We have heard so much about The Lord of the Rings and its filming in New Zealand. There is one more top grosser movie which really is grand and is made in New Zealand. yes folks i am talking about King Kong the remake of the classic by Peter Jackson. It took the title but Peter Jackson made it grander as he does with all his movies.
In addition to the Giant Gorilla he added a dinosaur in the movie. That was the master stroke. In the original the story drags on a little bit, but Peter Jackson added his own story and made it work. It was a childhood dream of Peter Jackson to work on the King Kong script. In fact he tried making a movie trying to copy King Kong when he was 12 years old. When interviewed he even told that King Kong was the reason of him becoming a Director.
The movie shows us great locations in New Zealand which only a man knowing New Zealand can find. Peter Jackson did magic with the script adding great scenes from New Zealand natural beauty. He made use of technical brilliance of New Zealand studios and re-created New York right in the studio. Skull island is no where but Jungles on east shore of New Zealand.
The film had a grand opening and ultimately became the fourth biggest grosser of all time. Hail Peter Jackson.
New Zealand has become a haven for film makers since the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar. The locations in these popular movies have become a tourist attraction. Some of the great locations which have been filmed in movies are:
- The Taranaki region of Northern island – This region was used as a backdrop for the movie The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise. You must have thought the movie was filmed in Japan. Isn’t it? The whole movie was filmed in New Zealand. The technicians who made the sets for the movie made it look like Japan. Really amazing.
- The Southern Alps – The snow-capped peaks and the accompanying green forest have been part of many films. But two of Chronicles of Narnia films – The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian showcased the best part of the region. Yes the lakes and forest were all in New Zealand and not in a fairyland Narnia.
- Aotearoa New Zealand – This is the middle earth shown in the Tolkien trilogies Hobbit and Lord of the rings. The landscape really looks out of the world. You have to visit New Zealand and see the location yourself to believe that it exists on our planet.
- Auckland the capital – The award-winning The Piano was filmed in whole of Auckland. It showed all locations and fit the script perfectly. The film won many hearts and New Zealand was horded by tourists, which continues till date.
If you are a film buff and a traveler too, visit the locations of shoot from your favorite movies to get the real feel.
The films like Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are among the most watched and followed throughout the world, with numerous awards adorning the walls of cast and crew. Not only are the films identifiable art forms in themselves, but so are their associations and consequent branding of New Zealand. There are a whole number of differing benefits they bring to the country and economy, and we are yet to see the full spectrum as the last Hobbit film is quite a spectacle. On a local level, the sheer scale of filming requires huge assistance and with the location of the majority of the film, people and organisations from the surrounding area are needed. When the films do get released, huge groups descend upon our islands as the whole world views premiers and other associated events. When the frenzy is over, tourists continue to visit with both franchises high up the list of reasons they came. But, as the media machine continues to work its magic, it is all to easy to overlook those who may need it.
Animals are an integral piece of the films and with the sheer size of the production it is a wonder how such quantities are kept under control.
The trilogies of the JRR Tolkien’s fiction series are amazing to read as well as watch. The locations in New Zealand make it look real. The series has characters which can be imagined only by Tolkien. The concept of middle earth and shire is really amazing. I hope they have more movies coming from his novels.
All the trilogy movies seem to be headed for New Zealand. First it was Lord of the Rings trilogy, then The Hobbit. The latest to join the list is “Avatar”. Avatar which was originally planned as a two movie project has been turned into a trilogy.
Avatar in New Zealand
Originally only parts of the second Avatar were to be shot in New Zealand. But the plans have changed. Now the trilogy will be completely filmed in New Zealand, as confirmed by the Government.
There are many reasons for the film makers choosing New Zealand.
- Exotic Locations – New Zealand has one of the best locations. Everyone who saw New Zealand in Lord of the Rings series will agree to this fact. Diversity in a small area add to the value of filming.
- Financial Advantages – The government has special incentives for international crew. A 20 percent cash grant attracts new as well as established film makers. Also there is 40 percent grant for co-production in New Zealand. These policy measures have helped in attracting big banners to New Zealand.
- Expert support crew – Due to policy measures, there is no dearth of support crew talent in the country. It is convenient for the Directors and Producers who can easily get skillful people.
- Post Production Value – New Zealand has excellent post Production studios. The visual and action effects can be done right here.
- Snow in the summers – When it is summer in Northern Hemisphere (Europe and United States), it is winter here. This helps the film makers to make up the lost time.
The advantage of filming is attracting and encouraging Film making from all over the world.
One of the biggest debates in science fiction is if the artificial can ever replace the natural. Can robots ever be as good as humans? Can a green screen ever be as good as the actual thing?
Well, the last one is more specific to movies off-late. It’s a good thing we have access to better CGI- it gives us better movies and makes them far less campy. But are these movies relying way too much on CGI rather than using the natural elements at their disposal?
With the release of the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson has officially completed the second trilogy of films set in Middle Earth. Throughout the course of Lord of the Rings, Jackson made use of perspective shots and New Zealand’s naturally beautiful scenery to make the movie stand out. There was very little graphics, and this knowledge makes the movies feel so much better. Of course, this contributed towards New Zealand’s tourism too.
However, most of the Hobbit films were shot in CGI. Even though Jackson had already shot incredibly similar scenes without the use of green screens and computers before, he made the decision to not use forced perspectives or real-life tricks for the recent trilogy. How bad was the effect? Well, it reduced one of the lead characters to tears, and made the movies much less believable than the older trilogy.
So, where do we draw the line between the awe reality can inspire in us and the worlds our computers can generate?
You might have seen the trailer for the third installment of the Hobbit movies, if not you can see it here. I cannot hide that I am slightly excited by the prospects of this movie and also the discussions that will come up around it. Does the movie deviate too much from Tolkien’s books? Have they picked the right locations in our beautiful New Zealand country side? Are the battles epic and the computer tricks novel enough?
One discussion that has come up around this franchise sometimes but never really made front page is a social one. While many orcs, the evil and brutal grounddwelling creatures fighting for the bad side, are computer generated, some are played by real people. And these real actors are nearly all Maori. The argument is, apparently, that the tall and wide shouldered physique of the Maori men lends itself to Tolkien’s description of the orcs.
However, I find this rather troublesome. Here we are in the 21st century and we fiddle around with the very 19th century idea of native people being simple and brutish, ‘naturally’ suitable to play nasty creatures running around with clubs. If I remember the books correctly, Tolkien described dwarves as strong chested, broad guys with dark skin. Why not cast a Maori as one of the dwarves? How tall the actor is should not play a role in a movie that is centred on hobbits.