Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Skippers Canyon

I would like to be upfront with you: this post falls into the category of 'did you know...?' So: did you know that Skippers Canyon featured in one of the Lord of the Rings movies? Yes?! how wonderful :-) Did you know that Skippers featured only for a few tiny seconds in 'The Fellowship of the Ring'? Yes? how extra-ordinary. You must be a true insider, well done!

So there you go. That was easy to share. Skippers Canyon and the Shotover River played an impressive part in this first movie of this world famous trilogy. ... I'm sorry, could you please repeat your last thought? I could not properly 'receive' it... Might it be that you were thinking 'what is she writing about?' You mean that you are not familiar with every little single detail of the Lord of the Rings settings and the stories behind them? I beg you pardon... so please let me explain.

Here we go. Do you remember this scene?

Arwen is calling for the flood. This picture is scanned from the original Lord of the Rings Location guidebook. It was published by Ian Brodie in 2003.
You find this picture on page 87.

This second picture was taken at the very same place just last month by Simon Stone who is kind enough to let us use it.
As you can see, Arwen rode with Frodo through the Shotover River, followed by the Black Riders. And this is all she did - she rode through the river. She could not ride down into the river from the other side (as it is featured in the movie), because... there is actually a steep drop... The Shotover River is only accessible from one side; at least at this point here. Arwen and Frodo rode down a ford that is located in... Arrowtown.

Peter Jackson and his team truly created a masterpiece. They succeeded in placing us all into this very scene of the pursuit that Arwen and Frodo had to endure and they absolutely made a terrific job in putting together scenes that created those unforgettable movie moments.

No wonder that everyone is waiting eagerly to see what the 'master' Sir Peter Jackson has in store for us with 'The Hobbit'. A couple of months ago, the production team for 'The Hobbit' was in Queenstown. They did not find a suitable location in Skippers Canyon which they wanted to feature in this upcoming latest edition of the tale. But nevertheless, the wider area of Queenstown still plays a noticeable role in the movie.

One of my team members volunteered in driving a truck from A to B for the filming crew. He told me that he drove the make up truck and it was a HUGE one. He did not see any actors - unfortunately. But anyway, his contribution gave us a little glimpse of how work-intensive such a movie production is and how many people find work for even those seemingly unimportant tasks like transferring the make up truck from A to B - truly remarkable.

So there you have it. Skippers Canyon only played a short role in the first movie 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. It will not feature in 'The Hobbit'.

Nevertheless, Skippers Canyon is and always will be OUR precious...

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