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Want a peek inside Weta Workshop'

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a link for ya' to the brand new and spiffy website for Weta Workshop, the effects wizards behind LORD OF THE RINGS, KONG and more impressively BRAINDEAD (aka DEAD ALIVE for us yanks) and MEET THE FEEBLES.


You know what the site reminds me of? It reminds me of being a kid in the late '80s and early '90s and checking out books on ILM from the school library. Delving into these tomes, I found out about people like John Dykstra and Dennis Muren, got to see photos of them working on the INDIANA JONES movies and STAR WARS movies, got to read about their other projects and see what they specifically contributed to the films that I loved. At the same time, I was getting badass behind the scenes photos on stuff like the above trilogies and POLTERGEIST and GHOSTBUSTERS.

Weta right now feels like ILM felt back then. It's a group of people pulled from all areas around the world who are putting out some of the best stuff on the market today. From Weta's work on the amazing Bigature boats in MASTER AND COMMANDER to their prosthetic work on the mermaids in PETER PAN to the amazing job of creating dozens and dozens of different cultures through weaponry and armor in LOTR, their stuff has been top notch.

If you go to the site above you'll find profiles on some of the great people who are responsible for all the above and more, including Gino Acevedo (who did all the prosthetics on LOTR and is one helluva nice guy, to boot), Daniel Falconer (who designed Treebeard and scripted much of the Elvish writing... and is also a top notch person) and the lovely Gayle Munroe. By clicking here you can see each person and a gallery of their work.

Another part of the site I'd like to point you to is a list of their filmography... CLICK HERE FOR THAT! What's cool about this area is the behind the scenes stuff you get to see on stuff like BRAINDEAD and MEET THE FEEBLES... And yes, I agree... the Kong and Narnia links there are big cockteases...

There's many other areas, but I'll let you folks explore and discover those for yourselves. I've been lucky enough to have spent time with some of these people while down in Wellington on KONG and ROTK and have also been gifted by having been shown around the workshop. It's a great place and I'm very happy that they've opened this site to give everyone a peek behind the curtain. Enjoy it, squirts!

Readers Talkback
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  • April 20, 2005, 5:02 a.m. CST

    I hate being first

    by Darth Kong

    It's difficult. WETA is an amazing place. It'd be as fun to work in as Pixar.

  • April 20, 2005, 5:04 a.m. CST

    The first hater will have his revenge

    by DSB1369

    Beware Darth Kong, you are now on the list.

  • April 20, 2005, 5:43 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    Check out the gallery of artwork that they did for EVANGELION in there. Gorgeous, crazy stuff. I wish there was some progress on that film.

  • April 20, 2005, 6:05 a.m. CST

    I've had it!

    by Darth Kong

    I email this site something which is boh COOL and NEWS! Jesus, we hear enough about festivals in AUSTIN! which are relevant to about 5% of Harry's readers. For anyone living in London, please read on.... LONDON'S LEICESTER SQUARE TO CELEBRATE THE FIRST SCREENING IN THE WORLD OF THE ENTIRE STAR WARS SAGA! UK PREMIERE OF STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH ON MAY 16TH AT THE ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE WILL BE THE GRAND FINALE IN A UNIQUE DAY LONG LEICESTER SQUARE CELEBRATION OF THE STAR WARS SAGA LONDON (April 19) - The Force will be strong in London's Leicester Square on May 16 as Star Wars fever grips the capital for an unprecedented day of events celebrating the entire Star Wars saga, culminating in the U.K. premiere of the eagerly awaited Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, to be attended by writer-director George Lucas and the stars of the movie. Fans will want to prepare to have their lightsabres out at dawn, fighting to get a perfect seat for a world exclusive: all six episodes of the Star Wars saga presented back-to-back in a once in a lifetime "Star Wars Marathon" at UCI Empire, Leicester Square. Beginning at 7 a.m. with Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and ending with an evening public premiere of Revenge of the Sith, the entire saga will be shown in a single day for more than a thousand lucky fans. And that's just the beginning! The day will be filled with never-to-be repeated activities presented by Lucasfilm Ltd and Twentieth Century Fox - open to the general public, so everyone will have the chance to experience the galaxy's most exciting, action-packed celebration of the Star Wars saga. At Leicester Square's VUE and Odeon West End Cinemas, individually ticketed performances of Episodes I, II, IV, V and VI of the Star Wars saga will screen throughout the day. Star Wars fans will also be able to attend special free performances of unforgettable Star Wars music presented by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; other surprise activities are also planned. The 501st UK Garrison of Stormtroopers will be on duty all day to ensure order is upheld in the Square. "Revenge of the Sith is a remarkable movie, and this extraordinary celebration reflects the fun and excitement that are the hallmarks of Star Wars,"said the movie's producer, Rick McCallum. "The Star Wars movies have a strong connection to the United Kingdom, so it's very fitting to hold this one-of-a-kind event here in London." The culmination of Star Wars "Celebration Day" will be the UK premiere at the Odeon, Leicester Square with expected attendance by Lucas, McCallum and stars Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker), Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), along with other celebrity guests. Notes 1. The first-ever Star Wars Marathon will kick off "Celebration Day" with a breakfast screening of A New Hope and continue throughout the day with The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, followed by the U.K.'s first public presentation of Revenge of the Sith. "Galactic Passports" to the Star Wars Marathon costing

  • ...

  • April 20, 2005, 7:51 a.m. CST

    website is too slow and glitchy

    by mansep

    i had to give up. hopefully just teething problems which will be ironed out

  • April 20, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Neon Genesis Evangelion

    by CurryIce

    well, as you can remember there were a few design pics on the internet a long time ago. i really disliked the original Anime series nevertheless it'd be amazing to see that Weta stuff in a live action movie. Or just imagine a big budget movie of "Robotech"! That would be crazy ^^

  • April 20, 2005, 9:19 a.m. CST


    by Darth Kong

    Cool, it's been announced on the site. Wish I lived in London man.

  • April 20, 2005, 9:59 a.m. CST

    "to the amazing job of creating dozens and dozens of different c

    by JAGUART

    If you close your eyes you can actually hear Richard Taylor saying that line. Everything sounds better when Richard Taylor says it.

  • April 20, 2005, 11:02 a.m. CST

    WETA is where it's at now

    by ATARI

    And WETA digital kicks ILMs butt!!

  • April 20, 2005, noon CST

    Max, don't be such a disingenuous prick. Please.

    by half vader

    Yeah they ride their people hard (by the way, did you get fired? Why such an axe to grind?), but saying they turn out shit is bizarre and untrue. Sure there were some dodgy shots in LOTR but are you really saying Gollum and Shelob and all that were shitty effects work? What about Richard Taylor's workshop? No decent artists eh? Go look at some of the concept, sculpting and miniature work and try again. Howe and Lee aren't exactly incompetent either. Do you even know what ILM's turnover rate is? By the way, Lucas treats EVERYBODY like dogs. From VFX/concept artists through to crew, there's always someone who will do your job for less, for the cach

  • April 20, 2005, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Goddammit I knew it! What the FUCK is wrong with you people?

    by I Dunno

    Everything has to be LOTR vs SW, ILM vs WETA. YOU DON'T HAVE STCOCK IN THE FUCKING COMPANIES! What causes this behavior? Is it the mildew in your parents' basement? Is it the buildup of semen in your unused balls? You people are worse than fucking sports fans who fight over what team is better based on where you happen to live. They're both great FX companies. WETA would be nwhere without ILM and I'm sure ILM is learning some things from what WETA's laying down. Just be happy we live in a time where more than one great genre film a year is being put out and end this ridiculous rivalry between companies that none of you have a vested interest in. I swear to God if any of you are over 12 years old you need to check yourselves into some place with padded walls.

  • April 20, 2005, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by Comsat_Angel

    They post an article telling us to go to the Weta site. Why? I usually visit the site from time-to-time anyway. It

  • April 20, 2005, 2:20 p.m. CST

    I Dunno....


    .... well said. Well said indeed. And Max Hardcore, you are a foul-mouthed, childish blowhard twat. Spare us from your bullshit and shut the fuck up.

  • April 20, 2005, 3:45 p.m. CST

    RE: Neon Genesis Evangelion

    by godoffireinhell

    Animenation reported today that pre-production for the live-action NEON GENESIS EVANGELION movie was put on hold. A.D.Vision, an US anime distributor and co-financier of the movie recently experieced big losses, had to close branches, cancel releases and lay off a lot of staff. I think that's part of the reason why NGE isn't going forward. Another reason is that they never managed to convince a major Hollywood studio to back the project. Guess it's just too weird for them, even with all the changes they made to the plot, the removal of most of the mythological and oh-so-offensive religious/mythological themes and the change of the children from the anime series into late teen / early tween characters. I agree that the pre-production sketches look great but something tells me that we're better off without a half-assed and compromised adaptation.

  • April 20, 2005, 4:34 p.m. CST

    I so love these geek wars...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...Being in the seeming minority - that is, someone who enjoys them all - I get a huge kick out of watching the franchise warriors ferociously abuse one another (and themselves, no doubt), frantically scrabbling to attain "victory" over their equally feeble opponents. Popping into AICN and seeing a fresh article or review dealing with Star Wars, LOTR, The Matrix, Batman or Superman always brings a smile to my face. I can almost hear the rumbling of the geek panzers in the distance, mobilizing for another bout of verbal carnage in the talkback. The sheer entertainment value is inestimable. If for no other reason, I hope they keep putting out newer, tooled-up versions of all those films on DVD just to keep you glorious bastards foaming at the mouths forever. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would one day love to see an AICN publication of the most abusive and venomous talkbacks ever. It would be the ultimate bathroom reader. Hint, hint...

  • April 20, 2005, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Swordsmith - now that is a cool fucking job

    by Boris the Blade

    Didja read that profile of the guy on the homepage? Pretty kickass way to earn a living....

  • April 20, 2005, 7:16 p.m. CST

    "Is it the mildew in your parents' basement?"

    by Boris the Blade

    Nice one, Dunno....

  • April 21, 2005, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Richard Taylor

    by prevert

    has a voice not even a Kiwi could love. Honestly, we don't ALL sound like that, really! He's still a genius, though.

  • April 21, 2005, 7:57 a.m. CST

    "ILM OWNS!" In other news, Woolworth's kicks Wal-Mart's ass.

    by minderbinder

    Because we all know being around longer is more important than the work you actually do.

  • April 21, 2005, 8 a.m. CST

    "and more impressively BRAINDEAD... and MEET THE FEEBLES"

    by Squaggle

    Thank you, Quint. 'Meet The Feebles,' quite seriously, changed my film-making life. It's nice to see it, and its big brother, 'Braindead' (further kudos for the New Zealand spelling) getting more respect than LOTR on a big movie site. They deserve it, I think. WHY oh WHY is there no 4-Disc Special Extended Edition 2000 Alpha Uber Criterion Deluxe box set of either film?!? Why!?!?