In the News: Lord of the Rings Production Crew Begins Filming in Wanaka - The Southland Times
Lord of the Rings production crew begins filming in Wanaka
by Sue Fea
The Southland Times - November 9, 1999
Ghostly goings-on could have heads turning around Wanaka
this week as the 100-strong, second production unit for Peter
Jackson's $360 million Lord of the Rings trilogy starts filming
Publicist Claire Raskind said yesterday was the second day of
shooting in Wanaka for the second unit, led by director John
Lord of the Rings creator and main director Peter Jackson is
expected in Queenstown to head the 400-strong cast and crew
when filming starts there next week.
Queenstown-based Mahaffie, a long- standing director of
photography and director for the Auckland-based TV series
Hercules, has worked with Jackson as a cameraman on other
film projects, including Heavenly Creatures.
The second unit would "filter over" to Queenstown starting
from next week to join the main unit, Ms Raskind said.
"They're starting out (in Wanaka) doing some scenes of ring
wraiths, who are evil-type characters," Ms Raskind said.
Lord of the Rings producer Tim Sanders, a part-time Wanaka
resident, arrived there with the first echelon of production crew
Hollywood stunt director Greg Powell is also in Wanaka this
week working on stunts for the movie.
Powell is best known for his work on Mission Impossible, Lost
in Space and more recently The Mummy and The Arabian
Nights, which he has just finished working on.
Top swordsmen are also expected to act in the movie's battle
scenes, which will at times feature up to 250 horses.
Ms Raskind said they had "more than enough horse riders"
after further auditions in Glenorchy and Mossburn at the
However, auditions scheduled for Mosgiel and Middlemarch
on Saturday and Gore on Sunday will go ahead anyway.
Riders must be adult and capable horse handlers, she said.
More than 95 percent of Lord of the Rings cast and crew are
New Zealanders but lead roles are being played by top
international actors including Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Sir
Ian McKellan, Sir Ian Holm and Liv Tyler.
One of New Zealand's largest movie productions, Lord of the
Rings will employ about 650 people, including special effects
computer artists and three fulltime crews.
Up to 5000 extras will be used in the movie.