The Evening Post
May 17, 2000
Rings Crew Heads For Mt
Three hundred cast and crew, with similar numbers of extras
and horses, will descend on Mt Potts station, in South Canterbury, in August.
Production company Three Foot Six will film parts of Peter
Jackson's $360 million The Lord Of The Rings trilogy in the Mt Sunday area over six weeks.
Matt Cooper, from Three Foot Six's locations department,
outlined this week the logistical complexities behind the event, and gave some hints as to
what was to be shot there.
"The process of us scouting out the location, getting
the consents and starting to build sets has taken over a year. We scouted the site maybe
18 months to two years ago, then started looking at it quite seriously about April-May
last year," he said.
The consents process continued until December. A road was
built into the area and set construction began in January.
There will probably be about 300 crew coming down to be
accommodated in and around the area during August, plus we'll have some very big days with
up to 350 extras and up to 200 horses in there as well."
A number of units will be simultaneously filming or preparing
"One unit might be filming all night, while you're
trying to prepare and do a shift with another unit. You're talking 40 to 50 trucks and a
whole lot of crew cars as well."
Filming was already taking place in the Mt Ruapehu area,
where the company had kicked the ski season into early action.
"But I've heard that the sets [at Mt Sunday] are looking
fantastic," Mr Cooper said. We're not far off finishing them off, really."
However, he was unable to give away too much about which part
of the story was being filmed there.
"All I can say, really, is that it's a plains scene with
the Rohans, and there will be some big battle scenes with Orcs and things."
The battle scenes would require huge amounts of work, with
most of that resting on the shoulders of Three Foot Six's division, Weta.
"Make-up, wardrobe, prosthetics, armour and all that
kind of stuff has to be prepared and put on each person. With the human characters there
might not be many prosthetics, but with elves there's elfin ears and with orcs there's
full facial prosthetics and everything."
This meant different times in preparation, and kitting out
everyone with appropriate weapons. Mr Cooper was impressed with Weta's ability to make
everything look appropriately aged and authentic.
Other South Island filming locations have included Te Anau
and the Queenstown area.