#2 Film Research(main one): Fantasy(Medieval times)

Lord of the rings: The fellowship of the ring (2001)

(Main research)

Trailer of Lord of the rings


It perfectly fits in the genre adventure fantasy, which is also similar to Harry potter, but i would like to do a more detailed research on Lord of the rings since the set of it is closer to our short film so it is worth a deeper analysis. To be honest, it is conventional and a lot of elements in it signal audiences that it is a fantasy, which is not hard to notice.


How did it construct the advanturous story? (muse-en-scene)

  1. Props
  • Ruling ring: contains evil power by Sauron, the most important symbolic prop in the movie, all the stories happen because of it; it consumed vanity and the desire of power; it is able to speak, which creates a sense of fantasy indeed.



  • Swords: most of fellows carry cold steels, which shows the story dates back to medieval time, and there is no gun or missile.


  • Bow&axe: they are still cold steel, and shows the different special skills and features – archer who is an elf, very brisk, good at long-distance fight; Gimli who is quite simple and a bit chunky, good at big strength.



  • Magic wand by Gandalf: it is a symbolic prop of witch and very conventional in fantasy, Gandalf uses it to against his friend who betrayed him, it seems weak but it contains power in it.


  • Pointed hat: technically it is not very crucial to the story but it does create a sense of magic world, especially when Gandolf arrives in Shire, the hat is shown first and it gives audiences the first impression that this person is different from hobbits, who are happy, ordinary and simple.

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2. The color and lighting:

  • mostly colors are more muddy in Hobbiton, several conventional colors in medieval time – green, brown, ivory. I think such a style gives audiences a feeling of nature, not developed indeed and if interpreted deeper, it refers to the primitive life style of hobbits and their good and simple wills; the lighting is quite natural, without some special effects.

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  • Oud of Shire, the dangerous grows, colors are darker and muddier  – the atmosphere is intense and misery, which is also indicating the unknown story once they go beyond Shire – innocent might be broke, they are likely to grow, think more to survive.

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  • color is either white or dark later, with some red flame. White indicates the extremely terrible weather when they are trying to cross the mountain, also increase the coldness, the difficulty a group people face; dark occurs where Gandalf’s friend is creating an army secretly in a cave, there is no light except flame, which shows the feature of Villain, the great power of evil.

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  • color is bright and lighting is glowing by shiny stuff in the legend when it comes to elfs, which is a conventional plot that there is always a positive person to help the protagonist and there is a magic power in Middle Earth. White indicates peace, pure, innocent and goodness in the legend of lady of the light. The artificial light is white rather then red flame, which can be a contrast to the evil side.


3. Costumes

  • Frodo Baggins wears suspenders at the beginning with blueish shirt. Suspenders indicate his role of kid in the hobbiton, remains as Biobo’s nephew, without much concerns, with all happiness and simplicity, it also shows their style of living, ordinary and sufficient.
  • Blue and grey shirt indicates the potential intelligence, which is covered by peaceful life in Shire but it will be tapped later when he carries the Ruling Ring.

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  • His costumes change to red waistcoat in the party and remains the same later, sometimes with cloak. Waistcoat seems more grown-up than suspenders for sure, it is like a gentleman. the color red relates to bravery and passion, which is also the temptation to the ring, it is much stronger than blueish shirt.

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  • Half of the film he Frodo remains with cloak, he uses more equips because his role carries the future of the freehand and he is the one to be protected, he is more careful than anytime in his life, he is grown up.

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*Change of costumes is a tiny detail but it can relate to the change of situation and emotion, which would not be a bad idea to do in our short film if we can.

  • Gandalf’s robes(witch, wise man, experienced): he is clearly different from Hobbits since they think more and they are wise enough to see through a lot of things, they are not favor of food or beer, they focus on the future of the world.

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  • All in black ring race, slaves of Sauron: They are simple, extremely simple, single-minded, they serve Sauron without any doubts, they do not have real power, if they do, they would dress fancier in black, not a purely black cloak.



Harry potter

It is more likely to be an urban fantasy but the construct of it is still conventional, which is also based on the come of age novel the same writer wrote Lord of the Rings so undoubtedly they are similar and I would like to mention some features as evidence to confirm what conventional elements are in fantasy as well as the method to create an enigma.


Some features share with Lord of the Rings:

  • a fictional place: Hogwarts( a British boarding school) in Harry Potter; Middle earth( freehand, Shire) in Lord of the Rings
Hogwarts (Harry Potter)
  • Props contains magic power: pointed hat and wand in both; broomstick in Harry Potter; Ring in both. Nevertheless, they have different importances in different films, as analysed, Ruling ring in Lord of the rings is the centered prop but in Harry Potter quite a few props are important since the story is set in a wizard school.



  • Costumes in Harry Potter are symbolic, mostly uniforms in the school, which indicates their role of students but the type of uniforms is different from school nowadays, they wear Ravenclaw, which is longer like a robe but looks younger. It can create the effect of their role of students in a magic schoolcreative, full of potential power, brave, unconventional.



  • It created a successful branding indeed, some words even those are not fans of Harry Potter know like Quidditch.

( more on the post of How to create a sense of Branding? )




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