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Re: New LotR-based movie: The Hunt for Gollum

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  • Steven Sams
    Where would the bridge film material come from again? What stories? Thanks, Steven [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
      Where would the bridge film material come from again? What stories?



      Thanks,



      Steven









      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael Cunningham
      Possibly they should have been mindful of the Damnatus outcome. Intellectual property issues are rarely black and white and may see this project slip into the
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
        Possibly they should have been mindful of the Damnatus outcome. Intellectual property issues are rarely black and white and may see this project slip into the Dead Marshes.

        Michael


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Croft, Janet B.
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6:36 PM
        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: New LotR-based movie: The Hunt for Gollum


        Being a non-profit doesn’t automatically give you free reign to do as you please with other folks’ copyrighted material, which is how they appear to be approaching this project. However, it can have weight in a Four Factors of Fair Use analysis, which is what they should sit down and do before the Estate or Saul Zantz or New Line takes notice of them. They should at least become more familiar with the vocabulary of fair use, and not rely solely on being non-profit to protect themselves.

        Janet Brennan Croft

        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Cunningham
        Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 12:19 PM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: New LotR-based movie: The Hunt for Gollum


        I have been in touch with the two main producers of this project, primarily
        as a fan and because this independent has been receiving some very positive
        coverage in several genre-related magazines. Naively or otherwise I thought
        this to be a number of Tolkien aficionados with a cinematic and stage
        background (and therefore some knowledge of copyright issues) expressing
        their appreciation for the professor's works and, to a degree, Jackson's
        cinematic interpretation of such. The producers are aware of these concerns
        re copyright but raised the issue of the 'fan film' which may inhabit its
        own genre and as such not fall under the legal remit of a large scale,
        widely distributed, money making enterprise.

        It's certainly not going to win any Oscars (or praise, it seems) but in
        conversation with those involved the over-riding factor is that they are
        purely fans and the feature is a labour of love and affection for a masterly
        work that fires a creative spark in many of the folk who explore the world
        between its pages.

        I've pasted the response from the producers who sought to address the
        copyright issue.

        Michael

        -----
        I appreciate your editor's concern and he might be right. We haven't heard
        anything from The Tolkien Estate but I can't see that we pose them any
        serious threat. Hopefully we're helping to keep Tolkien's work alive. Anyway
        this is question we get asked a lot and it's very important to make clear
        that we feel there isn't a serious issue here. Let me explain why. The film
        is non-profit and we're just a bunch of Tolkien fans making this in our
        spare time as a labour of love. Here is an FAQ that explains more. It's also
        worth noting that since many Star Wars "fan films" have been made and widely
        publicised, the fan film has become recognised internationally as a genre in
        itself.

        How are you managing to make this with characters created by Tolkien when
        the intellectual property rights are held elsewhere?
        A very fair point. The answer is that we are a non-commercial film club and
        the project is entirely non-profit. We certainly do not intend to breach
        legal copyright and if we were to sell the finished film or anything related
        to it then this would indeed be illegal. However this project is non-profit
        and any videos and media generated will always be available freely and
        openly over the internet. Nobody is or ever will be profiting financially
        from this project. No products are being made or sold. The project is funded
        by the fans who are taking part in it, a group of individuals collaborating
        for fun. We're working on this project based on Lord of the Rings because we
        love the material and as a way to showcase our technical film making skills.
        If the copyright owners are concerned, then legally speaking we plead that
        we are only a bunch of Tolkien fans practicing our film-making skills and
        documenting the results online.

        ------------


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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      • Sarah Beach
        The problem with the filmmakers citing the STAR WARS fanfilms as precedent is that Lucasfilm actually ALLOWS them to be made. Heck, Lucasfilm even sponsors a
        Message 3 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
          The problem with the filmmakers citing the STAR WARS fanfilms as
          precedent is that Lucasfilm actually ALLOWS them to be made. Heck,
          Lucasfilm even sponsors a Star Wars fanfic film (short) award at the
          San Diego ComicCon each year. So it is NOT a good example of "Well,
          if they can do it, so can we in this other property's playground."

          Alas, I think the filmmakers, though they may be "pure-hearted", are
          a bit naive about the possible ramifications.

          I do hope that if something does get stirred up about it all, they
          come through unscathed.

          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Cunningham" <vargeisa@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I have been in touch with the two main producers of this project,
          primarily
          > as a fan and because this independent has been receiving some very
          positive
          > coverage in several genre-related magazines. Naively or otherwise I
          thought
          > this to be a number of Tolkien aficionados with a cinematic and
          stage
          > background (and therefore some knowledge of copyright issues)
          expressing
          > their appreciation for the professor's works and, to a degree,
          Jackson's
          > cinematic interpretation of such. The producers are aware of these
          concerns
          > re copyright but raised the issue of the 'fan film' which may
          inhabit its
          > own genre and as such not fall under the legal remit of a large
          scale,
          > widely distributed, money making enterprise.
          >
          > It's certainly not going to win any Oscars (or praise, it seems)
          but in
          > conversation with those involved the over-riding factor is that
          they are
          > purely fans and the feature is a labour of love and affection for a
          masterly
          > work that fires a creative spark in many of the folk who explore
          the world
          > between its pages.
          >
          > I've pasted the response from the producers who sought to address
          the
          > copyright issue.
          >
          > Michael
          >
          > -----
          > I appreciate your editor's concern and he might be right. We
          haven't heard
          > anything from The Tolkien Estate but I can't see that we pose them
          any
          > serious threat. Hopefully we're helping to keep Tolkien's work
          alive. Anyway
          > this is question we get asked a lot and it's very important to make
          clear
          > that we feel there isn't a serious issue here. Let me explain why.
          The film
          > is non-profit and we're just a bunch of Tolkien fans making this in
          our
          > spare time as a labour of love. Here is an FAQ that explains more.
          It's also
          > worth noting that since many Star Wars "fan films" have been made
          and widely
          > publicised, the fan film has become recognised internationally as a
          genre in
          > itself.
          >
          > How are you managing to make this with characters created by
          Tolkien when
          > the intellectual property rights are held elsewhere?
          > A very fair point. The answer is that we are a non-commercial film
          club and
          > the project is entirely non-profit. We certainly do not intend to
          breach
          > legal copyright and if we were to sell the finished film or
          anything related
          > to it then this would indeed be illegal. However this project is
          non-profit
          > and any videos and media generated will always be available freely
          and
          > openly over the internet. Nobody is or ever will be profiting
          financially
          > from this project. No products are being made or sold. The project
          is funded
          > by the fans who are taking part in it, a group of individuals
          collaborating
          > for fun. We're working on this project based on Lord of the Rings
          because we
          > love the material and as a way to showcase our technical film
          making skills.
          > If the copyright owners are concerned, then legally speaking we
          plead that
          > we are only a bunch of Tolkien fans practicing our film-making
          skills and
          > documenting the results online.
          >
          > ------------
          >
        • David Bratman
          ... If they think this, they have mistaken probably too small to be worth suing for legally immune from being sued. They are also fantastically kidding
          Message 4 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
            >From: Michael Cunningham <vargeisa@...> wrote:

            >The producers are aware of these concerns
            >re copyright but raised the issue of the 'fan film' which may inhabit its
            >own genre and as such not fall under the legal remit of a large scale,
            >widely distributed, money making enterprise.

            If they think this, they have mistaken "probably too small to be worth suing" for "legally immune from being sued." They are also fantastically kidding themselves if they don't realize that posting something on the open Web is not a synonym for "wide distribution."

            And you quote them:

            >We haven't heard
            >anything from The Tolkien Estate but I can't see that we pose them any
            >serious threat. Hopefully we're helping to keep Tolkien's work alive.

            This is amazingly arrogant. The Tolkien Estate and their legal licensees get to decide what's to be released to keep Tolkien's work alive. Fan film makers don't get to decide that.


            >The answer is that we are a non-commercial film club and
            >the project is entirely non-profit. We certainly do not intend to breach
            >legal copyright and if we were to sell the finished film or anything related
            >to it then this would indeed be illegal. However this project is non-profit
            >and any videos and media generated will always be available freely and
            >openly over the internet.

            This is so inaccurate it's not even funny. Disavowing any intention of making a profit is not a "break copyright free" card.

            >If the copyright owners are concerned, then legally speaking we plead that
            >we are only a bunch of Tolkien fans practicing our film-making skills and
            >documenting the results online.

            Doing whatever you like with Tolkien's characters privately, for your own amusement, is one thing. Documenting it online is quite another. If that's really their intent, they should make up their own Tolkienesque story and film that. If they didn't do that because nobody would watch it, that only proves how much they're piggybacking on Tolkien's fame. It might seen, or even be, silly to worry that this little film could harm Tolkien's reputation and future earnings, but again: they don't get to decide that.
          • John D Rateliff
            ... Thanks for posting the link, Ellen. News to me that any such project was in the works, much less that it was nearing completion. As for whether they can
            Message 5 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
              On Sep 23, 2008, at 4:58 AM, Ellen wrote:
              > My question is this: can the filmmakers get away with blatantly
              > using Tolkien's world and characters in a movie?

              Thanks for posting the link, Ellen. News to me that any such project
              was in the works, much less that it was nearing completion.
              As for whether they can get away with this, I wdn't bet on it.
              It's one thing to post a piece of fan fiction; the Estate might be
              willing to let that pass. But a film is something else, and Tolkien
              Enterprises is famous for bringing the hammer down on anything that
              poaches on their turf. Nor are major studios like New Line inclined
              to turn a blind eye to competition in any shape or form. I think
              they've probably taken the Lovecraft independent film phenomenon as a
              model, not taking into account that Lovecraft's work is out of
              copyright. Then too, the $30 donation in return for a cd somewhat
              undercuts the 'not-for-profit' claim.
              And wasn't there someone else a while back working on a
              Tolkienesque film?

              Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
              > Actually, the visuals in the trailer are quite impressive. As is
              > the music . . . Though I will say the clips from the soundtrack
              > sound *strikingly* like Howard Shore!

              It was pretty clear that their goal was to make their piece seem as
              much like Jackson as possible, right down to the sweep across snow-
              covered mountains. Hence, the Shore-like music (which I thought they
              did a better job on with the first clip than the second). I was
              impressed by how beautiful the natural settings were; someone in the
              project has a good eye for cinematography.


              David Bratman wrote:
              > Have you noticed how nearly all fan-art depictions of LOTR
              > characters now look like Jackson's actors, whether the artist meant
              > to depict them or not?

              No, I hadn't, but that very issue (film-inspired art) is being
              debated in the latest AMON HEN (#213).


              On Sep 24, 2008, at 11:20 AM, Steven Sams wrote:
              > Where would the bridge film material come from again? What stories?


              Presumably from the Appendices. I'm sure they'd love to use material
              from UNFINISHED TALES, but they'd have to negotiate a separate
              license from the Estate to do that (unlikely, I shd think).

              On Sep 24, 2008, at 11:25 AM, Michael Cunningham wrote:
              > Possibly they should have been mindful of the Damnatus outcome.

              Ouch!. I'd forgotten that one. Good example.

              On Sep 24, 2008, at 9:19 AM, ccampboyle wrote:
              > If you check their website more carefully, you'll see this is not
              > feature-length; it's a 30 minute short.


              I'd missed the detail of thirty minutes, but they do refer to it
              several times as a short, so it's definitely not a full-length movie.


              On Sep 24, 2008, at 9:33 AM, David Bratman wrote:
              > I'm sorry; my eyes glazed over from the clips. Concern for
              > continued personal health caused me to stop there.


              Sorry to hear it; get well soon.

              --John R.
            • WendellWag@aol.com
              There s really no point in us discussing this. They re violating copyright law, but it s not our job to enforce the law. Somebody here notify the Tolkien
              Message 6 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
                There's really no point in us discussing this. They're violating copyright
                law, but it's not our job to enforce the law. Somebody here notify the
                Tolkien estate about this website. The estate will decide how to proceed against
                these people. Our discussing this accomplishes nothing.

                Wendell Wagner



                **************Looking for simple solutions to your real-life financial
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              • aveeris523@aol.com
                If by the bridge film you mean the connection between The Hobbit and LOTR , the essay The Quest of Erebor in Unfinished Tales might be a good start. Steve
                Message 7 of 19 , Sep 24, 2008
                  If by the "bridge film" you mean the connection between The Hobbit and LOTR ,
                  the essay "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales might be a good start.
                  Steve Gaddis


                  **************
                  Looking for simple solutions to your real-life
                  financial challenges? Check out WalletPop for the latest news and information,
                  tips and calculators.
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                • Michael Cunningham
                  Not my intention to linger on this but...another fan film in production was highlighted to me: http://www.bornofhope.com/index.html They have a disclaimer, but
                  Message 8 of 19 , Sep 25, 2008
                    Not my intention to linger on this but...another fan film in production was highlighted to me: http://www.bornofhope.com/index.html

                    They have a disclaimer, but that may be all it is. I suppose one may be looking towards a stated case being published if any legal action is taken to prevent future enterprises. As for me I think I'll just stick to music!

                    Michael


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: WendellWag@...
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 4:08 AM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] New LotR-based movie: The Hunt for Gollum


                    There's really no point in us discussing this. They're violating copyright
                    law, but it's not our job to enforce the law. Somebody here notify the
                    Tolkien estate about this website. The estate will decide how to proceed against
                    these people. Our discussing this accomplishes nothing.

                    Wendell Wagner

                    **************Looking for simple solutions to your real-life financial
                    challenges? Check out WalletPop for the latest news and information, tips and
                    calculators. (http://www.walletpop.com/?NCID=emlcntuswall00000001)

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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                  • William Cloud Hicklin
                    ... The Hobbit and LOTR , ... be a good start. ... Except, Steve, New Line/Time Warner/Zaentz have *no* rights to Unfinished Tales, nor to any other Tolkien
                    Message 9 of 19 , Sep 25, 2008
                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, aveeris523@... wrote:
                      >
                      > If by the "bridge film" you mean the connection between
                      The Hobbit and LOTR ,
                      > the essay "The Quest of Erebor" in Unfinished Tales might
                      be a good start.
                      > Steve Gaddis
                      >
                      >

                      Except, Steve, New Line/Time Warner/Zaentz have *no* rights
                      to Unfinished Tales, nor to any other Tolkien writings
                      outside the covers of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
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