Hobbits, Dragons, Trolls and More – a tour of Weta Workshop

Wednesday Feb. 15th was another lovely day – and I again began my day by being productive. I went by the University to write for a bit, then decided I wanted to make my first foray into the world of Peter Jackson, by visiting the Weta Workshop in Miramar – so, I left the university and caught the bus to Miramar.

Weta is a neat place – unfortunately no pictures are allowed inside due to legal copyright and ownership regulations – what I can say is that I saw (and touched) really cool props from movies like the Hobbit, LoTR, Narnia, and more and even watched some 3D printing and laser cutting of props for “unknown” upcoming shows.

I learned lots about their prop fabrication process – which in many ways took me back to high school theater prop design – it really wasn’t that much different.

I also learned where Weta got its name – and why there are pictures of these insects on everything.

weta-workshop-logo

Weta is a type of insect found in New Zealand (similar to a cricket) – and they have a fascinating story of survival, adaptation and evolution- and lots of conservation efforts are aimed at protecting them.

What was really cool to me is that Weta (the workshop – not the insect) uses a software in their 3D design that I have used with my students – so it was cool that I recognized that – the tour guide (who works in the shop at Weta) was super impressed that my students were using it at the “primary” level.

I also saw the Thunderbirds are Go miniatures set – which was pretty fascinating and the process they use for filming is amazing.

I did visit the cave (gift shop) but I was good – and purchased nothing, even though there were some things that made my geeky heart pretty happy. I also have a few pictures below of the trolls and entrance – but you can visit the website to see a little more. https://www.wetanz.com/

On my way home, I walked by my apartment and my favorite place in Wellington – teh waterfront – and was happy to see stairs are in place – at least some temporary strains – so hopefully progress is happening – slowly but surely. 

Then I ventured home – just in time for a beautifully colorful sunset. 

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