Middle Earth coming to Golden Bay
The Nelson Mail – August 24, 2000
Filming for the $360 million Lord of the Rings movies will take place in Golden Bay next week, the film’s publicist Claire Raskind says.
Scenes for the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy will be shot around the 1500m-high Mt Olympus, which is near the top of the Aorere Valley and in the Kahurangi National Park.
The Department of Conservation in Nelson said on Wednesday that a concession had been granted to the film-makers to operate inside the park, and DOC officers will monitor the operation.
Hans Stoffregen, from the department’s Golden Bay office, said the film company was flying gear up to Mt Olympus tomorrow, but would not be filming until next week.
Mr Stoffregen, who will accompanying the film crew, said helicopters would be flying in accommodation for 140 people, although he was not sure what type of accommodation.
The filmmakers wanted clear conditions, no snow, and no wind.
Ms Raskind said shooting on top of Mt Olympus was a logistic nightmare.
A base camp would be set up at the Takaka aerodrome next week and props for filming flown in by helicopter.
They would have a reduced crew of 50 including five or six actors.
Ms Raskind would not say which scenes would be shot, but said the crew would not be building a village like the one erected in Canterbury – “It (the film sequence) is the fellowship continuing on their journey”.
“Golden Bay is known for its beauty. The books (JR Tolkien’s trilogy of Lord of the Rings) take place thousands of years ago, and we are always looking for untouched places like Golden Bay.”
A Golden Bay man who has tramped in the Mt Olympus area, Peter Fullerton, said the rock formations around the mountain were some of the most unusual in the park.
“There are outcrops of worn, rounded granite and they have very interesting shapes.”