Hobbit hype doesn't rule them all

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
Dawn Ghoorah
John Bisset
Privileged fan: Dawn Ghoorah of Twizel was an extra in the first film in the Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, which premiered at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington last night.

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Hobbit mania has wafted down from last night's world premiere in Wellington, causing excitement for one local fan and mild nausea for another.

Timaru retail salesman Matt Soper was looking forward to Sir Peter Jackson's first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey, until he was bombarded with so much hype he went cold on it.

Dawn Ghoorah, of Twizel, on the other hand, was an extra in the film and cannot get enough of anything Tolkien, having seen the extended version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy more than 100 times so far.

But Mr Soper said the hype surrounding the premiere was overkill.

"There is other news going on, other than a movie launched in New Zealand."

The film has been promoted internationally and nationally as showcasing New Zealand's "100 % pure" scenery.

"That marketing is a waste of time . . . What's the point of showing it here? We know what the country looks like," he said.

In contrast, Mrs Ghoorah said she had not tired of the advertising at all.

"I live in the Mackenzie District - how could I get sick of mountains?"

As well as being an extra, she co-owns a Twizel tour company which takes visitors to locations used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Because of a confidentiality agreement Mrs Ghoorah cannot discuss much about the Hobbit filming other than to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

She said the 17-hour days were exhausting but working with Sir Peter Jackson was amazing.

Despite Mr Soper's criticism of the "in your face" promotion, he is still keen to see the film - but just not too soon.

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- The Timaru Herald

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