

This is because most Novels run between 300 - 500 pages, and you want to wind up with a Screenplay that is roughly 100 - 120 Pages, to get a roughly two hour movie.

But some Novels, or especially Comic, are shorter, and you can go on a 1:1 basis. One of my friends wrote the Screenplay for the movie The Crow, and that is the formula is basically described in creating the Screenplay, and the alterations he made from the basic Comic, since they had to provide an additional 60 pages of material. I have other friends who work in Production and Direction (most in video games - I went to High School with the owner and Founders of Ensemble Studios). And I've worked on the Talent side of Movie making for some time - I am in every Robocop movie, usually doing Stunt or Firearms work, but in two normal scenes as either extra (my first appearance in the first movie) or as Bit-Part work... And I've been in more TV than I can keep track of.

One of these friends and I have a project planned for his Graduate School work on a documentary on the depiction of Tolkien's work in Popular Media (the various movies, influence in comics and games, etc.), as well as how these seem to relate to Tolkien's own conceptions of his work.

In the course of doing that... We looked at what it would take to get The Hobbit Produced, and what a Screenplay would likely look like.*

As a Single movie, cutting down about ⅓ of the content of the book (which is roughly 300 pages - the annotated version is 305 pages for the body of the story. The Non-Annotated version is significantly longer being on smaller page sizes than the A4 on which the annotated version is printed), you can get a normal 2 hour movie, but it is going to greatly abridge a lot of stuff.

But... Looking at it as a Trilogy, you can go with a 1:1 transcription of the Book -> Screenplay to get a product that gives you 5 - 6 hours of Screen-time.

Which breaks down into 20 minutes a chapter, on average.

Which is really all that needs to be addressed, regardless of any heuristics used in the Film Industry regarding page count.

20 minutes a chapter isn't a lot of time to cover the events of a chapter, which tends to run between 15 and 40 pages each in The Hobbit.

MB

* in the course of doing this we decided that "Movies" was a bad way to go about producing Tolkien's works, and that it would be better produced as a Cable-TV series, where each episode is 55 minutes long. We found that we can squeeze just the main Canon into four - five "seasons," with each "Season" containing 13 - 18 episodes. Or we could do a greatly expanded mythology that includes everything we can make fit into ten seasons of roughly the same length each. The one thing we wanted to add, which Tolkien never wrote anything explicitly about was the First War between the Elves and Sauron in the Second Age. Considering that all we would have to do would be to avoid including anything or anyone that would contradict the established Canon, we thought it was do-able, even if fraught.

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Old 07-10-2016, 07:57 PM   #21
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Oh, and where each Installment should begin and End.

1st Movie:

An Unexpected Party
Roast Mutton
A Short Rest
Over Hill And Under Hill
Riddles In The Dark
Out Of The Frying-Pan Into The Fire

2nd Movie:

Queer Lodgings
Flies And Spiders
Barrels Out Of Bond
A Warm Welcome
On The Doorstep
Inside Information
Not At Home

3rd Movie:

Fire And Water
The Gathering Of The Clouds
A Thief In The Night
The Clouds Burst
The Return Journey
The Last Stage

Broken down, this is:

1st Movie:

From Hobbiton to the rescue by the Eagles, and the stay in their Eyries.

2nd Movie:

From the Party's delivery to the lands beside the Anduin to The Dwarves ransacking Erebor after Smaug flies off to attack Laketown.

3rd Movie:

The attack of Smaug upon Laketown to the return of Bilbo to Hobbiton.


And the songs can remain in the movies. They are a part-and-parcel of the story, and help give it much of its character, as well as the character of Dwarves and Hobbits.

That Jackson left the many Songs out of the movies was one of the greatest crimes, since they nearly all carried with them an exposition of the Elder Days during the First Age.

This is nearly identical to the breakdown we saw in the Jackson Movies. And this is because the book presents significant narrative shifts in scene, or point-of-view at each point.

Also because that is a nearly symmetrical breakdown of the book into three equally sized portions.

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Old 07-10-2016, 08:01 PM   #22
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I went to High School with the owner and Founders of Ensemble Studios
Oh really? I am/was a pretty huge Age of Empires fan. Wish they were still around.
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I am in every Robocop movie, usually doing Stunt or Firearms work, but in two normal scenes as either extra (my first appearance in the first movie) or as Bit-Part work... And I've been in more TV than I can keep track of.
I rewatched the first Robocop the other day (I've never seen any of the sequels or the remake, I admit); it's an absolutely terrific film, the kind of action film that simply isn't made anymore.

I must admit you make a good point about adapting The Hobbit, and I think this comes down to their efforts also to make it "more like The Lord of the Rings" by trying to turn it into an ensemble piece. Even though it's a trilogy of films which all go for well over two hours each, parts still feel rushed - usually the more sombre parts they gloss over so that they can get to more action...
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:14 PM   #23
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Oh really? I am/was a pretty huge Age of Empires fan. Wish they were still around.
Rick, the older brother of the Founders left, and when Microsoft bought them out, they shut down the studio (killing competition).

Tony (who produced most of the later AoE games) is now producing Mobile Content and Games.

They are now working on a Strategic Mobile Game App. I am hoping to eventually get him to do some vanity projects.

Quote:
I rewatched the first Robocop the other day (I've never seen any of the sequels or the remake, I admit); it's an absolutely terrific film, the kind of action film that simply isn't made anymore.
I have HUGE issues with Verhoeven. But Robocop is a very decent production, which appropriately mocked the Privatization of the world which we now see as so destructive in much of it.

My main issue with him is in his treatment of Starship Troopers, which he destroyed in the exact same way that Jackson destroyed Tolkien's work (imposing their own biases, rather than depicting what the Author of the work intended - I am very much an originalist when it comes to literature and fictional works).

But Verhoeven is very talented.

And the team he assembled for the movie is largely responsible for its success (although Paul Weller is not a nice person - he.... well...)

Quote:
I must admit you make a good point about adapting The Hobbit, and I think this comes down to their efforts also to make it "more like The Lord of the Rings" by trying to turn it into an ensemble piece. Even though it's a trilogy of films which all go for well over two hours each, parts still feel rushed - usually the more sombre parts they gloss over so that they can get to more action...
Funny.... It wouldn't have had to feel rushed if he had not crammed irrelevant scenes and characters into it.

We didn't need to know about the Battle of Azanulbizar. We didn't need to have Radagast. We didn't need the assault on Dol Guldur. We especially didn't need Tauriel, or any of the Barrel-riders Theme-park ride.

If those were to be included in anything, it should have been a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MOVIE, made specifically to tie The Hobbit into The Lord of the Rings.

And from the short conversation that I had with Tolkien's Estate... It's likely that if Jackson had just freaking stuck to the danged book, that the Estate would have trusted either him, or others to make other works of Tolkien's.

But between Saul Zaentz, Ralph Bakshi, Peter Jackson, and the lies of New Line Cinema and Warner Bros..... They had just become too suspicious of anyone connected with Hollywood to be trusted with Tolkien's remaining works.

Some day, maybe that will happen, with someone who is capable of being trusted to remain more faithful to Tolkien's intent.

MB
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:23 PM   #24
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^ Gone With The Wind, often accorded as one of the top ten or twenty movies of all time, is 221 minutes long (3 hours, 41 minutes without intermissions and incidental music). The book is 63 chapters. According to your logic, the movie would be 21 hours long. The Grapes of Wrath had 27 chapters, but the movie run time is only 2 hours and 9 minutes (but should be 9 hours long, according to you). I could list several other great movies based on great books where your algorithm simply does not apply and borders on fantasy.

In any case, chapters are not regularly spaced and vastly different per author, some running a couple thousand words and others ten or more thousand words.

Simply put, The Hobbit does not need to be three movies long (and I have seen ample evidence as to why it should not). It's absurd for how short the book is. Lord of the Rings made more sense as a trilogy, given its length.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:25 PM   #25
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Funny.... It wouldn't have had to feel rushed if he had not crammed irrelevant scenes and characters into it.

We didn't need to know about the Battle of Azanulbizar. We didn't need to have Radagast. We didn't need the assault on Dol Guldur. We especially didn't need Tauriel, or any of the Barrel-riders Theme-park ride.
That's what I mean.

That being said, I didn't mind the inclusion of Azanulbizar per se, but I greatly disliked the way they altered its storyline, especially by making it more Thorin-centric; if anything I feel like if they wanted to go down their cliché drama/personal angst storytelling route they should have stuck to what actually happened and used that to suggest that Dáin, not Thorin, was the hero of Durin's folk, which could be another source of Thorin's anxieties and/or insecurities. Thorin might admire his younger cousin, but envy him.

Ultimately, though, I think I just wanted to see Dáin treated as the wise and honourable character he appears to be from what we see of him in the books, not Billy Connolly cussing from the back of a pig.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:53 PM   #26
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If I could change one thing in the Hobbit movies, I would get rid of all the over-the-top, grotesque bad guy designs. Orcs with blades for limbs, and metal plates and spikes stuck into their bodies, that sort of thing. They took me out of the story because they were so improbable. In the LotR movies, a great deal of care was put into the Orc designs. In the Hobbit movies, it was as if they just said, "Great, how can we make this one even more disgusting than the last."
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini
You're not familiar with the 1 Page = 1 Minute rule?

That is for Screenplay/Script -> Screen-time.

http://johnaugust.com/2006/how-accur...er-minute-rule

And the heuristic can be googled, where you will see that there is a LOT of discussion on the issue, but that it remains a Heuristic (general rule-of-thumb).
Marwhini, I clearly indicated that I am *quite* familiar with this, and that it's a separate issue.

Quote:
And for working from Novel -> Screenplay/Script, usually you translate roughly 3 - 5 pages to 1 page of Screenplay/Script.

This is because most Novels run between 300 - 500 pages, and you want to wind up with a Screenplay that is roughly 100 - 120 Pages, to get a roughly two hour movie.
"Usually". There's no very strict rule about this, for reasons which I have already explained. More importantly, this is not the process you're applying to "The Hobbit"- you are, as you indicate, advocating 1:1. Note that initially you were- apparently- considering *that* as the standard.

Here's the post I was quibbling about:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini #17
By the rules of Screenplay writing, and alteration to a script, The Hobbit should technically be a 9 to 12-hour set of movies (That is: Using the usual formulae for turning a Novel into a Screenplay, and then a Screenplay to a Script, and then the translation of the Script -> Movie, and how much time is generally given per-page of script).
At least, that's how it appears to me... Maybe I'm misinterpreting you, but then where do "technically" and "usual formulae" come into it?

Quote:
But some Novels, or especially Comic, are shorter, and you can go on a 1:1 basis. One of my friends wrote the Screenplay for the movie The Crow, and that is the formula is basically described in creating the Screenplay, and the alterations he made from the basic Comic, since they had to provide an additional 60 pages of material.
A graphic novel/comic is a very different beast from a regular novel, however. It's less about length than it is about the fact they're already a visual medium.

Quote:
I have other friends who work in Production and Direction (most in video games - I went to High School with the owner and Founders of Ensemble Studios). And I've worked on the Talent side of Movie making for some time - I am in every Robocop movie, usually doing Stunt or Firearms work, but in two normal scenes as either extra (my first appearance in the first movie) or as Bit-Part work... And I've been in more TV than I can keep track of.
Uh... I can list my own credentials if you really think it's relevant. Do you?

Quote:
One of these friends and I have a project planned for his Graduate School work on a documentary on the depiction of Tolkien's work in Popular Media (the various movies, influence in comics and games, etc.), as well as how these seem to relate to Tolkien's own conceptions of his work.

In the course of doing that... We looked at what it would take to get The Hobbit Produced, and what a Screenplay would likely look like.*

As a Single movie, cutting down about ⅓ of the content of the book (which is roughly 300 pages - the annotated version is 305 pages for the body of the story. The Non-Annotated version is significantly longer being on smaller page sizes than the A4 on which the annotated version is printed), you can get a normal 2 hour movie, but it is going to greatly abridge a lot of stuff.

But... Looking at it as a Trilogy, you can go with a 1:1 transcription of the Book -> Screenplay to get a product that gives you 5 - 6 hours of Screen-time.

Which breaks down into 20 minutes a chapter, on average.

Which is really all that needs to be addressed, regardless of any heuristics used in the Film Industry regarding page count.
But why is it "all that needs to be addressed"? I've already pointed out some obvious issues.

Quote:
20 minutes a chapter isn't a lot of time to cover the events of a chapter, which tends to run between 15 and 40 pages each in The Hobbit.
Depends entirely on what happens in the chapter. All they do in the first one is have dinner- and in fact that *was* treated at length in AUJ and is perhaps the single thing in that film to have drawn the most criticism.

That's the basic point I'm trying to get across. *Pacing* is very important in a film. Why do you think "The Hobbit"- a fairly typical novel- is suitable for a 1:1 adaptation?

Edit: I've been echoing "1:1" throughout, but actually you're really advocating something more like 1:2 or 1:3- at least you are some of the time, with your assertion that the "usual formula" would yield 9-12 screen hours. Seriously, where are you getting that from?
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:02 PM   #28
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Marwhini
At least, that's how it appears to me... Maybe I'm misinterpreting you, but then where do "technically" and "usual formulae" come into it?
Technically, as in according the rules they teach at UCLA on Screenwriting.

But that would be applying a roughly 30 minute per chapter formula (using the 9 - 12 hour estimate), given more attention to some details, and visuals. It isn't that hard to squeeze 10 more minutes into each chapter (on average) by simply adding a few seconds into each shot/scene.

That would add up quickly, and would not slow things down significantly.

Quote:
But why is it "all that needs to be addressed"? I've already pointed out some obvious issues.
The 20 minutes, average, per chapter is all that needs to be considered in getting a six-hour long production (technically six-hours and twenty-minutes).

You don't need to worry about breaking down the page-count, because you can just work to try to make it so that the length each Chapter covers averages out to 20-minutes per chapter.

So you might have some chapters that are dealt with in 15 minutes (or maybe even 10-minutes or less), and some chapters that are dealt with in 25-minutes to 30-minutes (or longer).

As you keep pointing out, pacing for the chapters will be different, allowing some things to be dealt with rather quickly, and other things that might need greater exposition, visualization, or narrative.

With 19 chapters, times 20-minutes per chapter, that is 380-minutes, or 6.33 Hours.

Leaving each "Episode" at roughly 2.11 hours, on average (or roughly 127 minutes each, minus credits, and any Intro).

Quote:
Depends entirely on what happens in the chapter. All they do in the first one is have dinner- and in fact that *was* treated at length in AUJ and is perhaps the single thing in that film to have drawn the most criticism.

That's the basic point I'm trying to get across. *Pacing* is very important in a film. Why do you think "The Hobbit"- a fairly typical novel- is suitable for a 1:1 adaptation?
The 1:1 is an AVERAGE, meaning that not every page is going to result in a full-minute.

But that is averages out for such.

That is why it is called a "heuristic" (meaning "Rule of Thumb" or "best guess" or "approximation" - technically it is Greek for "That which is found by accident/unusual").

Some pages of the Novel might not warrant more than a few seconds of screen-time.

While others might warrant five minutes of screen-time.

The point being that when all is said-and-done, they average out to about 1-minute per page.

That is pretty much the rule (Heuristic) that they work toward, or use when dealing with estimating how much screen-time is going to be created for a given script.

The estimation might not work out to be 100% accurate, but when you take a long at all movies produced, and compare their length to the script that produced them, you get that relative 1:1 rule (page of script per minute of scene/screen-time).

When estimating a budget for a production, that is how Film is bought, and how to estimate production budgets. I have only taken a few Film Classes, mostly dealing with VFX and Writing. But it is a subject that I have had to go over when looking at how much it is going to cost us to shoot the documentary we hope to do in the next couple of years.

The budget might go over, or under that estimate, but that is what they use to get a "bust guess" when looking at financing a production. And it seems to be pretty reliable, assuming that you have records of the average number of takes for a scene that your director usually uses; with a new director, you have to just make a best guess there, but they have a heuristic for that too (never having wanted to Direct, I never looked into it).

MB
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:42 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Technically, as in according the rules they teach at UCLA on Screenwriting.
The "rules" as applied to script-to-film or novel-to-script? Can we have a reality check here? According to you, it would seem the "rules" state that an average-length novel must be adapted as a trilogy, or even a quadrology. Ever notice how that generally fails to happen?

Quote:
The 20 minutes, average, per chapter is all that needs to be considered in getting a six-hour long production (technically six-hours and twenty-minutes).

You don't need to worry about breaking down the page-count, because you can just work to try to make it so that the length each Chapter covers averages out to 20-minutes per chapter.

So you might have some chapters that are dealt with in 15 minutes (or maybe even 10-minutes or less), and some chapters that are dealt with in 25-minutes to 30-minutes (or longer).

As you keep pointing out, pacing for the chapters will be different, allowing some things to be dealt with rather quickly, and other things that might need greater exposition, visualization, or narrative.

With 19 chapters, times 20-minutes per chapter, that is 380-minutes, or 6.33 Hours.

Leaving each "Episode" at roughly 2.11 hours, on average (or roughly 127 minutes each, minus credits, and any Intro).

The 1:1 is an AVERAGE, meaning that not every page is going to result in a full-minute.

But that is averages out for such.

That is why it is called a "heuristic" (meaning "Rule of Thumb" or "best guess" or "approximation" - technically it is Greek for "That which is found by accident/unusual").

Some pages of the Novel might not warrant more than a few seconds of screen-time.

While others might warrant five minutes of screen-time.

The point being that when all is said-and-done, they average out to about 1-minute per page.

That is pretty much the rule (Heuristic) that they work toward, or use when dealing with estimating how much screen-time is going to be created for a given script.

The estimation might not work out to be 100% accurate, but when you take a long at all movies produced, and compare their length to the script that produced them, you get that relative 1:1 rule (page of script per minute of scene/screen-time).

When estimating a budget for a production, that is how Film is bought, and how to estimate production budgets. I have only taken a few Film Classes, mostly dealing with VFX and Writing. But it is a subject that I have had to go over when looking at how much it is going to cost us to shoot the documentary we hope to do in the next couple of years.

The budget might go over, or under that estimate, but that is what they use to get a "bust guess" when looking at financing a production. And it seems to be pretty reliable, assuming that you have records of the average number of takes for a scene that your director usually uses; with a new director, you have to just make a best guess there, but they have a heuristic for that too (never having wanted to Direct, I never looked into it).

MB
Yes, but the question is why you would want to do this? Why adapt a fairly short novel into six hours when two or three would be more usual? Why- and this is where you came in, remember?- increase those six hours to nine or twelve? How is this "technically" mandated "by the rules of screenplay writing, and alteration to a script"?

(And look, while it is certainly very kind and helpful of you to repeatedly explain the basic script-to-film rule-of-thumb to me, I'd really appreciate it if you'd note the parts where I point out that a.) I know that and b.)it's not actually a rule for adapting a novel into a screenplay in the first place. I'm getting the impression that you think the two are the same, else why bring it up?)

Again, I am genuinely interested in this topic- what I'm looking for is more in the nature of actual ideas of how it could be done without resulting in an extremely turgid and padded film.

Now, you *have* made a concrete suggestion here:
Quote:
But that would be applying a roughly 30 minute per chapter formula (using the 9 - 12 hour estimate), given more attention to some details, and visuals. It isn't that hard to squeeze 10 more minutes into each chapter (on average) by simply adding a few seconds into each shot/scene.

That would add up quickly, and would not slow things down significantly.
All right. The problem I have with this is, why wouldn't it? Remember, you're talking about increasing the length and number of shots enough to turn a book of circa 300 pages into nine to twelve hours of cinema. That's, you know, quite a lot...

Now Marhwini, I'm really trying not to sound testy, but sorry if I come across that way regardless. It's just I feel you're tending to deliver lectures rather than actually replying, and I'm finding it a bit frustrating.

EDIT: Looking back through this thread, I realise I may have been seeming to miss the point at times, but that's because you've been switching between your "9-12 hour rule" and your "6-hour rule" such that I've honestly found it hard to keep track of which one you're talking about. I asked why the "usual formulae" demanded a 9-12 hour film and you replied by telling me why they demanded a 6 hour one. I think. And again, I apologise for the probable hectoring tone. I'm not suggesting you're doing this on purpose or anything like that.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:09 AM   #30
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So just to recap, here's where I'm coming from:

It is more usual to adapt a novel of "The Hobbit's" length into a single feature. (Please can we just accept this and move on?)

1.) Why do you think "The Hobbit" requires a (much) lengthier treatment?

2.) How would you go about this without either invention or padding?

Again, I am not trying to prove you wrong, I'd really like to hear what ideas you may have. Apart from everything else, I've always considered the "Hobbit" trilogy's central problem to be the fact that it was a trilogy in the first place, so I'm interested in this new perspective.
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:18 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
So just to recap, here's where I'm coming from:

1.) Why do you think "The Hobbit" requires a (much) lengthier treatment?
Because that is about what it would take to get the ENTIRE BOOK done as a movie without cutting anything.

A 2-hour production would leave 5 - 6 minutes, on average, to cover each Chapter of the movie.

Can you really cover all 19 chapters with just 6 minutes to each chapter?


Quote:
2.) How would you go about this without either invention or padding?
Again....

Each chapter is roughly 20 pages long.

Simply create a script that gives each chapter an average of 20 minutes each.

That isn't hard to do without invention, or padding. Some chapters have individual scenes that would almost stretch to almost 20 minutes.

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Old 07-11-2016, 04:08 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Because that is about what it would take to get the ENTIRE BOOK done as a movie without cutting anything.

A 2-hour production would leave 5 - 6 minutes, on average, to cover each Chapter of the movie.

Can you really cover all 19 chapters with just 6 minutes to each chapter?




Again....

Each chapter is roughly 20 pages long.

Simply create a script that gives each chapter an average of 20 minutes each.

That isn't hard to do without invention, or padding. Some chapters have individual scenes that would almost stretch to almost 20 minutes.

MB
Ummm...no. There are many chapters with many paragraphs of descriptive exposition that can be handled visually in a matter of seconds: a panorama, a quick pan, a fleeting shot.

It's a short book. Three films is and never was necessary. As I mentioned before, two films tops and you capture every major event and character, and no one would feel at all shortchanged.

What you want is a CGI figure of Tolkien reading the book. Even I would not care for that.
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Because that is about what it would take to get the ENTIRE BOOK done as a movie without cutting anything.

A 2-hour production would leave 5 - 6 minutes, on average, to cover each Chapter of the movie.

Can you really cover all 19 chapters with just 6 minutes to each chapter?




Again....

Each chapter is roughly 20 pages long.

Simply create a script that gives each chapter an average of 20 minutes each.

That isn't hard to do without invention, or padding. Some chapters have individual scenes that would almost stretch to almost 20 minutes.

MB
But 20 minutes is an extraordinarily long scene. Heck, 3 minutes is a long scene. (That's the maximum recommended scene length according to an actual rule-of-thumb that actually exists.).

I know you think I harp on about pacing and the difference between "novel time" and "screen time", and I guess I do, but, well, what can I say? You can't just decide, "ah, this scene is 20 pages long in the book so it can be 20 minutes in the movie. Simple!" It really isn't simple. (Besides, much of the time you've been arguing for a vast increase over even *that*.)

I understand you've worked as "Talent" on many productions, including major ones, and I certainly don't wish to belittle that, nor the film course you mentioned taking. However, it's looking to me now if despite all this there are certain areas you haven't yet grasped sufficiently, and that your enthusiasm for a "9-12 hour" "Hobbit" is unfortunately just a result of that.

TL;DR- Nope. Wouldn't work. Sorry!
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:00 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Morthoron View Post
Ummm...no. There are many chapters with many paragraphs of descriptive exposition that can be handled visually in a matter of seconds: a panorama, a quick pan, a fleeting shot.

It's a short book. Three films is and never was necessary. As I mentioned before, two films tops and you capture every major event and character, and no one would feel at all shortchanged.

What you want is a CGI figure of Tolkien reading the book. Even I would not care for that.
Does the word "average" mean nothing to people here?

That one chapter contains more visual exposition does not negate the rather lengthier narratives and dialog exposition that exists in other chapters within the book.

Riddles in the Dark being just one scene that would require nearly 30 - 40 minutes for the entire chapter (and about 15 - 20 minutes for JUST the Scene involving purely the Riddle-game.

I can do a scene-by-scene breakdown of a few chapters to give examples.


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Old 07-11-2016, 05:05 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Marwhini View Post
Does the word "average" mean nothing to people here?

That one chapter contains more visual exposition does not negate the rather lengthier narratives and dialog exposition that exists in other chapters within the book.

Riddles in the Dark being just one scene that would require nearly 30 - 40 minutes for the entire chapter (and about 15 - 20 minutes for JUST the Scene involving purely the Riddle-game.

I can do a scene-by-scene breakdown of a few chapters to give examples.


MB
Please see my last post re: 20 minute scenes. Your concept would require many.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:44 PM   #36
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I can do a scene-by-scene breakdown of a few chapters to give examples.
Please don't. For the love of Eru, don't bother.

Word-for-word transcription from novel to movie is daft. I already gave examples of highly regarded movies like Gone With the Wind (which you would like to drag out to 21 hours of film time) that did not require such treatment.

The run time of Jackson's Hobbit Trilogy was a bloated 474 minutes for the theater version (7.9 hours). Cut out all the asininity, superfluity and douchery and you have two films that fairly approximate the book. In the hands of a serious director who doesn't dwell on crotch, fart and snot jokes, you could probably even gain more canonicity.

Sorry, you can produce flip and pie charts, 3D diagrams, citations, footnotes and a pair of Tom Shippey's used underwear, but you're just not going to convince me that the 19 chapters of The Hobbit needs any more than two films to be a reverent and wonderful adaptation.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:32 PM   #37
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Please don't. For the love of Eru, don't bother.

Word-for-word transcription from novel to movie is daft.
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.

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.

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.


MB
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:22 PM   #38
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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.

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.

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.
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.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:11 AM   #39
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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.

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.

As far as claiming you never mentioned a 2-4 hour production. Here is what you said:

Code:
It's a short book. Three films is and never was necessary. As I mentioned before, two films tops and you capture every major event and character, and no one would feel at all shortchanged.
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).

You could expand that to 5 hours with 2 films of 2.5 hours each, and then you would be reducing each chapter to an average of 15 minutes each.

But it is likely that you would still have to cut things from the book in doing so, given that [I[The Hobbit[/I] tends to be pretty dialog heavy (and Dialog takes up more room in a script than it does in a novel, thus taking up more screen-time than pure visualization, or direction).

And if you want to play the equivocation game.... I am talking about a 20 minute per chapter translation.

That comes out to 6 hours and 20 minutes.

You can cut that into however many films you wish, from one six-hour movie, since there isn't a shortage of long movies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_longest_films

To twenty twenty-minute episodes (which doesn't mean one per chapter).

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Old 07-12-2016, 02:35 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerwen View Post
Please see my last post re: 20 minute scenes. Your concept would require many.
I do recognize that most "Scenes" are around 3-minutes long.

But The Hobbit has a collection of scenes that would be very long.

The Scene involving the Dwarves showing up at Bilbo's home would be longer than three minutes.

The Scene involving the discussion of his job would be more than three minutes.

The Riddle-game Scene with Gollum would be very long. It is already about 20-minutes in the existing movie.

And each chapter of the book contains a great many "Scenes."

With a 20-minutes:chapter limit, that would limit each chapter to no more than 6-⅔ scenes.

Looking at JUST the first chapter of the book, we have:

• Intro establishing shot of Hobbits, Hobbiton and a Hobbit-Hole
–*The Book has details of Bilbo's life and history, which would need to eventually be dealt with in some way via dialog of some sort. meaning what could be a 30-second establishing shot would need the addition of 2 - 5 minutes of dialog. Of course this exposition needn't be included in this spot in a script. It could be included later in the film.
•*Gandalf showing up at Bilbo's Door, and the "Good Morning" exchange, and invitation to Tea.
•*(Bag End, Tea Time) Dwalin's Arrival, and introduction, Bilbo invites him in, pours Tea, and offers him a cake.
•*Balin's arrival (more dialog about Tea, Cakes, and Beer)
•*Kili and Fili's arrival. Conversation about the "throng" expected, and when the others might arrive (Bilbo begins to show exasperation)
•*Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, & Gloin's arrival.
•*Bilbo rushing about preparing coffee, and serving the dwarves as they talk among themselves.
•*Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin's arrival; including Gandalf (lengthy dialog concerning Bilbo's pantry, the "getting down to Business, Bilbo muttering aloud to himself, setting the table.
•*Eating together.
•*Clearing up with the Song "That's what Bilbo Baggins Hates."
•*Playing of Music (A couple of more lively tunes, followed by the lengthy "Far over the Misty Mountains Cold"
•*THE Business: Lengthy dialog about Erebor, The plans for the Dwarves, and a bit of Hobbit History. Here we have the "Main" Scene of the chapter, including 9 pages of Dialog in the Book, translating to about 12 pages of dialog in a script - that would not include the Direction and Set Instructions).

If you give the main Scene 12 minutes, that only leaves 8 minutes for the remaining 11 Scenes, including two songs that would each take up roughly 2 - 3 minutes each (leaving 2 - 4 minutes for the remaining 9 scenes).

I'm not seeing how 20 minutes is either "stretching" the book, nor "rushing" the book.

MB
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