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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit: the original two-film structure
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Aug 18 2017, 7:24pm

Post #26 of 28 (1185 views)
To answer your question [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, again, for your continued in depth discussion. It means a lot that someone would take their time to write this out for me.

To answer your question about the soundtrack. While I hardly changed the soundtrack throughout the two films, the battle scenes are the exception. I felt that many of the battle scenes in LotR were so gripping because the sound design allowed the musical score to be dominant. In the end, no matter how the battle is going, it is just shots of soldiers and heroes killing orcs. These are emotionally captivating because Howard Shore's music gives them emotion and connects one shot to the next one. Both in the battle of helm's deep and the battle of Minas Tirith, whenever there is a sequence of men simply fighting, there is a clear musical theme running over the sequence that gives it its emotional range.

The Hobbit also has 2 of these sequences, one where the battle seems lost and the other where the dwarves break out of erebor. In the rest of the battle, there often is no music, and when there is, it has no clear melody. In re-editing several of the sequences completely, such as the beginning of the battle, I had to create an entirely new surround mix out of the given sounds, and so had the opportunity to mix in several of the main themes from the soundtrack over these scenes. This might explain why, especially in the battle, you experienced the music differently.

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death, rode the six hundred.
'Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.

Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred.

Michelle Johnston

Aug 18 2017, 9:58pm

Post #27 of 28 (1170 views)
The Eucatastrophe [In reply to] Can't Post

The very first time I saw the BOFA from the moment Thorin strides towards Azog it felt like a clicking into gear. The choreographing of the over complicated battle sequence was over this was intuitive film making.


As we arrive at that point with the progress of the battle clearly laid out Thranduil withdrawn, Bard elevated and Dain committed the showdown begins beautifully choreographed (echoing Fingolfin's fatal confrontation with Morgoth and for film buffs the 2012 denouement between Bond and his villain in Skyfall).

Everyone is red hot from this point onwards Armitage, Freeman and Sir Ian find performances which fit the importance of the occasion.

So what is different Beorn and Thorin from the EE are in and Thranduil from the T E is out. A small change but one which moves the stories denouement in the direction of a Dwarven one told by Bilbo where we merely receive hints of elsewhere which is entirely how the story should be told.


This is highly subjective but when the credits rolled on the home entertainment system I felt as I had done in the past about the LOTR eminently watchable very emotional and a sense of special journeying whose ending made you feel the films were a gift. Not perfect some odd moments but yielding much more than detracted and THAT is the gift of this edit because I never expected to watch the source material ever again that is how far this work travels for me.

This edit does not create nirvana, where is the entirely innocent journey to Rivendell, a really grown up Quest For Erebor company with the dialogue hinted at by Tolkien himself and a nephew heir to Thorin who fits with that narrative and whom enters into the kind of powerful relationship with an Elf that genuinely echoed Andreth and Felagund, Radagast at the council and withdrawing to Aman, Beorn at Dol Guldur, the confrontation between Galadriel and Sauron over Mithrandir, the horrific visions of the Palantir, the story of Thranduil's wife, Bilbo discovering the secrets of the Elven Kingdom and the feast of starlight, the curious relationship between Azog and Bolg and the origins of the Boldog's, the interiors of Gundabad and the truth of Thrors, Thrains and Thorins madness, the geo political zenith of the story where all come to Thorins funeral and Gandalf's designs are revealed , the epilogue with ravishing images of a rebuilt Dale and Erebor, but we do have the returned hero uncomfortable restless changed for ever and from a journey I want to make again and again. Thank you sounds ridiculously inadequate for someone who for forty years has wanted this story grown toward the rings.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

Michelle Johnston

Aug 19 2017, 12:30pm

Post #28 of 28 (1117 views)
Musical Chairs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you. One of the strange matters about how this came about is I was interested to see what the reaction to Christopher's Book was (Beren & Luthien). I noticed your thread and watched the trailer which suggested something special.

I haven't sat down and watched the films, other than for my own project, since I saw the final one at the Embassy in Wellington 2 1/2 years ago so frankly I was quite capable of complimenting an element which had not changed but my perspective had !

So anything I notice is entirely instinctive rather than driven by an agenda.

It is notable that you included the scenes with Thrain and the Prancing Pony which belong to the 3 film construct but left out Scene 88 the Warg attack which belonged to the 2 film construct so again no dogmatism just how to make the story work.

In my previous post I mentioned a range of issues which was not intended to be a response to your work (you dealt with the materials you had at your disposal) but to emphasise that the film makers as both script writers and and editors left many of their own excellent ideas out as well as some of Tolkien's and matters which were worthy of asking the question of.

I particularly liked your remark about "its shots of hero's and soldiers killing orcs". Action has to be about story and character and contain the capacity for a visceral response, action if one (or both sides) of the equation are CGI constructs can work if the story moves along but if it is simply experiential where nothing changes and there is no evolution of story or character someone will come along and say, lift that out take it away and see if it makes a difference. This edit indicates to me it does but not in the way negative criticism works, If presented with care and a real understanding of the story it means what is left grows.

Finally what I notice about opinions of franchise movies with strong fan bases is people talk a good deal about best and worse scenes and of course those on opposite sides use examples from each to explain their point of view. But when I come away from a film, a book, play or a symphonic work it is the whole journey that I relate to I wonder in this smart phone age of sound bites its affecting peoples capacity to make the journey and view it as such, what you have recognised by avoiding dogma, agenda and focusing on story it is the latter is where ultimate fulfilment comes from.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

(This post was edited by Michelle Johnston on Aug 19 2017, 12:34pm)

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