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Hobbits, superheroes put magic in NZ film industry

November 26, 2012 • Entertainment


FILE – In this Jan. 16, 2006 file photo, film director Peter Jackson arrives for the Golden Globe Awards, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Jackson launched the Weta Digital studio in 1993 with fellow filmmakers Jamie Selkirk and Richard Taylor. Named after an oversized New Zealand insect, the company later was split into its digital arm and Weta Workshop, which makes props and costumes. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A crate full of sushi arrives. Workers wearing wetsuit shirts or in bare feet bustle past with slim laptops. With days to go, a buzzing intensity fills the once-dilapidated warehouses where Peter Jackson’s visual-effects studio is rushing to finish the opening film in “The Hobbit” trilogy.

The fevered pace at the Weta Digital studio near Wellington will last nearly until the actors walk the red carpet Nov. 28 for the world premiere. But after “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits theaters, there’s more work to be done.

Weta Digital is the centerpiece of a filmmaking empire that Jackson and close collaborators have built in his New Zealand hometown, realizing his dream of bringing a slice of Hollywood to Wellington. It’s a one-stop shop for making major movies — not only his own, Login to read more

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