Some Lord of the Ring fans made they're own movie prequel to the Hobbit. It's called "The Hunt for Gollum," which is a catchy title. I'd liken it to the fan fiction out there: uses the some of the same characters from the original movies/books, adds some new ones and then sends them on a new adventure that will end where the Hobbit begins.
First, let me say these fans did a good job, probably on a shoestring budget, of recreating Peter Jackson's world. If I had heard this movie was being done, I would've assumed it to be a trainwreck. However, this has actually made me want to watch the movie, even though it looks kind of boring. How to you stage awesome fight scenes with no money in the budget? You don't. This movie mostly likely has Aragorn (Man, he's real old; and he's never picked up new clothes over those hundreds of years?) taking long hikes and meeting new people along the way. Not particularly exciting, but like I said, I'm mildly interested (which means rabid LOTR fans will be ravenous to see this). Hopefully, some cool new characters will be "inspired" for more online films. Then again, this can go tragically wrong (as proven by the Star Wars prequels and the Clone Wars cartoons).
The most impressive part if the makers of the film didn't do it to make money, despite shooting on location and adding some good production. They did it cause they love LOTR. If that's the case, I only have one question for them: "Well then why don't you marry it?" An Orc, that is.