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FOTR EE Appendices Discussion - Creating the Extras and Menus
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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 29 2009, 11:25am

Post #1 of 42 (620 views)
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FOTR EE Appendices Discussion - Creating the Extras and Menus Can't Post

Here begins the FOTR EE Appendices Discussion. I thought that it would be a good idea to start out with how the Appendices came about because these are not your every day, run-of-the-mill DVD extras, and I wanted to talk about the menus because, well, because I really like the menus.

I will start off by saying that if you want a really good account of how these extras came about you need to read Kristin Thompson’s book, The Frodo Franchise. It goes into a great deal of very interesting detail, whereas I am just going to skim the surface.

Of course, it all began with Peter Jackson. Peter was thinking about the DVD extras from the very beginning of planning for The Lord of the Rings. He had always recorded behind-the-scenes material for his films, and when he filmed The Frightners, he directed his own documentary on the making of the movie. Peter realized the historical importance that these movies were going to have, and also that the task was going to be huge. It was going to be like making another movie.

“Veteran DVD producer Michael Pellerin says he's had nothing but support and cooperation from Peter Jackson on New Line's multi-disc editions of The Lord of the Rings. . .According to Pellerin, Jackson knew he would never again work on a project like The Lord of the Rings trilogy and wanted to record it for posterity. ‘I can't emphasize enough that they took the DVD really seriously - probably more seriously than I've seen from any group of filmmakers.’”
http://www.onfilm.co.nz/editable/lotr/onfilm_PJ_0403.html

Three filmmakers and their crews worked full time filming behind-the-scenes. They were Costa Botes, Dan Arden, and Michael Pellerin. Costa Botes co-directed Forgotten Silver with Peter. Dan Arden had at one time interviewed Peter Jackson for a TV series on special effects, and, being a longtime Tolkien fan, he contacted Peter when he heard about LOTR. Michael Pellerin had a DVD production company in partnership with Jeff Kurtti. Pellerin was another long-time Tolkien fan that wanted to work on LOTR. He was buying a used car from someone in New Line’s DVD department (Evan Edelist) and mentioned the fact that he wanted to work on LOTR. Edelist arranged a meeting with New Line’s vice president of content development, Mike Mulvihill and that is how Pellerin got the job. Of course, there is a lot more to the story than that. Pellerin tells the entire story in a really good interview at aintitcool.com.
http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=22112

The original plan was just for Costa Botes to direct three one-hour TV shows, make one feature-length documentary about all three films, and assemble six hours of material for the DVD extras for each film. But then, about half way through filming, New Line realized just how huge this job actually was and that is when they decided to add two more directors, Arden and Pellerin.

“Costa Botes shot candid footage for one feature-length, unnarrated documentary for each part. Dan Arden combined interviews and on-set footage to create making-ofs for cable and for the theatrical DVD supplements. Michael Pellerin shot additional material and put together more extensive documentation for the extended-edition DVD supplements.” The Frodo Franchise (pg. 114)

The extended-edition DVD supplements are what we are discussing and so it is primarily Pellerin’s work that we are interested in, although both Pellerin and Arden had full access to everything that Costa Botes filmed.

In an interview with Peter Jackson in the fan club magazine a reader asked what Peter thought people would most want to know about the making of the films in a hundred years. Peter replied, “Hopefully, anything that people will want to know is going to be available to them on one of the DVDs! The real archive of the making of the film is being preserved in the New Line Cinema vaults. It’s not just the dailies footage that we shot but also all the behind-the-scenes videos that were shot. As you can imagine, looking at the documentaries, there is a huge amount of screen time on videotape that was filmed behind-the-scenes. . .The cache of behind-the-scenes video -- which in the documentaries you only see a tiny scraping of the surface of it -- is amazing. You only see the stuff put into the cut. There are thousands and thousands of hours of it that have never been seen. That, to me, is what has to be preserved so that people in 100 years can examine it.”
The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine, Iss. 18, (Pg. 20)

“The contents of all three special editions were outlined in 2001. This allowed Pellerin to plan the supplements as one long set of continuing documentaries, just as RINGS itself was conceived as a single film.” The Frodo Franchise (pg. 209)

So, Michael Pellerin directed, filmed, and gathered material for the extended-edition extras. Another company, called Company Wide Shut in San Francisco, was responsible for graphic design and a company called Laser Pacific authored the DVDs. Authoring consist of actually getting everything onto the DVDs including the programming to make everything work.

According to Jay Sherbon, vice president of research and development at Laser Pacific, “The greatest challenge involved in authoring the discs, it turned out, was managing the volume of elements. Sherbon points out, for example, that Disc 3 alone [Appendices Part 1] ‘has about 1,000 menu pages and 19,000 buttons.’”
http://www.videography.com/article/48854

I would dearly love to know how all of that stuff works. And that brings us to the menus. What Peter Jackson wanted for the appendices was elegance in place of the glitzy sort of menus one usually gets on DVD extras.



“The original designs for the menus failed to meet with Jackson’s approval. J. P. Leonard, of Company Wide Shut, traveled to Wellington to come up with new designs and found himself collaborating with the department heads responsible for Rings itself. Pellerin recalls: ‘The menus were shot on 35mm with the Mitchell cameras on the motion-control unit. Alex Funke was actually the cameraman and director of photography. Alan Lee was the art director of the menu shoot. Dan Hennah was the set decorator. J. P. directed it. And the props were provided all by the film. So the menus literally are part of the production.’” The Frodo Franchise (pg. 122 & 213)

Not only did Peter get the elegance he wanted, J. P. Leonard was afterwards asked to design the end credits for Return of the King.



The “books” that make up the Appendices are illustrated by both Allen Lee and John Howe and also with scenes from the movies. Notice the illustration of Helm’s Deep in the picture above.

We also mustn’t forget Daniel Reeve who did all of the calligraphy and the maps. You can see some samples of the work he did for the Appendices on his website. The link below takes you to the home page. From there, go to Calligraphy and then to The Lord of the Rings Calligraphy section.
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/



“This book theme is continued throughout the DVD, from the menu design to its movement. Presented as a table of contents and index, the film and its appendices are like pages from a book, and with a click of our remote, these pages turn with care, soft and easy. The DVD is indeed a reminder that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is first and foremost a literary work. It seems to be a thank-you, a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien and all that he made possible through his vision and life’s work.”
http://www.the-trades.com/article.php?id=1495

And, of course, Howard Shore’s music just tops everything off. I wasn’t able to find any information on the music used for the Appendices. So, if anyone has any information of any kind it would be greatly appreciated.

One final note. At the bottom center of the first page for each of the Appendices, between Index and Help, is an emblem. If you click on that emblem you will get a page titled DVD Credits, and each item on that page is a pick.

So, everything dealing with the Appendices in general, or extras of any kind in general, is open for discussion. Just to get things started, I’ve thought of a few questions.

QUESTIONS:

Do you normally watch DVD extras?

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?

Did you do the “Play All”?

Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?

It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?

Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?

FOR FURTHER READING:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3282842
About DVD extras.

http://www.northwestern.edu/magazine/northwestern/spring2004/alumninews/pellerin.htm
About Michael Pellerin.

http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2143
Pan down to DISC 3 - The Appendices Part 1 - From Book to Vision

http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA617666.html
Short review.


Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Mar 29 2009, 7:12pm

Post #2 of 42 (338 views)
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Bonus Features are always the best [In reply to] Can't Post

I like getting to see how things were made, the troubles, the obstacles that went in to making the movie, it's all so interesting. Yes, I've watched the Appendices countless times, and yes, I have hit the "Play All" button before. I've never seen the extras on the theatricals or limited editions, because having come into the movies late, I've only ever owned the Extended editions. The bonuses on the EEs are easily much better than other DVDs, it's very in-depth, and covers alot. The only thing I could say beats it in that case is King Kong, with all of its PDs.

What Could Have Been - an ongoing discussion of things that may or may not have been in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.


batik
Tol Eressea


Mar 29 2009, 7:37pm

Post #3 of 42 (322 views)
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here we go... [In reply to] Can't Post

QUESTIONS:

Do you normally watch DVD extras?
If the film/cast is really of interest, I do.


How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?
Not long--not sure but I may have watched at least some of the Appendices before watching each movie. Probably because I got the VHS versions a couple/few months before the DVDs came out and the movie was still fresh.

Did you do the “Play All”?
The first time? Don't remember. I have at some point though.

Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?
Nope.


How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?
Pffft. Nothing else comes close. Not that I've seen anyway.


It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?
Hmmm....sort of. In the cast/crew interviews this is more apparent to me.
FotR: everyone seems soooo excited (and rightly so), almost *atwitter* about the whole production. No detail too small to mention.
TTT: I get the sense, from the same interviews, of whew! this has been a ton of work, folks!
RotK: sigh...it's over! Alot of looking back on the journey.

Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.
Well, I haven't but certainly will the next time I watch. Thanks!

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on? The menus are *top shelf*.



Peredhil lover
Valinor

Mar 29 2009, 7:52pm

Post #4 of 42 (334 views)
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Was so looking forward to this! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
You only see the stuff put into the cut. There are thousands and thousands of hours of it that have never been seen. That, to me, is what has to be preserved so that people in 100 years can examine it.


Oooh - he can't mean to wait *that* long for publishing it!! I don't have another 100 years to wait for it!

I *absolutely* loved the design for the menus. They look artistically and fit so well with the whole rather medieval environment - every other menu I've seen so far was rather cheesy in comparison. I guess that usual type of menu was what originally had been planned and luckily did fail to please Peter Jackson Wink And the credits at the end of RotK were so great it made me cry even harder than I was already doing Crazy


Do you normally watch DVD extras?

Seldom. My standards have been set quite high, you know. And I don't watch many DVD anyway.

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?

Not very long at all, after I realized how great and interesting and informative they were. So, with TTT and RotK I just watched the movie and then the appendices.

Did you do the “Play All”?

Tried a few times, but was never able to watch all of it in one go, so I had to stop and start later again without that. Nasty RL kept interrupting.

Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?

For the theatrical, yes, don't own the limited ones. They were good, but the EE are still much better. For a more detailed answer, I'd first have to watch them again; it has been a while.

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?

My friend would say: A difference like day and night Wink
I've not watched many DVDs and making-ofs, but I have to admit, after watching the LotR EEs, the few others were quite disappointing. In every regard. The extend of information for LotR was just stunning! And for me with my pretty much nonexistent knowledge about filmmaking, a revelation.
Other DVD extras I've seen so far have paled in comparison.

It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?

Oh, hadn't thought of that before, but now that you said it ...

Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.

No, didn't notice Blush Always been too busy reading the subtitles. Only thought the background was as lovely as everything they did

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?

Well, as everything was new and interesting, I liked all of them. Could have been much more, as far as I am concerned Wink

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 29 2009, 10:06pm

Post #5 of 42 (323 views)
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to answer your questions... [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you normally watch DVD extras?
I don't know about 'normally'. I will always check to see what the extras are and I'm delighted when I think they add something to my understanding or enjoyment of the movie. That said, I'm not highly informed by a series of deleted scenes. Usually they don't add that much. And it seems to me there's a tendency to add blog entries on as dvd extras. Most of the stuff in those sorts of blogs aren't that interesting and are only intended to keep you hooked between episodes. It's probably only 10% (or less) of the extras that I think are worth my time. Additionally, extras are often (for series, esp) put on a separate disc. In that case, I usually won't rent them when I'm renting the series from Netflix


How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?
You mean, how long till I hit play? Well, how long did it take me to pry all the seals off the DVD?


Did you do the “Play All”?
Sometimes. But usually I like to know how many items I'm watching and where the delineation is between items. It's a control issue.


Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?
I have. I think they're different. The TEs more mainstream, promo related. The EEs more indepth. They each serve their purpose.


How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?
Is there any other movie that comes close? I can't name one. I think a few have had really top notch extras but not as many as the LOTR discs did.


It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?
Well, I certainly noticed that ROTK was all about endings and saying goodbye. They were often very hard for me to watch. I hadn't noticed that about FOTR & TTT. It makes sense and it's a nice touch. It shows organized thinking.


Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.
ooh yeah. The graphic designer in me went squee!


For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?
Really lovely. This segment of the movie franchise, the kind of graphic look of supporting materials, was very pleasing and satisfying to me.

And, of course, Howard Shore’s music just tops everything off. I wasn’t able to find any information on the music used for the Appendices. So, if anyone has any information of any kind it would be greatly appreciated.
uh... dangerous comment for me. I don't have any info. I might be tempted (now that you ask) to create a database but this comment, " Disc 3 alone [Appendices Part 1] ‘has about 1,000 menu pages" keeps me from considering it for long. I certainly would be willing to (attempt to) answer any direct question.




2009 Tolkien Computer Monitor Calendars
LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

(This post was edited by Magpie on Mar 29 2009, 10:07pm)


simplyaven
Grey Havens


Mar 30 2009, 12:51am

Post #6 of 42 (345 views)
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Good luck to the new thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

First, I`d like to thank you for this amazing post and for all the information in it. A big part of it is completely new to me. I won`t be able to get even close to what you`ve done here! Great job! And on your questions now :)

Do you normally watch DVD extras?

Not really. I don`t watch many DVDs.


How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?

As soon as I had finished the EEs, I started with the extras.


Did you do the “Play All”?

No, I usually jump from this to that and it would be impossible if I played them all. My mind makes weird associations sometimes and I love to follow them.


Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?

No.


How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?

There is no comparison at all.



It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?

They definitely do have thier own atmosphere. My most favourite is probably the FOTR although I prefer the TTT movie. However, the Appendices of FOTR are such a warm comfy green and autumn-like spot that I can hardly leave them.


Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.

No, I haven`t. Blush Time to watch the interviews again! Cool


For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?

I love it. Absolutely. It`s elegant, stylish, very Tolkien like, nothing to do with the crowded badly printed menus I`ve seen. It`s classy just like the movies are.

Culinary journey through Middle Earth continues! Join us on the Main board!

I believe


weaver
Half-elven

Mar 30 2009, 3:30am

Post #7 of 42 (301 views)
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Peter got what he wanted on here, too, didn't he? [In reply to] Can't Post

First -- Wow! Thanks for all of the background information and all of the links -- this is great!

I love it that Jackson was able to get exactly what he wanted for the packaging. I suspect that one of the things that made Jackson a good choice for LOTR is that he, like Tolkien, is a nitpicker about the things that matter to him. And they both seem to care a lot about little details others would brush aside -- Tolkien with wwords (as in it matters if you spell it dwarfs or dwarves), and Jackson with appearances (I won't sign off on these DVDs until you make them elegant!)

I particularly liked this quote you included:

“This book theme is continued throughout the DVD, from the menu design to its movement. Presented as a table of contents and index, the film and its appendices are like pages from a book, and with a click of our remote, these pages turn with care, soft and easy. The DVD is indeed a reminder that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is first and foremost a literary work. It seems to be a thank-you, a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien and all that he made possible through his vision and life’s work.”

I have not ever looked at all of the appendices, but just the way the menus are set up, the design of the booklets, etc. just felt "right" to me -- they have the same feel to them as Tolkien's book appendices, with all of the family trees and footnotes, and detail.

To answer some of your questions...

Do you normally watch DVD extras? -- No, but then again I own very few movies.

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices? -- Still haven't watched them all. Just scheduling time to watch the films a few times a year is tough, so to date I've only watched the parts of the appendices that have related to a discussion I was doing around here...

Did you do the “Play All”? -- I tried that once, but I fell asleep! It was just information overload...

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies? --
I watched part of the extras on a POTC DVD once, and found it really weak by comparison to LOTR.

Thanks for a great start to what I know will be a great series!


Weaver



Elven
Valinor


Mar 30 2009, 12:58pm

Post #8 of 42 (308 views)
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Im so appreciative of this .. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thankyou OhioHobbit Smile


QUESTIONS:

Do you normally watch DVD extras?

Yes, I do. Im not going to go on about it, but the LOTR EE commentaries have changed my life direction LOL!! and now I watch and listen to the commentaries on al the DVD's I watch - some dont have much, but the little extras are always welcome - though nothing compares to LOTR.
______

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?
As soon as I finished watching the films - though it took me a long time to get the DVD's as my computer was very old.
I had videos I wore out of the films - so watching the DVD extras and on a new computer was unbelievable.
______

Did you do the “Play All”?
Too man times ... Wink
and then had to watch all the chapters, and then go to the next disc ...
For two solid years the discs never left my computer table.

_______

Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?
Yes. There is a small amount of overlap and repositioning of some of the interviews which spans all editions - some of its pictures, some of its people talking.
Each set of versions has merit.
I like the theatricals for the music clips and the trailers ... Seans short film, the featurettes and the specials
The EE is just awesome in what it has to offer - I enjoy everything - nothing gets boring about it.
I enjoyed Costa Botes inclusion on the lEd versions as well.

________

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?
Its hard to compare others to it when the LOTR stands alone in uniqueness on this - they are educational and entertaining, they are exceptional.
Im not sure that others give as much, though in saying that Guillermo has a fantastic extras collection in the Hellboy series. Im cant wait to see what the Hobbit offers up!
______

It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?

Yes, certianly. We also watch people change and evolve as well. One of my favourite people to listen and watch is Philippa Boyens, the other is John Howe - he is fascinating to listen to. Another is Viggo and seeing his transformation through out the films. We see people grow in enthusiam and confidence - especially with the story and their place within it.
We watch amateurs become professionals - we becomes 'friends' with cast and crew.
We watch Andrew Lesnies hair grow out of control - we watch Mark Ordeskies hair fall out from stress. Wink
I understand that there is much more that goes on, and behind the scenes there are things we dont see, and things that we dont hear about. Ngila mentions some of them - the long hours away from family and friends, the personal cost of the commitment to the film from those involved, break-ups of relationships, deaths, walk-outs, conflicts, people on the brink Wink ... but there are also the funny times and the foolery. Throughout the 3 editions I think we get a hint of all this under the surface stuff going on - but I am honoured to share in what is such a awesome 'diary' of creative soup. And I might not notice these things if I didn't care about the process and the people who are that process and see it happening.

________

Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.
Aren't they beautiful. Another great detail which sets this apart.

________

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?
I think it was a job well done.
I loved the font created by Danielle Reeve - he did an wonderful job on any of the calligraphy work he was given.
and the props are appropriate and add to the beauty of the product,

______

Cheers
Elven x


Swishtail.

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

Avatar: Liberace - The other Lord of the Rings.

Quote of The Week: The thing is I always write in the morning, and I know that if I go to the Net I won’t write ... you can start in the most scholarly website and end up at Paris Hilton dot com .. GdT


(This post was edited by Elven on Mar 30 2009, 1:04pm)


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:22pm

Post #9 of 42 (293 views)
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If you ever get the chance . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

watch the limited editions extras. They are very “raw” compared to the EE extras, but they offer an additional insight because they are so raw.

I love the King Kong Production Diaries also. The Appendices were a whole new concept in DVD extras and the Production Diaries were still another whole new concept in DVD extras. I wonder what they will come up with next.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:24pm

Post #10 of 42 (283 views)
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Atwitter. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that atwitter describes them perfectly. I guess that each cast member was interviewed about 4 times each, except for Cate Blanchett who was interviewed only once.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:28pm

Post #11 of 42 (283 views)
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I don’t have another 100 years either. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Oooh - he can't mean to wait *that* long for publishing it!! I don't have another 100 years to wait for it!


I just can’t imagine all of the stuff that they must have recorded. I sure hope that we get to see at least some of it someday.

I am so glad that I got this opportunity to talk about the design of the menus. It is something that I have wanted to do for some time. I would like to be able to see what they originally came up with. It would probably make us appreciate what we have even more.

I don’t know if you have ever seen anything like this or not, but one of the things that I really dislike in some menus is where the menu has to put on some kind of little show when it first comes up and you can’t click on anything until it is done. You can’t even fast-forward past it, you have to sit there and watch it. It might be kind of cute the first time, but after that it can get to be really annoying.

I think that this is going to be a fun discussion. I’m anxious to start talking about the actual Appendices.

Movie Technical Discussion -- Index


OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:31pm

Post #12 of 42 (291 views)
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dangerous comment for me. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I certainly would be willing to (attempt to) answer any direct question.


Well, I don’t know if there is any information anywhere, but something that I was wondering about was if the music used for the menus was specially recorded just for the menus in order for it to fit, or were sections of music just lifted from the movies? Maybe a little of each? For example, the first item on Appendices Part 1 has the music from when everyone is arriving for the Council of Elrond. It plays for a while and then seems to come to a natural stop. I suppose that could be directly from the movie. I don’t know. I would be willing to just settle for an opinion.

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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:34pm

Post #13 of 42 (281 views)
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a warm comfy green and autumn-like spot. . . [In reply to] Can't Post

I know exactly what you mean. It is almost like a secret garden. Weta seems to be a much nicer place than my world. Over worked, but happy.

Thanks for the compliment, simplyaven. I think that this kind of “prolog” to the Appendices discussion is a whole different animal from the actual discussion. I wanted this post to be simpler, but I just didn’t see any other way to do it. If I do a regular Appendices post, and I probably will, it will be a whole lot simpler.

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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:39pm

Post #14 of 42 (282 views)
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I think that one way or another . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter always got what he wanted, luckily for us. Sometimes, just for fun, I try to imagine what the menus would look like if they had been done in the style of say Star Wars, or Star Trek, or Men in Black for example. Not that those are bad. In fact I think that they are cool in their place, but Lord of the Rings is no place for something like that. Anyway, you might have a Palantir in one corner with some scenes playing inside it and probably the Mirror of Galadriel in another corner with some scenes playing inside that. Maybe the ring on the pedestal in Rivendell with some scenes showing on the ring, maybe you have Legolas on the stairs of Moria with his bow drawn and when you click on him you follow the arrow to the orc’s forehead. Ooooo, one could have just all kinds of fun!

I particularly like the quote that you quoted me quoting. Say that three times real fast. Anyway, when I saw that, I just had to add it in. You know, the problem is not coming up with information, but rather trying to decide what to leave out, and there are tons that have to be left out if the post isn’t going to become a book or too much information taken from any one source.

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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 6:48pm

Post #15 of 42 (282 views)
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Mark Ordesky’s hair fall out from stress. [In reply to] Can't Post

That is hilarious! But True! We do become friends with the cast and crew and watch them change through the years. I think that these “polished” Appendices do shield us from most of the unpleasant things that happened liked you mentioned, break-ups of relationships, walk-outs, and so on. We do get a little. But that is OK with me. I am more interested in the creative process. One does come to care about these people though and I do find myself wondering about these things from time to time, like how did it affect this person to be away from home for so long and so on.

Alcarcalime and I once went to hear someone we watched on TV a lot speak at a local college. I turned to Alcarcalime and said, “This is weird. I have seen this person on TV so much that it feels perfectly normal to be sitting here looking at him like I have always known this person.” I wonder if I would feel the same if I could meet any of these people?

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Peredhil lover
Valinor

Mar 30 2009, 6:52pm

Post #16 of 42 (281 views)
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That original design [In reply to] Can't Post

would probably have left us cringing ... Crazy

These menus are worth talking about, really. They're just beautiful, and I do appreciate the extra work and effort that went into them so very much! They have been outdoing themselves, IMHO.

Btw, remembered talking to a friend once who was renting very many DVDs. She told me that she had never seen anything like these appendices anywhere and that they were really uncomparable.

Oh yes, I know what you are talking about. One of the few movies I've seen on DVD had an endless trailer at the beginning that was not to avoid and at first left me thinking there was the wrong DVD in the box (was one from the library, and it would not be the first time that an user put them back into the wrong box). After I realised that it was only a stupid trailer for an even more stupid movie, I was really annoyed.

Oh, I look forward *so much* to the upcoming discussions! Already created a new folder for the links to them! Smile

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.


Zmulady
Rohan

Mar 30 2009, 6:58pm

Post #17 of 42 (280 views)
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thanks for this OhioHobbit, here's my go [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Yes, I usually do watch any extras.
2. As soon as I got them. after watching the movie of course.
3. I hit play all. But it's kinda cool how you can do either.
4. I have watched the TE, but they are not even close to what you get in the EE's.
5. So far, I have not seen any movie extras that even compare to LOTR EE's.
6. No, I see them in order. Beginning to end.

Comment.... Since watching the EE's I have been more interested in what goes on in making a movie in general. They really taught you alot about ALL of it. I am so thankful that they made them!!


Thanks again OhioHobbit, and you too Hobbitlove, this is great!!


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 30 2009, 7:00pm

Post #18 of 42 (298 views)
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lol [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for that qualification. "I would be willing to just settle for an opinion." This is dangerous ground from me because I am so willing to succumb to temptation. Besides just tracking down all the clips (by calling up all the menu options), then recording the audio, then labeling it so I can tell what it's from, then organizing it in folders.... I'd then have to determine if it did, in fact, exactly match something from the actual soundtrack. If I couldn't find it, how could I know if I'd checked every possibility! You see, I have these stern talks with myself about what it doable.

My opinion is, it's all from the music scored for the movie. I've never seen any mention that Shore recorded music especially for the menus and I have heard this discussed in two instances: the Gondor theme for the ROTK and Bilbo's Song at the end of the ROTK Fan Club Scroll -- both of those *were* composed particularly for those uses. And the DVDs were being prepared at the same time the next movie was ramped up. It seems unlikely they'd ask Howard to stop scoring TTT, for example, in order to compose and record a bunch of 15 second pieces just for the menus... not to mention the time spent on the orchestra, recording facilities, etc.

I suppose it's possible that the some (or even all) of the menu music could have been from alternate takes of a recording session. Or some music composed for the movie but not used.

One source for an answer would be Doug. If he didn't know, he could always ask Howard. I think it's a good question.



2009 Tolkien Computer Monitor Calendars
LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 9:25pm

Post #19 of 42 (281 views)
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You know. . . [In reply to] Can't Post

that makes perfect sense. I guess I just needed to talk to someone about it or hear it from someone because it seems quite obvious now. I wouldn’t think that it would be very practical or necessary to record the music just for the menus. But, with so much said by so many people I was really surprised that I couldn’t find anything mentioned about the music.

Thanks, Magpie!

PS

Glad I left you a way out of temptation! Smile

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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 30 2009, 9:27pm

Post #20 of 42 (281 views)
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Thanks, Zmulady. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Since watching the EE's I have been more interested in what goes on in making a movie in general.


I don’t think that I thought that much about how movies are made before I saw these extras. I wonder how many people had an interest in movie making sparked by this. I bet a lot.

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Luthien Rising
Lorien


Mar 30 2009, 10:12pm

Post #21 of 42 (280 views)
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I love the extras! [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you normally watch DVD extras?

Not at all! In fact, almost never!

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?
Did you do the “Play All”?

I watched them slowly, shortly after getting each one, during lunch breaks from work (I work from home). It made for some wonderful days -- and made me *not* forget to eat my lunch.

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?

I've rarely been impressed with the extras for other movies. LOTR gives me what I *want* -- background, and detailed how-to's that involved interaction in filming them.

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?

One of the things I really did like was that if I left the menu on for a while, it remained a visual pleasure, and in keeping with the movie.



Lúthien Rising
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. / We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 30 2009, 10:38pm

Post #22 of 42 (277 views)
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I can tell you that... [In reply to] Can't Post

...in the earlier days of combing the score for themes, some people were noticing the music played in the menus and connecting them to scenes. I never found it very productive and didn't pay a lot of attention to it.

I can also say that sharp ears also heard unused music during certain extras on the dvds.

But most of those conversations are gone now. A lot were in an early forum I was on that got deleted when MSN groups went offline.



2009 Tolkien Computer Monitor Calendars
LOTR soundtrack website : FOTR Lyrics Update, Oct 2008
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Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 30 2009, 11:25pm

Post #23 of 42 (283 views)
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I admit [In reply to] Can't Post

to being distinctly uninspired to watch the 'sound' appendix - the idea of sound work on a film has always felt boring to me. Boy did that change when I watched that appendix! Who can't be inspired by dropping tonnes of concrete to the ground just to get the right 'bang'? So yes, I do have a great appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes of movie-making now, thanks to the LOTR EE appendices.

But I still think Foley workers have to be a little cuckoo to be stuck in a small room doing such exacting work.

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.


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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Mar 30 2009, 11:33pm

Post #24 of 42 (284 views)
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Some thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you normally watch DVD extras?

Only if they really interest me or if I love the movie. I'll listen to a commentary if I like the actors or watch a costuming extra if there is one.

How long did it take you to getting around to watching the LOTR EE Appendices?

I got the FOTR EE for Christmas in 2002. I watched the Appendices that evening, I believe.

Did you do the “Play All”?

I did at the time. I don't anymore. I don't have time to just run through them all and I'm usually looking for something special.

Have you watched the extras for the theatrical and limited editions? How do they compare with the extended-editions?

I've seen the TE and EE extras, not the LEs. The TE extras have some fun stuff, but I haven't watched them since I bought the EEs. The TV spots and interviews are interesting, but there's nothing new in them. It's all promotion stuff to draw you into the movies, nothing to keep you going after.

How do the LOTR EE extras compare with DVD extras for other movies?

I had never seen anything like them before! The only DVD I can think of that is even in the same league is the Kingdom of Heaven Extended Edition. It's also a four disc set with tons of extra scenes reintegrated in the movie. I have to believe Ridley Scott was influenced by PJ's example.

It seems to me that just as the three movies are a three act play, the extras are a three act play, also. On the extras for Fellowship everything seems to be all friendship and love. On TTT there seems to be more strife and contention. On ROTK it’s about the huge task, the insane, almost impossible rush, the climax, the payoff, and then the sad farewells. Do the Appendices for each movie seem to have their own “flavor” to you?

I agree that the extras are three parts of the same whole. Aren't the discs labelled that way, too? I'll have to check.

Have you noticed how on the backgrounds for the interviews each person has his/her own emblem? For example, the emblem for Viggo Mortensen in Fellowship is the crown of Gondor.

I noticed and it's a great touch! Even with the extras, these people were thinking about details!

For the menus, how well do you think they did in choosing the props, designing the layout, color scheme, lighting and so on?

I love the intro into the extras. It really draws you into the movies, unlike some menus that you just want to skip and get to the good stuff. I love linginering on just the menus, they're just another part of the movie for me.



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OhioHobbit
Gondor

Mar 31 2009, 12:43am

Post #25 of 42 (266 views)
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Foley workers a little cuckoo? [In reply to] Can't Post

Nooooo. Those two look perfectly normal to me. Crazy

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