Hobbit wrap party a hot ticket

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 07/07/2012

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Invitations for tonight's star-studded, end-of-shoot Hobbit party are such a hot ticket even some Weta crew look likely to miss out.

About 3500 Hobbit crew members are expected to fill the TSB Arena for a wrap party marking the end of shooting, which began in March last year and finished yesterday.

"We made it!" director Sir Peter Jackson posted on Facebook yesterday afternoon.

"Shoot day 266 and the end of principal photography on The Hobbit. Thanks to our fantastic cast and crew for getting us this far, and to all of you for your support! Next stop, the cutting room."

Some crew were this week given a bottle of "Elven" wine in a wooden presentation box.

Jackson's spokesman Matt Dravitzki said tonight was a "private party and thank you for our incredibly hardworking cast and crew". They were looking forward to "letting our collective hair down after a very long journey together".

One insider said he understood 100 invitations were given out among 250 Weta Workshop crew.

Sir Richard Taylor had asked those who got tickets to take another person from Weta as a guest. However, 50 would still miss out, the insider said.

A Weta spokeswoman said every person who had worked on The Hobbit had been given the "opportunity" to attend. Some Weta crew had not worked directly on the films.

The insider expected the party would be "full catering, full booze, full noise". All the stars still in Wellington should be there, he said.

The Dominion Post understands Sir Ian McKellen, who reprises his Lord of the Rings role of Gandalf, is still in town. Bernard Hill, who starred as King Theoden in Rings, has been seen in Wellington this week.

One worker at the party said – assuming tonight followed precedents – the night should go through to the early hours.

He worked the Fellowship of the Ring wrap party in 2000, for which a stage was erected on a Mines of Moria set inside Shed 21 on Wellington's waterfront.

A sit-down meal was supplied while big stars partied with the crew into the early hours.

"Everyone mingles with everyone else. It's all sort of free-rein."

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- The Dominion Post

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