'That night they heard no noises....'
When I first read The Lord of the Rings, it was this chapter that sparked my attention. I loved the element of danger without really 'seeing' it! It's like Jaws, an hour goes by before we see the shark, but we know the danger is there. The Hobbits make their way into the dangerous Barrow-downs. This entire scene will (and should PJ!) be filled with stunning visuals, vistas and a great epic score!
They make their way north and are in awe of the stunning hills and far off places they see. There is this standout scene I would love to see. The Hobbits are riding on the downs. (close your eyes, well, IMAGINE you're closing your eyes!) They are riding in the midmorning daylight; great rolling country surrounds them. The great score I spoke of earlier is playing a somewhat sorrowful epic style score with a hint of danger and trepidation. Frodo (Elijah Wood we now know) looks to his right and sees some standing stones. Somewhat shuddering he makes his way down a hill to the left (to avoid the view of the stones) and before he knows it, he's walking towards one.
I'd love to see that small section played out like this.
CU of Frodo's eyes as he sees the standing stones in the distance.
He reins in his pony and leads the others down a hill. Looking meanwhile to his left.
CU of a stone surface, the camera pulls back to reveal it's a standing stone. The camera then moves to the left (not pans, the whole camera moves so we can see what is on the other side of the stone) revealing the hobbits riding towards it, and Frodo's shock as he sees the stone for the first time.
I'm thinking about adding storyboards to these rants from time to time, what do you all think of that? Get back to me.
So we then have the Hobbits eating their meal by the stone. I'd love to see Frodo, stretch his little legs, yawn and slowly close his eyes. At this point a fog is supposed to drift in on the downs, I'm not sure how I'd do that. I'm thinking I'd have Frodo slowly wake, we see his face, then in shock he gets up and looks about him, meanwhile the camera circles around him at the same time it pulls back to reveal the fog and the fact that Frodo is alone. He panics and starts running around screaming Sam! Sam! Merry! He enters a small fog clearing and falls to his knees, when suddenly
'he looked up, in time see a tall dark figure like a shadow
against the stars. It leaned over him. He thought there were
two eyes, very cold though lit with pale light that seemed to
come from some remote distance. Then a grip stronger and
colder than iron seized him. The icy touch froze his bones,
and he remembered no more'
Ah! What great writing! Ok to Frodo stirs and wakes in this dark underground place. He looks to see his friends wrapped and covered in jewels. They look pale as in death. His fear overtakes him and he freezes. What a great little tension filled scene! A dark room, very little lighting here, I'd have smoke come from Frodo's mouth as if it were cold as well. He sees this 'hand' reaching out for his friends and he overcomes his fear, grabs a sword and hacks his hand off.
I would then end this scene here; sorry guys no Tom Bombadil in this scene. What I love about Tolkien is that there are these amazing characters that make these little 'cameos' and that's it. Tom's had his 15 minutes in my book.
So Frodo hacks the hand off and the Hobbits stir and wake. They make their escape and manage to find their way out. They make their way towards Bree
Next Chapter: At the Sign of The Prancing Pony