The Searchers – Scifi Cover Art Illustration

This is my first 2019 pic and it was just done for fun and for portfolio. Inspired by the classic John Wayne western “The Searchers” this is my scifi take on it and the idea was to also depict my style of cover art for science fiction novels.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“ZEN WORLD” – Fantasy Art

I´m not sure if this can be considered a matte-painting or not because I actually never know exctaly where the boundaries are on those things. Although it´s based on scenery extensions, a bit of photobashing and textures, there´s also a lot of painting all over the place to make this work, so I guess in the end this is another Fantasy painting of mine, just for fun in between commissions.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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SKETCH : “West of Oz – Pic 4” : Phase III – Work in progress

And here´s the continuation of my work in progress for a brand new pic. Let´s see how this one will look in the end after I´m done with it.

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Check part 1 and part 2 of this ongoing making of.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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Goodbye Photoshop, Hello Clip Studio Paint : “West of Oz – Do Not Feed The Fish” – Third Clip Studio painting.

Continuing to test my new Clip Studio Paint here´s another pic I just did.
I guess my, “West of Oz” idea is becoming a series of pics now, so here´s another one : “WEST OF OZ – DO NOT FEED THE FISH”. I might end up doing a Kickstarter illustration book with this stuff one of this days or something…
This is also a good example of my love for color… if you haven´t noticed it…

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This one is a very good example of why I tend not to work with sketches at all. 99% of the time my end image has absolutely nothing with the original idea sketched and so that is why I rarely show any sketches to anyone. My paintings are very organic and totally unplanned. I like to build and image not knowing what will look like at the end because if I pre-plan a painting with sketchs , in my mind the vision is already there and then it becomes a chore to complete and refine the image which sometimes can take more than 20 hours to do. So I preffer  to go into a painting not having any idea of how it can look like in the end. This is why I do not like to send sketches anywhere to depict what I can do for a project because what I can do never has anything to do in the end with the sketch I send in the first place.
Too bad I didn´t saved the original sketch work for this image because you would not believe what it was going to be my initial idea , haha.

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After more than 15 years using Photoshop for most of my original illustration/concept-art work stuff, I´m replacing it with Clip Studio Paint ( also known as Manga Studio in Japan ).
It can do most of the things I did with Photoshop when it comes to creating a painting, the layers work the same way, etc, but it comes with some really cool pre-made brushes that I love to use. Also it has some great comic creation features which are outstanding.

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Don´t let the name of the software fool you, it is not a clipart creation tool but a fully developed software for painting and illustration. Thing of a cross between the classic Painter with plenty of the Photoshop advantages mixed in and you get Clip Studio Paint.
It is known as Manga Studio in Japan but the name is also not very good there too because people may think this is just something to create Manga, which again, it is not.
I have no idea why somebody didn´t give this amazing full illustration creative painting tool a really good name that reflects the true nature of what it can do but for now we´re stuck with “Clip Studio Paint” which must be the most awful and misleading name someone ever gave to an amazing painting sofware.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“THE BIG BLUE / LE GRAND BLEU” by LUC BESSON

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You may ask yourselves, what the heck is this guy now doing speaking about movies on a blog that was supposed to be just a plain illustration blog.
Well, that´s the point. An illustration blog in my view has a lot to gain not just by presenting an artist´s work as a continuous portfolio, but also in giving a glimpse of how the person behind the drawings thinks and feels.
Particularly speaking about inspiration sources that can also be useful to the reader.
And nothing gets me more inspired when it comes to movie references than [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] by Luc Besson.

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A lot of my illustrations have a little bit of ocean somewhere (or water) because of this movie.
So let me introduce it to you.

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DEEP BLUE DREAM

If you never eard about [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] , but you love the sea, you´re totally fascinated by the ocean and believe that dolphins really are another intelligent race co-existing with humans under the same sky, stop reading this text now and go buy the movie.
And if you´re a diver don´t even blink before you do it.
No, really, don´t waste any time because if you have any connection whatsoever with the sea and never even knew that a movie like this existed, you´ll already want to own a copy ot it. Yes you do. You just don´t know it yet.

 

And yes you can get [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] from tons of torrents out there. And it´s ok if you do, but trust me, this is a movie that deserves to be seen in magnificent digital original  and not as a bootleg dvd rip out there because its magic depends totally between the combination of image and sound so do yourself a favor and buy the thing now, because you will sooner or later anyway.

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[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is a unique story and movie. Not only within the filmography of Luc Besson, but in Cinema generally speaking and it´s the film that is even sometimes loved by people that usually dislike Besson´s work a lot.
Simply because there´s nothing like this movie out there.

LEAVING THE WORLD BEHIND

A note of caution though; if you´re expecting something like a sci-fi thriller that´s hinted on trailer for the american release, forget it and go see Transformers instead. It has some good sci-fi medical based themes in it but it´s not what you expect it to be if you believe what the trailer tells you.
The trailer for the American/international release of [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] must be one of the most horrendous trailers ever created to sell a movie to the american (and americanized) audiences. If not, the most misleading trailer ever done too.

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By looking at the available american trailer, you might think Luc Besson´s movie about the ocean, is something like a strange high-tech thriller. Something like “Leon” with dolphins, a touch of James Cameron stuff thrown in and a lot of James Bond locations, perhaps.
Sorry people, it´s not.
The locations rival anything that ever appeared in a 007 movie alright, but techno-thriller [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is not.
Oh, and there´s no mystery at all to be solved contrary to what that boomed voice announces in the trailer.
The only mystery in this movie is , who came up with such a ridiculous and misleading trailer ?!!
People who´ve paid tickets thinking this was some kind of action adventure high-tech thriller should have sued the american studio which distributed such a poetic film pretending that [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] was something that it never was, or could ever be for that matter.

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But what´s  The Big Blue about ?
This is the worst thing anyone can ask about this movie and I would have hated to be the guy who had to publicize this in USA for the popcorn market.

REMEMBERING A HEARTBEAT

If you´re not afraid of watching a story that has its own pace, don´t worry, [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] it´s not one of those mega boring Art-House so called masterpieces of Art that scare so many people out.
Although  the modern popcorn crowd  won´t like i´m sure. Simply because this is not one of those movies with 200 frames per second, mega-fast paced editing in MTV style and an action special effects scene between X amount of screen time.
Luc Besson created [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] as a contemplative poem and a love story about the ocean. There´s no giant robots in sight that change into cool cars, teenagers that wear the latest fashion clothes and nobody lunches at McDonalds in [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“].

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What more can i say about it?… That it´s the story of two friends who compete to find out who´s best ?…It´s more than that ! That it´s a love story ? It goes much beyond a typical love story ! That it´s an adventure ? You bet it is ! But it has no action, no chases,no dangerous cliffhangers, no guns and no explosions. It doesn´t even has bad guys ! Or good guys in fact. It´s a travel film or a road movie then… Probably. The locations in this movie are breath-taking and they´re all real.

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[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is not an action movie, it´s not a thriller and there are no aliens hiding under the ocean, (come to think…maybe there are…). Anyway it´s not an action packed underwater adventure car chases,  guns, action scenes, nothing. And it´s definitely not a romantic comedy for teens, although it must be the greatest date movie ever created. Why ? Well if your girlfriend loves dolphins…this is the one to see. Trust me.
What ?! You don´t like dolphins ?!! You will.

 

So, there´s a woman and two men in it. There´s got to be a love triangle there to cause all those love story rivalry subplots, right ? Well, there´s a love triangle, but there aren´t subplots attached to it.
In fact the love triangle has more than three people.
All characters are a part of it really. Including dolphins and even the ocean !

 

Aha ! So this is some sort of a kinky erotic and exotic movie thing ? Wrong ! There´s sex in it, but not in that way at all.
It´s a comedy then… You´ll laugh, but you´ll cry too.
It´s a drama … Not in the conventional cliché way. Not at all.
A dramatic comedy… Nope !

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It´s a sci-fi film !… Actually you might not even notice that bit of the plot, but now that i´ve seen The Big Blue more times than i can make you believe I did, i really can see this story as a sci-fi tale too.

HOMO DELPHINUS

Not only the dolphins are presented in a subliminal way like just another race of beings (that also double for mermaids in the general mythology within the story), but also everything around what makes the character of Jaqques Mayol be like a human dolphin could have been written in a good hardcore sci-fi novel. So i guess [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] can have its place among the best science fiction movies ever without being one openly, because contrary to what the american trailer wants you to believe, it never tries to be one.
But it´s more sci-fi than 99% of the special effects stravaganzas that come out of Hollywood nowadays, this you can bet. It´s sci-fi in a subtil way, more like a 2001 Space Odissey in the ocean than Transformers if you get my idea…

 

So what is this movie really about ?!!
It´s about what you want it to be.
About what you´re feeling.
It´s that open. You just have to feel it.

MY LADY BLUE

As Luc Besson said in an interview, at some point in the making of the movie he was stuck, because he didn´t knew how to carry the audience inside his world of water and solitude.

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Then the real Jaqques Mayol, who worked in the film as a diving and story consultant took Besson diving with him one day and made him experience the sea in his way.
This way Besson understood that he didn´t had to explain anything to the audience.
He just had to make people feel what it was like !
And boy, did he make it !

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The atmosphere in this movie goes beyond words. It has to be felt ! And you will.
Also the soundtrack is out of this world and truly magical as it fits the scenes like a soundtrack rarely does nowadays and it in itself an isolated character in the plot controlling the tone of the viewers emotions from afar.

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To me this film is about love, but in a much deeper meaning than the usual.
Beyond race, beyond gender, beyond sex, beyond nationality.
Love as an emotion and friendship as some kind of different love too.
And about freedom !
Specially about freedom.

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So get a wide screen TV and a full blast surround.
[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is the reason to buy one if you don´t have it, believe me ! And watch it in the dark.
And by the way…do yourself a favor and watch only the so called “Directors Cut” with more than 160 minutes, not the short 130 minutes one. Please.

RESCUE IN A WRECK

That long cut is in fact the real movie before the American distributors had butchered it and reedited it to create the theatrical “international” version that most people knew until Luc Besson released the complete version which is now available everywhere.
Watching the two versions it´s like watching two different movies altogether and the longer original cut really makes a difference in everything.

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The american short version in the States even had all the incredible original soundtrack created by Eric Serra erased and replaced with an american one because the american distributors at the time felt they needed the movie to sound more like a Pop video clip to compensate for the slow pace of the story (they even tried to eliminate).
This short version in America even had to have a different ending, because the studios wanted a clear and definitive happy ending without any ambiguity so one was even created or the movie wouldn´t be released in america and to the world. It´s even hard to believe !

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SECOND DIVE

Anyway, everything is great nowadays, the movie is back in it´s full length and it´s also available now in Blu-Ray, which includes a 90+ minutes making of documentary which no [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] fan will want to miss. Although i cannot comment on it yet because i have yet to see it too.
Just make sure you get the English Blu-Ray recently released (or the old dvd for the long version) and don´t go buy the movie in France .
Although [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is a French movie, its original soundtrack is in English, but the french edition of the Blu-Ray only has the french dubbed version and not the original english dialogues. So beware, make sure you buy the UK release and not the french one.

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This is the movie of my life and so i had to tell everyone here about it, because it´s definetly a major, major influence in all my art (even when it doesn´t seems like) and i consider it a good example of how something like a movie can affect the life of a person.
I never before saw a film that i could identify myself so much with. I´m lucky enough to live in a place near the sea very similar and as beautiful as those in the movie and the opening scenes always remind me of my teenage years and the waters i explored like young Jaqques Mayol does in the beginning of the movie. And there still things in there that i still do. So i immediately related to the character and its love for the ocean.

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I guess that´s the beauty of this movie. It makes us feel that we could be any of its characters, because they´re so real. We almost can´t believe that they don´t exist outside of the movie.
And by the way, full marks to all the actors.

SPAGHETTI DEL MARE

Years ago when i learned that the guy who played the unforgettable Italian character Enzo, was in fact Jean Reno a French actor that never even dived before accepting this role, i had to pick up pieces of my chin from the floor and to me Enzo, remains the best work Jean Reno ever did. Although he´s more popular due to the other Luc Besson´s movie -Leon- because it was the action movie that presented Jean Reno to Hollywood, to me the unforgettable Enzo will always be his top movie acting performance. You´ll never find a more Italian character in movies than Enzo, played by this brilliant french actor which steals the show in almost all scenes is in.

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And let´s not forget about Rosana Arquette e Jean Marc Barr as Joanna and Jaqques wich are absolutely brilliant also and bring us totally believable persons on the screen to a point we totally forget we´re watching actors in a movie.
The character of Jaqques Mayol is the soul of the movie and Joanna is one of the best romantic female characters of the 80´s due to a simplicity you will love and be totally mesmerized by.

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In fact [“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] is one of those movies totally rich in characters that you´ll never forget with great performances from the cast. Sergio Castellito as Roberto, Enzo´s brother is the perfect choice and another proof that Luc Besson can write good parts even for the secondary characters, which of course brings me to, Mama ! Or I´d better not…

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You´ll find out by yourself.
Another detail worth mention is the children casting which is incredible.
The kids look exactly like their adult versions of the characters and they really can act.
Simply one of the best child castings to fit older characters i´ve seen up to this day.

 

It´s an amazing ,beautifully well written ,acted, photographed and directed movie ! It carries us into an extraordinary world, and it´s our world !! (mine at least to some point) Not some Hollywood depiction of reality.

MUCH BETTER DOWN THERE

And besides, it has the most amazing scenes with dolphins you´ll ever see in a movie !
All among incredible scenery and almost enchanted seascapes that you´ll never forget.

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[“The Big Blue – Le Grand Bleu“] it´s my top inspiring movie when it comes to create illustration and i can bet that if you´re a bit like me, soon, it will be yours too. 😉
Oh, and you´ll be quoting its lines for years to come too, as it´s one of those screenplays filled with memorable dialogues…Roberto mio parmo … 😉
Go get it.
It´s brilliant, a masterpiece of atmosphere and visual poetry and a totally unique story and movie with unforgettable characters.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

To me is one of the greatest and most inspiring movies about the sea ever made.
If you love the ocean and want to see a real poetic and inspiring movie about that big blue space this is the movie for you.

star01 star01 star01 star01 star01 gold

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For: the characters are unforgettable, Jean Reno, Jean Marc Barr, Rosanna Arquette, it has a great sense of humor, tons of quotable dialogues, the poetic atmosphere, filled with incredible imagery, it was filmed in real locations, it has excellent scenes with dolphins, amazing underwater footage done for real, fantastic balance between drama and comedy, it´s a unique film, brilliant soundtrack by Eric Serra, the greatest movie about the sea ever made.

Against:  does not follow the typical american style narrative people expect and so this could have too much of an European flare for some people who can only apreciate the regular Hollywood fast-food pre-made and recycled stuff that comes out every week looking the same.

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ADITIONAL NOTES

(AMERICAN) TRAILER
Unbelievably BAD trailer edited in the United States that seems to try to con people into thinking this is some kind of high tech mystery sci-fi adventure. It´s not !!
This trailer is a joke !

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REAL TRAILER
This is the real French trailer which captures the feel of the actual story.

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Below is a bit of the beginning of the movie for you to check out if this is your type of atmosphere or not. The begins in black in white then opens into full color about 10 minutes into the picture.

 

There´s a great alternative new trailer created for the release of the full version of the movie, that you need to check it out because it has almost a magic feel to it and conveys beautifully the atmosphere of the story.

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Click here to see this new good trailer.

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SOUNDTRACK by ERIC SERRA

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BUY THE BLURAY SPECIAL EDITION
Contains both versions; the original English track and the French dubbing ( yes, it´s not the opposite despite the movie being French ). Also this bluray has a fantastic making of documentary where you´ll be amazed to learn that all the ocean scenes you see in the movie are for real, the actors are really in there and the film had almost no special effects at all.
Mandatory purchase if you enjoy this movie. Go get it.

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IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095250

#(cliquem aqui para uma versão longa e mais detalhada desta review em Português)

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THE LORD OF THE RINGS – BBC Radio adaptation – “One audio book to rule them all !”

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MY PRECIOUS…

Welcome. This will be a review for THE LORD OF THE RINGS and it´s here because the original masterwork from Tokien it´s one of my main inspiration sources for when i´m creating illustrations and so i had to talk about it on this blog too.

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Actually, I´m not talking about the brilliant Peter Jackson movies or about the original novels even, but I want to present you the almost forgotten and fantastic BBC Radio Adaptation produced back in 1981 more than twenty five years ago wich still remains in my opinion one of the best audio books you can ever buy or listen to.
If not the best ever !
And it´s mine, it´s my precious !…ssss.

By the way, the cover you see above is the modern cover for this product. It was now re-released again because of the movie´s success and so that is the new look for the box cover. I don´t know how the interior package looks like.

The other photos you see on this article below are from my very own purchase and they represent the version which was available some years ago on amazon.uk, (you can stil find this version in amazon sellers if you want to). This version was presented in a box, which contained this really cool hardcover book with all the Cds in it, a small booklet with plenty of notes about the making of and also a map of middle earth.

 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS
AN EPIC AUDIO BOOK FROM BBC !

Yes, it´s The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien but in a radio dramatized version with a huge cast and it´s hard to describe in words something that can only be truly experienced by sound. After its initial radio broadcast in England, it became available in cassettes for a while, until it was released in CD around 1999.

The Lord of the Ring BBC Radio adaptation - audio book review

I first listened this incredible radio play, about eleven years ago, when i bought it in CD from Amazon.Uk attracted by some reviews but i was not expecting this at all for the quality of this radio production rivals the work of Peter Jackson but in audio form.
It got me hooked on audio books since then, and since then i´ve been searching for something that could top it but to this day nothing ever came close to it.

Ready to return to Middle Earth ?
If you´ve check out the dvd extras in Peter Jackson´s Lord of the Rings movie adaptations, you probably didn´t noticed a guy called Brian Sibley.He was there for more than one reason, and among them is because he´s the person behind the first ever great adaptation of Tolkien´s novel. Precisely the BBC Radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings, which was also used by Peter Jackson to help planning the initial structure of the movies and so, if you´ve never heard about the radio version of this story, you can see there´s much more to it than it seems at first.
The radio version of The Lord of the Rings,  is about 12 hours long (more or less the same as the new Peter Jackson movies altogether), and  immediately got a place of honor on my bookshelve next to the printed traditional Lord of the Rings novels.
In fact, it still surprises me that although, the BBC Radio adaptation is popular among people who love audio books, it´s not very well known outside that circle of fans.

Although it´s not exactly part of the official Peter Jackson´s movie versions Lord of the Rings merchandise, for obvious reasons, it surely deserves to have a place in the heart and bookshelves of everybody who loved the movies or read the books and so i hope this text now, will contribute to spread the word around about this incredible alternative to the dvds or the books themselves.
If you like books on tape, or you´re curious about them and never listened to one, this is the first one you should get.

As good as the movies in all aspects and even if you don´t like Fantasy, but enjoy good acting, you´ll be amazed at the quality of this audio production.

AS GOOD AS THE MOVIES IF NOT EVEN BETTER !

Huge cast of perfect voices, great editing and to top everything there´s an incredible music for this Lord of the Rings soundtrack too, that you won´t forget and its as cinematic as the music from the movies.
At this point i still don´t know which of the two i like best yet.
Also the BBC radio adaptation differs from the movies because it´s more faithful to the books. There´s a few chapters left out of the movies and the ending is the original one written in the novel by Tolkien with the original structure and it´s different from the ending in the movies. So if you haven´t read the books and only saw Peter Jackson´s adaptation you´ll enjoy to discover how the real ending of the books was done. It´s all here in the BBC radio version.
The only thing left is once again the strange chapter about Tom Bombadil for those who know what I´m talking about. This radio version also left that one out for obvious reasons that all Tolkien book fans understand.
There´s so much to tell about this work, but at the same time i don´t want to spoil the joy of discovery, so let me see…I can start by speaking about the voice cast.
It´s brilliant ! You don´t need to know more.

Actually…I can tell you that if you love the Lord of the Rings movies, you´ll recognize many of the characters just by listening to them in this radio version. Although this audio production was created around 1981, you´ll be amazed at the similarity between some of the voice acting here and the actual voices of the actors that Peter Jackson cast for the modern movie versions.
You´ll feel right at home and sometimes if you close your eyes it almost feels like you´re listening to an alternative movie cut.

Middle-Earth Dejà-vu… 🙂
Gandalf´s voice (Michael Hordern), is almost the same as in the modern movie versions, the same goes for Frodo and Sam, and some other characters too, which demonstrates how influential this radio version was for the making of the movies more than twenty years later.
Ian Holm, wich in the movies now played Bilbo Baggins, in the audio-book, plays Frodo Baggins instead and it´s brilliant. It´s almost like you´re listening to Elijah Wood creating the same character nowadays. It´s really weird.

And wait until you get to ear Gollum !

Before the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy came out, i lent this audio book to my friends and after listening to it, they went around the streets screaming “Precioussssss ! My preciousssss !” long before the common person ever heard of the movies and so you can imagine the reactions.

EVERYBODY LOVES GOLLUM !

The actor that plays Gollum in this radio version, is the same one who created the interpretation for the character in the infamous Ralph Basky animated movie of the 70´s. The same one where Andy Serkis based its performance as talked about in the dvd movie extras.
There´s almost no difference between the voice acting in this audio book and the magnificent work that Andy Serkis did for the movies. It´s like a continuation of a brilliant performance shared by two actors, Peter Woodthorpe and Serkis.
If you loved Gollum in the movies, and don´t know this audio book, get ready for a surprise. You´ll love it !

 

HOBBITS, POEMS AND MIDDLE EARTH SONGS.

I don´t want to continue writting a giant text here as i had plenty to say about this fantastic Lord of the Rings audio book, so let me summarize the remaining brilliant features of this production.
If you loved Tolkien´s poems from the original books, and you missed them in the movies, you´ll absolutely adore what Brian Sibley has done with some of those bits. Many Hobbit and Middle Earth songs are put to music an sung during the story and contrary to what would be expected they don´t sound corny at all. In fact, the songs fit just right into the narrative and you´ll be completely fascinated by the power of sound to carry you into a fantasy world.

The music soundtrack is beautiful overall, and best of all, you can have it on a isolated CD that comes with the 13 Cd set.

A DIFFERENT VIEW

As an adaptation, well, it´s as good (or bad depending on the views) as the movie was. There are some bits missing from the novels, some events changed around, (exactely like in the movies), and like I said the Tom Bombadil episode is also absent, but nothing can detract this work from being an incredible masterpiece of voice acting and storytelling, that you must buy today.
The only thing that i don´t like at all, is the way the first episode begins with Gollum being captured by the Orcs. It sounds weird (the orcs sound too British and polite), and starting the story at the middle can be a bit confuse for those who don´t know the books. In my opinion it was a very bad choice to begin this magnificent work in this way.
But don´t worry, once we get to the Shire about five minutes into the episode, you´ll start to love it and you´ll be totally hooked ! Trust me.

A funny trivia about the project, was in the fact that Michael Horden who plays Gandalf, did it without even liking the book or understanding of what it was about as it was known at the time that he only did it basically for the money and as a job opportunity. If it was like that and his Gandalf is absolutely incredible, i wonder how it would come out if Horden actually liked Fantasy novels ? His performance in this audio book is just pure Tolkien and you can find much of Horden´s Gandalf in McKellen´s work later in the movies themselves.

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FINAL THOUGHTS:

What can I say more ?…
Just buy the thing !!!

star01 star01 star01 star01 star01 gold

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Buy the right version. The BBC one.

I would recommend you buy the European Edition, (the golden one you see in all the photographs above , either my version or the new box),
It´s worth the price. Believe me and go for it.

In alternative, you can search for the American editions of the BBC version. There´s now TWO as i understand…the one with the more colorful package and a new one similar to the european but with an ugly design.

All editions carry a folded map of Middle Earth which looks the same as the one in the books.

Other safe european editions to buy are these ones where you can either buy the trilogy in separate CDs

cd-bbc-lotr-thefellowshipofthering  cd-bbc-lotr-thetwotowers  cd-bbc-lotr-thereturnoftheking

CD THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0563536594/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0563536594&linkCode=as2&tag=cinaosolnas-21

CD THE TWO TOWERS
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0563536578/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0563536578&linkCode=as2&tag=cinaosolnas-21

CD THE RETURN OF THE KING
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0563536594/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0563536594&linkCode=as2&tag=cinaosolnas-21

… or even buy a new excellent edition with both BBC the Lord of the Rings COMPLETE TRILOGY and the earlier BBC The Hobbit radio dramatization of which I´ve spoken in this blog in a separate review and it´s excellent too. This is my pick to buy for sure.

bbc-hobbit-lotr-audio

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/144586150X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=144586150X&linkCode=as2&tag=cinaosolnas-21

DO NOT BUY THE AMERICAN radio adaptation by mistake.

No matter what you get, make sure you´re buying the BBC RADIO Dramatization with Ian Holm starring as Frodo.
There´s 2 radio adaptations out there. The BBC and the American one.
Make sure you´re getting the BBC one first.
There´s another radio-play adapting the Lord of the Rings but don´t get that one, before you listen to the BBC one. Please !
The other is known as the National Public Radio Version and it´s the American one, much inferior to the English for many reasons which i´ll detail in my other review in the future.

Beware, then. Get the right radio-play, the (English) BBC Radio version, not the National Radio Play (American) one which is depicted on this photo right here.

I know that wooden box looks much cooler and atmospheric than the other packaging for the BBC versions but don´t be fooled by a pretty box.
Make sure you listen to the original English one first and then you can check out the US inferior version to compare. But only then. Not before. Trust me. 😉

You´ll love the original.

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