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.
WHY 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.
Gollum’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.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT
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.