Silmarillion Film Project
An exercise in adaptation
According to Signum University president Corey Olsen, the goal of the Silmarillion Film Project – SilmFilm for short – “is to apply the kind of creative analysis and imaginative investment that you have to bring to an adaptation. To enter back into The Silmarillion and live there. And think about how we would make this story work and communicate to people.”
This is an immersive learning experience, meant to bring people to The Silmarillion and other works by J.R.R. Tolkien in a thoughtful and creative way. Live discussions are held every other week on Thursdays at 10:00 PM ET. For those who cannot attend live, you can subscribe to the Tolkien Professor podcast to hear SilmFilm episodes (along with other things), or view video recordings on the Signum University YouTube page.
The podcast hosts will tee up issues and questions for listener feedback and then make decisions about strategy and approach. The discussion board is for discussion about any aspect of the adaptation by the listener community as well as for alternate adaptation strategies.
About the Hosts
The Silmarillion Film Project is hosted by the OG Riddles in the Dark Team: Dr. Corey Olsen, Dave Kale and Trish Lambert.
Dr. Corey Olsen
President and founder of Signum University, Dr. Olsen first made his mark in the world of online learning with his popular Tolkien Professor podcast, in which he shared lectures from his classes on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and related literature. Out of the podcast grew the Silmarillion Seminar, an in-depth look at The Silmarillion with a group of people who were passionate to study Tolkien’s legendarium beyond The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Later came Riddles in the Dark, in which Dr. Olsen first teamed up with Trish and Dave to speculate about the then-forthcoming film adaptations of The Hobbit. The Silmarillion Film Project is a natural extension of each of these programs.
Dave Kale has been podcasting with The Tolkien Professor since 2012 when he helped to launch the Riddles in the Dark podcast to speculate how Peter Jackson would adapt The Hobbit into the three-part epic film series. Dave was an original participant in the Silmarillion Seminar, which ignited his passion for The Silmarillion, as it has for many listeners, and he is thrilled to continue indulging that passion as a co-host on the Silmarillion Film Project. He looks forward to discussing Tolkien with Corey and Trish for decades to come. In his mundane daily life, Dave is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the USC Information Sciences Institute and a deep learning engineer at Skymind.
Before we get into planning the seasonal storylines, we will discuss the purpose of the Silmarillion Film Project: what we’re doing, what we’re not doing, and the framework that will guide us throughout the process. We’ll also make some big decisions about things like characterization, the depiction of magic, music, chronology, language style, and the use of narration.
For the second season, we leave the war to end all wars and start with the awakening of the Elves from their point of view. We will end the season with the Darkening of Valinor and the theft of the Silmarils.
Watch the latest episodes on YouTube!
The Silmarillion Film Project is an educational exercise and thought experiment being conducted by the Mythgard Institute of Signum University as a means of fostering an understanding of and appreciation for The Silmarillion and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as encouraging Tolkien research, scholarship, and commentary. It is neither the purpose nor intention of the Silmarillion Film Project, its hosts, the Mythgard Institute, or Signum University to create an audiovisual adaptation of The Silmarillion. The Silmarillion Film Project is not associated in any way with the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate or anyone else who may hold copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property interests in The Silmarillion or related works.