Welcome to this months “Getting to know…” questions that need answering. It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I used to post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month, in the lead up to ComicCon, we’re asking questions of the other stripey TORn Kitty and intrepid traveller, Garfeimao.
Thanks for joining us this month Garf.
Me: What, in your opinion, are the best places to visit in California?
Garfeimao: Hah, that’s funny, since I’m at just about the most touristy spot in all of California, Disneyland, right now. In fact, if you put these answers up pretty quickly, you may well get a bit of a scoop, since I’m at the Press Preview of the new Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, California. The’ve added Radiator Springs, a 12 acre park with 3 full rides and loads of shops and restaurants and new entertainment options, and it’s just adorable. They built up the background to look like the desert mesas and mountains you see if the film, including the waterfall and bridge sequence from the film. It’s really cool and very immersive, and the opening night party tonight was awesome. I ran into Andy Garcia, twice, Larry the Cable Guy (who voices Mater in the Cars movies) and I ran into Scott Hamilton, the Olympic Figure skater, among several other celebrities that were here.
Welcome to this months “Getting to know…” questions that need answering.
Julie and her daughter at Queenstown Feb 2012 Tour
It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I used to post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
For the fans of Tolkien who wish they could visit Middle-earth, New Zealand is, in many regards, the closest they will get. Certainly the Lord of the Rings movies created a huge boost to New Zealand tourism; it would be fascinating to know how many readers of TORn were inspired to visit – or even to move! – down under after watching Peter Jackson’s films.
Now the New Zealand tourist board is getting ready for another influx of visitors, and businesses are being encouraged to embrace The Hobbit in order to attract tourists. Last year, the Rugby World Cup (which happens every four years) was hosted – and won! – by New Zealand; but the tourism created by that event is as nothing compared with what The Hobbit will bring, says George Hickton, the man who led the ’100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign. You can read what he has to say here; if it makes you want to hurry off for an Aotearoa adventure, don’t forget your passport – and maybe a pocket-handkerchief…
Last Summer, as a lead up to the release of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition on BluRay, TheOneRing.net was invited to participate in the official BluRay release party. TORn was responsible for facilitating the Costume Contest, with the grand prize being a Free Trip to New Zealand, hosted by WETA. As was reported then, numerous people competed in some truly wonderful costumes, but alas, only one could win, and that was The Balrog Showgirl herself, Nicole Roberts. As hosts, WETA has been documenting her visit with photos and a story, so check it out on their news page.
Ever wanted to know, what a Wellington Movie tour is like? Check out this episode on German TV, the story on Lord-of-the-Rings and Hobbit fans starts around 10:50. Treetop Media and their team followed a group of die-hard-fans to several film locations and the WETA Cave. They also filmed the Hobbit casting in Wellington, which caused major traffic jams on the motorways. Produced by www.treetopmedia.co.nz
Sohaib Awan from the radio show Fictional Frontiers also does a segment on SUVUDU that focuses on fantasy and science fiction books, movies and comics. He spoke with our own MrCere this week about his trip to New Zealand including Weta Workshop and Richard Taylor. They talk Hobbit of course, Hobbit trailer insights and a lot about travel possibilities for anybody. Listen to the segment right here.
Our story so far:Peter Jackson made three Middle-earth movies and people loved them. Now he is making two more and people already love them too. MrCere, Senior Staff, Writer and Photographer at TheOneRing.net (Forged by and for fans since 1999) went to NZ to see what he could see. Landed in Queenstown, found lots of LOTR stuff, drove north to see the people of the ring, visited Hobbiton set and now is in Wellington, center of NZ’s cinematic empire.
It is pretty important while in Wellington for me to participate in what any visitor might and especially activities with a Lord of the Rings slant. The city is one of my favorites around the world, situated as it is on a bay of great natural beauty. I like the size because it feels pretty easy to get to know, but it has the advantages of a big city’s variety with excellent food and lots of travelers and plenty of full-time residents and all kinds of attractions.
This trip I enjoyed walking around the city and thumbing through vinyl records (ask your parents if those foreign objects are unfamiliar to you) checking out a variety of automobile dealerships including an upholstery shop with some interesting old cars, a comic book shop and a burrito joint with great architecture and melted candles. The nightlife here is crazy, including the Saturday morning I woke up early and discovered the Friday night revelry with its thumbing bass and cocktails hadn’t ended as I sought out breakfast.
It also, with its proximity to Peter Jackson’s filmmaking empire, was an important area in the making of The Lord of the Rings, but not just because of the production and effects studios across the harbor. I ended up heading out with
Wellington Rover on its half-day tour to make a visit to filming locations. (more…)
QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND — Queenstown is the kind of place where people come and never leave. In fact, talk to a few dozen folks in town and chances are good a few of them wandered into the place and never found their way out.
If it isn’t already, get it on your bucket list.
The mark of the Lord of the Rings films are still indelibly written here and to a degree that might surprise. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with majestic mountains on either side, this busy adventure town looks a good bit like cinematic Middle-earth because many times this regions served as such in Peter Jackson’s films. In fact, the list is too long to include comprehensively here.
With a town big enough to have good food, amenities and lodging suitable for stars, it is also on the frontier and a gateway to much of the South Island. But, cultural and financial residue from the LOTR films is still readily apparent and especially to a writer who wears a “One Ring” jersey around town. (more…)
Ross was able to snap quite a few photos of the crew arriving in the Golden Bay area to begin filming. He provides more info: One passenger said they were heading to Golden Bay for a week and were to start work today(Sat) however it has been raining there so far this morning. They arrived in Nelson at 4pm Friday and left in rental cars and vans. Nelson helicopter companies have also been providing plenty of air support. Filming from the 3D rig also took place over the Pelorus River area on Friday.
The Pelorus River is a river at the northern end of South Island of New Zealand in the region of Marlborough. It flows from the Richmond Range into Pelorus Sound. This area is fantastic for camping and is renowned for its magnificent river swimming where the Pelorus River runs through a gorge.
Nikki writes: Plunket are an iconic NZ charity and Park Rd Post have very kindly donated an exclusive guided tour of the facilities and lunch for 4 in our current charity auction on NZ auction site Trade Me. Great opportunity for your NZ members to see behind the scenes of the Academy Award winning facility! More..
The skeleton that remained of the set has been a very popular tourist attraction. We also know that it has since been rebuilt for The Hobbit – and that this time it won’t be removed once filming is completed. It’s been designed to last 50 years.
But what surprises me is that the public can visit the rebuilt set right now before the cameras roll.
Ian Brodie, author of the detailed and very handy Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, is the media and communications manager for the Hobbiton movie set.
He told me that multiple tours continue to visit the set each day. “The only thing they [visitors] have to do is sign a non-disclosure agreement.
They can take as many photos as they want, they just can’t post them up online or do those sorts of things. Certainly they are seeing it at its best.”
The man in charge of communication between Hobbiton and the outside world wears many hats, but he promises none of them belong to a hobbit. Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours media and communications manager Ian Brodie has read The Lord of the Rings 40 times, but he said his fan level had not crossed into the fanatical – he never dresses up in character. Mr Brodie, who moved to Matamata from Wanaka two years ago, was tight-lipped about when Waikato could expect to have movie stars in our midst again for the filming of The Hobbit.
“You know I can’t tell you that,” he said. “That information will come out of Wellington.”
Mr Brodie was just 14 years old when he first read The Lord of the Rings and, on a roadtrip with his family at the time, he decided New Zealand would make a perfect Middle Earth. More..
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