Therese and Kathleen readily embrace their “inner nerd” when it comes to The Lord of the Rings. They, along with fellow nerd and writer buddy Elena Greene, even wrote an article about Peter Jackson’s movie version of the story, focusing on choices he made that all writers can learn from. The following is the first part of that article.
Lessons from Lord of the Rings
Even if you’ve never read the books or seen the films, you’ve undoubtedly heard of The Lord of the Rings. The 1,000 page story is so complex and broad in scope that even the author of the books, J.R.R. Tolkien, said they could never be translated to film; word is he sold rights to MGM for a mere $10,000. There are many people, including the three of us, who are elated he was proven wrong.
As a writer, it’s practically impossible to read or see interviews with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the triumphant triumvirate who adapted the book for the big screen, and not take notes. Copious notes. (Henceforth, we’ll refer to Jackson, et al., as ‘filmmakers,’ though we feel it’s about as adequate as labeling Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean as ‘passably handsome,’ not to mention Elijah Wood, Karl Urban and David Wenham…not that they have anything to do with our love for the movie. Ahem.) So much of what the filmmakers did in creating and then editing their work is what we writers strive for when polishing a manuscript: pinpoint the heart of the story and stay true to it, cut what can be lost, and always direct conflict and pacing.
Okay, how did they do it? [Read more…]