I get a lot of email about wanting info on how to be an extra on THE HOBBIT, or asking how one can work on the production. So here’s what you need to know – and I’m afraid it is not good news:
For one, if you are not a native New Zealander (Kiwi), you would need to get a work permit. For anyone specifically travelling to New Zealand to land a part as an extra, this will be very difficult to obtain.
Second, the vast majority of all positions will be filled by Kiwis. The country has a law requiring that non-citizens can only be hired if no Kiwi can be found to fill the position.
Finally, the Weta Workshop has very few jobs to offer, they have approximately 5,000 portfolios on file, and they receive 30-50 portfolios a week. In other words, if you want to get noticed for a position, you better be DAMN good.
There are a couple of links out there I will point you to for more information. The first is this blog entry by Kristin Thompson called, Working on The Hobbit: Harsh Realities for Non-Kiwis. It is a must-read if you are seriously considering traveling half-way across the globe to snag a part in the film, or just to work on it in some capacity.
The other link is the Weta Workshop Recruitment Page. It has some very good FAQ’s and other information on applying for a job that you should read very carefully.
The three things that you need going for you to make it on as an extra is this: you have to be resident, you have to be at the right place at the right time, and you have to be very lucky. In some cases, locals could be hired on when shooting on location, but even then the word can get out and you could find yourself competing against thousands of others wanting to be a part of the production.
So think twice (and then think a third time) before you lay it on the line and travel to NZ to follow your dream of working on THE HOBBIT.