Today we were treated to another fine Spring day in which Sir Peter Jackson had the pleasure to premiere his latest movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, another fine tale of Middle Earth.
Unlike 10 years ago when I was doing video and photography in the press pit on the red carpet, I was amongst the crow this time and enjoying the atmosphere, the weather and a fine series of sets assembled for the red carpet event.
Weta Workshop assembled a functional hobbit hole which Peter Jackson popped out of in true hobbit style when he was introduced and later the producers and cast came through as he introduced each of them and thanked them for their work.
The red carpet was a long one and that part of proceedings lasted around 2 hours before the speeches began. Several beautiful ladies were wearing some stunning dresses, the kind you see at Hollywood red carpet events. However unlike Hollywood the event and most on the red carpet were a bit more casual and stunning dresses were a rarity. New Zealand just takes things a bit more casually, although with the full enthusiasm of dedicated fans - several of whom dressed up in Middle Earth styles.
Before Peter came on stage we had the usual speeches from the Mayor, the Prime Minister, and studio bosses. The Mayor proved to not be a very good public speaker and got a less than outstanding reception from the crowd as she spieled off Wellington and council staff centric rhetoric. All credit to her for trying, and acknowledging council staff though. She also was using a small device to read her speech from, a high tech approach for a woman in an elegant dress.
The Prime Minister proved to be a far better speaker and you can tell his ability in this area is a good reason for his continual survival in high office. Fortunately he didn’t try any of his stupid gaffs and kept out of the way afterwards. However John Key got a fail on his attire from a fashion critic from Fairfax.
The studio bosses tried to keep things short, the Warner Bros exec chose to read from a large paper sheet (how quaint) for a prepared sheet. I was pleased to see the MGM study exec simply give a more natural speech and face the audience and cameras. Not the best of speeches, but it seemed more personal that the Mayor, PM and Warnes Bros exec and their prepared ones.
When Peter came out it was all from the heart - facing the audience and it seemed like he was making eye contact with everyone out there.
A great event to be a part of.
The FSpace team didn’t do anything special for the event. I know Robert wanted to be here for the event, but the timing with work wasn’t the best.
On a special note it was Gary’s birthday and he managed to get down to the event and be part of the atmosphere over in Waitangi Park a few blocks over from the red carpet.
The Hobbit is going to be another artistic endeavour that puts New Zealand squarely back on the map from a world wide perspective, not just in terms of cinematic landscapes and special effects, but the creative talent that New Zealand both breeds natively, and attracts from all corners of the globe.
Wellington for now is back to being the Middle of Middle Earth and we welcome visitors to our slice of a fantasy vision on an epic scale.