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The Hobbit: Fire of the Dragon (Desolation of Smaug Recut)

ranger613

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Hi guys,

One of several fanedits I completed over the last month-- a Tolkien purist edition of Peter Jackson's "Desolation of Smaug", recut according to JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit". Almost all the subplots created just for the movie have been removed, to reflect the book more accurately.

I cut this to be my go-to version of Desolation... when I watched this in the cinema, I remember what a good start the movie had, and how awesome and well crafted the scenes with Smaug were, while how frustrating it was every time they cut away to some nonexistent plot device (ie. Tauriel and Legolas, Bard vs. Stephen Fry, etc.). I don't know why but the way they drew this movie out to nearly 3 hours by padding it with fluff like the elf-dwarf love triangle thing made zero sense to me--as well as how liberal they were with the source material, a book I loved since I was a kid. As much as I admire Peter Jackson as a director, I felt like Desolation was a good 2 hour movie trapped in a 3 hour mess.

This is the lean version which retains all the greatness of the movie and drops all the fluff, making it more entertaining and watchable (Smaug's onscreen by 90 minutes)

Title: The Hobbit: Fire of the Dragon
Original runtime: 161 min
Fanedit runtime: 120 min (41 min cut)

Cutlist:
1. The prologue with Gandalf and Thorin in Bree is deleted.
2. Other than a brief scene of him chasing them, all the scenes of Azog and Bolg (the orcs) stalking the dwarves as well of the scene of them at Dol Guldur is deleted
3. Bilbo being tempted by the ring outside Mirkwood forest is cut (this isn't LOTR)
4. Legolas' Gimli reference is cut
5. Entire scene of Tauriel and Kili, and Tauriel with Thranduil is deleted. There is no love triangle.
6. Shots of orcs ceeping up on Mirkwood are cut, making the orc attack more of a surprise.
7. Gandalf at the Nazgul tombs*-- cut the lines "You're asking me to abandon my friends, etc."
8. Kili's arrow to knee is bound and never spoken of again. He's all better in this version.
9. Cut scene of Legolas & co interrogating an orc, as well as Bolg tracking dwarves.
10. Trimmed Laketown scenes for pacing.
11. Cut all scenes of the four dwarves being left behind--would you seriously notice?. Cut all scenes of Tauriel/Legolas (after the Mirkwood battle.)
12. Cut all scenes of Orcs attacking Laketown.
13. Gandalf vs Sauron, is kept in*, but moved to before Bilbo enters Smaugs lair.
14. Entire Smaug sequence intact in one flow, except a brief cutaway for about 30 seconds where Bard tells his kids he'll kill the dragon and grabs the black arrow.
15. Cut scenes of Bard running around Lake town and getting arrested.
16. Cut Bilbo's last lines "What have we done". Last lines now Smaug's.
17. The end credits scored with Misty Mountins Cold from An Unexpected Journey.

*In the book, you're left wondering Where the hell Gandalf was as all the stuff's going down with Bilbo and company. I really wanted to cut all Gandalf's scenes to better reflect the novel, but I decided against this. Unlike Tauriel/Legolas, Gandalf actually was in the book and though Dol Guldur was not shown in the book, he Did go there... From Wiki:
After the battle, Gandalf accompanied Bilbo back to the Shire, revealing at Rivendell what his pressing business had been (for him leaving Mirkwood): Gandalf had once again urged the Council to evict Sauron, since quite evidently Sauron did not require the One Ring to continue to attract evil to Mirkwood. Then, in an event only briefly described (in The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings), the Council "put forth its power" and drove Sauron from Dol Guldur.

So the events in the movie could conceivably have happened, and although there is no mention of Gandalf taken captive, I figured the sequence was exciting enough to balance the slower pace of Laketown. The total runtime of both Gandalf scenes together is only around 10 mins anyway.

This edit is ready for review, please PM me if you're interested thanks!

Please let me know what you think, thanks
 

kellenpure

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I am very excited to see this! I have been waiting for someone to take on this task, and it seemed to me there was a decent movie underneath it all. My only concern is that it sounds as if you left the whole Smaug chasing dwarves around/golden shower thing in. II hated that whole sequence and think the best course is when Bilbo pisses off Smaug, cut to Smaug flying out to destroy Laketown, end of movie. But in any case, I will download and view it very soon!
 

Neglify

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Sounds cool!

Thread has been moved to Unapproved section, since it has been submitted to the Academy.
 

ranger613

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kellenpure said:
I am very excited to see this! I have been waiting for someone to take on this task, and it seemed to me there was a decent movie underneath it all. My only concern is that it sounds as if you left the whole Smaug chasing dwarves around/golden shower thing in. II hated that whole sequence and think the best course is when Bilbo pisses off Smaug, cut to Smaug flying out to destroy Laketown, end of movie. But in any case, I will download and view it very soon!

Thank you! I PM'd you, lemme know if any problems. Let me know what you think in this thread, any suggestions for improvements etc. My main qualm was what to do with Gandalf--cut or no cut? Can't wait to hear from you.

Neglify said:
Sounds cool!

Thread has been moved to Unapproved section, since it has been submitted to the Academy.

Thanks man!
 

ranger613

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2 minute preview: (note the quality is low grade because I downsized the clip for upload, and vimeo has HD limitations for free users)

 

Aztek463

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You sir, once again have my interest. I'd be happy to have a look at this for you as well. :D
 

ranger613

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Aztek463 said:
You sir, once again have my interest. I'd be happy to have a look at this for you as well. :D

Haha hey! Thank you very much, I'd love to have you review this :)
PM'd you.
 

hbenthow

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Have you considered doing some color correction to get rid of the slight greenish tint?
 

ranger613

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hbenthow said:
Have you considered doing some color correction to get rid of the slight greenish tint?

Hi yes I did, Initially I color corrected the whole picture, but then had to abandon this because of the limitations of my computer. Its not powerful enough to render advanced color correction, a hard lesson I learnt with my Sorceror edit, which is still being processed in pieces because of the same deal. Very valid point tho.
 

ranger613

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I love minimalist posters... I'm hoping to get something like this for cover art:

0ecf3eab3658bf6ef44db4a045467f21.jpg
 

ManicGuy1989

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I actually really enjoyed DOS at the cinema but that clip alone highlights/resolves one of the biggest issues I had with the film. The lack of the Misty Mountain music that was so present in the part one.

Fine work, sir!
 

ranger613

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ManicGuy1989 said:
I actually really enjoyed DOS at the cinema but that clip alone highlights/resolves one of the biggest issues I had with the film. The lack of the Misty Mountain music that was so present in the part one.

Fine work, sir!

Thank you, and YES! What happened to the music? Honestly, Hobbit 1's music was second only to FOTR in my opinion.
 

Aztek463

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By Job you've done it. Kerr's version of Unexpected Journey is my go-to, and this version is my go-to for Desolation of Smaug. You did very well cutting out the bloat without making it feel like there was much missing. I of course noticed the bits that were cut, but it never felt like the story was lacking because of it.

The video quality was leagues better than the MP4 for the Walking Dead edit I watched earlier in the week, so good job there. It's a highly compressed format, and obviously the video quality won't be as good as a BD, but there were quite a few parts that looked like they might as well have been the BD anyways.

A few minor nitpicks, but honestly, there isn't much else to do but pick nits since you did so well:
- I would (try being the key word) cutting out the brief exchange between Legolas and Tauriel about Kili after the dwarves get locked up. It still kind of hints at there being an interest there, but it's so minor that it's forgotten about rather quickly. There were also a few concerned looks from Tauriel when Kili got shot in the leg, but because of the way the scene is cut together, there's no way around that.

- There were two audio transitions that kind of stood out: the first was during the scene with Balin walking Bilbo down to the entrance of Erebor. The music fade out from the previous scene didn't sound quite right, but if I hadn't been watching with headphones, I wouldn't have noticed it. Second one was when Bilbo was looking for the Arkenstone, between the scenes where he was digging through one of the chests and the one where he wakes up Smaug. There's two music crescendos, one right after the other, and the first one doesn't sound quite right since it builds to...nothing really happening. You might be able to tighten that a bit.

- This one is purely one of personal taste, but I liked the original song, "I See Fire," as the first end credits song. I felt that having Ed Sheeran's vocals over the black screen after seeing Smaug taking off towards Lake Town was incredibly powerful. I do think you could have had the last shot be Smaug flying towards Lake Town instead of Bilbo, but it doesn't make a difference one way or the other.

Seriously, great job. You've definitely got the chops for this job...err...hobby. :p
 

ranger613

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Aztek, thank you very much for the kind words. I am glad you enjoyed this edit, and am happy that this will be your go-to version. That's the best thing any faneditor can hear!

Notes:
1. Yes, you're right! The concerned glance at the barrel fight and the snooty exchange were brief but hint at more--I will cut them both in the final edit.
2. Balin walking Bilbo was a rough transition. I remember working hard on that one for some reason.. I'll look at it again and fix it. The Arkenstone sound cut however, is not me--its part of the original film, as I looked at my worklist and I made no cuts at all in that scene.
3. I See Fire! --So many mixed reviews about this one.. some love it, some hate it.. I don't have any problem with it except I thought it doesn't sound very Middle-Earthish (unlike May it Be, Gollums Song, Into the West...), but on the other hand Hobbit 1's end theme was also modern (which is what I used in this edit). Yes I think the right call is to keep I See Fire In, which I will do the final cut, but I'll still want to contrast it with the sombre Misty Mountains theme (2 songs in end credits).

Once again Aztek, I know you're a tough critic, so getting a good review from you means a lot. Cheers man! The next cut will be perfect. :)

Question for you though--did you think keeping Gandalf in was the right call? Cutting him completely is technically the right purist move; but I feel like cutting it would have been too big of a ?disservice to the movie itself--I mean the scenes were entertaining, important, and like I said in an earlier post, conceivably actually happened. What do you think?

Also, here is the poster:
tumblr_n74z901aZN1tew1ifo1_500.jpg


Like I said in another post, I love minimalist posters, and I'm going to use the same template for all my edits.
 

hbenthow

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ranger613 said:
Question for you though--did you think keeping Gandalf in was the right call? Cutting him completely is technically the right purist move; but I feel like cutting it would have been too big of a ?disservice to the movie itself--I mean the scenes were entertaining, important, and like I said in an earlier post, conceivably actually happened. What do you think?
I think it's more important to do what's best for the movie, rather than worrying about being perfectly faithful to the book.
 

ranger613

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hbenthow said:
I think it's more important to do what's best for the movie, rather than worrying about being perfectly faithful to the book.

Agreed. The film is better with the scene in.. Thanks
 

Aztek463

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I thought keeping in the Gandalf scenes were fine. Not only are they entertaining, but they are important in the grand scheme of the trilogy. That's what I liked about Kerr's edit of AUJ: it stood well, very well, on its own, but it was still compatible with the theatrical version of Desolation of Smaug.

I am curious to see how this version will mesh with the theatrical version of Battle of the Five Armies (ugh, really guys?), but I doubt there will be much of a problem. Food for thought, that's all. :)

The cover is pretty sweet. Reminds me of several editions of the book I've seen various places. Are you planning edits of the other two films as well?

ranger613 said:
Once again Aztek, I know you're a tough critic, so getting a good review from you means a lot. Cheers man! The next cut will be perfect.
Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_12.gif

Cheers mate! I wouldn't say I'm tough, but I did a lot of workshopping of writing when I was in school, and I try to make use of that experience when I can. I've always thought that the best creative output comes from a collaborative environment, which, in my opinion, is why there's so many good projects to be found here. :)
 

Masirimso17

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Hey, this edit looks fantastic, I'm really looking forward to this! I love the Hobbit films but they really have some flaws that prevent them from being one of the best movies ever like LOTR.

AUJ: Prequel-itis overload (pointless Frodo speaking cameo!!!) or some stuff from the book that should have been removed (unnecessary stone giants) and a slightly weird silly wizard (Radagast). DOS: Unnecessary and annoying love triangle. Prequel-itis was fixed though (Don't say Legolas because he was badass, and I know he's not in the book but it was logical to put him in since he is Thranduil's son. If he wouldn't be there, they would say like "Oh what is Legolas doing?" "Oh I don't know, doing cool stuff I guess." And that would be lame.) But like Kerr's AUJ Arkenstone Edition, this looks like it will fix all the minor stuff and make them stand among movie gods. I mean god movies, yes that's better.

I really hope this will stand next to There and B-- oh, sorry... The Battle of the Five Armies (ugh, seriously?) perfectly, and if not, I hope you'll go and make a version 2 that does, or an edit of TBotFA (ugh) that makes it fits this one. I especially suggest that you should change the title back to There and Back Again.

One question, and this is very important, are Azog and Bolg gone 100%, because I'm sure that won't be compatible with TBotFA (ugh), and despite it not being faithful to the book, I actually thought how they executed his revenge plan was pretty good and I really liked him. But more logically, I think removing him would be a mistake for people who would try to fit it into the movies, becaue I'M sure he will be VERY important at the Battle of the Five Armies (the battle itself). I guess we'll see how that plays out in December.

I don't like that you deleted the ring effect on Bilbo, I know it isn't LOTR, but it's a really dark and awesome scene that suggests the magic ring is evil. I never liked the idea of the ring having NO NEGATIVE EFFECT in The Hobbit, but has been said as a very evil entity in LOTR. Watching The Hobbit nad LordO of the Rings back to back, it would be a very abrupt change to the way we look at the ring. So please restore that .
 

ranger613

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Aztek463 said:
I thought keeping in the Gandalf scenes were fine. Not only are they entertaining, but they are important in the grand scheme of the trilogy. That's what I liked about Kerr's edit of AUJ: it stood well, very well, on its own, but it was still compatible with the theatrical version of Desolation of Smaug.

I am curious to see how this version will mesh with the theatrical version of Battle of the Five Armies (ugh, really guys?), but I doubt there will be much of a problem. Food for thought, that's all. :)

The cover is pretty sweet. Reminds me of several editions of the book I've seen various places. Are you planning edits of the other two films as well?



Cheers mate! I wouldn't say I'm tough, but I did a lot of workshopping of writing when I was in school, and I try to make use of that experience when I can. I've always thought that the best creative output comes from a collaborative environment, which, in my opinion, is why there's so many good projects to be found here. :)

Agree about Gandalf. It makess the film stand better.
Yeah I plan to release cuts of Hobbit 1 and 3 in future. I don't think I'll ever be putting Tauriel/Legolas back in tho--if anything I'll have to cut them out of 3. That aside, There And Back Again was a great title, but I guess PJ didn't think it would sell enough tickets.. sigh!

Thanks for the support man! Totally agree with the collaborative environment. Reviewing only makes the edit better and I thank you for it.
 

ranger613

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Masirimso17 said:
Hey, this edit looks fantastic, I'm really looking forward to this! I love the Hobbit films but they really have some flaws that prevent them from being one of the best movies ever like LOTR.

AUJ: Prequel-itis overload (pointless Frodo speaking cameo!!!) or some stuff from the book that should have been removed (unnecessary stone giants) and a slightly weird silly wizard (Radagast). DOS: Unnecessary and annoying love triangle. Prequel-itis was fixed though (Don't say Legolas because he was badass, and I know he's not in the book but it was logical to put him in since he is Thranduil's son. If he wouldn't be there, they would say like "Oh what is Legolas doing?" "Oh I don't know, doing cool stuff I guess." And that would be lame.) But like Kerr's AUJ Arkenstone Edition, this looks like it will fix all the minor stuff and make them stand among movie gods. I mean god movies, yes that's better.

I really hope this will stand next to There and B-- oh, sorry... The Battle of the Five Armies (ugh, seriously?) perfectly, and if not, I hope you'll go and make a version 2 that does, or an edit of TBotFA (ugh) that makes it fits this one. I especially suggest that you should change the title back to There and Back Again.

One question, and this is very important, are Azog and Bolg gone 100%, because I'm sure that won't be compatible with TBotFA (ugh), and despite it not being faithful to the book, I actually thought how they executed his revenge plan was pretty good and I really liked him. But more logically, I think removing him would be a mistake for people who would try to fit it into the movies, becaue I'M sure he will be VERY important at the Battle of the Five Armies (the battle itself). I guess we'll see how that plays out in December.

I don't like that you deleted the ring effect on Bilbo, I know it isn't LOTR, but it's a really dark and awesome scene that suggests the magic ring is evil. I never liked the idea of the ring having NO NEGATIVE EFFECT in The Hobbit, but has been said as a very evil entity in LOTR. Watching The Hobbit nad LordO of the Rings back to back, it would be a very abrupt change to the way we look at the ring. So please restore that .

Hi there, thanks for the thumbs up. I agree with you totally about Hobbit 1, and about the title of Part 3. The book was good enough without needing a ton of extraneous stuff thrown in.

Bolg/Azog are not 100% cut out. Bolg still attacks Mirkwood, and Azog attacks Gandalf. About the ring tho, I kept a few instances of its evil in--ie when hes at Beorns house, when fighting the spiders, and in Smaug's lair. The only one I cut is when they are standing outside Mirkwood and he is tempted by the ring. This felt terribly shoehorned in, and with Saurons eye on top of it? I felt ithey were trying too hard to remind us the ring is evil, and I cut it, but there are plenty of hints the ring is evil throughout the rest of the movie.

I hope you enjoy this edit. Please let me know what you think!
 
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