Graeme McKinlay, of Dunedin-based shoe company McKinlays,
with some prototype shoes made for the film The Hobbit.
Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
And the Oscar for best supporting footwear goes to ...
The Dunedin-based footwear company created 200 one-of-a-kind
boots for Peter Jackson's latest trilogy, The Hobbit.
Company directors Graeme and David McKinlay said the fifth
generation-owned business had become involved with film and
television productions during the past decade, including
King Kong, Lord of the Rings, River
Queen, 10,000 BC, Power Rangers and now
Once the company received the concept from The
Hobbit's wardrobe department, an orthotist produced
made-to-measure boots sized between 8 and 12 (but not for the
hobbits themselves - their oversized feet did not require
Younger brother David McKinlay told the Otago Daily
Times the movie-supplying side of the business had grown
via ''word of mouth'' with clients.
''It is a nice extra for us, because it helps cover the wages
on certain people because you won't cover their costs purely
on factory production.''
For Jack Black's character in King Kong, Peter Jackson sent
some original World War 1 flying boots from his personal
collection to be replicated for the film.
That earlier work had paid off for the company, with The
Hobbit its biggest film footwear order to date.
''There is a lot of work. They are all cut by hand and
assembled by hand,'' Graeme McKinlay said.
The company's ability to meet tight production schedules gave
it an advantage over foreign counterparts, ''as they ring you
on Monday and want them on Thursday''.
The brothers said they had no idea which character wore which
pair, because the footwear tended to come with vague
descriptions such as ''palace boot''.
The finished product was likely to look very different, with
the film's wardrobe department likely to add extra colours
''But if we watch it in freeze frame we can probably
recognise our boots,'' Graeme McKinlay said.