I have seen quite a few fan-films in my time. Most of them, to put it bluntly, are crap, consisting of footage from original films some idiotic teenager has recut in his bedroom and added new sound effects to. From time to time, however, you stumble onto a jewel. this film, called Born of Hope, is one such marvel. Based on The lord of the Rings, it tells the story of Aragorn’s father, Arathorn, and how Aragorn was born. It is essentially a love story, but it has a few impressive fight sequences.
This is not, however, your average made-on-a-wet-weekend fan-film: it had a budget of £25000 and a cast of 400. All the shots are original, with an original script (based, apparently, on an account found in the Lord of the Rings appendices). The acting is of a fairly professional standard; the shooting style bears the mark of someone who knows how to direct. The director, Kate Madison, does not try to emulate peter Jackson stylistically but uses her own technique, including one or two awesome sudden changes of filter. It is also clear that this film was not made by those who came to LOTR through the films, but by those with a deep respect for Tolkien and his languages.
All of this has me very excited indeed: I never realized fan-films could be this good. This film apparently won the London independent film festival award for best micro-budget feature. It just makes me want to get back to film-making myself. I’ve recently made a couple of shorts which I showed to you guys, and I’ve written a script for a third, but what I really need is a new camera so I don’t need to use the camera on my computer. I really love fiddling about with shots and capturing interesting images and image-sequences. But I digress – it’s just that amateur film-making like this really does excite me.