June 8, 2017

Where in Tolkien country were our guest bloggers? Day 3: here's the answer...

Photo © Phipps/Johnson

Weta Workshop! 

This is New Zealand’s most eminent special effects and prop company, made famous worldwide by its work on (yup, you guessed it) Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Weta Workshop produced all the sets, costumes, armour, weapons, creatures (like the ogre posing here with Adrian and Natasha) and miniatures for the films. 

Located in Miramar, North Island, Weta Workshop has also worked its magic for blockbusters Avatar, District 9, Mad Max: Fury Road, Peter Pan, The Legend of Zoro and, of course, The Hobbit movies (to name but a few).

Fun fact: The company’s name comes from the Maori word weta, the common name for a group of about 70 insect species endemic to New Zealand. They’re bizarre, prickly prehistoric crickets. Or, as the Weta Workshop describes them, “New Zealand's coolest little monster”.

Get behind the scenes of the blockbusters with Sure Travel and Qantas Airways. Call your nearest Sure Travel agent, or call 0861 47 48 49.

Natasha's highlight...

“I was completely surprised by the range of work that Weta Workshop undertakes. My highlight here was learning that they spent three years designing and making chainmail and all the suits of armour, plus more than 1 000 weapons for Lord of the Rings. Truly talented people work here.”

Photo © Phipps/Johnson

And Adrian's...

“The Weta Workshop situated in the sleepy suburb of Miramar is the epitome of what fruits pure passion can bear once given free reign. Well, that and being a movie nerd's nirvana. The place where all the magic was created for the Lord of the Rings, Avatar and recently Ghost in the Shell is an unassuming smallish establishment with the outside trolls giving you your first clue that something extraordinary dwells beneath. Unfortunately no photographs are allowed inside but that definitely does not deter from the experience. Learning how certain cinematic effects are created was the highlight for me as a gatherer of little known facts. Did you know that the Orc Army was actually played by the New Zealand Army?”

Follow Natasha and Adrian's Instagram for more of their epic New Zealand trip.


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