Filming of the last Hobbit movie wraps up in Wellington today after an epic 14-year journey, with Sir Peter Jackson promising to live blog every step.
''Today is not exactly 'average', given it's our last day of shooting, but if I don't do it today, I never will!'' Sir Peter posted on Facebook this morning.
''Our shoot day starts at 8.30am, and is supposed to finish at 7.30pm. I suspect we'll be working late.
The Hobbit crew have been up on Wellington's Miramar Peninsula for the past 10 weeks of final cut shooting for the last two instalments of the trilogy.
The second part of The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on December 13.
Today's filming was for part three of the trilogy, Sir Peter said today.
Jackson's filming of JRR Tolkien's works first began in October 1999 with The Fellowship of the Ring.
The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies gave thousands of Kiwis a start in the film industry, and a huge boost to New Zealand's tourism industry.
Wellington became Wellywood, with locals enthralled by the success of the films, and the presence of stars including Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen and Liv Tyler in their midst.
A Wellington City Council report said last year's world premiere in the capital of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hauled in $11.7 million to the city's economy.
According to Tourism NZ, visitor numbers to New Zealand increased by an average of 7 per cent a year between 2000 and 2004 when interest in The Lord of the Rings was at its peak. In 2004 alone, the estimated expenditure of those who visited "mainly or only" because of the film was $32.8 million.
In 2008 the contribution of film and TV industry to the NZ economy was put at $2.54b.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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