Production Diary #6

Stuff NZ reports:

The massive scale of The Hobbit production has been revealed in Sir Peter Jackson's latest on-set video.The video, posted this morning on Facebook, also promotes New Zealand tourism with a large portion of the comments posted raving about New Zealand's scenery.

In the video Sir Ian McKellen - who plays the wizard Gandalf - says New Zealand is shown at its ''spectacular best".

"Don't feel sorry for actors leaving home for seven-and-a-half weeks. We are very, very well looked after.'' The catering team estimated 100kg of meat was cooked each day for crew on location, and up to 300 coffees were made each morning.

On location in Central Otago up to 10 helicopters were in the area ferrying cast, crew, gear and food to remote mountain top locations, as well as doing aerial shooting.Near Turoa ski field on Mt Ruapehu a massive elevated structure was built so the crew did not damage vegetation.

And in Pelorus Bridge, between Blenheim and Nelson, the river was bridged to film the dwarves travelling down the river in barrels. But at the last minute the whole set-up had to be dismantled when police warned of severe weather coming on the notoriously fast-rising river.

"I have never see a crew pack up their gear so fast,'' Jackson said.

The next day the whole area they had been shooting in was under water. Two crews were criss-crossing the country doing the location filming and met half way, celebrating with a day 127 "half-way hoodie". The shoot has now returned to Miramar in Wellington for the final 100 days of shooting.

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