Thread: THE HOBBIT SCRIPT
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Bravo, I say. Bravo!
Why on earth did I agree to do this....? Oh well. Where to start? Oh I know! Where's my dog-eared beloved venerated much read Hobbit now? Mmm... Oh, here by my side like it has always been... Let me see... "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..." Can't do better than that! Glad the Spell of Encryption's on - Bracket-5, good! A brilliant mind needs to protect his brilliant thoughts from thought-thieves. Can't be too careful. Where was I? Oh yes: "In a hole in the ground..." So great for the voice-over... Sam's voice... Yes, perfect... just the kind of thing the Professor would approve... Aerial shot maybe as Sam narrates...over Hobbiton.... Bywater... doesn't really matter... The Water. Of course. Must have The Water - the fans will be looking for that. I know I will be. Yep! Coming along nicely already... The Hill... even the Party Tree...why not? It's just a tree and should be there...down the hillside somewhere....Yaaaawn... Hard work this..... I could do with a beer... Mmmmmmm....beer... "Hey you idiotic children! I'm going to the fridge! [b:1c3oor7b]I'M STILL ON THE COMPUTER! [/b:1c3oor7b]Don't touch it while I'm gone.... Bloody kids...."
....nice brew this.... "Hey! Primmy! Why did you have to pick these Shire Holidays to look after your niece and nephew...? Oh will you tell them to be a little quieter! You know what I'm doing is seriously important! I am NOT SHOUTING at you!" ... Can't think... but nice brew... and the Longbottom Leaf is peculiarly strong... maybe it's the beer and the pipeweed together making me drowsy...or the stress.. Mustn't let the fans down... Now where was I? Oh yes, here we are: Gandalf walks up as Bilbo is opening his letters, casts him in his shadow... Ah! We only see him from the back to begin with! So we have him standing in the sunshine now... Camera pans up from lower part of the wizard over his grey gown (what is it called now? robe, cloak... simple word too, can't think of it just now...oh the agonies of being a great scriptwriter...)... First we see tip of Gandalfs beard. Pan on up. Gandalf seems enormously tall. We see Ian McKellen's face, his keen amused gaze bearing down... Flash back to Bilbo as he looks up in surprise... Back to Gandalf: "Good morning...."... Empty again? Mustn't rush things... "PRIMMY! CAN YOU SHUT THOSE KIDS UP! Bloody Shire Holidays!" I must send out for more beer. However am I going to keep going without refreshment? OhI can't remember the typeface of my dog-eared beloved venerated much read Hobbit being quite so blurry...
Oh hello Tin. I don't know, but it was me who AGREED to do this. I mean, Wisey channelled the Professor and as far as I can tell the Professor wanted me, and as the Professor invented the Valar... well, do you know what I'm sayin'? This is going to be a 'Right' Script - not any of that Liberal (Wrong) rubbish!
All this leaves out is the bit about his mother and Tooks- it keeps the 'description' of Bag End intact. And all it adds is the map bit to hint at the adventurous Took lurking within which the actual opening text deals with. What you think?
[quote="pettytyrant101":2be1hcja]humming an early version of the Road goes ever on[/quote:2be1hcja]
[quote="pettytyrant101":2be1hcja]Mutters "Maybe one day" and then he stands on his front step to take in the morning air and have a pipe- then Gandalf appears.[/quote:2be1hcja]
... I must go and lie down... my world has been thrown upside down...
I'm not sure Odo is going to like this, but I'll pass on your suggestions... oh my... oh my....(((((and the poor hobbit under so much pressure already - from no less than the Valar!.... oh my....oh my...oh my....)))))
So no liberalism here- just film making.
The very next thing in the book is a description of Bag End and its interior-hence the camera entering the hole and going through to the kitchen and revealing Bilbo. I don;t see how as an opening this could be any closer to the text.
The humming is merely to add a sound for the audience and camera to home in on. The tune can in fact be anything- a dish washing song if you prefer. But as I believe Bilbo composed the road goes on I thought it might be a nice touch to have it in.
The next thing in the book is an aside by the narrator on why the Bagginses are boring and dull but Bilbo might not be- he has a bit of Took in him. Specifically the wistful looking in the map is to cover the lines on page 2; "although he looked and behaved exactly like a second edition of his solid and comfortable father, got something a bit queer in his make-up from the Took side, something that only waited the chance to come out."
Having read that back I feel the line Bilbo mutters should in fact be "Maybe one day. Don't be a fool Baggins." to show the two conflicting sides in his makeup.
So you see nothing I present is in anyway at all liberalism- its all sourced in TH itself.
If you have a better way of conveying the aside Tolkien gives about the Baggins/Took makeup I would be glad to hear it. But in film, time is of the essence remember and this way is short and to the point.
Mr Tyrant, what say I get Mirabella to go that [i:3exwcvgq]extra [/i:3exwcvgq]mile ( ) with GB - and when he's at her mercy, she can get him to edit out your incriminating post... Folk on this Forum have short memories surely. We'll play dumb. Say we never saw it! That might work! GB's a Liberal, he'll surely do anything in exchange for the right [i:3exwcvgq]benefit[/i:3exwcvgq].... Mirabella won't like it, but we must think of the[i:3exwcvgq] bigger [/i:3exwcvgq]picture... our quest is poised on a [i:3exwcvgq]knife[/i:3exwcvgq] edge!
The only way I can see of having information- such as Bilbo's mother being a Took and all that potentially means for Bilbo is to create a conversation between somebody or maintain the narrator as a character- although given as Bilbo wrote it but speaks in the narrators role of himself in the third person this might be confusing in a film and I am not a fan of over use of narration- its not really a film technique.
Yet as a purist I do think at least some of the information about Bilbo's mixed personality with regards adventure should be conveyed to the audience, its important. Which is why Tolkien chooses to give it before Gandalf arrives and therefore some reference or hint of it also should be given in the film before Gandalf arrives. This simply keeps the information presented to the viewr in line with that being given to the reader at the same point-the opening.
So until I hear a better suggestion from you I stand by my opening suggestion.
I like film to be filmlike, and going right through the entire narration until Gandalf's opening words (2 and 1/2 pages of dialogue in my copy) is quite a long winded opening to a film.
I'm happy to feature the Water, the hill etc whilst the opening paragraph is being read and under the credits but I feel an overuse of narration is not the way to go. Its a film after all, its a visual medium and as much as possible should be conveyed visually.
As I'm being all serious at the moment (not that I'm not always serious, mind!) I'll state now that I agree that the book can't be filmed exactly like the book. It's impossible to do so. Where Purism is involved, it is in staying true to what is in the book as far as possible. That's why things like The White Council must be mentioned (before the Battle of Five Armies) but not filmed as scenes, and the songs MUST stay in, though handled thoughtfully - and with voice only not musical instrumention, except for the dwarves song in the Unexpected Party which is actually accompanied by their own music. These things can be done.
The idea of a family film is important too. Overplaying the 'adult' side of things just won't work, as Tolkien found out himself when he tried to rewrite the book. The Hobbit has a flavor that MUST be retained. The comical and the dangerous go hand in hand (without the use of hackneyed jokes, verbal or visual!) Example: Bilbo's buttons bursting as he squeezes through the goblins' back door is amusing and exciting at the same time. (I imagine this scene as the door moving slightly, a weak shadow cast outside the cave, and brass buttons popping out of nowhere suddenly accompanied by appropriate noises of clothese being roughed and torn, then the sight of the weak shadow hurrying off away from the door).
My post is going funny. So I'll stop for breath...
Speaking of the opening shots I think there are a few locations which should be in it, the Hill obviously, the party field with tree, the Green Dragon, as it sets it up for later, and it would be nice for the final shot to be as close as possible to Tolkien's own illustration with the Water and the Mill in foreground and the Hill rising behind.
I still think visually going through Bag End from front door to Bilbo is a better way to cover that bit of the book than to continue the narration describing it. Visually its just what is described and it gives the opportunity to show the domestic, home loving side to the Baggins character- and if he's drying dishes and say putting them in a cupboard but still on display it imparts a sense of pride that makes the "smash the dishes" song even more funny later. And as film should be, combined with the map idea, it conveys information about Bilbo and his world without needing hardly any dialogue- its done visually and without either wasting time or creating new scenes to explain it.
I think its important to keep at the forefront of the mind that it is a film, what can be conveyed visually should be done so before resorting to narration or even conversation.
But its your script- I merely suggest.
Shots of Hobbiton... Mill is good. Then move into Bag End, have a look around. Watch Bilbo fussing around his living room, everything in place (for the dwarves to make look untidy later??...mmm), and then he dusts Belladonna's picture? Focus on Bilbo's prim and proper middle-classedness (no, not prim, he's not a Gay bachelor!) Puts duster away, moves to front door and out to his letter box? Sits down lights pipe starts opening mail. Engrossed in a letter (?) when a large shadow is suddenly cast over him....
Visuals so far show a fussy respectable bachelor in his haven. Then the less safe outside world arrives with Gandalf's shadow! What if a puff of wind ruffles his hair and [i:2kvovelu]then[/i:2kvovelu] the shadow falls on him? Bilbo looks up in surprise... A minute or two of film time has elapsed - and then we're right into the story! We've formed a view of Bilbo. Suddenly we've met Gandalf, just when Bildo does!
How are things going so far mon critics? (Like my French btw - I thought not! )
I like the shadow idea- not quite sure on Gandlaf appearing in a 'gust of wind' as it were, might be a bit to blatant.
Could have Bilbo lightning his pipe as Gandalf arrives, so the shadow falls over him and his pipe lighting attempts then as he looks up the camera also pans up to reveal the dark silhouette of Gandalf against the bright sunny morning beyond. Then straight into the dialogue as is.
Shall we wait for Tin to get back before proceeding? And I suppose GB and even that new interloper will want a say too . And Noom! Where are you? Fingolfin? Joseph Dwarf? Halfwise? Hail Manwe? Where have all those stout Forumers disappeared to I wonder???? Oh well, at least we should wait for Tin - after all, dishwashing and dusting and general tidying are involved, so we shoud have a Lady present! (Mirabella is busy with the costumes at the moment... )
I've been reading over An Unexpected Party and I foresee some trouble with the songs Odo!!! Mainly its the positioning of them- the chain of events goes- everyone eats all Bilbo's food, then they sing about the dishes as they put them away- then they go get their instruments, then they sing the 'break of day' song. Then they get down to actual planning. To keep it canon we will have to have 2 songs very close together, I'm not sure we shouldn't move the 'break of day' song to the end of the night and have Bilbo drift off to sleep listening to it- then waking with a start in the morning to an empty room.
Ideally as many members of our community should discuss it till we have the official The Hobbit Movie Forum script!
As to the the songs- I would alter the order of the party scene a bit I will admit, purely for cinema reasons. The break the dishes song is in my view (on film not the page) crying out for some musical accompaniment. So I would have the dwarves arrive with their instruments without leaving them on the porch. This way as most of the dwarves clear away the dishes others can be playing the music. And as a bonus when they all fall in the door and land on Thorin there's the excuse for a humourous musical sound as someone's instrument gets squashed. Oh and keep Thorin's harp under a wrap so its still kept for the reveal for the break of day song which I still think would work better on film coming later in the scene, although as its canon to have them next to each other I am prepared to be persuaded otherwise.
But alongside the dish washing and stacking it would imply what we are talking about some sort of montage here of Bilbo in full domestic bachelor mode. Is a montage what you have in mind?
On another issue, hobbits have some rather 'futuristic' gizmos for ME- like pocket watches and grandfather clocks- would it be too much to have a clock which also has the day?- the reason I am thinking this is the book goes from Gandalf scratching the secret sign on Bilbo's door straight to the appointed time for Gandalf to arrive for tea. A clock with the day on it would be a simple and easy way to handle this transition. And if the clock/calendar is on the mantelpiece then it gives us something to stick the letter behind so its visible but not blatantly obvious.
How you can call yourself a Purist is beyond me Petty . What on Middle Earth is wrong with an acapella work-song followed immediately by the grabbing of instruments and a segue into the "Break of Day". Now, I can certainly imagine echoes of the "Break of Day" song tumbling around poor Bilbo's brain as he wakes up the next Morn with the impossible hope that the preceding night was a dream.
Can we keep the tune from the animated Hobbit for the dishwashing song???? IT"S SO CATCHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry Tin - I don't want anything particularly catchy. This song is about bullying - it might be fun for the dwarves, but they're picking on poor Bilbo. The audience can think it funny but they must also feel genuinely sorry for poor Bilbo. Remember, they'll be standing watching the bullying, possibly enjoying it, but deep inside thinking it a bit nasty of the dwarves. Don't we all feel a bit that way about this scene? (Bloody 'ell, I sound like Grey Pilgrim now!!!)
Once we get to the Over the Misty Mountains song, we have the dwarves in a solemn mood and they can show their musicality. This is the dwarves as they would be in their deep cavern homes. Let's use the instruments Tolkien mentioned. Nothing more. Beautiful music but folklorish, simple, deep throated and manly (dwarfly?? )
Guys, I still hold to the view that the songs are not as silly as people think. The dishes song is humorous, but not as light as one thinks, nor should it be too dark either. It should be a nice contrast to the second song - but they share something at their heart: dwarvish self-identity - they take themselves seriously - even when bullying hobbits for fun or singing with broken hearts!
Anyhow, your views. (I have much to say but I must not try to dominate... much as I'd like to. )
I think there are key visual bits of the party which have to be retained- Gandalf sitting beneath a glowing cloud of green smoke rings looking every inch the wizard. And the changes in the light from evening to night and the firelight casting the nodding shadow of Gandalf's beard against the wall. (In fact that last image could be used to fade out on and then pack in as another song ends to imply the amount of time that passes- the dwarves play for quite a long time in the book- that or the old fireplace fade to fire burning low).
As they settle down with their instruments after the boisterous dishwashing song, music can strike up suddenly - play over snapshots of individual dwarves playing - interlaced with imagery of caverns brimming with the signs of prosperity (please, realistic underground city-caverns!!) This can happen over a little bit of time with each snapshot of the dwarvish players including a subtle dimming of the light ("[i:6tw2j33y]Lighting!!! Verse three now. Fili and Kili playing now...Yes, we want TWO mega-lites down thank you!" [/i:6tw2j33y]Yep. I won't be asked to do organise the lighting! )
The music itself can be sweet then seque into bitter-sweet then into melancholy (no fixed idea here. The music will have to be carefully and thoughtfully composed and arranged, of course). Suddenly the deep throated singing begins. Single voice here, several voices there, the whole troop in between... you know what I mean. An Oscar winning song is what I'm suggesting (nothing less!) No SHOWSTOPPING tune! The scene must seem REAL! We don't need Pavarotti here! Nor is this is a musical!
How are we going?
[quote="Odo Banks":ue0n9eo6]Cool. No letter box.
Oh well, at least we should wait for Tin - after all, dishwashing and dusting and general tidying are involved, so we shoud have a Lady present! (Mirabella is busy with the costumes at the moment... )[/quote:ue0n9eo6]
I recall Bilbo Using his mail to turn away from Gandalf (hoping he'll leave), so won't the letters have to come from somewhere ? Perhaps Bilbo takes them as he's dusting the mantlepiece before going outside ? we'd see the clock as Pettytyrants scene describes ? establishing the time/day right from the off ! (sorry to go back)
.... I sense an incredible list !!!! Hail !! Gandalfs Beard ! I Hope your birthday was joyful
Not so 'stout' i'm afraid Odo. I've been lurking a while after a wee absence, hope that's ok with everyone ? This is my TV ! .. only much, much better.
You're right about the mail ,don't have my book to hand but I think he has them in his waistcoat pocket when he goes to the doorstep for his smoke- he pointedly sits down and reads them in the hope Gndalf will go away.
I had though to just have them on a table by the door but I like your idea better of havng them behind the clock as an excuse to show the time an day
What say, (if we're going to have his front door and yard set up in the same fashion as the LotR movies) we have Gandalf arrive at the front gate. The sun can still maybe cast a shadow. If not, Bilbo can see him coming and stopping at the gate? Not far away. Their conversation could be across the little front yard? Bilbo takes out his letters. At the end of their conversation - which can be pretty close if not exactly the same as the book - Bilbo can dart inside and slam door. Gandalf can laugh, enter gate, scratch his mysterious sign, and go off chuckling down Bagshot Lane. (Sorry, Mr Tyrant, but I think we have to accept continuity between movies - though we still keep a proper The Hobbit atmosphere and close adaptation. Cinematography was generally fine, I feel, in the LotR movies btw. But I don't mean that at all in a Liberal kind of way! ).
Guys, we may have to stay at this point in the story quite awhile. We will be writing the Classic script. Pedantry of the highest order is required. Remember, the devil is in the detail. (Not this one: or is it??? )
(Hail Manwe, so long as you're still around, I'm happy. But you MUST pop in and say a word or two here and there, or how else will we know you ARE still around?! And... what's a TV??? Sounds like something the goblins would make - along with weapons of mass destruction and explosives??)
Surely there can be continuity still, the Bag End of the LoTR films is more than half a century in the future- surely even in the Shire there might be minor changes to the Bag End garden (if for no other reason than for the Gamgees to justify their jobs!)
Ha! maybe we should just raise 4 billion dollars to pay off their debts...
I trust you mean us ? You will be joining in won't you ?
Where are we at, btw?
Intro: Overhead shot of Hobbiton showing the Mill and the Hill and the Water - moving down through Bilbo's front door to show all his rooms (some rooms totally devoted to clothes and several pantries?) and Bilbo himself fussing around, at last dusting the mantelshelf? Mmmm... Might he take a small pile of letters stacked on the mantelshelf or a table? He goes out to stand in the porch with pipe in mouth, his letters still in hand but forgotten for the moment as he enjoys the sunshine?
Listening now! [size=150:s53gpmq6]Hey everyone! [/size:s53gpmq6]I'm listening...!
And some cuts from Blbo's longer speech where he remembers who Gandalf is, reduce it to something like this;
Bilbo: Gandalf, Gandalf! Not the wandering wizard who who used to tell such wonderful tales at parties, about dragons and goblins and giants? Not the Gandalf that used to make such excellent fireworks! I remember those! Old Took used to have them on Midsummer's Eve. Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures? Bless me, life used to be quite inter-I mean, you used to upset things badly in these parts once upon a time. I had no idea you were still in business."
Other than that I would leave that scene as is.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo is nodding into sleep, the remains of his late afternoon snack are on the table before him. A loud ring at his door awakens him and his eyes snap open.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Bilbo: Gandalf! Oh dear I had quite forgotten.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo rushes into his kitchen and comes back with a pot of tea, an extra cup and saucer and a plate of seed-cakes. The door rings again and Bilbo rushes down the hall to answer it.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Bilbo (opening door): I am so sorry to keep you wait....
[i:2rbjjrkt]There is a dwarf with a blue beard tucked into his golden belt, and very bright eyes under a dark-green hood standing on the doorstep. The dwarf immediatley walks in as if expected and hangs his hood up.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Dwalin: Dwalin at your service!
Bilbo (lloking confused): Bilbo Baggins at yours!
[i:2rbjjrkt]The two stand and stare at one another for an awkward moment.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
I am just about to take tea: come and have some with me."
[i:2rbjjrkt]He leads Dwalin into the parlour but no sooner has he done so than the door bell rings again.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo hurries back to the door and opens it.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
So you have got here at......
[i:2rbjjrkt]On the doorstep is an old-looking dwarf with a white beard and a scarlet hood. He too hops inside as if expected and hangs up hs hood.
Balin: Balin at your service! I see they have begun to arrive already.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo leads Balin into the parlour and once more the door bell rings.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Balin: Fetch some more seed-cake whilst your out there.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo hurries back to the door.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Bilbo: Gandalf for certain this time.
[i:2rbjjrkt]He opens the door to find two more dwarves, with blue hoods, silver belts and yellow beards. They walk straight in and hang their hoods beside the others.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Bilbo (wearily) What can I do for you, my dwarves?"
Kili: Kili at your service.
Gili: And Fili.
Kili: Dwalin and Balin here already, I see. Let us join the throng.
Bilbo (as he leads them to the parlour): Throng!
[i:2rbjjrkt]Again the door bell rings, louder this time. Bilbo scuttles off again to answer it. This time there are five dwarfs. Each one enters, hangs their hood, gives their name and walks passed the stunned Bilbo to the parlour.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Dori: Dori at your service.
Nori: Nori at your service.
Ori: Ori at your service.
Oin: Oin at your service.
Gloin: Gloin at your service.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo follows them into his parlour which is now full of dwarves.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Dwalin: More cakes.
Balin: and beer.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo hurries off into the pantry and comes back with several plates of cakes but no sooner has he given them to the dwarves when there comes a loud knock on the door. The sound of someone banging hard with a stick.
Bilbo rushes back to the door.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Bilbo: This is the most awkward Wednesday I have ever had!
[i:2rbjjrkt]The door is thumped agan and Bilbo pulls it open, much to fast for in onto the mat falls three more dwarfs. A fourth, very fat dwarf teeters behind the others then falls on top, there is series of loud groans from those beneath and the squeak of a musical instrument being squashed. Behind the pile of Dwarfs Gandalf stands, leaning on his staff and laughing.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Gandalf: Carefully! It is not like you, Bilbo, to keep friends waiting on the mat, and then open the door like a pop-gun! Let me introduce you,
[i:2rbjjrkt]Gandalf helps Bombur up from atop the groaning others.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
This is Bombur, Bifur, Bofur
[i:2rbjjrkt]With the rest standing the only dwarf still on the ground, and at the bottom of the pile and not looking happy about it, is an important dwarf with a sky-blue hood with a long silver tassel. Gandalf helps him up.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
And especially Thorin Oakenshield.
Bilbo: I am so sorry.
Thorin (grumpily) Yes, well don't mention it.
Gandalf: Now we all here! Quite a merry gathering! I hope there is something left for the late-comers to eat and drink!
Bifur: I'd like some rasberry jam and apple-tart.
Bofur: And mince-pies and cheese.
Bombur: And pork pie. ([i:2rbjjrkt]everyone looks at the fat Bombur[/i:2rbjjrkt])And a salad.
Dwalin (from the parlour): And more cakes-and ale- if you don't mind.
Gandalf: Put on a few eggs, theres a good fellow.
[i:2rbjjrkt]Bilbo, thrown by the evenings events, just nods and heads to the pantry.[/i:2rbjjrkt]
Gandalf: And just bring out the cold chicken and pickles.
Bilbo: He seems to know as much about the inside of my larders as I do myself!