Writer of Week #6 – Vacation to Mordor

Got a much needed laugh on the way to work this morning, listening to the Loh Life, as Sandra Tsing Loh talks about her vacation to Mordor.

Yep, that Mordor.

Check out the podcast.

Which brings me to the featured writer of the week: The team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.

This writing duo, in fellowship with Philippa Boyens, are responsible for one of the best adaptations from literature to screen around: THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

Not an easy task, as the lifeless animation project from years gone by can attest.

One aspect of this writing duo (now trio?) that makes them worthy of special mention is their diversity.

Peter and Fran first made a name for themselves (okay, the “name” goes to Peter since he was also the director, and writers rarely get “named”) with comedic horror, including a pre-Fran BAD TASTE about aliens running a human-as-food farm, and MEET THE FEEBLES, a muppet based gross out comedy.

Not quite the Oscar contending pedigree you would expect; neither did anyone else as the pair tackled a sensitive adaptation from reality, HEAVENLY CREATURES, which did indeed attract an Oscar nomination for writing.

My introduction to their work was the Michael J. Fox ghost comedy, THE FRIGHTENERS. I remember laughing a lot, wondering at the mish-mash of genre, and unsure of why the critics seemed to dislike it so much.

I also caught FORGOTTEN SILVER, a fake documentary where Jackson (in reality) convinced much of New Zealand that he found early reels of innovative movies by the esteemed Ziwi director, Colin MacKenzie.

So convincing was the documentary, that several Universities added the material into their film studies classes.

Before realizing that there was never a person called Colin MacKenzie.

So we got splatter-horror comedies, quiet drama, adult muppet behavior (pre-dating AVENUE Q), a failed Hollywood flick, and a television released mockumentary.

Sounds like perfect training for a big budget Hollywood ten-hour epic.

Just my thoughts,

Sean

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