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We're just over a week away from the final release of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit! I'm sure this site is going to be pretty busy once the fan edit is made available, so I went ahead and made a handy FAQ page for those of you who might have some questions. It covers some general topics like fan editing, but also specifically addresses the question of physical copies...how to make them and why I'm not distributing them myself.
Volunteers needed for Subtitles!
So, subtitles. This has been asked about quite a bit since I released the first version of my fan edit back in April. From the onset, I have been open to including them as long as someone else can do the work for me!
In order for us to have foreign subtitles, we first have to work off of English subtitles. And in order to do that, someone is going to have to transcribe all the dialogue in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This not only means getting every line and word down verbatim, but also attaching the correct time stamp next to each line so that it appears on screen at the right moment and goes away at the right moment.
Since the film will be split across two discs for DVD/Bluray, that means I will need TWO separate transcripts…one for the first half and one for the second half. I will also need a separate transcript for Durin’s Folk and the Hill of Sorcery, my side-quest film.
Now in order to accomplish this, I am going to need a number of volunteers. If you scored low in your keyboarding classes in high school, don’t bother! If your grammar skills are not the best, don’t bother! These subtitles need to be as perfect as can be. And as a reward for this time-consuming task, everyone who helps with subtitles will receive an actual physical copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit on Bluray or DVD!
Here’s how I’d like to split up the workload:
- One person for the first half of the film (approx. two hours)
- One person for the second half of the film (approx. two hours)
- One person for Durin’s Folk (approx. one hour)
This is just for the English subtitles, mind you. If you are capable of translating to a foreign language, please step forward. I’ve heard many people say they could, so now’s the time! It would be nice to have Spanish, French, and German at least.
If you are available and interested, please contact me via the Contact Page on the Maple Films website OR message our Facebook page privately. Leave your name and email address, along with the language you’re volunteering for. Thank you!
Fan Edit Release Details!
Another long post ahead, but there’s lots of important information for you here! We are only a week away from the release of the BOFA Extended Edition on Bluray, which means that the final version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be available only a few short weeks after that!
In preparation for the release, I thought it would be a good idea to share some details with you on the best way to view/download the fan edit. Basically, you will have THREE options available, which I will explain below. All three options will be located on the Downloads Page of my website.
1: Digital Copy (HD/Stereo/8-10GB)
This will be released first since the DVD/Bluray will take more time for me to assemble. Just like the April version, you can download the file directly via MEGA or through a Torrent link. There will not be a streaming version of this film anywhere (no Youtube/Vimeo). Pretty straightforward.
2: DVD (Two discs/SD/Stereo/5.1 Digital)
For those of you wanting a physical DVD copy of the edit, you will first need to download the DVD ISO file. What is an ISO? It is essentially the content that an optical disc like DVD/Bluray reads from when you put it in your player. It’s not just the movie itself…it’s the menus, the chapter selections, everything. Since this will be a two-disc set, there will be two ISO files for you to download- one for each disc. Once you’ve downloaded them, you will need to burn them to dual-layer DVDs…this film will not fit on regular single layer DVDs. Here is a very helpful WikiHow tutorial on how to burn an ISO to blank DVDs. http://www.wikihow.com/Burn-ISO-Files-to-DVD
3: Bluray (Two discs/HD/Stereo/5.1 Digital)
Ah, the mac daddy. The best of the best in terms of quality! The long download time will be worth it, trust me. Just like the DVDs, there will be two Bluray ISO files you’ll need to download…one for each disc. And just like the DVDs, you will need to have dual-layer Blurays…this film will not fit on regular single layer discs. The directions for burning a Bluray ISO are identical to the DVD process, except you will of course need a Bluray disc burner to do so.
That’s it! Three options. I would LOVE to be able to just hand out finished physical copies to everyone, but this is not my film and I am not the copyright holder of the material. But I’m trying to make this fan edit as accessible as I can- if you have serious issues trying to assemble a physical copy then message me via the Contact Page and we can work something out.
One last thing- if you decide to download this fan edit, please make sure you own all three Hobbit films already! This project wouldn’t exist without the hard work of the copyright holders, so please support them first. The wait is almost over!
Long post ahead, but I do hope that you read it all. Many of you know I'm not the biggest fan of the Hobbit trilogy in its current form, but I wanted to sit down and give Peter Jackson one last chance to redeem himself with the Battle of Five Armies Extended Edition. I've heard mixed opinions on the EE...some are happy to have what they feel should have been the TE, and others are still upset that more scenes weren't included. I tried going into this with an open mind, and did my best not to watch the film and think about which new scenes I would/wouldn't include in my Hobbit fan edit later this month. So! With all that being said, here's how I feel about the BOFA EE.
Maybe some of you are happy with it, but for the life of me I cannot fathom how anyone thinks this is a good film. The theatrical version was already violently incoherent, and almost fully devoid of Tolkien's spirit. This extended version is even MORE violent and only slightly less incoherent. There were such high hopes that PJ & Co would fix all the plot holes and unresolved arcs with the EE, and those hopes have been dashed in favor of tasteless blood and gore.
I've followed SO many speculative posts over this past year on TORN, with everyone weighing in on the awesome new footage we'd hope to see in the EE. We even tried estimating how much time each new scene would be given. Maybe 2-3 minutes for the Bilbo/Bofur scene, a meaty 4-5 minutes for the funeral and coronation, at least 1-2 minutes of Beorn tearing it up on the battlefield, proper conclusions for Bard and Thranduil. Yeah. Almost all of those estimates were way off. The funeral was largely disappointing for me, and there was no coronation...Dain nods his head and that's it. Better than nothing, I guess. Beorn got maybe 5-6 SECONDS of new footage, and is now officially the most shafted Tolkien character in this trilogy. But hey, we did get that nice scene with Bofur and Bilbo, right? Doesn't that excuse all the other shortcomings?
No, it does not. Which leads me to the other 90% of new footage. Violence, blood, guts, dismemberment, decapitations and so on. Oh, and more Alfrid. None of which actually moves the story forward. The last thing that BOFA needed was more violence for the sake of it. The man who brought us the LOTR films is not the same man who gave us these Hobbit films. Peter Jackson is clearly more interested in playing with his computer sandbox at WETA than actually delivering a satisfying story on film.
Don't blame the studio on allegedly withholding the additional 10 minutes of footage we were "promised." Don't hold out hope for a non-existent Super Extended Mega Mithril Edition. Will that honestly make this film THAT much better? The version of the Hobbit you are hoping to see does not exist. A few extra minutes of footage will not save it now.
I am now more convinced than ever that the only way I'll ever enjoy The Hobbit films is to watch a completely re-edited version of them. Without all the excess bloat and over-the-top violence that has ignored the charm and spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien's sublime little fantasy novel. I can only do so much with the footage available to work with, but I can assure you with all bias aside that there is a much better Hobbit film beneath the three films we've been given. And the nice part is that I'm only one of several people working on a fan edit of the Hobbit...so if you don't like the changes I've made than I'm sure you'll find another version that might suit your liking!
This was the last time I'll ever watch PJ's Hobbit films in their original form. From here on out I'm watching J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
After much external pressure and internal debate, I decided to create a separate fan edit for the Kili/Tauriel love story. Without any of the unnecessary book-relevant scenes getting in the way, you can now fully appreciate the emotional journey of these star-crossed lovers. I will be happily including this on the Special Features section of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Enjoy!
DVD/Bluray Main Menu: First Look
For those of you interested in something a bit fancier than a plain old digital copy this December, here's a sneak peek at what the DVD/Bluray main menu will look like! Everything was created in Adobe After Effects, with a high-quality scan of Thror's Map as the background. I changed the map color to green, since that's how it was colored by Tolkien in his book.
The Eagle Sequence is back in!
Alright, you asked for it so here it is...the eagle rescue has been re-edited and inserted into the fan edit! I grumbled about this at first, mostly because I wasn't sure I could cut the end of AUJ and DOS easily. At this point I am pretty happy with how this new sequence plays out, and I hope you enjoy it too. There are a few changes I may still make, such as removing the part where we see Azog hanging outside of Beorn's house. I don't think it makes sense that he could have caught up with the company so soon after they escaped on eagles. Let me know what you think!
The title pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Enjoy!
CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOR J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S THE HOBBIT!
Good news for you newfangled social media types out there...today I launched a Facebook page for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit! In addition to visiting this webpage, you can also check out the Facebook page for any news, updates and links. Right now the page is pretty sparse since I just created it, but it will gradually begin to fill itself with content as we get closer to the end of the year.
Which brings me to my next big news! Warners Bros announced the Battle of Five Armies Extended Edition will be released on November 17 in the US...which means that the final version of this fanedit will be available by December 1, 2015 or sooner! This will be a digital release first, followed by DVD/Bluray ISO files.
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!
This page is dedicated to my ongoing fanedit project for The Hobbit trilogy, titled J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The plan is to edit three mediocre films into one (hopefully) excellent film. Click here to jump straight to the Downloads Page.