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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

LotR Limited Ed. DVD Extras - The Improv....

Posted on 2006.10.14 at 18:30
I know that everyone browsing this entry has seen the little improv Billy, Dom, and Elijah do while sitting around waiting to be called for what looks like the Farewell Party Scene, judging from the waistcoats Dom and Billy are wearing and the tents behind them. (Unfortunately, Elijah's robe is covering up the beautiful waistcoat Ngila's crew made for Frodo.)

In this clip, which we all saw in the FotR EE DVD Extra, "A Day in the Life of a Hobbit," the three actors pretend to be talking behind each other's backs as they each in turn pretend to be called away.

I never did get around to making any screencaps of this scene (or of any of the material that's in the EE DVD Extras except Elijah's farewell), so I decided to go ahead and make them as I watched the new DVD last week.

I am so glad I waited!

I mentioned in my last post ("Elijah laughing..."), that the picture quality of the Costa Botes material was decidedly better for that scene on the new DVD, compared to what is on in the FotR theatrical release Extras. Out of curiosity, after I made the caps for the "improv scene", I decided to do another comparison.

It was the same thing all over again: the picture quality for this scene on the new DVD Extra is much better than what is ion the FotR EE DVD Extras. I am beginning to think either the process of copying and editing the footage for the previous Extras diminished the picture quality, or else they really spruced up the Costa Botes footage for this "Limited Edition" package.

Therefore, I think I will have to reassess what I had said before about the new DVD's not being worth buying. If it turns out that the picture quality for the behind-the-scenes material in this new set is consistently this much better, I'd that if this footage really appeals to you, especially if you want to make screencaps, the new DVD's are worth getting.


Below are examples which show the difference in quality. I'm sure it will be clear to you at once how much better the screencap is that comes from the new DVD. The colours are more saturated, the resolution is far more crisp, and the exposure much brighter. Comparing them, the older image also looks stretched -- as if it was made to conform to the wider-screen format -- so that it's a little distorted.

Right below those two, I have posted a copy of the new DVD screencap tweaked, to show the sort of adjustments I typically make. I have brightened the image and sharpened the focus, besides trimming off the black border.

~ Screencap taken from "A Day in the Life of a Hobbit" on the FotR EE DVD Extras, unretouched:

~ The same frame take from the new "Limited Edition" DVD of FotR, unretouched:

~ The "Limited Edition" screencap tweaked for brightness and sharpness of focus:

Again, I am SO glad I never made caps of this from the EE Extras. After seeing the new caps, I would have just thrown the old ones out. I am sure you will agree, the frames posted below are beauties.

I really love Elijah in this succession of images. His face is not only amazingly fresh and beautiful, but charmingly and variously expressive. He goes from looking like a giggling or starry-eyed ten-year-old, to a serious/thoughtful/seductive adult.

As anyone can tell, I never tire of looking at this face.

~ Elijah with Billy and Dom doing their comic improv while waiting on set for the Party Scene, from the "Limited Edition" DVD extras for FotR:

Listing of all Frodo and Elijah screencaps HERE.

~ Mechtild


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alyrthia at 2006-10-15 00:47 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Yum.

mechtild at 2006-10-15 04:03 (UTC) (Link)
Glad you liked them, Alyon.
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2006-10-15 04:04 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I love them. I don't see film-Frodo in them much, of course, but I do think he retains enough of the look and aura to allow me to look at these and see Frodo at various instances in the story. I have to pretend I don't know what they are actually saying, of course!
frodoholic at 2006-10-15 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
I just wanted to thank you for posting all the screencaps lately, I have enjoyed them all! :D

god I love Elijah's smile..
mechtild at 2006-10-15 04:06 (UTC) (Link)
I have been pleased to make and post them, Frodoholic. I am so glad jan-u-wine loaned them to me, or I might never have bothered, thinking the whole thing was a rip-off perpetrated by New Line and its buyer(Warner Brothers?).
bandwench at 2006-10-15 08:25 (UTC) (Link)
One would never imagine from looking at that angelic face just exactly what words are being spoken there! Hee! *wonders if she will ever get over that little jump of shock when &*%$ falls so casually from his cherubic lips*
mechtild at 2006-10-15 13:35 (UTC) (Link)
I know! When I look at these frames as frames, I forget all about the stuff he is actually saying, or that they are doing the comedy improv at all. I just imagine other conversations entirely. No, not all of them about love or sex, either. He simply has a great face. I hope he gets to put it to good use again some day.
janira11 at 2006-10-15 09:27 (UTC) (Link)

The apple

We have a beautiful song in Italy made from a medieval ballad"Cogli la prima mela"and it means:"take the first apple".double sense about the apple..taking the first apple means to lose virginity...

Forgive me if you already know this...I wrote it because sometimes e have different double meanings....

mechtild at 2006-10-15 13:38 (UTC) (Link)

Re: The apple

No, I did not know that expression, Janira, but it fits well. I was merely thinking of the biblical passage which it recalls, the first woman offering the first man fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That shot does look as though EW is pondering it..."Shall I?...or shall I not?" -- whether thinking about Dom, someone he's meeting back at his trailer, or whether he'll ask PJ to ride Asfaloth himself to the ford of Bruinen. :D
maeglian at 2006-10-15 11:00 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful caps. :-) Especially the latter ones... For Elijah's /Frodo's part of them, I can just see *so* many uses for them in relation to captioning and as illustrations to various more or less saucy fics. Priceless nuanced expressions. Part angel, part....... something else. ;-)

That impression also probably somewhat inspired by the one with the apple being forever associated with "Mariole" and her various sweet, hothot and befuddled Frodos to me. :-D
mechtild at 2006-10-15 13:44 (UTC) (Link)
[sorry if you end up getting multiple messages for this, Maeg; there was some "send" snafu when I tried to post this.]

I can just see *so* many uses for them in relation to captioning and as illustrations to various more or less saucy fics. Priceless nuanced expressions. Part angel, part....... something else. ;-)

Ha Ha! Indeed!

Read Janira's comment (just above) about the old medieval song with the lyric about the apple. It suits well.

Yes, any number of scripts could be written for these caps - Mariole's, definitely among them.
melyanna_65 at 2006-10-15 12:23 (UTC) (Link)
No need to add more, the pics speak themselves. Elijah's face? The most wonderful thing in the world, pure and simple!

*lots of hugs*
mechtild at 2006-10-15 13:46 (UTC) (Link)
You are welcome, Melyanna.
Estelanui - Francesca
estelanui at 2006-10-15 12:48 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy you made the screencaps of this scene!!!
I'm also glad, while waiting for my "Limited Edition" DVDs, that you wrote:
I think I will have to reassess what I had said before about the new DVD's not being worth buying.

That scene from "A Day in the Life of a Hobbit" is my prefered among all the LotR DVD Extra. I played it so many times on my DVD player that probably there is an hole in the disc :)
I love the funny sketch, but I found the interaction among the three irresistible, and so revealing of their nature and of the acting process.
Here they are not the real person, not their LotR characters, but the actors , that is a mingle between real behavior and interpretation in front of the camera.
I think it's possible to see the three different (RP) natures, how they go in and out their sketch characters, the relationship among them, and also their age difference. This is more evident for Elijah, that has the natural gift to use ALL his facial muscles in a large espression range.
It is a pleasure look at these very fast switchs Elijah-actor-Frodo or Dom-Merry-actor etc., and see a lot of feelings painted on their faces.
You screencaps are, as usual, a joy. Thank you, my dear!
mechtild at 2006-10-15 13:49 (UTC) (Link)
You wrote very interesting things here, Estelanui. In a way, they aren't their kcharacters, but they aren't themselves, either, since they are doing an improv. They are almost doing caricatures of themselves. Maybe that's one of the reasons there's such a range of expression - because they sort of have their public selves "turned up higher"?
shirebound at 2006-10-15 13:58 (UTC) (Link)
As anyone can tell, I never tire of looking at this face.

I can't look at anyone else when he's on screen!
mechtild at 2006-10-15 17:49 (UTC) (Link)
I have that problem, too. Although after I'd seen each film enough times, I did begin to make the effort to watch other people in his scenes. :)
maewyn_2 at 2006-10-15 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
These are great! It's amazing how much clearer your new caps are from the original. Of course, the first caps were the most telling. The first example is almost blurred in comparison to its twin.

Well done - I've been following your screencapping posts and appreciate the work you have put into them.
mechtild at 2006-10-15 17:51 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's good to know, Maewyn. I thought you were tiring of gazing upon The Face.

Yes, the difference between the two prints is quite pronounced. If you look at the previous entry, you'll see I did an unretouched comparison between shots from an old FotR extra and the same frame as it appears on the new DVD. Again, the difference in quality is remarkable.
taerie at 2006-10-15 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
I can certainly see Frodo here! Early on and younger before the end of his happy hobbit life and at a party being goofy. (I can see that it is an advantage not to have actually seen the footage to know what they are actually saying. One of the reasons I avoid it and just capitalize on angels like you who do captures. I do love my illusions and guard them jealously from any possible harm. LOL!)
mechtild at 2006-10-15 17:54 (UTC) (Link)
Well, they are were amusing to watch in this scene the first time around, but the joke gets old pretty quickly. I always enjoyed watching it, though, because it told me what good friends they were becoming.

I'm so happy you are enjoying these now, Taerie. It's true that you can think of a dozen subtexts for this scene with just the pictures. And that is so fun!
not_alone at 2006-10-15 15:10 (UTC) (Link)
As anyone can tell, I never tire of looking at this face.

So glad I'm not alone:) I have to admit it's one of my favourite pastimes!! You're right about the better quality on the new dvds - the caps are much clearer.

mechtild at 2006-10-15 17:54 (UTC) (Link)
Yup, the new footage is definitely better. Woo hoo!
taerie at 2006-10-15 17:05 (UTC) (Link)
(Okay, I can't resist.)
1. Go ask her to DANCE Frodo! Look at her.. she WANTS you.
2.She wants me alright. She wants me dead!
3.Notice that HE never asks her to dance.. DOES he Pip?
4.That's hard, Frodo.. Making fun of your cousin who ONLY wants the best for you.
5.Right! Then I WILL ask her!
6.Back already? What did she say?
7.Nothing. These are very good apples.
8.Aren't you going to eat your apple Pip?
9.No.. Look! She's waving ME over to dance!
10.Hmm.. Want a bite Frodo?
11.No thank you, Merry..
12.I don't like the taste of the bitter fruit of humiliation.
14.Did I ever tell you how she pinched me once?
15.Oh really?
16+ 17 REALLY! She beckoned me over..
18.And she pinched me. (Frodo) Where?
19.Right in the ale tent. Merry.. did you know that you only look serious when you are telling the biggest stories?

mariole at 2006-10-15 17:50 (UTC) (Link)
Taerie, you big nut! Very cute. :)
mariole at 2006-10-15 17:52 (UTC) (Link)
I know you don't realize how much I like this sequence. Hee! *saves a lot* This was one of the sequences that I played for my friends when I tried to explain why I was such a big fan. It didn't get the hearty chuckles I hoped it would, possibly because we had all finished the EE and everyone was nearly dead. Or maybe you had to already be a little bit in love to appreciate the sheer adorability of this.

In any case, many thanks for your generosity with your time and talents!
mechtild at 2006-10-15 18:02 (UTC) (Link)
As it was noted above by Maeglian, your apple icon has singlehandedly made this one of the most famous of behind-the-scene scenes! I'm so glad to see how good the footage was for this section.

Me, I just told Taerie that I found the improv only moderately funny when I first watched it, and it only became less funny with repeat viewings. But I never tired of looking at it because the three of them were so cute in it as people. I loved seeing the ease and sense of fun that had developed between them by then.

Oh - and Frodo was darned dishy.
Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2006-10-17 11:56 (UTC) (Link)

Thank you Mechtild for all the work you put into this.

I must reconsider buying this new set.
mechtild at 2006-10-17 13:05 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, if you have the money, they aren't priced high ... I'm actually considering getting them if I get a bunch of money for Christmas that I don't have to throw in Rachel's college loan payment fund.
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