The Press
Ashburton Kids

The Press
August 29, 2000

Kids Quiz Lord of the Rings Talent
John Keast

There was a click and a buzz, and suddenly the Year 5 and 6 children of St Joseph's School entered the heady world of film.

The Ashburton children yesterday joined pupils from schools in Greymouth, Kerikeri, Whakatane, and Wanganui in a special phone link-up with Lord of the Rings special effects guru Steve Ingram, and Tracey Collins, from the New Zealand Actors Company.

As the children quizzed their guests, arranged courtesy of Telecom's Encore audio-conference agenda, Mr Ingram confessed that in the world of special effects, he had a liking for a good explosion.

Aleisha Clement said her class was impressed with the front-page photo in The Press of the Lord of the Rings set, and wanted to know why it had been built in Mid-Canterbury. On that point Mr Ingram was clear: beautiful scenery and clear air. It was, he said, land he imagined J. R.R. Tolkien was thinking of when he wrote his famous trilogy. It had snowy mountains and clear rivers and light so wonderful it made filming easy.

Jamie Lee wanted to know if the crew filmed in all weathers, and Mr Ingram said they did, but they once had to stop when drizzle turned to snow.

Mr Ingram told James Shaw that life in the film world was not easy; he regularly worked 11-hour days, and sometimes worked for 20 hours.

Soon, 20 questions answered, the world of film faded.