[thechat] LotR

Quackamoe quackamoe at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 4 15:31:18 CST 2001

--- Kevin Stevens <kjs at ratking.co.uk> wrote:

> I have to admit to being totally unenthusiastic
> about both the Harry Potter
> film and the forthcoming Lord of the Rings films,
> mainly because I enjoyed
> the books so much and don't want to be disappointed
> if the on screen visuals
> don't match my idea of what everything should look

This is hard to avoid, if not impossible. But it's 
not impossible to overcome. I go into a film with the
mindset that I KNOW that what I see when I'm reading
isn't the same as what *anybody* else sees, the author
and the director included. I just make up my mind that
if their vision is sincere and valid that I won't be
*too* disappointed. If they really screw up then I get
angry. Caveat - I majored in film production for a 
while and then - after a stint in the US Navy - I 
majored in Comparative Literature with a bit of an
emphasis in Film Criticism. So I've been on both sides
and know that frequently to get something from prose
to film you just gotta do things different.

F'rinstance, on Sunday I was reading LotR to my 
11yearold daughter. The Road to Isengard, which is 
right after Helm's Deep. Gimli gives a lengthy and
eloquent description of the caves back in Helm's Deep
and I asked Sarita if she thought that speech would be
in the movie. She thought a bit and decided it
because it was too long. Too wordy. And I pointed out
that with a 15 second pan of the camera they could 
convey to the audience just how awesome those caves 

They've omitted Tom Bombadil completely. Total bummer
when I first heard it, but I know that even doing the
trilogy in 3 installments you'll have to leave out a
lot. I've heard a rule of thumb of about a minute on
screen per page of screenplay. You could end up with a
5 hour movie just for Fellowship of the Ring that way.
Then thinking about it, Tom Bombadil doesn't really 
move the plot along in any /essential/ way. So, a hard
choice on Peter's part, but probably for the best. 
Also, it looks like Arwen takes Glorfindel's place at
the ford. Hmm. Not sure about that one, but I have an
open mind on it and won't decide until around noon on
Dec. 19th, which, if I make it to an 11am showing 
might be when I actually see it.

> like. However, after
> reading my parent's right wing Sunday newspaper mags
> I have found out that
> LotR is directed by Peter Jackson. I am a huge fan
> of his early work, like
> Bad Taste, Braindead and Meet the Feebles, but the
> idea that he could come
> out with a credible mainstream film seems highly
> suspect to me. I mean, have

I've read lots of stuff about the filming of LotR and
everyone who's talked about Peter describe him as this
delightful little hobbit who maintains are really 
upbeat kinda production atmosphere - no rantings and
cursings and such.

> How on
> earth is it possible for a guy who makes films such
> as those can suddenly
> end up in charge of a $190 million project, one that
> could be the most popular film ever?

For one thing, they somehow came up with some new
cinematic technology which they showed to people with
money and blew them away with what they could do. As
for the most popular film ever, I'm really hoping that
comes to pass.

> The aforementioned mag came with a CD-ROM that
> included all 3 of the
> trailers, and I have to admit they looked pretty
> good. I can't help thinking
> that what you don't see in the trailers is the
> scenes with vomit gags and
> people wandering about with half their head falling
> off. This must be the
> same Peter Jackson surely? Somebody tell me I'm not
> dreaming!
Maybe he grew up or sumptin.

Terry who'd better get back to work before the boss 
gets out of that staff meeting.

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