Because the Net is so huge and the Tolkien community so large, it’s easy to think it’s all anonymous. People underestimate how fast news travels among the small number of big Tolkien sites who by this time know each other pretty well. Sometimes this leads to farcical situations that are as funny as watching somebody tread on a rake and knock themselves out.

When we started getting emails about film footage of the LOTR end-of-filming ‘Wrap Party available on this site I got curious because although I couldn’t SEE the clips myself on the computer du jour, (Ol’ IMacDonald bought the farm, recently) it sure sounded like they were talking about clips from the ‘Searching for the Hobbit’ documentary that Assassinfilms are making. I mean, come on guys, I was there, I know them, I’ve worked with them, and sending me an email announcing that their work is on someone else’s site is as funny as ringing up a musician and trying to sell them a bootleg recording of their own band.

But IS is it their work? The answer’s more complicated than the usual straight pilfering that goes on between websites and other media.

I called up Assassinfilms and they had a look at the Wrap party video clips….and these aren’t THEIR clips of the wrap party. “While we were filming there was this French girl there who said she was a freelance video journalist…..she sort of followed us around all night filming over our shoulders… we talked to her and were really nice to her, and gave her our number in case she wanted to get in contact later.”

But she didn’t call, and this appears to be her footage on the Aussie website.

I asked producer Mark Morgan (whose voice it is you can hear asking the celebrities ‘who is the Hobbit?’) what he thought of those clips.

“Well, that’s pretty rich, isn’t it? If she wanted to get interviews with them then she should have asked her own bloody questions and not just filmed us doing our work!”

So there you are, Marie. Do your own homework next time.

The actual ‘Searching for the Hobbit’ clips of the Wrap party are at Searching For The Hobbit in the cinema or archives section, where you can download them for free and see them at a lot better quality.