A Dream Come True

Alison McCabeA mature student from Dudley College has had the time of her life after being a make-up artist on the budget film 'Born of Hope'.

Alison McCabe age 54 from Oldbury is studying the BTEC National Production Arts course at Dudley College, which studies aspects of design for Film, Television and Theatre, including costume, set, make-up, special effects and prosthetics. 

"This has been like a dream come true, I had always wanted a career along these lines but had fallen into the steady career job.  It was incredible to think I could be a part of something like this and luckily my tutor Neil Hughes ran through everything that might be expected of me and afforded me the opportunity to apply and paint prosthetics, and this is the type of work required of me." said Alison.

'Born of Hope' came about when Cambridge actress Kate Madison spent her life savings and six years making her own Lord of the Rings prequel, 'Born of Hope'.   It all started when she spotted a Lord of the Rings fan film competition, which asked budding filmmakers to create a five-minute epic in the style of the films. However, she had greater ambitions than just a short movie.

Alison got involved with the production while trying to complete one of her Business assignments, which took her to the website link for 'Born of Hope' and they were looking for crew members.  Alison emailed the Director Kate Madison who responded by inviting Alison to attend the next film shoot as a Creature Effects Artist.

Alison said, "This was a fabulous experience and I miss it greatly; the 4am starts, the cold, the make-up by calor gas, the aching feet and back, the 1am finishes.  I admire the tenacity of Kate and her team who have pulled off a wonderful feat, with its organisational and logistical challenges and all on a shoestring budget."

The film which has gone down really well with the fans was shot on location at Epping Forrest in Essex, West Stow in Suffolk, Clearwell Caves in Gloucestershire and in Wales. 

It's amazing to think that the multi-million pound epic - Lord of Rings prequel, 'The Hobbit' - could be upstaged by a fan-made movie that cost just £25,000 the same as a catering budget on a Hollywood movie.  And it all came about when Kate Madison spotted a story buried in a couple of paragraphs in the appendices of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and she decided to tell the story of Aragorn's parents.