Otago Daily Times
August 25, 2000
Tolkien's City Takes
Shape in Canterbury
Note: This article contains a quote from LOTR publicist Claire Raskind stating that a large battle will take place at Edoras. This is a misquote. Ms. Raskind has confirmed that no battles will be taking place at Edoras.
Christchurch: In deepest Mid Canterbury, against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, a mystical city with watchtowers and a massive palace is being built for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
It sits upon Mount Sunday, more than 70 minutes' drive southwest of Methven. Secrecy surrounds the set and some locals have signed confidentiality agreements with the film's production company, Three Foot Six, agreeing not to divulge details.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said building started on the set eight months ago.
"Builders from all over the country are working on it from Monday to Saturday.
"It's one of the most incredible things I have ever seen," she said.
A guard and 50 workers came from Methven every day to the isolated location.
Local resident Tiny Buckley said rumours suggested filming would begin next month.
Publicist for the $360 million production Claire Raskind said large battle scenes would be filmed at the set, which represents Edoras, the capital city of Rohan, from J.R.R.Tolkien's novel.
The Defence Force has been enlisted to take part in battle scenes and casting sessions have been held in Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru and Twizel to employ people to work as extras.
Ms Raskind said the location was a good one, with broad New Zealand landscape surrounding the set.
Part one of the trilogy is due for release during Christmas 2001. -- NZPA