Born of Hope – and a lot of Charity – The Guardian

Here is the article from the Guardian but if you want to see the original please follow the link.  Born of Hope – and a lot of Charity by Tom Lamont, The Guardian – 7 March 2010 On the eastern flank of Epping Forest, a short walk in from the town of Debden, there is a huge tree, lying on its side, upended by a storm. It was in this clearing that independent film-maker Kate Madison, along with dozens of game volunteers, filmed Born of Hope, a homemade prequel to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy that has caused a great stir since its release in December. A production pulled together over four years with a budget of a mere £25,000 – about a tenth of one per cent of the cost of Jackson’s epic – it has impressed critics and recorded close to a million views on video streaming sites. The upended tree seems a fitting place for it all to have begun. Born of Hope tells the story of Arathorn, the father of Viggo Mortensen’s character in the Hollywood films. There’s the odd crude moment (a lady, just about visible in the background of a love scene, walking her dog through the trees); and this time Middle Earth is represented by oft-drizzly Essex, not the luscious Ruapehu district of New Zealand. But Madison’s film makes an entirely plausible, if unofficial, addition to the franchise. There are epic battle sequences, pitting man and elf against orc and troll; there are stirring original orchestral scores; there are special effects; horses; severed heads; even a thrilling glimpse of the...