Pilot Script Attempt

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Awesome this stuff is great. As a would be writer this is an area I find really creatively exciting. I also have art/design eye so the whole project is über exciting
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Ok, so I've managed to get through the whole thing. I'm going to let you guys finish going over it before I start any edits. I am pretty sure that it isn't long enough, but I think that the editing process will help alleviate that.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Really nice work Nicholas! I'll see if I can find anything smart to say about it.... :)
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
It's probably going to be a while before I have a hot minute to slash your hard work to ribbons, but congratulations on getting through it!
 

Timdalf

Active Member
I am limping along trying to catch up with the immense amount of work done so far: 24 podcasts - 26 pp of script outlines... So permit me to make what might seem dumb questions and dumber comments because I have not yet been able to get through all of Prof. Corey's original podcasts on The Silmarillion, nor have I digested the original book. But think of me as your average viewer... a guinea pig who knows a little something about TS, but has no where near the expertise all of you on this thread have on who is who and where is where and what is happening!

I just read through your wonderful and VERY engaging 10 pp of script... I am not sure if this is all of the First Episode or if you intend more...?

Have you plans to put up titles? If so, where? Is there any voice over for the opening scenes with the Dunedain? If not, how is the average viewer (like me) who does not have the script in hand to know who these people are? We need to be eased into this strange new world. If the point of the frame narrative events is to introduce the audience to the "remote" world of the Ainur, to bridge the gap between it and the viewer, by starting out with characters we know and care about (if that's not the point, then correct me)... Then we need to know who these characters are I would think. They need, in other words, a bit of exposition, before things begin to happen. So may I suggest the following: Before Gilraen asks her first question we need to know who the Twins are and who Arathorn is. Perhaps a sequence with some ordinary folk in the village seeing the Elf twins arrive: "Oh, look, Elrohir and Elladan, the sons of Elrond have come to see Lord Arathorn. That means trouble is afoot!" If it was day when they arrive, is it night so soon when Gilraen asks about them in the next scene?... perhaps we need a transition shot of Arathorn and the Twins talking for some time as twilight falls? I wonder about her addressing Arathorn as "my lord"? They are married, after all... and in the privacy of their home would address each other more informally, no? (and this would help reinforce who they are for us.) Also, I think I remember some talk about not revealing who Estel is during the podcasts, buuut, is that really practical? Don't we have to know who he is so that we connect the child with the Aragorn we know so we understand why we are showing/interested in his education? So someone has to somehow utter his name to identify him. Arathorn when he bids them farewell perhaps? And we need some sort of transition sequence between the burning village and Gilraen and young Aragorn well settled in Imladris... Since you have Elrohir returning to tell her the news of Arathorn's fall, perhaps he could at this point invite her to take refuge in Imladris?
In other words, there will be plenty of info overload for the audience as this series unfolds, perhaps we need to be clearer at this initial stage so the Silmarillion Syndrome (of confused despair over names and identities!) does not set in at the very outset! ;-)
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, I'm a bit sleep deprived, and at work, but I'd like to at least work on the core subject of your post.

There is indeed a lot of work that has to go into this script. At some point, I realized that if I didn't push through it, it would never get finished. There are indeed transition scenes I would like to see, I was just worried that if I stopped to work those out, I would never get moving again.

In regards to the naming of characters, I personally find that very awkward. People rarely use each other's names in normal conversation, which does help us in the attempt to conceal young Estel's identity. In order to do that, we must also conceal Arathorn's, at least from the casual viewer. (Anyone with a computer and an internet connection would be able to discover the truth, but that doesn't mean we can't be coy about it. Game of Thrones does this all the time.)

I also don't think we need to explain the change to Rivendell either. We see Gilraen and her child clearly leaving her home behind, then we will see her in Rivendell with a child somewhat older, I do believe audiences to be clever enough to work that out. Also, we don't need to answer every question in the first episode. Many series' thrive on giving their viewers limited information at first, then granting more as time goes on. (X-Files springs to mind here, as does the aforementioned GoT).

We certainly don't need to name Arathorn. We are either only going to see him in one other episode or not at all. He is clearly the husband of Gilraen, (who I think should be named in the starting sequence, thanks) and ostensibly yhe father of her child, who we will name in the next scene.

I do not have any voiceover in the opening sequence because it would likely reveal too much. We don't get the dialogue that Gilraen is not privy to because we are seeing these events from her point of view.

Using my lord and my lady, even in private, is a fairly well-established trope in heroic literature, and it has the added effect of keeping Arathorn's identity secret.


Finally (for now), the intention is to reveal Aragorn's true identity in the final episode, once again holding back information from the audience for the sake of dramatic emphasis.

I would certainly recommend listening to the rest of the podcasts as the opportunity arises, as Prof. Olsen does a fantastic job of explaining his position. Also, there are all the videos we made when hashing out the outlines. (This episode is a bad example as the 4-hour discussion and not on YouTube.)
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I think that introductions are important, not just for getting names out there, but for understanding people's relationships to one another. When Elladan and Elrohir ride in, they should *not* be dressed like the Dunedain, and thus clearly 'other.' Arathorn should clearly be the leader as everyone shows him deference and the news/decision making is focused on him.

Awkward exposition is awkward, and should be avoided if possible. Still, essential information needs to be conveyed, and that's where the 'show, don't tell' advice works...what is it we want the viewer to take away from this scene? Not a list of names, but an understanding that someone's home is in danger, and that this is a pivotal turning point in the lives of these people. Consider the young brother and sister sent away from the burning Rohirrim village in the Two Towers film. We have no idea who these kids are, but we know they are being sent on a 'mission' and that their family and home is in danger. That...is all that matters. If their names are used on screen, that's fine, but the audience doesn't really need to know their names - just mother, brother, sister....

I do agree that Gilraen's name should be spoken.

We don't want to fall into the trap that the Onion mocks Marvel for here, though:

(Movie review contains *NO* Spoilers for Captain America: Civil War ;) )

Backstory is good. Letting the audience know who these characters are is also good. Thinking that a full understanding of the backstory is necessary to understand the story being told is....not accurate. We are introducing the audience to Gilraen, and her story will unfold throughout the first season. I am fine with the audience not knowing the importance of this particular human child right away, and only gradually coming to the realization that Estel will grow up to be Aragorn.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I agree with pretty much everything you just said, MithLuin... I am thinking about having one of the women working with Gilraen calling out to her by name in curiosity.

Also, my father gave me an interesting idea for the missing scene I struggled with. The one in between Elrond's two conversations with Gilraen. He suggested that Elrond get a flashback to his separation from Elros when the two of them choose their fates. Now, at first, I was a bit concerned about this adding a level of complexity to an already complex story. However, to avoid it coming out of no where, we can change the depiction on the vase from one of Elwing to one of Elros and Elrond standing together. This way, when we see him staring at the broken pottery and go into a flashback of the two of them together (where we certainly do get names and have them referring to each other as 'Brother), it doesn't just come out of nowhere. I considered having Elros saying how glad he is that he brother will be there to help guide his descendants, but I realize it may be heavy-handed.

Let me know what you think.
 

Timdalf

Active Member
Yes, MithLuin, I guess the acid test will come in the screening room of ORK Production Studios* (that's Olsen tRish Kale) when the focus group test audience is assembled.... Will we have provided enough backstory spin offs at long last? ;-)
* which made famous the rediscovery of the processing of mithril halide photo-philm stock... (invented 7000+ years ago by Pheanor - brother of Feanor)
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, a brief flashback memory of why the broken object is precious to Elrond would be appropriate. I still think we can do better than 'broken vase', but my only suggestion was silver harp, which would tie to Maglor, not Elros...unless it's a memory of Elros playing the harp or something.

I wasn't sure if we wanted to 'reveal' Elrond's human twin quite so soon in this project, but the 'Learn Now the Lore of Living Creatures' speech does not convey the importance of the object, so we do need something to explain that.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Elros' decision to become mortal (and Elrond's to be an elf) happens in the aftermath of the War of Wrath, which is immediately after the disappearance of Maglor. Elwing's separation from her sons happened when they were, like, 2. So if it's a memory, it should be Elros, not Elwing, that we connect to here.

Perhaps it could be Elros and Elrond going through Maglor's things, and deciding who keeps what? So, it's the moment when Elrond became the care-taker of {precious object}, and involves the brothers discussing the significance of it? And of course the heavy sadness of the scene could be explained by a reference to Elros' imminent departure for Numenor.
 
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