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Old 02-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
MatthewM
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Would There Ever Be a Possibility...?

This idea is kind of out there, and I am not sure if it could ever be properly done or organized.

But think of this --- after Jackson's movies, us fans (those truly devoted to the book) are always saying how we think PJ should have added this, or not added that, or should have done something differently. Do you think we, as the BarrowDowns community, could ever have the ability to actually do things differently? Do we as die hard fans have enough means to create our own film version of The Lord of the Rings?

I am not talking about a full scale movie theatre version, not only because it is unrealistic, but also because it is far too soon to ever approach another LotR official dramatization not to mention the blessing of the Estate would most likely never be attained. I am talking about somebody who has the video recording abilities to create an acceptable, clear movie of how the fans would have loved to see LotR. YouTube, anyone?

In all reality, I suppose this idea is one of the biggest long shots, ever. We would have to cast, write, and all take a certain amount of time out of our lives to film. I, for one, would be all for it, however we would also have to take into account money, transportation, filming location, etc.

I know it's a crazy idea, and it is one that just crossed my mind the other day because I was thinking how we as fans could create an underground masterpiece of the book we love so much. It's just an idea that I thought would make for some good discussion. Who knows what could happen?
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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Matthew .... you are a young man while I am an older one. I have little doubt that the type of technology you are describing will come to pass if you get to be my age. I envision a day when average people can pretty much save every frame of a film in a very sophisticated computer, be able to digitally remix or remaster it using advanced version of what today we call CGI, change things you want and pretty much make your own movie.

Patience is the key. I may not live to see it but you may well live to make it happen.
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Old 02-28-2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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Hmm.. reminds me of a Werewolf game I saw once... now who was that visionary (and beautiful, charming and lovable) mod?

Seriously, that would be simply awesome -- although I should be old enough to know better... I would love to help out, in some capacity, on a project like that.
I don't know what I could do, but I'd love to be involved.

I can think of someone who would probably be a lot more help (if she's interested and has the time, of course), but she's travelling in Europe at the moment...
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:51 AM   #4
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I think the biggest problem in such project is that we live at relatively long distances from one another so it would be very difficult to manage. Something like a radio series would be easier because everybody could do that in their home. Actually, a couple of people were thinking about such a project some time ago but they never got far. Unfortunately, I can't find the thread...
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I think the biggest problem in such project is that we live at relatively long distances from one another so it would be very difficult to manage. Something like a radio series would be easier because everybody could do that in their home. Actually, a couple of people were thinking about such a project some time ago but they never got far. Unfortunately, I can't find the thread...
I am not opposed to a radio series --- this could work. Do you know details on how we could go about that? Although I would still like to think there is some hope we could do a live action project...

Do you guys suggest I make a different thread with a more catchy title? I wonder if more people are interested.
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:00 PM   #6
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My friend and I were talking about how you could get more in if each chapter was like a different episode of a show or something, and each episode could be an allotted time... you could show each chapter how it should have been seen by the mass amounts of people who have never read the books!

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but my explaining is a bit choppy, please forgive me!
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:33 PM   #7
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My friend and I were talking about how you could get more in if each chapter was like a different episode of a show or something, and each episode could be an allotted time... you could show each chapter how it should have been seen by the mass amounts of people who have never read the books!

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but my explaining is a bit choppy, please forgive me!
I kind of understand what you're saying...you mean we could film each chapter within a certain amount of time? Say 45 minutes, for example? If so, that is a good idea.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:50 AM   #8
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This is a pretty cool idea, but rather hard. Some Downers live near each other and can collaborate easily. However, there are Downers, like myself, who live hours away from the nearest member and it makes it harder to contribute to this sort of project. But if a reasonable and realistic way (like Lommy's radio suggestion) can be found, I think this is a great idea and am completely willing to help in any way I can.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:09 AM   #9
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Could the fan community make a film? If we hired actors, yes. In terms of scripting though it would fail. It would fail because every fan has such clearly defined ideas of the series and what should be left in.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:08 AM   #10
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Do you guys suggest I make a different thread with a more catchy title? I wonder if more people are interested.
You could pm a mod and ask for the title of this one to be changed.

What about animation (computer), btw? Possibly within the reach (technically and financially) of a bunch of amateurs, and can be worked on by people long distances from each other - and it can be done in non-cheesy ways. Plus, my brother does it for a living.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:01 AM   #11
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Dig up a bunch of action figures - preferably LotR ones - and film the entire movie stop-action. Sure, it might take you a lifetime, but maybe with some help...

Or find a way - surely it exists as freeware - to create digital animated characters, capture some landscapes with your camera and use some friends to do the voice-overs. With Apple Macintosh software, making and editing movies isn't too hard.

Or grab some friends, get them some costumes, borrow a digital camera and film one scene - just one - and do it really well. Build from there. We did this in the 80's (yes, A.D.) with 8mm film and no money (or script or clue), and it is priceless.

Have fun!
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:11 AM   #12
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Dig up a bunch of action figures - preferably LotR ones - and film the entire movie stop-action. Sure, it might take you a lifetime, but maybe with some help...
Or, I remember we actually tried to make a movie, resp. just picture to our LotR musical with my friend using Lego figures. Well, it was meant to be parody... and we never finished the picture anyway... but it was an attempt

Otherwise, I think the radio thing is not that bad idea, it could even work. I think if it's organised and enough people are interested, it could be done.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:07 PM   #13
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Why were some of my posts and the posts of others deleted?
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #14
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I kind of understand what you're saying...you mean we could film each chapter within a certain amount of time? Say 45 minutes, for example? If so, that is a good idea.
Exactly, I just couldn't get the words out... sometimes I draw a blank...
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #16
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I love the idea, but I do think that it's a bit unrealistic to do. Good one MatthewM!
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:06 PM   #17
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Hm, that's weird with the post deletion thing. Anyway, here's what I wanted to say---

Quote:
Originally Posted by alatar View Post
Dig up a bunch of action figures - preferably LotR ones - and film the entire movie stop-action. Sure, it might take you a lifetime, but maybe with some help...

Or find a way - surely it exists as freeware - to create digital animated characters, capture some landscapes with your camera and use some friends to do the voice-overs. With Apple Macintosh software, making and editing movies isn't too hard.

Or grab some friends, get them some costumes, borrow a digital camera and film one scene - just one - and do it really well. Build from there. We did this in the 80's (yes, A.D.) with 8mm film and no money (or script or clue), and it is priceless.

Have fun!
I'm quite against the action figure idea - the idea I have, although very unrealistic and nearly impossible, would be meant for either human actors or like most have suggested, radio would work...

I wanted to know if anybody knew the first thing about how we would go about doing a radio project, if one was to start. For I have no clue.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM
I wanted to know if anybody knew the first thing about how we would go about doing a radio project, if one was to start.
Scriptwriting and casting would be where I would start. I suppose we should ask Brian Sibley for advice on this one, though.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:50 PM   #19
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I wanted to know if anybody knew the first thing about how we would go about doing a radio project, if one was to start. For I have no clue.
With the ready access to digital technology, you shouldn't have a hard time creating something. Spend more time researching script writing. Plan out what you want to do, and chop it into smaller bites to get you going (that 'eating a mumakil' thing).

Record a small scene doing a few voices yourself. Add some sound effects. Play it for friends to hook them into the project.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:56 PM   #20
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I think you should all know that good animation software is expensive and takes ages to master. And you're talking about animating an epic story with battles and such. Despite what some people will tell you, it's not just a matter of pressing the "Make Dragon" button and letting it all take care of itself.

If I were you I'd go with a purely audio version. (Not that that's easy to do well either.)
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:30 AM   #21
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I'm sure I posted here earlier post deletion/malfunction

Yes, I think the radio series is a good idea.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:50 PM   #22
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Silmaril

This sounds like a great idea, and I'd love to be involved in whatever capacity I can be. I'd love to help out!

However, I'm another Downer who doesn't really live within reasonable distance of anyone (that I know of), and a college theater student which equates to very little money or free time during the school year.

I think making a movie as a community would be an awesome experience, but it would be really hard--we're all over the world, so getting everyone involved in the same place would be difficult, what with some of the great distances that separate us, and the wide variety of schedules and living situations.

I think that it might be more practical to go with the radio drama suggestion. It would be far less expensive than trying to get everyone in the same place at the same time, costumed, fed, with a place to stay, and so on. The bonus is that Downers everywhere could participate if they wanted to. It's easy enough to find (or borrow) a microphone to plug into the computer, and upload files to the internet. We wouldn't have to deal with conflicting schedules and long travel distances.

As for where to start? Probably the same place one would start planning a movie. Outlining. Deciding what's in and what's cut, and what path the story ought to take (chronological order or the order in which it was written). After that would come drafting and editing a script, then casting, and then recording, sound effects, editing, and putting it up somewhere in its final complete form.

Edit: Apologies if this isn't particularly coherent. I'm getting over a very bad cold, and my brain isn't quite 100%.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:27 AM   #23
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Deciding what's in and what's cut
If we're actually doing this, can I have one request. Please keep Tom Bombadil this time! I'm sure we can have some fun with that.
edit: anyway, we have to include our namesake, the Barrow Downs.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:09 AM   #24
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Quote:
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If we're actually doing this, can I have one request. Please keep Tom Bombadil this time! I'm sure we can have some fun with that.
edit: anyway, we have to include our namesake, the Barrow Downs.
Oh yes - Tom would stay in if we decided to do that part of the story. But I am thinking, would it perhaps be easier to do a seperate Book (ex: Book II) rather than the story as a whole? For fans like us, we would not be "lost" as to what happened prior, and anybody who will be listening to our project would already be familiar with LotR. So it might be easier to work on just one of the Book's.

Azaelia - good outline.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:40 AM   #25
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I think the great advantage of a project like this is, that we need to abide to less restrictions than a commercial radio adaptation would have to. We can, for example, take as much time as we like to, or afford to worry less about characters that might not seem credible to a non-reader. There is no real reason to cut anything - unless there is something which turns out to simply not fit into the whole.

This is probably a stupid question, but I guess it should better be cleared early on: Could there be any copyright problems for this?
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:24 PM   #26
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Could there be any copyright problems for this?
I'm sure that you would have to go through the Tolkien Estate or something to get their approval for this... but other than that little detail, I think that this would work out fine!
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:47 PM   #27
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Silmaril

I'm not sure, but I believe that as long as it's just for personal use and we're not going to sell it or otherwise make money from it, we should be in the clear as far as copyrights go. In other words, if it goes no farther than our little community, I don't see that we'd have a problem.

However, getting the Tolkien Estate's approval is more than just a "little detail", especially if they expect that we buy the rights, which I can't imagine would come cheap.

I dunno. I don't know too much about copyrights, and I could very well be wrong. Perhaps we should ask someone who knows more about this sort of thing.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:30 PM   #28
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This is probably a stupid question, but I guess it should better be cleared early on: Could there be any copyright problems for this?
I really don't think it is a big deal. It's not like we are going to sell it. If everybody went around trying to seek the approval of the Tolkien estate for doing anything LotR related not only would the Estate be overly rich but nothing would get done because the Estate is extremely slow in response. Have you ever ran a search under YouTube for LotR videos? I verily doubt that each person who put a song to New Line's movie clips asked for New Line's permission, along with the Estate's permission, along then with the artist's permission for who's song they are using.

I can see an issue if we were going to sell this for money. But we're not.

So, let's talk about this. How would we record the parts for our respective characters seperately? Also, we would need a voice sample from everybody who was auditioning for a spot...we can't just have anybody saying they will do this project and than finding out they can't deliver, or do not fit their part.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #29
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Well, I was just asking because Copyright has been discussed a lot recently on the Downs and because, after all, in the ideal case, we would be putting an adapted version of the whole LotR available on the Internet. YouTube is a bad example, because much of what's on there isn't actually legal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
So, let's talk about this. How would we record the parts for our respective characters seperately? Also, we would need a voice sample from everybody who was auditioning for a spot...we can't just have anybody saying they will do this project and than finding out they can't deliver, or do not fit their part.
I don't think separate recording would work out well. I think services such as Skype allow to record calls (not sure whether the quality's sufficient). All who play a role needed in a particular scene (plus a "director", maybe) could just call each other at one time to record a scene. With a little bit of scheduling, this might be a way.

The voice samples are a good idea, but who decides who gets to decide over who gets which role?
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #30
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Well, I was just asking because Copyright has been discussed a lot recently on the Downs and because, after all, in the ideal case, we would be putting an adapted version of the whole LotR available on the Internet.
It seems like it should be legal if we aren't selling it, but we should probably start off with a disclaimer to that effect, just to be on the safe side.
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The voice samples are a good idea, but who decides who gets to decide over who gets which role?
Democracy?
The question is, do we vote for representatives on the casting committee, or have a general election on the casting of each role? Dictatorship is right out.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:51 AM   #31
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Actually, on second thought, discussion (a la Wikipedia) tends to give better results than democracy when you have a small enough group to make it feasible - the trouble there, though, is the inhibiting effect concern for the prospective actors' feelings will have. Secret ballots it must be...
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:44 PM   #32
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Do we have enough male voices? That seems to be a common problem on the internet, though less severe here.


(*cough* My resumé *cough*)
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:01 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
Oh yes - Tom would stay in if we decided to do that part of the story. But I am thinking, would it perhaps be easier to do a seperate Book (ex: Book II) rather than the story as a whole? For fans like us, we would not be "lost" as to what happened prior, and anybody who will be listening to our project would already be familiar with LotR. So it might be easier to work on just one of the Book's.

Azaelia - good outline.
Good thought. It would be cool just to do certain parts of the story that we felt needed improvement, or that we particularly liked - such as the Bombadil episode. Could be a good way to start out, and then expand the project later if all went well.

I'd love to help. I am going to school in the Chicago-area and live near Portland, Oregon (during the summer), so I may be a bit removed from other Downers, perhaps. I'm not sure. At any rate, I'll do whatever I can. Some tasks would doubtless work better over long distances, but I can write and act.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:41 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure View Post
think services such as Skype allow to record calls (not sure whether the quality's sufficient). All who play a role needed in a particular scene (plus a "director", maybe) could just call each other at one time to record a scene. With a little bit of scheduling, this might be a way.

The voice samples are a good idea, but who decides who gets to decide over who gets which role?
What's Skype? I'm not familiar with it...is it something like a program online in which you could record conversations, etc? If so, that's definitely a start and a good idea. Indeed with some scheduling it is a way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikae
Actually, on second thought, discussion (a la Wikipedia) tends to give better results than democracy when you have a small enough group to make it feasible - the trouble there, though, is the inhibiting effect concern for the prospective actors' feelings will have. Secret ballots it must be...
Well, I would say a discussion on the matter of casting would be fair enough for everybody. Definitely samples are needed though, auditioning for a certain character, perhaps? What do you mean about Wikipedia? Do they have discussion boards? We could also discuss here about casting for each role - let me just say, it's no secret who I want to voice - and I could provide you with an excellent audition via my crummy microphone here to prove my worth.

Male voices - I am one, I'm sure we would have plenty. Maybe somebody could also, if they have the skill, do more than one voice. I don't think I could, but I'm sure other people have this skill.

It's also necessary to decide which parts of the story we shall attempt to do - my vote is Book II, that being The Council of Elrond - The Breaking of the Fellowship. Any other parts people would like to attempt? I know Gwathagor mentioned Bombadil.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #35
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Well, from LOTR, a few other scenes that might be fun would be the Council of Elrond, the conversations between Faramir, Frodo, and Sam, and the Treebeard scenes.

And then there's always The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:57 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
Male voices - I am one, I'm sure we would have plenty. Maybe somebody could also, if they have the skill, do more than one voice. I don't think I could, but I'm sure other people have this skill.
I'm planning on playing everybody.

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Old 03-28-2008, 12:26 AM   #37
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Here is a quick layout I wrote up if we were to do a chapter of/part of/all of Book II. In all of Book II, here are the characters that I think are necessary to include. I do not think I have forgotten any. I didn't include the Balrog, because of course he does not speak - but of course he is included.

Purposed list of characters to include listed below.

Characters

Narrator

The Fellowship
Gandalf
Frodo Baggins
Samwise Gamgee
Peregrin Took
Meriadoc Brandybuck
Boromir
Aragorn
Gimli
Legolas Greenleaf

Others
Elrond
Galadriel
Celeborn
Haldir
Gloin
Glorfindel
Bilbo Baggins
Orcs
-
Arwen?
Radagast
Saruman
Gollum

The last four characters may be mentioned in a flashback during the chapter The Council of Elrond. I have a question mark after Arwen because I was debating whether or not it is necessary to include a flashback from "Many Meetings" of Aragorn and Arwen sometime in the beginning to give value to Aragorn's despair/solemness in Lorien.

Here are some other questions we must ask-

*How many voice actors?

*Sound effects- how accessible are they?

*What do we include? What do we not include?

*Background music
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:42 AM   #38
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An important prerequisite for our voice-actors (for the main roles, at least), apart from a fitting voice and some acting ability, is long-term availability. Losing, for example, our Frodo at some point in the middle would be a problem. Looking over this thread, there seems to be a shortage of elder posters, but for characters such as Gandalf, Saruman, Treebeard, Theoden, Denethor etc. we need voices that have an older sound. But I'm sure that, once we actually managed to record a scene or two, we can warm up some of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
What's Skype?
It's an Internet service that allows you to phone other people via the computer. From one registered (free) user to another, it's for free. Several people can join in one conversation. I've never tried it, so I don't know how the quality of it is, but there exists the possibility to record calls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
Maybe somebody could also, if they have the skill, do more than one voice.
Given the huge amount of minor characters, we will probably have to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
Any other parts people would like to attempt?
Take five different people and you'll get five different answers. Personally, I'd like to hear some of the long dialogues, like between Frodo and Gandalf in "The Shadow of the Past" or the ones between Denethor, Faramir and Gandalf in "The Siege of Gondor". But I'm fine to start with Book II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwath
It would be cool just to do certain parts of the story that we felt needed improvement, or that we particularly liked - such as the Bombadil episode.
I'd say let us just pick one scene now (preferably one that requires little re-writing, for the beginning) and go ahead. It needn't be perfect (I'm sure we'll end up re-doing some early scenes later anyway), just a sample to see whether we really have a shot at making it work.
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:06 AM   #39
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The mention of Wikipedia was just referring to their decision-making process for controversial edits - they insist that it is *not* a democracy, and that decisions must be made through discussion and consensus.

I'd second the nomination of "The Shadow of the Past"... or, actually, I think starting from the very beginning, different as it may be from the usual M.O. of Hollywood, might be reasonable for us. Films, after all, are usually made out of order for practical reasons which don't really apply to us, and I think that at least writing from beginning to end will help us establish the tone and get "into" the world we're re-creating. Still, doing book II first could work just fine.

I have no acting experience whatsoever, but if you're short a rather young-sounding female voice (unlikely) I'm willing to try (I may well be one of our oldest participants so far, but telemarketers frequently ask me if my "mommy" is home). Actually, I would enjoy being the narrator - but I don't think I have the right voice.
I'd certainly be happy to help with the writing, and in any other way I can.

I wonder how far accents will be an issue. I think most of us are Americans, right?
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:19 AM   #40
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Double posting again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macalaure View Post
Looking over this thread, there seems to be a shortage of elder posters, but for characters such as Gandalf, Saruman, Treebeard, Theoden, Denethor etc. we need voices that have an older sound.
Seeing that you're the oldest person to show interest in the project, are we to assume you volunteer?

We seem to be short on everything, actually, except women. I wonder if actively recruiting people would be helpful, or counter-productive (bringing in people who weren't that committed to the project).

As it is, we have 2 men and 1 (2 with me) woman willing to act. A scene between Frodo and Galadriel, perhaps, or Frodo (or Bilbo) and Gandalf is a possibility, but all four hobbits plus Treebeard, Goldberry and Bombadil is definitely out. (Ah! I want to play Goldberry if I turn out to have latent acting talent!)

We can just get started, though - record one scene (Shadow of the Past again comes to mind) for which we already have enough actors and hope more come on board after seeing what is possible.

How about music? Are there any composers lurking around who are interested in lending their skills to this project? *nudge, nudge*
I'm an ex-music major and play a few instruments badly, but I know there are far more qualified people in the 'downs...
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