Part 1: The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest or the Beginning

This blog is part one of my journal about my unexpected journey to New Zealand, as winner of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest!

In July 2014 Sir Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, announced a competition for the world’s greatest fans to win a trip to New Zealand. As a huge The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan, I was thrilled to hear about this contest! 

Hi everyone! As a ‘thank you’ for sharing in our Middle-earth journey through The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, I would like to give you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New Zealand to tour iconic filming locations. Winning fans will visit my hometown of Wellington and watch the first official screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies with me.

In August,

The Global Fan Fellowship Contest, the worldwide quest to find the ultimate Hobbit fans, is open at Thanks to our friends at Warner Bros., Air New Zealand and New Zealand Tourism. I hope to see you here soon. Cheers! – Peter J.

It was so kind to do this for your fans! But I couldn’t imagine how many people from over the whole world would participate. I mean, everyone wants to win a trip to New Zealand and meet Peter Jackson, right? What are the chances that you will win this trip? But I couldn’t get the competition out of my head and completed the challenges via the app of our national cinema Pathé, one of the sponsors, and on social media like Twitter.

The competition involved four challenges:

  1. Send a postcard to Peter Jackson with what you would do on your trip to Middle-earth.
  2. Take a quiz about New Zealand and filming locations of The Hobbit movies.
  3. Make a video with your favorite memory of Middle-earth and explain why you are the greatest Hobbit fan (mandatory to win the competition).
  4. Share the latest artwork of The Hobbit on social media.
Tweet Peter Jackson
My postcard to Peter Jackson

The most important challenge was the video entry: this video will be judged. So I wrote a little script and with the help of my friend Eva Heinsbroek (student at The Netherlands Filmacademy) we filmed in the Amsterdam forest. With the help of my boyfriend Arjen Kleiss (sound engineer) we recorded my voice-over (hearing your own voice is so weird) and inserted some music. The next couple of days, I edited. This became my video entry:

I tried to explain why I thought I’m the biggest Hobbit fan (in Holland). I saw all the behind-the-scenes footage on the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings and the video production blogs of The Hobbit, which were my first encounter with making films. I love to see how the different departments work together in the production of film. This inspired me to study Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam and to write my Master’s thesis about the adaptation of The Hobbit: from book, to script, to film. Now I’ve started at the ScriptAcademy in Amsterdam to become a screenwriter myself. The movies made me think about friendship, loyalty and the meaning of a home.

I entered with my video and then I waited… On YouTube I was looking at other beautiful and touching video entries by really talented people. People who made beautiful drawings, music pieces and costumes inspired by the movies. Others were more inspired on an internal level, whereby the stories gave them hope in difficult times. So beautiful to see that books and movies can mean so much more.
At the end of the competition on september 23, I ended on place #21 in the scoreboard. Was that even enough?

Rang Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest Holland
Ranking Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest Holland

Well… On the 3rd of October I got the most excited e-mail of my life. Read further in my next blog!