Friday, November 2, 2012

First trial T-shirt has arrived for proofing.

After spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to get T-shirts arranged, I've finally managed to get the first shirt here. I picked up the proof-sample today, and it looks great!

This man is more handsome because of the T-shirt

The "Welly-moot" logo is in a lovely gold colour, and the whole deal looks very good. I'm very happy with the end result. I've given the go-ahead on the rest of the order, and hopefully the rest will be here by the middle of next week.

For the one or two amongst you who have arranged an alternative method of delivery, that will be starting shortly - for everyone else, I will certainly have the T-shirts with me on Red Carpet Day (Nov 28), at the extra-ordinary Welly-moot picnic, under the Tripod across the road from the Embassy Theatre.

If you want to get the shirt earlier than that, please get in touch! I'm sure we can work something out!

  - Jack

Monday, October 29, 2012

Welly-moot 1.5: Trolls

Last Sunday we had the fifth Welly-moot meeting of this year. We started with a welcome from Jack, who also shared updates on projects, general news, and introduced three Riventrolls.

Kim Beaton with an earlier project on the left - the three "mini-trolls" on the right.

The Troll project Jack and Alex are working on has been progressing nicely. Jack brought with him three original trolls maquettes made by the our sculptor Kim, and designed by her husband Warren. Jack will set up the website for this project to start fundraising as soon as possible. We will update any progress as it happens. ((Jack: Don't expect too much before the premiere!))

The group discusses Trolls

The most exciting topic is of course the Hobbit premiere. It is less than a month now! The plan is that on the morning of Premiere Day (November 28), Welly-mooters will make their way towards the the Weta Tripod (across the road from the Embassy Theatre ) for a picnic. We will have banners, and members will wear "Welly-moot" T-shirts, so people can find us. We are looking forward to meeting a lot of people from all over the world! There will be a full agenda posted here as soon as it's finalised, but that's the gist of it. If anyone has a cool flag, please bring it, and send me a photo so I can post it here for people to recognise on the day. I'll be bringing a Rohan flag, hopefully.

Related with the premiere, are some other events. One exciting party is the Hobbit Costume Party by Red Carpet Tours on 26 November Monday at Amora Hotel ($125 / person). And there are some other parties in the town on the same week of the premiere. The Youth Hostel (YHA) will be hosting a party as well, and I'm trying to find out if they will accept non-YHA guests at that event. More details as they come to hand!

The first 'Hobbit' movie will start showing from 13 December and the tickets will start selling on 7 November at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington and internet. Of course we want to have midnight-session tickets if there are any, however there will be distinct possibility that the tickets for 13 December will be sold out via the internet before the office opens at 9.00am on 7 November. We'd like "real" paper tickets, of course! For the Hobbit collections later!

So, Jack has spoken to Elly, the manager of the Embassy Theatre to please open the Box Office at midnight as well and if they receive enough requests to sell the tickets at midnight on 7 November, they will open the office at midnight. We're VERY happy to be there at midnight (12:01am, Nov 7th)

Elly has made her email address available, so please send your request to the Embassy Theatre as soon as possible!

Our new members, Ash and Cinnamon are big fans of the 'Lord of the Rings' and enjoyed talking about Tolkien's world and hearing related news. Originally they met Jack through one of his tours, and are living locally.

Ash, Cinnamon, Charlene, Hanne, Iain, and Jack

Hanne from Norway visiting NZ mentioned that in Norway they have sold the tickets of 'Hobbit' already, although they have been told off by the studio, and have ceased for now! One theatre has 15 screens to show 'The Hobbit' on 13 December. Amazing!

Ayako and Maki joined our meeting from Palmerston North. They have the passion for 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit', and drove a four hour trip to join us again. It was great to catch up with them.

Jack, Ayako, and Maki examine the Trolls

Special visitor, Ken, stopped by and say hello and join our meeting. Ken was an extra on The Hobbit, and it was great to meet him.

The regular member; Martin, Iain, Charlene, and Miranda discussed news and topics. Jack and Martyn debated the merits and demerits of Peter Jackson making the Trolls speak, as per the book (the outcome of that particular debate is as yet undecided).

Kris and Kumi bought offered apologies - Kris was still on holiday, while Kumi is busy studying for her final exams.

It was another fun meeting for the members and visitors. The premiere is getting closer and is becoming a focal point for the meetings at the moment. This most exciting event this year will start soon!

So to recap - there will be a Welly-moot picnic on Premiere Day (November 28), at 10:00am, underneath the Tripod (or closeby, depending on the crowds). More details will be announced soon, including pictures of banners and flags to look for on the day, so you can find us. Everyone (including non-wellymooters!) will be welcome - bring a plate though!

- Report by Alex, posted by Jack

Line Party possible in Wellington, NZ, but we need fans to email them quickly!

(Reblogged from

Line Party possible in Wellington, NZ, but we need fans to email them quickly!:

It looks like Wellington MAY have a line party. We held Welly-moot (the meeting of Wellington's Tolkien enthusiasts) at the Embassy Theatre yesterday. I spoke to the Elly, the manager there, and asked her when Hobbit tickets to the December 13th opening would be available. She said at 12:01am Nov 7th (online), and 09:00am next morning (physical box office).

Then I asked her if she would consider opening the physical box office at midnight as well, and she said she'd consider it IF she got enough demand for it.

So: please, if you know anyone in Wellington who wants to stand in line for the world's FIRST official tickets (keep in mind our midnight happens an hour before anyone else's midnight!!), get them to send an email to Elly, the manager of Wellington's Embassy Theatre, at with a subject of "Please open the Box Office at 12:01am, Nov 7th for Hobbit Tickets!".

If it opens, I plan to be there on the night - let's see how many others we can get to join us!

Elly is a very nice person, and TOTALLY enthusiastic about The Hobbit, so please be nice to her when you email her!

We need the fans to show how important this is, so please DO email her! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Headsup - Welly-moot next week Sunday 28th! Get ready!

And we have a theme - Trolls!

I will have an announcement to make at the meeting about my favourite project. Feast your eyes on this (mini-) guy...

I will explain all about him at the meeting. In the meantime, here's some reading homework before the meeting.

Also, if you have ordered a T-shirt but haven't paid for it yet, please do so online, or at latest on the day. I'm paying for them out of my own pocket at this stage and this is preventing me from buying cool Hobbit stuff.

And if you HAVEN'T yet ordered a T-shirt, it's a little late but I have ordered a VERY small numbers of spares. Be quick and you may get lucky (but no promises).

Unfortunately, the small number of orders meant I couldn't keep the cost under $20 and the price has gone up to $25. It's still not a lot to pay for a cool shirt, of course!

The meeting will start at the usual time and place - upstairs at the Embassy Cinema at 2:00pm.

See you there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Welly-moot T-shirts for Nov 28, Hobbit Premiere Day

The Hobbit Premiere is getting closer and closer! This morning, the Wellington City Council made the official announcements for the big day, they can be found here on their website.

The Welly-moot will be there on the day - in what form is still being discussed.

To prepare for the day, we are printing a special Welly-moot T-shirt. The T-shirt is intended for Welly-moot members only - this way I can keep the costs down as I will only pay the shipping once. I do need to know how many shirts I should order though, so please do send me an email with details.

The T-shirt will cost approximately nz$20, and they will look roughly like this:

"Welly-moot, NZ's Tolkien Fellowship; 2012 - The Year Of The Hobbit"
Please order quickly - we would like to have them printed before the next Welly-moot, on October 28th.

Send me an email me with the following details:
  • Your name,
  • Number of shirts
  • Size(s) of shirts; S, M, L, XL, XXL
As soon as I have an accurate idea, I will contact you with my bank details, and I will put the order in. I can't afford to buy shirts with promise-notes, so I will not order T-shirts for which I've not received funds yet.

Today is Monday the 8th; get your orders in by the end of next weekend (so, by Sunday Oct 14th). I will be in touch soon afterwards with more details.

NB - if we can get orders for 25 shirts or more, the costs will go down.

  - Jack

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Welly-moot 1.4, the Middle-earth quiz

Wellington's official Tolkien lovers group met last week Sunday, and it was the day of the Middle-earth Quiz, something we've all been looking forward to!

Before we could begin, we had some business to discuss though.

First point of business was Kris' update on our involvement in the Hobbit Red Carpet Release day. Kris is working hard on getting us a grandstand on the Red Carpet route on November the 28th, and all is going well - we are currently awaiting news from the council about this. So the message is - if you want to have a pretty awesome view on the Grand Day, now is the time to join the Welly-moot!

On a related note, Welly-moot T-Shirts are coming, so watch this space. I'll be working on the final designs for them in the near future, and they'll be available online as soon as possible. The decision was made today that rather than making profit on the shirts, we would sell them at cost, so everybody will have a chance to get one as soon as possible, to wear on the big day. Even if the Grandstand doesn't come off (but it will!), we will still look like a "proper" group!

Kris is also making a big banner/placard to use on the day - the final look and exact wording is yet to be decided but it'll be sure to draw the attention of all the stars as they make their way into the first showing of the first Hobbit movie. :)

Earlier this week, I posted a Call for Volunteers for various Welly-moot projects. We've had a good response from it, and indeed one of the volunteers made it to today's moot, so that was great to see!

The first project - upgrading the "Hobbit Hideaway" paths on Mt Victoria, is well on track - it looks like permission has been given by the Wellington Council for us to volunteer our time, so now we have to decide the practicalities of it all. Welly-mooter Wayne has offered his help since he works as a landscape gardener (when he's not winning Tolkien quiz shows). So I'll be getting more details and we'll have more to report on by next meeting - perhaps even a finished result!

The second project - renaming a New Zealand feature to honour the memory of Professor Tolkien - was also in need of a Champion, or in this case a trio of Champions. Since Martyn has some experience in this (he was involved in the naming of the current Moa Point on Wellington's south coast), he has offered some of his time to look into the matter. I've handed over what I had at this stage, and I will put Martyn in contact with someone else keen on this, who started this whole process - my friend Aaron from Manapouri in the South Island. Aaron has recently renamed various features in the Kepler mountain range for some New Zealand astronomers, so together with Martyn, they should be the right people for this job.

Fiordland Mountains with some unshaven guy

The third project - the Rivendell upgrade - is going forward with great strides. The Greater Wellington Regional Council has been working very hard this week, and Rivendell in the Kaitoke Regional Park has a new path, which should hopefully keep everyone's shoes a bit dryer when it rains.

The Park Rangers have also improved the space around the "Legolas" tree, where Orlando Bloom had one of his most famous publicity photos taken. So many people had used the tree's roots to stand on for their own version of the photo, that the tree had started to signs of distress, and so, a few years ago, the rangers had built a small wooden platform to pose on. This platform however interfered with the "naturalness" of the photos. In the most recent upgrade, the platform has been removed, and a small path has been built to reach around to the same spot, without interfering with the tree's root system, and without being obvious in any photos. I'll post some photos and some examples as soon as I have them.

Also part of this project is a trio of beautiful hand carved wooden "Elvish" informational bollards to guide visitors through the ex-movie set. In the upcoming weeks I will endeavour to get full information and updates about this. Suffice to say that the bollards have already been carved, the locations are set, and we're currently working on the information - in English and Sindarin.

The most exciting project of all though, looks like it's starting to kick off properly as well. We're seriously working towards getting a sculpture in the Rivendell area. Or rather, just outside, to greet Rivendell visitors. More on that later... MUCH more!

Eventually though, the business part of the Welly-moot was at an end, and the Trivia quiz could begin! The source material used was "The LOTR Trivia Game", which deals with questions from the books, and "LOTR Trivial Pursuit", which has questions from the movies.

I had some 50-70 questions ready, but in the end we only had time for about 15-20 or so. Too much time was spent arguing over the finer details or suggesting preposterous answers instead - in other words, having a good time and enjoying ourselves!

", how many members are in the fellowship, no wait... too easy, let me choose another!..."

The final results were large incoherent, although we agreed that Kris answered the most questions correctly, with Martyn in second, and Wayne in third place.

Wayne won third prize

Everyone walked away with prizes though - Kris chose a complete set of five rare original Te Papa Museum collectible LOTR postcards, while Martyn both took home one of the gorgeous New Zealand/Middle-earth maps originally made for NZ Film. The maps were drawn by Daniel Reeve, who of course created pretty much EVERY map for Peter Jackson. Ever. The maps were donated by Wellington Rover Tours (so a big thank you to my boss Scott Courtney!)

Ruben looked very happy with his beautiful Hobbit map, drawn by Daniel Govar, and donated by Middle-earth News Network (thank you very much, Mark Ostley!).

Ruben was second from the bottom! Lucky we had plenty of prizes!

We are looking forward to the next meeting, which may be sooner than you think - September 22nd is of course the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, so we are working on organising a special party somewhere in the Outer Shire on the day (ie, Mount Victoria). Expect an announcement in the next few days!

  - Jack

Monday, August 20, 2012

Volunteers needed for upcoming "special" projects

We are coming closer to the release of Sir Peter Jackson's first Hobbit movie! The Welly-moot is very excited about this, and especially the announcement that it's now officially a trilogy!

To coincide with the first release on November the 28th, the Welly-moot has a few Tolkien related projects coming up that we could use extra pairs of hands with. If you are keen to have your name permanently added to the annals of history, and aren't afraid of getting stuck in, drop me a line!

Some of the projects are:
  • A Rivendell sculpture - we're working on a gorgeous statue in the middle of one of Upper Hutt's parks, and we need help with some aspects of it, including the fundraising but also (eventually) with the actual sculpting of it. You won't need an artistic bent; we already have an artist in mind, but more on that later. She will happily train anyone willing to lend a hand.
  • We are also in the process of renaming a (currently unnamed) New Zealand geologic feature after Professor Tolkien, and we need a champion to crack the whip behind that. Again, all the difficult work is done (we have the location, and know the contact details of the Geographical Board who can initiate the process), we just need someone to manage to project from our end. This one is mostly just filling out the right forms, crossing the t's and dotting the i's. 
  • Upgrading the paths on Mount Victoria. Does anyone have contacts with the Wellington Council so we can safeguard the trees that the Hobbits hid beneath in the Fellowship Of The Ring (aka, the "Shortcut to Mushrooms")? The current wet season has made a total mess of the path and it could definitely use a bit of work. Also, I'd love to discuss a change of the current mountain bike trail away from the tree roots, and perhaps moved by 20 meters or so. Again, I have all the contact details for most of these people, I just don't seem to find enough time to start this as a project.

There are more projects as well - we could really do with lots of extra hands!

Please email me if you have spare time and would like to make a difference to Tolkien fans around the Wellington region for a LONG time to come!

  - Jack