An image from the latest production video of 'The Hobbit'. Photo supplied.
Tantalising glimpses of Otago landscapes used by the
film-makers shooting The Hobbit appear in another
production video presented by Sir Peter Jackson.
The fifth behind-the-scenes featurette posted online on
Christmas Eve reveals the logistics of location shooting for
the multimillion-dollar production and how the travelling
circus of more than 500 cast and crew members in almost 140
vehicles set off around New Zealand over seven weeks.
"It's been great to get that texture of Middle-earth into the
movie after many, many weeks of shooting in the studio," Sir
Peter said in the video.
"We've established our characters, we've established our
story and it was finally time to get on the road and
establish the landscapes of Middle-earth."
Recognisible Queenstown area shots in the 12-minute video
included a helicopter landing near crew members on high
country with Pig and Pigeon islands in Lake Wakatipu and the
Humboldt Mountains in the background. The Remarkables made an
appearance from a distance across the lake.
Cast members were seen sitting on rocks of the Rock and
Pillar Ranges near Middlemarch.
A large filming contingent flew into Dunedin in mid-November.
Otago filming occurred in areas including private land near
Paradise, beyond Glenorchy, as well as on Treble Cone, in the
Matukituki Valley, plus in the Strath Taieri and Maniototo.
More footage of Southern location shooting, including near Te
Anau Downs, was anticipated to feature in the sixth
production video to be posted online early in the new year.
The video was posted days after the first trailer for The
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released. The high
definition version of the trailer, depicting Bilbo, Gandalf,
the group of dwarves and a cinematic style in keeping with
The Lord of the Rings, clocked up more than 11 million
views on YouTube in one week.
Meanwhile, New Zealand was hailed as one of the "Top Ten
Filming Locations in the Universe" by United States movie
magazine P3 Update in its December issue.
New Zealand and Canada were the only two countries
individually named in a list which featured the United
Kingdom and several American states.
The home-grown film industry looked likely to prosper in the
new year with Girl With a Pearl Earring director Peter
Webber expected to film The Emperor, with The
Hobbit double bill continuing to film and Wellington to
host the world premiere in December, plus the Jane
Campion-directed and Holly Hunter-starring mini-series Top
of the Lake to film in Queenstown and Glenorchy.
The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is
due to be released on December 13, 2013.