Hi Tehanu, a spy report from The Hutt Hobbit
“… there is a new LOTR site here in the Hutt Valley. It is located in Peterkin Street, Wingate, at the old Telecom yard, right next to the Pilkington Glass Factory.
“The set appears to be the Gates of Moria. From what little I can see, it is made up of a 30 foot high, 100 foot long fake rock wall with two other sides (blue screens possibly). The main wall is facing away from the road, so only the rear scaffolding is visible. In the centre there is a huge cavern-like hole (the entrance to Moria?). Running parallel to it is one of the blank walls of the same size. Presumably it doubles as a blue screen and as a shield from prying eyes. There is a gap about 10 feet wide that various crew members and actors use to get in and out of the set on the side. There is one end open, but that faces the railway tracks and a row of houses opposite the tracks. There are about 2 feet or so of gravel piled up on the floor of the set and an artificial pond. Also inside the set are a couple of old dead trees. One night they had smoke (fake mist possibly) being pumped through the set. There were a pony and some very small actors in Hobbit gear.
“Filming seems to be done only at night. The cast and crew take lunch in a well-lit building with lots of windows that happens to be right next to the road. No attempt has been made to cover the windows, so you can get a very good look at who is there. I guess because the set is down a side road in an industrial area they probably are complacent and don’t think that they will be noticed much (wrong! lol:)) Two things gave them away: little signs with ‘JAMB’ on them pointing the way, and great bright lights that can be seen for miles.
“On High street you can catch a glimpse of the rock face, complete with trees, shrubs, bushes, etc, if you look between the houses that back onto the railway tracks. As I was looking directly at people’s houses to see the set I could not stay long. I don’t think the residents would like people staring in the general direction of their homes for too long! That would be rude. lol 🙂 The best view (albeit it only a brief one) of the set would be to observe it from the train, as the set is open on the railway side.