Did you know that Hobbits are 3ft tall? You do now.

IMG_3952I quite surprised myself by how excited I was about visiting Hobbiton. I haven’t even seen the film The Hobbit (but I couldn’t possibly admit that to the Hobbit fans on the tour bus).

Hobbiton is built on farmland near the small town of Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island.

The same farmland was originally used over 10 years ago for the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but this time when Director Peter Jackson wanted to come back to build the set for The Hobbit the landowners agreed only on the basis that everything was built to last. Apparently the 44 Hobbit holes even meet council building regulations. That was a clever business move.

Hobbiton is now the islands top tourist destination and has attracted over 1.9 million visitors over the past 10 years – many dressed as Hobbits apparently. *Note: I didn’t dress as a Hobbit.

The whole of New Zealand has capitalized on the opportunities bought by the Hobbits. My favorite is the Air New Zealand Hobbit-themed in-flight safety video. It had over 6 million YouTube views in the four days after it was launched.

The Hobbit holes are magical little spaces with incredible attention to detail. They are all to different scale for different parts of the film. That alone sounds like a feat of mathematic genius.

What bought Hobbiton to life for me were the stories about the making of the film.  In particular I liked learning about the things that did not go right first time or oversights that transpired as the filming progressed – and how the team found solutions.  My favourite was the story of the party tree that faced the wrong way for sunset. The solution was to film the scene in reverse and then put the scene back together in the right order afterwards so that the sun went down in the background rather than up. Genius.

I think that there is much that we can learn from the attitude and approach that Peter Jackson and his team took to solving Hobbit related problems…..

This blog is courtesy of the 40 to 40 list and bought to you by the number 22.

PS Hobbit fans – I promise to watch The Hobbit on the flight home….


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