Born Of Hope Logo
May 2009

The Hunt for Gollum

You’ve probably all seen it by now and if you haven’t, where have you been?! The Hunt for Gollum, a fan made film which tells the story of Aragorn’s quest to find Gollum only to learn that he’s already let slip about Bilbo and the Shire, had it’s world premiere release this month and has had a fantastic reaction from the fans. It was viewed almost one million times in the first week and has generated some great reviews and international press. I am very proud of this film and what the team, which included many BoH people, managed to achieve. The simple idea for a little 10 minute film, that sparked out of Chris Bouchard’s involvement with Born of Hope over two years ago, became a sweeping 40 minutes (I know how that can happen!) and wonderfully showcased the talents of it’s cast and crew. When Chris first mentioned his idea to do a film about Aragorn and asked to borrow some of our costumes I was happy to help. I supplied some of our test shoot costumes and materials, my camera jib and lent them my United Cutlery Aragorn ranger sword (which unfortunately got broken during the first shoot so was replaced in later shoots by a cheaper version). I even went out with the team to shoot in Snowdonia Wales in 2007, helping as a driver/runner/wardrobe assistant etc. As the film expanded and photography extended they ended up filming in parallel with us but luckily we were never shooting on exactly the same days so the costume cross over was thankfully never a problem. The favours worked both ways in the end as we used the H4G costumes in BoH, Chris Bouchard helped out as a camera operator on a few of our shoots and some of their team are now working with us in post production.

With the arrival of The Hunt for Gollum and the two films running so closely, many people have often confused the two or thought they were made by the same team. In reality these are two very different films both in story, scale and the way they were produced. For example, due to the small cast and crew needed for Gollum, they were able to do more guerrilla filmmaking, keeping their budget extremely low. BoH is so much bigger in terms of the number of people involved, filming days, props, costumes, wigs and prosthetics needed that our budget is about 8 times that of Gollum.

Your response to The Hunt for Gollum has been so amazing and I just hope that we can hit the bar they have set for us… maybe even jump it! You can tell me at the end of the year if we did :)

Post Production in full swing

They say that a film is made three times. First in the scripting, then in the shooting and then again in the editing. This is certainly true for Born of Hope. The script had changed many times and even during filming it is often the case that when you start to lift the words off the page they don’t always work as well as you think. Dialogue can change to make it more natural and to fit the characters the actors have brought to life. Then sometimes in the edit, scenes that you thought worked really well, just seem out of place in the grander story, or problems during filming mean that footage cannot be used. One thing we found when we started to put the rough cut together was that it became clear that if we stuck true to the original script, there were some possible plot holes that would mean we had a lot more to shoot if we were to make a cohesive story. The film tries to cover about 5 or 6 years and we need to keep the story flowing at a good pace to maintain the interest of the audience. As the edit comes together some scenes are dropped, some extended and some events unfold in a different way to the original script. Apart from a few scenes left to shoot the rough edit is now complete and we are into the finer detail tweaking now. The film is currently around 75 minutes in length.


Top quality CGI is expensive and time consuming, and time and money is something we are limited by, which is one of the reasons I was originally planning to avoid it. I have always been very adamant that this was not a CGI film and that there would be very little used. However, things can change. Born of Hope is about characters and story but we have some extremely talented professionals coming on board to start visual effects and we hope to be able to show you the breathtaking Middle-earth we all know and love.

In fact if VFX or other post production jobs are your thing then you can send in your details and maybe get involved. See below.

New Recruits

If you loved The Hunt for Gollum and were worried that you had missed out on being part of a film like this then fear no more. Born of Hope is currently recruiting and now is your opportunity to get involved in one of the biggest and most spectacular internationally made internet films ever! It’s larger, longer and more epic than Hunt for Gollum. A large cast bring an entire people to life. A host of new characters never before seen on screen! This 75min film has been in the making for almost 6 years and was what sparked the Hunt for Gollum.

Born of Hope has 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 Richard Taylor and the Oscar winning team at Weta Workshop, New Zealand.

"Amazing stuff. It's incredible to see what craftsmanship, sensitivity and attention to detail is being brought to bear on this ambitious project. Everything so far looks amazing and I can't wait to see the finished film"
Richard Taylor - Director/Effects Supervisor, Weta Workshop.

Find out more at

Have your say

Now that we are mostly in post production with only a few scenes left to shoot, I will probably have less interesting stories to tell or cool photos to show in the newsletters leading up to the film’s release. I am also reluctant to show you too many spoilers from now on because we want to keep some things a mystery. I was therefore thinking that, considering these newsletters are for you guys, maybe I should ask you what you want to see and know. We already have the Q&A section on the website but these are often things like, “when is the film released” or “will we see Elrond in the film?”, the new section of the newsletter could focus on a particular person, character or job. For example one month we could delve into the makeup and prosthetics side of the production, with interviews with key crew members. Another month we could talk to the actors and learn more about their experiences working on the project. We might even be able to sort out some video interviews as well, you never know.

So please let me know who, what, where or when or whatever you would like to know and we will pick some of the popular questions or proposals for the next newsletter. Simply reply to this newsletter email and I’ll do what I can.

Well that’s all for now. Hopefully June’s Newsletter will be out at the end of the month. Gosh that’s not long!