I noted the other day that Cassidy and I are reading The Hobbit together. It, along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was a defining moment in my early reading years. I’ve been looking forward to sharing these books with Cassidy, and we are having a blast. She has not seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies, and I told her that we would watch each movie together after reading the book. Just the other night we were lamenting the fact that there is not a movie version of The Hobbit.
Now, thanks to a dedicated director and a bunch of very talented actors/volunteers/fans, there is a very well-done movie inspired by these books that we can use to whet our appetites. In our reading, we are just past the point where Bilbo Baggins finds the ring and escapes from Gollum and the goblins, with some help from the eagles. So Cassidy knows about Gollum and the ring.
Filmmaking is not like journalism. Unlike the ever narrowing gap between traditional journalists and bloggers, citizen filmmakers have not narrowed the gap between themselves and their Hollywood counterparts. In fact, I think the difference between a Saturday night made for Sci-fi Channel movie and a Hollywood feature film is bigger than the difference between a good blogger and the New York Times. Words all look the same and stand in their own merits. Movies are multi-media events, where cinematography, special effects and other factors have a lot to do with the end result. Accordingly, even talented actors look bad in a film with no production budget.
Which makes it very hard for independent films to measure up.
The Hunt for Gollum is a very pleasant exception to this rule. This is an excellent 40-minute film, in HD no less. The fight scenes were excellently filmed, choreographed and acted. I really enjoyed the entire thing, and intend to watch it again- with Cassidy.
Take a look. But be quick, because there’s no guarantee that some walking bad decision at New Line Cinema, who owns the rights to the Lord of the Rings movies, won’t try to squelch this little labor of love, and all the good publicity it will generate. I hope that doesn’t happen.
Because it is a cool and well made film.