Several scenes from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” were filmed in Twizel, New Zealand, including Faramir’s ride to retake Osgiliath, Théoden’s dramatic speech at Pelennor Fields, and Éowyn’s battle with the Witch-king. Just recently, the area played host to Peter Jackson and his production company 3 Foot 7, but this time, they were filming scenes from “The Hobbit.”
Hobbit publicist Melissa Booth confirmed that filming had taken place there for about two weeks, but could not speak about who was present or what scenes they had been shooting. Most residents have signed confidentiality agreements, and therefore cannot talk much about the town’s involvement in the films, but Twizel Area School principal Bill Feazy said that some of his students did get to participate.
“I know of students helping out in a number of ways, whether it was being an on-set wrangler, or kayaker during some of the river scenes, working on the wardrobe department or even as an extra in crowd scenes,” Feazy said. But he explained that the commotion caused by filming was only too familiar. “In a funny way, the town is a bit used to it,” he said. “We experienced something similar when ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was shot here. But it’s been good fun.”
Mike Borick, owner of Poppies Café, saw a boost in sales, and said, “If anything, it’s actually brought more business through here than the Rugby World Cup.” He saw some famous faces, too. “We’ve had a few of the cast members pop in and purchase something, but I probably shouldn’t say which ones.”