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The beautiful country of New Zealand will serve as a stand-in for Middle-
earth. It is generally agreed that this country is the ideal place to bring
the epic scope of the trilogy to life, with its variety of landscapes and
diverse locations. Jackson and crew will be making full use of the natural
wonders New Zealand has to offer, filming in spots all around the country.
The scenery will also be enhanced where necessary through the use of matte
paintings and digital effects.
New Zealand Tourist Board
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The three films combined have a total budget of $180 million U.S. dollars.
However, this translates into roughly $350 million when the exchange rate in
New Zealand is taken into account, a phenomenal amount of money for a movie
project of any sort. A great deal of funding will be saved by filming the
trilogy in New Zealand, due to the cheaper costs of most goods and services
in that country. Money will also be saved because the films are being shot
simultaneously, in one giant production, rather than as three separate film
projects. Where will all of this saved money go? More spectacular sets,
epic battle scenes, and stunning special effects for us to enjoy.
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Filming began on October 11, 1999, and continued for an astounding 14 months,
eventually wrapping up on December 22, 2000. The special effects team worked
on footage as it became available, thereby saving a lot of time in the
post-production phase. The major post-production work, including dialogue
looping, editing, and the addition of music, sound effects, and visual effects,
is still underway.
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