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Second-unit directors

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    I thought people were saying that Jackson was allowing major scenes (i.e., scenes with just a few of the major actors in dialogue) to be shot by second-unit
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 18, 2006
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      I thought people were saying that Jackson was allowing major scenes (i.e.,
      scenes with just a few of the major actors in dialogue) to be shot by
      second-unit directors. Whoever brought this up originally didn't bother to mention
      that it was only background scenes (i.e., scenes showing a landscape with a
      lot of extras) that the second-unit directors shot. I don't have any objection
      to that, since that's traditional. This discussion started by my saying
      that I don't think that Jackson is very good at directing actors. By this, I'm
      talking about directing the scenes with just a few of the major actors
      speaking the dialogue. Jackson did direct these scenes, so he's the one to take
      responsibility for them.

      Come to think of it now, Jackson would really have made a better second-unit
      director for _The Lord of the Ring_. His one real skill is at having
      visually interesting scenes. He can't write well. He doesn't direct actors well.
      If there had been anybody with any sense in charge of these films, they
      would have kicked Jackson down to second-unit director. They would have fired
      all the writers and started over on the script with better writers. They would
      have hired a director (and may be a casting person) who could pick more
      appropriate actors and direct them better. But then this is just saying that the
      film would have been better if done by somebody else.

      Wendell Wagner


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... They would ... pick more ... While anybody who s read my stuff here or on rabt/aft knows I m no defender of PJ, there is still in my mind a scale on which
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 19, 2006
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, WendellWag@... wrote:
        They would
        > have hired a director (and may be a casting person) who could
        pick more
        > appropriate actors


        While anybody who's read my stuff here or on rabt/aft knows I'm
        no defender of PJ, there is still in my mind a scale on which to
        rank his crimes, and casting comes close to the bottom. I have
        little problem with most of the cast (save that Elijah Wood was
        far, far too young). My personal image of Denethor is something
        more like Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing (or, indeed,
        Christopher Lee): but the mangled, awful mock-Denethor in the
        films wasn't John Noble's fault, but PJ's. Similarly I don't
        doubt that Rhys-Davies could have played an admirable Gimli had
        he been given that part, instead of "amusing short biker." I'm
        not sure there is anybody involved who was simply miscast (as
        opposed to having been given bad dialogue and direction),
        although to my taste Cate Blanchette isn't nearly gorgeous enough
        for Galadriel.
      • David Berberick
        ... Regarding Elijah Wood, seeing the guy talk in some of the bonus material made me realize that if he d been allowed to play himself--a seemingly humble,
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 19, 2006
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, WendellWag@ wrote:
          > They would
          > > have hired a director (and may be a casting person) who could
          > pick more
          > > appropriate actors
          >
          >
          > While anybody who's read my stuff here or on rabt/aft knows I'm
          > no defender of PJ, there is still in my mind a scale on which to
          > rank his crimes, and casting comes close to the bottom. I have
          > little problem with most of the cast (save that Elijah Wood was
          > far, far too young). My personal image of Denethor is something
          > more like Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing (or, indeed,
          > Christopher Lee): but the mangled, awful mock-Denethor in the
          > films wasn't John Noble's fault, but PJ's. Similarly I don't
          > doubt that Rhys-Davies could have played an admirable Gimli had
          > he been given that part, instead of "amusing short biker." I'm
          > not sure there is anybody involved who was simply miscast (as
          > opposed to having been given bad dialogue and direction),
          > although to my taste Cate Blanchette isn't nearly gorgeous enough
          > for Galadriel.
          >

          Regarding Elijah Wood, seeing the guy talk in some of the bonus
          material made me realize that if he'd been allowed to play himself--a
          seemingly humble, decent, intelligent, regular guy--his acting would
          have been fine. Instead, we saw tears and tears and tears and facial
          tics crawling across his face. When he was staring at the Ring in the
          Council of Elrond scene, he looked like he was having a dangerously
          constipated bowel movement. Blech.
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