Top 10 Moments: The Return of the King

December 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

THE FINAL CHAPTER, THE PRECIOUS MOMENTS

“The board is set…  The pieces are moving.”

We arrive at last to the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and part 3 of my LOTR Moments Countdown.  Winner of 11 Academy Awards and easily the most difficult to narrow down to 10 moments.  Where do these classics rank in the entire trilogy?  Stay tuned for the 4th and final part of this series!  The Return of the King

Click here for The Fellowship of the Ring

Click here for The Two Towers

Click here for The Top 30 Lord of the Rings Moments (Coming Soon)

HONORABLE MENTION: Hey you guys!

10. ROHAN ARRIVES

Just when all hope is lost, Rohan arrives and absolutely decimates the Orc lines…  Then Mumakil’s arrive and all hope is lost again…  It was nice while it lasted.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

9. SMEAGOL’S BIRTHDAY

The first ‘My Precious’ has to make this list.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

8. SAM VS SHELOB

Sam really shines in Return of the King and not just because he’s holding the  Light of Eärendil.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

7. GO HOME

I really thought Sean Astin would get a best supporting actor nomination for this scene alone.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

6. LEGOLAS VS MUMAKIL

An extremely cool moment somewhat overshadowed by one of the most memorable lines in the series…

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

“That still only counts as one!”

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

5. THE BEACONS

This made the list purely because it’s visually spectacular. Howard Shore’s score is amazing throughout but this sequence is particularly powerful.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

4.  “WHITE SHORES & BEYOND…”

“A far green country under a swift sunrise.”

J.R.R. Tolkien.  You have my admiration.  Gandalf doesn’t actually say these words in the book but it’s a phenomenal cinematic moment.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

3. “FOR FRODO”

Gimli sums it up pretty well:

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

“Certainty of death, small chance of success….  What are we waiting for?”

It may be humorous but it also sets up the impact of Aragorn’s big moment.  Courage.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

2. SAM CARRIES FRODO

The Lord of the Rings is packed with themes like the aforementioned courage.  Friendship is another prevalent theme in this story and it doesn’t get better than this.

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

1.  MOUNT DOOM

The journey ends.  The long struggle is over for everyone including Gollum who falls to his death in one of the best motion captured performances ever.  There are many movies out there that set up an epic finale only to rush through it.  Stretching out this moment was a nice touch and a brilliant way to end this masterpiece.  (Or at least start a series of endings)

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Is it weird that watching Sauron’s eye as Barad-dûr crumbles makes me laugh?

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ‘RETURN OF THE KING’ MOMENT?

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

Top 10 Moments: The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King

Why The Lord of the Rings Continually Inspires the Screenwriter in me

December 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

Why The Lord of the Rings Continually Inspires the Screenwriter in me

LORD OF THE RINGS INSPIRES A NEW AGE OF SCREENWRITING

I love writing screenplays.  I always have.  It’s always been a distant dream to write a film that gets made and shown to audiences around the world.  I say distant because it’s not a simple task to accomplish and it’s easy to lose your way.  But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  Last year, for a time, I lost my way.  I was still obsessed with screenwriting but I wasn’t making time to actually write.  There was always something else to do.  It’s a poor excuse.

That’s why I dropped everything and challenged myself to do better.  As soon as I applied myself, I finished a new screenplay within two months.  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you actually sit down and write.  What does that have to do with The Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs?  There is a chapter in every film’s documentary that focuses on the screenwriting challenges they faced.  Three half hour chunks dedicated to each film and the passion required to realize get the screenplays done.  I.  Love.  Those.  Documentaries.

XTRA | The best special features of all time?

Adapting The Lord of the Rings was an exercise in commitment and screenwriting precision.  With such a wealth of information at their disposal, it fell to Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens to weave it all into three movies.  What I love the most is their devotion to the world of Middle Earth.  They care so much about these characters and that’s why they were so successful.  They knew the world and the characters well enough to deviate when they needed to in order to make the movies work.  It takes supreme command of the craft to pull off a screenplay based on a beloved book AND having the confidence to change things.

What’s even more inspiring was their constant need to make the screenplays better.  There were always places to improve.

IT WON’T WORK IF YOU DON’T CARE

There have been many instances when I felt disconnected from the characters I created.  The Lord of the Rings inspires me to continue searching for a story I believe in.  Last summer, that search led to an idea that I finally sat down and finished.  It was an amazing experience and immediately led me to another concept I care deeply about.  That’s the most inspiring thing about these films and the talent behind them.  These people cared deeply about J.R.R Tolkien’s work and wanted nothing less than perfection.  They wanted to treat every single detail with the respect it deserved.

That’s the dream.  Looking at a blank page and seeing a blank page doesn’t work.  You have to see something there.  Something you care about.  You should see new worlds, characters and the little details worthy of your passion and dedication.  It should be fun.

That type of thinking makes the blank page an inspiring sight indeed.

Why The Lord of the Rings Continually Inspires the Screenwriter in me

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting

September 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

Link, Zelda, Hyrule & Screenwriting | Screenwriting Blog | The Legend Of Zelda | Nintendo

MAPPING OUT A NEW WORLD

XTRA | The Top 10 Cinematic Game Studios

The Legend of Zelda has been my favorite video game franchise since Ocarina of Time dominated my life years ago.  I got the game as a Christmas present and literally spent a year immersed in the world of Hyrule.

Since then, I’ve eagerly anticipated and adored new titles like Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

link, zelda, hyrule, middle earth & screenwriting

Ocarina of Time is without a doubt my favorite game of all time.  I find the series fascinating because I’ve come to know the world of Hyrule so well.

It’s a testament to the designers to be able to create such a detailed and vivid world.  From a storytelling perspective, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.  Little by little, as you play through the game, you are introduced to new areas and characters.  You spend so much time exploring the enormous world that you don’t realize what’s actually happening.  Suddenly you realize that you know the species, you know the towns, you know where people live and you know where to find things.  You know Hyrule.

I dug out my old Nintendo 64 a while back and I was immediately stunned at how much I remembered. The fact is, I still know where everything is.  I started a brand new game I was instantly reminded of how many hours I spent searching for Skulltulas and conquering all the irresistible mini quests.  I remembered all the different areas and weapons I was about to unlock all over again.  I remembered spending entire afternoons trying to catch enormous fish in the pond.

The Legend of Zelda is about the heroic adventures of Link at it’s core but the adventures would be boring without a world like Hyrule.

XTRA: Check out this article over at IGN about the impact of Ocarina of Time

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting | Screenwriting Blog | The Legend Of Zelda | The Lord Of The Rings

CREATE A NEW WORLD OF YOUR OWN

Every corner of Hyrule is populated by unique characters, secret locations, mysterious items and so much more.  As I woke up in Kokiri Forest once more, I thought about the work that must have gone into the design of Hyrule.  The hours and hours of work needed to bring every detail of that world to life.

Then I thought about what it would take to do it myself!

Why not take out a clean piece of paper and start drawing?  Why not create my own world and use it as the setting for a movie?  When you set out to create a fantasy film you have to know what you’re talking about.  You need to know every corner of the world so it will be convincing to readers and hopefully audiences world wide.  It has to be believable.

This isn’t a tiny assignment either.  Think about all the species, aliens or creatures that could live there.  Think about the geography.  Think about the history.

I immediately jumped online to seek out maps for other worlds I’ve grown to love and my first choice remains the most detailed of all.

MIDDLE EARTH

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting | Screenwriting Blog | The Legend Of Zelda | The Lord Of The Rings

Without a doubt, the richest and most detailed fictional world has to be J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Every detail right down to the languages is thought out including literally thousands of years of history.

Imagine being able to tell a story with such a huge amount of back story in your mind.  Now imagine doing it yourself.

Having the freedom to create anything you want is both intimidating and extremely exciting.  Someday, I’ll base a story around a world I created from scratch.  I’ve got a couple tales I’d like to tackle first but that doesn’t stop me from starting drawing a map does it?  You have to start somewhere.

To be honest, I actually find the challenge of creating a world with so much depth inspiring.  Who knows what you can come up with when you sit down with a blank page.

THE Q: What’s your favorite fictional world?

Next up: Skyward Sword!  I can’t wait to return to Hyrule.

Link, Zelda, Hyrule, Middle Earth & Screenwriting | Screenwriting Blog | The Legend Of Zelda | The Lord Of The Rings