Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Ringswatch: Early Snow Causes Problems For PJ

Ringswatch: A report from Whakapapa

The following report of recent happenings in the Ruapehu area - the site of the latest filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy - was sent to Scoop by a recent visitor to the area…

“Apparently the 700 crew have been filming last week (pre Easter) around Whakapapa. We went up to the skifield (top of the Bruce) and a lot of equipment, lighting rigs, cables, etcetera, were set up in Happy Valley skifield - at the time (Saturday), totally snowless, very rocky and misty, wonderfully atmospheric.

Lots of trucks and boxes (well metal sheds) labelled "tech", a big lighting unit up on the ridge overlooking the happy valley skifield (that ridge that goes steeply down into the valley beyond – if you know the skifield). Also a big lighting boom/crane thing that looked like it was able to be swung around with a big light set on the end.

Not a lot of people or security was seen, just some suspicious Wellington looking guy in a trench coat waving a polaroid. He wasn't saying anything. It kinda looked like there would be room to film mid range close-ups of people fighting, not panoramic, but body length, also room to pan down the skifield for charges etc.

At the entrance to the skifield, there were a lot more trucks and sheds including a large Marquee tent. On Tuesday morning the ski lodge owner where we were staying said that this Marquee tent was Weta's 300 person costume tent and had been snowed under during the night, and part of it had collapsed causing damage.

Also, he reckoned that it was going to stuff up the shooting schedule (....well thats unusual), as they were filming in areas that had no snow that were now covered (On Tuesday it snowed for several hours in the afternoon down to around 1000 feet I think, below Waitonga Falls, all the trees were covered, and everything was a bit dim, but extremely picturesque).

The walking areas were all carefully fenced (metal stakes and "hotsite" plastic tape), and adjacent scrubby areas were carefully covered with green garden netting to protect them. I guess a fairly active skifield is also a good way to get around some of these issues.

The lady at the Ohakune visistors centre said that they had been filming round Whakapapa that week, over Easter near Tukino and this week were moving round to film on the Turoa side of the mountain.

Mostly the discussion was on the attendant lack of accommodation, in that everything was booked out. Mostly everyone’s in motels though (especially film crew), not backpackers, though the ski lodge guy said that yeah they would put extras in places like this (one of the nicest backpackers I've been in), but even then they get there own room. Bloody Hollywood.

Furthermore at the Powderhorn – the hippest bar in Ohakune - they kept closing the hot pool bar at 6pm because the lady said they had "very important guests upstairs" and because the noise travels and they didn't want to disturb them. “


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women..

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>