The safety video is inspired by the upcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), which is the first in a trilogy of films from director and Kiwi Sir Peter Jackson. The video has been created in conjunction with the Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop (The Lord of the Rings films) and features appearances from Jackson, as well as the unforgettable character, Gollum, and descendants of J.R.R Tolkien, author of the timeless masterpiece The Hobbit on which the trilogy is based.

The safety video, which will be rolled out across Air New Zealand aircraft from today, can be viewed at www.youtube.com/airnewzealand and images from it are available for download at www.airnzhobbitmedia.com.

Customers who pay close attention to the safety video could win a once-in-a-lifetime Middle-earth experience in New Zealand. Hidden within the video are secret Elvish codes. Viewers who spot the codes can then visit www.airnzcode.com/hobbitmovie to unlock the door to Bag End and be in to win a trip for two to New Zealand, including a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, a visit to the Weta Cave in Wellington, and double passes to the red carpet global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications Mike Tod says 'An Unexpected Briefing' is a further reflection of the world class creative talents of New Zealanders.

"This latest safety video inspired by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is another example of how New Zealand is a hotbed for creative talent. Our partners at Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, which brought Gollum to life inside the aircraft, have helped us demonstrate again that if you want to engage with audiences in a unique way, our nation has immense creative capability," Mr Tod says.

"Sir Peter Jackson and the team at Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States were fantastically supportive during production of the video. To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special and Sir Peter Jackson delivers a superb cameo. He should come out from behind the camera more often!"

Two great grandsons of The Hobbit author J.R.R Tolkien, Mike and Royd Tolkien, also make a cameo appearance in the safety video.

Royd Tolkien, who features in the video with prosthetic hairy Hobbit feet, says the opportunity to be part of Air New Zealand's association with The Hobbit movies was too good to miss. "They've done a great job of capturing the essence of The Hobbit films and it was a privilege to be invited to participate."

Kiwi Dean O'Gorman, who plays the Dwarf Fili in the movie, can be spotted amongst the passengers in the safety video, along with two super-Hobbit fans from TheOneRing.net – the web's largest Tolkien fan site.

Mr Tod says the release of 'An Unexpected Briefing' marks the official start of Air New Zealand's two-year global marketing programme dedicated to The Hobbit Trilogy.

"We will invest several million dollars in Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe on uniquely Air New Zealand marketing efforts related to The Hobbit movies to attract more tourists to New Zealand. We are also working extremely closely with Tourism New Zealand on a range of initiatives, including supporting bringing several hundred journalists to experience Middle-earth," he says.

A forthcoming feature of Air New Zealand's support of The Hobbit Trilogy will be a themed aircraft which will be revealed prior to the movie's global premiere in Wellington on November 28.

About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings," which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

The screenplay for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and the second and third films of the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international distribution licensing being handled by MGM.

The central film in the Trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," will be released on December 13, 2013, and the final film, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014. All three films in the trilogy were shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.


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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320