Creating My Own Version of Fellowship of the Ring

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brent Hutto, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    In anticipation of the Two Towers DVD release next week, we're going to rewatch Fellowship of the Ring this weekend for the first time in several months. I very much prefer the Extended Edition to the original theatrical version except for the very beginning of the movie. The scenes immediately following the Prologue in the Theatrical Edition are absolutely perfect in my opinion. The extended (and in my opinion chopped up) opening involving the scenes with Bilbo and the book is the one change that I don't appreciate.

    So here's the deal. I have my old non-progressive-scan DVD player on the shelf. I'm thinking about hooking it up and playing the Prologue and opening scenes from the Theatrical Edition and then having the Extended Edition cued up in the regular player and ready to switch to for the remainder of the movie. Where is the obvious point to rejoin the Extended Edition?

    My first thought, without going back and comparing the two versions, is to cut to the Extended Edition at the point where the first fireworks announce the Birthday Party. Am I recalling correctly that the same fireworks shot opens the Party passage in both versions? Would there be anything missed by viewing the Theatrical Edition to that point which might interrupt the flow of the Extended Edition story?

    I just love the timing and flow of the cuts from the Prologue to Frodo under the tree to the introduction of Gandalf to the shot following Gandalf's cart as it enters Hobbitton. It is such a perfect minute of filmmaking that I've missed it greatly the three times I've watched the Extended Edition.
     
  2. Roland G

    Roland G Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion you should just live with the 2 versions.
    There are a lot of small tibits and sometimes larger editing issues (Moulin Rouge) in some films that bug me. But it s still the directors choice that counts...we shouldn t start to mess with other peoples films [​IMG]

    good luck trying anyway
     
  3. Jassen M. West

    Jassen M. West Supporting Actor

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    I would cut just as Gandalf is about to knock on Bilbo's door. That way you don't miss the extended scene when Bilbo talks about the Sackville-Baggins's. Come to think of it watching the EE version of Galadriel's Prologue would be better too. So EE prologue, theatrical entrance to Hobbiton, EE as Gandalf knocks on the door to Bilbo's home. But then you would need 3 DVD players......lol
     
  4. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    While I agree that studios need to respect the director's wishes in terms of what's released (OAR, uncut, etc.), I disagree that we as end users also have to do so. I always skip the ballet at the end of Singin' in the Rain. It's proper that it's on the disc, but I feel no obligation to have to watch it.
     
  5. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Xenia Stathakopoulou

    Xenia Stathakopoulou Cinematographer

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    Lol at this topic ! What will people think of next ![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I watched the EE again last weekend and while in the back of my mind I'm aware of the changes as the beginning plays out, I still prefer to watch the EE. Love the beginning with Bilbo writing and a bit later when he thinks he's lost the ring but it's in his pocket. I think the music is great during that brief, panicked moment as it builds up higher and higher.
     
  8. Richard_D_Ramirez

    Richard_D_Ramirez Second Unit

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    LOL! What next? Splicing the Easter Egg TTT clip between the closing scene and the credits to match the FOTR re-release? [​IMG]
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I too prefer the theatrical opening. It was as was said above a perfect cinematic moment. Gary, that moment you speak of destrys the peaceful atmosphere of the Shire. In the TE, we aren't reminded of the ring and it's evil until after Bilbo's party, which sort of parallels the blissful ignorance of the shire folks. For several minutes, it's just them and their way of life, no ring.

    Heck, it is even possible that people who aren't familiar with the stories had forgotten about the prologue by then, which is good.

    --
    H
     
  10. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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  11. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Agreed that the theatrical opening is superior. Ian McKellen thinks so, too.

    I disagree with Roland -- it's no different than skipping a song on an album you don't like. Peter Jackson even says in the commentary that he's not sure if Concerning Hobbits works back to back with the prologue, as they were never intended to be viewed together. But I do know: it doesn't.

     
  12. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    And, yes, I would add the TTT preview, too, if possible!
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Rin,

    I assume that you never ever skip any portion of any book, movie, tv show or music album. Otherwise I fail to understand your [​IMG].
     
  14. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    You know, Brent, if there's any way to do it, I'd also cut back to the theatrical version after they leave the Mines of Moria and use the theatrical lead-in to Lothlorien, then back to the EE as they start climbing the steps. The long scene with Haldir... as Damon Wayons would say...[snap] "Hated it!"

    I much prefer, "You have reached the realm of the lady of the wood. You cannot go back. Come... she is waiting." Very creepy.
     
  15. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    I'd also cut out the silly "peril on the stairs" sequence.

    Oh, that's in both versions, isn't it? [​IMG]

    Seriously though, after several EE viewings, I actually prefer the TE overall. There are MANY great moments in the EE (the elves leaving, and the gift giving being my favorites), but as a whole I like the pacing of the TE more.
     
  16. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

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  17. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    I always watch the entire movie on my first viewing. I can't even imagine doing anything else. Even bad movies I'll finish.

    But after that initial viewing, all bets are off. If I choose to only watch part of the movie or somehow substitute something else in as is being suggested here, so what? I'm shocked that some would have an issue with this. Of course I can count the times on one hand when I've not just watched the whole movie, but I wouldn't feel like I'm changing someone else's work if I were to do so.

    Getting back on topic. It sounds like a really cool idea. I have no idea where you should edit things together since I've never seen the theatrical version :b, but after reading this thread, I feel oddly compelled to do so. [​IMG]
     
  18. FredK

    FredK Second Unit

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    I personally stick to the EE because it'd currently be a hassle to switch between 2 versions, but if the technology is right I've got no problem cutting up something I own. I'm not changing the director's intended movie, I'm messing around with my copy of the movie.

     
  19. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    I skimmed the first half-hour of each edition this evening. As suggested, the point where Gandalf knocks on Bilbo's door is the obvious place to make the switch from TE to EE (Chapter 3/11:34 in the Theatrical and Chapter 4/15:37 in the Extended). While some of the back-and-forth suggestions are interesting, ultimately I'd find it distracting to switch more than once. So the plan is to start the movie on the Theatrical Edition on the backup player with the Extended Edition cued up to 15:37. As soon as we reach the 11:34 point in the Theatrical I'll switch players and watch the rest of the Extended as is.

    I'm lucky that my main Theatrical Edition preference falls so close to the beginning. If I didn't like the Lothlorien introduction, for instance, I'd have to make at least two switches back and forth.

    A side note. Playing the Theatrical Edition opening chapters and then going back and playing the same scenes in the Extended Edition sure makes obvious the advantage to splitting the movie onto two disks. Much more detail evident even on our 36" screen. For example, the end of the prolog when Bilbo finds the Ring. There's much more texture evident on the Extended Edition version. Not to mention how much nicer the EE DTS track is compared to the TE Dolby one (not that I want to open that can of worms).
     

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