Middle Earth on Earth:

Views from New Zealand

When Sir Peter Jackson embarked on the massive project of bringing the Lord of the Rings to the screen, he and most of his crew viewed New Zealand as the only place that could provide a backdrop for the story. In addition to actual location shooting, much footage was filmed of New Zealand landscapes to be used in digital mat paintings. Additionally, the entirity of Pellenor Fields was created using photographs and filmed images of various landscapes, and then pieced together to form a full three dimensional environment into which all the other elements of those sequences were placed, including live action, digitally-created creatures and charecters, and the imposing structure of Minas Tirith.
The picture below is of Wellington, NZ, which is that nation's capital. It is also home to Weta Workshop and Weta Digital special effects facilities, and was the center of production during the filming of the three Lord of the Ring movies. The image below will take you a lovely public domain shot of Kepler Mire, which was used extensively during the Dead Marshes sequence for digital mat painings, although the interaction between Gollum, Frodo and Sam takes place on a backlot wet set. Kepler Mire proved too unstable to film actors in, but the artistic folk sure made good use of some amazing images.
Additionally, the image will link you to some more pictures of New Zealand and information on the use of those places as locations in Sir Peter Jackson's film versions of the Lord of the Rings.

Pics of New Zealand used in filming LoTR Kepler Mire aka The Dead Marshes Image Map Pics of New Zealand used in filming LoTR | Kepler Mire aka The Dead Marshes | Image Map Return to the Home Page

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