Saturday, July 28, 2012

Movie crapola

Sleepy Kampot in the southern region of Cambodia, seems to hold an attraction for film-makers. A couple of years ago the film, The Road to Freedom was shot in the area and now another film, Age of the Hobbits, is being filmed near Bokor Mountain. It's not a big blockbuster, in fact it's a relatively-cheap imitation film which they call a mockbuster, essentially films very close in theme and title to an impending big-screen blockbuster, which are released straight to DVD to capitalize on the interest and name of their bigger and considerably better near-namesake. I didn't even know it existed until very recently and it sounds like an absolutely crap idea to me. This version is trying to cash in on the Peter Jackson movie The Hobbit, which should be released to theaters in December. The makers of these mockbusters try to get their DVDs out before the original and hope that people buy/rent them by mistake. Now in anyone's book that has got to be the bum end of the whole movie crapola. However, trying to be positive, because the film is being made in Cambodia, it does mean work for over 100 actors, extras and crew members in-country, which is a boon for them of course. Why do I get the feeling that this might just be the first of many mockbusters finding their way here.

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Anonymous Joe Lawson said...

For what it's worth, we had a great shoot on AotH. The film is currently being edited and I've found it has a much more epic scale than might otherwise have happened for the budget. I believe we show the Cambodian landscape and the actors to good advantage and appreciate having had the opportunity to work with all even if only briefly. If it helps, the story is in no way related to Tolkien's world and is, in itself, a fairly creditable action/adventure with some nice epic and personal moments. Kudos to the local crew and local cast... especially the folks playing our short tree people... for bringing their enthusiasm, talent, patience and kindness to a challenging and ultimately rewarding adventure! Saying farewell to the team was a genuinely emotional experience. It is my sincerest hope and goal that the resulting film will reflect favorably on them all. Joseph J. Lawson,Director

August 18, 2012 at 2:41 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Thanks to Joseph for a different take on the film Age of the Hobbits that was recently shot in Cambodia. There is always two sides to every story, so I appreciate you taking the time to post a reply to my original opinion piece.

August 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Renaud D said...

I was in Cambodia this summer and met some of the filming crew on a bus from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap. We ended up stumbling upon them while visiting the temples of Angkor watt. They had just finished shooting and were visiting before going back to California. It was fun hanging out with them. It was in the beginning of August.

November 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM  

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