Glittery stars on 500m of red carpet in hot sun under blue skies. Big screens and aging rock stars surrounded by huge mock-ups of beloved characters out of a children’s story book published in 1937. A quarter of the population of a capital city lining the roads to cheer. It could only be the world premiere of The Hobbit, yesterday in Wellington.
I’ve never been a fan, as such. I don’t jump up and down shouting at the object of my affections, and I’ve only occasionally put their pictures on my wall. Instead, I say, I’m interested in the artistry, the transfer of stories from page to screen, the new ways technology enhances storytelling. (Or not, as the case may be.) All that is true, but it’s not all the truth. I’m a nerd. One of many reasons for loving to write and read speculative fiction is all that wonderful detail. World building is all about those details. What colour are a troll’s finger nails? (Orange, judging from this statue on Tory Street.) Who was Bilbo’s mother? What do female dwarfs wear?
The day-job part of me also recognises the economic impact of the films on New Zealand. Sir Peter Jackson in particular and the many other geniuses at Weta, Wingnut and all those other Kiwi creative powerhouses really make a difference. It’s not surprising that here in his home town Sir PJ is lionised. He’s earned it for his wonderful films and his loyalty to Wellington.
Yesterday was a lot of fun, till my feet wore out. I can’t wait to see the films.