On my browser right now are about two dozen links to websites and facebook pages that are reporting that The Hobbit will go ahead in New Zealand. There are some HUGE celebrations around NZ tonight!
If you want to see our Prime Minister John Key's full press conference, take a look at this page on TV3. They have a 5 minute clip including questions time.
TVNZ also has a page for it here. Their video is about 10 minutes long.
And of course, our newspaper collective, stuff.co.nz had a few words to say on the matter as well.
I understand that the Matterhorn restaurant is the location of an inpromptu party right now. Can't make it myself, but that's mainly because I've been celebrating too much to legally drive there at this stage. :)
Personally, I've avoided talking about the actor's boycott that has taken over this country's news media in the last few weeks, mainly because it was too close to my heart. If the Hobbit hadn't had the go-ahead to be filmed here in New Zealand, I may as well pack up my bags and decide on a new career. Sure, LOTR tourism would still exist, but pretty soon it would stagnate. Pretty much everyone has always assumed (rightly, it turns out) that taking The Hobbit away from New Zealand would amount to lunacy. Frankly, I would have wound down the blog, and gone on with something else less work intensive.
Some of the specific reasons I didn't report on any of it on this blog - it was well reported elsewhere. I usually had no personal angle to add to it. When I did have my own story, I was bound by loyalty to keep things confidential (like the non-unionised actors meeting I attended). If we'd lost the Hobbit, I wanted it to end on a high note ("green light for Hobbit" and "pro-Hobbit rally" for instance), while if we didn't lose it (as it turns out), I don't want three weeks of hatred and spitefulness messing up my blog forever. And let's face it, some pretty awful things were said, and lots of untruths as well.
I'm sure everyone has been reading The One Ring, and perhaps Kristin Thompson's excellent blog The Frodo Franchise as well. Kristin's accurate analysis of everything LOTR/Hobbit related, especially the financial and political side, is always fascinating to read. If you haven't subscribed to her posts, I can highly recommend them.
From here on in, expect the casting rumours, the location rumours, and general film news to be foremost on my mind. The awful uncertainties have finally gone (I hope!), and I can relax a bit and get on with the job of reporting some FUN rumours for a change!
Hope you'll join me!
- Jack M.