PJ's lack of Preperation

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Guillem Clapés
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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby Guillem Clapés » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:59 pm

Elleth wrote:PJ... like Lucas, did a great job as long as there was someone to say "no, that's stupid" or even "no, that would work in another film, but it doesn't match THIS milieu."
The more free rein he got, the worse the movies became. :/
Answering a bit late here, but I just stumbled on this and I think you are all being unfair to PJ. Saying that he only did a great job because there was someone keeping him in check is a bit disrespectful. Whether or not you agree with every decision he made concerning the LotR or Hobbit trilogies, he is a very, very talented director. The Hobbit films were a disappointment but, after seeing the video posted above, you can’t seriously put the blame on the director (at least not exclusively on him).

Elleth wrote:I rather suspect though the canonical for-the-ages version is yet to come.
Yes, maybe someday we will get a remake of the LotR films that is more ‘faithful’ to the books and satisfies the most purist readers; but even then, PJ’s trilogy will be ‘for-the-ages’. The films are excellent, and The Return of the King is the most Oscar-winning film of all time, so it will be remembered. But I understand no adaptation can ever be perfect to every lover of the books.

Elleth wrote:I think WETA did an OUTSTANDING job, with a glaring exception or two.
(Post-Smaug Laketown as broken-down late medieval Eastern Europe (even Byzantium!) on Venice-Stilts I could buy: but commercial culture or no, the 17th c. Dutch Republic vibe was way too late to mesh well with the rest of Middle Earth. )
Hey, even if our opinions on aspects of the films diverge we agree on this: Weta did an amazing job and Laketown feels a bit off among the rest of Middle-earth. Also, I completely agree Alan Lee and John Howe were an excellent inclusion in the design team.
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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby Taurinor » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:41 pm

Guillem Clapés wrote:
Elleth wrote:PJ... like Lucas, did a great job as long as there was someone to say "no, that's stupid" or even "no, that would work in another film, but it doesn't match THIS milieu."
The more free rein he got, the worse the movies became. :/
Answering a bit late here, but I just stumbled on this and I think you are all being unfair to PJ. Saying that he only did a great job because there was someone keeping him in check is a bit disrespectful. Whether or not you agree with every decision he made concerning the LotR or Hobbit trilogies, he is a very, very talented director. The Hobbit films were a disappointment but, after seeing the video posted above, you can’t seriously put the blame on the director (at least not exclusively on him).

Elleth wrote:I rather suspect though the canonical for-the-ages version is yet to come.
Yes, maybe someday we will get a remake of the LotR films that is more ‘faithful’ to the books and satisfies the most purist readers; but even then, PJ’s trilogy will be ‘for-the-ages’. The films are excellent, and The Return of the King is the most Oscar-winning film of all time, so it will be remembered. But I understand no adaptation can ever be perfect to every lover of the books.


To be fair, Elleth voiced something similar in a post following the one that you've quoted here (emphasis mine)-
Elleth wrote:For what it's worth, I don't think PJ did a uniquely bad job. I think he probably wasn't the best person on earth who could have produced a Middle Earth film franchise, but he was the person who actually went out and insisted on doing it. Then put a decade and more of his life into the work. That far outweighs every purist good intention anyone - myself included - might have.

Elleth wrote:I do think there will be in the future a really, REALLY good, true-to-source adaptation. But it won't be until 3D video (and voice!) rendering is both easy enough and effective enough that a small team without funding can do it in a basement on a shoestring budget without needing to pay off investors.

And even then, there will be bits of PJ.. and Howe.. and Lee...and Falconer.. running through those renderings. They've become part of the subconscious sense of Middle Earth, and I'd like to think the best of them will live on in whatever becomes of it.
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Guillem Clapés
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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby Guillem Clapés » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Taurinor wrote:To be fair, Elleth voiced something similar in a post following the one that you've quoted here (emphasis mine)-
Elleth wrote:For what it's worth, I don't think PJ did a uniquely bad job. I think he probably wasn't the best person on earth who could have produced a Middle Earth film franchise, but he was the person who actually went out and insisted on doing it. Then put a decade and more of his life into the work. That far outweighs every purist good intention anyone - myself included - might have.

Elleth wrote:I do think there will be in the future a really, REALLY good, true-to-source adaptation. But it won't be until 3D video (and voice!) rendering is both easy enough and effective enough that a small team without funding can do it in a basement on a shoestring budget without needing to pay off investors.

And even then, there will be bits of PJ.. and Howe.. and Lee...and Falconer.. running through those renderings. They've become part of the subconscious sense of Middle Earth, and I'd like to think the best of them will live on in whatever becomes of it.

My bad, I failed to notice these. Speaking about small teams and shoestring budgets, though, have you guys watched Born of Hope? If you have, what did you think about it? I discovered in many years ago and I’ve watched it quite a few times since then. I know it draws a lot from PJ’s films, but I guess it’s still closer to what Elleth described, being made by a group of fans with a very small budget.
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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby Elleth » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:42 pm

Certainly no hard feelings Guillem. :)

Though yes, I do think PJ did his best work when he had someone (or rather many someones) reigning in his worst instincts. That's not unique to him - that's a standard facet of humanity, and especially to creative professionals.
It can be near irresistible once you're in the thick of building something to think "you know what would be SO COOL?!? What if we....."

Writers do it. Actors do it. Heck - programmers do it.

The problem is when you're down in the trenches creating rather than up at the drafting board planning you can easily lose sight of your big picture.
Moreover, when you're creating in someone else's world, their vision is part of that "big picture."

It is SO INCREDIBLY EASY to let your own "this will be SO COOL" instincts override not only your vision, but theirs.
But what seems cool in the moment is a distracting embarrassment in the final project, because it's in glaring contrast to the actual vision you started with.
(definitive example: PJ's run-from-the-pile-of-skulls gag in ROTK)

This is why writers say "kill your darlings." That is why (good) writers have brutal alpha readers who aren't their friends go over their work prior to the work of final editing. That is even why programmers have code reviews.
And that is why good film adaptations don't let a single hand get everything he wants, no matter how talented he is.


As to Born of Hope - I recall watching it some years ago and being pleasantly surprised. The acting was a bit cringy in places (as is the case with pretty much all fan work) but by and large remarkably well done all things considered.
edit - rewatching bits again, I'm astonished how well written the language of the dialog is. It feels spot on to Tolkien's text, at least at a casual listen. Really impressive for a modern performance!
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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby caedmon » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:51 pm

Elleth wrote:Open the tale with old Bilbo telling the tale before the fire, a passel of little Hobbit children listening rapt of the floor. Boucy dwarves and silly adventures..

Come back to the framing tale, and see the fire has died down, the hour grown late. Little hobbit children are passed out on the sofa.
Lost in memory and perhaps with one too many pints in him, ghost-haunted Bilbo has begun to let fall the real story, blood and pain and all - to a tweenage Frodo.



Ok, I nominate Elleth as the screenwriter for the next attempt!

The perfect spot to make the shift is Riddles in the Dark. Start with the original published version where Gollum shows Bilbo out because he won fair and square. (Or for in world consistency, stay close to it but ommit mention of the Ring.) Do a kid version of being cornered by Wolves and the the rescue by the eagles. Then cut to bedtime calls from parents.

Then cut to Bilbo, backing up, and telling the real Riddles Story to Tweenage Frodo and picking back up with the Eagles in a more Y-A tone.
-Jack Horner

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Re: PJ's lack of Preperation

Postby Elleth » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:01 pm

Oh that would be a fun job! If only...
I like that approach caedmon.
:)
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