Trying out for extras for 'The Hobbit' at a casting call in Oamaru yesterday were (from left) Julia Ludbrook, Rhiannon McNish, Simon Davies, Kate Ombler and Claudia Nimmo who travelled from Christchurch. Photo by David Bruce.
Hundreds of people of all ages, shapes and sizes came to
Oamaru yesterday in a bid to be part of The Hobbit
movie being filmed by Peter Jackson.
The casting call was set down for three hours at the Opera
House starting at 10am, but hopefuls were filling out forms
and queued up well before then.
By 10.30am, about 100 people were waiting to go through the
process to be one of about 200 extras needed for filming
scenes in the Twizel-Lake Pukaki area during November and
People were still trying out past the scheduled finish at
Included in the queue were five young people who had come
from Christchurch, leaving at 6.45am. Even the advent of
daylight saving yesterday did not derail their plans - they
were all on time.
Julia Ludbrook, Rhiannon McNish, Simon Davies, Kate Ombler
and Claudia Nimmo are all Hobbit fans, although
Rhiannon was described as being "crazy about Lord of the
Aged 19 and 20, they were trying out for elves, the
requirement being 17 to 35 years old and at least 168cm tall,
although they were quite prepared to be anything, just to be
part of the film.
Having heard there would be a casting call, they kept watch
on internet sites for the venue and time.
Others had come from as far as Dunedin and Timaru.
The casting call was also for "towns people" - men and women
aged 30 to 80 years with character faces and men with beards.
All shapes, sizes and ethnicities were welcome.
That brought out some real characters, especially men of all
shapes, sizes and colours of beards, some unkempt through to
others plaited and trimmed. Some women dressed in Victorian
clothes to enhance their chances of being selected.
Groups of four were directed to the first-floor landing where
their heights were measured, photographs taken and questions
Applicants were told not to talk to the media about the
casting call or if they had been selected.
Before going in front of the camera, each had to fill out an
application form, which emphasised it was "not confirmation
They were asked such things as whether they could work with
12 hours notification during November and December, any
skills they might have, and their height, dress or suit size.
They were warned the work was intermittent and often
last-minute, work days were "long, changeable" and "patience
and flexibility" was essential.
Applicants also had to be eligible to work in New Zealand.
Casting calls were also held in Wanaka on Friday, and Twizel
and Tekapo on Saturday.