Peter Jackson spent somewhere in the region of $150 million dollars on the first instalment of his Hobbit trilogy. My first foray into film making comes in slightly under his budget. Last weekend, I had a go at converting one of my favourite old conference papers to video. The aim was to enter one of the BBC’s recent academic talent competitions, but my finished entry stretched so far over the prescribed 2 minute limit that I’ve almost certainly disqualified myself.

I got a bit carried away. On Saturday morning I started with a webcam and a basic script; by Sunday evening my home office had been converted into a makeshift film studio. A sizeable chunk of Jackson’s cash was spent on high tech CGI facilities, but it turns out that similar effects can be achieved with some sheets of green paper, a roll of sellotape, and a pair of Primark trouser hangers. Who needs a tripod when you’ve got an unsteady pile of overdue library books? The biggest saving, of course, comes from casting somebody who already looks a bit like Gollum.

You can view the result below. A full-length, twenty minute, epic version of the Skedaddle story should hit YouTube sometime in the new year.