Excitement bubbled over on the Wellington waterfront last night as an estimated 3500 cast and crew members of The Hobbit headed to the wrap party at the TSB Bank Arena.
The public were kept strictly at arm's length. "It's a private party for invited guests only so there's no public red carpet or that," said Peter Jackson's assistant Matt Dravitzki.
"It's just a private gathering for people who worked on the film."
Dravitzki said the film's premiere, slated for the end of the year, would be a chance for the public to see stars on the red carpet.
This weekend's party was an opportunity for cast and crew to bond after a long shoot.
Dravitzki initially downplayed the event. "Imagine you at the Herald are having a Christmas party. It's kind of like that.
"I don't think you would find other wrap parties for other films in the newspaper.
"It's just that we're in New Zealand and that's what makes it different."
Christchurch rapper Scribe tweeted he was at the TSB Arena early for a sound check with singer-songwriter Ladi6, and Auckland drummer and DJ Julien Dyne.
One DJ was asked to hand in his phone in prevent him taking pictures of partygoers. "Working a show that gets my phone confiscated for the duration tonight," DJ Sebastian Hesp tweeted.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey finished shooting on Friday after 266 days and was scheduled for release to cinemas on December 14.
A sequel The Hobbit: There and Back Again has been shot around the same time and would be released in December 2013.