Monday, February 23, 2015

Inhabiting Middle-earth

A movie trilogy almost as long as the books

This cold, never-ending winter has provided a wealth of time indoors. We have filled it admirably with Peter Jackson's movie trilogy of "The Lord of the Rings".

Before inhabiting Middle-earth, I did not appreciate the length that Peter Jackson and his sophisticated creative team took to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's massive fantasy world to life.

For instance, I did not appreciate that the special features DVD's, an extra 2 discs per movie, almost doubled the content from the already-lengthy extended edition films (682 minutes in total across the three films, over 11 hours of movie magic). They are quite fascinating, delving into Tolkien's life & inspiration, script development, conceptual design, special effects, editing, and other detailed aspects of the film-making process.

I admit that the special features have deepened my appreciation for the fantastic creative work this team delivered. The recognition of this effort in the 2004 Academy Awards now makes more sense, as their work will likely stand the test of time.

Amazing to think that Peter Jackson finally brought his extensive recreation of Tolkien's Middle-earth to a close with the third & final Hobbit movie just this year. These two men will have devoted a similar chunk of their productive life to this rich story - Tolkien 14 years to write his trilogy and Jackson 16 years to bring the trilogy full circle with the three Hobbit films. An inspiring achievement worth the time to enjoy.

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