I’m a huge fan of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, I don’t think that’s much of a surprise to anyone. I first read the books when I was 12 years old and they (phrase I hate) blew my mind wide open. Those books, probably more than anything else, are responsible for my 5th degree black belt in Nerd Fu. When the movies first came out eleven (!) years ago I was overjoyed and awestruck that anyone was able to pull off an adaptation as faithful and as successful as Peter Jackson and company did. I saw each movie in the theater three times, never getting tired of them and when the director’s cuts were released I went out and bought them and watched them on the day of release. The director’s cut editions came with four DVDs: Two for the extended cut of the movie, and two for the supplemental material (behind the scenes shit and various documentaries). I, of course, watched all of the supplemental material as well and I’m glad I did, because the story of how those movies got made was just as compelling (though a bit less exciting) as the story they were adapting.
One of the features from those extra DVDs was the story of Rayner Unwin, a lifelong friend of Tolkien’s (and a god among men). Most of the nerd folk know all about Tolkien writing the books and the whole thing about them being split into a trilogy, which he hated, but I’d never heard anyone mention Rayner Unwin before. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care if you’re a fan of the books or not, I don’t care if you think the movies are the worst shit since the STAR WARS prequels, and I don’t care how busy you are, you need to watch this video and you need to watch it now (it’s three and a half minutes, suck it up and click play):
Alright. Now ask yourself whether or not you think anything like that would happen today. What are the chances that a publishing executive today would give an editor permission to lose money on a book? If that story doesn’t impress and inspire you, then you’re the reason the world is terrible (no offense).
I feel like I could go on for at least another few paragraphs but just this once, I think I’ll shut up.