Frequently Asked Questions for the Silmarillion Film Project

David_M_R

Member
Here's a Q I've been itching to ask: what sort of distribution license are contributors (implicitly?) applying to the work they give to the project?

Here's why I ask:
Suppose something super big happened—some adaptation rights got sold—and a studio came knocking, wanting to use the extensive workshopping and research the SilmFIlm project has done (they would be fools not to pay attention!). There's a vague idea (hope?) that Amazon's 2nd Age project could be seen as a trial run, that eventually someone might get a crack at the 1st Age. A few years ago TV adaptation of the Akallabêth would have seemed ludicrous, and it's possible we'll get to see that before the decade is out.
Maybe this is all moot. But it would be far nicer to make the idea of using SilmFilm ideas attractive, rather than a legal minefield to the extent that things are done differently purposely to avoid claims of stealing ideas, even when it is arguably the best approach to a particular thorny problem in adaptation.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Here's a Q I've been itching to ask: what sort of distribution license are contributors (implicitly?) applying to the work they give to the project?

Here's why I ask:
Suppose something super big happened—some adaptation rights got sold—and a studio came knocking, wanting to use the extensive workshopping and research the SilmFIlm project has done (they would be fools not to pay attention!). There's a vague idea (hope?) that Amazon's 2nd Age project could be seen as a trial run, that eventually someone might get a crack at the 1st Age. A few years ago TV adaptation of the Akallabêth would have seemed ludicrous, and it's possible we'll get to see that before the decade is out.
Maybe this is all moot. But it would be far nicer to make the idea of using SilmFilm ideas attractive, rather than a legal minefield to the extent that things are done differently purposely to avoid claims of stealing ideas, even when it is arguably the best approach to a particular thorny problem in adaptation.
That's an excellent question. I think it would fall under the same category as a situation where a friend makes a suggestion on a story you're writing, that later gets published. The author is generally not legally obligated to compensate the sources of his/her ideas.
 

David_M_R

Member
Well, it gets a bit different when it's years of creative works/decisions and studios with big $ and big lawyers. I hear big-name directors legally cannot discuss your random movie ideas with you, in case you later sue them for copying your idea even just a little. But I don't want to beat a dead horse.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Generally speaking, if a studio were interested in any of the content we've developed...they would have to talk to Corey Olsen about it. I do not foresee this happening, but I imagine he would be engaged in some sort of 'consultant' role, rather than them purchasing the creative work of the Silm Film project.

Currently, the work may be viewed as fanart/fanfiction, and is thus put out onto the internet with the understanding that no one is being financially compensated for their efforts.
 

David_M_R

Member
Here's a bunch of questions I'm sure some people coming in will want to know (please add/correct as needed):

  1. Who is Gil-galad's father in the show? (Added: Orodreth, who is himself the son of Angrod and Edhellos)
  2. Which version of Galadriel? (not the last one, where she leaves Aman separately!)
  3. Which version of Celeborn? (He's a Sinda)
  4. Is Tevildo in? (Yes, he's one of Sauron's team, and, IIRC a Maia)
  5. Does Amrod survive the burning of the ships? (No)
  6. Where do orcs come from? (When a daddy orc and a mummy orc... :p)
  7. What's the plan for the rest of the seasons? ie. which stories line up with which seasons?
  8. At what point does the show end? (With Sam getting on the boat after giving Elanor the Red Book)
  9. So this means the whole of Lord of the Rings is included? (Yes!)
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Who is Gil-galad's father in the show?
Orodreth. He is introduced in S05E12.


What's the plan for the rest of the seasons? ie. which stories line up with which seasons?
This is a difficult question to answer. We're mapped out pretty well through S07. But beyond that is less clear and there are no plans set in stone. Conservative estimates put the shows length at 25 seasons.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
2. I think the one in which she joined the Fingolfinians
3.i think the one in which he is one of the oldest elves and a wise of doriath
4. Yes, but he is a thrall od Sauron
5. No, he is killed during it if i remember correctly
6. Partly corrupted elves, partly corrupted men, partly corrupted maiar, partly soulless-golems
7. I believe beren &luthien is next, then i believe Tuor, Turin and Earendil will follow...
8. Officially the destruction of the one ring , though people will still have to convince me they'll continue the project after the war of wrath
9. So far, yes i think
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
In that case: is Orodreth a son or grandson of Finarfin?
Orodreth is the youngest son of Finarfin.
EDIT: no precious, you’re messing things up, that was the earlier idea the execs had, but they changed their minds, didn’t they precious? Those tricksy execsss!
 
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David_M_R

Member
There has been nothing indicating a human or golemesque origin for the Orcs on SilmFilm. Even the Maia connection is tenuous at best.
Right. It's the super secret necromantic orc project (SSNecOP, was it?), which is AFAIUI basically something like the published Silmarillion, but Silmfilm is not going to dwell on the metaphysical questions Tolkien tried to address post-LotR.
 
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Rob Harding

Active Member
Generally speaking, if a studio were interested in any of the content we've developed...they would have to talk to Corey Olsen about it. I do not foresee this happening, but I imagine he would be engaged in some sort of 'consultant' role, rather than them purchasing the creative work of the Silm Film project.

Currently, the work may be viewed as fanart/fanfiction, and is thus put out onto the internet with the understanding that no one is being financially compensated for their efforts.
Filmmakers, writers, producers etc will not look at fanfic for precisely these reasons. Best case scenario is that it’s interesting, which also worst case as then if you even partially internalise any of the ideas snd they then find their way into their work they have the potential of legal action which just isn’t worth it. Working writers won’t look at pitches except in the capacity as a tutor (which actively full time working writers don’t have time for anyway) as they never want the risk of being accused of plagiarism. It’s just one of the rules of the industry. So SilmFilm need not worry. Even if it became big enough to significantly be on the radar of anyone important, it won’t be looked at. They and us are safe from fretary
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Right, exactly. No one involved in a professional creative project is going to mine the web for fan works. It is common, however, to bring in an expert as a consultant when adapting the work, and Corey Olsen could find himself in that sort of role based on his career to this point. The rest of us, not so much :p And if he were to be hired as a consultant, he'd of course be in a position to share any ideas he might have with whatever creative project had retained his services.

As two examples - I know that LOTRO has consulted Michael Drout (specifically in the design of Rohan), and that Amazon brought on Tom Shippey in a consultant role for the first season of their television show.

Similarly, when Peter Jackson hired John Howe and Alan Lee, they were able to bring all of their Tolkien-inspired artwork with them to the project.

Basically, you don't buy rights/access to the ideas or creative output...you hire the people who made it to make new stuff for you.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Right, exactly. No one involved in a professional creative project is going to mine the web for fan works. It is common, however, to bring in an expert as a consultant when adapting the work, and Corey Olsen could find himself in that sort of role based on his career to this point. The rest of us, not so much :p And if he were to be hired as a consultant, he'd of course be in a position to share any ideas he might have with whatever creative project had retained his services.

As two examples - I know that LOTRO has consulted Michael Drout (specifically in the design of Rohan), and that Amazon brought on Tom Shippey in a consultant role for the first season of their television show.

Similarly, when Peter Jackson hired John Howe and Alan Lee, they were able to bring all of their Tolkien-inspired artwork with them to the project.

Basically, you don't buy rights/access to the ideas or creative output...you hire the people who made it to make new stuff for you.
Wasn't there a time in the earlier seasons where Ted Nasmith appeared for a SilmFilm session?
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
I’d be surprised if they were to continue to bring in new talent at this point though, no? You’d think those connections would’ve been established? Unless say, someone had a falling out or they went a different route and decided to part ways with a particular individual as consultant. But even then, I reckon that by the point of post production they already have their go-to list. Sadly
 
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