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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Dragon Problem (long)

MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 1 2008, 12:07am

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The Dragon Problem (long) Can't Post

Stories of dragons are as old as the written word and probably a lot older. To keep things inside the J.R.R. Tolkien realm, “Beowulf”, one of the oldest written stories of Europe features not only the monstrous Grendel but his serpentine Mother.

Ancient biblical writings allude to the great serpent or dragon while global mythology has oversized lizard creatures popping up so consistently that some have suggested there must be some common shared memory or primitive survival instinct built into humanity to cause us to tell our tribal stories about such a monstrosity.

Tolkien's “The Hobbit” follows in that grand tradition, as does much of his grander cosmology. While some of the creatures in his bestiary, such as the fire-and-shadow balrogs are original, the great worm Smaug and his Middle-earth cousins are certainly not new.

And yet, Tolkien's works and his world building, and the importance of his influence on both fantasy literature and fantasy in popular culture, mean that Smaug gets a prominent chapter in the “Who's Who of Dragons.” Smaug, even for those who haven't read “The Hobbit”, is familiar even if he isn't original. Some of his chief characteristics worked so effectively in making him a memorable character that they were used often by not only by other authors, but by others using dragons in any medium.

Special effects tools of the last few decades have taken a creature difficult to create with size and scale on film and made it not a fantastic creature but another option as a character. Eragon (and my goodness how that name rings a bell in the Middle-earth chapel) is the story of a boy and his dragon that was a publishing phenomenon and a big-budget film that perhaps didn't achieve financial, critical or artistic success but did reaffirm the “reality” of a talking, flying dragon in the minds of the movie going public.

Sean Connery voiced a dragon of his own and the abysmal Dungeons & Dragons movie featured a fleet of the beasts in combat. Dragons, often the rarest and among the most magical of creatures in a given mythology, have become so common as to be, well, common. Harry Potter and his ilk keep them in chains, own eggs and use them for schoolboy trials of manhood. Smaug certainly wouldn't have allowed that, even at the hands of the mighty Noldor Elves. Demigods including Gandalf himself would have been hard pressed to place even a single leash on such a creature. Indeed Smaug was virtually immortal with his longevity and near invulnerability.

What this means for 2008 is that “The Hobbit” production has a dragon problem. It has been well argued on TheOneRing.net's own message boards that Bilbo's conversation with Smaug are at least an emotional highlight of “The Hobbit,” if not the climax.

I have not the expertise and have not done the scholarship to try to contend that Tolkien's dragon was the original modern dragon prototype. But I can say that the shadow Smaug casts in modern fantasy is large and dark and since Smaug or dragons similar to him have now populated popular culture like rabbits in vegetable garden, Guillermo del Toro and Richard Taylor and his WETA team bear the burden of the dragon problem.

Smaug will need to be a fully realized character (much more than a monster) that feels as genuine as any of the flesh actors that appear in the film. WETA, with Gollum under its belt, has achieved that before but not with a gigantic non-humanoid. The “Fellowship” cave troll also did some fine acting thanks to the digital team. This creature will not have humanoid features but will need to emote as well as a human and connect with or repel the audience with complex emotions such as pride and greed. A t the same time Smaug needs to be terrifying. We need to empathize with Bilbo that Smaug is both polite and terrible, proud and horrific, conversational but deadly. This alone would be a tall order and asks WETA to take things a step beyond its prior accomplishments but given the dedication and innovation, I have faith in the special effects team to get that done.

But then the dragon also needs to step out of the mishmash of dragons that have popped up everywhere in film and in books. Smaug must be Smaug The Magnificent, not Smaug The Other Dragon. And besides his conversation with Bilbo he needs to swoop down on an entire town of hardy humans and incinerate their town built on a lake. Here again, he must be fearsome and ruthless and intelligent and not feel like the same creature that was in “Beowulf” and feel as real as anything in life.

The voice is an important factor, and the choice of this actor is one of the most anticipated of the film. I have been appealing to deity since contemplating who might fill our ears with roars and threats that no actor previously used for dragon or lion in film be used again. I am horrified to think of an actors voice that causes the audience to say, “Ohhhh! That is Actor X!”

Now the best actors can manage to create a whole different character and voice and take viewers beyond easy recognition but some voices are just too distinct. Doubly dangerous are voices that have already voiced dragons or lions or other obvious mythical beasts. Some lions and dragon voices have already been suggested on these forums, which gives me the shivers. I just don't want to say to myself while watching the much-anticipated film, “Who knew Smaug sounds like Darth Vader / Scar / Aslan!” This isn't the place to advocate any casting decisions (and beyond the fun of fan casting, no place is) but my opinion about that was expressed a few months back here.

So looking at the first of the two films planned for production, this Smaug challenge looks to me to be both the most difficult and the most rewarding. I can't wait to see how the dragon problem gets solved. That is the fun of hotly anticipating movies based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




(This post was edited by MrCere on May 1 2008, 12:15am)


Sunflower
Valinor

May 1 2008, 12:53am

Post #2 of 158 (10133 views)
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Hear hear! [In reply to] Can't Post

Although, I have to say, the dragon in Beowulf scared the heck out of me (first time I have been genuinely frightened by a CGI creature) and I went out of the theater saying "NOW I know why they called Glaurung "the Great Worm." Glaurung, the destroyer of Gondolin always frightened me more than Smaug ever did. B/che was a different type of being.

Which leads me to another point about his voice. Whatever has been written about his voice, and however Tolkien described it, I think here that heresy should be committed, in that the way he speaks should convey his otherworldliness. Shelob and the Balrog by their very existences bespoke of their alien-ness-of their being last remnants of the First Age, left over in ME. Smaug, though, as a Dragon, will need something more, just b/c of his, as you say, familiarity.

Therefore, he should not speak in the cliched Queen's English,(for all that conveys an elegant menace...but heck, we had Grand Moff Tarkin for that. And we don't want him to be another Shere Khan. ) IMO, Smuag should have a completely unfamilar accent, something leftover from the ME of the First Age; perhaps a form of slurred or corrupted Quenya (Morgoth corrupting Noldor speech, as Saruman later corrupted orcs...or, actually, as Morgoth corrupted and twisted captured Elves.) Viggo demosrated this a litte in ROTK at the Rohan camp, when he says to Theoden, "We have until dawn, then we must ride." Thnakfully, they didn't overdo it.) To this slurred/gulped warped Quenya accent, should be overlaid the slightish bit of High Scottish (the accent of Dale, which he had taken residence in.)

I'm sure David Salo and/or Roison Carty could help with this.


(This post was edited by Sunflower on May 1 2008, 12:55am)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 12:57am

Post #3 of 158 (10281 views)
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Consider the Balrog. [In reply to] Can't Post

You make some cogent and thought-provoking points. (I won’t say which ones…)*

Leading into the LOTR films the big question I had were how were they going to depict the Balrog and Treebeard? The first because this was a creature we haven’t seen in fantasy literature before, and the second because a talking tree could undermine PJ’s hard-fought realism of Middle-earth.

But you’re right about Smaug. Dragons have a banality to them that reminds me of an editor’s comment I read once, who exclaimed upon reading a new manuscript, “Not more f****** dragons!” (This item referred to the influence of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if her telepathic dragons were informed by Smaug.)

Elves also carry a lot of baggage with them – and I believe PJ, Ngila and Weta managed to present Tolkien’s Elves as a new form of being that intrigued audiences. But then, they had a lot of Elves with which to present nuances of character between them – with The Hobbit, there is just Smaug.

I do have faith in the team to do something original with Smaug. It is a challenging task for them, for all of the reasons you have outlined, but these are the guys who blew the screen apart with the originality of the Balrog, who removed the ridiculous from a walking tree, and who turned Elves into a mighty and dangerous (in their own way) species. They also managed to bring an unholy menace to a piece of jewellery through the use of sound effects.

And for what it’s worth, I think you’re onto something (as opposed to *on* something) about an unknown actor voicing Smaug. I imagine the casting for that role would be enormous.



* (kidding)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Mirabella_Bunce
Rivendell

May 1 2008, 1:02am

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That's no oooooordinary rabbit! [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't thought a whole lot about "how will they do The Dragon?" because I really have a lot of faith in the whole team making this movie - including, now, and perhaps especially, GDT - but HAVE had a few "I Hope They"s.

For instance it seems to me that even tho' we now have all this wonderful CG imaging now, the impact of the horror and enormity of Smaug that Tolkien tried to convey (and Smaug being a mere diminished shadow of original dragonhood, at that!) would have more impact if we could never be able to see all of him at once. Even on the biggest of Big Screens. Raaaaar! etc.

Another thing I must confess is that somehow, ever since I read Unfinished Tales, every time I try to envision (envision? enhearon?) Smaug's voice, I keep tending to hear Anthony Hopkins. *shudder*

Maybe that's all it really is. Not the Hopkins part (not likely, actually) but the "shudder" part. When we first see or hear Smaug, I don't want it to be the kind of thing where we all say "Oooooh COOOOOL!!!" I want it to be the kind of thing where we all shudder and want to crawl under our seats.

If anyone can make us do that, it's Del Toro!


lumpkin
The Shire


May 1 2008, 4:22am

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Eyes and voice [In reply to] Can't Post

will be key for my belief in the interpretation.

Due to some inspired casting for my 5th grade stage production of the Hobbit, I have often "heard" the voice of Smaug as a female's. A smug, beguiling feminine purr. I'm embarrassed to say I can't recall if Smaug is referred to as a "he" in the text--probably so (yes, my Hobbit is just downstairs on the bookshelf, but at the moment I'm already late to bed).

Thanks for your thoughtful musings MrCere. A pleasure to read.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 4:40am

Post #6 of 158 (10204 views)
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We have Tolkien's vision of Smaug: [In reply to] Can't Post



Not all that terrifying, really, unless you're as tiny as the small, invisible Bilbo shown bowing on the right. Two ways to interpret this:

1) Tolkien still thought of this as a children's book, and didn't want to be too terrifying; or
2) Smaug could be charming, but turned lethal when he felt threatened.

Naturally we're hoping GDT will go for #2, but its a challenge to portray this. Other monsters have managed to be pathetic but terrifying (e.g. Frankenstein's monster). Offhand, I can't think of any charming-but-lethal monsters, although I can think of some human characters in that category.




New grandson of Elizabeth, b. 2/25/2008


Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 4:43am

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Well, Darkstone has [In reply to] Can't Post

...suggested both Eartha Kitt (four times!) and Angelina Jolie for Smaug (though Loresilme had the latter idea first).

He's made three other suggestions for Smaug on the new boards, including another actress, more than a year ago. The other two suggestions are not actresses, but have two things in common with each other. Anybody remember who? Or the connections?

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Join us Apr. 28-May 4 for "Treebeard".


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 4:51am

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Bilbo is too big in that picture. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a footnote to your post: Tolkien said in a letter that Bilbo ought to have been drawn smaller.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Apr. 28-May 4 for "Treebeard".


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 8:34am

Post #9 of 158 (10126 views)
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If John Howe's on board ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Smaug will look brilliant - Weta proved time and time again they can realise Howe's monsters on screen. I agree it's characterisation that will be tricky, but I'm not at all worried about it! Smaug's written so well by Tolkien, hopefully it won't be too hard to translate that.

What about someone like Anthony Head? Buffy's Rupert Giles, he was also a superb villain in season 2 of Doctor Who as an evil, creepy headmaster ("School Reunion") - actually not an un-Smaug-like character, being somewhat lizardlike and good with words. And creepy.

Akaroa jetty, New Zealand, March 2008

Akaroa jetty


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 9:49am

Post #10 of 158 (9902 views)
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I'm just wondering: [In reply to] Can't Post

What would exhalation of fire do to the lining of a dragon's throat? And of what material would a dragon's throat have to be to withstand such flame?

And taking into account all of that, what would that do to a draconic voice?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 10:17am

Post #11 of 158 (9843 views)
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Ooooh .... [In reply to] Can't Post

good thinking there. Maybe a dragon is a silicon-based lifeform? Silicone is heat-resistant - they make cooking utensils out of it these days! But giving Smaug a sort of hoarse, throaty voice would work for me.

Akaroa jetty, New Zealand, March 2008

Akaroa jetty


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 10:23am

Post #12 of 158 (9895 views)
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Silicone... [In reply to] Can't Post

So a voice like two super-smooth rocks rubbing alongside each other? The Balrog's 'voice' was like a blast furnace, so Smaug's would perhaps be more refined, smooth yet hard, maybe.

Hmmmm.

(And I can't help wondering if Smaug has a smoker's cough.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Eledhwen
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 10:33am

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Yeah, or like rocks [In reply to] Can't Post

The Wikipedia entry for silicon is quite enlightening actually. It's super-hard, but brittle; and how about this: "Pure silicon crystals are only occasionally found in nature; they can be found as inclusions with gold and in volcanic exhalations". Doesn't that sound dragon-y to you? There's a bit about silicon-based lifeforms at the bottom as well - I've been watching too much Doctor Who, they keep cropping up in that.

Akaroa jetty, New Zealand, March 2008

Akaroa jetty


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 10:44am

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Interesting link! [In reply to] Can't Post

Makes you wonder if Morgoth had a tame volcano to use in the creation of his wyrms.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 12:53pm

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Maybe it doesnt exhale flame [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe it exhales a flammable gas that ignites in the presence of oxygen in the air. I seem to remember thats how Anne MacCaffeys dragons do it.

Disclaimer: Anything said in an admin capability is subject to change dependent on how loud Altaira yells at me........





entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 12:59pm

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After WETA's Kong, [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm confident they will create a dragon who IS Smaug. He will be funny, smart, wry, greedy and dangerous. He will cause Bilbo to risk falling under the dragon-spell and remember to "Never laugh at live dragons".

But so much of the success of The Hobbit movie hinges on a successful creation of Smaug. If Smaug isn't outstanding, the rest of the movie will not be able to succeed.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Elven
Valinor


May 1 2008, 1:50pm

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No problem ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont doubt WETA's skill, nor their visionary teams interpreations, to present Smaug in all his glory to the screen. If he is animatronically created and CGI enhanced - he will be glorious, deceptive and dangerous no doubt - but it is the realm of 'sound engineering' with Smaugs voice which I think will need to be convincing. I'm in the mind that Smaugs voice wont be recognizable - no matter who does it. The 'sound' of the Dragon is one thing I am really looking forward to, and how effective it is - on screen and in the viewing environment - I want to feel the hairs on my neck rise when I feel this Dragons breath on my back and his voice in my ear. Im sure they will manange this Smile

I dont think they have a problem with Smaug but they do have an exciting challenge to define his qualities and personality and make them perfectly realistic.


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 1:53pm

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Maybe not silicon based but thinking about it.. [In reply to] Can't Post

many animals (like snails) have shells made of calcium carbonate. Its not inconceivable then that instead of calcium carbonate a dragon may be able to use calcium silicate to produce a hard covering like scales? Calcium silicate has a melting point of around 1200 -1500 celsius compared to steel at 1300 celsius. Now if it was exhaling fire it could have a throat lined with the scales maybe.

Hmm - a vey dry throat - however they could use a lubricant - how about the silicon or maybe even graphite? Graphite can be very smooth and is a good lubricant. Its a very good conductor of heat though but does have a high melting point. Ha! maybe thats why dragons go after dwarf holds - not for the gems but for the coal! maybe they can convert coal to graphite? So would that give a languid and smooth - almost liquid (hypnotic?) voice.

Thinking even more randomly - what happens to the injested coal when the dragon hibernates? Maybe it turns into another form - ie diamond! Could dragon dung be diamonds - maybe that explains the hoard!

Maybe I should stop thinking now

Disclaimer: Anything said in an admin capability is subject to change dependent on how loud Altaira yells at me........





Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 2:15pm

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A theory... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What would exhalation of fire do to the lining of a dragon's throat? And of what material would a dragon's throat have to be to withstand such flame?

And taking into account all of that, what would that do to a draconic voice?


I saw a documentary on Discovery or National Geographic some time ago concerning a dragon carcass explorers found in the Scandinavian Mountains. After diagnosing the remains, they apparently came to this conclusion...

There was a sack-type organ (not sure if it was the intestine, or one of many intestines), that contained helium gas, which was a byproduct of the stomach bacteria breaking down food - much as hydrogen sulphide is a byproduct of human digestion. It was this helium gas that enabled the dragon to fly, effectively making its body 'lightweight' like a balloon (which by the way, seemed like a problem for this particluar dragon since its wings didn't seem like they could bear the weight of its body). Anyway, they also found that the dragon's teeth contained traces of platinum, the same substance that was found in many caves about those mountains. So by conjecture, they deduced that the dragon probably sharpened its teeth, or ingested those rocks for digestion, and the teeth grinding them before swallowing was what caused the platinum to be deposited in there. The interesting part is that when helium meets platinum, boom, a blast of fire Pirate

I'm not sure of the veracity of all this, but found it interesting nonetheless.

And this doesn't even affect the dragon's throat, nor its voice... but maybe blurred its vision just a little bit Laugh



Annael
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 2:26pm

Post #20 of 158 (9700 views)
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I think [In reply to] Can't Post

a whispery voice would make sense - hissed rather than resonant. And personally I think a tenor voice can sound much more evil than a baritone or bass.

Andy Serkis could do a voice none of us would recognize, that's been well established.



Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 1 2008, 2:56pm

Post #21 of 158 (9765 views)
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I think a majority of Smaug's influence [In reply to] Can't Post

on the film will be in his voice. I just can't get Richard Boone's voice out of my head when I think of Smaug, and I rarely envision the character's image when I reflect on it… just that amazing voice. I think they can achieve so much if they keep Smaug still… filling the room with his mass as he lies on the treasure hoard, a brooding power that warns he's a breath away from annihilating everything in his universe. I think his voice should be silkier than Saruman's (dragon speech) but deep and resonating, his threatening strength great than Shelob's, his intellect deeper than Denethor's. The counterbalance of hearing him in debate with Bilbo will only enhance his menace, imho. I think there's an "unknown" actor out there that will be plagued like Andy Serkis with only being identified by a stunning performance as Smaug. I really don't want to be distracted by "actor x" that has such a familiar voice, regardless how amazing. All of the suggested actors are a template of what to strive for.

Weta's team can bring all of that to this characters… I can feel it. They have 10 more years of technology and filmmaking behind them, and more resources to enhance their talent with the success of LotR.

I think Smaug will be the crowning jewel of this film, and I have no doubt that Peter, GdT, Weta and Weta Digital will totally own this creature and it will become the new standard for … dragons. ;)

Hotly anticipating these films and having fun? YOU GOT IT! BIG TIME! :D



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


lumpkin
The Shire


May 1 2008, 3:08pm

Post #22 of 158 (9922 views)
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Smaug as important as a successful Gollum? [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, entmaiden, that given WETA's prior successes--including the utter slam dunk of Gollum, I'm not really doubting that we'll have a superiorly rendered Smaug. For some reason I'm rather curious what color tone he'll be and whether or not he'll look dinosaur-ish (is that a word?) Those don't honestly seem very important really, but when you start deconstructing all the design elements/decisions, it's quite a list.

Do you think Smaug is as key (from a character and getting-it-right CGI perspespective) as Gollum was/is? I think a faulty Gollum would've sunk LOTR, but I think the Hobbit could withstand a controversial Smaug as long as the rest of the movie held up.

ps- hi--good to see you!


(This post was edited by lumpkin on May 1 2008, 3:08pm)


Hengist
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 3:55pm

Post #23 of 158 (9643 views)
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So was this [In reply to] Can't Post

an April 1st edition by any chance?

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MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 1 2008, 3:56pm

Post #24 of 158 (9908 views)
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Look who the dragon dragged in! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice to see posted thoughts from a legendary friend.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 1 2008, 4:05pm

Post #25 of 158 (9653 views)
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Great to see you too! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think for book-firsters, a good Smaug is important for the credibility of the movie. I think many of us are looking to Smaug to be an indicator of whether the movie succeeds (not everyone, or course). Smaug for movie-firsters is maybe not quie as important, but Bilbo's conversation with Smaug is a key part of capturing the essence of The Hobbit, so even though the movie might be able to overcome a so-so Smaug, the movie-firsters will not get the Tolkien experience they did with the LOTR films.

I think capturing Gollum was more important because his character appeared throughout the second two movies. He was just as much a part of the action as Frodo and Sam. Smaug, however, is an off-screen presence for much of The Hobbit, and doesn't actually appear until more than 2/3 into the book. For the movie, of course, they could give us glimpses of Smaug as Bilbo and the dwarves approach the Lonely Mountain, or tease us with flashbacks, but he only really appears in 2 scenes - the conversation with Bilbo, and flying over Lake-Town. It's important to get him right because he will have been built-up so much before he actually appears.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


May 1 2008, 4:08pm

Post #26 of 158 (3429 views)
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Two rocks rubbing together would be silicon. Silicone would be two... oh never mind./ [In reply to] Can't Post

 




L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens


May 1 2008, 4:10pm

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It comes in quartz? I'm getting one!/ [In reply to] Can't Post

 




Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 4:13pm

Post #28 of 158 (3548 views)
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My sediments exactly. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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weaver
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 4:20pm

Post #29 of 158 (3516 views)
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a pun thread on Movie? Opal-eeeessse.../// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Weaver



Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 4:25pm

Post #30 of 158 (3408 views)
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I think every board needs moh puns! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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weaver
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 4:52pm

Post #31 of 158 (3491 views)
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yep, I'll granite you that.../ [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Weaver



N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 5:35pm

Post #32 of 158 (3495 views)
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Boone was good as Smaug. [In reply to] Can't Post

Very American, but excellent nonetheless.

But he was a well-known actor, too.

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We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Apr. 28-May 4 for "Treebeard".


AinurOlorin
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 6:15pm

Post #33 of 158 (3412 views)
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Agreed, Boone was great [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember seeing The Hobbit as a child, and while I have always been closest to Gandalf, of course. . . but I rembemer not wanting Smaug to be killed. He was that fascinating. I knew he was full and wrath and ruin, but there were points where I had wished he'd just been left alone in the mountain. That is how much presence Boon'e representation of the dragon, speaking the words of Tolkien was had to me. I cannot imagine them taking his speaking out to be more "adult"

If Treebeard didn't ruin Two Towers, Smaug certainly won't ruin The Hobbit.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 1 2008, 7:05pm

Post #34 of 158 (3423 views)
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We're getting boulder with these puns! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


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weaver
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 7:15pm

Post #35 of 158 (3527 views)
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isn't it marbleous?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Weaver



Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


May 1 2008, 7:24pm

Post #36 of 158 (3449 views)
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First of all, I'll have to agree with MrCere [In reply to] Can't Post

This will have to replace Draco as THE dragon, a title Sean Connery's beast still holds.

As for what you say, I agree. i believe Howe's depiction of Smaug is by far the best of any Tolkien illustrator, and I believe WETA will do a marvelous job in transalting that into the screen, whether it is by a huge animatronic for close-ups (which is highly likely) or by a detailed CGI model for his attack to Esgaroth.

Of course voice is vital, and MrCere's point is an important one. Someone mentioned her ein the forums that no one who previously voiced a lion, a dragon or a Jedi should voice Smaug. While I don't fully agree, I believe it is a good general starting point for making Smaug unique. I still believe they should go with and older British gentleman (there are many who fit that description!) Someone who can get away with Smaug's age, be elegant and menacing at the same time. A moderately modified Anthony Hopkins could do the trick.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 1 2008, 7:26pm

Post #37 of 158 (3412 views)
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Kong indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

Kong was indeed amazing, and there was a bit of a giant-ape glut as there is a Dragon glut. WETA hit a home run with Kong and I do have full confidence in them but I do think Smaug is a challenge of a different magnitude.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Annael
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 7:34pm

Post #38 of 158 (3414 views)
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I love gabbro-ing with you all./ [In reply to] Can't Post

 



Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain


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NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 1 2008, 7:36pm

Post #39 of 158 (3366 views)
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What's our strata-gy here? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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weaver
Half-elven

May 1 2008, 7:41pm

Post #40 of 158 (3415 views)
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and I love it when things get iron-ic// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Weaver



Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 7:45pm

Post #41 of 158 (3408 views)
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Diamond poop! [In reply to] Can't Post

Only you could think that up, Hengist! Laugh

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 1 2008, 7:47pm

Post #42 of 158 (3395 views)
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I'm thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

(I know - rare) about the movie Reign of Fire. They had the dragon secreting two different liquids from glands basically at the corner of the mouth which, when mixed, became liquid napalm.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Voorhas
Lorien


May 1 2008, 8:32pm

Post #43 of 158 (3470 views)
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Concerning Dragons... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I've heard the theory (or is it a hypothesis?) that we're fascinated by dragons because they combine aspects of our primate ancestors' three main predators: snakes, winged raptors (hawks, eagles) and big cats. We're hard-wired to respond to that archetypal image, even now.

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -- E.A. Poe

(This post was edited by Voorhas on May 1 2008, 8:33pm)


greendragon
Sr. Staff


May 1 2008, 11:13pm

Post #44 of 158 (3473 views)
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Hey, I resent that heading!! [In reply to] Can't Post

We dragons aren't a problem... Wink

'There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of my fridge...'

'You never know what will happen next, when once you get mixed up with TORnsibs and their friends.'


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 2:12am

Post #45 of 158 (3342 views)
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Dragon bait is so easy to use [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo and I both know the one subject guaranteed to draw a dragon into conversations: dragons! AngelicAngelicAngelic

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Tampa Phil
Rivendell


May 2 2008, 2:49am

Post #46 of 158 (3359 views)
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Hey Mr C. [In reply to] Can't Post

Long time no chat.

Once you accept that The Hobbit won't be Lord Of The Rings #4 but, essentially, The Chronicles Of Narnia #3 (if you count the upcoming Prince Caspian as #2), you can relax and attune your supercharged expectations accordingly.

Don't be looking for "emotional highlights." There are no Theoden Crying Over Dead Son moments or San Heroically Carrying Frodo As Music Swells moments.

I expect it will look great and go down well with a tub of popcorn. Perhaps an Oscar or two for Special Effects and Sound Editing.

Dragons are dragons (are dragons). Smaug is going to look like Saphira and sound like Jeremy Irons.

(Your Friendly Neighborhood) TP.


Sunflower
Valinor

May 2 2008, 4:57am

Post #47 of 158 (3348 views)
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But.... [In reply to] Can't Post

we do have Bilbo Talking with Dying Thorin moment, maybe Gandalf Taking The Map From Dying Thrain Moment, and who knows, PJ was able to get a lot of mileage out of invented characters....village woman and her two lost kids. Who knows who we'll meet in Laketown?

Plus, Bilbo will not be the same Bilbo who ran out the door of Bag End.

And that's just The Hobbit....

Let's see....the White Council? And the Possible Meeting of Aragorn and Gollum?

BTW, Tampa Phil, Love your statement about GDT's calculator, and his reply to you. Gotten over that one yet? I do hope you were jesting.


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 6:01am

Post #48 of 158 (3332 views)
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You injure me TP! [In reply to] Can't Post

First, we may not have chatted but I have been watching your new career here with great interest. Yours is a flavor we have been badly in need of. I am comforted to know you will not squee at me or hug me virtually.

But, if I had one wish in all the casting of "The Hobbit", and clearly I will not be granted any wishes, it would be that Jeremy Irons isn't the voice of Smaug. I would take Darth Vader or James Bond or even Aslan over him. In fact I would take GDT doing the voice work. I love Mr. Irons but his voice is HIS voice (and Scar's) and Smaug should be more than the obvious go-to villain voice. So, "and will sound like Jeremy Irons" cuts me bad. Tongue

And do you really think team WETA will settle for Saphira? I thought the T-Rex battle in King Kong had more suspense and emotion from non-speaking combatants than all of the Saphira scenes (well...okay the 30 minutes I watched and the remainder projected) in the whole of that particular dragon film.

The Hobbit may not have the emotional beats of LOTR but if it amounts to no more than what you suggest I will be disappointed and will admit it frankly. Even Mr. del Toro's comments about the loss of innocence he sees in the tale should make it more than "The Golden Compass goes to Middle-earth". No?

Kudos for one thing, "Smaug is going to look like Saphira and sound like Jeremy Irons," sums up my particular fears better than the whole essay above. I wish I had stated it so economically.


I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Timdalf
Rivendell

May 2 2008, 12:20pm

Post #49 of 158 (3350 views)
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The Dragon Problem [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to add to your anxieties... One of the most telling failures in the creation of the dragon department have been those trying to create Wagner's Ring Cycle dragon: Fafner... The Met Opera's latest attempt reduced him to some sort of huge spidery figure in a hole! The infamous Chereau Ring of 1976 reduced him to a michelin tire guy looking thing on toy wheels! Even Wagner himself failed in 1876... the neck ended up in Beyruth, Lebanon, rather than Bayreuth, Bavaria!! But there are added difficulties to putting a dragon on stage. I always thought the most effective thing would be simply to leave it at his glowing, hostile eyes and let the audience imagine the rest... But that is not an option here.

So he has to be sly and threatening, huge and vicious, malicious and slovenly... some combo! And have no resemblance to Jabba the Hut!! But I think he will have to have some resemblance to the fireworks dragon in FotR at Bilbo's bday party, no?

As to his voice, yes, Anthony Hopkins would be great buuuut..., like the Liam Neeson Aslan of the new Narnia, his voice and style would be instantly recognizable.

They found a relative unknown for Gollum/Smeagol and Serkis is a complete triumph.

I am sure they will succeed. Their Balrog was sublime, and who could recognize John Rhys Davies as Treebeard's voice? But I thought their giving Sauron a voice was a bit corny....

Timdalf


deej
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 1:08pm

Post #50 of 158 (3289 views)
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Very good point. [In reply to] Can't Post

The screen dragons i've seen tended to have rough, grumbly voices, and it would make sense that they'd have to have an inner lining able to withstand such high temperatures. But when I hear Smaug's voice in my head, it sounds deep but smooth, like a soul singer. More Barry White than Sean Connery. Smile

Insert signature here....


Unspoken_Request
Bree

May 2 2008, 3:33pm

Post #51 of 158 (7235 views)
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Smaug has to be GIGANTIC, FAST and charmingly arrogant [In reply to] Can't Post

As a former (long time ago) D&D player, I have always been disappointed by the Dragons I've seen in movies. They're never as big as they should be. They're never as ruthless or powerful as I would like them to be. I'd like to see at least something the size of a Great Wyrm (meaning humans should be about the size of his fingers).

I like how John Howe's Smaug looks, on this picture http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=410 and on the picture shown with this article.
but he is not big enough.
If he is to cause fear and differentiate himself from other Dragons, they should go the gigantic road. I really mean it and I cannot stress that point enough. If Smaug is smaller than the 1990s' Godzilla, I'll be disappointed. I want much bigger than that though.

If it is cinematically possible to make Bilbo the size of Smaug's eye, they should do it. Another ratio: Smaug should be between about 1/3 of the height of the Lonely Mountain (which I picture as a rather large mountain 2000m or 7000ft. The mountain is like a house to him... They could use a human/regular house ratio and apply it for Smaug and the Mountain.

Why so huge?
1) because despite the numerous dragons we've seen lately, nothing so big has ever been done.
2) the audience has to be completely convinced that no one, no matter how strong, can kill this mighty beast. We need to feel that he is completely and utterly invincible. We have to shake in our boots. We have to think they're doomed! Until... Bilbo founds his weak spot... If Smaug is so huge, it makes Bilbo's discovery much more crucial to killing the dragon...
3) Smaug's tail has to be able to crush a significant part of a mountain. That is what he does in The Hobbit and it would be impressive to watch one side of a mountain get pulverized like that.
4) He destroys a whole city
5) He conquered by himself a dwarf stronghold. That means he must be able to annihilate an army all by himself.

You know how some lizards and how birds move with impressive (almost inhuman) speed when they have to. They pass from total passivity to sudden and quick movements. That is how predators often catch their prey. These quick reflexes and burst of speed are impressive. While on the ground or when trying to catch something, Smaug should be able to this too. How can you escape something so powerful, so huge and so fast?

Adding to this, if GDT uses to good effect Smaug's interesting personality, His intelligence, his charms and arrogance. I'm sure tey'll be able to create the best of all dragons that has ever been shown on the silver screen. Well I think that is what they should aim for. Just the way they were able to create the mother of all giant spiders with Shelob.


(This post was edited by Altaira on Dec 26 2012, 9:35pm)


Owain
Tol Eressea

May 2 2008, 3:40pm

Post #52 of 158 (7467 views)
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Smaug - a Visual or Special effect? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello everyone!

It is great to be a part of the passionate and ever present LOTR community. Discussion boards (when they are discussions) are such an amazing thing. To have the freedom to share our ideas and even dreams on such a platform still amazes me.

I would like to respond to the idea of Smaug being a major challenge in our current cultural climate. I too agree that it will be a challenge from many different vantage points (Visual/Special Effects, character development - particularly with the point about cultural saturation - talent selection etc.).

It will be interesting to see whether Smaug is a visual effect (computer generated in post production) or a special effect (prosthetics, animatronics shot during production and enhanced in post production).

To me this is one of many challenges of which I believe Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Weta Digital and Workshop are all capable of accomplishing.

But I digress from Smaug to an even larger picture.

Having read the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit, and enjoyed them each in their own right, I believe the greater challenge will be in the screenplay adaptation. Know that I have great admiration and respect for the adaptation of the trilogy.

However, the themes and characters, as in all great mythology, follow archetypes. And the two stories bear a striking resemblance in their respective timelines. To me, this is not a problem. Tolkien, being the literary genius, was able to write two very distinct stories from similar foundational pieces.

But the challenge for the film makers would seem to be in balancing contrast and comparison. If you compare The Hobbit and LOTR too much in the film adaptation, the audience will feel cheated. The "Oh great... another studio trying to capitalize on a former film franchise's success. This is just a rehash of the first three." It would seem to me that the contrast is where an original and fresh film will reside.

Guillermo Del Toro has referenced a "golden... more innocent world" that falls into "darkness". He has also mentioned "Riddles in the Dark" being a resonating element. So obviously the finding of the One Ring and the interaction of Bilbo and Gollum will be important.

While I believe that Smaug will be visually splendid, it will be interesting to see how large of a role he will play in the film.


Guillermo
Rivendell

May 2 2008, 4:05pm

Post #53 of 158 (10906 views)
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Deux centavos... [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a big Dragon fan. I've said it before- And I was fortunate enough to be born a Dragon in the Chinese Horocope...

And although its always impossible to agree on the "greatest" of anything, I bring forth these two as the main film contenders for that title: Eyvind Earle / Disney's Maleficent dragon ( a triumph of elegance of color and design) and Vermitrax Pejorative from Dragonslayer.

In my opinion, every other design has borrowed heavily from these two.

Smaug should not be "the Dragon in the Hobbit movie" as if it was just "another" creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be "The DRAGON" for all movies past and present. The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody- the "need to own" casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout-

In fact, Thorin's greed si a thematic extension of this and Bilbo's "Letting go" and his noble switching of sides when the dwarves prove to be in the wrong is its conceptual counterpart (that is a hard one to get through, Bilbo's heroism is a quiet, moral one) and the thematic thread reaches its climax in the Bilbo / Thorin death bed scene.

Anyway, back to Smaug: One of the main mistakes with talking dragons is to shape the mouth like a snub Simian one in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch. .. A point which eluded me particularly in Eragon, since their link is a psychic one.

To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and -One little hint- its environment - Think about it...

A big tool is also how and when he is fully revealed. I could give you specifics- beat-by-beat in fact (I'm geeking out to do it), but... I will say no more in order to save you from ruthless spoilerage (we have a few years to go, you now...?) and increased anxiety.

Let me, however, say that this is actually one of the points I feel most enthusiastic about.

Don't get me wrong- THE HOBBIT is extremely challenging in so many, many other ways- chief amongst them its unorthodox narrative choices (no "continuous" antagonist, Sudden reveal of Bard, his post thrush inner monologue, unconscious Bilbo during the battle, etc, etc) which should be protected as much as humanly possible since this very idiosyncracies are the ones that allow it to retain its unique identity- and that distinguish it from LOTR.

Yr Obt Svt.

GDT

PD As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.

I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...


KateTheHobbit
Bree


May 2 2008, 4:20pm

Post #54 of 158 (7449 views)
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My belated opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a big fan of dragons. I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been touched on, so I'll just state that I agree with everyone who has said that Smaug must be THE DRAGON, and not just a dragon. He has to be the King of all dragons, the embodiment of every great and grand aspect of these amazing creatures. He cannot be compared to any previous dragon: he must SET the new standard, and be the one that all other dragons are measured up against.

Obviously, it's open to each person's own imagination, but I always imagined him to be a HUGE, MASSIVE, classic-European-style dragon. This illustration is a good example of how I envision him: http://www.herrderringe-net.de/kalender/3/smaug.jpg But much of it is beyond his appearance: his voice is vastly important. The way he speaks and acts speaks volumes about him, and is a huge part of what sets him apart.



It's great to hear from you on this subject, Mr. Del Toro! Obviously, your opinion is of great importance to us.Wink


In Reply To

PD As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.

I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...



GAH! Always you seek to tantalize us! You'll have killed us all with anticipation by the time this is over!Laugh


(This post was edited by KateTheHobbit on May 2 2008, 4:20pm)


Guillermo
Rivendell

May 2 2008, 4:22pm

Post #55 of 158 (7940 views)
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Ah, yes- [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hildebrandt Brothers... Gotta love them-

G


KateTheHobbit
Bree


May 2 2008, 4:25pm

Post #56 of 158 (7218 views)
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Old calenders... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Hildebrandt Brothers... Gotta love them-

G



A long while back, an uncle of mine gave me a HUGE collection of very old LotR calenders that featured a wide variety of illustrations. That was the first time I saw that image, and it has defined my vision of Smaug ever since. Angelic In my humble opinion, it embodies that sheer power and magesty that is Smaug.

P.S. Thank you for the reply! You've made my weekend!!! Cool


(This post was edited by KateTheHobbit on May 2 2008, 4:28pm)


_V_
Lorien


May 2 2008, 4:25pm

Post #57 of 158 (7095 views)
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We should pin this thread its really good [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, but what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game"

Formerly known on TORN as "Draug the Unspeakably Violent"


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


May 2 2008, 4:29pm

Post #58 of 158 (7223 views)
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This is, IMHO [In reply to] Can't Post

By far the best piece of news I've heard concerning The Hobbit to date! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about some of your plans! It's very encouraging.



My LiveJournal
My Costuming Site
Screencap of the Day Schedule for April

See my Photos from Japan!!


Guillermo
Rivendell

May 2 2008, 4:33pm

Post #59 of 158 (7973 views)
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Many weekends to come!! [In reply to] Can't Post

we have almost half a decade- Enjoy this weekend now- I'll be submerged on HBII until mid-next week.

So, hasta la vista-

G


Brass_Ring
The Shire


May 2 2008, 4:35pm

Post #60 of 158 (7101 views)
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Smaug's voice [In reply to] Can't Post

Is crucial. Maybe sounding a like a English Aristocrat but with a deep, throaty gruffness to it?

Smaug considers himself superior to all other beings in middle-earth, in brains and brawn,
and his style of talking would always fluctuate between cunning and pompous.


Unspoken_Request
Bree

May 2 2008, 4:37pm

Post #61 of 158 (7325 views)
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Overall, I like the Hilderbrandt dragon, but he is too small... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just look at the sword next to him on the pile of gold... it's much too big.
Make him 10 times bigger and I'll like him.

He is a bit to fat too. Big tummy dragons may look a bit ridiculous if they can't move fast enough.
+ the bigger the tummy, the biggers the wings have to look compared to the rest. He has to fly after all.


Brass_Ring
The Shire


May 2 2008, 4:40pm

Post #62 of 158 (7208 views)
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HB II looks incredible. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
we have almost half a decade- Enjoy this weekend now- I'll be submerged on HBII until mid-next week.

So, hasta la vista-

G



I am looking forward to that. Catching Iron Man this afternoon. RD Jr is back baby!


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 4:44pm

Post #63 of 158 (7111 views)
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I will buy those Centavos for a buck - at least {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Unspoken_Request
Bree

May 2 2008, 4:50pm

Post #64 of 158 (7134 views)
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If Christopher Lee was not Saruman, I'd like his voice for Smaug// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 4:54pm

Post #65 of 158 (7119 views)
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"who could recognize John Rhys Davies as Treebeard's voice?" ME! {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Owain
Tol Eressea

May 2 2008, 5:08pm

Post #66 of 158 (7105 views)
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Eyvind Earle... [In reply to] Can't Post

Sleeping Beauty...

One of Disney's darkest and visually distinctive films. What a haunting artist.

Phil Tippet has done a few things as wellSmile

Star Wars, Willow, Jurassic Park, and most recently the Spiderwick Chronicles


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 5:17pm

Post #67 of 158 (7152 views)
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Vermitrax Pejorative [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a film (Dragonslayer) and dragon that I remember well from childhood and own and love today. I even caught it at a double screening with "Clash of the Titans" and thought I was the luckiest kid around and the suckers at the theater could have made me pay twice. "Titans" doesn't hold up well at all but "Dragonslayer" is still very watchable.

Anyway, I considered this dragon a sentimental favorite of mine but didn't consider it as a great because I thought it was a peculiar and personal favorite. Anybody TORnados want to come over and watch "Dragonslayer" on the big screen?

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Owain
Tol Eressea

May 2 2008, 5:23pm

Post #68 of 158 (7082 views)
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Beat by beat [In reply to] Can't Post

Guillermo,

I for one would prefer to be surprised and delighted opening night. Too much is spoiled and revealed in teasers and trailers today. The hyperactivity can sometimes "steal the thunder".

I have thought about what you have said. Environment connecting to design. It is clearer to me now.


deej
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 5:32pm

Post #69 of 158 (7118 views)
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Sleeping Beauty's dragon [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw this film when I was about 7, and remember thinking that dragon was both the scariest and most beautiful thing I had ever seen - and that's what I think Smaug's voice sounds like.

Insert signature here....


deej
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 5:35pm

Post #70 of 158 (7059 views)
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That would be very cool. [In reply to] Can't Post

It should only take me a few days to drive out to your place. Wink

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deej
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 5:40pm

Post #71 of 158 (7184 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

He's got such a smooth, deep voice that can sound very warm and friendly one moment, and sinister the next. Perfect for Smaug.

Insert signature here....


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 6:07pm

Post #72 of 158 (7112 views)
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But have you heard him sing? [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9MuEA2eF8c

Here is another http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KPZJg5g7M8 but you need to get about 1 minute in.

He has an album too, TORn did a giveaway.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




deej
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 6:36pm

Post #73 of 158 (7092 views)
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Corvar gave me one of those. [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't worked up the nerve yet to listen to it.

Insert signature here....


Timdalf
Rivendell

May 2 2008, 7:35pm

Post #74 of 158 (7108 views)
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Treebeard's voice [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope I have figured out how to post this in the correct spot!!

Yes, Mr Cere, but was that before or after you were told/knew who it was doing the voice? Of course, it is not totally unknowable... I was just commenting on the rather remarkable difference between his Gimli voice and his Treebeard voice... Not trying to make a claim of absolute unknowability! :-)

Timdalf


Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea


May 2 2008, 8:25pm

Post #75 of 158 (7167 views)
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Pictures of Vermithrax and Maleficent [In reply to] Can't Post

Here are pictures of Maleficent (first) and Vermithrax (second), the dragons Guillermo is talking about.





Vermithrax in particular looks very much like what I imagined Smaug to be.

These dragons had a big impact. I remember being terrified as a little girl when Maleficent transformed into a dragon. And when I took one of my little brothers to see Dragonslayer back in 1981, he was so scared of Vermithrax that we had to leave the theater! (I watched the second half of the movie through the foyer door.) Vermithrax was an extremely impressive dragon for its day, and still looks pretty good even now.

Trouble is, moviegoers are more jaded and spoiled these days. It's going to take some doing to make our eyes pop and our hearts race like this now.

With caffeine, all things are possible.

The pity of Bilbo will screw up the fate of many.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 2 2008, 8:34pm

Post #76 of 158 (3055 views)
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I instantly knew [In reply to] Can't Post

that the voice was JRD, and it wasn't because I knew beforehand. There was so much else wrong with it beside the easily recognizable voice - the attempt to make Treebeard speak slowly only caused him to sound breathless. The gaps between the words were filled with growls and uhm's. Treebeard's voice was one of the bigger disappointments in the films for me.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 2 2008, 8:35pm

Post #77 of 158 (3057 views)
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Honestly . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I still don't like hearing Treebeard. I can appreciate the performance - which I think is well done - but the second I heard it the first time I was a little disappointed.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 2 2008, 8:39pm

Post #78 of 158 (3086 views)
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I love the Vermithrax in those pictures [In reply to] Can't Post

and after seeing the brilliance of the Balrog, I think WETA can come up with a very scary dragon. I realize the Balrog was a new type of creature for the movie audience, and dragons have been done before, but I think Smaug is going to be extraordinary. Both Peter and Guillermo, in their respective movies, have shown they have an imagination that can match the mastery of WETA.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Unspoken_Request
Bree

May 2 2008, 9:19pm

Post #79 of 158 (3019 views)
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Wow! He's got a great voice! [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't say I like the songs, both are rather weird if you ask me, but what a great voice!

Thanks for this.


Unspoken_Request
Bree

May 2 2008, 9:20pm

Post #80 of 158 (3052 views)
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Exactly! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 3 2008, 12:48am

Post #81 of 158 (3044 views)
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The first dragon [In reply to] Can't Post

that says "Oh baby..." to me would see me rushing for the door!!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Starling
Half-elven


May 3 2008, 1:55am

Post #82 of 158 (2994 views)
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And me [In reply to] Can't Post

And it still really yanks my chain.


meltsar
The Shire

May 3 2008, 3:02am

Post #83 of 158 (3097 views)
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Smaug Theory [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think that we'll be disappointed by Smaug in the film ~ not only because of the film-makers involved, but because of the source material. Smaug is unlike any dragon ~ or monster ~ that has ever been put on film. He is not a dragon proper. Further description of what a Tolkien dragon is like can be glimpsed in 'Children of Hurin'. These aren't big lizards with corny voices. These are magestic supernatural beasts of unspeakable horror. Their gazes and voices hypnotise, and their auras emit fear. Tolkien's dragons are 'dragons' in name only. They are so much more.
A voice for the creature could incorporate a seamless mix of many voices and sounds; perhaps even female. Think Exorcist meets Fell Beast... Cunning and monstrous at once...


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 3 2008, 3:46am

Post #84 of 158 (3074 views)
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No Prob [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see your point....

The Cartoon of The Hobbit pulled off - well enough to get me to start reading Tolkien for the next 30 years.

As far as the voice, geez, I could do it (and have well enough to get my son to cover his ears).......

Finaaly, who in the world thinks Bilbo talking to Smaug is the climax of the book?
I bet Tolkien didn't
Really, it's a conversation, even with a dragon.
I'm sure he wrote it so that Smaug's fall is the first & The Battle of Five Armies is the second & biggest.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 3 2008, 4:18am

Post #85 of 158 (3047 views)
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Me. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Finally, who in the world thinks Bilbo talking to Smaug is the climax of the book?


What happens in "Fire and Water" is merely the picturesque result of the conversation with the dragon.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Apr. 28-May 4 for "Treebeard".


Tampa Phil
Rivendell


May 3 2008, 4:23am

Post #86 of 158 (3018 views)
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Re/ [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
BTW, Tampa Phil, Love your statement about GDT's calculator, and his reply to you. Gotten over that one yet? I do hope you were jesting.



Grief, I wouldn't have even known he responded to me if you hadn't pointed it out.

How bizarre (how bizarre).

My post was a tongue in cheek allusion to the old joke about John Gielgud not being aware of all the sex and violence in Caligula when he read the original paycheck.

The fact that GDT seems to have taken me somewhat seriously opens up entire avenues of mischief.

TP.

PS. I'm always jesting. Except when I'm not.


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 3 2008, 4:27am

Post #87 of 158 (3015 views)
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Figures [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if you say this just because of my comment? Wink

(You say "Tomato", I say "Tah-mah-toe")

What about the Battle of Five Armies?

The result of of the conversation too?

I guess one could say the conversation with Smaug is the result of Gandalf's conversation with Bilbo in Chapter one.....

So, I guess that's actually the climax of the book......


And, Smeagle's finding of the Ring is then the climax of TLOR.
Or, Sauron's forging of the Ring?

Or, The Music of the Ainur is the climax of the Silmarillion I guess. Unsure


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 3 2008, 4:54am

Post #88 of 158 (3058 views)
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What is "The Hobbit" about? [In reply to] Can't Post

Who is the main character, and what is his most important moment?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Apr. 28-May 4 for "Treebeard".


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 3 2008, 1:39pm

Post #89 of 158 (3043 views)
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Definitely not the Battle of Five Armies [In reply to] Can't Post

that is merely the outcome of the previous events. I could argue that the climax of the book is Bilbo's finding of the Arkenstone, and Tolkien even alluded to it in the book when he said that it was a turning point in Bilbo's life. Bilbo is the main character of The Hobbit, and a turning point in his life would surely be the climax.

Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


May 3 2008, 4:13pm

Post #90 of 158 (3026 views)
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I always thought [In reply to] Can't Post

the climax was Bilbo trying to make peace between the Elves and the Dwarves. His real coming of age (and the place where the book ceases to be a children's book). But maybe that's because everybody sees books according through their own lenses. Some people see and exciting story of dragons and giant spiders, of battles and adventures. For me, that's never been where the real power of the story is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Nickey08
Bree


May 3 2008, 10:31pm

Post #91 of 158 (3120 views)
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Smaug's Voice Actor [In reply to] Can't Post

    I apologize for skipping most of the threads - there are so many, it's a daunting task to keep up. I salute you at TORn for keeping up with this!

To add my two cents of opinion, I'd like to equate the Smaug voice question with that of Beast from Disney's "Beauty and the Beast". Until that film came out, no one would have believed that soft-spoken Robby Bensen could have bellowed into life the character of Beast with such believability! Smaug's voice has either been considered by Peter Jackson and crew for the last decade, he has made his suggestion to del Toro, and it will be a closely guarded secret until the "Hobbit" is released - or it will be someone we would never have expected. You recall how John Rhys-Davies played not only Gimli, but the voice of Treebeard too. Regardless, I have no fear that Smaug will be a massive, weighted, tangible character, as anything else you would expect from the WETA team.


Guillermo
Rivendell

May 4 2008, 3:40am

Post #92 of 158 (4324 views)
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4:30 AM LONDON time. [In reply to] Can't Post

Taking a break- will post.

I received an email at my hotmail public site that I rather answer here.

-What I meant by the environment / Smaug relationship is about the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc. That's all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you'll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.

Keep this little note...

Now, the voice is a voice I have had in my head for many years too and I will explore it as such- if the actor is unavailable, unwilling or otherwise impossible to get, then the voice may change. But all directors, like any readers, step into a film with a plan. I hope the casting is possible.

BTW The Robbie Benson case is a perfect one- good call bringing it up- since his would've been a name most people would've rejected back then. I remember nevertheless that Ron Perlman told me that Robbie was a "regular" in voice casting session- as was R.P. and that he knew how versatile he could be- so, kudos for that example!! And, no, don't worry, I'm not thinking of Robbie Benson...

So far ;)

Uh-oh... back to work.

All The Best

GDT


Nickey08
Bree


May 4 2008, 4:05am

Post #93 of 158 (3032 views)
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NZ Hospitality [In reply to] Can't Post

Dear Mr. del Toro,

Thanks for the kudos! We're all looking forward to seeing you here in NZ in the near future! We're ready to show you that Kiwi hospitality!

Kind Regards,
-Nickey DrayerBlush


Owain
Tol Eressea


May 4 2008, 5:42am

Post #94 of 158 (2969 views)
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Suave! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting the info!Smile


Starling
Half-elven


May 4 2008, 6:30am

Post #95 of 158 (3000 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Most interesting...

Smile


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 4 2008, 7:50am

Post #96 of 158 (3010 views)
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Now there is a bit of news [In reply to] Can't Post

GDT already has the voice in mind. That fascinates me. It is interesting to think of who is could be . . and is somebody keeping these notes?

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 4 2008, 1:22pm

Post #97 of 158 (2953 views)
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I just can't stop smiling [In reply to] Can't Post

and shaking my head. I can't wait to see this, sir! We all have voices in our heads, but not many people have the guts to admit it ;)

Thanks for this. Now I've drooled all over my keyboard.

Carry on! Carry on! But get some sleep first ;)



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 4 2008, 1:24pm

Post #98 of 158 (3006 views)
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*scribbles frantically* Oh yeah, fersher! *twitch* // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


Elven
Valinor


May 4 2008, 2:02pm

Post #99 of 158 (2943 views)
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What a weekend of information!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought the news on Shapeshifting Beorn was good, but it has been a weekend of Elves and Spiders and now Smaug!!
Thankyou so much!


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Elven
Valinor


May 4 2008, 2:18pm

Post #100 of 158 (2991 views)
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Scribe II on board to cover Scribe I ... :D // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


May 4 2008, 4:53pm

Post #101 of 158 (3294 views)
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Not really trying to second guess you here... [In reply to] Can't Post

But you got me thinking about the environment thing. If I am getting you correctly, it would seem we'd be talking of a colour changing dragon. Not as a chamaeleon would be, but rather getting his color through reflection.

Meaning... he would be all but invisible if there is no light in the environment... BUT once a light is lit in the halls, with all the reflection of the treasure, he'd be amazingly golden/yellow/orange, and he'd get an entirely different palette once he goes out of the mountain to attack Dale, with changing tones resulting of the reflections of his own fire.

Perhaps I am way out there with that interpretation, but it does seem interesting. If the scales were metallic-looking, then possibilities of colour interaction with the environment are endless.

Interesting indeed! That is if I'm even remotely close to what you are thinking! Wink

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


CaerLaw
Registered User


May 4 2008, 7:55pm

Post #102 of 158 (2992 views)
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My vision of Smaug... [In reply to] Can't Post

...will always be colored by the Rankin & Bass animated adaptation of "The Hobbit," where I first encountered anything to do with Tolkien and Middle-earth. I still hear Richard Boone's voice when I read Smaug's words; I still hear (and almost feel) the hiss and splash of his (poisonous?) saliva when he roars. And I love the way he has "whiskers" along his jowells, informed no doubt by the description, "mixed with a rumble as of a gigantic tom-cat purring." (BTW: I do like that John Howe's Smaug has bat-winged forelimbs ala Vermithrax of "Dragonslayer," rather than the four-legs-and-two-wings style of a European dragon, and the spikey things running down his crest and back are cool. But his head design just doesn't do it for me.)

One way to present Smaug that would heighten his menace-and-fear-factor would be to show him little by terrifying little. My guess is that we will first get sight of him through the dwarves' song in Bag End. There, he might only be a dark speck in the sky, then the roar of his wings and flaming breath.

In his hold under the Lonely Mountain, I'm hoping that when Bilbo (and we) first see him, it's in bits and--enormous--pieces: his tail, the massive talons, wings folded about him like some gigantic tent of scaled leather and bone, and finally the head, so large that Bilbo is smaller than one of his glowing eyes. When he bursts from the Mountain, it should be like an eruption of thunder and flame, filling the world with sound and ruin.

With the kind of terror that I am sure Guillermo and WETA are capable of producing, Smaug should have a voice to match, whoever does it. (Though my vote goes to Michael Wincott, who played Guy of Gisborne in "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.") A low, rumbling voice can be soothing and menacing at the same time. It needs to convey the magic of the Dragon Spell Smaug attempts to cast on Bilbo, and then rise slowly, inexorably in a terrible crescendo as he brags, "My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane and my breath death!" Again, I love how this was animated and acted in the earlier adaptation, and see no reason for them to re-invent the wheel!

I've no doubt that when all is said and done, Smaug will be the dragon to end all other cinematic dragons, just as Shelob will forever be the greatest of the giant spiders--no matter how well the Mirkwood spiders are done. (They are, after all, Shelob's children.) He will set a new standard that all other filmed dragons will be judged against.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.


Guillermo
Rivendell

May 4 2008, 10:34pm

Post #103 of 158 (3823 views)
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Well- [In reply to] Can't Post

Way out there CM- Way out there :)

GDT


Empedocles
Rivendell


May 4 2008, 10:51pm

Post #104 of 158 (2981 views)
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My guess [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm gonna take my guess at what Guillermo was hinting since it's so much fun to never be right about these types of things.

I believe the "context" maybe has to do with the fact that Smaug has been living inside the halls of the mountains for years, maybe decades, without coming out. I remember there was a line in the Hobbit that said that kids didn't believe the stories since no one had seen the dragon since the time of their grandfathers. So I'm guessing that the enclosed space in which he lives may have had some impact on his shape and color. If we're talking about color, Smaug will probably be more affected by the darkness (thus making him more pale looking) than by the brigthness of the treasure upon which he sleeps. Regarding the shape, I imagine that he will be a more reptile, terrestrial beast since he probably has not spread his wings for a long, long time, that's of course, untill he comes out of the mountain.

Guillermo!! Give us back Glorfindel!!!

(This post was edited by Empedocles on May 4 2008, 10:57pm)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 5 2008, 12:45am

Post #105 of 158 (2992 views)
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It could be he's [In reply to] Can't Post

mapping Smaug's look based on this line:


Quote
"The dragon stopped short in his boasting. "Your information is antiquated," he snapped. "I am armoured above and below with iron scales and hard gems. No blade can pierce me.""


Smaug would reflect his surroundings physically. If there's torchlight in the cavern or sunlight seeping in, that would also effect his appearance.



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


diedye
Grey Havens


May 5 2008, 1:37am

Post #106 of 158 (2935 views)
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I'm surprised TORn... [In reply to] Can't Post

... hasn't posted this on the front page yet.

*tsk tsk*

Oh, those pesky Sunday hangovers...

Evil

Miss ? Then Join Us.



MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 5 2008, 1:45am

Post #107 of 158 (2894 views)
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Off to tell Rodrigo Santoro to keep looking for work [In reply to] Can't Post

His heavily done up voice for "300" is the closest thing I have heard for how I want to hear Smaug. I love that his accent suggest that English (or Middle-earth's Common translated into English for the sake of the audience) isn't his first language. I will be delighted at that magic moment when I hear "Smaug's" voice for the first time.

These are the salad days friends.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


May 5 2008, 2:03am

Post #108 of 158 (2964 views)
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That's more or less what I was thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

But you gave me yet another idea... it might just be that was Guillermo's hinting at, is that he'll be largely covered with gems... making him primarily golden (hence Smaug the Golden) but with rubies, emmeralds... etc. Making him rather policromatic, which could make him look really interesting, and really impressive under changing lights.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Elven
Valinor


May 5 2008, 2:21am

Post #109 of 158 (2934 views)
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Another take ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Mods please remove this if its not correct and in the posting guidelines for Guillermo!!



Quote
-What I meant by the environment / Smaug relationship is about the way he is scaled, moves and is lit, limited or enhanced by his location, weather conditions, light conditions, time of the year, etc. That's all I can say without spoilers but, if you keep this curious little summary you'll realize several years form now that those things I had in my mind ever since doodling the character as a kid had solidified waaay before starting the shoot of the film.

Keep this little note...




Ive been thinking about this ... and can sort of deduct where this might fit in ... so I pulled some of the story from the Hobbit - the chapter 'Inside Information' apart and realized - there's no speaking ... well not when Bilbo first encounters Smaug ... so I can see this as very enviromental ... very visual and atmospheric.


So bear with me – my approach to nutting this through is a little segregated – but it did lead me to some conclusions – especially when Bilbo first encounters the dragon – his trip to the heart of the mountain, and his return to the Dwarves – then Smaugs awakening.

These are passages from a small section the book in the chapter Inside Information – where Bilbo first meets Smaug.
I divided them into the
1)Environment - sight and sound,
2)Smaug and
3)Bilbo, so they are in order under their headings ...

This is basically about Smaug and the environment and Bilbo ... and in it – not a word is spoken by Bilbo and the Dragon – but theres plenty of environment imagery and sound.

I chose this part of the book to demonstrate what I think Guillermo was talking about as I see it.

I noticed in Bilbos first encounter theres no true dialogue – unless you count Smaugs rant on the theif – but to voice it is not necessary ... it may well be that Smaug doesn’t actually speak yet, and maybe thats how it might be ... we meet Smaug but (as in the book) he speaks later ...
But there is plenty of imagery and there is a multitude of sound which sets this scene – so maybe this is what GdT was talking about.

After I looked through it - I could determine what I thought this might look like - or is that just me .. LOL!



THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE LONEY MOUNTAIN
Visual text from The Hobbit book.
... “Tomorrow begins the last week of autumn”, said Thorin one day. “And Winter comes after Autumn” said Bifur. (my note: Seasonally, if Smaug is a Dragon like any other, they have chosen a good time to approach him – he is going into Winter hibernation.)...
...The stars were coming out behind him in a pale sky ...
...(The Hobbit crept through) ... the enchanted door and stole into the Mountain ...
...This was no goblin entrance or rough wood-elves cave. It was a passage made by Dwarves at the height of their wealth and skill.
.. straight as a ruler, smooth-floored, and smooth sided, ...
... going with a gentle varying slope direct – to some distant end in the blackness below ...
... soon he (Bilbo) thought it was beginning to feel warm ...
...“Is that some kind of glow I seem to see coming right ahead down there?” he thought ...
...It was. As he (Bilbo) went forward it grew and grew, till there was no doubt about it. It was a red light steadily getting redder and redder.
... It was undoubtedly hot in the tunnel ...
... Wisps of vapour floated up and past him ...
... coming to the end of the tunnel, an opening of much the same size and shape as the door above ..
....(Through it peeps the Hobbit’s little head) ... Before him lies the bottommost cellar or the dungeon-hall of the ancient dwarves right at the mountains root.
....It is almost dark so that its vastness can only be dimly guessed, but rising from the nearside of the rocky floor, there is a great glow.
...Behind him (Smaug) were the walls were nearest could dimly be seen coats of mail, helms and axes, swords and spears hanging; ...
... the splendour, the lust, the glory of such treasure...
....his stole from the shadow of doorway, across the floor to the nearest edge of the mound of treasure...
...And there in rows stood great jars and vessels filled with wealth that could not be guessed.
...And about him (Smaug) on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things,...
... gold wrought and unwrought, gems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light.
... There was a breath of strange air in his cave...
... Could there be a draft from that little hole?
... and now he(Smaug) glared at it in suspicion and wondered why he had never blocked it up...
...but up the long tunnel came the dreadful echoes, from far down in the depths, of a bellowing and a trampling that made the ground beneath them tremble.
... (His fire belched forth) ... , the hall smoked and he shook the mountain roots.
.. he (Smaug) sped from his deep lair... ... through its great door ...
... out into the huge passages of the mountain-palace ...
...and up towards the front gate.
... he issued from the front gate ...
... the waters rose in fierce whistling steam ...
... and up he (Smaug) soared blazing into the air (it is now a dark night)...
... and settled on the mountaintop in a spout of green and scarlet flame.
...A red light touched the points of standing rocks ...
...( when Smaug came) hurtling from the North, licking the mountain side with flame,...
(Beating his great wings)... with a noise like roaring wind...
... (his hot breath) .... shrivelled the grass before the door, and drove through the crack they had left (and scorched them where they hid) ...
... Flickering fires leaped up and black rock shadows danced ...
... Then darkness fell and passed again...
... (Every now and again through the night, they could hear the roar of the flying dragon) ... grow and then pass and fade as he hunted round and round the mountain side...
... Long had he hunted in vain until the dawn chilled his wraith ...
... and he went back to his golden couch to sleep –


THE SOUND OF THE LONELY MOUNTAIN
Descriptions of sounds from The Hobbit book.
....A sound, too, began to throb in his ears, a sort of bubbling like the noise of a pot galloping on the fire, mixed with a rumble as of a gigantic cat purring.
....This grew to the unmistakable gurgling noise of some vast animal snoring in its sleep ...
... when suddenly a vast rumbling woke in the mountain underneath as if it was an old volcano that had made up its mind to start eruptions once again.
...His fire belched forth...
... the waters rose in fierce whistling steam ...
... a whirring noise was heard.
... with a noise like roaring wind...
... could hear the roar of the flying dragon...


SMAUG
Visual descriptions and charteristics of Smaug from the Hobbit Book –

... The glow of Smaug.
....There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep;
... a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, ...
... and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber.
.... Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail....
... Smaug lay, with his wings folded like an immeasurable bat ...
... turned partly on one side, so that the Hobbit could see his underparts ...
... And his long pale belly ...
... crusted with gems and fragments of gold from his long lying on his costly bed.
... above him (Bilbo) the sleeping Dragon lay, ... a dire menace even in his sleep.
..... Smaug stirred a wing, opened a claw, the rumble of his snoring changed a note ...
..... But the dragon did not wake – not yet – but shifted into other dreams of greed and violence, lying there in his stolen hall ...
.... Smaug was still to be reckoned with. It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. Dragons may not have much real use for all their wealth, but they know it to an ounce as a rule, especially after long possession; and Smaug was no exception.
......He had passed from an uneasy dream (in which a warrior, altogether insignificant in size but provided with a bitter sword and great courage, figured most unpleasantly) to a doze, and from a doze to a wide waking.
..There was a breath of strange air in his cave. ...
.... and now he(Smaug) glared at it in suspicion and wondered why he had never blocked it up.
....He stirred and stretched forth his neck to sniff.
... then he missed the cup!
...Thieves! Fire! Murder!...
....His rage passes description ...
.....His fire belched forth, the hall smoked and he shook the mountain roots. (this passage I saw had a little bit of everything in it – Smaug the environment and sound)
....He thrust his head in vain at the little hole, and then coiling his length together, roaring like thunder underground, he sped from his deep lair ...
... To hunt the whole Mountain till he had caught the thief and had trampled him was one thought.
...The horrible sound of Smaugs anger were echoing in the stoney hollows far above.
... a whirring noise was heard ...The Dragon came.
....Licking the mountainside in flame , beating his great wings with a noise like a roaring wind ...
....His hot breath shrivelled the grass ...
...(Of ponies)... the Dragon swooped and turned to persue them, and was gone ...
... the door withstood his searching eye ...
... long had he hunted in vain till the dawn chilled his wrath...
... he went back to his golden couch to sleep – and to gather new strength ...
....He would not forget or forgive the thief...but he could afford to wait
... slow and silent he crept back to his lair and closed his eyes.


THE SOUND OF SMAUG –
....A sound, too, began to throb in his ears, a sort of bubbling like the noise of a pot galloping on the fire, mixed with a rumble as of a gigantic cat purring ...
....This grew to the unmistakable gurgling noise of some vast animal snoring in its sleep ...
... a thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, ...
... the rumble of his snoring changed a note ...
...Thieves! Fire! Murder!...
....His rage passes description ...
....His fire belched forth, the hall smoked and he shook the mountain roots. (this passage I saw had a little bit of everything in it – Smaug the environment and sound)
....roaring like thunder underground,....
...The horrible sound of Smaugs anger were echoing in the stoney hollows far above.
... a whirring noise was heard ...The Dragon came.
... beating his great wings with a noise like a roaring wind ...
... slow and silent he crept back to his lair and closed his eyes.


BILBO
Visuals from The Hobbit book on Bilbo.
... The Hobbit slipped on his ring ...
... he crept noiselessly down, down, down, into the dark ...
... he was trembling with fear and his little face was set and grim ....
... he loosened his dagger in his sheath, tightened his belt, and went on ...
.....To say that Bilbo’s breath was taken away was no description at all. There are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful ...
........Bilbo had heard tell and sing of dragon hoards before, but the splendour, the lust, the glory of such treasure had never yet come home to him.
......His heart was filled and pierced with enchantment and with the desire of dwarves; and he gazed motionless, almost forgetting the frightful guardian, at the gold beyond price and count.
......He gazed for what seemed an age, before drawn almost against his will, his stole from the shadow of doorway, across the floor to the nearest edge of the mound of treasure...
.......He grasped a great two handled cup, as heavy as he could carry, and cast one fearful eye up ...
... his heart was beating and a more fevered shaking was in his legs than when he was going down, but still he clutched the cup...
...and his chief thought was “I’ve done it, this will show them. More like a grocer than a burglar’ indeed! Well, we’ll hear no more of that.”
... Then Bilbo fled.

THE SOUND OF BILBO ... (Bilbo’s thoughts )
”Now you are in for it at last”
“You went and put your foot right in it at the party, and now you have got to pull it out and pay for it”
“What a fool I am and was and am”
“I have no use for Dragon guarded treasures , and the whole lot could stay here forever, if only I could wake up and find this beastly tunnel was my own front-hall at home”
“Is that a sort of glow I seem to see coming right ahead down there?”


And between Smaug and Bilbo not a word was said! I has to be vision and sound to a bigger degree maybe? I know this is only one part of a chapter - but it seems to fit for me.
All those golds and reds and darkness and opal light - and sounds unmentionable. WOOT!! Laugh
So I can see the environment playing a substantial part of this ... I hope Im sort of close here.

Cheers Elven x



Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 5 2008, 3:11am

Post #110 of 158 (2901 views)
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And by "TORn" you mean . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

Xoanon, Calisuri, Meag, Altaira . . .

I will be working on it tonight.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




diedye
Grey Havens


May 5 2008, 3:15am

Post #111 of 158 (2927 views)
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I'm not sure what you're implying... [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant ANYONE at TORn that's in charge of the posting news on the front page... I wasn't really thinking of anyone in particular.

Miss ? Then Join Us.



MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 5 2008, 3:20am

Post #112 of 158 (2901 views)
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Thumbs up for your effort [In reply to] Can't Post

I happen to think GDT is talking about his own particular feelings and idea on the book, not referencing the book line-by-line.

But I do love the work you put in, it is really valuable and should also be pinned.

MY thoughts about the Smaug scene were always that it would be very dark inside the mountain and Smaug's internal fire would illuminate the cavern, glitter all over the gold and the dragon's mouth would show some fire light when his mouth is open. Perhaps his eyes share some quality of embers. So GDT's comments kinda jive with that, although I don't pretend to have any idea what he was talking about.

I just see, for myself, a very scary cavern with light provided by a gigantic, cunning, intelligent, evil serpentine killer of cities and civilization. A creature capable of vacating hardy dwarves out of their own home.

Lucky for all involved, GDT and WETA will tackle the challenge and not me.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Elven
Valinor


May 5 2008, 5:13am

Post #113 of 158 (2887 views)
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I think so too .. [In reply to] Can't Post

MrCere ...

Quote

I happen to think GDT is talking about his own particular feelings and idea on the book, not referencing the book line-by-line.



and I also hope its not a line by liner either Wink... but it did give me that out look - and best to go from the source material to get a glimpse of it without too much creative filtering. I didnt include the dwarves here, so after Bilbo returns and Smaug has been out scouting the Mountain there's been alot of shouting by Dwarves, and a rescue, some hiding in the tunnel, and some pony crunching Crazy.

But that very build up to this scene of it being sooo dark - and the light at the end of the tunnel being so red - Bilbo's invisability - and this awesome and massive internal palace opening before us, with our beautiful Smaug centre of attention, and asleep as a kitten - (that would make Smaug a 'Smitten' right? Laugh *thwack* Crazy) ... until he finds he cup missing then all hell breaks loose.

While I wrote another thing I thought about this was Bilbos reaction - going from "I dont care for dragon gold they can keep it" to being suddenly hit by 'Gold Fever' ... and gold fever is a real thing ... Have you ever had it? OMG - it is all consuming - says she who once found some in a stream ... it takes you like a storm, and it can be very hard to shake.
Thats what Bilbo is described as having - gold fever symptoms - in its sense - he may have thought he would show them about being a burglar - but what he did was out of character, and could easily be classified as a response to it.

The Dwarves have it - Smaug has it - and now Bilbo ... and behind them come all the rest of the cast - after the gold! Heart

Thanks for the nice response MrCere.

Cheers
Elven



Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 5 2008, 9:09am

Post #114 of 158 (2892 views)
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I'm going to be sitting in the dark theatre [In reply to] Can't Post

gripping the arms of my seat and holding my breath anticipating that very first sound. A perfect moment! *twitch* A FREAKIN THRILL RIDE!!!



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 5 2008, 9:11am

Post #115 of 158 (2894 views)
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*snigger* Maybe the prisms [In reply to] Can't Post

of the gems as they reflect whatever light seeps in would make purdy little rainbows all over the walls!! :D My little pony, er, dragon.



sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."


TORn's Observations Lists


sherlock
Gondor


May 5 2008, 1:48pm

Post #116 of 158 (2865 views)
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I'm pretty sure I would have [In reply to] Can't Post

recognized JRD's voice for Treebeard if I hadn't known. I'm really good with voices. It bothers me every time I watch TTT.


BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


May 5 2008, 5:10pm

Post #117 of 158 (2881 views)
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Wow. That's thorough, Elven! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice work! (How long did that take? And is your copy of The Hobbit now all covered in every different color highlighter they make? Smile )

Seeing it all laid out like that is very evocative. I wonder if GDT and the writing team will take this sort of approach with this and other chapters during the adaptation and design process. I could see it being very useful.

I especially love the detail that Smaug is encrusted with the Dwarven treasure (though, I think it would say a lot about the character if he'd adorned himself deliberately).

I'm sure GDT has something far more clever in mind, but I had a top-of-my-head thought for a surprise Smaug reveal. Do you remember that moment in Rambo 2 when Stallone has hidden himself in the mud wall?

Yes, yes, yes ... I know it sounds insane, but bear with me a moment! Tongue

Anyhow, Rambo is caked with mud and invisible to the bad guy (and the audience) ... until he opens his eyes. Now just substitute Bilbo for the Russian guy, Smaug for Stallone and treasure for mud ... and you have the shot that just popped into my head! A giant eye slowly opening in a glittering wall of treasure ... RIGHT BEHIND Bilbo.

Perhaps this kind of shot has been done lots of other times (in movies that don't necessarily star Sylvester Stallone), but that's the image that popped into my head while reading your break-down!


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 5 2008, 6:21pm

Post #118 of 158 (2839 views)
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Turning Point? [In reply to] Can't Post

I could argue that the climax of the book is Bilbo's finding of the Arkenstone, and Tolkien even alluded to it in the book when he said that it was a turning point in Bilbo's life

Does Tolkien say that?
I know he says that finding the Ring was the turning point of his career as a burgalar.

I think as far as 'climax of the story', some of you are confusing 'the most important part' with the 'big build-up', i.e., 'climax', where the action comes to a head.

Are you going to tell me that Bilbo bending down to find a jewel is the culminating point that the whole story has been building up to when the whole story from beginning has been to go get rid a dragon (the death of Smaug) & recover the hoarde (the Battle of Five Armies)?

You may believe the finding of the Arkenstone or Bilbo trying to make peace is the most important cog in the entire book, & that's fine, but can you honestly say that the author has written & planned this tiny part of the story as the climax of the entire literary work?

It just doesn't make any sense from a literary working of a book.

The Hoobit is the story of a quest of killing a dragon who stole the Dwarve's gold & jewels & how a mild mannered Hobbit gets caught up in it, not about how a Hobbit finds a diamond.



Elven
Valinor


May 5 2008, 8:16pm

Post #119 of 158 (2867 views)
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The Hobbit book ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I used was given to me as a gift, and I couldnt bear to touch it with a pen - its sacred Wink
But I have another research book - and that is/has fallen to pieces - which is quite useful as I can actually remove the sections chapter by chapter - in some cases pages, but yesterday I used my good book to go through. Its times like this when I wish I could type faster - it took about 3 hours and 3 cups of tea Smile and it was totally worth it. I learned alot about how I see these books and how Tolkien plotted the course of the actions.

The dwarves (regardless of what danger they are in) seem to be this comical team who need endless supervision. I left their roles out of the post (though I have done them too) as the thread was related to Smaug and Bilbo, but Tolkien firstly puts a sense of urgency to them (they must find shelter from the Smaug flying around the mountain at night) - yet he also out in a complication which causes much tension - 2 Dwarves are not with them - they are below with the ponies) .. there is this build-up of 'will they make it to safety' and some fast thinking to be done ... I imagine it does not take long for a dragon to do one lap of a Mountain - so they are stretched for time ... but ultimately make it to safety in the tunnel - and Smaug is diverted hunting for ponies .... it is very well crafted, yet not overly pushed onto the reader.

I wonder about Smaug when he awoke ... he is going into hibernation (from what I can deduct), and I wonder how this makes him look and act. If Bilbo didnt know he was a 'live' Dragon, Smaug would hardly have been breathing - his fires were described as being low. Emotions must fuel a Dragons colour - like a mood ring - but once spent, his colour fades - his anger may brighten his body, from the inside out ... I also think his beautiful underbelly would have been pale (almost grey) but like white opals - these are beautiful. Once you get the light onto them their colours come through! or some of the luminescent rocks - certain light and heat bring forth their colour. I have some green micca flakes - they look like scales and shimmer like sparkling water. All these things I thought as I went through the book ... it was really wonderful ... I felt for a moment it was if I was there. Smile

Thankyou for reading the segments Bucky - much appreciated.

Cheers Elven x


I await this scene ...


Thankyou for the response too.


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 5 2008, 8:58pm

Post #120 of 158 (2907 views)
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Rambo dragon is quite a good idea [In reply to] Can't Post

The unseen figure's intelligent eye opens, giving both Bilbo and the audience a start. I quite like the idea even if does evoke Stallone.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Elven
Valinor


May 5 2008, 9:09pm

Post #121 of 158 (2845 views)
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OOOps sorry Bucky .. [In reply to] Can't Post

I went off on my own tangent ...


Quote

Anyhow, Rambo is caked with mud and invisible to the bad guy (and the audience) ... until he opens his eyes. Now just substitute Bilbo for the Russian guy, Smaug for Stallone and treasure for mud ... and you have the shot that just popped into my head! A giant eye slowly opening in a glittering wall of treasure ... RIGHT BEHIND Bilbo.

Perhaps this kind of shot has been done lots of other times (in movies that don't necessarily star Sylvester Stallone), but that's the image that popped into my head while reading your break-down!




I recall seeing this ... and yes it was really good!
Imagine the size of Smaugs eye/s. How huge and reptilian they are! and to have them opening like that too - it would cast this amazing light on the floor, and maybe even give invisable Bilbo, a shadow ... cool!! Cool

Thanks Bucky!

Cheers
Elven x



Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


May 5 2008, 9:22pm

Post #122 of 158 (3089 views)
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In my head ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... Smaug's eye would be bigger than the front door at Bag End ... sloooowwly opening up behind him. Just as he's about to pick up the cup. Flooding the room with a pale, sickly glow ... and casting Bilbo's shadow on the floor. The shadow he's been trying to hide through the entire film ... the one thing that gives away his invisibility.

Could be a fun "OH CRAP!" moment for Bilbo!


(And don't worry about tangents ... if it weren't for tangents, I'd have nothing to talk about!)


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller

(This post was edited by BuckyUnderbelly on May 5 2008, 9:25pm)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


May 5 2008, 9:31pm

Post #123 of 158 (2856 views)
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I think it *has* been done [In reply to] Can't Post

...and with a dragon no less.

I haven't watched it in a while, but in the movie Dragonheart when Dennis Quaid is standing outside the dragon's lair preparing to go inside, the rocks behind him are actually the camouflaged dragon who's eyes open revealing it's him. I'm sure it could be done differently, and probably better, in a dark scary cave. But it has been done.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



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BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


May 5 2008, 9:50pm

Post #124 of 158 (2848 views)
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Aw nutz! [In reply to] Can't Post

Crud.

Oh well. I suppose I'll learn to live with my shame and disappointment! Crazy


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 5 2008, 11:50pm

Post #125 of 158 (2883 views)
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Intersting Point [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe the "context" maybe has to do with the fact that Smaug has been living inside the halls of the mountains for years, maybe decades, without coming out. I remember there was a line in the Hobbit that said that kids

I've always wondered about this, plus the 'Desolation of the Dragon' about Erebor in which no living thing except a few birds lived - how did Smaug survive all those years without food?

Munching on Dwarven bones?


Elven
Valinor


May 6 2008, 12:43am

Post #126 of 158 (3026 views)
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Conversation with Smaug ... [In reply to] Can't Post

in Tolkiens drawing 'Conversation with Smaug' - you can see that Smaug may have devoured some Dwarves, or maybe Lake Town/Dale residents - or maybe they were people who entered into smaugs liar - but there are bones and skulls scattered through out the picture - especially near to Smaugs golden bed - which maybe means he likes breakfast in bed Wink ... there are also alot of bats in the illustration - not a meal for Smaug I daresay - but there seems there was some food around if he fancied it.


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Tolkien Forever
Gondor

May 6 2008, 12:54am

Post #127 of 158 (2972 views)
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Old Bones [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd reckon that those bones are old. This being a main Hall, there must've been many Dwarves in there when Smaug sacked Erebor.
Nobody would've come near the Mountain in years, because the younger folk doubted Smaug's existence. If some people did come near & disappeared, the people of Laketown would know the dragon lived....

If Smaug stole out at night & snatched people from Laketown, same thing, plus someone would spot him, which hadn't happened in many years.

So perhaps Smaug lived on firewood & bats? Wink


Elven
Valinor


May 6 2008, 1:22am

Post #128 of 158 (2894 views)
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Maybe those jars are filled with pickled Dwarves ... :D [In reply to] Can't Post

and he just uses a spear every now again to get the last one out from the bottom of the jar Laugh Wink


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


May 6 2008, 6:52pm

Post #129 of 158 (3019 views)
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The "eyes" have it! [In reply to] Can't Post

I posted the following on one of the other dragon threads currently running, but it seemed appropriate to add here ... apologies for the repetition!


True, the voice needs to be great ... but it's the eyes that will sell the illusion. That's why Gollum is so amazing and everyone in Polar Express and Beowulf is so eerily zombie-ish. Zemeckis didn't get the eyes right. The eyes are what we connect to as human beings when we're relating to one another, and when we're trying to relate to characters (and actors) ...

The whole "windows on the soul" thing may be trite, but it's really true. Sure we want an amazingly cool dragon design and iconic voice work ... but if we don't connect with the eyes, then he will end up being just another movie dragon. If they can really create the eyes with as much reality and subtlety as they did with Gollum, then we're going to see his intelligence and his "humanity". By which I mean ... we'll be able to relate to him as a sentient being with needs and wants and motives.

Because the eyes are where an actor's performance lives. And even if he's digital, the same needs to be true of Smaug. Because he's not a monster ... he's another actor. And we're all hoping for a great performance.



"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 6 2008, 7:55pm

Post #130 of 158 (2893 views)
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I think I would refute that [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the eyeball changes one smidge except the pupil which reacts to light. I think eyes are not where a performance lives but it is where we human's emotionally think it lives. I don't think eyes are a window to the soul but they are the part of a person we can stare at to make them nervous because it is just behind the eyes that people perceive their "self" rests. We feel like somebody is staring at US.


So eyes are a window to the soul in the sense that if people are genuinely comfortable with each other they can stare into one another's eyes but really the eye itself isn't what is a window, its the sense of being comfortable with self.

I think the whole "eyes" thing is something people accept as fact but isn't at all.

As for Zemeckis, there were plenty of ways the digital characters were inferior to Gollum, perhaps including the way the eyes were digitally painted.
(And I kinda like The Polor Express and Beowulf, but don't tell anybody!)

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


May 6 2008, 9:27pm

Post #131 of 158 (2912 views)
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I think perhaps I wasn't clear ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Your points are well taken, but I don't think I explained very well. I'm not just talking about pupil dilation. When I say the eyes are where the performance lives ... I'm also talking about the thousands of tiny, almost imperceptible micro movements of the eyes (directionally), the forehead, the eyelids, the brow, the cheeks ... all the immediately surrounding musculature. Not just the pupil itself. The range of expression that can be accomplished just in that limited area of the face is hugely broad and can be infinitely subtle. Much more so than the rest of the face.

It's something that the Weta team did a stunning and phenomenal job with on Gollum. I would argue that his facial animation ... particularly that involving his eyes ... should be the achievement they're ultimately remembered for. Not necessarily for the groundbreaking motion capture technique they pioneered. (That, of course, won't happen, but a fella can dream!)

And sure, Zemeckis' character designs came up short in other areas, too ... (they were often rubbery, expressionless and plastic-looking) ... but it's those creepy, creepy eyes that always jump out at me. Sure they look like normal eyes. And sure they dilate properly and they point in the correct direction. But it's the lack of sophisticated movement of all the tiny facial muscles that fail to sell the illusion. We may not understand exactly why they look so wrong, but we feel it subconsciously. And there's an immediate disconnect.

Robitcs designers (and animators and game designers) call it "the uncanny valley." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

We can relate just fine to a puppet or CG character that's more cartoonish (like Remi from Ratatouille) ... but when that character starts looking closer and closer to an actual photo-real human ... that's when we start to pull away.

Unless they get all the subtleties right, as they did with Gollum.

Of course, I understand that Smaug doesn't and shouldn't look at all human ... but I think this is what will put Smaug over the top. If the Weta team really masters the multitude of subtleties of his eyes ... if they can really bring out that expressiveness ... then that will really separate Smaug from the rest of the filmic dragon pack. I'm absolutely certain they could (and will) create a kick-butt dragon design that looks incredibly cool blasting the countryside to flaming ruin ... but it's more important ... to me anyway ... that Smaug can also act. And that's gonna take some subtlety.

And if they can master the eyes, and marry it to a top-shelf vocal performance ... then Smaug won't just be a movie monster ... he'll be an actor. And a damn fine one.


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 6 2008, 9:42pm

Post #132 of 158 (2894 views)
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Well said {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Elven
Valinor


May 6 2008, 9:44pm

Post #133 of 158 (2882 views)
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Sorry, but I cant agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

WinkDid not one large large eye in a certain film hold us all engrossed - did not that eye give us the sense of evil? A whole movie has been done on it Wink Was it not a window into the darkness of the soul of its beholder .... and with its destruction - did not the Soul vanish - it was a means of expression and a symbol in itself to a far greater testiment of what lies beneath.

The eye is a tool of connectedness and responds accordingly - it is in a most essential form a communication tool - just watch the interaction between animals - its the eyes that speak - to stare or not to stare can be the prompting for attack or not to attack for example.

As humans we connect at the 'eye/s' - and 'eyes are tools which we use to communicate' - they have the capacity to express, and we as the other set of eyes have the capacity to interpret those eyes. Depending on how we interpret the eye's is up to the reciever - though there are other ways the eyes express further than just the way they look or react to light. The sockets they're in, and the lids that hold them. A closed lid will not give much more of an impression than that the consciousness is resting, or turned in wards. An exposed eye with a widely opened lid can mean suprise, danger, alert - an eye which is wet on the surface can mean crying - a eye which is bloodshot can mean tiredness or damage or a state of health - eye colour is sometimes interpreted and is used judgementally.

I think this happens because regardless of weather we a re clothed or not - the eyes are the only 'moving reactive instruments' that are not part of the skin organ. If the body doesnt move or cannot move - it is the eyes where we will try to access the living consciousness beneath - we rarely try and do this say through the belly button. It wont tell us much not matter how much fluff is in there Smile



Quote
I don't think the eyeball changes one smidge except the pupil which reacts to light. I think eyes are not where a performance lives but it is where we human's emotionally think it lives. I don't think eyes are a window to the soul but they are the part of a person we can stare at to make them nervous because it is just behind the eyes that people perceive their "self" rests. We feel like somebody is staring at US.




The eyes are portals - maybe not to the Soul as such, but I suppose that depend on the definition of terms of Soul - but as for an expression of the thought without word - they add to the tools we already have as animals to enable our capacity further to be understood.
You could do an entire performance with just eyes - no dialogue - and to some level it would be understood by other eyes watching it, because expression through these tools is universal (to some degree) ... a wink is different to a blink ... and we can determine the difference. We can judge a 'far away' look of an eye, just as we can judge if an eye is scrutinizing something at close distance.

The self uses the eye as a tool, just as it does every other part of us. But at an unconscious level, we recieve many more signals by which come to our own conclusions of what that signal means and how we interpret it.



Quote
So eyes are a window to the soul in the sense that if people are genuinely comfortable with each other they can stare into one another's eyes but really the eye itself isn't what is a window, its the sense of being comfortable with self.

I think the whole "eyes" thing is something people accept as fact but isn't at all.




The eyes are more than that - they are the organs through which we percieve the world in one way - our visusal interpretation tools. If you feel comfortable with someone else and you never looked them in the eye, what message might that send - what does eye contact portray - that the person is coy? The person is untrustful, the person is distant? How ever you interpret it - it will be an interpretation and a communication of sorts.

Staring eyes can convey brutal hatred as well as unconditional love, and Im sure we could recognise the difference, if we are open to the true interpretation and the intent of the stare.

Even creatures who are blind will face each other to communicate - its like we have a front and a back - and the eyes are set in the front, on the face from which we communicate.

Something I found interesting when watching Pans Labyrinth was the Pale Man. Firstly - he has no eyes on his face. It was difficult to know what his intentions were. When he placed the eyes in his palm - he placed those eyes within those hands to his face - where eyes usually are set on the body. He did not place them away from the body like two seperate search beams - and suddenly he comes alive. When he moved from the table and started after Ofelia, his hands were set out before him and the eyes were further searching ahead - at times the arms seperated and moved up and down. On one viewing I was trying to look through those eyes to see what the Pale Man was looking at ... and had a weird sense of expanding vision - for which I could not hold or keep focus upon, so I lost my vision through the Pale Mans eyes.

These 'eyes' were very much a performance - of any eyes - they were crutial to the scene - and yes, they gave an emotional reaction to me, the viewer.

Weather it be CGI or real eyes, Pale Mans eyes, Smaugs eyes - we will understand on some level what those eyes are expressing.


Just some thought MeCere ...
Thanks for listening to my rant Blush

Cheers Elven




Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Elven
Valinor


May 6 2008, 10:00pm

Post #134 of 158 (2874 views)
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OOps - I posted after bucky replied ... // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!



Samray
Registered User

May 7 2008, 8:34am

Post #135 of 158 (2974 views)
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Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

The big problem here is not in the actor who is going to be the voice of Smaug but the voice itself! A dragon does not have the larynx of a human and therfore the voice will be 'unhumanlike'. In many mythological tales the dragon, being a magical creature, uses a form of telepathy and everybody knows that not only do you NOT look into the eyes of a dragon but also you do not believe everything it says.
Tolkien gives us the words and nuance of the conversations with Bilbo but the film must convince us of the physical and magical power of the dragon, an 'ordinary' actors voice will not do this as it will sound puny coming from such a powerful creature. There is also an element of vast wisdom gathered over many centuries that must come over - a dragon is not easily tricked, but at the same time that wisdom will not have prepared Smaug for an invisible Hobbit!
Bilbo's only advantage.
Experimentation with lisps and hissing along with an 'experts' view on a dragon's larynx and the sounds that can be produced over the tongue and between the lips is important. But whatever else the voice must not be cute or twee in any form and as I said before must carry power and dignity, malice and humour, patience and anger all at the same time. A tall order I know but I am confident that Peter will not accept anything less.


Parker
The Shire

May 8 2008, 2:20pm

Post #136 of 158 (2983 views)
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My take on Guillermo's comments on Smaug and the Environment [In reply to] Can't Post

I talked about this in my recent blog entry over at DelToroFilms. My interpretation was not as literal - I foresee GDT using the environment to enhance Smaug's appearance, so that each flame, each rock, each cloud of smoke, each piece of shining gold exudes the power, fear, and maybe greed of Smaug. Kind of like how a director uses a score to enhance emotion, I believe GDT considers Smaug's design of his environment as integral as the design of Smaug himself. Looking at Eyvind Earle's designs would be a great example of this. Here is a quick example (one of the few I could find on the net).




(This post was edited by Parker on May 8 2008, 2:21pm)


Eruwestial37
Rohan

May 10 2008, 7:22am

Post #137 of 158 (2944 views)
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Eyes and Voice of Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

Can be taken from nature. By that I mean, a dragon's closest relatives. Birds can perfectly imitate human voices by means of their syrinx. My African Grey parrot is capable of many voices and sounds, so perhaps Smaug could have that ability as well. Many people, myself included, have been fooled by the voice of a Grey.
As far as eyes go, I have only to look at my iguana to see the intelligence in those reddish eyes. They are not lizard-like at all, but very human looking, tempting me to believe there is a mind inside that green critter.

I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion. It's marvelous to have become a member here.

Eruwestial


leo
Rohan

May 10 2008, 10:11am

Post #138 of 158 (2868 views)
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Size doesn't matter ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Or at least, it shouldn't. I think it is very easy to take the Reign of Fire-way, where the bigger the Dragon, the more evil he is. I don't quite recall how Tolkien described him size-wise, so it could be that he is huge, but he shouldn't be made huge if he isn't decribed as huge. If you know what I mean...

I kinda liked how in LOTR, the most evil character (in my eyes Gollum, who seduces, betrays and lies all the time) was the smallest, weakest creature.

(I can go on about how Tolkien went out of his way to mock sizes, with the very small Hobbits doing the greatest deeds and all, but I doubt anyone will want to read it ;) )


leo
Rohan

May 10 2008, 10:15am

Post #139 of 158 (2838 views)
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Me too, me too! [In reply to] Can't Post

He'd be too perfect. But if not him, I agree with whomever said it should still be an English voice.


leo
Rohan

May 10 2008, 10:25am

Post #140 of 158 (2929 views)
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The more I am thinking about this idea, the more I like it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can just see him being the Golden Dragon that Tolkien described him to be when he is laying in his pile of treasure, and then turning into a horrible red fiery dragon when setting fire to Lake Town...


bowencm
Rivendell

May 10 2008, 2:20pm

Post #141 of 158 (2845 views)
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Smaug will be... [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug will be who he will be. I think that's the essence of this particular dragon. For years, like all of you, I've geeked out about dragons and monsters (mostly because of LOTR, D&D, DragonLance, etc.) and the epic adventure of LOTR on screen has brought most of our collective imaginations together into something credible and tangible. Dragons have been recreated, regurgitated, and redeveloped again and again, so I agree with Guillermo Del Toro's thought that he has a monumental task at hand: creating the greatest dragon that has been the stamp from which all other modern incarnations have been born. I always smile when I watch The Hobbit and see Smaug in his cartoon glory; the hairy mane, drool that melts gold, and the unparalleled enormity of the wyrm. In a way, I'd love to see Smaug a hairy, reptilian, massive winged mess. Mr. Del Toro has such attention to detail (IMO) that I wouldn't be surprised if we think we could actually SMELL Smaug when he brings him to life (ew but cool).

So since Smaug encapsulates what defines "Dragon" in our time and of course what will be will be, it would be cool to see a conglomeration of the characteristics that we're all fond of. The insane cunning, the sheer ruthless animosity, the monstrous size, the breath, the fear... The allowance of Mr. Del Toro's imagination on top of all that will create something beautiful, twisted and horribly memorable straight out of a child's nightmare. The Pale Man in Pan's Labyrinth never fails to freak the hell out of me every time I see him.

We've all waited a long time for this movie (for me it’s been about 31 years since I first saw the animated version on TV). I have every confidence that Smaug will be nasty, booming and (based on Mr. Del Toro's films) something that will make us lose sleep at night!

What else could we ask for in a dragon? :-)


-Chris


weyhoops
The Shire


May 10 2008, 6:19pm

Post #142 of 158 (2804 views)
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Smaug and his environment [In reply to] Can't Post

After reading Del Toro's comments and Elven's thoroughly compiled list of Hobbit Smaug references, I began to envision Smaug as a (literally) hot being. So when he is in rain/water, he smokes/sizzles/steams. When he is sleeping, he may have some "heat" wafting off of him...blurring the visuals and creating mirage-type effects. In the night he may "glow" a bit, particularly when angry. If he touches or gets very close to living plants/trees/grass, they turn to ash/get a little crispy from the heat. Perhaps this makes him a little too Balrog-ish, but reading the language Tolkien uses to describe him as well as GDT's comments, it does make a lot of sense. I am sure this could be tackled with spectacular results.


(This post was edited by weyhoops on May 10 2008, 6:26pm)


Glaurung63
Lorien

May 10 2008, 11:51pm

Post #143 of 158 (2785 views)
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Now THAT got me thinking... [In reply to] Can't Post

Interesting....I imagine Smaug's jewel encrusted belly glittering....with the one spot uncovered....but the body scales changing color based on environment.....wow....blending in to the stone walls of the caves....the snow capped summit of the mountain....the forests below....it makes sense from my wildlife job background, if you think of a dragon as a lizard...but are they??? With recent discoveries about dinosaurs being related to birds, what if dragons are related to a modern life form??? Since Tolkien was writing his own history....what modern animals could have evolved from dragons???? Scientists just found out that the platypus has genes like snakes, mammals, and birds....a male platypus has venom in his hind leg claws....

Yet I did picture Smaug like Tolkien, red and yellowish....but Smaug's wings need to be large enough to lift a dragon into the air....and yet fold compactly kind of like a bat, to fit through the mountain caves....

perhaps....Smaug's voice could induce the listener to visualize the dragon differently.....hmmm....
I am STOKED for Smaug....can't wait...you got me thinking....


kathyrote
The Shire

May 11 2008, 5:21am

Post #144 of 158 (2833 views)
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Voice of Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

    Hum - your mention of Anthony Hopkins caused me a spark of enthusiasm and also the idea of a slightly feminine twist in the voice. Maybe its an androgenous feeling I'm after. In the way the voices of Gandalf and Saruman were digitally intertwined in the scene in Fangorn. {Perhaps the male and female voices that resonant in the auditions could be given the same treatment. I adore the nuances in Ralph Finnes voice as he describes his "becoming" in the movie "Red Dragon." I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the auditions for voice of Smaug take place.


josefettwalker
Registered User

May 13 2008, 2:49am

Post #145 of 158 (2772 views)
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Not sure about female/male voice [In reply to] Can't Post

Antony Hopkins sounds interesting, but i guess the decision has really to be made by defining first the visual characteristics of Smaug and then choosing a voice that really matches the looks and the atmosphere of the movie. The idea of the voices entwined sounds cool, but not sure about the male/female aspect maybe 2 male voices would sound deeper, but as i said we can't make any real assumptions cause we don't know how it is going to look.


angolhir
Registered User

May 13 2008, 7:20pm

Post #146 of 158 (2765 views)
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Dragonlore [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,

I stumbled upon the article about this thread and the fact, that del Toro was taking part in the discussion.

Some time ago I posted in the net an extensive essay about the dragons, essentialy bringing together all that Tolkien ever written about them in any of his ME writings. I post the link for your interest, you may find it helpful in the topic of the dragons (maybe even bring it to notice of filmakers, if you feel like it).

http://docs.google.com/View?docid=ddwd98qd_2g7p4fq

Also, my other, published essays:
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=ddwd98qd_3csb668

Cheers

Angolhir
angolhir@gmail.com, marek.wypych@gmail.com


Dragonlady
Registered User


May 19 2008, 7:51pm

Post #147 of 158 (2639 views)
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More about Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I am a big Dragon fan. I've said it before- And I was fortunate enough to be born a Dragon in the Chinese Horocope...
...

Smaug should not be "the Dragon in the Hobbit movie" as if it was just "another" creature in a Bestiary. Smaug should be "The DRAGON" for all movies past and present. The shadow he cast and the greed he comes to embody- the "need to own" casts its long shadow and creates a thematic / dramatic continuity of sorts that articulates the story throughout-
...
Anyway, back to Smaug: One of the main mistakes with talking dragons is to shape the mouth like a snub Simian one in order to achieve a dubious lip-synch. .. A point which eluded me particularly in Eragon, since their link is a psychic one.

To me, Smaug is the perfect example of a great creature defined by its look and design, yes, but also, very importantly, by his movement and -One little hint- its environment - Think about it...
...

PD As to his voice- well, each reader has a Smaug voice in his / her head, just like you always do when "hearing" a great character in a book.

I have mine... and it will be revealed in time...


Oh I am so relieved to read this! Like many others here, Smaug is my main concern. He must be perfect. I am always vaguely dissapointed by the way Dragons are portrayed in movies. I admit it's difficult to have a talking beast that is basically not a mammal. I like to draw Dragons based on a feline shape because it gives them such a great posture, but to work in other types of anatomies is tricky, I wish I had more time to study this aspect.

Even though there is a lot that's forgettable about Dragonheart, Draco is one of my favourite onscreen Dragons, because he has got most of the attributes I expect in a Dragon and that I actually saw in Sean Connery long before he was asked to do this. The humour, the sneer, the "ego", the contempt... I loved how this came through. Too bad the rest of the movie wasn't par to it.

I am very happy to read that you will give great care to movement. I also think that this is the secret of a realistic Dragon. In fact I envy you terribly to be able to take the time to reflect on this aspect. I've been passionately in love with Dragons all my life and I would give anything to take part in this adventure. I hope you can share more of your reflections on the subject with us!


Steelsheen
The Shire


May 20 2008, 4:46am

Post #148 of 158 (2668 views)
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how about Michael Wincott for the voice of Smaug? [In reply to] Can't Post

how about Michael Wincott for the voice of Smaug? (for those who dont know him, he played the villainous Rochefort in 1993's The Three Musketeers). he's got that deep gravely voice, sounds almost inhuman at times. its the voice that comes into my head when i hear Smaug talk. the great thing about him-- other than the fact that he's Julliard trained-- is that he's not a popular actor that we associate with a face (like Sean Connery or Anthony Hopkins). when you hear Wincott, its like a beast talking-- dangerous, evil yet oddly hypnotic-- much like what a dragon should be.


MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 20 2008, 7:40pm

Post #149 of 158 (2579 views)
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Pretty good choice {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post

 

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




DarthProject
Registered User

May 21 2008, 4:00am

Post #150 of 158 (2599 views)
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Smaug talking in Bilbo's mind [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone from a long time fan of the books and the LOTR movies. I think the main dragon problem is the voice. Not only casting the right actor, but deciding the way he talks. I think that a dragon like the one of Dragonheart, moving his mouth while talking, would be too much in a child/Disney style, opposite to the less-innocent, and maybe darker, tone, which Del Toro plans for the end of the movie. Personally I think that Smaug should talk "in Bilbo's mind", with some sort of telepathy; actually the voice would be heard by people watching the movie, since the movie will be most likely done from Bilbo's point of view. This may of course sacrify a bit the faithfulness to the book, but I think it would be more suitable, for the movie(s) will be for a general audience, and not only for children as the book is. It wouldn't be too out of style with the Tolkien world, which actually features "instant at distance" magic like the Palantiri's. In addition, this "telepathy" would contribute well to convey the extreme power of Smaug. It's one of the few points were I think the movie should get a bit of distance from the book.


(This post was edited by DarthProject on May 21 2008, 4:03am)


CaerLaw
Registered User


May 22 2008, 8:56pm

Post #151 of 158 (2809 views)
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That makes TWO votes for Michael! [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile See my earlier post, "My Vision of Smaug."

Wink

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.


Dragonlady
Registered User

May 23 2008, 10:19am

Post #152 of 158 (2750 views)
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My choice of actor for Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

Over the past years I've said many time that I want Bernard Hill to be Smaug.

Some might say he wouldn't be "dark" enough, but I don't think of Smaug as being that dark. He's just a Dragon, he eats humans, but to him they are no more than rabbits, we don't think of ourselves as evil when we eat a rabbit don't we? (unless you're vegeterian). But rabbits must see us as terrible flesh eating monsters Sly
To me Dragons are mostly these very self confident creatures who radiate a big presence and not just because of their size.

Years ago when I went to see "Highlander" at the cinema, I came out wondering why I felt I knew that character played by Sean Connery, while walking home it struck me, he had the same attitude as some Dragons I knew, like Smaug and others. That presence too. So imagine my amazement some years later when I heard he had been hired to play Draco! It means others saw the same potential in Sean Connery!

I picture Smaug with the same sort of attitude, humour and presence as Bernard Hill.
In 2001 I was at the Fellowship Festival in London and I met B. Hill. I felt that "dragon presence" so strongly, especially when I stood up during one of his talks and went to the microphone to ask him if he'd like to play a CG character some day. Wink I didn't dare asking him if he wanted to play Smaug, and anyway I couldn't really ask two questions.


(This post was edited by Dragonlady on May 23 2008, 10:20am)


Mirabella_Bunce
Rivendell

May 23 2008, 1:12pm

Post #153 of 158 (2755 views)
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It will probably be someone we don't even know, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

The voice I keep imagining for Smaug is Anthony Hopkins. Possibly because I picture Smaug with the same sort of attitude, humor and presence as Hannibal Lecter. He gets a huge charge out of lording his superior intellect over those un-evolved idiots who are nothing but sushi to him. And he's not a mere predator like a wolf that just eats bunnies because that's what it was created to do. He also has an ego, a huge one, and takes an evil delight in knowing that he strikes terror into the hearts of his prey. Tolkien didn't mean for his dragons to be mere carnivorous animals, but for them to be servants of Morgoth.



MrCere
Sr. Staff


May 23 2008, 10:24pm

Post #154 of 158 (2755 views)
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Not bad . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I think he is off-the-charts amazing as an actor so I believe he would bring a great performance to the voice. I definitely agree that Smaug isn't just a eater of humans but greedy and a servant of the Dark Lord.

I have no choice but to believe in free will.

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie




Solicitr
Lorien

May 30 2008, 1:55pm

Post #155 of 158 (2799 views)
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Guillermo, if you're reading.... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Now, the voice is a voice I have had in my head for many years too and I will explore it as such- if the actor is unavailable, unwilling or otherwise impossible to get, then the voice may change. But all directors, like any readers, step into a film with a plan. I hope the casting is possible.


If however your dream casting doesn't pan out, please do consider Jeremy Irons- a light baritone with suprising depth and resonance, and above all supercilious, aristocratic, sneering, with a veneer of etiquette over fathomless malice.


Solicitr
Lorien

May 30 2008, 1:58pm

Post #156 of 158 (2744 views)
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Nonsense [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
WinkDid not one large large eye in a certain film hold us all engrossed - did not that eye give us the sense of evil? A whole movie has been done on it Wink


What it did was reduce the eponymous villain, whom Tolkien wisely never shows, to a Highly Irritable Lighthouse.

'Cannot yet take physical form,' bah!!Mad


Actaeon
Registered User

Jun 3 2008, 4:18am

Post #157 of 158 (2663 views)
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A solution? [In reply to] Can't Post

A possible solution for the voice of Smaug and particularly for the impact on his facial design with the need to lip synch could be quite simply ignore it! Most of his "Lines" are when he is curled up in the dark in his lair playing mind/word games with Bilbo. A dull warm glow from Smaug himself is the only illumination, it would be quite easy to keep his face in shadow, maybe just a hint of a glow from his eyes and body. It would make for a more menacing scene just hearing his charmingly arrogant mocking of Bilbo in the near dark.

As for his appearance, i prefer the more long slender "worm" look below

and the John Howe image suggested by the above poster. (http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=410)

Cheers


durthang
The Shire

May 22 2009, 6:47am

Post #158 of 158 (2600 views)
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Smaug musings.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just typing away daydreaming about Smaug......I hope that GDT strikes a great balance between the beastial qualities of Smaug (being an absolutely hellishly horrible creature infused with Morgoth's hate and will) and the distinctly 'human' traits he shows in the book. It would be great to see him reveal his splendour with a firey roar, shaking the very foundations of Erebor (and the cinema!!!) and then let out a spine chillingly human-like throaty laugh, flashing his crafty eyes. OMG I just completely worked myself up! Can't wait! GDT will totally come through with the goods for Smaug......

 
 

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