Bericht aus THE EVENING POST :
Mystical city emerges among the Alps
In deepest mid-Canterbury, against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, a mystical city with watchtowers and a massive palace is being built for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
It sits upon Mt Sunday, over 70 minutes' drive southwest of Methven. Secrecy surrounds the set and some locals have signed confidentiality agreements with the film's production company Three Foot Six agreeing not to divulge details.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said building started on the set eight months ago.
"Builders from all over the country are working on it from Monday to Saturday.
"It's one of the most incredible things I have ever seen," she said.
When The Press newspaper visited the set workers could be seen operating a large crane at the back of a large wooden building with gothic features.
Other smaller buildings surrounding it appeared to be completed, with horses' heads adorning their tops.
Behind a Keep Out sign, piles of timber, portable buildings, freight containers and a caravan acted as a base for workers.
It was understood the set was under 24 hour security guard and 50 workers came from Methven every day to the isolated location.
Local resident Tiny Buckley said rumours suggested filming would begin next month.
Publicist for the $360 million production, Claire Raskind, said large battle scenes would be filmed at the set representing Edoras, the capital city of Rohan, from J R R Tolkien's novel.
The Defence Force has been enlisted to take part in battle scenes and casting sessions have been held in Ashburton, Timaru, Oamaru and Twizel to employ people to work as extras.
Ms Raskind said the location was a good one, with broad New Zealand landscape surrounding the set.
Part one of the trilogy is due for release during Christmas 2001.
UPDATE: Claire Raskind misquoted
In the "Mystical city emerges among the Alps" article in today's Press it says that Claire Raskind said "large battle scenes would be filmed" at the Edoras set. Well a couple of people e-mailed me to say, battles at Edoras, what battle happened there. Seeing I had a bit of spear time today I thought I would try and find out. I gave the production company a call and was put through to Claire herself, she is the publicist for the production after all. So I asked her what this was about, she had not seen the article at this time and asked me to read what it said. Then she informed me that she has been misquoted, she had said that there would be battle scenes filmed in the south island, but never mentioned any at Edoras as there won't be any. So I thought I would let all the purist out there know this so everyone don't start going on about Peter changing the story again. So once again don't believe everything you read in the newspaper, once more they have got it wrong.