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***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: From book to Script: Finding the Story**

Wraith Buster
Gondor


Feb 1 2011, 4:23am


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***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: From book to Script: Finding the Story** Can't Post

Okay. Its my first discussion topic ever! I hope that my questions don’t get off the subject and that everything is interesting and thought provoking.Smile


Sincerely,
Wraith Buster


Book to Script: Finding the Story


It starts with Peter Jackson telling us that shooting a trilogy is a great experience but there are drawbacks. The middle chapter, he says is one of the worst.


Mark Ordesky the Executive Producer explains that the Two Towers script was always going to be somewhat sacrificed because Fellowship was the first film and Return of the King actually had an ending.


Fran and Phillipa felt bad when they sat down and realized that there had been a lot of neglect going on in the script of the Two Towers. Phillipa says that it was the toughest of the three stories for her as a script-writer.


Pete looked at the “no beginning” in Two Towers as sort of a blessing because he didn't have the difficulty as he did in Fellowship of developing and introducing the main characters.


TT was a very different structure because the Fellowship was already together. Plus it follows three different story lines of the groups of characters that they are filming.


[FOTR] is a linear very strait forward road movie” - PJ


Viggo comes on screen and explains how when Tolkien was asked about writing obstacles in TT he said he had created many narrative debts by that point where TT begins and the only way to pay those debts was to make things even more complicated than they already were. Pete was in the same boat even though he had thought of certain solutions to that problem and the books. He had to also keep people interested in all three story lines and not get lost in the amount of important characters.


It was easy to not put Shelob in TT. Pete knew it right from the word ‘go’.’ - Phillipa


They could not undercut the huge climax of Helms Deep with the huge climax of Shelob. If they were going to try to put them in the same movie it would essentially demand too much emotion and become a mish-mash story. Both climaxes would cancel each other out. Plus it was not accurate to what Tolkien wrote. Although the chapter Shelob’s Lair was in TT it would not be the right chronologically. At the time Sam and Frodo are confronting Shelob the same moment the siege of Minas Tirith is taking place. Its not happening when Helms Deep is being fought.


Do you think the decision above was good on the part of the writers and Peter?


Faramir had to become an obstacle because after all Frodo and Sam had been through it then seemed to the writers like “a journey to where and to what?” That is why Faramir takes them to Osgilioth.


Is there another way you can think of that would have been better to refocus Frodo and Sam other than Faramir taking them as prisoners?


David Wenham came onto set not having read the book but the script had been written by that time and he read that. When David read the book he noticed a major change in Faramir’s character and confronted Phillipa, Fran and Peter about it. That is when they gave their reasons for the change.


They thought the character should go along a different journey” - David


Was this a wise move?


The main reason for this was to make the tension stronger.


It’s not just the impact that Faramir in the book would have on Frodo and Sam it’s the impact that the character would have on the Ring.” - Phillipa


All the way through the films they were establishing that the Ring is tearing up the mind of the main character even though he is trying his best to combat it and that the Ring is dangerous. Also Gollum, was totally controlled by it. Then Faramir says he would not pick it up if it was by the wayside. If you were to have Faramir come to that realization from the start of the film it could have totally stripped the Ring of its power.


Does Gollum’s situation show enough of an example of the Ring’s power over the characters? Was this change necessary?


What you see in Faramir as a character in the movie is that he is a young man who sees his chance to “show his quality” and to maybe earn a bit more of his father’s respect and love. Then after what he has gone through seeing evil and what the Ring did to Boromir he is able to give up the Ring.


Is that a journey you could relate to? Do you think that Faramir’s decision to give up the Ring was influenced by seeing it’s evil or was his turning point on hearing of the real reason for Boromir’s death? Were there more reasons than just those two for him giving up the Ring? If so, what?


There are more scenes of Faramir in the Extended Edition.


Do these scenes help you understand why the changes came about?


A thing that happened a lot in the script write was swapping lines from the book that were said by a certain character and giving it to another. One of these in particular is Gandalf’s line from in the book when Eowyn is in the houses of healing. That line was given to Grima Wormtounge. They wanted a scene where people could see how perceptive Wormtounge is and also how bizarrely connected he is to what Eowyn is feeling.
Phillipa says to her the importance of a speech is not who says it but that someone says it in the movie.


After reading Phillipa’s comment above what are your thoughts about a quote from Gandalf being given to Grima?


Tom Bombadil is like the guardian of living things. He’s not in the movies but they wanted to honor him. That is why they gave some of his lines from the book to Treebeard.


Is there a character that could have said Tom’s lines better or was Treebeard the best choice?


The battle, as Peter recounts, is not so much the hard part but the build up to the battle that is important. I haven’t seen the movie Zulu but Peter talks about how the first half hour of the film is all build up to a battle that happens in the middle of the movie. In the battle of Helms Deep PJ explains that he wanted to show how the odds were staked against all the good people. By all rights the Urk Hai should have won the battle.


Do you think there is sufficient build up to the battle of Helms Deep? As a side, do you think that the speech by Theoden when he is putting his armor on before the battle adds to the film?

The battle for Helms Deep is a very dark hour but every dark hour has a glimmer of hope in it. The elves giving one last piece of assistance Peter says is romantic as it is given right before they leave Middle Earth and it is given to the race of Men. Something they were trying to do in this was honor the spirit of the old alliance from the prologue.


While Haldir and the other elves could leave (or not have even come) they stay because they care about Middle Earth. Does this add to the movie? Did they nail the spirit of the alliance in the prologue or did it seem like a filler to the battle at Helms Deep?


People that know that the elves don’t come to Helm’s Deep cheered in the theater when they turned up.


What do you think the reason is for this reaction from the crowd in the theater?


The one problem with Arwen and Aragorn was how to keep a romance going when two characters are at totally different geographical areas. Their solution – bring Arwen into Helm's Deep to try to make a connection between her and Aragorn.
Once it was all over the net, objections from fans went up immediately.


There seem to be a lot of good reasons for objections to this scene but what would be some positive thoughts on keeping this in the film?


Arwen in Helms Deep survived for a while in the New Line version. In fact, it survived long enough for Liv Tyler to come to New Zealand and be trained in sword fighting and horseback riding. She did come to New Zealand and worked with a trainer for a couple hours a day to polish her skills in these things. All of this was done to make sure that if she was in the film at this scene she would be the courageous fighter like all elves are capable. After all of this though, Rick Porris said that while they were on set filming it, it just wasn’t working and had to be changed.


Would you have liked to see Arwen fighting at Helms Deep? There is a lot of confrontation about Eowyn who actually went out to fight in the book, being “feminist” or getting feminist jabs in. Would this have been “over the top” as far as too many women being at battles? Do you think it would have added anything in any way to the romance between Arwen and Aragorn since they weren’t even talking to each other? In other words, would it have been “worth it” if they would have chosen to use it?


In the end of all this though, they stayed true to the book and integrated the appendices into the films to add to the story of Arwen and Aragorn.


Does this give you any more hope for the two Hobbit films coming out in 2012 and 2013?


Tolkien said that the appendices about Aragorn and Arwen were the most important to him personally.


Why do you think Tolkien put those characters’ interaction in the appendix instead of adding it to the story? Why do you think these parts of the story meant so much to Tolkien?


You don’t have to put a sword in her [Arwen’s] hands to make her strong.” - Liv Tyler


What are some points of Arwen’s character that make her strong even without a sword? Do you think Phillipa, Fran and Peter portrayed these well in the trilogy?


A solution to the problem that Arwen and Aragorn could not be together through most of TT took the crew more than a year to figure out. They came to the conclusion that flashbacks would be a great way to get them together even though they are apart without having to add a new element that wasn’t in the book such as the Helms Deep scene.


Was this a good solution? Some things influence film more than is realized. Lighting and focus is a main part of the emotion in a scene. Do you think they should have changed anything minor like that to give it a surreal feel or did that not go along with the real life personal interaction they wanted?


Another challenge in TT was to make an emotional fulfilling climax for the end of the movie. There was a disadvantage in TT to making a climax in that there were no main characters who died, where in FOTR both Boromir and Gandalf die. That is why they decided to go with an action climax - Gandalf and Eomer charging at the Urk Hai army. One of the other climaxes in the movie is for Sam and the Ringbearer. Frodo and Sam’s mission had to become dangerous. When Frodo turns on the one closest to him, Sam, and nearly kills him at Osgilioth Sam has to snap him out of it. It makes Sam get stronger in the sense that Frodo is starting to fade away.


Do you think Frodo’s slow deterioration of his will shown when he pulls Sting on Sam created a sort of loss that isn’t really associated with death but makes a part of their journey seem empty?
Does the charge give the battle a feeling of completion?


They wanted to bring up the concept of tales and “old stories”. It was also an opportunity for them to draw in the whole of the tale and make it complete. Phillipa also mentions that TT is all about holding on. Not just for the characters but for the fans.


Folk in those stories had many chances of turning back - only they didn’t. They kept on going because they were holding onto something.”


What does Sam’s speech at Osgilith show you of his strength and will to hold on? Does what Sam say apply to all of life, even in this world?


At this point Fran and Phillipa wrote themselves into a corner. “So what are they holding onto?” They finally found a brilliant answer with amazing truth.


There is some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and its worth fighting for.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bustin' makes me feel good!!

I do believe if our honorable friend continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel for objections he is in danger of getting splinters under his fingernails.

Have you heard nothing of the stubbornness of dwarves and their elf
instigators?

The dark spybot will not avail you, flame of Ubuntu!



(This post was edited by Wraith Buster on Feb 1 2011, 4:24am)

Subject User Time
***TTT-EE Appendices Discussion: From book to Script: Finding the Story** Wraith Buster Send a private message to Wraith Buster Feb 1 2011, 4:23am
    The middle is sometimes the best part... One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Feb 1 2011, 4:53pm
        I second that emotion! BallyWhooo Send a private message to BallyWhooo Feb 1 2011, 8:44pm
    Nice debut! weaver Send a private message to weaver Feb 2 2011, 1:08am
        Thanks Weaver! Wraith Buster Send a private message to Wraith Buster Feb 3 2011, 3:31am
    Arwen's role Ardamírë Send a private message to Ardamírë Feb 5 2011, 2:53am
    Good first topic Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Feb 6 2011, 10:03am

 
 
 

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