This long-awaited screen presentation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy will be
shot exclusively in New Zealand over a period of 18 months, with post-production adding the same length
of time again. At three years in the making, this will be the largest production ever to be mounted in
the Southern Hemisphere.
Written by Oscar-nominated screenwriters Peter Jackson & Fran Walsh, with Philippa Boyens and Stephen
Sinclair, this technically challenging production will assemble an international cast, utilize over
20,000 extras' days, employ a full crew of over 300 (including award-winning high profile technicians
from both within and outside of New Zealand), and will feature 1200 state-of-the-art computer generated
Peter Jackson's Wellington-based production company, Wingnut Films Limited, together with the special
effects company WETA Limited, have been involved in developing and designing this realization of the
Tolkien classic for more than two years. During this time a stunning array of miniatures, creatures,
prosthetic effects and armor have been created to bring the grandeur and spectacle of Tolkienās richly
evocative Middle-earth to life on the screen.
WETA Limited, New Zealand's leading Special Effects house, continues to focus all of its efforts on
this one project. Dedicated to meeting the exacting visual and technical requirements of Director Peter
Jackson, WETA Digital is developing its own proprietary programs and using state-of-the-art motion
control, blue screen and forced perpective techniques to achieve his vision. The people and creatures
who populate Middle-earth, as well as their homes, cities (and lairs) are being conceptualized by WETA
Workshop with the guidance of Alan Lee and John Howe. Alan & John are internationally recognized Tolkien
New Zealand is Middle-earth. Geologically a young country, New Zealand is a wild mix of diverse terrain,
which brings with it a sense of grandeur and antiquity. Peter Jackson will use the peace and tranquility
of New Zealand's rolling pastoral farmland, the rugged beauty of the North Island's volcanic
plateaus, and the majesty of the South Island's snow capped Southern Alps to bring the screen his
interpretation of how Britain, Tolkien's Middle-earth, might have looked 7,000 years ago.
Since the public announcement by New Line Cinema in August of 1998, international interest in this
project has been overwhelming; little wonder, considering The Lord of the Rings trilogy was
voted Book of the Century in 1997. Internet sites devoted to the trilogy have attracted a record number
of hits and thousands of approaches have been received by the production company from people wanting to
be involved in the project both behind and in front of the camera.