Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Hunt for Gollum - Now Online

So about a week ago I'm driving down the road, NPR on the radio, and I hear a report on an upcoming fan film called The Hunt for Gollum. I posted a little blip about the upcoming online release of the fan film a few weeks ago here.

Interestingly enough, the story on NPR focused on the high quality of the film's web site and trailer, and whether or not this fan effort was any sort of breach of copyright! The reporter interviewed the filmmaker, who marshaled a volunteer cast and crew of hundreds to complete the 40 minute film and also gathered the thoughts of a lawyer whose professional opinion was that this could be considered a breach of copyright by the Tolkien estate or New Line Cinema(who could then order a cease and desist).

Regardless of the dust up on NPR (though I thought it spectacular that a fan film was getting a bit of national press) the film premiered online on May 3. You can watch it now at their web site.

What do you think? Is the film in breach of copyright, especially if no one got paid to make it, and no one paid money to view it? Also, what do you think of the film itself (if you have 40 minutes to spend on it) Good? Bad? Worth all the effort?


Or click this link to watch The Hunt for Gollum directly.

10 comments:

Eärwen said...

I really want to see it, but our BSafe Online won't let us.. *sniff*

Eärwen said...

Is that supposed to be Aragorn?

Eärwen said...

STRIDER, COME BACK!!

Eärwen said...

"No, we won't, preciousss..."

Eärwen said...

"Yes, we will!"

Eärwen said...

"No, we musssn't! It doessn't likesss ussss!"

Eärwen said...

Sorry, Slinker and Stinker commandeered my computer for a second...
Wait. How does Gollum know about computers!?
STRIDER, WAIT!! HE'S RIGHT HERE!!!

Alexander Field said...

You are too funny...yeah, I think that's supposed to be Aragorn...and Gollum, Orcs and Gandalf make an appearance as well. The likenesses are pretty much spot on.

Keanan Brand said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I've been looking forward to it -- it looks awesome. (Might watch this weekend, when a college friend and fellow fan arrives.)

I don't think it's a breach of copyright, because no one's profiting, and it's promoting JRRT's work, after a fashion. It's like free publicity for Middle Earth tourism.

I think it's cool, too, that there are fans who'd volunteer time and skills to present such a finely crafted homage.

Nate said...

Ok, I just finished watching it. I must say it's pretty decent, everything is well done, set pieces, make up, acting, and they did a great job of using very little and tricking you into thinking the scope of the film is grander than what it is. You never really see Gollum upclose for obvious reasons (budget) and the final battle with the Ringwraith was shot way too dark, you can hardly see anything.
I don't think new line will sue because of the non-profit aspect but they may be able to force them to take the movie down if a case is made: they do get perilously close to plagiarism in some scenes, Strider's introduction is a shot by shot copy of his introduction on Fellowship, and the script clearly lifts dialogue from the peter jackson trilogy and puts very similar lines in the mouth of the actors that could arose questioning, and then the score of the movie could be called a copyright infringement because it's too similiar to the original trilogy's.
If you have 40 minutes to spare, I say watch it.