Wayne Timmo- stuff.co.nz - 25/10/2011
One of two convoys laden with film gear arrived in Matamata's Buckland Rd at the weekend, while the other headed to Queenstown from Sir Peter's Miramar studios.
While production company 3 Foot 7 retains a tighter grip on information than Gollum on a certain ring, one nearby resident who declined to be named said the convoy started arriving on Saturday afternoon.
He estimated about 50 trucks and smaller vehicles towing caravans and a mobile generator wound their way up Buckland Rd and onto the film set over 24 hours.
As if by some Gandalf-esque spell, or perhaps because of Sir Peter's keen eye for secluded filming locations, none were visible from the road or neighbouring properties once at the set. Nor were any stars.
"Knowing what they did last time this is like a prelude to get things set up," the resident said. "I expect they'll helicopter them [big name actors] in."
The film crew is already in Matamata, and on Sunday about six of them called in for a coffee at the Espresso To Go cafe on Broadway.
"They were a really artistic bunch, fun with a lot of energy," said cafe owner Jackie Anderson. "But we didn't realise who they were until they were leaving and one of them mentioned something about waiting for the sets to arrive."
If the Hobbit stays true to its literary origins Martin Freeman of The Office fame (Bilbo Baggins) and acclaimed British actors Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf) and James Nesbitt (Bofur) could be expected to appear, as their characters meet in Hobbiton.
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