1. At one of the most famous film sets in the world, Bag End.
I have just returned from one of the most mesmerizing places on this earth. New Zealand has blown me away and I find it difficult to express in words what I saw during my one week stay. The main reason for this trip was to personally visit South Seas Film School in Auckland to make sure that this is the right place for me to enhance my skills and grow as a filmmaker. My expectations were met and it was great to meet the teachers and staff in person and also catch a glimpse of the sets, post production facilities, art design and students who we're relaxing as it was the final days of their studies. It is important to me that the school teaches the programs that I want to learn as an editor and so I was positively surprised when I saw students working with Avid, Davinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects. I was also told by the post teacher that they will increase the involvement with visual effect programs, including Maya Autodesk. So, I really look forward to returning at the end of January in 2014 and to start my life as a proper film student in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I'm am so grateful for this opportunity.
I stayed in Auckland for three days and then travelled to New Zealand's adventure town, Queenstown, which was one of the most magical places I have ever been to. If my film career fails to take off in a few years, I will become a German tourist guide in Queenstown. Being in New Zealand and knowing that only a few hours away in Wellington, Peter Jackson and his team are finishing up the final touches of the second Hobbit film, was really something special. On my way to the airport on Monday, the taxi driver told me that he attended a wedding where the groom was one of "Peter Jackson's guys". Near Auckland, I visited the Hobbiton movie set, which was surreal and breathtaking. I also went on a horse riding excursion in Glenorchy, a small settlement near Queenstown, which lead me all the way to Isengard and the Misty Mountains. The funny thing is that in such stunning scenery, you do not need to push your imagination to believe you're in Middle-earth. You just are.
Today I caught up with the editor and director of Touch and watched them work together for a bit before heading home to pack for my second trip. My job as assistant editor is pretty much complete and I am going to see the test screening next week, which is exciting. My time in Australia is slowly coming to an end and as sad as I am that this is the case, I am also really looking forward to seeing my friends and family over Christmas and New Years and then to move to my new home, Auckland. So, yes, cheers to new adventures! And now I have to get back to packing and booking a taxi at 4 am tomorrow. Off to Singapore!
2. At the airport, catching up on some reading 3. My favourite view of them all, a bed of clouds
4. The view from the hotel room 5. The skyline of Auckland on the way back from visiting film school
6. The view outside the bus on my way to Hobbiton 7. HOBBITON!
8. Everyone getting proof for their family and friends 9. Mountain biking at Queenstown
10. Lake Wakatipu 11. Saying goodbye to Auckland for now at the airport