Vehicles are parked at 3Foot7 Ltd's second unit camp in the
Matukituki Valley. Photo by Marjorie Cook.
Up to 250 members of The Hobbit
film crew were
working on Treble Cone, in the Matukituki Valley, yesterday but
those in charge were keeping mum about who was in town and what
part of J.R.R. Tolkein's popular story was being filmed.
The second production unit of Peter Jackson's company, 3Foot7
Ltd, began setting up camp in a Cattle Flat Station paddock
at the base of the Treble Cone ski area access road on
The film crew began arriving on Tuesday for a single day's
filming, but visitors were kept out by security guards.
Unit manager Belinda Lee Hope apologised for having to
decline to give any details about the unit's activities, but
said she could understand if locals were excited about the
film crew being in the area and that Wanaka locations could
appear in the film.
She enthused about the scenery, the hot, calm weather and the
friendliness of locals.
The crew was enjoying working and staying in Wanaka, she
"It is great. It is a perfect day. And all the local
helicopter companies have been great," she said.
At least four Queenstown-based helicopters, 40 trucks and
another 40 vehicles were at the camp. Ms Hope said the second
production unit was normally much larger, but had split into
two camps for a while.
When the Otago Daily Times visited, Mt Aspiring Rd was
busy with traffic and helicopters were constantly on the
One helicopter ferried a large box into the mountains on a
strop, another hovered over Twin Falls and two more were
hovering over the peak of Treble Cone.
The second production unit of 3Foot7 is directed by Andy
Serkis, but there was no confirmation he was in the
Publicist Ceris Price also declined to reveal any information
about who was around or what part of the story was being
filmed but said she understood locals were curious.
"I am afraid they will have to wait until they see the film,"
"We have had amazing support from local people and they have
all been very co-operative. We are very grateful for that.
And it is a very beautiful area. We love filming in that
country and showing it off," she said.
She also declined to say where the second production unit
would go next.
Filming was expected to finish yesterday and the camp was
expected to have moved on by tomorrow.
The Hobbit's star-studded cast includes Martin Freeman
(Bilbo Baggins), Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf) and Richard
Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield).
Serkis will reprise the role of Gollum from Peter Jackson's
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.