PARTY!

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The most fun way to introduce the audience to a new culture is via a party/festival montage type of scene.

'Are elf parties truly as exciting as we've been told?' (start at 1:58)

That depends...on what we end up doing about that. We'll have to invent a lot of different aspects of culture to pull off a good party scene, but the music is a key part of that - the other details tie in to that. Think of any memorable party scene from any film...why do you have such a vivid memory of the scene? It's seldom the dialogue....though it may be related to the sudden end to the party (which we should have plenty of in this project!)

Titanic: An Irish Party in 3rd Class. The music is the best part of this scene; I have to admit that I don't much care for the story they are telling here, but (whatever) it is effective:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Silly Song. Yes, I know Tolkien hated this Disney film with a passion for OBVIOUS reasons. But as far as a party scene goes, this one is a good example. Good way to introduce the ensemble, too.

Dark Crystal: Podling Village. Fantasy culture party scene - look, it's puppets speaking Czech or something! No, this really is a great scene, and the music was only one aspect of how they conveyed the culture of the podlings. This scene is almost *all* we get of them, so it really has to make the audience care about these people all by itself.

Boondock Saints: The Cat Scene. Speaking of memorable ends to the party.... This isn't much of a party. Just three guys who are friends celebrating...their first successful job as hitmen? If you like cats or dislike cursing you probably won't want to watch this.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Yule Ball. Okay, I need to make up for that last one. This is a well done scene, integrating a lot of characters. The contrast between the two musical styles is jarring (intentionally), but I am not a fan of that transition. The wizarding world seems to have a mish-mash culture, borrowing muggle items as desired.

Fairy Tale Theater - Cinderella: The Ball. Why, yes, that *is* a young Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming. I include this scene as they were going for humor, not fun. The whole episode is great and probably the most entertaining and memorable version of Cinderella ever filmed. BUT, when you go for humor like this, you can't expect your audience to take your characters (or their culture) seriously. I think we should avoid this style entirely in this project. I do not want any characters who are 'merely' used as comic relief - I'd rather incorporate witty banter or allow characters who are often the butt of jokes to have some serious scenes as well. I do not know if everyone is on the same page there, though.



On one level, you can't screw up this kind of scene. How hard is it to have a brief sequence of a fun party, with your main characters taking the central role, but the extras really making the scene? Good music, food, drink, dancing, laughter....easy, right? Perfect opportunity to work out some side plots all at once or do character development of minor characters in just a few minutes of screentime.

Matrix Reloaded: Zion Rave. Unfortunately...there is this scene from the Matrix trilogy that probably should never have existed. Neo and Trinity have sex while the rest of the Zion community has a dance party rave. No one speaks. Not much actually happens. The music is subtle and repetitive. Lots of slow mo jumping and wet clothing shots. And it is longer than half of the clips above. It is mostly remembered as an awkwardly uncomfortable scene. It was likely meant to show the vibrancy of life in the face of death and destruction (or something), but...it arguably failed miserably.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
In Season 1, we have a few opportunities for party-type scenes with music.

Tulkas and Nessa's wedding should feature dancing prominently (and then end with the destruction of the Lamps). That is our first of many 'party abruptly ended by disaster' scenes, so....we should make it good.

There will also be the scene with the lighting of the Two Trees - not a party. Certainly a quiet moment, but the music, if we have any, will matter a lot. And will be another way to establish what we want...such things to look and sound like.

For season 2, we don't yet know what party scenes we'll have, but we expect that Oromë will be interrupting an elf party when he meets them, so....that's a good chance for this kind of scene. And it will need music!
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, the wedding of Finwë and Míriel at Cuiviénen is currently slotted for Episode 3. As the first elvish wedding, there are a lot of opportunities to focus on what makes all elvish culture what it is (before it splits up into Noldor, Teleri, etc). No metal yet, so no silver/gold rings to exchange. How 'formal' is the ceremony? What are the roles of the parents (if any)? Things to consider....
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, I see the link to the Disney scene is broken.

Here it is again:
'The Silly Song' from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

It's not an accident that they got Happy and Bashful to sing the verses of the song; these are two minor characters we don't hear much from. There are three 'main characters' dwarfs in this film: Doc, Grumpy, and Dopey (and Dopey is a silent comic relief role). Sleepy and Sneezy fall asleep and sneeze, respectively.

Now that we're getting ready to plan the Mereth Aderthad, we should probably return once more to the question of conveying the Sindar and Noldor cultures in a fun party scene (that may or may not turn sour later).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We could try something like Igrayne's Dance from Excalibur. I think the instrumentation (which I believe is lute, recorder, and percussion, likely a tambourine) might fit.

 
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