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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

trailer break: “The Hunt for Gollum”

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…


A bunch of readers have emailed me about this — thank you all –and yes, I’ve been aware of it, and I’ve been meaning to get to it for quite a while.

Remember when Strider went hunting for Gollum? You do if you read the appendices Tolkien packed with all the side stories that never made it into The Lord of the Rings. British filmmaker Chris Bouchard turned that particular tidbit into this 40-minute short, produced for £3,000 by volunteer fans (read more about it at the Guardian).

I hope to watch the film today or tomorrow and report on it ASAP.

“The Hunt for Gollum” is available to watch online at the official site.



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  • Victor Plenty

    Very impressive. At multiple points while watching this, I thought they might be “borrowing” scenes and music directly from the Peter Jackson films. The visual effects in the landscape shots are that good, and the score is as perfectly attuned to the mood of each shot.

    After watching I went to the behind the scenes section of their site to check on these details, and apparently this film contains nothing but new work. The music, the visual effects, everything in this production was perhaps not original in the purest sense of that word, but the mimicry of the official films was intentional. Crafting everything from scratch makes it a much more impressive achievement than the digitally copied and pasted content that less ambitious fan made films tend to rely on.

    The Hunt for Gollum isn’t perfect. There are several points where an attentive viewer can tell they didn’t have nearly the budget Peter Jackson had to play with. But those are all early on, with none serious enough to prevent full immersion in the story soon after. The plot unfolds with just the right pace, and the climactic battle scenes are done so well I’d watch them again right now if I had this thing on DVD.

    Hmm. Looks like I’ve rattled on a good deal longer than I’d planned to. At any rate, I’d be interested to learn whether others enjoyed watching this nearly as much as I did.

  • JoshB

    Wow, that’s really impressive. They stretched that money a long way.

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