There and Back Again: A Fan’s Tale

Today we took a tour of the farm where the shire was built for the movie “Lord of the Rings“. Due to lucky scheduling we happened to stop by as filming of the “The Hobbit“, the prequel to “Lord of the Rings” was to begin shooting but was delayed, keeping the tour open. (We had originally planned on going Martin Freeman hunting in the general vicinity). We hoped that the set would be in top form and we would actually be touring a working movie set instead of some left-over holes in a random hill at a sheep farm. I am sure you would all like to know more and see some pictures. Unfortunately, we had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to be let on the set of New Line Cinema, we can only tell what we knew before we went on the tour.

What did we know then? The good news is Peter Jackson will be directing the prequel. It was originally Guillermo Del Toro, who moved his family to New Zealand in preparation for 18 months of filming with the idea of making two movies out of “The Hobbit”. For unknown reasons (at least to us) he pulled out and Peter Jackson took over.

Weta, who we visited in Wellington, will be doing all the special effects just like they did for “Lord of the Rings”. Although Weta started small back in the 90’s they are now behind some of the best special effects in your favorite movies. They pour a lot of love and quality into their work. Their work is of such talent that Avatar would have been a contender against the Postman for worst movie in history without Weta. All they got for their work is a set paycheck. They even have to put in a regular budget proposal with others for the upcoming sequels. Should Weta not get the job, quite doubtful, you can strike Avatar 2 from the movies to watch list.

You can tell this gag order does make for a post about “The Hobbit” that is full of details about other movies. The cast will include the aforementioned Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins (the main character). Martin is well-known for his role in “Love Actually” as John the shy but naked stand in for a random porn actor. For geeks he is “Arthur Dent” in the movie adaptation of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. But his best role yet is that of “Watson” in the BBC series “Sherlock” (if you haven’t seen it be sure to keep an eye out for it). Also returning is Ian McKellen as Gandalf who needs no introduction or link.

If you happen to be on this remote Pacific island, it’s a good time to take a tour of Hobbiton. Conveniently located on Buckland road. It so happens that Buckland is a small part of The Shire where all the hobbits live. I find it quite fishy that the farm they happened to pick for the set was located on a road named after hobbits.

Since I can’t have any pictures of the set for you, here is a picture of a cave Weta (a type of New Zealand only insect, as well as a New Zealand special effects house).

2 Responses to “There and Back Again: A Fan’s Tale”

  1. Kuru says:

    Gillermo del Toro abandoned The Hobbit because of delays in the filming due to MGM financial problems. But he will continue as scriptwriter along with Peter Jackson et als. According to google anyway. Aren’t you amazed at my reserach?

  2. Alex says:

    I’m more amazed at your spelling!

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