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FFOW! Fan Film of the Week – ‘Lord of Recycling’

Lord of Recycling USEThe FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films.  Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Happy Hobbit day, my fellowship of FFOWers! For all you groggy-eyed fans who braved a 170-minute screening last night at 12:03 a.m., I know there’s only one thing you want besides sweet, black coffee: more Tolkien!





No, I don’t have the brainpower this morning to watch The Hunt for Gollum. Today, I’m taking you to the slopes of Mt. Dump in Lord of Recycling. This two-minute parody PSA comes courtesy of the sketch group MegaSteakMan.

After an epic frat binge frolic in the Shire, young Frodo discovers an evil, Type 1 bottle that must be destroyed. The only hang up is IT CAN’T BE DESTROYED – it’s plastic. So, Frodo and Sam carry it to Mt. Dump while evading dark Trash Riders, garbage-mongering orcs, and a $500 littering fine.  

Lord of Recycling RingWHY YOU SHOULD SEE IT

Director Kial Natale created Lord of Recycling for the Recycle Council of British Columbia’s 2011 Trailer Trashed film festival and won first place. It’s obvious why. He knows the exact iconic moments we all remember from Peter Jackson’s trilogy, and he knows just how to play them for laughs.  The golden bottle bounces down the cave in slow motion. The Trash Riders peer over the tree root in search of the hiding heroes. The bottle cap falls onto Frodo’s finger.  It’s precise to those images we memorized from constantly watching the DVDs.

It’s also a parody with a purpose. Frodo laments, “I wish the bottle had never come to me.” Gandalf comfortingly replies, “So do all who pay the 5¢ deposit fee, but that is for local legislation to decide.” We all want to be a hero like Frodo, and if being a bottle-bearer is the way to go, then by Gollum that’s the way to go! Gandalf sums it up in four immortal words:  “YOU. SHALL NOT. TRAAASH.”

The effects and costumes are amazing.  According to Natale, he and his crew needed to storyboard every shot to prepare for the amount of visual effects added during post-production. Those effects ended up taking three weeks to comp, animate, and render. Joining them were Glue Studios and Action Playground. For costumes, Natale’s friend, Richard Olak, supplied the wardrobe from his own original fantasy film, The Battle of Burgledorf.

Lord of Recycling GandalfGollum’s animation is enough to blow you away.  True, the Cinema 4D animation is cruder than Weta; they did all the rigging themselves. That’s a much more impressive achievement.  


Lord of Recycling is available on YouTube, along with the behind-the-scenes doc and visual effects tutorials. You can watch other MegaSteakMan shorts and web series on their website.




Jake Thomas, Fanbase Press Contributor



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