Cambodia has been picked again as a stunning film location; this time the Kingdom’s countryside will provide the backdrop for a fun fantasy romp set 12,000 years ago.
The Asylum, an LA production company, is in country for only three weeks to shoot its latest offering entitled The Age of the Hobbits.
Director Joe Lawson explained that the basic premise of the plot will involve a village of “short people” which is raided by a marauding band of Java men. The survivors of the attack embark on a quest to rescue their family, encountering humans and many perils along the way.
The Asylum is famed for its ‘mockbusters’– films which are made on a shoestring budget but which closely resemble the storyline of a Hollywood blockbuster. Filming of the The Age of the Hobbits coincides with the upcoming release of Peter Jackson’s epic, The Hobbit, but Lawson insists that the two are unrelated.
“The film is an interesting ancient adventure story that takes place in a fantasy version of our own world in prehistory. I think people will see the two stories are unrelated,” he said.
When asked about the ‘mockbuster’ tag, the director was unapologetic.
“The Asylum is proud of the tag. I personally think people will find The Age of the Hobbit to be a fun little tale on its own, whatever the name, and will see some of beautiful Cambodia to enjoy!”
Speaking about the choice of Cambodia as a location for his film, Lawson put his finger on some of the frustrations often felt by people here that the real Cambodia is not always best showcased by filmmakers who visit the country.
“Cambodia was chosen for some of its so far unseen natural beauty, at least by Americans. Most western large budget films concentrate on Angkor Wat. We wanted to show some of the other wonderful areas like those near Kampot and Kep.”
Lawson had not visited Cambodia before filming started and he says that working here has been a bit of an adventure.
He spoke of his excitement at finding stunning locations: “I most look forward to our shoot at an amazing rock formation we scouted. It was a thrill to have a genuine Indiana Jones moment.”
The film’s cast features a lot of local talent and although there are two Hollywood names headlining, Lawson thinks that his team has uncovered some real star potential in Cambodia.
The film will be released in the United States sometime in November or December on DVD and Blu-Ray but as yet, its future availability in Cambodia is unknown.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Brown at [email protected]