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  • Alana Joli Abbott
    ... Janet, I ve been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 16, 2012
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      On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
       Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.

      Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?

      -Alana

      --
      Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
      Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
      Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
      Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

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    • Mich
      Hi yes I to would like to know this as well I also would like to know what some of the snarkey commints you made were just for some laughs if anything elts
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 16, 2012
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        Hi yes I to would like to know this as well I also would like to know what some of the snarkey commints you made were just for some laughs if anything elts lol. from Mich.
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 8:03 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material

         



        On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
         Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.

        Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?

        -Alana

        --
        Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
        Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
        Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
        Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

        --
        For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

      • Croft, Janet B.
        As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The Blue Wizards line is an example of
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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          As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!

           

          Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.

           

          As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)

           

          I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”

           

          Janet Brennan Croft

          Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

          “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.

           

          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott
          Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material

           

            On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:

           Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.

           

          Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?

           

          -Alana

           

          --
          Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)

          Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja

          Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
          Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets


          --
          For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

           

        • Larry Swain
          A quick question: isn t mention of the blue wizards made in the LoTR appendices, I think in A where Gandalf and Saruman arrive in Middle Earth mention is made
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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            A quick question:  isn't mention of the blue wizards made in the LoTR appendices, I think in A where Gandalf and Saruman arrive in Middle Earth mention is made of them going east?  I don't have the books handy but will check when I do later today.
             
            --
            Larry Swain
            theswain@...
             
             
            On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 09:38 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:
             


            As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!


            Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.


            As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)


            I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”


            Janet Brennan Croft

            Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

            “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.


            From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott

            Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material


              On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:

            Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.


            Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?


            -Alana


            --

            Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)

            Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horrorhttp://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja

            Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks

            Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

            --

            For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans





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          • Croft, Janet B.
            It’s mentioned that there are five wizards, but not the colors of the two unnamed ones. So it’s okay to say five, and that they went east, but not to say
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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              It’s mentioned that there are five wizards, but not the colors of the two unnamed ones. So it’s okay to say five, and that they went east, but not to say they were blue, and certainly not to give their names.

               

              Janet

               

              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Swain
              Sent: Monday, December 17, 2012 10:42 AM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Source Material

               

               

              A quick question:  isn't mention of the blue wizards made in the LoTR appendices, I think in A where Gandalf and Saruman arrive in Middle Earth mention is made of them going east?  I don't have the books handy but will check when I do later today.

               

              --

              Larry Swain

               

               

              On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 09:38 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:

               

               

              As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!

               

              Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.

               

              As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)

               

              I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”

               

              Janet Brennan Croft

              Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

              “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.

               

              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott

              Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM

              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com

              Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material

               

                On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:

              Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.

               

              Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?

               

              -Alana

               

              --

              Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)

              Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horrorhttp://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja

              Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks

              Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

              --

              For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

               

               

               

               

                
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            • not_thou
              If pressed, I suppose the filmmakers might argue that they had their own reasons, not derived from Tolkien, for choosing blue over another color, but I don t
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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                If pressed, I suppose the filmmakers might argue that they had their own reasons, not derived from Tolkien, for choosing blue over another color, but I don't think that would be very convincing: given five characters, three of whom are known to have signature colors of white, gray, and brown, one would be unlikely to assign the same color to both members of the remaining pair.

                However, this detail is less specific than the description of the Ring of Barahir in the LOTR films, which seems to have raised no legal challenges.

                -Merlin


                --- "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                > It's mentioned that there are five wizards, but not the colors of the two unnamed ones. So it's okay to say five, and that they went east, but not to say they were blue, and certainly not to give their names.
              • Larry Swain
                Danke. -- Larry Swain theswain@operamail.com On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 10:51 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote: It’s mentioned that there are five wizards, but not
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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                  Danke.
                   
                  --
                  Larry Swain
                  theswain@...
                   
                   
                  On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 10:51 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:
                   


                  It’s mentioned that there are five wizards, but not the colors of the two unnamed ones. So it’s okay to say five, and that they went east, but not to say they were blue, and certainly not to give their names.


                  Janet


                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Swain

                  Sent: Monday, December 17, 2012 10:42 AM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Source Material



                  A quick question:  isn't mention of the blue wizards made in the LoTR appendices, I think in A where Gandalf and Saruman arrive in Middle Earth mention is made of them going east?  I don't have the books handy but will check when I do later today.


                  --

                  Larry Swain



                  On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 09:38 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:



                  As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!


                  Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.


                  As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)


                  I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”


                  Janet Brennan Croft

                  Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

                  “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.


                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott

                  Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM

                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com

                  Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material


                    On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:

                  Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.


                  Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?


                  -Alana


                  --

                  Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)

                  Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horrorhttp://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja

                  Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks

                  Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

                  --

                  For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans






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                • Alana Joli Abbott
                  Thanks for this, Janet! Those are exactly the sort of examples I was looking for to get my mind wrapped around what they were doing. Best, Alana ... -- Alana
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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                    Thanks for this, Janet! Those are exactly the sort of examples I was looking for to get my mind wrapped around what they were doing.

                    Best,
                    Alana

                    On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                     

                    As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!

                     

                    Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.

                     

                    As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)

                     

                    I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”

                     

                    Janet Brennan Croft

                    Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

                    “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.

                     

                    From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott
                    Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material

                     

                      On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:

                     Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.

                     

                    Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?

                     

                    -Alana

                     

                    --
                    Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)

                    Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja

                    Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
                    Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets


                    --
                    For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

                     




                    --
                    Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
                    Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror http://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
                    Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
                    Columnist, "The Town with Five Main Streets" http://branford.patch.com/columns/the-town-with-five-main-streets

                    --
                    For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans

                  • Jason Fisher
                    I am the first to admit I know very little about the legal side of this — perhaps Doug Kane can chime in here — but it seems to me that mentioning the blue
                    Message 9 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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                      I am the first to admit I know very little about the legal side of this — perhaps Doug Kane can chime in here — but it seems to me that mentioning the blue wizards in a line or two of dialogue, even though they are discussed in a book to which the filmmakers do not own the rights, can hardly be construed as an actionable violation. Surely, what Jackson et al. did is no worse than a Fair Use quotation? If Peter Jackson had filmed a scene involving direct depiction of them and their actions, that would be something else, but merely mentioning them? In fact, could it be that having Gandalf be unable to remember their names was a film-rights dodge?

                      Jason


                      From: "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...>
                      To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Monday, December 17, 2012 8:51 AM
                      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Source Material

                       
                       
                      Janet
                       
                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry Swain
                      Sent: Monday, December 17, 2012 10:42 AM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Source Material
                       
                       
                      A quick question:  isn't mention of the blue wizards made in the LoTR appendices, I think in A where Gandalf and Saruman arrive in Middle Earth mention is made of them going east?  I don't have the books handy but will check when I do later today.
                       
                      --
                      Larry Swain
                       
                       
                      On Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 09:38 AM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:
                       
                       
                      As David Bratman said, they had the rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but not to any other material. The “Blue Wizards” line is an example of something I told them they shouldn’t use since it’s from Unfinished Tales – I don’t know why they used it anyway, but I get the feeling that Peter Jackson is similar to Tolkien in one respect – he seems about as easy to influence as a Bandersnatch!
                       
                      Some of the things I commented on were titles for Sauron which were used only in The Silmarillion, a name for an invented character that was a variation of a name used only in Unfinished Tales, or an invocation of a Vala whose name did not appear in H or LotR. There were also continuity issues, like Sméagol’s name – Bilbo should not know his original name, because it has to come as a surprise to Frodo in the first LotR movie, so the two-sided conversation had to be played without separate names for each side of Gollum. And I made comments on incongruities, like crossbows or printed calendars or impossible behaviors of the moon. I did not do any work on the languages – they had a separate expert for those – except when I saw something that was clearly a name of a person or place in the dialogue.
                       
                      As the other two movies have not been released (not to mention the inevitable extended editions), I can’t go into a great deal of detail at this point. (Except to say it might have been worse – to my own sensibilities, each successive script was a great improvement over its predecessors.)
                       
                      I only communicated with a single direct contact at the studio, so I don’t know exactly how they used or discussed my comments. I have visions of a production team sitting around a table grumbling “Drat that Croft, she never lets us have any fun.”
                       
                      Janet Brennan Croft
                      “Almost as entertaining as the guy with a tank full of scorpions. But not quite.” OKC Mensa, after I lectured on Tolkien and war.
                       
                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Alana Joli Abbott
                      Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:04 PM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [mythsoc] Source Material
                       
                        On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                      Yes, that is my name in the credits as Tolkien Scholar! Basically I advised on the source of all material in the script and whether they had rights to it or not. I did make comments (many quite snarky, I'm afraid) and suggestions about certain other things, but I don't know how far up they got, though some of the continuity problems I noted did seem to get fixed, at least. They did keep in one little thing I warned them about; I notice several people have caught it. The movie does have a number of differences from the last script I read. I'm doing similar work on some of the games that will be coming out.
                       
                      Janet, I've been wondering about this -- people keep talking about bringing in other source material to flesh The Hobbit out into three films, but others have pointed out that rights to much of the material aren't included. Can you talk a bit about where they were allowed to draw from and where they weren't, and what they chose to do?
                       
                      -Alana
                       
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                      Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
                      Contributor to Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horrorhttp://tinyurl.com/haunted-aja
                      Author of Into the Reach and Departure http://tinyurl.com/aja-ebooks
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                    • John Rateliff
                      ... Re. a line or two of dialogue : You d think so, wouldn t you? But the recent lawsuit by the Faulkner estate of that Owen WIlson movie about Paris was
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 17, 2012
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                        On Dec 17, 2012, at 1:36 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:
                        I am the first to admit I know very little about the legal side of this — perhaps Doug Kane can chime in here — but it seems to me that mentioning the blue wizards in a line or two of dialogue, even though they are discussed in a book to which the filmmakers do not own the rights, can hardly be construed as an actionable violation. Surely, what Jackson et al. did is no worse than a Fair Use quotation? If Peter Jackson had filmed a scene involving direct depiction of them and their actions, that would be something else, but merely mentioning them? In fact, could it be that having Gandalf be unable to remember their names was a film-rights dodge?

                        Jason


                        Re. "a line or two of dialogue": You'd think so, wouldn't you? But the recent lawsuit by the Faulkner estate of that Owen WIlson movie about Paris was based on the filmmaker's not getting permission to paraphrase a single sentence of nine words. Sometimes reasonableness goes out the window when large sums of money are involved. Sometimes not: it depends on the literary estate. The Joyce estate, for example, is notorious for asserting that "fair use" doesn't exist.  It's my impression that the Tolkien Estate choses their battles.

                        So, they'd have been wise to omit the blueness of the missing wizards, unless they got specific permission to mention them.  For which there is precedent, by the way: Iron Crown got permission to use the names of the two blue wizards in their collectable card game (circa 1995/96?), although their game license was a sub-license of Zaentz's movie merchandising license. 

                        Thus Gandalf's omitting their names I assumed is deliberate on Jackson's part, to avoid a blatant violation.

                        --JDR
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