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Films Add a String to Archer's Bow, The Dominion Post (New Zealand), August 22, 2003
By Tom Cardy

When Jan Koszler first sees each of the Lord of the Rings films, he cannot keep his eyes on the actors or the scenery.

"All I see is the arrows. I've got the whole film to enjoy, as the arrows feature pretty well through the entire film. Even if it's just somebody walking down the street with them on their back. I have to go a second time usually with my wife to actually appreciate the movie."

He has a good reason to be obsessed with arrows. The Wellington archer has made "a couple of thousand" for Peter Jackson's trilogy, including all the arrows fired by stars Liv Tyler and Orlando Bloom, who plays elf archer Legolas.

This week he finished his final batch of arrows for extra scenes being filmed for the last Rings film, The Return of the King.

He also helped to design the different arrows and bows in the films, and taught Tyler and Bloom who had never shot an arrow before to be good archers.

His expertise led to work on the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai, for which he had to make 4000 arrows in three months.

He began teaching Bloom outdoors at Fort Dorset in Wellington before shooting started. "There were people hiding in the bushes (watching), it was incredible.

"He was a really natural archer. By the time I had finished training him, I was lobbing discs into the air and he was shooting them. He did have a very natural ability, plus the enthusiasm . . . He would go away and practise, practise, practise."

Mr Koszler also enjoyed the short time he had training the equally enthusiastic Tyler, "which made my daughter choke over her dinner one night when I told her".

British-born Mr Koszler took up archery after getting tired of hunting with a rifle in Canada. When he moved to Wellington, he could not find good, inexpensive hunting bows or arrows.

He later set up his Petone-based business the Bow and Arrow Company, which led to his movie work.

* The Two Towers has notched up the highest pre-release sale for a film with Internet retailer Amazon.co.uk. The company has received 50,000 orders for the film on DVD and video 10,000 more than previous record holder Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.