Thread: THE HOBBIT SCRIPT
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Yes, where is that Wise Odo chap?????
Now I think with the poem in question we need to do a bit of layman analysis first. Context! Context! Context!
See here! A bunch of mine-workers with wonderfully coloured beards arrive at your hobbit hole. But don't just think wonderfully coloured beards, think big muscles, craggy careworn faces and deep gruff voices - yes, archetypical dwarves or Scots! Hard working types who routinely get their hands dirty. Where are they now? I'll tell you where they are, they are in some little fussy fellow's comfortable well-apportioned middleclass hobbit-hole - not in some deep damp dangerous pit under the Blue Mountains! I bet the manliest tool Bilbo has ever held is his little pink hand is a feather duster! By all accounts, he doesn't even do his own gardening! He likes cooking though - little fop! What would the former (dwarvish) type think of the latter (hobbitish) type?
Now Bilbo is comfortable little chap. He lives in a safe well ordered world. His clothes are clean and of good cut, he has all the modcons of a middleclasss hobbit, and he does not know anything about doing it hard. Providing he has his six to twelve meals a day, he is quite content. Oh yes, and so long as his things are always kept neat - cupboards dusted, floor rugs regularly beaten, and dishes washed and neatly put away - he is happy.
The minute dwarves see Bilbo for what he is, their brows furrow, their lips curl in a cynical quiet grin, and their eyes begin to watch him with slitted amusement - amusement mixed with contempt. Very early on the dwarves form a condescending opinion of Bilbo - the little unwordly softie! So we get to the cleaning up. Bilbo makes a fuss about not being helped and the dwarves, being folk who do not shirk to work, jump up to help, but meanwhile they see an oppportunity to tease someone they do not hold in high regard, sing a 'put down' song - funny to them, deeply discomfitting for Bilbo!
Here is our starting view of the song. Remember, Bilbo must be genuinely put out - not in a ridiculous over-the-top way. If we can't feel for Bilbo, then the scene won't work! The scene must seem real. Like a Funniest Home Video show almost. Bilbo must truly fear that the dwarves might actually be vandals and carry out their chiding threats! This scene could be unexpectedly powerful and dramatic, while still being funny. We need a Great Director! Mr Tyrant, you must not fail us!
Hope this helps? Odo can help with the tintacs - I'm back off to the Respectable Threads!
From Bilbo saying 'knows as much about my larder as I do'.......
We see him in the kitchen gathering up trays, plates etc.. looking flustered/annoyed - while the others are chatting away.
'Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!' says he (collecting food, facing away from the door). We see Balin/Dwalin in the doorway (he doesn't).
'why don't they come and lend a hand ?' - Balin overhears and he, along with Dwalin, Fili and Kili, enter in 'briskly?' - heedless of poor 'dazed ?' Bilbo
and 'whisk' away the crockery. Bilbo follows in with food. Everything is laid out, meal begins - random chatting - while we focus on Bilbo sitting at
the fire looking worried , perhaps panning around each dwarf (and Gandalf) showing his reactions from 'distressed? to, curious?' at what they're saying
( this will give us an idea of the length of time passing).
Bilbo makes to clear up - 'I suppose you will all stay to supper ?'
(Thorin) 'Of course !' - 'And after. We shan't get through the business till late, and we must have some music first. Now to clear up !'
thereupon 12 dwarves jump up and get to work.....
Seeing them piling up his prized dishes into columns and balancing them one handed, Bilbo is horrified !
He runs about after them 'squeaking with fright: 'Please be careful! Please, don't trouble ! I can manage'.
.. We have the song.. (NO music)..I see it starting with 1 dwarf shouting in a sort of 'town cryer/market trader' style ! [color=#FF4040:vuqeugb4]'Chip the glasses!....'[/color:vuqeugb4]
Then the others take up a line each (for the rest of the first verse) in a similar way. - passing the song on, like a relay. [u:vuqeugb4](there are 12 lines in the 3 verses)[/u:vuqeugb4]
.... Speeding up for the second verse (again, 1 line each), more of a melody to it (perhaps playground tease style 'pop goes the weasel ?')
We see Bilbo dashing around through-out getting more and more distressed. - The dwarves un-moved - carry on...
.. From Dwarf to Bilbo to Dwarf during verse 3 building up to a potential catastrophe as the Dwarves throw things to each other before...
...They close in toward him and together - or in 2 groups - (in quieter tones) [color=#FF4040:vuqeugb4]'That's what Bilbo Baggins hates !
So, carefully, carefully with the plates' [/color:vuqeugb4] - as the last dish is put away safely.
Bilbo slumps into a chair looking very relieved (and a bit confused) as the Dwarves pass by him with wry smiles and go out of the kitchen.
Sorry if that's a bit mixed up and I guess most of it is just quoting the book but I found it easier to do it that way so I could see what I was saying. I admit I'm not experienced at this sort of thing but I thought I should at least try and get the ball rolling. This thread has had a lot of views but it seems not many are posting so I've stuck me neck out ! Hopefully my head won't get chopped off !!
Fine I'll try to get things going.
Structure is going to be important in this scene I think, we have to decide if we stick to the order of events exactly as.
The scene in the book begins with a meal which lasts several hours, until its dark. This on film is an immediate problem I think. We have just zoomed time a day to get from Gandalf on the step to the dwarves arrival- having just got things going we need to then do it again and skip several hours to stick to the book.
Following the meal there is the dishes song as they clear up followed immediately by the break of day song, and indeed several more songs and more hours pass.
Gandalf finally gets the actual meeting started and eventually gets round to the map-which is then discussed.
Bilbo then insists Thorin explain everything to him and there's is a lengthy bit of exposition from Thorin that I think needs editing for film purposes.
All the dwarfs then order breakfast and Bilbo falls asleep.
My immediate suggestion would be to keep the meal bit brief and pass less time but light it as if its later. Keep the dishes song and move some of Thorins exposition to the head of the meeting to set things out, ignore the hours that pass and get as quickly as possible to the map.
After the map I'd put the break of day song and Bilbo falling asleep to it.
Our posts crossed Hail- -and there I was berating the lack of effort. I like what you've done, particularly with how to do the dishes song.You're definitely on the right track with it I feel. It does however turn it into a choreographed musical routine but that might not be a bad thing -it is film and its hard to do a song in it with people moving about without choreographing it somewhat like a musical. But I think the time problem still exists though that I mention above for the meal. I'm not sure how to get round it though.
I guess I do see that song as a choreographed piece, Dwarves moving toward / away and around Bilbo sort of 'baiting' him !! - not in a 'dancey' way though.
I don't think we need worry too much about the meal scene, a few well timed cuts between Bilbo and the others could make it seem like quite a while, especially as lots of food will disappear ! You're lighting idea will be fine I (imo). We can pass more time afterwards if necessary with the dishes song etc...
As to me carrying on...
I think we can follow the book from here for quite a while:
After the dishes, we see Thorin and Gandalf doing the smoke rings and talking, the others join them and get seated. Again the clock is shown here (smoke goes past it) and we can establish the time again ! (We might need to cast this bloody clock ! ). We see Bilbo watching the smoke rings and looking wonderous as he walks in.
Perhaps we can hear what they are saying - to kindle Bilbo's interest - and pass a little more time before Thorin calls for the music ?
The mood of the room is (I think) kind of like a camp gathering - the darkness growing from outside and the 'eerie?' lighting around Gandalf, as well as the fire light.
The music begins and we get to the break of day song ( a folkish thing I guess?- Odo, help !!) - again we see Bilbo lost in thought during the music looking stirred and perhaps we can cut-away to see what he's seeing in his mind (an adventure based on what the Dwarves are singing ?) while the song goes on.
The song ends and Bilbo catches himself, back to normal and looking a bit frightened ? From then on its straight from the book, there's not too much dialogue up to the point Thorin begins his 'grandfather' story and I'm sure the guys on here will be able to edit him as you suggested Petty to keep it from being too boring for movie goers ! Im not the one to do this - Sorry for 'wimping' out, I don't know how to.
But the way I see it, the scene is already written
Let's see what others have to say here and we can take it up from Bilbo sorting out the beds and falling asleep ?
The world cup is on !!
Back to the script, my worry about using moving clock hands, burning down fires, melting candles- whatever design we use to indicate passing time is that we will be doing it 3 possibly 4 times in the films opening fifteen minutes. On the page this isn't a problem, but in film you need to establish a flow and a momentum right from the off. By having all the long time periods we are speeding up, then braking, speeding up, then braking, and I think it will feel that way to a watching audience.
It was for this reason of momentum that PJ decided in FoTR to dump the 17 years and squeeze everything together- I think he overdid it, and did it poorly, but the need was real. I think the same applies here.
With the meal - talking - Bilbo sitting - the dishes - the break of day song - Thorins story - the map - the outline of the plan (and Bilbo's reactions) -
Surely we can bring on the length of time lapsed fairly quickly dealing with all that ?
And even If just 1 cutaway is inserted anywhere in there we can jump forward as much as we need ? without any visual time aids such as clocks etc..
Hope My understanding is correct.
[quote="pettytyrant101":sccc3smt]I have been a bit wrapped up in the football myself- tomorrow should be an interesting day and dear o dear France, what a farce.[/quote:sccc3smt]
Would I be right in thinking you won't be cheering on England ?
Coupla points though: the time passing with burning candles and clock hands turning is fine with me. Interspaced with dwarves eating and snippets of talk would not take much film time, and be a useful way to build atmosphere. One dwarf for each line is a bit mundane for me. Also I'd be careful with throwing plates and cutlery around. I imagine realism. The 'baiting' idea is spot on, I think. I might have a crack at designing a Song Scene when I get a chance (I might have to get Wisey in to help - he thinks he knows everything and everything! Maybe Mirabella too - she'd know plenty about the ins-and-outs of dishwashing... ) Please don't let that stop others having a go at it!
Sorry can't be involved a bit more just now. Work is being a nuisance! Also I've pulled my finger out and got back to my own fairy-story - plenty editing to do! (I've also started a correspondence with a mysterious Scotshobbit about[i:23uny6td] his [/i:23uny6td]book and about writing generally! )