Local Love - Filming of the Lord of the Rings in MiddleEarth

In 1999 the tiny settlement of Glenorchy (population 250) swelled with actors, filmmakers and associated staff as movie director Peter Jackson came to town

Peter Jackson and his crew shoot scenes for The Lord of The Rings, bringing in his wake around 300 people. This was exciting times for locals, a buzz was in the air in hope of starring in his films.

Peter Jackson employed about 300 locals as extras, mainly starring as Orcs. Everyone was paid so well (earning about $200 per day) and it was such fun work that a lot of locals called in “sick” for their regular job so they could work on the film instead. When the films were released there were a lot of locals watching closely to try and spot themselves!

Jackson’s respect for nature was evident as he filmed - he went to great lengths to ensure the forest floors were maintained, using cameras on high wires, and only filming for short periods on protected moss so that it could bounce back up again and flourish.

Peter Jackson also used local children for Glenorchy School.  When Jackson surveyed Paradise forest for the setting of Lothlórien he found the leaves were not as golden as Tolkien had described in his books, so the crew were asked to vacuum up about 500 leaves and then he asked the children at Glenorchy school to paint them golden, after which he made a big donation to the school.  He did things like this all through New Zealand which made him very popular. As the fellowship enters Lothlorien you will notice these golden leaves falling down (the elves catch them). 

At Pure Glenorchy Tours, we love to share our local stories and secrets of the filming in The Lord of the Rings to life during, and our guests enjoy the inside insights. For more information, or to join us on a scenic Lord of the Rings tour, visit our website www.pureglenorchy.com