After the super-successful safety video viral that is going around the net right now, we take a look at the making of the safety video for Air New Zealand‘s latest 777 in-flight announcement. Produced by Weta NZ the same people that brought Gollum to Wellington Airport, ‘An Unexpected Briefing’ – inspired by the upcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, gets LOTR fans all hot and bothered under the collar. Air New Zealand took the production seriously, the video is written by Weta’s own Ben Hawker who also travelled to Auckland to act as the creative consultant and Middle-earth expert during the filming. Weta also created the familiar prosthetics for the actors and several designers from Weta’s Design Studio also contributed to the video.

Weta and Air New Zealand even launched a competition off the back of it: Watch – and win! When you watch Air New Zealand’s Hobbit themed Safety Video, look out for your chance to win 1 of 6 double tickets to the World Premiere Screening of The Hobbit; An Unexpected Journey in Wellington, New Zealand on the 28th of November 2012, including a 6 day Middle-earth Adventure! Customers who pay close attention to the safety video could win a once-in-a-lifetime Middle-earth experience in New Zealand. Hidden within the video are secret Elvish codes. Viewers who spot the codes can then visit to unlock the door to Bag End and be in to win a trip for two to New Zealand, including a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, a visit to the Weta Cave in Wellington, and double passes to the red carpet global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

“Sir Peter Jackson and the team at Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States were fantastically supportive during production of the video. To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special and Sir Peter Jackson delivers a superb cameo. He should come out from behind the camera more often!” said Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications Mike Tod. Can you spot Peter Jackson in the video?

But the fan-lore doesn’t stop there. Royd Tolkien, who features in the video with prosthetic hairy Hobbit feet, says the opportunity to be part of Air New Zealand’s association with The Hobbit movies was too good to miss. “They’ve done a great job of capturing the essence of The Hobbit films and it was a privilege to be invited to participate.” Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays the Dwarf Fili in the movie, can also be spotted amongst the passengers in the safety video, along with two super-Hobbit fans from – the web’s largest Tolkien fan site.

Do we think it deserves a second look? Most definitely! Especially with the chance to win tickets to the World Premiere. Take a look and enter now!

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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