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The Hobbit or There and Back Again

L8wrtr

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The Hobbit or There and Back Again​
A​
L8wrtr​
Fanedit​

[align=center]Covers by @"bionicbob" ​
Hobbit%20Three%20Covers_zpsodbghuim.jpg

After years in the shadows, a new fanedit! As Bilbo would say We're going on an adventure!

This fanedit is a two-disk set (Volume One & Volume Two) rather than two separate releases. It uses the Extended Editions as their base, with a few scenes from the Theatricals. Total run time is 344 including closing credits for both volumes, so actual runtime of the film is closer to 312. ​

The primary goal of this edit is to focus first on Bilbo's story; a humble and sheltered hobbit caught up in an adventure bigger than himself and the growth that he experiences. Secondary, this edit seeks to allow Thorin's story to come more into focus. Bilbo's arc is tied directly to his relationship with Thorin, and conversely Thorin's own growth is tied to this seemingly inconsequential Hobbit who teaches him about Honor, Courage and Humility. Lastly, this edit preserves and refines the added storyline of Gandalf's concern about The Enemy. 


To achieve this, everything that interferes with these narrative points is removed or trimmed. Jackson's Hobbit is full of some amazing work; I feel that many of the additions, particularly the depth that was added to Bilbo, Thorin and several of the Dwarves was fantastic and necessary. A straight adaptation of the novel would not line up with the more serious tone of the LotR films (which themselves were for the most part a faithful adaptation of the novel), so while I was initially opposed when I heard he was messing with the story and adding prequel type elements, once I sat down and watched An Unexpected Journey I was surprised at how well the additions worked overall.. it was with great horror then that I watched Desolation of Smaug and everything went south at Laketown and then inside Erebor. It was after that viewing that I really started to develop a plan for what to do with this edit. For every 2 things that PJ nailed, I feel he failed 1 time.. which makes sense when you look at it.. Hobbit should have been two films rather than three, and everything that I have cut wasn't simply because they weren't in the book, but rather they just aren't necessary to the story. The tyranny of the Master of the Men of the Lake and his sniveling underling Alfrid serve no narrative purpose, the boorishness of the Dwarves interfere with the story and their own plausibility and likability, the battle under the mountain was over-the-top and unnecessary, and so-on. ​

So this edit does not seek to create a Book Cut variation, but rather to make what was for me, the most enjoyable version of Peter Jackson's interpretation, focusing on the fantastic character development and portrayals. For me, the released versions of the trilogy are cumbersome and tiresome to watch, all of the massive effects sequences and attempts at humor all detract/distract from the great work that was done, so my goal was simply to chisel away at the bloat until a streamlined version rose to the top. ​

A few important notes to give credit where credit is due. ​
First, I have to thank my friend Jewyl, who while not a member of this community, nonetheless deserves credit as she pushed and pushed for me to make this edit. I had no interest in this project, but once I started, I was hooked. ​
Second, I have to thank @"spence" and @"Billy Batson". Their splendid 3-in-1 edits helped provide fantastic examples of how things could be cut, and ultimately how malleable this footage is. I borrowed a few sequences cut-for-cut from them because I simply saw no better way to achieve the same result than what I saw in some of their projects. Other times I appreciated their goal, but used a different sequence of cuts to get to the same end-point. In either case, this edit certainly is better for having theirs come before, and by extension whichever editors inspired them. ​
Lastly I owe a great deal to @"njvc" for his friendship and support. I'd pretty much lost my editing flame and his support and encouragement, as well as his being an Adobe sherpa helped me finally overcome my resistance to learning a new editing program, not to mention key feedback on the first workprint. Likewise @"TMBTM" provided invaluable feedback as he always has in the past for my edits. @"ThrowgnCpr" helped me turn my opening titles from amature hour to something resembling professionalism, and @"bionicbob"'s wonderful work on the covers helped me focus on the edit and not stress about details, knowing the covers were in great hands really helped me as I put the finishing touches on the edit. @"reave" was also highly supportive with technical advice and a sounding board. While the bulk of this edit was crafted in the absence of community input, these guys helped get me over the hump and I cannot thank them enough, once again demonstrating how fantastic this community is.​

Now to the details:​

This list represents mostly cuts, but does not address scenes or sequences being re-ordered to serve narrative needs, but works as a good guide to know what is removed and general approach of the project

An Unexpected Journey (which is essentially Volume One):
- Cut out flashback of Erebor and Dale's heyday and fall
- Cut An Unexpected Journey title
- Cut Bilbo wandering Hobbiton after being spooked by Gandalf
- Cut some dialog in Bilbo's pantry between Dwalin and Balin
- Cut out Dwarves overtaking Bilbo's house and Gandalf naming them all off, also being raunchy and rude at the table chugging ale and burping
- Cut Bombor snoring moths in and out of his mouth
- Cut Introduction of Orcs watching company's camp
- Cut out entire sequence of Radagast (various nips and tucks of sequence of Company in the rain in order to accommodate removal of Radagast)
- Cut Radagast scaring the Company after they come out of the Troll hole
- Cut Orc pack chasing Company and Radagast trying to distract them
- Cut some back and forth between Gandalf and Thorin before entering Rivendell
- Cut out Thorn's confrontation with Elrond
- Cut out dwarves being rude and uncultured at dinner, singing at the table, falling for male Elves etc..
- Trimmed dialog between Gandalf and Elrond to no longer reference the orc pac
- Cut Orc pac reporting to Azog
- Cut Dwarves bathing in the fountain
- Trimmed scene between Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman and Gandalf to remove references to cut elements
- inserted flashback of Radagast giving Gandalf the Nazgul sword
- Cut Rock Giant fights
- Trimmed fall from porch into basket
- Used Theatrical version of introduction of the Goblin King, cutting out his song.
- Trimmed fight once Gandalf shows up
- Cut everything of their running fight once they leave the King's main hall
Leave theatrical conclusion.
Ultimate effect/approach. With Volume one, the primary goal was two-fold; cut out as much silliness as possible, mostly accomplished by removing boorish dwarves at Rivendell and the Goblin king and fight, and also to hold off on Azog's introduction.. we hear about/see him during Dwalin's tale to set him up.. but now we don't see him until the very end of the film when they chase them to the trees. This heightens the tension and makes the reveal more dramatic.

Desolation of Smaug
- Cut out flashback to the battle outside Moria/Trim dialog between Gandalf and Thorin
- Cut Desolation of Smaug title
- intercut Extend and Theatrical at Beorn's house, use theatrical cut's version of waking up with Beorn serving breakfast
- Trim dialog between Beorn and Gandalf that references raising the dead and the darker power etc..
- At Elvin gate, cut Gandalf murmuring to himself about the High Fells, and simply says.. "So be it.." before yelling to keep his horse.
- Keep Extended version with bridge, cut Bombor falling in the water, trim up and slightly re-arange their getting lost in Mirkwood
- Trim spider battle to remove Dwarves ripping legs from spider, cut Bilbo going crazy and killing small creature over the ring
- Trim their capture for continuity/remove the 'moments' between Kili and Tauriel
- Trim banter between Tauriel and Kili in prison
- Trim strange face-melting moment from Thranduil
- Cut Thrandruil being a dick to Tauriel about Legolas
- Cut more talking between Kili and Tauriel, and Legolas creeping.
- Heavily edit barrel escape; gate is never closed so the Dwarves simply sweep right through them as the Bolg and the Orcs attack. This also keeps Kili from getting shot by an arrow. Sequence loses most of the ridiculous fighting elements; Legolas standing on people's heads, Bombor bouncing around in his barrel, etc...
- Cut Gandalf going to the High Fells, which also cuts him meeting up with Radagast
- Trim Thranduil's interrogation of the Orc to omit reference to Kili getting shot with an arrow
- Remove Radagst from outside of Gol Dolgur, Gandalf approaches alone
= MASSIVELY REDUCE LAKETOWN. Too many cuts to note, just know that it removes Alfrid and the Master to almost nothing, the Dwarves don't almost get caught running around the docks, no flashback tale about the Black Arrow launchers and Thorin lamenting that if the aim of men had been true... 
- Cut Dwarves departure from Laketown, do not show Kili, Fili and company being left behind 
- Cut Bard getting arrested
- Cut Orc attack on Laketown, as well as Legolas and Tauriel's fighting there
- Cut all of fight inside Erebor between Dwarves and Smaug
cute credits and blend into Battle of Five Armies
- Cut all references to Orcs, Legolas, Tauriel or Dwarves in Laketown, as well as Alfrid and the Master stealing the treasurey
- Recut Smaug's attack and Black Arrow, he simply uses his last arrow to take him out (basic approach both Spence and Billy Batson take but different execution)
- Cut opening Battle of the Five Armies title
- Laketown survivors washing ashore, Kili and company parting with Tauriel, all that jazz
fds
- Cut as much Alfid as possible
- Bolg returning to Azog and reporting about the fight at Laketown
- Cut shot of giant worms boring holes into the ground
- Cut Alfrid finding Bilbo gone
- Used Theatrical version of Dain confronting 2 armies

Frome here, too many cuts to detail, suffice to say the battle is dramatically reduced, sequence between Azog's arrival and Thorin, Dwalin, Kili and Fili arriving at Ravenhill is 12 minutes, it unfortunately excises all of Tauriel's part in the battle because it all ties into her love of Kili as well as most of Legolas'. I use Spence's sequence for Kili's death pretty much frame-for-frame, it's fantastic work and I saw no reason to reinvent that particular wheel. I also use a hybrid of Spence and Billy's concepts how Legolas aids Thorin at Ravenhill. There is no confrontation between Tauriel, Thranduil and Legolas etc.. 

Ending uses the Thorin/Kili/Fili funeral sequence, Bilbo's goodbye and journey home.

 

 

BandobrasTuk

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Do you know this?

[Link removed by moderator]

Sounds familiar.
I've seen it, and I enjoy that one. :)
 

L8wrtr

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The only edits' I'm familiar with are Spence and Billy Batson's. Though once I have this project completely put to bed I'll watch a lot of the others to see how others approached it. I'm pretty happy with how mine turned out.

In looking the Ironfoot edition over, while there are some basic similarities such as the film structure (Journey as the first film and the 2nd film being a combination of Smaug and Armies) there are a lot of important differences. I retain Azog as Thorin's mortal enemy for instance. While completely out of place in the Hobbit as far as Tolkien lore goes, I absolutely love his character, he's one of my favorite antagonists. He's brutal, he's of single-mind in terms of his mission, but he also doesn't let his personal beefs get in the way of the big plan, or of his boss' plans. Usually villains' downfalls are largely due to some selfish flaw.. ignoring orders in order to pursue a personal vendetta, or a vice that they enjoy leads to giving their opponents an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have. While we don't get his backstory, we don't need it. In my edit he's introduced by Balin's tale where we see Thorin defeat him in their first encounter, then the film closes with Azog appearing for the first time, to Thorin's disbelievement, and subsequently Azog defeats him, and then we close the final film with them fighting to a draw, but really, we'd call it Thorin's victory. While not part of Bilbo's journey, for me Azog as Thorin's nemisis helps drive his personal story, and gives us, the audience something to root for with Thorin in spite of his descent into madness with Dragon Sickness. 

Likewise I maintain the LotR hinting and the White Council remain a key element of my edit, even though I do cut out the High Fells and Radagast.

All that said, I will definitely be giving the Ironfoot a look, probably in March once I have this all wrapped and behind me. I love what he did with the Misty Mountain flashback. It's funny, I nearly considered doing that but the song is too short.. but what he did with the music there to extend it was wonderfully done. 

With all that, I hope you do enjoy this version. I think it will still stand on it's own among the various versions, but clearly it's difficult to make a single definitive version of these films, just as it is difficult to achieve that with the SW prequels. ;)
 

TM2YC

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Is the plates song still in there?
 

L8wrtr

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Plates and Misty Mountain remain. They're charming and appropriate for the time spent at Bag End. Once the story moves beyond that music numbers begin to be out of place (looking at you Dwarves at Rivendell and Goblin King)
 

TV's Frink

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L8wrtr I have not sent you a PM yet.

Just in case you already shipped me a milkshake or a stripper.
 

L8wrtr

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Just a little FYI, my uploads are being throttled, so Vol 2 has been limping along all day. I think it should be done some time tonight, as soon as it is I'll PM out to everyone that's already received links to Vol 1. 

Stay Thirsty!
 

ssj

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L8wrtr said:
Azog. . . . While completely out of place in the Hobbit as far as Tolkien lore goes, I absolutely love his character, he's one of my favorite antagonists.

you're actually on solid footing there, L8. while reading the hobbit with my hobbit, we came across a brief mention of azog.
 

L8wrtr

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ssj said:
L8wrtr said:
Azog. . . . While completely out of place in the Hobbit as far as Tolkien lore goes, I absolutely love his character, he's one of my favorite antagonists.

you're actually on solid footing there, L8. while reading the hobbit with my hobbit, we came across a brief mention of azog.


Yup, he's a footnote in the book.. an asterisk.. nothing that he had been beheaded by a Durin long before the events of the Hobbit. Isn't it fun to read with your hobbits? Gearing up to do the edits, I got the old illustrated version of the book the cool Rankin and Bass move from 1977, and read it cover to cover with him. He loved every bit of it, and it was the perfect primer for me to get into the films. If you're little Hobbits aren't tired of the various edits yet, I hope they enjoy this one!
 

L8wrtr

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And both are up now! I believe everyone who received links to Volume 1 has now received links to Volume 2, if not let me know. And until this is on info, feel free to PM me directly.
 

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Review left at IFDB:

I still enjoy the extended theatrical editions of The Hobbit trilogy, despite their many faults. That being said, the opportunity for a streamlined fanedit is clear, and L8wrtr has brought his great skill to this project to provide a wonderful alternative to the official releases. 

The story is tight and focused on the emotional core of the characters and their relationships. The pacing and scope still feels epic and has room to breathe, but the fat is trimmed and Peter Jackson's more indulgent impulses significantly reigned in. 

There are so many highlights and clever editing manoeuvres on display here, but the whole is still greater than the sum of its parts. It feels like the carefully executed vision of a great storyteller, and has the professionalism of an official studio release. Technically flawless, and thoroughly enjoyable.
 

TMBTM

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I didn't watch the final version but I can say that the workprints were great.

I was struggling to find flaws about the volume One of this fanedit to report to L8wrtr!
The removal of many scenes with Azog and the orcs is the perfect definition of "less is more".
You remove screentime of a character but he somehow turns to be more impressive in the end.
I can say that There and Back Again Volume One is on par with the Lord of The rings movies to me.
(But An Unexpected Journey is my favorite of the Hobbit movies anyway, so I'm a bit biased!)


Volume two is also great and plenty of clever edits, only still a bit too long to my taste. (although like I said I didn't watch the final release).
I don't mind long movies but I feel that a fanedit with the goal to make two movies out of this trilogy could have them being more or less the same lenght. Let's say it's more of an esthetical preference than anything else, lol.
That said... I wouldn't add anything to Volume One (perfect as it is) and even if I personally could have removed some scenes of Volume Two (it would'nt have made it radicaly shorter anyway) the pace of this fanedit is really good. So it's long, but without boring parts and it works as one good movie. And this was L8wrtr's main goal, so to me it's mission accomplished.
I can see this fanedit being the favorite version of a lot of people who like Peter Jackson's middle earth movies but find the Hobbit trilogy overloaded.
It was a pleasure to watch and to discuss it with the always friendly mister L8wrtr.
 

L8wrtr

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First, thank you very much @"parras" for the very nice review!! I am beyond pleased that you enjoyed it so much. I'd sent out so many links without feedback I was beginning to worry :p

Second, finally some updates. 

After releasing the 720 I was a little burned out, plus the L8wrtr family is preparing a rather extensive remodel and the last few weeks have been full of meetings and stressful discussions, so didn't get to attack the BD's like I really thought I would. Also, I had some tiny lingering uncomfort about what I though were some missed opportunities, so I toyed with it until I decided to do it, and now that they are done, I'm happy and locking this bad boy in.

The BD for Volume 1 is now all ready to go outside of the commentary which I plan on recording tonight. I anticipate it finally going online by end of the weekend (sorry, it would be faster but there calendar is still heavy so I'm padding it). 

For those that have seen the edit, the BD, 1080 download will have some slight changes, and I'll probably re-do the 720's afterwards as well.

Here are the minor adjustments:

Volume 1
Only one scene changed, and that is the Troll sequence. I originally left this untouched, but it is now a little lighter; no more floater snot in the stew, and the actual fighting is a little trimmed to get out some of the more 'crazy' acrobatics of the fighting dwarves, which also helps keep the focus a little more on Bilbo.

Volume 2
The second volume is the version I was a little less happy with, and now I am more pleased.
1. Nipped out a reference to Thrain in the opening. This was a suggestion of @"TMBTM" that didn't get into the initial release but is now in place. 
2. Restored the sequence where Bolg meets Azog as he is leading his army to the Lonely Mountain. This scene was originally cut because it referred to Laketown. I've fixed it so that the dialog now makes sense with/is consistent with the different chain of events. This provides a little better context for what he does after the Dwarves escape the Woodland Realm and being pursued by Legolas and Tauriel.
3. Implemented @"DrFontane" solution to the Dwarves abandoning the hidden door, but without the moon effect on Thorin's face. I hated not fixing this in my original version but didn't see a solution, which was apparently quite simple!
4. Trimmed dialog inside secret entrance to remove Dwalin explaining what the Arkenstone was.
5. Fixed an audio transition that I didn't like.

I'll post updates as they become available online.
 

Zagadka

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There're so many Hobbit fanedits that it's becoming hard to choose just one, definitive version to go with. I promised myself to watch Andreas' Hobbit when it's ready (that would be me first Hobbit fanedit to watch), but your edit's getting so much praise that I think of watching it first instead :). Anyway, are you gonna release subtitles as well?
 

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Looking forward to it.  My wife and I watched the first volume a few weeks back but I'm saving my thoughts for when we watch the whole thing...which we may delay some more now until we have the updated volume two.
 

L8wrtr

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I encoded a new batch at 720 and 1080 last night but found some issues in them. I'm re-encoding now. Should have them up in the next few days. 

BD is pretty much just waiting for me to record those damn commentaries and throw together a teaser for one of my next projects. I'll get this all wrapped up ASAP so I can focus on the next few edits that I have lined up.
 

L8wrtr

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This edit is now listed in the traditionally INFOrmative place; 720 and 1080p versions are both available, all with final changes. The BD will be at least a week away. I keep getting pulled away from doing the commentaries, which require 5 hours of time, and then my upload speeds are glacial so will probably take 4 days of uploading once I have them ready.

But if you don't care about the BD versions, then they are now finally available!
 
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