Monday, 23 April 2012

Welly, Ellie, Stan, George and the Weta Workshop

Thanks for the Perky Nanas Ellie!
Bear, Stan, Raz, Magi, George

In Paekakariki, near Wellington, we met a chap who used to live in Harberton Ford who opened up his coffee shop for us on his day off and gave us our first flat white of the day. Then we drove down to Whitby to see my - and possibly your - old school friend Ellie Shaw (Ellenor Cudmore) and her boys George and Stanley. A shudder in the upstairs kitchen floor, turned out to be an earth tremor - that old Ring of Fire again - I genuinely thought it was the washing machine on downstairs doing it’s spin cycle!
On his way to school in the morning, little George asked if Raz could be his grandad when he grows up! Raz figured he would probably never be asked this question again, so is quite up for the challenge and was quite touched by the request.
Magi, me and Ellie. Cheers Digs, for the no flash, grainy, of yesteryear styling.


Wellington Waterfront

The loveliest slide I have ever seen, or had the pleasure of shoe-horning myself down.

Before we jumped on the Interislander to go to the South Island, we took a visit to the Weta Cave on an industrial estate in Wellington. A white bearded LOTR fan, who had been an extra – first as a drunk local in the Prancing Pony, and then as an Orc in  a battle scene that took 3 months to film, showed us around. As he was a background Orc, he didn’t get the full 10 hours of make up, but had a complete orc body suit, that got progressively wetter and mouldier as filming progressed. He fondly recalled how they had a big fire and burnt the suits at the end of filming.

The locals have a bit of an axe to grind with the "hobbit people" as they refer to them, as there is no off road parking for any of the employees or 120,000 visitors a year! The Weta team had been refused carparking and also weren’t allowed to put rubbish bins outside as it was deemed to be a factory area. We parked outside a grumpy local's house and did a quick dash.

Then we took the kids for breakfast at Mr Bun.
Cast from the body of a kiwi stunt man/body builder whose thighs were the width of a normal man's waist or something like that.

You beaut.

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