Sunday, 26 September 2010

Tree down in Isengard - Sound familiar?

It looks like the hard winds have claimed a victim in Isengard this morning.

At least there were no orcs involved this time, eh?

- Posted from the field by Jack M.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Update on preliminary casting call - it's official!

Further Update 24/9/2010, 7:00am: The prelim casting call has also now been listed on TradeMe's job section.

Update 23/9/2010, 12:21pm : Also check today's article in the DomPost, also posted on

Moments ago I received this email from Matthew Dravitzki, who is Peter Jackson's spokesperson:

The advertisement is official and came from our production.  A preliminary casting call means:  We don't have a green light, but we do need to be prepared in the event that we get one!  That means having a little look around Wellington for scale doubles as advertised.  This is NOT an extras casting call and anyone who doesn't meet the advertised height requirements will be turned away.

When cast, actors playing Hobbits and Dwarves will be normal adult size.  The characters in the books are sized differently, as you know.  Scale doubles appear in some wide/reverse shots in place of our actors, and with other adult actors when we need people to look smaller - or taller.  A visit to the behind the scenes content on the LOTR movies might jog your memory.

I don't have any news for you on greenlight, director or cast.  There's no update from LA at this time.  

The NZ Dance and Drama Centre is simply being used as a venue for this casting call, and is not the home of our casting department.

I hope this answers your questions.
It certainly answered mine!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Almost green light?

Today the Wellington Dominion Post newspaper carried an advertisement in the back for Hobbit doubles...tall and short people only!

I have it on good authority that this comes directly from the studios, this time it's the real thing.

It's not quite a green light but we must be getting awfully close!

- Posted from the field by Jack M.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Stansborough Experience closes its doors...

Not good news today - Hutt Valley's local newspaper The Hutt News reports that LOTR's textiles creators Stansborough is closing its doors to tourists. Apparently the lack of visitors are forcing it to reconsider their priorities. It looks like the parent company Stansborough Fibres is staying but the huge and incredibly noise looms are looking for smaller, less expensive premises.

Stansborough were the people who created material for Ngila Dickson's fantastic elven cloaks that the fellowship receives from Galadriel when they depart Loth-lorien. I think they also provided the beautiful cloaks that Gandalf wears.

Apart from LOTR, Stansborough did work for the first two Narnia movies, the movie Waterhorse, the TV Series Kidnapped, the awesome vampire flick 30 Days Of Night, and Avatar, as well as a slew of others that they're not allowed to talk about yet.

They were also picked to be used for The Hobbit - let's hope that's still going ahead!

I have been to visit them several times, sometimes with paying guests, sometimes with family - it was always a great experience, and it was easy to see they truly loved what they were doing.

Barry Eldridge with one of the 100 year old looms, creating elven cloak. The looms were incredibly noisy. (click on photo for larger image)

A closeup of the Elven textile as it comes off the loom. Already you can see the incredible detail woven into the material. Although it looks quite coarse, it's actually very soft, but quite hardwearing. (click on photo for larger image)

The newspaper article also reports that the will be a "massive garage sale of fabrics", this Saturday the 11th of September, at 100 Hutt Park Rd (Seaview), from 8am till 3pm.

Incidentally, the movie's cloaks are still available from them, online.