Tight security surrounds Hobbit

By Merania Karauria

The Hobbit is on location in the Waimarino, but security is tight and everyone involved with the film company 3 Foot 7 Limited sworn to secrecy.

At the Sue brother's Ohutu farm a few minutes east of Ohakune, dozens of heavy trucks are parked in the fields, and adjacent to the road is a large dining marquee for the crew that is known to number in the hundreds.

At the lower carparks of the Turoa Ski area on Mt Ruapehu another marquee has been erected above a stream lined with volcanic rocks.

Locals have reported that thousands of dollars was spent one night on meals for the crew at a local restaurant. It was also reported another 250 crew were expected at the site yesterday .

Filmmaker Peter Jackson is reported to be at the site, but staying outside Ohakune.

According to the Tourism New Zealand website, director Guillermo del Toro spent a few weeks scouting New Zealand by air for locations to film the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He said he was keen to use real locations and avoid the overuse of green screen photography.

"You have a place that is creatively driven but also technically great and, if there is anything lacking, ingenuity, craftsmanship and devotion supply this." Del Toro was reported as saying New Zealand had escaped the hype of Hollywood by focusing on pure film-making.

"Wellington is infinitely superior to Hollywood for me because this is Hollywood the way God intended ... the creation of movies in the most technically pure environment as opposed to accounting, money and marketing."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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