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The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition ❖ FIRST TEASER NOW ONLINE ❖ — Page 2

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March update

Day job is still insanely busy, although I’ll be pulling less overtime once daylight savings ends here. I’ve had very positive feedback from a few friends who’ve seen the day-for-night grade, but I’m not ready to upload a preview of the sequence as yet. I’ll include several examples of the grading in the final trailer, which I’ll make once I’ve reached picture lock on the whole movie. I’ve got a way to go yet; the end of the film in particular is still very much up in the air. Updates to the various chapters below.

Vanity plates:
I may want to create a new “Roccondil Rínon” plate in light of ET’s concerns about using an OT.com one.

Prologue:
May need some slight grading touches.

An Unexpected Party:
May need a bit of attention to the sound at transitions.

Misty Mountains song:
Day-for-night grading 95% complete. May yet move around a handful of shots.

Opening titles:
Draft rendered for pacing purposes; music edits done. No point locking until the film’s complete.

Roast Mutton:
Could potentially use some further cutting. Might do some grading experiments as well.

A Short Rest:
Not complete, but in much better shape than before. Need to do some work with sound and narration as well as the editing itself.

Over Hill and Under Hill:
A few small cuts; more may be required for time.

Riddles in the Dark:
Some minor tidying up required towards the end.

Out of the Frying-pan, Into the Fire:
Orcs cut completely, without sacrificing continuity, but the scene now feels less personal as a result, and loses all focus on Bilbo. I may eventually have to cut the whole sequence after all. If so, the edited version will show up as a deleted scene on the blu-ray.

Queer Lodgings:
Cutting the eagles would also make the arrival at Beorn’s more manageable.

Mirkwood:
I may need to trim it down for time, but that will have to come later, when I’ve a better idea of whether I need to lose more time and how much.

The Wood-Elves:
I’d like to at least have the option to use the deleted scene where the dwarves meet Thranduil, but I fear I won’t be able to manage the level of FX required. I would still like to reinstate the Tauriel scene, but as it is it’s not working.

Barrels Out of Bond:
May need some work for pacing and (haha) flow, but I’m cutting almost the entire thing so I’ve got heaps of options.

A Warm Welcome:
It looks like the song I wanted to insert here won’t work, but I’m mostly ok with the sequence itself.

On the Doorstep:
Colour grading a massive success here. Would like to incorporate a CG thrush if I can find one, or for that matter footage of a real one if I can extract it. The only green-screen clip I’ve been able to find is of one sitting and singing, not flying.

Inside Information:
I may yet want to regrade the inside of the mountain to be less green. Pretty happy with the cut itself, though.

Smaug the Magnificent:
The shot of Smaug leaving the mountain ended up being easy to cut.

Intermission:
The entr’acte needs a little work to make the music flow smoothly.

Fire and Water:
I may trim this down a little more, but the only major thing left to do (althoough it’s a doozy) is to paint out Bain in one shot where I can’t crop him out and can’t cut the shot. I also want to add in a few shots at the beginning from the second film. Finally, I haven’t decided how best to deal with the on-screen title: I don’t want to cut the music or the shot short, but I don’t know how to paint it out. I’d hoped that I’d be able to combine elements from foreign-language versions of the film to complete the backdrop, but it looks like they don’t change the title on-screen.

The Gathering of the Clouds:
Needs some editing work for pacing and time, but nothing too technical. I’ve cut the reveal that Bilbo in fact has the Arkenstone, saving it for him giving it to Bard.

The Clouds Burst:
The battle is definitely in first-draft shape, and will almost certainly be cut a bit more. I’d like to reincorporate the deleted scene with Bilbo planting the acorn if I can. I understand why it was cut, but I like it.

King Under the Mountain:
The End of the Beginning, as I’ve said before, works perfectly here. I haven’t yet put together the flashback montage; unlike the rest of the film, this segment will be effectively cut to music (as well as the audiobook narration), and I haven’t yet settled on what music to use. The structure of the scene will also depend significantly on whether I end up having to cut the Eagles’ appearence in act one.

The Return Journey:
The trimming of this part is pretty much done (including an Adywan-style reordering of Gandalf’s farewell scene to restore how it seems to have been originally scripted and shot). However, it ends abruptly, due to my elminination of Old Bilbo; the transition into the epilogue will need to be done after it’s at least in a presentable draft form.

Epilogue:
Similar to the battle flashback montage, this is the other segment that doesn’t exist yet. In addition to cutting it to narration and music, I don’t know what sources I’ll end up using for the footage itself. There’ll be some more from the Team Supertramp Hobbiton shoot, and some more from the AUJ Blu-Ray, and I’ll see what I can squeeze out of the Appendices. I’m still confident it can be done — I knew I’d need to scrape together footage from a range of sources for this bit — and I need to cut together the soundtrack first.

End credits:
I’ve fiddled with the draft credits (in the process making them more closely resemble the credits of the third film) and got them down to about 13 minutes. Dave’s agreed to do the song, and the rest of the music will come once we’ve got that recorded.

After I’ve got picture lock, I’ll need to add in a lot of sound effects during the new sequences (Misty Mountains song, battle flashback) and in a handful of other places. I shouldn’t have trouble sourcing the sounds, but there’s no point trying to put them in yet.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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 (Edited)

I just want to let you know I’m really excited for this project!

If you need anyone to preview it and give you feedback I would be more than happy to.

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Thanks, I’ll definitely count you in. For now, I have a request to put out there.

I want to be able to composite some birds into a number of shots. First, a thrush flying when they first arrive at the mountain (in the scene I uploaded earlier) and possibly in a couple of other shots, to make a little nod at the thrush in the book telling Bard about Smaug’s weak point. Second, a raven (or crow) for a landscape sequence, to parallel the lighting of the beacons in ROTK, carrying Thorin’s message to Dain. I’ve got some wicked landscape footage I want to use for it, but I need the bird.

If anyone knows where I can get hold of decent green-screen footage of a thrush and/or a raven or crow in flight, that would be fantastic. I can handle the composition itself, it’s the raw footage I’m after. I’m not against using CG birds at all (that’s what they use in the actual movie, after all); CG or real or a mix would be just fine. With the thrush, any flying footage would be fine, so long as I can isolate it from the background; with the raven, soaring would be best, and mostly flying toward or away from the camera.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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 (Edited)

Not much to report for now — I’ve put this on the backburner while I get a couple of smaller projects under my belt — but I’ve got a test render from the opening titles that’s looking beautiful. Posted below (click for full size).

test render

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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 (Edited)

Woah man, this is shaping up to be something special. Keep up the great work! Love the look of the intro.

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This is fascinating. I guess work is still being done on The Hobbit after all 😃. It’s kind of amazing opportunity because there’s SO MUCH FOOTAGE that you can make many very different films with it.

One ignorant question – what constitutes roadshow format?

I’m fascinated to see this.

The Hobbit: Back Once Again

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Roadshow format basically means including an intermission, and in this case also an overture, entr’acte, and full animated opening titles — in the style of the widescreen epics of the ’50s and ’60s.

The main purpose of the edit is to make a coherent single film out of the material; I’m using “Roadshow Edition” because it’s the most obvious distinguishing feature, and I didn’t want to just use my name.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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Eating up more of your comment thread: I think the idea of a smash cut in the troll scene is fabulous. I really would like to see how that flows. The scene as written is such a Hollywood trope – thirteen seasoned warriors (ok, some of them are seasoned warriors) surrender to save the life of their companion… so that all 14 of them can then be dinner. A smash cut is both entertaining and sidesteps the entire question of how they were captured in the first place.

If you can do anything to solve the thrush problem, I would love to see that!

You commented that you uploaded a scene of them arriving to the mountain? Did I miss a link to that?

The Hobbit: Back Once Again

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 (Edited)

Thanks!

This is going to be a work of art when you’re done. Very distinctive feel.

Assume you realize there’s a shot of the crescent moon brightened like the sun in that clip. Is this because the sun and the moon are in the sky together? In reality, which doesn’t necessarily apply to Middle Earth of course, the moon would be pretty dim in the sky with the sun.

The Hobbit: Back Once Again

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Just a quick idea from the peanut gallery:

Would it be simple and easy to export an alternate audio track free of audiobook narration? Might be a nice option to present. Provided that it is an easy task.

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I expect it would be trivial to do, although it isn’t something I’ve considered. I’m not intending to have multiple versions of this floating around, but I might consider an alternative audio track for the Blu Ray.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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Hey, what’s the update with this? Do you need anything to help complete this. I don’t have much but I could try!

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Haven’t been doing much work on the edit itself of late; I’ve been teaching myself Blender for some of the animation I’ll need to do. Thanks for your continued interest! I intend to release an updated teaser with my Scott Pilgrim edit, for which I’m aiming for a Christmas release.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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Continuing to work on the animation; I’ll post a rough cut of the title sequence (probably without the titles themselves) once I have it.

Meanwhile, this week I received my CD of the operatic adaptation of The Fall of Gondolin, which just came out. There’s no particular connection to the edit, other than that both use elements of the original Tolkien text, but it’s just so gosh-darn amazing that I had to share it here. Seriously, I think it’s criminal that this isn’t the Tolkien adaptation everyone’s flipping their lid over, rather than the Amazon series.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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RoccondilRinon said:

Continuing to work on the animation; I’ll post a rough cut of the title sequence (probably without the titles themselves) once I have it.

Meanwhile, this week I received my CD of the operatic adaptation of The Fall of Gondolin, which just came out. There’s no particular connection to the edit, other than that both use elements of the original Tolkien text, but it’s just so gosh-darn amazing that I had to share it here. Seriously, I think it’s criminal that this isn’t the Tolkien adaptation everyone’s flipping their lid over, rather than the Amazon series.

That’s fascinating.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
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Mainly behind-the-scenes stuff with relatively little to show for it, I’m afraid. The last several months have been mainly teaching myself Blender so I can create the scene of Roäc carrying Thorin’s message to Dáin (among other things, including my other edits). I’ve acquired a serviceable raven model that’s detailed enough for my needs and similar enough to the one in the original film, but it’s insufficiently rigged for flight animation, so I’m going to have to do that myself.

I am finally happy enough with the day-for-night grades in the prologue flashback to share it, and the final animation for the opening titles is now rendered and locked. The soundtrack won’t be final (I need to do a little more work to cover the seams where I’ve made cuts in the music, and I want to do a partial foley track as well), but it should be up some time next week. I’ll post a link here when it is, of course.

Work should be easing up from next week, so I’ll have more time to work on editing. The main things that need doing editing-wise are the new sequences in the second act; the only major part of the first act that isn’t more or less locked down is the Rivendell sequence, though I am still trimming here and there.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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Here’s the scene!

I’ve taken excepts from Clamavi de Profundis’ 20-minute recording of the entire poem, of which I plan to use a few more verses in the second act of the film to accompany the Roäc scene.

It was a lot of fun but a lot of work to do the day-for-night grades, especially in shots including fire (ie. most of them). What may not be so apparent is that the entire flashback sequence has also received a subtle Technicolor-effect grade to give it an antique look, most apparent in the shots inside the mountain (although there are a couple of visual artefacts there I’m still working to remove) and the landscape shots at the end of the sequence.

The soundtrack isn’t final; while it does work as an entirely silent sequence, I intend to put together what I call a “partial” foley track, underscoring the scene but deferring to the music, for the final edit.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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Hey, brother. I love your ideas and your execution of them.

But I think, for the common viewing pleasure, you should only keep the narration voice in the intro segment and leave it at that. I think it would easily be the best way to sink into your presentation of Middle-Earth and forget we’re watching a movie.

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 (Edited)

I may consider doing a shorter “no-frills” version without most of the narration and roadshow trappings, once the main project is done. In some cases it would be relatively trivial to do. On the other hand, I’m not just throwing the narration in for the sake of it; each use of it (there are five or six total) serves a purpose.

At this stage, I’m using narration:

  • in the prologue,
  • at Rivendell,
  • on leaving Lake-town,
  • for the battle flashback, and
  • for the epilogue.

The first and last serve to bookend the film and create scenes from whole cloth. I can’t see them working without the narration.

The second and third are used to reinforce the montage style of the sequences in question, and suggest the passage of time. I find that the Rivendell sequence in particular feels far too rushed without the White Council scenes, whereas it should be one of the slower parts of the film; using some quick dissolves and narration, I’m able to make it feel like a longer stay without actually lengthening the sequence. It also allows me to give Elrond an introduction that doesn’t depend on either (a) the viewer having previously known him or (b) the nonsense with Radagast and Azog.

The battle flashback (to clarify, not all of the battle will be shown this way, just the parts after Bilbo is stunned) uses it in a similar way, to give some narrative distance and set it apart as a flashback, and similarly doesn’t really work without it.

I may add some in one or two more places — I still haven’t decided on how best to bridge films one and two, even whether to cut the Eagles entirely, and a narrated montage might be one option, although I don’t want to have too many of them. I’m not wedded to keeping the Lake-town one; but one reason for it, to be honest, is just so that there isn’t an enormous gap between bits of narration, and the next one isn’t jarring.

The Hobbit: Roadshow Edition

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I personally think the narration is a great idea for this film. Having attempted to make an edit of the films myself moving so quickly through it given the footage we have is really difficult. Having the narration (which I had never thought of before) seems to be a great avenue to move the plot along without it feeling like chunks of the film are missing.