The Lord of the Libraries
Before winning an Emmy for his work on "Heroes," then-student Chris Martin wrote and directed 2004's "The Lord of the Libraries" - a tale of action, adventure, and overdue books, parodying "The Lord of the Rings."
Learn more about Martin at http://www.ne ws.ku. edu/2009/ september/21/ emmywinner.shtml
And learn more about the KU Libraries at http://www.k u.edu/ libraries/
Tags: The Lord of the Libraries Return Book KU Filmworks University Kansas Chris Martin Rings Parody Tolkien
Added: 4 years ago
The KU Libraries
an Invidious Production
The Lord of the Libraries
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Much that once was is lost, for none now study who remember it ...
[scene opens with a black-and-white archival photograph of the University of Kansas library]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] It began long ago, with the founding of the great libraries.
[cut to another black-and-white photograph, as students walk out of the library]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] As they grew, they gave KU students access to millions of volumes on every imaginable subject.
[the camera zooms in on one of the student's feet, then cut to a barefoot student (with hairy feet) walking through the library]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Students were even given the option of checking out books for weeks at a time.
[cut to a "hobbit" (wearing a red vest and a large Afro wig) at the front desk, while a male librarian dressed in 1970s attire checks out some books for him]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] But with this service ...
[cut to a closeup of one of the books he's checking out (entitled "The Book of Power")]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Came great responsibility.
[cut to the hobbit walking into his dorm room carrying a stack of library books, as disco music plays in the background and posters of Jimi Hendrix and the "Lord of the Rings" can be seen on the walls]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] If a patron failed to bring a book back on time ...
[cut to the hobbit putting the books down on his table (next to a cardboard box labelled "Bilbo's 8-tracks"), then walking away]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] They faced ever-mounting late fines. The students' fear of being charged kept many of them from forgetting ...
[cut to a closeup of the table, as the book on top of the pile ("The Book of Power") slips off and falls into a cardboard box on the floor (which contains some paperback copies of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy)]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] But some things should not have been forgotten ... or lost.
[cut to a shot from inside of the box, as the hobbit enters the dorm (wearing his graduation cap and gown), then throws his mortarboard into the box (on top of the box) and seals it shut]
["30 years later" appears on screen]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] For three decades, the book passed out of all knowledge ...
[cut to the box being opened by another hobbit (while his friend looks on in the background)]
FRODO: Sam, look at this!
[he smiles and takes the mortarboard out of the box, showing it to his friend]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Until, when chance came, it ensnared a new bearer ...
[he laughs and tosses the mortarboard to the side, then looks back in the box and gets a startled look on his face before picking up the book]
FRODO: Sam ...
[cut to a closeup of the book's cover, as Frodo reaches out to touch it, then he gets a "vision" of the Eye of Mordor watching him]
[cut to a wizard walking into the dorm (carrying a box under his arm, as if he's helping them move in), when Frodo shows him the book and he gets a horrified look on his face]
[cut to the wizard leading the hobbit (who is clutching the book to his chest) into an open field, as "The Return of the Book" appears on screen]
[the camera pans around to show three people (a human, a dwarf, and an elf) waiting for them, as they all sit down around a stone table, while the wizard stands next to an object covered in a brown cloth]
GANDALF: Strangers from distant dorms, friends of old ... You have been summoned here today to answer the threat of the late fine.
[he turns to the hobbit]
GANDALF: Frodo ... bring forth the book.
[Frodo slowly stands and places the book on a stone pedestal]
GANDALF: "The Book of Power" was checked out of the KU Libraries many years ago, by a young hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. When he graduated, it was overlooked. Packed away with many of his other college things. For thirty years, it lay in the darkness of the box, safe. Far from the eye atop Mount Oread. But now that box has returned, passed on to a new generation of Baggins.
[he points at the hobbit]
GANDALF: Bilbo's nephew, Frodo.
[he removes the brown cloth, to reveal a crystal ball with the image of the Eye of Mordor]
GANDALF: Now that the book has returned to KU, it will be seen by the dark tower. The eye searches ... it will not stop until it has reclaimed the book. It cannot remain here on Daisy Hill. The book must be taken deep into the heart of Watson Library, and cast into the book drop! One of you must do this.
GIMLI: One does not simply walk into Watson with a book that's thirty years overdue! The late fines would be atrocious, far more than any student could possibly bear ... It's a folly, ha!
LEGOLAS: Have you heard nothing of what Gandalf has said? The book must be returned!
GIMLI: And I suppose you think you're the one to do it! I would rather die than see the book in the hands of an elf! Never trust an elf!
[everyone stands up and begins arguing, while Frodo stares at the book with a far-away look in his eyes]
FRODO: I will take it!
[he stands up]
FRODO: I will take the book back to Watson ... though, I am only a freshman, and I do not know the way.
GANDALF: I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear.
ARAGORN: If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will. You have my sword.
LEGOLAS: And my bow.
GIMLI: And my axe.
[cut to Frodo's friend (who had been hiding in the nearby bushes) sticking his head out]
[he runs up next to Frodo and crosses his arms]
SAM: Mister Frodo's not goin' anywhere without me!
GANDALF: Haha, then so shall it be! The fellowship of the book ... We have precious little time, and must set off at once!
[cut to the group wandering through the campus, as they settle in front of Wescoe Hall and Sam starts cooking some food over a fire]
SAM: Boy, sure do miss sittin' down for a nice meal at Misses E's ... Always plenty to eat, and so many choices. I'd just keep goin' back for more and more!
FRODO: We just left ten minutes ago, Sam ... but don't worry, we'll be back again soon.
[cut to a group of "bookwraiths" (wearing black cloaks and carrying swords) as they rush towards the fellowship, then back to Sam and Frodo as they hear their horrible screeching]
SAM: What was that?!
GANDALF: The bookwraiths! Servants of the dark tower ... They seek the "Book of Power!"
FRODO: What're we to do?
ARAGORN: Make haste, you halflings! There isn't much time! We'll hold them here ... Make for the gates of Watson, you must return the book!
[Frodo (clutching the book) gets up and runs off]
SAM: Mister Frodo, we haven't had our second breakfast!
GANDALF: Fly, you fools!
[Sam drops the food and runs after him, then cut to the others fighting the wraiths while the two hobbits flee ... one bookwraith jumps in front of them, but Legolas shoots an arrow to take him down]
[cut to Gimli fighting off one of the wraiths with his axe, then cut to Aragorn as he knocks another wraith down and thrusts his sword into its chest]
[cut to Gandalf using his staff to knock another wraith back on his feet]
[he shoots flame out of his hands, setting the wraith on fire as it falls to the ground]
[cut to Frodo and Sam hiding behind a stone wall in front of the library]
SAM: Mister Frodo, we'll never make it in that way! They'll catch us for sure, and then we'll have to pay the overdue fine!
FRODO: I don't think we have a choice, Sam. "The Book of Power" must be returned, there's no other way!
GOLLUM: [from off camera] Silly Hobbitses, that's not the only way ...
SAM: Who's there?!
[cut to a pale shirtless creature peeking out from behind another part of the wall]
GOLLUM: It's Smeagol ... but don't want to be seen. We know a way, follow us.
[he crawls away, then cut back to the hobbits]
FRODO: Should we trust him, Sam?
SAM: I don't know, he seems like a pretty strange little fellow ... but he may be our only chance.
[cut back to the battle, as Legolas shoots more wraiths with arrows, while Gimli kills two more with his axe]
LEGOLAS: My kill count is seventeen ... What's yours?
GIMLI: What? There's only nine of them!
[cut to Aragorn killing more wraiths with his sword, then back to Legolas as he shoots more arrows ... except one wraith gets too close before he can draw his bow, so he simply sticks the arrow into his chest (then shoots another arrow into his eye as he stumbles back)]
[cut to the stacks area of Watson Library, as Frodo and Sam cautiously make their way through]
SAM: Boy, that Gollum was pretty strange ...
FRODO: Yeah, I know, but at least he got us in the back way ... I never though you'd fit through that drain pipe, though, Sam.
SAM: Might not have if we had our second breakfast ... or elevensies. And it's almost time for lunch, too.
FRODO: Oh Sam, you're always thinking of food. But we must return the book ...
[he stops and looks at the book, caressing its cover]
FRODO: "The Book of Power" ...
[he regains his composure, and they keep walking]
FRODO: Come on, Sam, the book drop is this way.
[a shadow suddenly passes behind them, as they turn in fright]
SAM: Did you hear that, Mister Frodo?
FRODO: It must be one of those bookwraiths ... Come on, Sam!
[they start running]
FRODO: Hurry, Sam! We can make it!
[they turn the corner, but suddenly falls backwards as a bright light shines in front of them ... they cover their eyes and cower in fear, then look up again and see a female elf with long blonde hair and a white dress]
FRODO: Wh ... What? Who are you?
LIBRAROWEN: I am the Lady Librarowen ... Welcome to Watson Library. Do not be afraid, little ones, I am here to help you. I sense that you are troubled. You carry a great burden.
FRODO: We come to return a book, that's overdue ... long overdue.
SAM: Bu-But don't hurt us, or fine us ... We don't have thousands of dollars. The book's not even ours. It was his uncle's, and we never meant any harm.
LIBRAROWEN: Relax, Samwise Gamgee. No one will charge you thousands of dollars. Come with me.
[she holds out her hand, so they get up and Frodo gives her the book]
LIBRAROWEN: We'll take care of the book.
FRODO: So ... you're not gonna charge us?
LIBRAROWEN: No more than the value of the book.
[cut to Librarowen walking down the hallway with the hobbits]
LIBRAROWEN: Hmm, "The Book of Power" ... An old self-help title. It doesn't look to be of any great significance.
[cut back to the battle, as Gimli swings his axe down upon a fallen wraith]
GIMLI: Ahh, take that, you book-hunting bastard!
[the others run up to him]
LEGOLAS: Nothing we do seems to stop them!
ARAGORN: No, but we slowed them down enough to give Frodo a chance! Our backs are almost to the steps of Watson ... Our only hope is that the hobbits will make it on time!
[cut back to Librarowen as she leads the hobbits through the library]
LIBRAROWEN: And if you return the book within thirty days of the due date, you won't be charged at all. Plus, we send you plenty of email reminders.
[they both look at each other and say "Oh!"]
SAM: That's so convenient, and you're being so nice ... but what about those bookwraiths?
[cut to a closeup of Librarowen, as she stands next to a mirror on the wall]
LIBRAROWEN: They were librarians once ... a long time ago.
[the mirror changes from a reflection of Frodo and Sam, as it shows a "flashback" of a young female librarian (glasses, black hair in a bun, cardigan sweater) working in the stacks]
LIBRAROWEN: They are remnants from the dark ages of the library ...
[the camera zooms in on the mirror, until the scene changes entirely into the flashback]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] For many years, the library was focused only on books.
[cut to a young male librarian (glasses on a chain, brown hair, brown suit, red tie) pushing a cart and reshelving books]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] The book-loving librarians happily filled our shelves with bound volumes spanning every subject and language. They were masters of the printed word.
[cut to the female librarian and another young male librarian (red hair, brown suit, striped tie) laughing while pulling out drawers from the card catalog]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] But then, technologies began to emerge ...
[someone walks in from off camera and places an old computer (with a CRT monitor) on a nearby desk, as the male librarian waves his hand towards it in a dismissive fashion, then cut back to Librarowen standing next to the mirror]
LIBRAROWEN: At first, these librarians scoffed at the notion that anything could rival their precious books ...
[cut to the red-headed librarian (now wearing glasses), as he turns to look at a student placing a floppy disk into a computer]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] But as the new technologies advanced, they held out against computers ...
[cut back to Librarowen, as the mirror shows the librarian removing his glasses with a disgusted look on his face (as he squeezes the pencil in his hand until it snaps in two)]
LIBRAROWEN: Clinging to the idea that a library's sole purpose should be the collection of books.
[cut to the red-headed librarian crawling underneath a student's desk, as he pulls the computer's plug out of the power strip with a look of evil glee on his face]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] This stubborn obsession and narrow-mindedness drove them mad.
[cut to the other male librarian (obscured by shadows and with a crazy look on his face), as he holds up a CD and snaps it in two]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Their ways became treacherous, and they turned to sabotage.
[cut to the female librarian ripping a poster off of the wall (reading "The Digital KU Library, We Are Everywhere! www dot lib dot ku dot edu") and tearing it to pieces]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] So deep was their hatred of technology that, try as we might, we could not save them ...
[cut to the librarians donning their black cloaks and scurrying out of the library]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] They were cast out of the library, never to return ...
[cut back to Librarowen standing next to the mirror]
FRODO: So, did you get rid of the books, then?
LIBRAROWEN: Oh no, young Frodo, of course not.
[the mirror shows various shots of the modern KU Libraries (students studying, using computers, etc.)]
LIBRAROWEN: We are still a library, and as such, we are still dedicated to the collection and organization of books ... but of late, our greatest efforts have focused on the expansion of our digital resources.
[cut to screenshots of the KU Libraries website]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Our online catalog allows users to search our entire collection from any computer on the internet. We subscribe to hundreds of online databases that index tens of thousands of journals, books, newspapers, photos, and more.
[cut back to Librarowen standing next to the mirror]
LIBRAROWEN: New sources are added all the time, making the task of research more efficient and productive.
[cut to more screenshots of the KU Libraries website]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] KU students can use these sources from anywhere, but we have spent extra care updating our facilities.
[cut back to Librarowen standing next to the mirror, as it shows more shots of students in the library]
LIBRAROWEN: Within our walls, we are adding new computer workstations, and resdesigning study spaces for group and individual work.
SAM: Wow, that looks like a great place to study!
LIBRAROWEN: That's Anschutz Library, and you're right, Samwise ...
[cut to more shots of students in the library]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] KU students have voted it one of the best places to study in Lawrence. And of course, we are always striving to make all of the libraries better.
[cut to a closeup of a student's laptop]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] We now offer wireless network access from anywhere in the buildings. You can even check out a wireless laptop from the circulation desk, allowing complete freedom to work as you wish.
[cut back to Librarowen standing next to the mirror]
FRODO: That's fantastic! I always thought libraries were stuffy old buildings, with nothing but books!
LIBRAROWEN: Well, I hope you've learned something today, Frodo and Sam. The library is nothing to be afraid of. I hope you will return often, as I have only just scratched the surface of what we do here.
[cut to a young female librarian helping a student at the reference desk]
LIBRAROWEN: [in voice over] Our friendly staff is always happy to help you with anything you might need ...
[cut back to Frodo and Sam]
SAM: Great! I know I'll be back ... Just wait 'til we tell Gandalf and our friends!
[Frodo suddenly gets a concerned look on his face]
FRODO: But Sam, they're still out there ... with the bookwraiths!
[cut to the rest of the fellowship running up the library steps, when two elves open the door and Librarowen steps out carrying "The Book of Power"]
[she holds up her hand (summoning a blue orb of energy) then fires it at the approaching bookwraiths, causing them to fall down and evaporate]
[cut to Librarowen standing before the fellowship inside the library]
LIBRAROWEN: To reward your courage and your honor in returning to us our lost book, I shall bestow upon your fellowship a wealth of gifts from the KU Libraries ... For each of you, KU Libraries pens.
[her elves hand each of them a red and blue pen]
LIBRAROWEN: One each of crimson and blue ... They contain magic elven ink, that should never run dry.
SAM: Ohh ...
LIBRAROWEN: May they be an aid to your work at KU, and beyond.
FRODO: Thank you!
SAM: Thank you!
LIBRAROWEN: Also, take these library keychains.
[her elves hand each of them a keychain (still in their plastic packaging)]
LIBRAROWEN: So that, unlike "The Book of Power," your keys will never be lost.
GANDALF: Ah ...
[he points his staff at the keychain, causing the plastic around it to disappear]
LIBRAROWEN: And these library CD cases.
[her elves hand each of them a blue CD case]
LIBRAROWEN: May they safeguard your important data, and music.
GIMLI: Oh, this'll be great for my gangsta rap collection!
LEGOLAS: And my Enya CDs!
GIMLI: [singing] Hey! Ho!
LIBRAROWEN: And finally, I bestow upon you these KU Libraries travel mugs
[her elves hand each of them a coffee mug]
LIBRAROWEN: Designed to keep your beverages hot, or cold, for hours ... and also to prevent spills.
[Aragorn smiles and begins speaking in elvish]
ARAGORN: [translated] Thank you, Lady Librarowen, your kindness is unmatched ... but by your beauty.
LIBRAROWEN: [translated] Lord Aragorn, it is not often you meet a man so skilled in the ancient Elvish tongue.
ARAGORN: [translated] I'm minoring in Elvish.
[Gandalf looks at him and shakes his head, as Aragorn suddenly gets embarrassed]
LIBRAROWEN: May these gifts be a token of what you have learned today. And always remember ... we are everywhere. If you ever have a question, you can reach us in person, by phone, email, or by chat messaging. We are here to help you. I hope that you will all return very often.
Written and Directed by
Frodo/Bilbo ... Danny Mason
Sam ... Brett Wadsworth
Gandalf ... Dan Spurgin
Librarowen ... Christina Schaefer
Legolas ... Dale Bucheister
Gimli ... Ralph Matthews
Aragorn ... Steve Ducey
Bookwraiths ... Gavin Rondeau, Andy Smith, Mike Ducey
Gollum ... Nicholas Reid
Librarians ... Joe Carden, Misti Boland, Chris Martin
Elves ... Monica Wille, Lester
Scale Doubles ... Griffin Jacobson, Michael Jacobson
Directors of Photography
Assistant Camera Operators
Original Score by
Bickford and Bickford Media Services
Assistant Set Design
Special Thanks to
Earl May Nursery & Garden Centers
KU University Theatre Costume Shop
PhiKappa Theta Fraternity
Very Special Thanks to
J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson
Copyright (c)2004 Invidious Productions Inc.
Be sure and watch the making of "The Lord of the Libraries" on KUJH-TV, Lawrence
A young filmmaker who got his start producing and directing promotional videos for KU Libraries has received one of the highest honors in Hollywood. Chris Martin, who graduated in 2003 with a film degree from KU, won an Emmy this September as part of the team that produced the special effects on the television series "Heroes."
Before heading to Hollywood, though, Martin used his cinematic talents—and sense of humor—to introduce his fellow KU students to the tools and resources available to them at the library.
KU Librarian Lea Currie recalled how the idea germinated of doing spoof films to promote library services and resources. "I saw a promotional film at a conference in Canada that was a spoof on the Blair Witch Project," she said. "It was great! I mentioned it to Julia Rholes, who was my supervisor at the time, and she told me about a talented film student she had met while working on a task force. She introduced me to Chris and when I told him about my idea, he ran with it. It was his idea to spoof the Matrix and later, the Lord of the Rings.
"Chris was amazing," Currie added. "He was a smart, funny guy and a very hard worker. I sat in on some of the filming and learned that setting up scenes is about as exciting as watching grass grow. It is a very slow, meticulous process. Chris loved every aspect of it. He was such a perfectionist. It is very rare to meet someone and just know they are really going places. I never had a doubt that Chris would be a huge success."
Martin's 2003 film, "Library Revolutions," follows a tired, confused student, Leo, who chooses the red book over the blue book, discovers the secrets of the library system, finishes his research paper on time, and takes a victory flight Superman-style over the KU campus.
In "Lord of the Libraries," Martin's follow-up in 2004, the heroes fight "bookwraiths" in front of Wescoe Hall (fight scene highlights include CGI animated arrows and fireballs shot by Legolas and Gandalf) and Sam and Frodo meet up with "Librarowen" in the Watson Library stacks while trying to returns "The Book of Power," which is 30 years overdue.
Martin remembers the projects fondly. "Those movies were a lot of fun, and I give a lot of credit to the awesome people at the KU Libraries for giving us the opportunity to make something cool," Martin said. "I've obviously gotten a lot better since then, but I think my experience with visual effects in college really prepared me for a career in this field."
Visit the KU Libraries YouTube channel (www.you tube.com/ kulibraries) to watch Chris Martin's "Library Revolutions" and "Lord of the Libraries" online.