Ordinarily, I’m a bit wary of “fan projects”, especially of the film variety. I really have nothing against fandom or its varioius manifestations, honestly, but the production quality of most self-professed “serious” Tolkien-inspired video clips is just so awful, I can hardly watch them. Not to mention the cringe-worthy acting I usually see. Spoofs are a different matter, of course; there, poor production quality can be part of their charm. Here’s one of those that I like.
So it was without particularly high hopes that I pointed my browser to Born of Hope: A Lord of the Rings Fan Film this morning. Well, I was quite surprised by what I found. For a non-commercial project (which it must be, for questions of copyright), the quality is quite astonishing. Take a look at the trailer they’ve put together (on their Media Page as well as here, on Youtube), and I think you’ll be impressed. The acting is not at all bad, the film quality is terrific, and the story appears to be on the right track from what I can see. They’re using samples from the Howard Shore soundtrack(s) of the Peter Jackson films for now (and they should probably think about changing that before they get a C&D), but they have plans for their own original music as well.
The settings look a bit too Anglo-Saxon (which comes as no surprise, considering the film is being made in the countryside of England), but apart from that, they’re doing a really fine job so far. Their orcs were extremely impressive, helped in large part by the involvement of some of the folks who worked with New Line and WETA on Peter Jackson’s films. On their Media Page, they also have a number of “featurette” clips on the project, as well as a couple of pretty professional-looking movie posters they’ve designed.
Stop by and take a look. If only all fan efforts were of this caliber.