Wellington Hobbit Madness
So some of you may have heard of this guy named Peter Jackson, who makes movies based on books by this guy named J.R.R. Tolkien. Well, PJ is from New Zealand and tends to shoot said movies in New Zealand, and now there is a new one of these movies coming out. The premiere of the Hobbit was, as you may already know, a pretty big deal here in Wellington. For the past month there have been dozens of banners and billboards declaring Wellington “the middle of middle earth” and semi-obnoxious promotions and news stories and whatnot. Air New Zealand, for example, has changed up their air safety video (which usually tend to be pretty entertaining – at least compared to most air safety videos – check out their ‘nothing to hide‘ ones). Behold:
So, before Grant and I completely submitted to “Hobbit fatigue” (a phrase used frequently here, along with “Hobbit hangover”) we decided to have some silly fun and take part in various world premiere related activities (ok, two activities). The first of these was the Artisanal Hobbit Market. (selling artisanal hobbit related goods, not artisanal hobbits).
The market (which was surprisingly small) had some semi-movie related foods (middle earth burger, anyone?), played the Lord of the Rings movies every night on a big screen, and sold pretty much anything they could get a “Hobbit” label on.
Of course there were folks in costume, although I don’t really remember the pirate part of the Hobbit.
There was a really long line near the Air New Zealand tent (no, despite what it is starting to look like, this is not an advert for Air New Zealand) (Although, ANZ, if you want to send me some free tickets to somewhere, I will not say no).
We didn’t know what the line was for, so of course we stood in it (baaaaa, baaaa). Turns out, it was to have your photo taken with the Air New Zealand crew from the commercial above (but not really):
and then we got our picture taken with a dragon (touristy tour tours, I know!) (also, notice that even when Grant is sitting down, he is still taller than me standing up)
The day after the market was the world premiere. They put down red carpet all along Courtenay Place (the middle of downtown Wellington, pretty close to where the Farmer’s Market is).
There were some orcs (or Trollocs? or goblins? I don’t know, I’m not a good Tolkien fan)
Here is a photo of the theatre – decorated up with a Hobbit hole and many, MANY Hobbit billboards:
And here is a random hobbit on a random produce-markety section of red carpet:
As with the pirate the day before, there were various costumes that had nothing to do with the movie (think cow costumes) and this guy:
This girl went all out and sharpied some hair onto her feet:
After wandering around, we tried to stake out a spot near the red carpet to watch the festivities, but this was as good a view as we could get:
So we switched to this view for the rest of the evening:
There you have it! My only regret is not somehow kidnapping Elijah Wood.