I was delighted to hear the confirmed announcement last week by Amazon Studios that their new mini-series set in Middle-earth will commence filming in New Zealand next year. Since I first read The Lord of the Rings almost fifty years ago, there was never any doubt that the world meticulously created by JRR Tolkien was my own home – New Zealand. With the release of the Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, New Zealand was indelibly stamped as Middle-earth and the many thousands of film and book pilgrims that visit the country as a result of the films continues unabated. The promotion of the country alongside the films is an abject lesson in film tourism and has been cited in many scholarly publications to showcase how “set jetting” became mainstream. One could argue that despite winning 17 Academy Awards the most important omission was an award for the country itself. Film Production Another important facet of the series success has been the development of film production in New Zealand. Despite its relative isolation, the country has seen the growth of Weta Workshop from the small Wellington bedroom of Richard and Tania Taylor to […]
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