Syd came to party to help Hob­bit crew

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata’s Syd Work­man is one of 17 peo­ple fea­tured in a na­tion­wide Film New Zealand ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign high­light­ing the cru­cial role skilled New Zealan­ders work­ing out­side the screen in­dus­try played in the pro­duc­tion of The Hob­bit: An Un­ex­pected Jour­ney and the success of the New Zealand screen in­dus­try in gen­eral. The Glenorchy Vol­un­teer Fire Bri­gade and the en­tire pop­u­la­tion of Naseby get big ‘‘thank-yous’’ from Film New Zealand as well.

Film New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive, Gisella Carr, said that if there was an award for Best Sup­port­ing Coun­try New Zealand would win hands down.

‘‘It took more than cast, crew and pro­duc­ers to make The Hob­bit Tril­ogy hap­pen. It took a huge sup­port­ing role from ev­ery­day New Zealan­ders like Syd who did their jobs with en­thu­si­asm and great skill,’’ she said.

‘‘Syd was wel­com­ing crews to his well-known cafe in Mata­mata when the Lord of the Rings tril­ogy was shot in early 2000 and, like the old friend he is, he was there for us. It was al­ways great for the crew to sit down af­ter a long day on set at Hob­biton and en­joy a glass of wine and a steak while chat­ting to Syd and catch­ing up on the lo­cal news.’’

Crews work­ing on both Lord of the Rings and The Hob­bit have a spe­cial place in Syd’s Cafe, not to men­tion his heart.

‘‘The crew would ring us to say they’d be late and I’d keep the kitchen open be­cause they were such a good team. They’d al­ready done 14 or 16 hours of hard work and needed some­where to sit, re­lax, eat, drink and be merry . . . to be en­ter­tained them­selves and have a good laugh,’’ Syd said.

‘‘I wouldn’t say th­ese films have changed our busi­ness prac­tices . . . We pride our­selves on al­ways of­fer­ing the best . . . but they’ve been great for the vil­lage and there’s a lot of pride here.’’

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