Friday, 23 October 2009

Interview with Tom and Patrick Robinson (Halifirien)

I interviewed Tom and Patrick Robinson, who between them have a ridiculous number of job titles related to the indie movie Halifirien (including Director, Producer and pretty much every other crew job title you can think of).



What first made you want to make a fan film of Lord of the Rings?
We've been huge fans of anything Tolkien related for ages. It was seeing stuff like Born of Hope and Hunt for Gollum, and the frustration of being too far away to get involved, that really triggered it off.

What was the hardest part of filming?
The hardest part was trying to make it look like we had a lot of orcs. We only ever had four orcs on set at one time, and we were trying to film a battle!

How did you come up with the storyline for Halifirien?
It basically started as a bunch of action scenes. We wanted a night battle and a chase through the forest etc. So we went looking for a place in middle earth that this could go on.
The lighting of the beacons is one of the most inspiring scenes in the films and we read into it a bit more. Tolkien wrote about a few of the mountains and Halifirien seemed the perfect place. A wooded mountain on the borders of Gondor and Rohan. King Elendil was buried here. His awe and wonder lingers around his tomb. It's this that drives the orcs away when they are chasing Eradur.
Halifirien means Holy Mountain Rohirric, but is also known as the Hallowed mountain, Hill of awe, Whispering wood, Eilenaer and Amon Anwar (you may hear the wardens use "Amon Anwar" as their war cry in the night battle.)

Any scenes from Halifirien you’re particularly proud of?
One of my favourite scenes is the night battle. I love the darkness and realism, none of the fighting is rehearsed, so when you see an orc jump over the fire and get stabbed it's 100% real. [I’m hoping the term “real” was used here to mean spontaneous, not that someone genuinely had a knife put through them! - CaptainD] It was great fun to film too. We couldn't possibly have ever managed to pull of a straight battle scene with armies fighting each other... We just didnt have enough people!!
But, I think we managed to give the viewer the feelings they would experience if they where in a real battle at night..
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TOTAL CONFUSION!


Any favourite scenes from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films?
Awww, this is a hard one! I think the most powerful scene has to be the death of Boromir - to me, that scene really is the Lord of the Rings.

To me your intro animations seemed like they were inspired by Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings film from 1978 – am I right or is it coincidence?
We originally hadn't original planned for it to be similar to the Ralph Bakshi. It was only when I was half way through it that I remembered the animated Lord of The Rings had a silhouette intro too!
We didn't want our film to be just a cheap copy of Peter Jackson's film, so, we tried to incorporate some of Ralph Bakshi's ideas. I'm very pleased with the result, it was extremely time consuming. Most of the people shown are live action pasted on, The rest is all drawn on Microsoft paint!

Any plans for a sequel / another fan film / another film of any type?
We will be making other films, we've all developed our skills hugely and it would be a shame to let it all die. Any future films will be announced on the Halifirien Website.


I'd like to thank Tom and Patrick for agreeing to be interviewed, and for making the film in the first place. We await their next movie with considerable interest!

See also my write-up and review of Halifirien.


CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog


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