World's media hits Middle of Middle-Earth

Last updated 09:43 28/11/2012

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As the rest of the world begins to wake up, it has become clear Hobbit fever is not just a New Zealand affliction.

Reporters and camera crews have been descending on Wellington over the last few days.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal reported from Wellington this morning that Hobbit mania had reached "fever pitch, with fans in character dress roaming city streets, past a 9.4-metre effigy of the wizard Gandalf, huge silhouettes of Mr Baggins and the company of 13 dwarves".

The Wall Street Journal also reported some interesting facts for the most dedicated halfling fans:

* A total of 99 sets were built for filming.
* About 40 kilos of yak hair and 10 kilos of human hair went into creating 600 to 700 wigs.
* A total of 11,862 prosthetics were made and 4 tons of silicon were used to generate facial prosthetics.
* About 1,800 rentals cars were hired
* NZ$380,000 was spent on coffee.

The Niagara Falls Review interviewed Wellington office worker Alan Craig about the Hobbit-mania.

""It's been a 10-year wait for these movies, New Zealand is Tolkien's spiritual home, so there's no way we're going to miss out," the self-confessed Lord of the Rings "nut", told the paper.

Former CBS newsreader Pallas Hupe, who now lives in Wellington, wrote for LA entertainment news website Cultural Weekly that visiting US journalists would undoubtedly be shocked at the speed Kiwis operate.

"There are already plenty of media crews in town, toting what appear to be ever-smaller cameras, documenting the run-up to the big event. I am hearing American accents all around me, talking a mile a minute about preparations. Plans B and C are being bandied about, in case things go crazy.

"I can't help but feel some of these high-strung personalities (I should know, I was once one of them) are bound to be frustrated by the slower speed of life we lead here in the Middle of Middle-earth. Even if it's just the slow broadband they'll have to deal with," she said.

While a select group of journalists have already seen The Hobbit in preparation for interviews today on the red carpet, an embargo will stop any details of the movie being published until it has premiered in the United States.

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