Beautiful 'female elf'? Only on Air NZ
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Fight a hobbit for an aisle seat? Get life jacket instructions from a beautiful female elf? Only on a plane to Middle Earth - or in an Air New Zealand safety video.
Weird, but wonderful! But is it effective?
The company's latest in a series of variations on the usual dull pre-flight safety instructions has lifted a page from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Hobbit in the run-up to the world premiere of the film later this month, a bid to attract visitors to the nation where much of the film was shot.
An Unexpected Briefing, a play on the movie's title of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, features crew members explaining flight safety to passengers embarking on a pilgrimage to Middle Earth, Tolkien's land of treasure, dragons and magic rings.
Director Sir Peter Jackson, who received Academy Awards for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, makes a cameo appearance in the four-minute video, playing a passenger among the Orcs, pointy-eared elves and furry-footed hobbits that otherwise pack the seats.
Gollum, the creature corrupted by the infamous ring at the centre of the series, does his bit by scuttling along darkened aisles to point at the emergency exit lights, while an elf pointedly tells the powerful wizard Gandalf that he cannot smoke his pipe on the flight.
To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special, said Mike Tod, Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications, in a statement about the video, which has received 2.4 million hits in the day since going up.
The video, produced with Jackson's Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, which created the visual effects for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films, includes inside jokes and quotations from the series. It also contains two lines of code in the Elvish language.
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