"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, not yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort." (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit) photo source
In New Zealand, The Hobbit is more than just a movie; it's a great achievement and credit to all the country's various artists, from the film makers to the costume and prop designers, just to name a few. When Rhys and I were living in Wellington, we could feel the buzz in the air as the actors arrived and things started brewing at the Weta Workshop; the design studio where so much of the magic happens.
Since the studios were visible from the house we were staying at, we knew the nights when things were happening. As you can tell from how vague I am being, we didn't know exactly what. There is a saying in New Zealand, that "to kiwis (New Zealanders) rules are just suggestions." I witnessed this first hand when Rhys and I were going to get a pizza and we somehow ended up going down a dead end road that lead to the studio. Unfortunately for one curious kiwi, there were only security guards to be seen at the end of the road. We did, however, get to see some dwarfs in the supermarket. No, they weren't in costume. *Sigh.*
On the odd rainy day, Rhys and I would visit "The Weta Cave;" the workshop's visitor center. The cave holds some cool replicas of weapons and models from The Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and some others. Walking around the cave sort of helped us be patient during these next two years as we wait for The Hobbit.
Fortunately, we weren't the only visitors with crazy antics...
If you haven't seen it already and want to know more about The Hobbit's production journey, check out Peter Jackson's behind the scene's video.