It is with some nervousness that I present another fanedit of what I think is the most fanedited franchise after Star Wars.
After years of watching all the single-movie Hobbit edits I could find, looking for the match to my personal taste, I eventually fell down the rabbithole of making my own. This edit has been an on-and-off, year-long journey of discovery for me. I have caught the fanediting bug and am casting about for a new project now that I have done everything to The Hobbit that I can think of. I thought the community might be interested in the result.
Now with demo clip: Durin’s Day, simplified: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytWT1Y2yXII
Also 70% Troll Snot Reduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7gLn8p8jYo
Clocking in at just under 2:30 (2:28 in fact!) this is the second-shortest single-movie Hobbit edit that I’ve come across, second only to FekketCantenel’s 2-Hour Hobbit Edit, which was definitely an inspiration. My goal was to create a single movie within the runtime of a theater release that would tell a dang good story from Tolkien’s work.
To that end, my priories in order have been:
- Pacing, pacing, pacing
- Making sense for viewers without much Tolkien exposure, especially for secondary threads and relevant bits of lore.
- Natural visual and auditory flow between scenes (sound editing is hard!)
- Removing artificial tension and streamlining the story so that the actual tension can shine.
- Highlighting charming scenes, good performances, and gems from the book.
- Drawing out non-slapstick levity where possible.
Regarding secondary threads, I’ve tried to answer questions such as:
- What is Elvenking Thranduil’s problem anyway?
- What is Dale and why does it matter? Aren’t the Men living in Laketown?
- Bard is who again? A smuggler? Wait, now someone’s calling him ‘sire’? I tried to give Bard in particular a full character arc and a final sendoff.
Thematically, I consider The Hobbit to be an action-adventure buddy movie. The evolving relationship between Bilbo and Thorin is drawn to the forefront wherever possible.
One feature of this edit that I haven’t seen in other edits is a detailed “copy-editing” pass that targets pregnant pauses, meaningful glances, repeated lines, beating a point to death, excessive foreshadowing, and gags stepping on their own punchline. I think the bloat is particularly hard on comedic timing, though there are some places where tightening really helps dramatic timing as well.
Of note: I have usurped FekketCantenel’s brilliant musical flashback. Once I saw the backstory presented this way, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. That is her work and the work of Clamavi di Profundis (music and music video) except for the Elven lords verse, which I reworked.
I don’t actually know how to post a clip to YouTube. I’ll look into that. Scenes I am particularly proud of are:
The opening of the door into the mountain. I’ve removed all the artificial tension running around (i.e. confusion over moonlight vs. sunlight, despair, dropping and losing the key) and turned it into a triumphant moment where the sun sets, the thrush knocks, the keyhole is revealed, and the Dwarves line up in silent emotion. We don’t need tension and confusion here. We’re about to go visit a dragon. Audio on this scene gave me fits.
Bard vs. Smaug. This is cut as a solo man vs. monster moment. There is no special arrow, no son appearing, and no broken bow. It is just Bard against the dragon in a flaming town, and Bard is down to his last arrow. I think this is plenty nail-biting on its own.
The Unexpected Party got a lot of attention. I tried to keep it from dragging while milking as much lightheartedness from it as I could.
There is 70% snot reduction in the Troll scene.
Other bits that are not unique: All plots have been cut except the journey to and battle for the Lonely Mountain. Azog has been removed until the Battle of Five Armies, where he goes unnamed except for one spot I couldn’t figure out how to remove.
So, that’s the long description. I will send download link on request. That’s the official way this is done, right?
It’s a 5G 1080p mp4.
The Hobbit: Back Once Again