Rain forces Rings film crew indoors
Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne had hoped for golden weather in Golden Bay.
Instead, rain and fog has plagued the filming of the epic trilogy, forcing the crew to abandon outdoor settings for an indoor location in Motueka.
Osborne was in his caravan at Takaka Aerodrome on Thursday - next to director Peter Jackson's - doing everything in his power to get the right number of shots while on location in the bay.
Publicist Claire Raskind said filming was due to take place on Mt Olympus on Friday, and despite setbacks caused by rain, the production was on schedule.
Thursday's filming location was at East Takaka.
Osborne's job involves working closely with Jackson to ensure the logistics of making the film run smoothly, including the casting, script, locations and budgets.
Other films he has produced include the science-fiction hit The Matrix and the Nicolas Cage-John Travolta thriller Face/Off.
The film crew has extended its stay until Sunday in an attempt to get the footage it needs. After that, it's off to Te Anau to start all over again.
"We do have cover locations planned for these kind of conditions, but we had hoped for some sunshine," Osborne said.
Warmer weather was the main reason the decision had been made to film in Golden Bay rather than Te Anau, he said.
Scenes being shot here had been brought forward from their original scheduled date, and required sunny weather. They included the heroes crossing rough country in the first part of the trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring.
Osborne said people who were familiar with Canaan Downs and Mt Olympus in particular would recognise the landscape when the movie was released.
Footage shot at Canaan Downs was originally supposed to have been shot further south, but snow during recent weeks had foiled those plans, he said.
Mt Olympus was discovered by Osborne and Jackson during a reconnaisance trip to scout possible filming locations. A helicopter pilot pointed out the mountain, with its unusual rock formations, and the pair knew it would be perfect.
Osborne said one of the great challenges of the project had been making three films at once, but this had been made easier by the team of people around him.
"Working with a director with the energy of Peter Jackson makes the whole thing a lot easier."
An Ansett New Zealand Bae146 Whisper Jet made a stop in Nelson on Friday morning to fly members of the Lord of the Rings crew to Queenstown.
The four-engined jet, used on the airline's main trunk services, arrived on a charter flight, a Nelson air traffic control spokesman said. The aircraft landed around 6.30am and departed about half an hour later.