With local shooting dates fast approaching, work on the Wakatipu Hobbit set, which was once described as being a “slow buildup,” has gone into overdrive.
Photos of the Paradise set, taken around October 24, showed only scaffolding and bare board; but as of yesterday, the three-story Wakatipu set – which consists of a large central tree flanked with a stone edifice and thatch-roofed structure – appeared to be nearing completion. Large cranes could be seen lifting large panels onto the roof of a nearby house frame.
Nearby, additional workmen were busy bolting together the frame which will be used as a marquee for catering, wardrobe, and makeup. Arborists and crew from the Art Department kept themselves busy among large fake boulders, earthmoving machinery, and more thatched panels. Three large-boomed cranes were present on location.
A security guard on location confirmed that it was a Hobbit set, though he could not provide additional details.
The Hobbit’s production company, 3 Foot 7 Ltd, received resource consent to build sets and film in locations in Arcadia Station and Paradise, with a $1 million rural fire insurance cover and $10 million public liability insurance. Three weeks have been allotted for site reinstatement work.