by Dave Smith
Wanaka: Ian Brodie has realised a boyhood dream.
The affable curator of the Wanaka-based New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum has spent the past eight months of his spare time writing the official guide to Lord of the Rings film locations throughout New Zealand.
The official release of the guide book is not until November, and news about the 96-page publication being written has been suppressed by publishers HarperCollins (NZ).
It was the eighth book written by Mr Brodie (44) and though the others have been about his other passion, Warbird aircraft, there was a link between planes and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, he said.
“Many of the planes are photographed against New Zealand’s stunning landscape and so is The Lord of the Rings trilogy.”
Mr Brodie was a self-confessed “avid Tolkien fan” since first reading the book at 13 and being “totally captured”.
Having read it about 39 times and seeing the first of the trilogy series, Mr Brodie thought a guide book on set locations would be a good idea. It has been endorsed by New Line Cinemas and many of the colour photographs depict scenes from the movie.
It was while on a recent trip to Los Angeles, and headquarters to the film series, that Mr Brodie realised the significance of New Zealand’s landscape.
“I was sitting on the third floor of New Line looking at a haze-filled Los Angeles and thinking about the crystal clear air and waters of Glenorchy, near Queenstown, which was one of the film locations.”
Though millions had read the book and imagined in their own mind what Middle-earth was like, he said the film, through (director) Peter Jackson, had cemented those images.
“So people now picture Middle-earth as being in New Zealand.”
Mr Brodie said many of the film locations were off the beaten tourist track so there were now tourism spin-offs for those communities.
The book gives a pictorial and descriptive account of where the scenes were filmed, alongside a tourist’s guide to the activities, accommodation and things to see and do while there.