NewsWire: Rings Crew Heads for Mt. Potts - The Evening Post

Construction continues on the set of The Lord Of The Rings on Mt Potts Station, just north of the Rangitata River. Picture: John Bisset
Many thanks to Susan for the article and the scan! About this location, she said, "The Rangitata river is below Christchurch [South Island], and from the photo, it looks as though they are in the eastern foothills of the Southern Alps."

Now, precisely which scenes is this set for? Could they be in the process of building the Golden Hall of Rohan as well (or maybe it will just be computer generated)?

Rings Crew Heads for Mt. Potts
Evening Post - May 15, 2000

Three hundred cast and crew, with similar numbers of extras and horses, will descend on Mt Potts station, in South Canterbury, in August.

Production company Three Foot Six will film parts of Peter Jackson's $360 million The Lord Of The Rings trilogy in the Mt Sunday area over six weeks.

Matt Cooper, from Three Foot Six's locations department, outlined this week the logistical complexities behind the event, and gave some hints as to what was to be shot there.

"The process of us scouting out the location, getting the consents and starting to build sets has taken over a year. We scouted the site maybe 18 months to two years ago, then started looking at it quite seriously about April-May last year," he said.

The consents process continued until December. A road was built into the area and set construction began in January.

There will probably be about 300 crew coming down to be accommodated in and around the area during August, plus we'll have some very big days with up to 350 extras and up to 200 horses in there as well."

A number of units will be simultaneously filming or preparing to film.

"One unit might be filming all night, while you're trying to prepare and do a shift with another unit. You're talking 40 to 50 trucks and a whole lot of crew cars as well."

Filming was already taking place in the Mt Ruapehu area, where the company had kicked the ski season into early action.

"But I've heard that the sets [at Mt Sunday] are looking fantastic," Mr Cooper said. We're not far off finishing them off, really."

However, he was unable to give away too much about which part of the story was being filmed there.

"All I can say, really, is that it's a plains scene with the Rohans, and there will be some big battle scenes with Orcs and things."

The battle scenes would require huge amounts of work, with most of that resting on the shoulders of Three Foot Six's division, Weta.

"Make-up, wardrobe, prosthetics, armour and all that kind of stuff has to be prepared and put on each person. With the human characters there might not be many prosthetics, but with elves there's elfin ears and with orcs there's full facial prosthetics and everything."

This meant different times in preparation, and kitting out everyone with appropriate weapons. Mr Cooper was impressed with Weta's ability to make everything look appropriately aged and authentic.

Other South Island filming locations have included Te Anau and the Queenstown area. - NZPA.

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