Hunt for Gollum: gorgeous-looking unauthorized fan-sequel to Lord of the Rings made for £3000


Trailer 2 - The Hunt For Gollum at SCI-FI-LONDON
by HuntForGollum

The Hunt for Gollum is an unauthorized 45-minute fan-film set in the Lord of the Rings universe, set to premiere at the Sci-Fi London film festival. It's the second film from indie director Chris Bouchard, whose previous effort was a low-budg zombie flick called "Human Residue," and he appears to have leveraged his success with that feature, recruiting an immensely talented group of effects wizards, sculptors and artists (it's impossible to say much about the acting and writing based on the trailers, but I hope they're on par!). The whole thing is being produced for £3000 -- but it looks like a million. The story was inspired by an appendix to Lord of the Rings, in which Tolkien explains "what Aragorn and Gollum got up to before the trilogy began."

The Hunt for Gollum (via Red Ferret)

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  1. Looks and sounds great, that’s true. But why do all these talented people waste their efforts on mediocre fan-fiction instead of doing their own thing? The recently Boing Boinged Half-Life short was really frustrating also. These people could do truly great things if they wanted to.

    As technological showreels these things are excellent, but trying to watch them as entertainment is simply horrible.

  2. I assume that New Line aren’t freaking? I assume that they have the option? The trailer does steal the look and feel of their movies, after all.

    Well done to New Line if that’s the case.

    And, wow. That’s a hell of a trailer.

  3. “I hope they’re on par”

    Sadly, those tend to be the weak areas in projects like this.

  4. For a moment I imagined it to be some weird sci-fi movie in where bounty hunters from the future are transported back in time to hunt Gollum for sport. Like some like unholy combination of The Terminator, Predator and the Running Man set in Middle-Earth.

  5. @4 I can’t wait for your film! Predator on Middle Earth! When’s it out? *Puts on best Gollum voice* “You are one ugly motherfucker”

  6. My instant reaction was that it would be ever so much cooler if Gollum sounded like Andy Serkis, rather than Snape from “Potter Puppet Pals”.

    “What has it got in its pocketses?” indeed; one might also ask “What’s making that mysterious ticking noise?”

  7. yeah but “what has it got in its pocketses” is the actual line, I think.

    I’m going to watch the living crap out of that as soon as it becomes somehow available.

  8. The long disclaimer on their site doesn’t prevent anyone from suing them, in particular the litigation-happy Tolkien Estate. I really hope that they agreed something with them in advance, or the lawyers will descend upon the first screening like Sauron during a bad-hair day.

    As it is, you cannot screen it without risking litigation. Kids, don’t try this at home.

  9. That looks fantastic! One the one hand, it’s a mind-blowing fact that we have enough technology and resources to do such a great looking product on such a small budget, when 10 years ago it was impossible outside the realm of big studios; on the other hand, it’s depressing to think that a bunch of lawyers could crush this on an instant, citing long-putrified laws. Is this a culture clash, or what?

  10. As a film maker I’m growing tired of film makers claiming they made a film for just 3000 when clearly they also paid in a lot of man hours too. It insults the people who put a lot of hard work into it (I’m guessing mostly as a favour to the directors) and also puts unfair pressure on professionals who need to charge proper fees for their work. How about next time a film like this crops up you mention how much man hours went in to the production too?

  11. Oh wow! I love the idea that they are mining from the appendices instead f just creating some alternate side-story. I just hope that they aren’t on the receiving end of any flack, copyright-wise. And as for hoping that they’re “on par”, I have very few doubts. Just look at all the work they put into it for the trailer; they’re serious and will do a fantastic job. Best of luck to them! :)

  12. Nothing about the trailer makes it seem any different from the Peter Jackson movies… was the goal to do a remake but maybe with some changes to the details?

  13. Looks great. Though I don’t really understand why they made such an effort to make it look like the previous films.

  14. Wow. If they put together a 45 min. movie that reflects the quality of the trailer for that kind of money they are geniuses.

  15. There’s no way they made this for £3000.

    Unless they were given the costumes for free. And the actors and crew weren’t paid. And they used stock aerial photography. And magically transported to the places they did the shooting. And got their special effects for free.

    The movie cost a heckuva lot more to make than they’re saying, they just haven’t had to pay.

  16. Well, you can do all kinds of wonderful things is people are willing to work for free.

    Also, I think the Arwen here is much better than Liv Tyler.

  17. Do the 3000 pounds factor in the labor of the people who actually designed the look of the movie (i.e. Pete Jackson’s crew)? Because i sang a karaoke version of a Journey song last weekend and it didn’t cost me a thing to produce.

  18. You :could: hand make the costumes yourself, get fan actors that work for free or next to nothing, do the effects and post processing in free time with open-source programs, use free stock film, and shoot in any nearby forest and use a combination of free stock music, of which there is much available, and compose your own with synthesizers, and shoot with a cheap HD camera [I got one without a manual or cords in a clearance bin at Target for 80$].
    Where there is a will, there is a way.

  19. The version of the trailer on their website explicitly says “nobody was paid to make it”.

    Just to clear up that question.

  20. Tolkien fans creep me out.

    On one hand they put an insane lot of effort and creativity into expanding on the origial stories with elaborate fanfic outings like this.

    On the other hand the same people get seriously infuriated whenever, say, Peter Jackson does the same thing and gets creative with Bergil’s lineage or some such mind-numbing minutiae.

    I think if you should lose yourself in a fantasy it should at least be your own fantasy.

  21. @20 – Yes, she’s waaaaaay better looking in the role than LT.

    I’m anxious to see this. Wow. And yes, I’m a nerdo who will be sitting with my appendices in hand.

  22. #2, because that’s how people start. They copy the stuff they love, and as they get better and more confident, strike out with their own original works.

  23. I saw the trailer some days ago and tobe honest I was impressed.
    Now I look forward to wacth the whole film.

    I’m sure there are purists right now who are protesting, but do you know what? I’ll bet Tolkien would be thrilled with this. I once asked my mom (Goddess of the Engagement Rings, LOL!)(who’s been a huge Lord of the Rings fan for the past 35 years) what Tolkien would think of fanfiction, and she said, “Actually, Tolkien would love the idea. He wanted to create a mythology with Middle Earth, and he would have loved the idea of people adding on to his mythology.” The same idea holds true here. Tolkien would love that fans are exploring Middle Earth, especially past LOTR and “The Hobbit.”

    For a fan film it looks really professional.

  24. “Unless they were given the costumes for free. And the actors and crew weren’t paid. And they used stock aerial photography. And magically transported to the places they did the shooting. And got their special effects for free.

    The movie cost a heckuva lot more to make than they’re saying, they just haven’t had to pay”

    We did all do it for free. The aerial photography was CGI.

  25. They did ape Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the material – they didn’t really interpret anything but the story.

    It would’ve been nice to see something more original – an original interpretation of the characters. Way too much effort went into emulation.

    They did their own thing, but in a way that required not a lot of originality. At least not for in front of the camera.

  26. Is the sequel exclusive for London? Definitely Gollum’s fans around the world will be disappointed if London will solely get the pleasure of enjoying the fan-sequel.

    I have a circle of friends who adores Gollum (his trademark “my precious”) and aside from writing wedding favors articles, I am a die-hard fan of Tolkien’s trilogy.

    Congrats for coming up with this fan-sequel

    Marcy

  27. It would’ve been nice to see something more original – an original interpretation of the characters. Way too much effort went into emulation.

    On the contrary: maintaining Peter Jackson’s look-and-feel is essential to the story-telling. It signals to the viewer that they have entered the same world, with the same rules, history, and so forth, as Jackson’s work; that this is a part of the same larger tale. Abandoning the look-and-feel for something “original” would be like adding onto an existing oil-painting mural using magic markers. The design needs to blend in, not to stray and stand apart.

  28. “Looks and sounds great, that’s true. But why do all these talented people waste their efforts on mediocre fan-fiction instead of doing their own thing”

    For a couple very good reasons. a) You never make money doing shorts, and b) there is already a global, multi-million strong LoTR fan base. It’s an eager audience for a film like this. Even the controversy helps. These guys are a phenomenon now.

    The whole point of doing a short is to get your name out there on a piece of quality work. These guys have done that better than almost anyone else in history.

  29. This film is absolutely amazing. The fan film Phenomena is really
    hitting hard. The images are gorgeous, the visual effects are
    bluffing… Even the acting isn’t too bad.

    The only thing that could be criticized is the lack of personal touch
    from Cris Bouchard. It’s obvious he’s trying to copy Peter’s Jackson
    style, but maybe a personal touch would have made it perfect :) I found
    a nice article on fan films and an Interview of Chris Bouchard on this
    site :
    http://observers.france24.com/en/content/20090526-Fan-Film-cinema-blockbuster-young-director-internet-lord-rings-matrix-batman

  30. Pretty cool video. Can’t wait for The Hobbit to come out since the LOTR trilogy is definitely in my top 10 of all time. Gonna find some images and make an LOTR cheque template so friends and family can see what a nerd I am when gift-giving time comes back. Aside from hockey and micr toner, I spend most of my time in Middle Earth. Cheers on the fan vid. Tolkien would be proud.

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