Kiwi movie mogul Peter Jackson has co-directed the latest Tintin movie via the internet from his Wellington base.
Actor Nick Frost, who plays one of the bumbling Thompson twin detectives, said Jackson gave his cast instructions via the world wide web which were then played on a PA system.
Co-director Steven Spielberg was on set in California to coordinate the filming.
"Steve would come on and give a note and then through the PA system you would hear Peter say, 'Hi guys, could you try this', and then they would turn the camera around so that we could see him. It was strange," Frost said.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn stars James Bond actor Daniel Craig as Red Rackham, a pirate who attacks the ship Unicorn, and Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell as Tintin. Captain Haddock will be played by Andy Serkis, who was Gollum in Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
"Steven was on the set and Peter was in Wellington and he had lots of live links via iChat," Frost explained.
"I've never been directed before via iChat, which was an odd and not totally unpleasant way of doing business, just a bit strange."
Jackson was too tied up with other projects in New Zealand to be on the Hollywood set full-time. But Frost said Jackson had put in a tremendous number of hours in a bid to ensure the big-budget movie, currently in post-production and due for release in 2011, is a box-office hit.
"Because of the time difference Peter would stay up all night and tinker and get in the sort of position that he was ready to shoot," Frost said.
"Peter kind of re-wrote the scripts most evenings because he was in New Zealand, and so you would go in, in the morning with three or four pages of new dialogue and they were like, 'Shooting this in 30 minutes, so get ready'."
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is the first of three planned movie adaptations of the famous Belgium comic book. A second Tintin movie will be solely directed by Jackson and he will team up with Spielberg for a third movie.