It has been two months since the initial release of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, and I have received TONS of great feedback from all over the interwebs! I am very happy that so many of you have enjoyed this fanedit, and your comments and suggestions have been greatly appreciated.
I have taken the time to tally up the most-requested changes to the fanedit, and will list them below for your convenience. They are sorted in order of most requested to least. If you have other suggestions or would like to chime in on the ones I've listed, please leave a comment below!
I have been gathering up feedback on the first release of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and I'd like to thank all of you for your comments and suggestions so far. Many of you have asked for a separate film that follows Gandalf and his doings in Dol Guldur, and I'm happy to say that I've begun work on just that! However, instead of just redoing what other faneditors have done with this subplot, I've decided to take it a bit further and tie another related story into the film.
So this leads us to Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery, a one-hour long film that will serve as a companion piece to my main fanedit, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. The title comes directly from the related sections in Tolkien's Appendices. It will incorporate many of the flashbacks and extra scenes that focus on Thorin's family and backstory, and how it ties into the White Council and Dol Guldur. It's looking really good so far, and should help satisfy those of you who may still be interested in seeing what Gandalf was up to during the events of The Hobbit.
I feel that this film might be as close as we'll ever get to seeing that "bridge film" that Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro originally wanted to make. It's a lot darker in tone, which is part of the reason why I felt it didn't work with Bilbo's more lighthearted main quest. I'm still a ways out from having the first draft ready to share, but rest assured it will come soon! Just like my main fanedit, keep in mind that the fully finished version will not be ready until the Battle of Five Armies EE comes out later this year! Artwork link here.
**UPDATE: TORRENT FILE ADDED TO DOWNLOADS PAGE. SEE LINK BELOW.
After two long years, I finally have the first completed version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit available for viewing! It turned out incredibly well and I hope you all enjoy it. Remember, this fanedit will not be totally finished until the Extended Edition of Battle of the Five Armies is released later this year.
Follow the link below to our brand new Downloads Page. Here you will find access to the MP4 file I created, along with multiple versions of the box art that I created for this fanedit. The video file is large (10GB), but you don't want a lousy pixelated version of this film, do you?? Enjoy and let me know what you think!
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE DOWNLOADS PAGE
New Clip: The end of durin's Line
After a good amount of brainstorming, I was able to combine the deaths of Kili and Fili into a single scene. I was really afraid of editing the Ravenhill sequence because of this issue specifically, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. Let me know what you think!
The Battle of Five Armies was released on Bluray today, and I have already begun working on it. I did some test edits on a digital copy in the weeks previous, just to see if some ideas of mine would work. So! With that being said, here is a list of my planned edits for the third and final Hobbit film. I expect to be done with this in the next few days and will have something to share very soon. Stay tuned!
I spent about an hour last night doing some rough edits on the digital copy of Battle of Five Armies. I'm not doing any real editing until the Bluray comes out March 24, but already I can tell that the third film will be the most difficult to cut down and still make sense.
I can't recall another major blockbuster film that feels so sloppily put together. The editing is mediocre at best. When Kili is stabbed by Bolg, I counted TEN back-and-forth closeups between him and Tauriel with both of them looking sad and misty-eyed. TEN SHOTS! We only needed that one awesome shot of Frodo tearing up after Gandalf falls in Fellowship of the Ring to convey the character's emotions.
Anyways, I digress. The film is a mess, plain and simple. Hopefully the Extended Edition will fix things a bit when it comes out later this year, but right now the theatrical version is just all over the place. The two most prominent Hobbit fanedits online right now (The Tolkien Edit and David Killstein's There and Back Again) have done their best to fix that, but there are still major issues that will be tough to work around.
After March 24, I'll post a detailed list of my edits for Battle of Five Armies. On top of the obvious cuts such as the remaining White Council/Dol Guldur scenes and anything with Alfrid/Legolas/Tauriel, I'm also considering more drastic changes that will keep this fanedit closer to the spirit of the book. We shall see!
After receiving a good amount of feedback on my alternate version of "On the Doorstep," I decided to make a slightly longer take. I re-inserted the dwarves attempting to break the secret door down, but still left out the section where they get discouraged and begin to leave.
To me, this is a happy medium between the original scene in the film, and my initial cut which moved a little too quickly. Let me know what you think of this version! Thanks to Sandro specifically for the edit suggestions, they helped a lot!
DVD box art completed!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DVD BOX ART
While eagerly awaiting the March 24 release of BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES on Bluray/DVD, I decided to get a head start on the box art for my fanedit. I scanned my 1966 leather-bound edition of The Hobbit and used its artwork as the basis for the new design you see here. I then downloaded an even older book cover and overlayed it with the green leather to give it a more aged look, closer to the LOTR Extended Edition DVDs.
The back cover uses the theatrical poster from Desolation of Smaug as its base, along with a plot synopsis that I grabbed from An Unexpected Journey. The credits were modified to include major actors from across all three films, and of course removing those that were cut completely (sorry Cate Blanchett and Christopher Lee). I also added a few bragging points on the actual fanedit itself, just to help this version stand out a bit more. Maybe it's not the Definitive Fanedit of the Hobbit Trilogy, but why not say so anyways, right?
JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit: turning a mediocre trilogy into one really good film
BY DUSTIN LEE
By most accounts, the Lord of the Rings trilogy was awesome. Hugely successful upon their release both critically and commercially, they won a combined 17 Academy Awards including Best Picture and grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide. Fast forward about ten years, and the praise towards Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy has been considerably fainter despite its healthy box office receipts. Most of the criticism launched towards these new films revolves around Jackson's decision to stretch a relatively short novel into THREE epic film chapters. Extraneous subplots, superfluous dialogue, and new characters that did not exist in Tolkien's original text have all been stuffed into this new Middle Earth trilogy. What's more, many of the practical visual effects and beautiful real-world scenery of the original trilogy have given way to prequels that look and feel like high-end video games. Sometimes these CG effects work remarkably well and sometimes they look incredibly fake.
So what does all this mean? These new Hobbit films are practically begging for a proper fanedit. For those of you who don't know what that is, a fanedit is a version of a film that has been modified by a viewer in order to create a new interpretation of the source material (thanks Wikipedia). After watching An Unexpected Journey in 2012 and finding myself let down by Jackson's new vision, I decided to undertake my very first fanedit by re-working the Hobbit films.
That being said, I have been working on a “purist” version of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, with the ultimate goal of creating an alternate film that is as faithful to the original book as possible. I have read about a number of other editors making their own versions and I’m sure my edit will be one of several floating around by the time the third film is on video. However, many of the versions being worked on now still plan to include scenes/characters/elements that were not in the book. What’s more, there are versions being made that are not using the highest quality source media available- an HD 1080p Bluray with 5.1 audio. This is what I am editing with and I feel that these are films that deserve to be seen in HD, regardless of what version you're watching.
As I mentioned previously, I am planning to edit the Hobbit trilogy into ONE MOVIE. This will indeed make for a long film, but let’s not forget that Return of the King Extended Edition was 240 minutes long! That will probably be the running time for JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit (that’s the new version title I’m going with). An old-school Intermission will split the film in half in order to make it more accessible, however.
Anyways, as of January 2015 I am about 95% finished with both An Unexpected Journey and Desolation of Smaug. AUJ originally had a runtime of 170 minutes and has now been cut down to around 90 minutes. DOS was originally 161 minutes and is just under 80 minutes now. Battle of the Five Armies is 144 minutes and after having watched it twice in theatres, I have no doubt it can be cut down to 60-70 minutes or less!
Obviously, I cannot finish this fanedit until the third film is released on Bluray, most likely in April 2015. Although I will begin editing that film right away, I probably will not release a final version until the Extended Edition of Battle of Five Armies is released in November 2015. More details and updates are sure to come- you can follow Maple Films on Facebook or come back to this site for further info. Also, feel free to leave questions, comments or suggestions in the comments below!
I believe there is one truly good Hobbit film buried underneath three not-so-good ones, and that is the film that I'm trying to bring out with this fanedit!
Click here to read my detailed list of edits for An Unexpected Journey
Click here to read my detailed list of edits for The Desolation of Smaug
Video clips from JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit
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.