The Battle of Evermore

Posted on 30th April 2009

Now that The Lord Of The Rings trilogy has finally made it to the big screen in Hollywood style, production is in progress to bring The Hobbit to the big screen for 2011. But that's a long way away for many fans.

It was far too long to wait for one fan, who decided it would be a great idea to do a fan-film, based on the Tolkien's Middle Earth. The writer/director Chris Bouchard enlisted Tolkien fans on the internet, to help with the casting and the pre- and post-production. The film has cost around £3,000 to make, and is a testiment to what can be achieved on a low budget. The film is only 40mins long, but looks to be every bit as enjoyable as the Hollywood counterparts. The film, The Hunt For Gollum, was inspired from Tolkien's writings, adapting the appendices from The Lord Of The Rings books, and fits inbetween The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings stories.

The film is to have its first official screening at the Sci-Fi-London film festival on Sunday 3rd May 2009, but thankfully everyone will be able to see it. As The Hunt For Gollum was made as a non-profit venture, part of the goals of the project was to release the film for free. After the official screening on Sunday, the film will be available online for download from the official website, for everyone to watch at their leisure.

In some ways it's a pity that they aren't selling this as a DVD/Blu-Ray release to help fund possible future fan-films, but I suspect that this may cause problems with licensing from the Tolkien Estate, etc. As the sites disclaimer states "[The Hunt For Gollum] is in no way affiliated with, or sponsored or approved, by Tolkien Enterprises, the heirs or estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. or any of their repective affiliates or licensees." As such getting appropriate approval for a DVD/Blu-Ray release would likely be traumatic to say the least.

Having watched the trailers I'm looking forward to seeing the final film, as it looks to be every bit as magnificent as the big budget films. I also hope that Chris Bouchard gets the chance to work of a big budget feature telling another tale from Tolkien's Middle Earth, as there are plenty more stories that I'm sure other fans would love to see come to life :)

File Under: films

I'm in Love with a German Film Star

Posted on 26th February 2008

Elephants Dream

Elephants Dream

Back last year I heard, through LUGRadio, about a animation film entitled Elephants Dream. I downloaded it, but for various reasons, I never got around to watching it. That is until this weekend. The reason I was reminded of it I'll come onto in a moment. However, Elephants Dream is a stunning piece of work. 6 people created this film and the results are a testament to their skill, dedication and movitation to make it. The film was the first to make real used of the Open Source video editing tool, Blender. In keeping with the Open Source ideals, the team also released the complete film, the making of and all the DVD extras all as Open Source, and indeed you can still download them for yourself and watch them on your own computer for free. Which is also how I'm also able to include their images here too, (c) copyright 2006, Blender Foundation / Netherlands Media Art Institute / However, credit where credit is due, as I have no desire to let this effort go unrewarded, and so I plan to order the Blu-Ray disk (sometimes it pays to wait a while ;)). Mind you they seem to be out of stock at the moment :( I don't have a Blu-ray player yet, but I will eventually. If you've ever seen Tim Burton's The Night Before Christmas or The Corpse Bride, you'll have a good ideal of the animation style, but Elephants Dream has a bit more of a humoruos storyline to it. It's not a Pixar like film, and younger kids might get a bit scared, but certainly it's a real treat to watch. Personally, I would highly recommend buying a copy, it's well worth €15.

Big Buck Bunny

Big Buck Bunny

So what caused me to revisit Elephants Dream? Well the Blender Institute, who helped to produce it, are helping to producing a second film using the Blender software. This time Peach Open Movie have been creating a film for the past six months, that is due to see the light of day at the end of next month. So how did I hear about this? Well LUGRadio once again prove they are on the pulse and had Sacha "Sago" Goedegebure on the show for an interview in a recent episode. The interview itself is well worth a listen (although does contain swearing), and prompted me to go and check out the website. Based purely on Elephant's Dream, I've pre-ordered a DVD of "Big Buck Bunny". The original working title, "A Rabbit's Revenge" having been deemed not really suitable. Looking at the gallery and some of the videos, you can see this is a very professional, high quality production. Like Elephants Dream, thanks to their Creative Commons License, I've been able to include an image here too, (c) copyright Blender Foundation |

Like Elephant's Dream, Big Buck Bunny will also be released as Open Source and everything that will be available on the DVD will be available for download. This is really cool. But in order to help them out, and partly to save myself the hassle of downloading, I've pre-ordered a copy. Hopefully, you'll think it's worth buying too, and help to contribute to the project, thus helping to fund future projects and films. I'll post a review of the film once it's released.

File Under: films / lugradio / opensource

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