AUCKLAND — It was a great idea to have world-wide winners converge in New Zealand to watch “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” with Peter Jackson. Great concept right? Everybody is pleased and excited that fans get such a great experience.
There are also some unintended and great side effects. This unique gathering is also one of the greatest gatherings of Middle-earth fans anywhere, ever. Imagine 150 people from around the globe converging on Middle-earth and all of them deeply emotionally attached to cinematic Middle-earth, many of them also lovers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. Imagine the flights and the logistics to get people from Mexico and Finland and Ohio and London and Salt Lake City and lots of other even harder-to-get-here places, all together this morning in Auckland. Arriving on the 8 a.m. flight was a pretty amazing mental exercise.
I feel like the American contingent was among the last to arrive, fitting since we sleep on the flight and more or less show up ready to go. Others traveled for 30 or 40 hours with multiple flights and layovers to make it here. It all feels pretty amazing.
TheOneRing is here with, just a guess, but perhaps 30 journalists world wide. That definitely includes the Hollywood Reporter since I met and chatted with their rep this morning. A breakfast started 45 minutes ago, but I wanted to post right away and tell the world, in the immortal words of Penny Lane, IT’S ALL HAPPENING!
TORn is no stranger to Auckland since its where our own Quickbeam, Cliff Broadway, and I (MrCere) spent a week with Air New Zealand filming the very first Middle-earth safety video. In fact, the place just isn’t the same without him! (You can see the video and the behind-the-scenes video about the video in our old post here. While the newest one, in use on our aircraft, is right here.)
Speaking of Air New Zealand, they sure know how to make a flight great. I will sound like a corporate puppet, but they offer better in-flight entertainment, treat customers better and simply provide a better experience than anybody in the business.
It’s worth noting that my very reliable phone bit the dust at the Los Angeles Airport and a some quick cab rides provided me a new phone – that happens to not have a functioning camera out of the box. What are the odds? This makes Twitter much less effective, but we shall see. When I was here for the world premiere of the first Hobbit movie the motherboard on my laptop went out, so I believe its a plot from Mordor to stop me sharing the fan experience with fans. We shall prevail!
Anyway, I feel pretty confident TheOneRing.net just filed the first story from the event and we will continue to share as much as possible. The good news, there will be LOTS of photos of amazing New Zealand. Stay tuned!