Syd came to party to help Hobbit crew
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.’’