In short, I was up on top of a certain hill last week on the 18th of September, and couldn't help noticing that one of the large sheds on Peter Jackson's Stone Street Studios (where LOTR was filmed) has been pulled down, and the concrete floor seemed to be being repoured or something. I took a quick photo of it at the time, and was looking for information about what was going on there, but I've been drawing a blank so far.
This photo faces East, for reference to the Google Map, which faces North
As you can see from the Google Maps satellite photos taken earlier this year, the big white shed was still intact not so long ago.
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It's getting a little hard to ignore though. I was driving towards Miramar today, and saw a rather large crane, parked on what I assumed must be the top of the hills surrounding Miramar but which turned out to be actually at ground level behind the hill, making for a rather large crane indeed. So I drove around the front of the studios again, and here's what I found:
As you can see, one enormous crane, apparently (according to one source) the largest currently in New Zealand. The four struts on the right are large concrete pillars, and look like they will be the support pillars for a huge new sound stage perhaps.
The large concrete building behind the pillars is Stage "K", at one time the third largest sound stage in the world, fully soundproof, and custom built for "King Kong" (which is what the "K" stands for - a smaller one not in this picture is called stage "R" for "Rings").
I don't have any solid facts yet - it looks like vast sums of money are being spent in preparation for a big movie - I'm assuming it's for The hobbit obviously. Perhaps it will be called Stage "H".
Let me know your thoughts - or better yet, if you have the facts, let's have those!
- Jack M.