Yay, I’ve finally finished editing some of the footage from our Hobbit Fan Contest trip!
I apologise if you’re trying to watch on a mobile device, or if you’re in Germany, because it may not be visible (perhaps because of the music tracks). I decided not to include any narration – everything probably speaks for itself and the accompanying posts provide plenty of extra detail. I think the video represents the atmosphere of our experience well.
A quick breakdown of the activities each day:
Day 1: All the winners from around the world have arrived in Auckland. We enjoy a huge breakfast and are welcomed by a couple of CEOs. Five buses take us all through rolling hills to Rotorua. That evening we enjoy a Maori cultural experience and traditional cooking, and check out our bags of loot!
Day 2: The morning starts with adventure activities in Rotorua (I was too sleepy to participate!) and a buffet lunch. We then check out the information centre in Matamata, and the gift shop at the Hobbiton Set. We spend the rest of the day touring Hobbiton and end up at the Green Dragon for a party, including being the first audience for the final trailer of the Battle of the Five Armies. Some of the dwarf cast sing the “Misty Mountains” song for us, and the day ends with a fireworks display and nighttime set tour.
Day 3: We fly straight down to Queenstown; everybody is blown away by the gorgeous landscapes. We pile into 4-wheel drives with Nomad Safaris, and travel up to Queenstown Hill, and then straight down into the Glenorchy region and Paradise, the filming location used for things like Isengard and Beorn’s house. Following that we check out the Twelve Mile Delta area, used for things like Ithilien. The rest of the group went bungy jumping that evening, but we took a quiet dinner in town!
Day 4: Various activities are organised for the groups, and we end up on a wine tour of the Central Otago region with Appellation Station. We stopped in Arrowtown and a couple of wineries. Later on Adam and I took the Queenstown gondola up the mountain, and then enjoyed watching the sun set by Lake Wakatipu.
Day 5: Stunning snowy views as our company fly up to Wellington, welcomed by Richard Taylor for the unveiling of the airport’s final display (Smaug). We enjoy presentations in the Roxy Theatre by Daniel Falconer and Matt Aitken, then check out the Weta Warehouse for props and activities presented by crew members. Many of us are also very excited to get to the Weta Cave and shop for the first time. At this point (and sometimes earlier), no recording or photos of any kind are allowed, so the ending may seem a little anti-climactic! Our company are taken to the Park Road Post production facility where we’re welcomed by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens and so on, and become the first audience for the third film, in a somewhat raw and unfinished form, a month before its release. They give us a Q&A session and all get to meet Peter briefly. We are all so grateful for everything that was planned and given to us!
Pieces from the soundtracks (in order) used include:
- Bilbo’s Song
- A Very Respectable Hobbit
- Dreaming of Bag End
- The Shire
- The King of the Golden Hall
- Beyond the Forest
- Feast of Starlight
- Beyond the Forest
- The Road Goes Ever On