Production Diary - Archive

The diary & newsletters are written by Kate Madison



Making movies is expensive.

We could not have made this film without the generous donations from around the world. If you liked the film, why not donate money to the filmmakers.  Donations help to keep the website running, to replace the budget dept and to make future films.

With a budget set at only £25,000, the entire cast and crew gave their services for no financial gain. The subject matter and quality attracted people from around the world to join the team, even gaining support and interest from some of the original New Line Trilogy cast and crew members including Sir Richard Taylor and the Oscar® winning team at Weta Workshop, New Zealand.

Born of Hope is a non-commercial production created for free internet streaming for film fans worldwide. It was made purely for entertainment purposes and to keep the storytelling history of Middle Earth alive.

18 June 2010

Screening Cancelled

Unfortunately the screening of Born of Hope that was due to take place during the Festival in the Shire this August is now unlikely to take place.   This is due to previously undisclosed expenses which have rendered it impossible for the team to attend or show the film.  I am sorry that those attending will not be able to enjoy the film as part of the event.  However we do hope to arrange an official UK screening at some point this year and will let you all know once it’s arranged.

13 June 2010

New BoH Website

I’ve decided it’s time to give the website a bit of a redesign.  Now I’m no web designer or graphic artist so until something better comes along then this will be the new website.  It’s still in the early stages so I apologise if you find broken links or other bits that don’t work.  Please let me know if you do.

29 May 2010

BoH Screening

"Born of Hope" and "Hunt for Gollum" will be screened at Tolkien Day Geldern on the Lower Rhine in Germany on 29th & 30th May.    Go to the website for more information.

11 May 2010

eBay Sale of Costumes

Some of the Born of Hope costumes are going on sale! The first two costumes are up on ebay right now. Only 4 days left!!

2 Mar 2010

Video Podcasts!

There are two new podcasts from the director available on the Videos page.

12th Feb 2010

New movie project to be announced very soon. Don’t miss out.
Follow us from start to finish!

7th Dec 2009

Well the film has gone live online and it’s been wonderful to read all the comments you are making about the film. Thank you so much for all the feedback, we really appreciate it. Many of you have pointed out the issues we have with the current version of the film which is on Dailymotion. We do know about the sound sync issues and the fact that the credits cut out half way through. We are sorting this and hope to have a better version online very soon. We are also going to be adding the film to Youtube, hopefully within the next few days, so you will be able to enjoy it there as well. We are still looking to add more subtitles to the film. We current have English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Danish. We are getting Japanese, Finnish, Polish and Hungarian. If you would like to translate the film for subtitles in another language, please get in touch.

January 2009

Sorry that the diary hasn't been updated in a while. In between preparing for and shooting a film, updating the web site, sending out newsletters and working there just hasn't been time.

For updates on everything that's happened since the last diary entry please see the November and December Newsletters we sent out.

6th November 2008

I managed to send out the callsheet and script sides for this Sunday’s Shoot this evening.

4th November 2008

I can’t believed we are into November already! Anyway, no rest for the wicked. I managed to pop out to West Stow today to see Lance to discuss the Nov shoot. I guess I can’t really call it that anymore as we have about 3 November shoots but still, the ‘November Shoot’ is the West Stow shoot really.

Sunday 26th October 2008

So the second shoot has wrapped and man have we got some nice footage “in the can” people!

Saturday 25th October 2008

Today was the start of a weekend of fighting

Friday 24th October 2008

Today was the only day when we had the entire family and so it was important to film all the wides etc.

Thursday 23rd October 2008

First day of the shoot and I’m in make up at 6am having not gone to bed

21st October 2008

I probably shouldn’t be admitting this but I think this diary should tell you want it’s really like trying to make this film, warts and all. We have one and a half days to go and I am feeling so stressed and alone right now there have been many tears. There is so much to sort out still and my brain is getting fried.

19th October 2008

Headed back down to Debden House Campsite only to find the M11 closed so had to find an alternative route (good old

TomTom) meaning that I didn’t get there till 10am rather than 9am as planned.

18th October 2008

We had a small production meeting planned today in London. Chris, Graham and I packed up two cars with some costume and took it down to Debden House Campsite to leave ready for the shoot and rehearsal tomorrow.

16th October 2008

Went down to Debdon Campsite. Met Nick Baker location scouted Epping. Dropped off leather straps with Nicole and saw workshop and some of the props Nate and Nicole are working on.

15th October 2008

Finally got a phone call from Nick Baker of Epping to say he will licence us to film next week. Spoke to Jonathan Young from Burnham Beeches and although Epping had confirmed I asked for advice on other locations in the future. He suggested Black Park behind Pinewood Studios but that filming is taking place there all the time. Burnham Beeches has filled up it’s quota of filming days allowed each year and besides, I found out they charge £3000 a day!! That maybe fine for the likes of Harry Potter but that’s crazy for us.

14th October 2008

Drove all the way to Gloucester today to visit Jon Peck of Norton Armouries. Got a parking ticket!

8th October 2008

I’ve just seen that Born of Hope has finally been added to IMDB just when I had given up hope that all my requests and submissions were going no where. There is still a lot of information that hasn’t gone live yet, like the cast and crew list, more trivia, summaries and Sindarin as a language but it is awesome to get on the site especially before we finish production. It all adds to the professionalism of the production.

7th October 2008

Went down to London to meet up with Ruth and Rae to discuss the October fight.

6th October 2008

Ring*Con 2008 is over and it’s my last day in Germany :( Danny left early this morning at about 7am but as I only went to bed at 5am I didn’t feel the urge to get up then and share the taxi only to sit in the airport all day. So I slept until the last moment before check out and then gathered all the stuff and headed downstairs. Not an easy thing when you have two suitcases and a case of swords. Oversized luggage guy got a shock when he spotted swords going through the X-ray, I don’t speak German but he made a phone call :)

Sunday 5th October 2008

Second panel at 2pm today. Then we packed up the stand and Beth and Chris had to leave for the airport. Beth was disappointed to go and miss the closing ceremony and everything. After our goodbyes Danny and I headed up to the green room to wait with the others for the Closing Ceremony. We got talking to Brad Dourif and John Rhys-Davies…as you do!? Dinner at the castle. Tour by Marc B Lee. Met Lee Arenberg (Pintel from Pirates of the Caribbean). Had a great dinner. Chatted with Lori, Matt & Emily, Lee and Brad who were all really interested in Born of Hope and were so supportive of the project and what we were trying to do. After the castle it was back to the Hotel bar. Met Shane.. Talked with Jamie Yates a little. Jed Brophy took my card, as did Lee, mental note - I really must update my Kate Madison website and showreel. We were finally all thrown out of the bar when it closed. Jed also borrowed my phone to call his after he lost it in the bar. I stayed up till 5am chatting with Lee Arenberg on the sofas in the lobby.

Saturday 4th October 2008

Found Susi Knight at the Red Carpet tours stand and had a look at her lovely photobooks. Susi is keen to come over to the UK to photograph one of our shoots.

Friday 3rd October 2008

A busy first day of Ring*Con today. After some breakfast Danny, Beth and myself headed off to discover where the press conference was meant to be. I was quite excited at first because I thought we’d be there with all the other guests and therefore they’s all learn about BoH but silly me… We were placed on the front row and after two other people who spoke in German so I have no idea what they were talking about, we were introduced and had about 10 minutes to speak about BoH and show the new trailer etc. I waffled on and we showed the raven swords and hopefully Beth and Danny didn’t feel too awkward as I was talking the whole time. Once our time was up each of the main guests were introduced and we watched the rest of the press conference from the front row.

So the mystery man in the bathrobe in the lift turned out to be Paul Norell (King of the Dead) oops :)

By the time the press conference was over, Christopher Dane had shown up at the Hotel so we showed him around and went to set up our stand.

Met Susi Knight from Red Carpet tours

Thursday 2nd October 2008

Off to Ring*Con in Germany today. Met Beth and Danny at Stansted and after a bit of shuffling stuff around so that I didn't have to pay a stupid amount in excess baggage we headed off. The flight was quick and uneventful but I made it interesting when I left my passport on the plane and had to hop back on the bus to go get it. D'oh! We took a taxi to the hotel which was interesting with the large case containing the Raven swords which had to lie down the centre of the car. Once we’d settled into our rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls we decided to go see some of Bonn before the mayhem of the weekend hit and we were confined to the hotel. We met two people from NZ in the lift though the gentleman was originally from London. As we headed off to explore Bonn we were debating who they might be as we didn't think they were just fans. Danny thought he was a lawyer and was gonna bust us for copyright infringement. We found out next morning who he really was... So we made our way into Bonn on the tram and Beth and I were very pleased that Danny had a grasp of German. I really should learn some for next year. It rained and I didn’t have a coat. After a hot chocolate hiding from the rain and a failed attempt to walk down to the river we headed back to the hotel, narrowly avoiding being run over by a tram. We set up our table in the dealer's room and got some help putting up our banner so we were all ready to lay out our gear the next day. Right time for a drink in the bar, in fact a couple, then some mead and then some dancing :) A nice start to the weekend.

1st October 2008

Today I sent an email to Norton Armouries on the off chance that they might be able to help us with the film. I was wondering if they might have pieces that don't quite work and come out of the mould wrong and are usually skipped or if they would just loan us some stuff. Worth a try...

20th September 2008

Today I managed to go a see Simon at Raven Armouries and I got to see the new swords and hold them, they are lovely. I also had a look at the Elgarain sword which is in progress at the moment.

18th September 2008

Today was very positive. Two boxes arrived this morning from a talented young man called Andrew from MN USA. Andrew has put together some Moria Goblin armour especially for BoH. Here are a couple of photos.

I also got a really exciting email. We have the first of our custom made swords and they are beautiful! In just two weeks the talented guys at Raven Armouries have managed to create Arador’s and Dorlad’s sword from designs by Edward M Eglinton in Canada. Luckily for me they had a small break in their usually extremely busy schedule and have worked tirelessly to get these swords finished ready for filming in a few weeks. You don’t know how excited I was when I got the photos through on email! Here is a sneak peak.

15th September 2008

The winner of the Ring*Con prize draw was Elessar Tetramariner but as he was unable to accept the tickets as he is not available to attend Ring*Con, a new winner has been drawn and we are waiting on a reply.

14th September 2008

This was a busy weekend in all. Today was BoH fight training back at Moving Arts Base almost a year after the last large training day (see the fighting featurette). First of all I drove down to London with Sven (one of the extras from the July shoot who wanted to do the fight training day, his brother plays the younger Halbarad) and picked up almost all of the Orc costumes and weapons from Hunt for Gollum, I couldn’t take it all because my car couldn’t take it all. Then we drove back up to Angel and got down to work. About 24 fighters and main actors were put through their paces for 6 hours today and it was hard work and hot but very successful too. I have a bit of footage from the day which I may put up soon.

13th September 2008

So today I visited the Royal Armouries in Leeds. I had come all the way up to see the Wonderful World of Weta exhibition and attend the talk by Peter Lyons the swordsmith from LOTRs, Narnia etc. I had never been to the Armoury before and it’s amazing. I think I must have spent about 6 hours there and I still only feel like I brushed the surface of seeing the collection. Pater Lyons’ talk was very interesting and I learnt a few new things like the fact that all of the scabbards in LOTRs were made of Polyurethane to prevent breakages and people hurting themselves. Wooden scabbards break easily if you fall on them or hit them on something. I wish we were able to do polyurethane swords and aluminium stunt swords as well as hero swords. We are having some swords made for the film but can only do one of each which need to be both Hero swords and practical as well. Weta seems to use polyurethane for everything, armour, leather, swords, scabbards, bows, everything!

At the end of the talk we had a special treat. Exhibition curator Bob Woosnam-Savage had picked out six pieces from the Weta exhibition for us to not just see close up but to actually pick up and hold. These were a centaur polyurethane helmet, a Gondor aluminium stunt sword, a Moria aluminium stunt blade and polyurethane shield, a polyurethane Uruk blade and lastly the 'hero' sting. I really tried to take some photos in my mind (no real ones allowed) of what the Moria orc stuff especially was like.

I managed to speak with Peter and Bob after the talk and gave them both a BoH info booklet. Bob had actually heard of us which was fun to hear, he couldn't think from whom but it might have been someone at Weta. They were both very interested in the project which is great.

On my drive home I detoured via the peak district and saw a few nice areas that might work as locations for BoH, not as far away as Snowdonia. I didn’t really have the time or energy to spot and have a good look but it was worth the detour.

12th September 2008

Today I went to see Mark at Ambient Graphics here in Cambridge. I had met Mark at an event I was filming and I went to speak to him about getting some publicity banners made for events like Ring*Con. We chatted about the project and what would be useful to us despite the non existent budget and Mark kindly agreed to Ambient Graphics becoming a BoH sponsor. They will be donating a title banner and two upright stretch banners for our Ring*Con display and future events. This is brilliant and should really help us in our fundraising efforts at Ring*Con. We just need to sort out the designs now as we only have a couple of weeks before we go!

After my visit to Ambient Graphics I drove all the way up to visit Murton Park in York which is about 3 hours from Cambridge. I’d been meaning for a while to go and scout Murton Park as a possible second village location for a couple of scenes not set in Taurdal. I got there not long before closing time and walked around the deserted village with my video camera in the rain. How very atmospheric. Murton Park is quite different from West Stow. It’s not as historically accurate as West Stow and it’s busier in that there are quite a few small buildings which are all packed together. As I’ve already said though it’s about 3 hours from Cambridge and therefore about 4 hours from London so travel expenses would be an issue. I will keep it in mind and may talk to the Managers just in case but unless we can raise more funds I may have to forget it. We’ll have to see.

Anyway, next I drove across to Leeds as my intention was to go to the Royal Armouries the next day.

11th September 2008

Today I can confirm that we have finally cast Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond. I am so pleased to have these guys join the project and I know that a lot of you are keen, like me, to finally see the twins on screen.

Matt and Sam Kennard are UK based actors who will be transformed into the warrior sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, who fight along side Arathorn near the end of our film.

10th September 2008

Our Ring*Con prize draw ended at midnight. We raised £230 in well needed donations! Thank you.

The winner will be announced soon.

Keep your eyes out for more competitions from us in the future.

6th & 7th September 2008

We had a costuming workshop at mine from noon on Sat to about noon on Sunday. The weather restricted the five of us to the living room where we sat in the piles of leather and fur and worked on some Orc costumes and weathering ranger coats. It was a nice start but we still have a lot to do before the shoot. Everyone took some leather home to work on and the plan is to organise a London costuming weekend soon, as Cambridge isn’t convenient for everyone. Luckily, as I donated a lot of the material, all the orc costumes from The Hunt for Gollum are being given to BoH now they have finished shooting orc stuff. Therefore we have about 10-15 costumes already but I’m hoping to double this for BoH.

3rd September 2008

Today was a good day. I wasn’t working in an office today so I went to see Simon at the wonderful Raven Armouries. Simon had called me a few days before to see if we still needed help. I had foolishly ruled out Raven because I thought they were too busy to help us and too expensive for my wallet. However that was foolish as they could probably have been working on our stuff in quiet times and will just take the items back after filming if I cannot afford to buy them. They are back on board now but due to my delay there is even less time to work on things so some compromises might have to be made. The plan is for the guys at Raven to do some elven blades for the sons of Elrond which will be adapted from one of their current swords. They may also do Elgarain’s sword. We currently have swords being made in Brisbane Australia, Seattle USA and London Canada. Raven is only about 45 minutes from me so that’s much better and no huge postage costs too.

After my meeting with Simon I headed further south towards London to meet up with Sam Kennard, one half of the potential twin sons of Elrond. Sam and his brother Matt have been in my mind as the Twins for years because they originally sent in their details back in 2004 when the project was in its infancy. Of course between then and the test shoot and now lives move on and their acting careers grew and I had pretty much had to rule them out because they couldn’t commit to an unpaid job when they had so much paid work they had to do. In fact I could only meet Sam today because Matt is currently a regular in Doctors which films in Birmingham. However, when I contacted them again the other week to ask one last time, as I knew I had to cast the twins in the next few weeks or there would be no time to get the wigs made in China, the costumes and armour measured up, it was great to get a positive response and to learn that after all this time they are still very interested in the project. If we decide to cast them, they are going to be tricky to pin down, especially Matt as they are both doing a film in Australia for a month until mid Nov, Matt has 6 days on another film plus this regular work on Doctors but I’m confident we will be able to make it work. I will be chatting to Matt in a couple of days so we will talk it all through. Anyway meeting Sam was lovely although it turned into the most random audition both Sam and I have ever done. Due to the time we decided to meet in Bounds Green in London but Bounds Greens is severely lacking in pubs and coffee shops so I’d opted on Scout Park just round the corner from the tube. However we got there to find that it really was a park for Scouts and was private property. All we needed was a quiet bench to sit on and this was the best option so we slowly wandered in and sat and had a chat for a bit before some grumpy old scout man threw us out. Miserable old man :( So we ended up in my car reading through the scenes from the script. Me trying to read in the other characters and film from the drivers seat and Sam reading both elves in the passenger seat. It was bizarre but good fun. However if I can’t get an audition room I think we’ll pick a pub next time ;)

1st September 2008

We sent out our first Born of Hope Newsletter to everyone who had subscribed to the mailing list. Unfortunately due to the change over to bravenet there are still a number of people who have not confirmed their subscriptions yet so missed out on this mail out. However, we have set up an archive so you can always look back at old mail outs.

We hope to send these Newsletters out every month plus there maybe mail outs in between times if we have news that just can’t wait!

31st August 2008

We transferred our existing mailing list to Bravenet which has a much higher capacity than Doteasy. Our mailing list has been dead for quite sometime and we plan to change that and make a fresh start.

27th August 2008

Today I went riding on a lovely horse called Montana with a friend who may loan us some of his polo horses for the film. Polo horses are not my idea choice for Dúnedain horses but when you have no budget you have to take what you are generously offered especially when we were not sure we would be able to put horses into the film at all. In some respects I think polo horses would make very good film horses. They are used to noisy, busy environments, standing around for hours not doing anything then working very hard, they are used to sticks swinging around their heads (swap that for swords) and they are used to neck reining so you can, and almost have to, ride them with one hand. The downside is that they can be demanding and skitty, turn a corner and they think they have to take off after a ball and they don’t look like Dúnedain horses to me plus they have their manes cut off.

Dúnedain horses are bred in the North to be stout and strong. It is said they could even be a match for the Mearas of Rohan, for they could go on for days without rest at a great pace.

"Their horses were strong and proud bearing, but rough-haired"
The Passing of the Grey Company - ROTK

Ideally I would therefore love horses that look like this.



If you own or know someone who owns a horse similar to these and they live in the UK (ideally close to West Stow) and would be interested in loaning their horse to the production please get in touch.

Anyway, I had a good few hours riding out with Bodie. I have not ridden very much before and have always been quite a nervous rider so we spent some time trying to build up my confidence and practice walking, trotting and even some cantering! Well I didn’t fall off and although it was brief spurts and I was clinging onto the saddle with my free hand I did canter for only about the second time ever. Fingers crossed, if I do this more over the next few months we might be able to get me riding in the film and looking like I’m a natural (ah the illusion of film :). Hopefully some of the other actors might be able to join me on other occasions, as I know that most of them are not horse riders either and it might be good to get them on film too.

25th August 2008

Today I did a bit of location scouting around the area of Baldock and Royston. Saw a nice large pond with a bridge in the garden of a friend of a friend, which might be usable for either a courting scene or Rivendell. Also saw some other open land and bridle ways.

19th August 2008

Ring*Con 2008 Prize Draw Announced!

Also new website updates made live including more photos from the July shoot, diary entries and the Events page. Also a brand new trailer will be available in a few weeks time!

13th August 2008

Not much happened today. Vanessa and Keira came over and we went through a few things regarding the rest of the shoot. The next shoot is planned for Sept though we have yet to lock down dates. This shoot will be a lot smaller than the July one with only two actors and a minimal crew.

More editing this evening. The trailer is basically finished now and we just need to remove our music guide track so that a composer (we are still open for offers) can add some original music. Once the new music is on we can put it on the videos page for you all to enjoy!

12th August 2008

Today I visited West Stow for the first time since the shoot. I went to speak to the Manager Alan Baxter and Lance Alexander who’s been my main contact regarding the film. We had a bit of a feedback session though I’m pleased to say that they were pretty happy about how everything went and are really excited about further filming which is great! We also spoke about the idea of doing some workshops and lectures at West Stow so watch this space!

It had turned into a beautiful afternoon so before I headed home I decided to take a walk in the Country Park, partly for leisure but of course I could not switch off and used it as a location scout too. Yes I’ve been there endlessly but we need to film some more lovers courting scenes as soon as Beth returns from the Edinburgh festival so I am keen to be ready. There are some wonderful areas covered in purple heather right now and some other areas with wild flowers though I’m not sure what will still be in bloom in September?

The lake looked gorgeous too with the sun glinting off it and I would really like to show it in the film. We need to work a little more on the scripting of these scenes but I think they could be lovely

There is something about West Stow and that area that I really love. It’s very peaceful. I also went for a walk in the woods up the road at Warren Hill. I saw a snake! In fact I saw two today! Two grass snakes in one day is pretty good. Many people have never seen a wild snake especially in the UK. The best advice I have ever had regarding experiencing the outdoors is “get off the path”. If you want to go for a walk in the wood don’t walk along a dirt track with the wood either side of you, get off the path and go and see it and touch it and experience it. Although if you don’t want to see any snakes I recommend walking with heavy feet. I was obviously a little too quite for the grass snake I almost stepped on while he was sleeping in the long grass. Gave us both a fright :)

More BoH in the evening as I headed round to Aaron’s to try to get further along with the new trailer. I am keen to get it on the website as soon as possible. So working with my watermarked version we are over laying all the clean footage in Final Cut Pro. Another session tomorrow, plus maybe one more and we’ll hopefully have it really for the original music.

7th August 2008

Met with Ralph, Sophie and Emily to get feedback from the shoot from the camera, makeup and wardrobe departments.

30th July 2008

Well July is almost over and somehow almost two weeks have passed since the shoot. How that happened I have no idea.

Monday 21st July 2008

It’s a wrap! While most of the cast and crew have gone home to get some sleep and a warm shower a small band of us are still at West Stow clearing up. We sent Ralph off early to London with the transit full of lights, equipment and the Keeley props. While we filled the Luton with all the props and costumes and equipment going back to Cambridge. Vanessa then brought Chris Murray (after he had done a night shoot) back to West Stow to take the Luton back to Cambridge. We still had more at West Stow and time was running out to get the vans back to Cambridge. Luckily Ralph had finished in London and could get back to West Stow, the two of us could load the last stuff, take it back to mine in Cambridge and then drop off the van at the hire company just in time. Does all that sound complicated? Try organising it! Ugh! The portacabins needed emptying fully because they are being ripped out tomorrow (we have no idea what we are going to do in November, they were just invaluable!) and in fact there were guys ripping out the electrics and dismantling the walkway while we emptied them. We had to take down all the extra tents, clean up the village, removing all traces of out door fires, sweeping up all the straw (special thinks to Graham and Mark!) and generally clear out. It was a long and tiring day for the small band of us who where there. Thanks guys!

Sunday 20th July 2008


Day Five of Filming. The last day of the shoot and it was always gonna be a tough one. Not only was it the last day but it was also the only day when Andrew McDonald (Dirhael) would be with us.

Only weeks before the shoot Andrew got some paid work in a theatre tour which was due to start on the 15th July in Bath (for those who don't know the UK that is a three and a half hour drive from the West Stow location) and only has Sundays and Mondays off. Due to the distance we had no chance of shipping him back and forward from Bath to West Stow during the week and had to re-schedule all of his scenes for the Sunday.

Chris Child and Mike Rudin drove the Luton and transit van up from Cambridge for us ready for the get out the next day.

Today was long and both exciting and scary. Unfortunately as the day progressed we slipped behind schedule so that by the time we came to the second to last scene and a complicated one at that, we were out by a couple of hours. I also had to leave the team again to get into costume, for a scene that we actually had to drop in the end due to time, and when I got back there was a large crowd watching, which was a bit scary. Being near the end of the shoot lots of the crew and extras wanted to watch including some public members. It was scary because I knew this was going to be a hard scene to shoot so the pressure was on but you just have to ignore it and get on and do the job. So I focused on the shots we needed and we started shooting. The scene involved a number of children, some sword work, supporting artists, dialogue with the main actors while on the move plus I had to keep little Luke happy and doing some specific action. Poor Luke had to be bribed a number of times to keep him happy and he must have had such a sugar rush. We had almost finished the scene but the light was fading and it was apparent that we wouldn't have time for the last scene of the day. Also people were getting a little tired and we hadn't eaten yet. I have to say that when my 1st AD finally said “it's a wrap” I had to go take a time out at the edge of the village. We had done it, a hugely successful week had come together because of the amazing team I had around me, a weight was suddenly off my shoulders and all the feelings just came out.

FANTASTIC! So when's the next shoot?

Saturday 19th July 2008


Day Four of Filming. Fang’s big break

Today was our main "Extras" day and we needed the village to look as busy as possible. Knowing from yesterday how difficult it was to dress a large area I knew I have to carefully plan the shots I needed to make the most of a small set. First back to Fang who was a male muntjac deer who had unfortunately met his fate the night before on the road coming in towards the village. When Philippa showed up in makeup in the morning she told us about seeing him and jokingly said that she had thought we should go grab him for the film. Never joke. I had wanted to have a deer in the film but communication with the hunter I knew had petered out and I had written if off. Now there was a deer just lying by the side of the road just outside and when Jack and Ork offered to go and collect him I jumped at it. Fang, nicknamed because he only had one of his little fang like teeth left after he met with the car, is now immortalised in our film, see him in the trailer too. The original idea was to gut him on camera (some of the re-enactors had offered) and maybe even spit roast him for dinner but it was decided that his injuries from the car accident may have made him inedible. He was used in two of our scenes and then laid to rest back in the woods across the road. Thanks Fang!

Today we had our storyteller scene and we also had Luke our 2 year old Aragorn. The hall looked great with everyone in there, the fire going and Dagmaer acting as our storyteller. Once we wrapped we stayed up in the hall as dinner had been provided by Christopher Dane who had generously bought pizza for everyone!

Friday 18th July 2008


Day Three of Filming.

Today was a complete mix. We started the day with two interior scenes which just required three actors each.

Then after lunch I had to be in costume again so I had to leave my crew on their own to film part of the lovers courting montage while I went through hair and makeup.

We had a large number of extras for the scene known as "rangers return" and by this time in the shoot, due to the stress at the start of the week and dealing with large scenes with lots of people, my voice had died. This was the first time we had dealt with a lot of people all with different action and spread over a large area and it was hard work.

Thursday 17th July 2008


Day Two of Filming. Today we only had two scenes scheduled. Easy right? Wrong. From having just three main actors to deal with, suddenly we have 8 rangers, all the lead actors and about 30 supporting artists. This was the day I was dreading most because today we had Ranger Camp (we had a good location for a ranger camp but no scene in the script just the hope that it would fit into one of the many ranger montage sections)

and the Wedding of Gilraen and Arathorn (the plan was the film this in two different ways).

Despite many factors that were working against us regarding filming the wedding scene we didn’t really have the option of cancelling it or moving it to another day. The weather wasn’t great, the metal circlets that had been especially made in the USA were stuck in customs, no one could find the wonderful wedding cloth that had been made just days before to bind the couple’s hands together and we also ran out of time to try all the ideas I had.

Typically the one day where we really wanted some sunshine there was none and in fact it rained for much of the day. Hopefully we might be able to improve the weather in post production but we’ll have to see. With the metal circlets now due to arrive the next day Kay Morland set about hand sewing leaves and flowers onto headbands to create some beautiful flower circlets for the wedding and they looked great!

In the end we only had time to film the “simple” version. I had planned to film the simple version and then spend time trying to get the complicated dance version. The metal circlets arrived the next day and were used for another scene

Wednesday 16th July 2008


First day of filming. No turning back now. Today was a relatively quiet day. We only had four lead actors. We did have a number of Supporting Artists today so we managed to schedule in a short sequence involving everyone so that hopefully no one got too bored. For anyone who doesn’t realise it yet, movies are not glamorous and there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” involved. Film sets can be boring.

So our first problem, which we knew about, was that the Gilraen wig had no arrived yet. We ordered five custom made real hair wigs from a company in China but the order had been a little late going out and therefore they had been working tirelessly to get them finished on time and although Arathorn’s and Dirhaborn’s had arrived, the female wigs were very long and very thick and therefore took longer to complete. We had been told that they would not be finished until today 16th and then posted so we had to deal with the possibility that they would not arrive in time for this July shoot. I already have long brown hair, though it is not as long and as nice as the Elgarain wig, and we thought I’d be able to get away from it but Beth now has very short hair and it was also much lighter than the colour we had chosen for the wig. We ended up hiring a wig for her from Wig Specialities where the other wigs were coming from though it didn’t really match the bought one.

Anyway, fingers crossed we’ll get away with it because apart from Gilraen in a tree which is unusable due to technical issues (though you can see it in the new trailer), all other scenes that day were inside so hopefully it’s not as noticeable.

The other wig issue we had was with the Arathorn wig. This one had arrived on time but I think it must have been the first one they did and it was rushed or something as it really wasn’t what we had wanted. The wig had far too much hair and a very prominent wave in it that just didn’t work. The poor girls in the Make-up Dept worked on it for hours hacking away at it to try to get it looking right. When Chris came on set I had to send him back down because it still looked like a wig and would have ruined the film. Luckily we had a hired wig that fitted him, in fact, it turns out that it is exactly the same wig that he wore for the test shoot!



Test Shoot, April 2006                                                            July Shoot 2008

Unfortunately this now means that we have to hire this wig, at a cost of about £50 a week, every time we want to shoot with Chris which is what we were trying to avoid by buying one. The Arathorn wig, after probably about £100 pounds worth of hair was hacked out of it, can now be seen on the character of Mallor (Raphael Edwards).

Anyway, enough of the problems, lets get onto the good stuff. At about noon baby Aragorn showed up! Robert “Bobble” Harvey was just 2 ½ weeks old and was a complete star, as was his amazingly chilled out mother Kate.

Yes he is crying in this photo but as soon as we turned the camera on he went as quiet as a mouse and just threw in a few cute gurgling noises for added effect. Brilliant!

Well today was successful, we got everything done that we needed to and everyone seemed to have a good day. Can’t remember what time I went to bed but it was probably early hours. I had taken to sleeping in the portacabin so that I was close to everything. It also meant I could work on the laptops till late and be there in the morning when someone, usually Jack, knocked on the door to start getting breakfast ready.

Tuesday 15th July 2008

Last day of pre production. Yesterday and today were scheduled as set dressing and rehearsals. I have to say I’m writing this on the 14th August 2008 and I can’t really remember what we did this day. I remember it was hectic with a lot of running around. Our two-way radios arrived today. We had hired 16 of them. These were invaluable for this shoot as phone reception is so bad and it meant that we could communicate easily as a team. I think I called the Cabin Company about the shower and paid about £150 for what turned out to be a large useless plastic box. Grrrr. It turned out that you needed a qualified electrician to wire it into the main supply! When we then got a quote for this it was gonna be £250, so we couldn’t use it. We were talking though the next day and I suddenly remembered that we kind of needed a new born baby. I was really keen to not just have a fake bundle and had briefly spoken to friends who were having a baby around this time and they had said they were interested. Of course this was weeks ago and although Kate had given birth on the 30th June, opinions can change quite a bit when you are talking about your first child. Well I thought what the hell and at about 6pm I called Kate and popped the question and she loved the idea and agreed to come along with little Bobble the next day at about noon.

Now we had had bacon butties for breakfast, bacon butties and salad for lunch. Now it was suddenly dinner time and the panic set in. The filmmaking etiquette I have always used is that when people work on a non paid project they at least get travel expenses, a DVD of the film and fed while on set. Now travel and food can usually add up but it has always been ok on other projects. However, this is not your average short film project. I was gonna have to provide food for about 50-60 per day! I think that because of the cost of all this, the fact that a friend who has a catering company couldn’t help due to the time of year and all the other stuff there was to think about, I think I basically hid my head in the sand a bit and only now was it apparent that we were in serious trouble. The problem was not that we didn’t have food. We had supermarkets just down the road and we had also got stuff from Bookers Wholesale. The problem was who was gonna deal with it. So it got to about 8:30pm and I was comtemplating ordering in pizza for everyone and then curling up I a foetal position in the corner when Jack walks up to me and the production team and says “I hear you are having problems regarding catering. I’m an ex chef”. We fell at his feet.

Monday 14th July 2008

Well that was my last night in my own bed for a week. I’m off to Keeley hire to pick up some props today. Ralph (DoP) came up from London on the train and I picked him up from the station and we headed to Graham’s (Prop Master) and then all three of us went to get the Luton van that Ralph was to drive to London. So off we headed, slightly later than intended which was partly my fault (I’m not know for my punctuality) and partly because we dumped Ralph’s camping gear at Grahams to pick up later but then had to turn back half way to the van hire place because the important papers Ralph needed had actually been left at Graham’s. D’oh.

Anyway Ralph drove the Luton and followed Graham and myself in my car down to Keeley. Now if you have never been to Keeley it’s an amazing prop store where major Hollywood films like Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Kingdom of Heaven and Stardust all hire props from. In fact, one of the first things you see when you go up to the office is the Sheriff of Nottingham’s statue complete with drawn on scar!

Speaking of Nottingham, this is the name of Ridley Scott’s next film about Robin Hood, it was due to film later this year though it’s all gone on hold now. On our visit to Keeley it was all going ahead and we were cursing it because everything we saw and liked had a little green sticker on it saying that it had been reserved for Nottingham! D’oh. Anyway, some three hours later after wandering the Aladdin’s Cave that is Keeley we left with, well not a huge amount really but we couldn’t really afford to spend anymore. We did get our dead rabbits and birds which you’ll see a lot in the film.

We also managed to get two medieval style saddles so although we never managed to get any horses for the July shoot (oh we tried) the saddles will really help give the impression that horses were an important part of the culture.

Fingers crossed that we will have horses as part of another shoot. We have plans.

So after Keeley, Ralph took the Luton van off into London to Panalux and some other places to pick up lights and other equipment. Graham and I headed back to Cambridge, loaded up Richard's trailer with all the props, costumes and equipment from my house. Did some last minute computer stuff (there would be no internet access while at West Stow and even cell phones have limited reception) then we went to Tesco and bought a load of food, then to PC World to get two 1TB external hard drives for capturing all the footage from the P2 cards. One later turned out to be a 500GB drive in a 1TB box. I still need to go get my money back on the difference. Then finally we headed to West Stow. We finally got there at about 9pm and were pitching tents still at 11pm. Some of the crew were already there plus our four Vikings.

8th July 2008

Kate (Director) and Ralph (DoP) went to Norwich to see a lady about some dolly track and other grip equipment. Davina was lovely and we have bought some equipment from her. We then went to see the guys at FXhome who are now one of our sponsors and are donating their Panasonic DVCHD camera and red rock adapter for our filming week. It was great to see the guys again and I really wanted to head back onto the set of Terminus :(

Ralph and I then went to West Stow and I showed him around. The place is really looking nice and I can’t wait to get it all dressed up ready for filming.

Lina, production manager, spent the day chatting with Supporting Artists and blagging tents from the Scouts etc.

7th July 2008

Today Kate (Director) took Chris (one of the Assistant Directors) out to West Stow to show him the location and unit base etc. It rained a lot and we really hope that the weather next week is much better! Kate also collected a couple of parcels of items she’d bought on ebay, two leather jackets and a fox stole.

I also had no luck at all with getting a deal with Travelodge and worried that the prices might go up again booked one three person room for 5 days at a cost of about £250 just so that I had it as an option. Ideally I need about 3 rooms but I’m holding off in case a deal can be made. I also made enquiries into two way radios which I plan to hire for the shoot. These should help the production run smoothly.

6th July 2008

There was a prop making session today. The cart was finished, it’s amazing, and I got to see the saw horse, trough and pitch fork. All these items will help to reduce what we need to hire from Keeley Props. Kate (Director), Chris (Assistant Director), Tarba (transport and accommodation Co-ordinator), Alan (Prop Master) and Graham (Assistant Prop Master) met to talk through a few things regarding the week ahead. We are still trying to arrange vans to get all the props and costumes to the location. We are also trying to finalise accommodation issues regarding camping on location.

5th July 2008

There was a costume fitting in London today. Eight of the main actors came along to Westbourne Grove Church in Notting Hill between 10am and 4pm to try on some of the costumes that are currently being made. Emily Stuart (Wardrobe Supervisor) did a brilliant job making the day run smoothly and a big thank you needs to go to all the costumers who are working hard to get costumes ready in time for the shoot. I (Kate) only drove back from Norwich at about 7:30am after about 3 hours sleep (because I passed out on my bed). There were three large parcels waiting on my doorstep and it felt like Christmas as I opened them to find the beautiful quivers that Paula in the USA had made. Paula also sent a number of baskets and pots and set dressing items. One pot was unfortunately smashed and a couple of others cracked. All the items were brilliant and I am extremely grateful to Paula for spending so much of her time, effort and money on these wonderful items. I grabbed a couple of the quivers and quickly filled the car with costume stuff and picked up Lina (Production Manager) and we headed off to London to join Emily and the team. With the London traffic we only arrived at about noon and missed Howard, Danny, Philippa and Amani but saw Chris, Beth, Raphael and Andrew. The day went really well and it was lovely to see the costumes coming together.

28th June - 4th July 2008

This week was a non BoH week. Possibly a mistake to have one so close to filming but I was cast in a short Sci Fi film and I am so glad I didn’t decide against doing it. I had the best time ever working with a fantastic bunch of people on a really enjoyable film. The film was produced by FXhome and is going to look amazing.

24th June 2008

Well it's almost 2am and our brand new website is born.

We've been meaning to update the site for some time now but it has never quite come together until now.

We hope you like the new format and enjoy the additions

6 May 2008

Yesterday and today I was down in Epping Forest near London, partly helping and watching the Hunt for Gollum shoot but also scouting the forest for possible locations for Born of Hope.

Wait a second...  what's the Hunt for Gollum? 

Sorry, I've never really explained the Hunt for Gollum so this is a good a time as any.  The Hunt for Gollum is another LOTRs fan film being made here in the UK which follows Aragorn on his "Hunt for Gollum" basically.  The project first started in the summer of 2007 when Chris Bouchard, who was then the composer of Born of Hope, was inspired so much by our film that he decided that he's like to have a go himself.  Thus, the Hunt for Gollum was born.  

2 May 2008

Woah, what happened?! How are we into May already?  Well there might not have been much written on here but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy :)

24 Feb 2008

Today was the script reading.  It went really well.  The actual reading lasted just over an hour and was wonderfully narrated by Daud Shah (you may know him as Bond's first kill in the toilets in Casino Royale) who sight read the whole script while bringing it wonderfully to life!

All the actors, and those non actors who read in, did a great job sometimes reading multiple parts. It was fantastic to hear the script read in full and a real boost of encouragement on our long road.

22 Feb 2008

Frank Jakeman has been cast in the role of Arador, father of Arathorn.

9-17 Feb 2008

Ring Quest at West Stow - We had a display at West Stow during this time and attended at the weekends.

We had a very successful week promoting the film. We shot some behind the scenes and some test footage, we dressed up and talked to the public, we practiced our archery skills and clashed swords in the pig pen and generally had a good time. A large number of people passed by our display, many took away our website address and a number of them bought things and made donations. We raised £106.80 which is not bad at all, though it will only cover the travel expenses and food with maybe a few quid left over. Anyway this week was never about raising money but about spreading the word about the production which we certainly did. We also made a number of interesting contacts who may get involved in the production.

I hope you like this small collection of photos from the event. We do have some video too so I may put together a Ring Quest featurette for the website at some point.

22 Jan 2008

I have deleted a few guestbook entries that I felt were not fitting for this website. I understand that many people, quite rightly, have their own opinions about my project but this guestbook was not intended as a forum for people to debate its merits.

Personally I have found some of the comments hurtful but I have allowed people to have their opinion without censorship, however as these comments have continued and are read by many people including the BoH cast and crew I do not wish them to continue and from now on will delete any comments I feel are inappropriate for this website. Please feel free to find a forum elsewhere on the internet to discuss your negative comments and I just hope I never stumble across it.

There are a lot of people working extremely hard of this production for absolutely no financial reward! There is no way I am doing this project to make a profit and I’d be pretty stupid if I thought that making this film would be a great money making scheme. LOTRs might be a billion dollar franchise, but that’s for New Line and the big guys not for us. As our financing is obviously an issue I will try to set up a page on the site explaining our budgeting and hopefully this will lay any issues to rest.

I am sorry again to have to censor the guestbook but with filming arranged for later in the year and rehearsals underway I do not feel it is very good for moral amongst the cast and crew if they happen to read this.

Thank you

Kate Madison


22 Jan 2008

Today I went to West Stow and spoke to Lance about Ring Quest.  I also donated a number of sheepskins for the new farmers house which is almost finished.  They are currently finishing off the thatch and will then be re thatching the Living House.  It's all going to look really nice by the time we start filming.

19 Jan 08

Another fight training day but this time for Rangers :)  I couldn't be there until the end but was told it was a really good session and it was nice because it was the first session that some of the actors could make.  Much of the session was filmed ready for the Behind the Scenes Doc.  I managed to make it down in time for a drink in the local pub with some of the fight team and a few of the actors.  It was nice to see them again as I haven't seen many of the actors since the trailer shoot almost ... 2 years ago!!  Wow has it been that long!

17 Jan 08

West Stow confirmed our July Shoot Dates!  So we now have some dates to aim towards and can now start planning for this shoot.

14 Jan 08

I went to two leather companies in Sawston near Cambridge UK who were extremely generous and gave me a large amount of chamois leather off cuts (Hutchings & Harding Ltd) and sheep skin off cuts (Eastern Counties Leather Plc).  I also got 20 sheep skins from Eastern Counties Leather Plc which are absolutely brilliant for me.  Both companies have said I am welcome to go back at anytime.  Isn't it great when one person's waste can be useful to another.  So we are being good to the environment by helping to reduce waste.  Great!

13 Jan 08

Today we had a fight training session for Orcs.  This was mostly a session for the orcs in Hunt for Gollum, a fan film many of the BoH team are helping with.

6 Jan 08

Today we had a big Production Meeting in London. I met a number of new crew members who will be joining the team.

1 Jan 08


Oh my!  Another year passes but we are still here!  I am so excited because this is the year!  I’m really looking forward to a fantastic and productive 2008 as we will be finally getting down to shooting the film. New cast and crew will be joining us, meetings held, costumes made, locations confirmed and generally we are gonna be getting this show on the road! Yeah!

24 Dec 07

20 Dec 07

I've answered a couple more questions in the Q&A section so go have a look.  

Nearly Christmas!

13 Dec 07

Today was my birthday!  Ugh.  Another year older but ho hum.  No I'm not saying how old, I tell that truth too often and need to start lying.  

7 Dec 07

I hope you all noticed the fantastic new quote on the front page :)  I met Daniel Falconer at Ring*Con in Germany in Oct and we are still in touch.  He's a great guy and keen to keep an eye on our progress.  It's great to have his support.

5 Dec 07

Donation problems!

I just wanted to thank you all for your generous donations to BoH and to sincerely apologise for the fact that some of you may have had your donations returned to you recently.  This was not intentional.  The email address linked to the donations button has had problems and was disconnected from the Paypal account.  I do not know how long this has been a problem as I have only just found out.  It turns out that some donations have been bouncing back because they couldn't get through to the paypal account.  

It would be extremely rude of me to ask you to donate again but please know that if you did donate but it bounced back please know that I should have now fixed the problem and therefore donations should not be rejected again!

All donations are extremely welcome and essential to making this a wonderful film. I now worry about how many donations have actually bounced.

Thank you all for supporting this project!

Kate Madison

Actor/Director/Producer - Born of Hope

7 Nov 07

We are currently in the process of giving the website a face lift.  I have been approached by a fantastic web designer from Germany who saw me at Ring*Con and he is designing a whole new look.  Once finished the site is going to look much more professional.

4 Nov 07

Today was the first fight team training session held at Moving Arts Base in London. The session was run by our Fight Coordinator, Ruth Cooper-Brown from RC Annie and 20 people spent 2 hours learning to fight as orcs and rangers. It was a fantastic day with fighters attending from all over the country.  Below is the video featurette from the day.

27 Oct 07

We've been featured on and it's bringing new people to the site and generating more buzz about the project which is great.

‘Born of Hope’ LOTR Fan Film Impresses

October 27th, 2007 by Celeborn Discuss 

Ringer Elentariel sends us this report from RingCon 2007: 

I just returned from RingCon 2007 in Fulda, Germany where I found out about this incredible new British made LOTR fan film, which is still in the works. It tells the story of Aragorn’s parents and his childhood, which might be worth checking out. The website contains several trailers and info about the film.

18 Oct 07

Fight Class

16 Oct 07

Well I'm back from Ring*Con and what a great weekend!

14 Oct 07

Today was my presentation at Ring*Con and I was scared.   The morning was just autograph sessions so I didn't need to rush over to the Esperanto from my hotel, which was lucky really because with all the late nights in the 6th Floor Bar it was really hard to get up in the morning.  I don't really have a thing about autographs but as I'd actually spent money on a Ring*Con ticket that included a few autographs I thought I'd go get them.  

The first presentation today was Daniel Falconer and I tried to relax and enjoy it but I was getting nervous about my talk as I was next up.  So I headed round to back stage until Daniel finished.  

13 Oct 07

Andy Serkis was at Ring*Con today so everyone was excited cos this was the "Star" to everyone.  I think he literally flew in, freshened up, did his talk and autographs and then flew home again.

12 Oct 07

So the first day of Ring*Con 07.  I managed to have a bit of a look round before it started.  There were loads of people in costume, in fact almost everyone was in costume, I was one of only a few people in non middle earth wear.  In fact we looked like we were the ones with unusual clothing.  There were some amazing costumes around the whole weekend and I got some pictures but didn't speak to enough people about them really.  I managed to register, get branded with my Ring*Con wrist band and then wandered into the chill out hall where there were market stalls and some Middle Earth camps, Rohan, Gondor, Elven etc.  I then wandered into the main hall where I was due to give my speech on Sunday and my jaw dropped to the floor.  It was huge!  The room was huge, the stage was huge and dressed beautifully and I was thinking, "this can't be right, this is where the important people like Andy Serkis, John Noble and Daniel Falconer etc are doing their presentations.  I'm not in that league."   

After enjoying the panels and presentations on the main stage and wandering around feeling a bit out of it and alone I spotted a friendly face.  I have met Marcel Buelles last year at the Gathering of the Fellowship in Toronto and we had a lot of fun.  Unfortunately this brief hug and hello was the only contact with Marcel I had this time round but it was still nice to see him again.   I found my way up to the 6th floor bar which was the place to be of an evening.  I must have spent an hour or more just sitting in the corner or wandering around with a drink trying to get the courage to actually talk to someone.  

11 Oct 07

Off to Ring*Con.  I spent yesterday procrastinating and almost in denial that I was even going. So much so that I was then getting my DVD for the talk ready until about 6am and only stopped because I passed out on my bed while stuff was rendering etc.  My housemate, Emily, woke me in the morning at about 9.45am saying "weren't you supposed to leave 15 mins ago?"  Man that was not fun.  I still had lots to do and because I thought I was gonna miss my flight was at one point running through Stansted airport with no shoes on because I had to take them off to be scanned and just didn't think I had time to stop and put my boots back on.  That's the sort of stuff I need for the behind the scenes DVD :)  Typically the flight didn't leave on time, the DVD that hadn't verified worked anyway and the H4G trailer, I had not had time to DVD at home, was on my email so I could download it and give it to the Technical team on Saturday.  

Getting the cheap Ryanair flight turned out fine and I managed to catch the bus and the train without any problems though it took more time.  When I finally got to the Altstadthotel Arte there were "no rooms at the inn" so I had to be moved down the road to the Holiday Inn and move back in the morning which was a bit annoying.  

7 Oct 07

Arador Auditions

13 Sept 07

The final script was sent out today to the cast and crew so now I just have to wait and see what they think. Next step is to cast a couple more parts and then have a script reading in London.

Back from Snowdonia, and being Wales we did get a decent amount of rain during filming.  When the film crew left, Camilo and I stayed to Location Scout, and guess what, the sun came out. 

22 August 2007

I'm off next week camping in Snowdonia. I will be assisting with another LOTRs fan film called "The Hunt for Gollum" which involves a few of the Born of Hope crew. I will also be location scouting for Born of Hope as I'd like to film some of the movie out there. I will also be chatting to Dylan from as they may be getting involved in the project. Fingers crossed it doesn't rain all week.

3 July 2007

Just wanted to let you all know that the first draft of the final script is finished and we are just perfecting it now.  I'm getting quite excited but I have loads of work to do before we are anywhere near ready to shoot.

As you can see I've added a Ring*Con banner because I'm going to be at this convention in October and Born of Hope will also hopefully be represented in the programming.  I don't know how just yet but the organisers are interested.  Obviously it's highly unlikely we would have started shooting anything by then but I might let you in on a few secrets and could possibly show some of the trailer shoot footage that you still haven't seen as well as the trailer you all know and love.  Fingers crossed that next year I can go again and take the finished film!

26 May 2007

Well the story has now been decided and the script is in the States being written.  I have contacted the old cast and crew and told them that the project is re starting which everyone is excited about.  I am currently putting together my Art Department and can then start the designing and making of more costumes needed for the film.  Anyone interested in joining the Art Department as a volunteer for example as a concept artist or costumer or prop maker etc please do get in touch via the Get Involved page where you can send an introductory email.  Please note that these are not paid jobs, sorry.

Even though the script is not finished I am still able to do pre production and there is a lot to do over the next few months.  Stay tuned...

25 May 2007

Just thought I'd let you all know that there is a new online interview with me about the project at

4 March 2007

I'm sorry for the HUGE down time on this site.  Various reasons including broken computer, working on other people's films, mini panic attack about what I'm trying to do, work, life....all those little things that get in the way of the things you really want to do.  Not much went on in the way of "pursuing my acting career" either, ah well there's still time....

Anyway, yes I'm back, I've recovered from my panic about the project and now I'm desperate to get this show back on the road.  I'm trying to give the site a bit of a blitz to get it up to date and add extra detail and info.  So far I have added another featurette on the Media Page called "It's all about Aragorn" which I hope you all enjoy.  I have also changed the Get Involved page and added a Have your say".  I think this could be a very interesting and exciting experiment and I'm looking forward to reading all the ideas that get thrown into the pot!

Emily and I are off to California again on Friday for a week. We'll visit Sharmila again, she never did come back, she fell in love and got married so she's still in LA.  

I love how I can scroll down this page and read a little about the last trip.  This Production Diary is the longest I've ever kept writing a diary...ever.  It's a great way for me to remember what I've done.   

OK I'm gonna go work on the other pages...  

5 November 2006

A whole month?  Crikey where did it go?

Well I did promise to write more often so here's the latest.  I've been off in London working on a new feature film, no not mine, I wish.  It's called Dangerous Parking and it's by Peter Howitt who brought us Sliding Doors and Johnny English.  I am working as the 'stand in' for the actresses.  Not really acting I know but great to be part of this professional cast and crew. I have had a great time, I have learnt loads and I've even managed to be in shot as a extra a couple of times. 

Anyway enough of that, you want to here about Born of Hope.  Well the latest is that the Trailer and Journey so Far video have been sent off to Florida for MegaCon so I hope it gets there in time.  These videos have also been sent all the way to Argentina for a Fan Films Festival.  It's great to be able to show this film, al be it just the trailer, all over the place and to show people what can be accomplished if you set your mind to it. 

Other news is that I have been approached by a audio video company in Spain who will hopefully be helping me with the post production aspects of this project.  You see, even when you guys may think nothing is happening the website is still fuelling interest and giving the project more time means that more people may discover the site and offer assistance.  I am always so chuffed that people are so willing to help.  Thank you all.

More later..

5 October 2006

The honest truth...  a message I sent out to the mailing list members the other day.

I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch.  To be honest I kind of lost it for a while regarding Born of Hope.  After my trip to Canada the issues of copyright had been brought to the forefront and the story was also going through various changes and after months of work and stress well basically it all got too much and my protective little bubble burst leaving me wondering what the hell I was trying to do.

I spent the next few months unwilling to deal with the ‘problem’ that was Born of Hope.  I focused my efforts on other things like the short films “The Horsemen”, shot in July and “One Little Step” currently in production.  The closest I went to BoH was trying to edit together the test shoot footage so I can actually get it out to the cast and crew.  For some reason I am finding the editing really hard.  I think this is due to a lack of self-confidence and the need to live up to my own and everyone else’s expectations. 

Now that I have had some time to gather my thoughts properly I have basically decided that I need to slow the whole project down or risk throwing the towel in all together.   For most of this year it felt like I did nothing but Born of Hope.  I spent nine solid months working very hard on the project and basically I have decided that it can’t continue like that.  I love Born of Hope and think it could be an amazing project but I don’t think it should take over my life completely.  I have decided that the rest of this year at least should be used to focus on other things including my acting goals and to gain more experience as a filmmaker.  After all Born of Hope is a huge project to try to do as only my third film as a director. 

My other major issue is that I cannot forget the risks we are taking in trying to cheat copyright.   The idea of getting to the last day of filming, having spent loads of money and worked hard for months or years and then receive a cease and desist letter is something that haunts me and shutting down the website (this was considered) and keeping quiet will not necessarily stop it from happening.

As some of you may know we had started to develop the story into more of a feature film structure and therefore length however, and it pains me to say it, considering all of the above I don’t think I can now pursue making it the feature film we had thought about.  I just don’t think I am prepared to spend the money and take that risk.  Don’t quote me on that.  After a few months more of thinking things may change again, however, though I love the ideas we have been coming up with for the feature I’m starting to think that it would be nicer to make an original feature film along similar themes but keep the fan film smaller and therefore more likely to be completed.  

I hope you aren’t too disappointed.   Please don’t think that Born of Hope is dead, I am not saying that but I do need to take a break from it.  I will just work on it at a slower pace. 

I wish to thank you all again for your on going enthusiasm for this project and especially those who have offered up your skills.  I apologise to those I have not got back to, I am slowly working my way back through countless flagged emails but if you still do not hear please do write again to pester me for a response.  I do not mean to be rude and not reply.

Ok I think I will sign off now and although things have slowed down I will try to keep the production diary updated better from now on. 

Kate Robinson

Producer/Director – Born of Hope

31 July 2006

Sorry folks.  It's been a while I know.  Did you all think I'd run away to the woods and decided to stay there?  It was tempting I can tell you:)  I had a great time anyway and should tell you all about it really, it's very fitting learning all about woodlore and bushcraft while trying to make a film about the Rangers of the North.   Anyway, for now I just wanted to tell you that to make up for the fact that I haven't kept you very up to date lately, I have added a new video to the media page.  It is just a fun little featurette showing me and my core team having a laugh and acting out some of the scenes on a trip to west stow back on the 18th March 06.  It was a test shoot for the test shoot really. Enjoy.

9 July 2006

I'm off again for a week.  I'm heading into the wilderness... of Sussex UK to do a course in Fundamental Bushcraft with Ray Mear's company Woodlore.  Had to book it over a year ago cos it's so popular.  It should be fun and also good research for the Dúnedain way of life :) See you all in a week.

8 July 2006

A call to fellow filmmakers.  I am interested to hear from anyone who has made or attempted to make a fan film.  It doesn't have to be a LOTRs one.  I would like to hear of people's experiences regarding copyright, permissions and cease and desist demands.  Please email me and tell me your story.  The more information we have the better prepared we are.  Thank you.

8 July 2006

On the Get Involved page you can now sign up to get on our mailing list. 

July 2006

Well I'm back from Toronto.  I return to over 160 emails, most of them junk, a huge 'to do' list and copyright issues being discussed on various message boards with facts wrong too.  Why does it have to be so hard!  Soon I'm gonna wish I'd just made a damn Star Wars fan film like everyone else.  They at least are embraced and welcomed with open arms while I feel I'm being led out to the firing squad or will be soon.   Anyway, I only got home today so I haven't really looked into all the discussions but I do have to correct one thing.  It has been said that we are planning to make Born of Hope for release in theatres.  THIS IS NOT TRUE!  Yes, the script is developing into something feature length but this does not mean that we are planning to release it.  THIS IS AND WAS ALWAYS INTENDED TO BE A FAN FILM.  Made for fun not profit.  This will not change unless we talk with the copyright owners and obtain permission and the rights.

FINALLY I have put the videos shown at the Gathering up on the media page.  You can finally watch the trailer!!  I'd download it if I were you, if we get shut down you may never get to see it again :(

4 July 2006

Today was the marathon session of all three extended edition LOTRs films but as I've done that before some of us headed out for a late breakfast and ended up staying out all day.  We had a blast!  We went to the little fair ground on the island, got high on candy and played around on loads of the rides.  Had water fights on the log ride, beat each other up on the bumper cars and won tat in the mini was great.   Got back to the hotel for the end of Return of the King.  Quite a good end to the event really. 

3 July 2006

Second presentation today and no Jessie and Anthony today as they had other programming commitments.  So it was just me and Graham but we did fine.  We did the same format as before but opened to questions from the audience quicker.   Again we had a good turn out and everyone seemed to enjoy the footage and were interested in the project.  One person didn't like the idea of our women wielding swords but you're never going to please everyone.  Many people asked me to sign posters and flyers, which was fun.  I went to the Ancanar talk which I loved.  It was really great to learn so much more about the project than I'd been able to get from the website.  We were able to see the various trailers and presentations that they have made over the years and it was great to see the progress and learn more about the story and characters. The afternoon then turned into a Bruce and Craig fest which please all the 'fan girls'.  They spoke about LOTRs and acting and made everyone laugh which is always good.  I got some of it on camera so will show you some clips.   I couldn't resist joining in and bidding at the Kevin Smith Trust auction and ended up getting three random press packs and the frighteners trailer on 35ml film.  Both a bit pointless but had to be done :)

2 July 2006

Today was my first presentation.  9am-10am and we had a decent turn out.  I showed the Journey so Far video, see the media page.  Then Jessie and Anthony of the North East Tolkien Society asked questions and spoke to me about the project.  We then showed the trailer and opened up to questions from the audience.   After the presentation I watched the Oscar winning documentary about Thoth and then watched him perform again.   Lots of us then headed to the Prince of Wales theatre to watch the Lord of the Rings Musical.  There were mixed opinions afterwards but although some bits could do with a change over all I really enjoyed it.  It is a real visual spectacle and I am still singing and humming many of the hobbit songs :)  Back from the musical I was straight onto another panel about Fan Fiction.  I didn't feel I was much of an authority on the subject but I was sitting next to Craig Parker so we had a laugh and I think I did actually manage to say some intelligent stuff at some point.  That evening was the VIP Reception and an award ceremony in which Bruce and Craig hammed it up much to everyone's amusement. 

1 July 2006

Got down to the convention at 8:30am to discover that because Cliff Broadway was unable to get a flight from LA I was now narrating the opening Ceremony!  The one day I thought I could relax I now had to read out the creation stuff from the Silmarillion and try to pronounce the names correctly in front of scholars and the like.  Scary but it went well.  We had the readings, a slideshow and the music of Thoth and Lingalad.  I will put together a video of highlights from the Gathering at some point soon.  That evening, like most evenings, we sat in 'Traders' drinking with some of the other guests and presenters.

27 June 2006

Panic time. I fly out to Toronto tomorrow morning and am trying to figure out if I have done everything I needed to do.  I have the trailer and a video presentation to premiere at the Gathering.  If you are not going to be at the Gathering, fear not, the trailer will FINALLY be put up on the media page once I return in about a week.  I hope you think it's worth the wait.

We are currently trying to get a small presence at Comic Con too.  I am not able to attend but hopefully we will have some posters and flyers going around. 

Thinking about it, if anyone is going to ELF in New Jersey and wants to help promote us by leaving some flyers around there too, please contact me and we'll see what we can do.

23 June 2006

Script Update.  We have been working on the script heavily for the last few months and it has grown and changed quite a lots from the version we used for the trailer shoot.  It is currently being looked at by a professional script editor in the US!

20 June 2006

Well I fly off to Toronto a week tomorrow and I'm feeling quite nervous and desperately trying to get everything ready for the trip. 

A couple of people have asked questions regarding the costumes and would like more info posted about them.  I am not ignoring that request but I am putting it off until I'm back from Toronto.  I will try to get a costume page up on the site ASAP for all you guys who are interested.

10 June 2006

The Gathering of the Fellowship needs our help!  Compared to most conventions the Gathering is run by a non profit group manned by volunteers.  Apparently ticket sales are currently a lot lower than predicted and they are seriously worried about the future of this event.   One thing they are asking is that if you are planning to attend but were going to buy your ticket on the door PLEASE buy it now.  They are also encouraging people worried about the cost of accommodation to use the Gathering Friend Finder.

"We also understand that many potential attendees may be shying away due to the hotel expenses.  If you know someone who wants to attend, but cannot afford the hotel, let us know.  We have a good number of folks sharing hotel rooms.  The Gathering Friend Finder is a great resource to help would-be room-buddies get in touch and save on expenses.  Call your friends, cash in any favours, ask mom to come."  "we cannot stress enough how much we need your help!"

The Gathering has a fantastic line up of Guests and a huge selection of panels and presentations in it's programme.  So if you are thinking about coming along, to support Born of Hope if nothing else :) please go and buy your tickets now and help keep this wonderful event going.

9 June 2006

There is now the opportunity to become a concept artist/designer for Born of Hope.  Visit the Get Involved page for more information.

28th May 2006

So here's the exciting news.  I'm off to The Gathering in Toronto to make a presentation of Born of Hope and our journey so far! 

25th May 2006

I apologise to those of you who have contacted me and have yet to hear anything.  I am getting there.  Everyone will get a reply from me.  I also have some exciting news but you'll have to wait a few more days for it.  Also the site will be moving to a new location in the next few days. A dedicated site with unlimited traffic etc It's not up and running yet but it will be soon.

22nd May 2006

This site is looking to exceed it's traffic quota again and therefore looks likely to shut down until the start of June.  To try to prevent this I have removed some photos and the video file for now.  I am endeavouring to sort this out ASAP.  If we disappear we will be back!

18th May 2006

WOW what a response!  The One Ring notice did the trick.  The site has been hit about two thousand times in the last few days and I had to increase my traffic quota to stop the site from crashing.   I'm glad to say that so far everyone is being really positive too.  Thank you everyone for making us all feel warm and fuzzy.  Of course we are also now feeling under pressure to deliver a trailer quickly and get working on the final film which you are all so desperate for.  I am off to the editor's tonight to work on the trailer more.  I'm desperate to get something online but also very conscious of putting out the best we can.  Really want to show off what we've been up to.

16th May 2006

Well despite not having a trailer up on the site yet, last night, at stupid o'clock in the morning, I sent an email to to see if they would help to advertise Born of Hope.  Well I'm pleased to say they have put a notice on the news page.  Wow, I'm both excited and scared.  I really hope people are interested in this project.  Time is ticking but I'd love to get some footage shown at the summer conventions and gatherings so once I know fans are really keen to see what we have been up to I guess the next step is to contact the organisers.

14th May 2006

This year really is flying by.  Well I'm back from the States and getting my self back into Born of Hope.  The media page is mostly back up and running now.  The trailer I promised is on it's way but has taken longer than predicted.  That's always the way when everyone is working around normal job and life responsibilities.  I have also been playing around with some of the footage and editing some of the scenes together that we shot last month.

I have just added a new page to the website, a Q&A section so that you guys have a better opportunity to ask us questions about the project and therefore learn more about the process of trying to make this ambitious idea a reality.

23rd April 2006

Blimey where did April go?  Sorry I haven't updated this for a while I've been distracted by other things like acting on the London fringe, oooh exciting.  So what has happened lately?  Well I have captured the 7 hours of HDV footage onto my computer, the footage is looking great, if I do say so myself and I have had a little play with some teaser trailer ideas already.  I am also hoping to get the footage to a friend who's a professional editor.  He is bound to be able to do a better job than me with it.  I hope to get something up on the Media Page before the weekend, even if it is just a short teaser.  The slightly tight deadline is because the Sci Fi Festival is happening in London this week from the 26th-30th April and I'd like to go along on Friday or Saturday and hand out some fliers to start properly advertising the project.  Once we have a video I will also be contacting in the hope that they will support us and help promote the project to LOTRs fans.  I think this will be the turning point where the project either takes off and gathers a large following or falls flat.  I'm hoping for the first, though it could be quite scary.   Another reason for the weekend deadline is that I am flying out to LA on Sunday 30th for a week and a half to meet up with some friends. My house mate and Co Producer of Born of Hope Emily Blickem and Sharmila Maharaj who we have worked with on other films including Into the Darkness.  Sharmila is currently studying Special FX make-up out in LA and I hope that if she does decide to come back to the UK she will join the team for Born of Hope.

7th April 2006

The Fifth and final day of the trailer shoot at West Stow. Sorry I will write more soon...

4th April 2006

I've updated the site and added some photos to the media page and started a cast list on the team page.

3rd April 2006

I've added some photos to the main page and explained a little more about the story and the fact that we are currently shooting the trailer material.

2nd April 2006

The Fourth day of the trailer shoot at West Stow. More to come...

1st April 2006

The Third day of the trailer shoot at West Stow. More to come...

31st March 2006

The second day of the trailer shoot at West Stow.  Today was always going to be exciting.  It was the start of a long weekend of filming involving almost all the characters.  Today was great, we were working with our main characters Arathorn (Christopher Dane) and Gilraen (Beth Aynsley) with little 18 month old Luke turning up at 11am to play 2 year old Aragorn, what a cutie.  We spent the first part of the day working on one of two important scenes between Arathorn and Gilraen where she tries to convince him that his fathers death should not change their relationship and that she loves him no mater what the danger.  More to come..

25th March 2006

The first day of the trailer shoot at West Stow.  As we'd told everyone to bring thermals the weather decided to start off as a hot summer day so we were all in t-shirts until lunchtime when the weather started to grey over.  It finally rained on us as we filmed the last few shots.  I wonder what next weekend will be like?

20th March 2006

I met Raphael (Halbaron) and Nikki our make-up & hair artist at Wig Specialities in London.   Joyce and Penny at Wig Specialities were lovely.  We had a bit of a problem because when you're taking from stock and not getting wigs made, long hair wigs have to be taken from the ladies stock.  Which means our 'Big Headed' actors :) are trying to fit into small ladies wigs.  We did luckily find something to fit Raphael though it was a bit longer than I would have liked but I'm sure Nikki will tame it from the rock star look into a proper Dúnedain ranger :)

18th March 2006

Today, Emily (Co-Producer), Carl (Assistant Producer), Neill (Director of Photography) and myself (Director/Co Producer) all went to West Stow.  Emily and Neill had never been before so we got to show them around.  Neill also brought along his HDV camera and new fancy adapter which creates a very shallow depth of field to give a look that's closer to film than most Digital cameras can get.   We spent a good few hours looking at some of the shots we have planned and testing out the new adapter properly. 

17th March 2006

Went to the Original Re enactors Market near Coventry today.  Dished out some fliers and spent a small fortune.

16th March 2006

So much to say, so much to say!   The film is now cast and I am confident they will all be brilliant!  Thank you so much to everyone who applied or auditioned!   It was awful having to send out all of the reject emails but I hope everyone got one.  I wanted to make sure I emailed everyone who applied so I am very sorry if I have missed you. 

25th February 2006

My chainmaile materials arrived today!  That was quick.  I've already been putting the platemaile together and made a start on linking the rings for chainmaile.

I have also put another picture on the main page.  It is an orc head sculpture ready for making some full head latex masks.

24th February 2006

Born of Hope has been mentioned in 'Fan Films Quarterly', an fairly new magazine all about fan films.  It is available at

It just mentions that we are currently casting the film.  I might look into getting a feature article or something for the next issue.

23rd February 2006

Today I ordered some Aluminium rings from Armchair Armoury to make chainmaile for the orc costumes.  Using Aluminium will keep the weight down.  Our actors playing orcs will have a hard enough time without costumes that weigh a tone as well. I also ordered some platemaile.

22nd February 2006

I've added a couple of examples of Henning's storyboards to the front page.

16th February 2006

I went to London today to visit the Wig Specialists and BBC wigs.   I had arranged to view some of their stock to get an idea of what is available.  It was strange visiting these places, I felt like I was entering some secret domain.  At the wig specialists I saw Dumbledore's wig from Harry Potter, how cool is that!  Wig Specialists have made and supplied wigs for hundreds of Motion Pictures and West End Shows.  I love the fact that even with this small little film we can work with the top people in the industry.

At BBC wigs Philippa let me wonder around myself looking at stuff.   She let me take out the wigs and try them on a life casting of Rory Bremner!  Once we have the cast in place we need to arrange a day to go back and try different ones out and get them fitted.  The main consideration is cast and cost now. 

4th February 2006

Carl Homer and I went to West Stow today to talk to Alan Baxter the Manager there.  It was an extremely successful day!  Alan is a big LOTRs fan and is very keen to help us out in anyway he can.  We had a good chat about the logistic of the trailer shoot and Alan gave us some aerial plans of the village which will help our concept art and also a useful contact for re enactors to make the village look alive.  Carl and I then had another good wonder of the village and filmed some of the ideas for shot angles for the scenes.  This was a good day!

3rd February 2006

Lately I've been making enquired with various make up and hair specialists in Film and Television. This could be considered rather foolish when the project is still entirely self funded but I am really keen to have the film looking the best it possible can.   Today I spoke to the guys at Fangs FX who were lovely and agreed to help me by making teeth for my two main Orcs.  As you can imagine this is not going to be cheap, even though they are giving me a generous price.  My next task is to find two actors to play the roles, not an easy task considering what these actors will have to endure. 

29th January 2006

Held more London auditions today.  I learnt that I can't do 'quick' auditions.  I tried to see too many people with just 15 mins each.  I ended up running SO LATE!  Felt so bad for everyone who had to wait for sometimes hours!  Everyone was so fantastic and kind though.  Eventually finished at 9pm after almost 6 hours none stop.  I was very tired by the end especially as I'd got up at 6am after about 3 hours sleep and attended my own 3 hour acting class in the morning.   All the actors were very good which is great though will make it hard to turn people down.  I wish I could cast more of them but I only have a limited number of characters. 

27th January 2006

Emailed BBC wigs and Wig Specialists to inquire about the cost of hiring wigs or even having some made.  Wigs are going to take a huge chunk from the budget but proper wigs will make such a difference to the quality of this film.  If I can't afford it for the rangers I at least need them for the sons of Elrond.  Apart from various orcs, they are the only non human roles in the film and could therefore be the hardest characters to deal with.  They need to be identical twins, have elvish warrior costumes, elvish weapons, and long dark hair like their father Elrond and sister Arwen. 

25th January 2006

Called West Stow and spoke to Alan Baxter the Manager.  He is a big LOTRs fan and it looks like they will help us in any way they can.  FANTASTIC!  I have a proper meeting with Alan on the 4th Feb to discuss the project fully.

8th January 2006

PREVIEW VIDEO now available!  Follow this link to download it.

25th December 2005

CHRISTMAS DAY!  Merry Christmas everyone. 

14th December 2005

Another audition.

13th December 2005


I also auditioned another actor for the role of Dirhael.

27th November 2005

Had a second batch of auditions in London today.   It will still be a few weeks before we can be close to casting any of the roles as I still have more auditions to hold but it's all going well so far. 

22nd November 2005

Had a meeting with Rosalind Evans our Costumer.  We discussed ideas, looked through designs and went through the material I have already accumulated.  We are both quite excited and Ros is desperate to start making some.

18th November 2005

One more audition today.  Again it went well.  Slowly but surely I'll get through.

15th November 2005

Started work on a new website layout.  Not easy, I'm no expert but I know it needs a facelift. 

13th November 2005

Today was the first batch of London auditions.  The afternoon went really well but I'm not giving anything away, you'll have to wait and see.

12th November 2005

Today Chay and I went to West Stow Anglo-Saxon reconstructed village, our potential location.  We took photos of the houses and some video.  Chay measured out each house very roughly in feet.  We want all this info for our conceptual art work including computer generated images.  I haven't yet spoken to West Stow about filming there, at least not since last year but I'm sure they were a bit suspicious of all our cameras etc.  I'm planning to wait a little longer so I can go there with a folder of concept art, costume designs and actors info and really pitch the idea to them so they couldn't possibly say no.  I hadn't been to the village for quite a while and was disappointed to see that they had lost one of their houses to a fire in Feb 05.  It's a danger with wooden houses but it took them 6 years to build it!  Such a shame!

3rd November 2005

Casting Notice went out on Shooting People.  CV's are already arriving.

2nd November 2005

Emailed the Casting Notice to Shooting People.  There's no turning back now!

November 2003

The idea of doing a Lord of the Rings fan film first came to mind.


"I really admire what you are doing and would love to support your efforts in some way."

Daniel Falconer, Designer at Weta Workshop

"It looks like you people are putting together an awesome project--I'm looking forward to seeing the film, myself.  Best wishes on completion of the project."

Christian Fletcher, Sword Maker

Key Events Timeline

Oct 2003 - The Spark!

May 2004 - Competition comes and goes..

March/April 2006 -  test shoot.

July 2008 - Principal Photography Begins

Oct 2009 - Preview Screening at Ring*Con

1st Dec 2009 - Official Internet Release!

This project has been around for over 6 years, with the original idea forming in 2003 when actor/filmmaker Kate Madison wanted to send a film to a Tolkien Fan Film Exhibition. However, from a small spark the idea grew into a hugely ambitious 70 minute feature film which has now been viewed over 15 million times on the internet.

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