NewsWire: 'Agro' Rings Guards Scare Spectators - The Evening Post


ON GUARD: Alan Seymour encounters security guards for The Lord Of The Rings next to the Hutt River. CRAIG SIMCOX/The Evening Post
'Agro' Rings Guards Scare Spectators
The Evening Post - August 10, 2000

An Upper Hutt man says he felt "his life was in danger" after clashing with Lord of the Rings security guards while walking along the Hutt River yesterday.

Alan Seymour, who lives near Moonshine Bridge, said he was taking his daily walk along the riverbank about noon when he saw a film crew.

He wasn't stopped till he had walked through most of the filming area. A security guard told him not to walk any further because the crew were angry over a film scene photograph published by The Evening Post on Tuesday.

"(The guard said) `There's a lot of very angry people there and if they saw a member of the public I couldn't guarantee that you wouldn't be attacked. I would be coming in to rescue you."'

Mr Seymour said he froze. "I felt threatened. I felt my life was in danger. I was seriously beaten up many years ago and I have a problem with violence - just the threat of it and I freeze. I just stood there, I didn't know where I was."

He complained to Wellington Regional Council, which is responsible for river access, who told him to contact Lord Of The Rings film company Three Foot Six.

Mr Seymour said he spoke to publicist Claire Raskind, who was sympathetic and appalled at the security guards' actions.

The company couldn't be reached for comment today.

When Mr Seymour returned to the area with Evening Post photographer Craig Simcox yesterday, a security guard pushed his camera away and threatened to remove the film.

Regional council parks and forests strategy and marketing manager Susan Edwards said the public couldn't be stopped from walking along the riverbank, except while cameras were rolling.

"They can be kept out of the area when there's filming occurring . . . for health and safety reasons."

Paula Lindsay Dutch, of Lower Hutt, said she was also upset over the behaviour of Lord Of The Rings security guards during filming in Peterkin St, Taita, on Tuesday. Ms Lindsay Dutch said she was watching through a telescope from the street.

Ms Lindsay Dutch said she knew it wasn't illegal to watch from the street and told guards they didn't have cameras. However, a guard on the footpath blocked her view.

"They were so aggressive. I didn't want things to get ugly."

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