Sign In

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit: turning a mediocre trilogy into one really good film — Page 2

Author
Time

I've started watching it, and I can see you've made a few of the same editing choices as I have. If I could offer some constructive criticism though, your audio cuts need a lot of work to not be jarring. When moving from one piece of music to another, the key is finding the right transition point. Transition in the wrong place, or between completely different pieces of music, and your fade ends up sounding like just that....a fade. And one where you can hear both pieces of music at the same time, which is jarring. Ideally you want it to sound like one seamless piece of music otherwise it's going to pull people out of the movie.

This is best accomplished by listening to both pieces of music and trying to find a point in both where the section might act as a bridge to the other piece. It might be a similar note in both (with the same instruments of course) or a percussive section that you can overlay over the end of the first piece so that it sounds like the orchestra is actually going into a different movement.

Author
Time

I did my best to cover the audio, even going so far as to use Howard Shore's soundtrack cues to make the fades smoother. For the most part I think it worked, but there are some transitions which are harder to cover up. Sometimes the action onscreen necessitates a cut sooner or later than the audio can realistically match.

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

It might be an idea to take a step back and just look at the two audio sections without being too constrained by the video. Obviously, you can't move the transition too far from your cut, but sometimes you'll find a perfect transition point that's just a little further back or ahead that either necessitates a slight trim to the footage, or filling the gap with something else.

I too have used the Howard Shore OST's in my project, and many times, I've got the audio right, only to find that there's then a small gap in my video that I never intended. Obviously as faneditors, our situation is rather unique, as any regular editor wouldn't be constrained in this way as they'd have access to the source video, but following these rules does ensure the product ends up far more polished. There's a generally held belief that audio is more important than video, and I happen to believe that's true. Our brains, are very good at detecting when something doesn't sound right. It's far more forgiving when it comes to visuals.

Author
Time

many times peter jackson goes way overboard.for example.the scene where they are sword fighting while standing on dwarfs heads who are in barrels going down a strong river current.that is just too much and ridiculous.way too far fetched.anyways i would remove that scene.

"you make a living by what you get,but you make a life by what you give"           winston churchill

Author
Time

...and when Legolas defies physics by running up the pieces of a crumbling staircase... I know it's a fantasy, but again that's just overboard

Author
Time

That's funny because I remember hearing how when "The Fellowship of the Ring" came out, PJ was so intent on "dialing down" the magic effects to make it seem "more realistic." I guess it's all relative.

Author
Time

I am happy to share this all-new side quest film, called Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery! It will serve as a companion piece to my main fanedit, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. This film focuses on Gandalf's investigation into Dol Guldur, along with showing more of Thorin's back story. While I felt that these subplots were too distracting in the theatrical releases of The Hobbit, now they actually work quite well on their own. Just like my main fanedit, this is only the first version of Durin's Folk...I imagine there will be more relevant footage to add once the BOFA EE is released in November!

https://vimeo.com/130716015

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

eldusto84 said:

I am happy to share this all-new side quest film, called Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery! It will serve as a companion piece to my main fanedit, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. This film focuses on Gandalf's investigation into Dol Guldur, along with showing more of Thorin's back story. While I felt that these subplots were too distracting in the theatrical releases of The Hobbit, now they actually work quite well on their own. Just like my main fanedit, this is only the first version of Durin's Folk...I imagine there will be more relevant footage to add once the BOFA EE is released in November!

https://vimeo.com/130716015

 Damnit!!  It has Thrain in it!  Deal breaker for me.

Author
Time

Great trailer! Roll on December, I am looking forward to seeing the final epic edit!

Author
Time

Awesome work! Can't wait to watch the whole thing!!

Cheers,
Kevin

Author
Time

After more than two years of work, I am very excited to have completed the final version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, a massive re-edit of Peter Jackson’s massive trilogy. I won’t bore you with a specific cutlist here…if you want to read that you can visit my webpage for the details. Like many others, I wanted to see a version of The Hobbit that was closer to the spirit of Tolkien’s book. This is that film.

Many of you probably saw or heard of “The Tolkien Edit” when it was released last year. That was not my fan edit. It was hastily assembled and had very poor audio/visual quality, especially since the editor used a pirated DVD screener copy of Battle of Five Armies as his source. A guy named David Killstein released his own edit shortly after that, called “There and Back Again.” It had better editing, but the technical quality was still poor. Regardless, both of these edits grabbed a lot of attention because they were the first Hobbit fan edits out of the gate, and it showed people that it was possible to cut a 9-hour trilogy in half (or more) and still make sense.

So if you liked those edits, you will LOVE this version. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been created using only the highest-quality media available- full HD Bluray and 5.1 surround sound. Working with 5.1 has given me far more options for audio editing than a simple stereo track. Here’s just a sample of some of the work I’ve done on the film.

  • A 532 minute trilogy cut to a single 247 minute film
  • Well over 600 actual edits and trims made
  • An Intermission splits the film in half, at the exact point where Peter Jackson originally intended to split the Hobbit when it was still two films.
  • Overall, the film remains focused on Bilbo and the dwarves.
  • Unnecessary subplots, characters, and CGI silliness have been jettisoned. That means no Tauriel.
  • Color corrected in several sequences to match LOTR’s visuals more.
  • Numerous digital alterations, including a new opening title, gold coating removed from Smaug, Radagast erased from an eagle flyover shot, etc.
  • Orc subtitles altered to explain plot adjustments
  • Several unused music cues by Howard Shore have been re-inserted in key scenes, including the famous Misty Mountains theme that was abandoned after AUJ.
  • Various scenes from the Extended Editions have also been added where needed. Yes, Thorin’s funeral is in here.

SO. If you’d like to watch this fan edit, I only ask that you legally own all three films in advance. It’s only fair to the copyright holders, regardless of how you feel about the original films.

Right now you can enjoy the HD digital copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but in the next week or so you will be able choose from DVD or Bluray ISO files. They will both be 2-disc sets with custom artwork (available for free on my site). They will feature 5.1 digital surround sound, interactive menus, the whole shebang. Eventually I plan to add subtitles in multiple languages…several people have volunteered to help translate already! Finally, I’ll include a side quest film called Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery on the special features. It’s an hour-long film that follows the Dol Guldur subplot and how it ties into the dwarves’ backstory. This subplot actually works a lot better when it’s not distracting from the main story of the Hobbit!

Phew, long post. I’ve said it many times since I began working on this edit, but buried somewhere underneath the uneven, bloated Hobbit trilogy is a truly great film. For me at least, I have finally found that film. Hopefully you’ll think so too!

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

I just finished watching this entire new release, and I gotta say, absolutely phenomenal work!!!
Everything flowed extremely nicely, and your cuts were practically seamless the entire way through. Honestly, this is going to be my go-to edition to watch from here on out. (And I am someone who is fonder than most of the original movies.)

I highly encourage anyone else curious about this project to go check it out for yourselves!

If I had any personal differences it would be the following:
-The White Council Scene. I thoroughly enjoy this scene, so I was sad to see it go. Of course, given the direction and focus of your edit, it makes complete sense why you’ve cut it (and it focuses on the Morgul Blade, which wouldn’t work in your edit). However, I feel that there could be a place for the scene just between Gandalf and Galadriel. That exchange where Gandalf explains his reasoning for choosing Bilbo is a nice little gem.

-Tauriel. I am totally fine with the complete removal of the Fili/Tauriel romance – I didn’t miss it in your edit at all. But I would have liked to have seen just a tiny bit more of her. You have some nicely curated shots of Legolas fighting here and there (such as during the barrel sequence), and it might’ve been nice to swap one or two of them with her killing some orcs – if for no other reason than to show some different elves, and not JUST Legolas kicking ass.

But really, those are SUPER minor things, and only my humble opinion. So once more, congrats on completing your cut of the trilogy. It is fantastic.

P.S. I’m also looking forward to the “Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery” side film and seeing how that subplot flows when it’s given the main focus!

Author
Time

Hello! I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time… ever since I left the theater for an unexpected journey 3 years ago. However I’m wondering if you’re aware of the Spence edit of the film that was released earlier this year? His is an hour shorter than yours, although it doesn’t contain any of the intense digital/audio reworking you seem to have done here. Do you know what yours contains that his doesn’t?

Author
Time

Is there any ETA on the bluray iso? Love the work you’ve done.

Author
Time

Really looking forward to the bluray iso

Author
Time

I would like to know if your Bluray version preserves the 24p framerate of the original as its very distracting seeing the 60fps pulldown on your digital copy.
I guess it comes from living in the UK where we have had PAL speedup instead of pulldown, but Im totally not used to pulldown! Although I have now come to hate PAL speedup too!

Author
Time

lotrjw said:

I would like to know if your Bluray version preserves the 24p framerate of the original as its very distracting seeing the 60fps pulldown on your digital copy.
I guess it comes from living in the UK where we have had PAL speedup instead of pulldown, but Im totally not used to pulldown! Although I have now come to hate PAL speedup too!

What are you talking about? The mp4 file comes at a clean 23.976 frames per second:

Minion

Author
Time

You arent wrong but for some reason when I play it it plays at 60fps? somewhere pulldown is happening there must be a flag on it!

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Hey Eldusto84,

Just for the hell of it, I took a stab at re-inserting Galadriel back into your cut. I used the Extended Edition Blu-ray as my source for the Galadriel footage. It was more of a proof of concept than anything else, just to see if it would work. Here’s my edit list:

-Extended Gandalf and Elrond’s walk up to the council area, and into the introduction of Galadriel, but cut away before Saruman is introduced.
-Used music from “The White Council - Extended Version” track to smooth audio transition back to Bilbo walking around Rivendell.
-When Bilbo & the Dwarves leave Rivendell, return back to scene with Gandalf & Galadriel.
-Cut out Galadriel’s line that refers to the Morgul Blade.
-Transition back to Thorin & Co. travelling.
-I did a super-quick color correction to attempt to bring the Blu-ray footage closer to what you have done, but it still needs work to get it to match properly.

This clip encompasses all the above-mentioned tweaks:
https://vimeo.com/148841030

Of course I understand these suggestions are a day late and a dollar short. I’m sorry I missed out on your April edit when you were still accepting suggestions, and I only discovered your work when your final version was released. So I certainly don’t expect you to make any changes to your film before you release the blu-ray iso. Besides, you might not even agree with my suggestion, and that’s totally fine! But once you do release the iso, I might make an attempt at re-inserting these changes and re-author the Blu-ray for my own personal copy.

EDIT: It seems like everyone in your comment section over at Maple Films has their opinion on what they’d like to see tweaked… so I apologize if my voice is simply fuel for that fire. No fanedit is going to be perfect for everyone, and I just want to once again commend you on your outstanding work!

Author
Time

I’ve only skimmed through the Spence edit so I can’t comment on the differences between our versions. I have to say that he also did a very good job in general with transitions and such however. I don’t think he was trying to remain faithful to the book as much as he was just trying to make a better film overall. My version aims to do both!

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

Bluray/DVD ISO files are in the works. I’m honestly waiting on subtitles to be finished by the people who volunteered to do them. Arggh. I hate waiting on other people, lol.

As for a specific timeframe, I dunno. I’d like to say before Christmas but we’ll see. I need to light a fire under my subtitlers.

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

Hi Gecko, that’s great that you were able to splice in the Galadriel footage! You are right that it’s a bit late for my version however. Personally I cut her out because she wasn’t in the book, and I wanted to save any White Council-related footage for my side quest edit, Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery.

The main reason I cut that scene with her and Gandalf is that I found it to be too preachy. I hate how Gandalf literally turns to the camera and delivers a lecture to the audience…it’s unbelievably cloying and out of place. BUT, that’s just my own opinion and I like how you worked the footage back into my cut. I certainly encourage you to make your own version based off mine 😃

JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit

http://www.maple-films.com/the-hobbit-fanedit

Author
Time

eldusto84 said:

… Gandalf literally turns to the camera and delivers a lecture to the audience…

Lol!