Returning from Los Angels to Wellington just in time for all the premiere festivities...
Wellington has been very busy gearing up and decking the town out. The NZ Post building is adorned with the cast silhouettes and the Wellington airport installed a giant Gollum catching fish. Both were created by our talented coworkers at Weta Workshop as well as some great Dwarves statues at the Auckland airport. Even Air New Zealand at LAX got into the spirit.
NZ Post Building
Los Angeles Airport
I got to see LAX first hand since I had squeezed in the quick trip back to LA in between AnimFX and The Hobbit premiere week. My flight back was very exciting. At the Air New Zealand check-in desk I found myself standing next to Frodo - Elijah Wood. And then in the Koru Lounge - the premiere lounge for Gold card members (frequent flyers) I walked in to spot Elijah Wood sitting in a remote corner with Andy Serkis and Marin Freeman. - Very Cool!
The Grove in Los Angeles had just installed a nice display promoting the film as well as some of the great merchandise that I have been working on.
And for the second time, I've been visiting in LA and the volcano blows.
This time more substantially than the first. Lots of air travel was canceled or delayed.
This is the volcanoe that is Mordor in the Lord of the Rings films.
The Hobbit premiere was amazing!
There was a Hobbit Artisans Market set up down by the waterfront with many of the local artists that had worked on the film selling their personal work/wares. There were makeup demos and our close friend Kim Beaton was doing a great sculpture demo.
They played all 3 LotR films in the park leading up to the Premiere
The Weta Cave, and Weta pop-up shop we're packed with fans. Plus the Window into Workshop opened. This is a small portion of the Workshop that has been opened to the public sharing some of the amazing things that Weta has done over the years. Also included are resident artist doing demonstrations.
A last minute Dr Grordbort's exhibit was installed on Cuba Street. Eric spent about 10 days setting this up with a small team and we had a delightful gallery opening party Tuesday night.
Wednesday was the big day. It was a beautiful day in Wellington. and like I mentioned on my facebook page, I do believe that Sir Peter Jackson can control the weather in Wellington. Eric was up early tasked with setting up the Trolls on the red carpet.
I met him in town about 12:30 and we spent the rest of the day together. We were in heaven. We both had our cameras and we wandered taking it all in. The crowds, the costumes, the decorations, Eric had a special badge from setting up the trolls that allowed him to get onto the carpet and into areas I could not - up until 3:00 pm - sooo jealous. But he took some great photos while I waited for him. Weta rented out the upstairs of the St James theatre and threw a party. So once the red carpet procession started we headed up there and watched from above. There was even a fly by from the Air New Zealand plane. I cannot describe how amazing it was to be there and to have been a part of it all.
These are the Trolls that Eric and crew set-up
Mmmm -Gandalf themed cupcake!
Fili - Dean O'Gorman and Kili - Aidan Turner
Frodo - Elijah Wood
Bilbo - Martin Freeman
Gollum - Andy Serkis
Richard Taylor - Weta Workshop
And then Friday morning we got to see the film. The cast and crew screening was at 10:30 am at the Embassy Theatre. We were so excited. And we were not disappointed. It was great and even at 3 hours, we didn't want it to end. It will be a long year to movie two. As for credits, have fun finding Eric' s name (Eric Heath) it's there!
Never a dull moment here...Dec 2nd - A freak storm shook the house and even registered on the seismic scale.
"Wellington's unusual rumbling thunder early Sunday morning certainly sounded like an earthquake - and may have even registered as an earthquake"
Haven't even caught our breath and I was off to China again on Sunday for ten days so missed the opening of the Hobbit. Eric and friends went to the midnight showing. And we are both looking forward to seeing it again over the holiday break.
Eric is off and I will have have most of the week between Xmas and New Years off
And really looking forward to relaxing.
We will be back in 2013 for more of our adventure.
Wishing you and your family good health, and great joy!
Stacy & Eric