Not far away from where I live is a village called Hobbiton. Some of you will know of it, I read the book when I was about 10 or so, every few years read it again and it never pales.
Its the outdoor set for the movie, the inn, the stone bridge, the Hobbitt holes, the lake and the river, all there and eerily alive, a window into a fantasy.
Kiwi film director Peter Jackson did an incredible job of translating the three books of "Lord of the Rings" into visual form, and I had several encouters with the production at various times, A neighbour was one of the founding members of the special effects company whos work was so effective, I did some technical work for a company who made many of the weapons, went on the Great New Zealand Trail Ride, a 6 day cross country ride that my wife and daughter went on and I taggged along as crew and baggage truck driver. The catering company was fresh from the movie set, and several of those horses which starred as mounts for the Nazghul were there in a much less dark role.
It was a huge production, and in a country as small as ours there will be few New Zealanders who do not know someone who has had a direct involvement with the production. Its almost a part of our national psyche.
Over the years I have been in the many areas where most of the outdoor sets were so the when the movies showed off New Zealand scenery like no other movie before,I really felt "at home" as I watched the big screen, that added enormously to the veracity of the story for me. Now there will be another.
Here is an introduction.