I am somewhat too restless to watch movies. Especially when they take over 3 hours. But before I flew to New Zealand I forced myself to check out all Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. And I turned out that I actually quite liked it. Ok, the fighting scenes are not my cup of tea, but furthermore I enjoyed it and was looking even more forward to my trip.
New Zealand breathes Lord of the Rings
Once I arrived I found out how much New Zealand breathes Lord of the Rings. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, in Wellington I visited the Weta Caves for a Weta Cave Workshop Tour. Before I visited New Zealand, I had never heard of the Weta Caves, but here’s where they design all sorts of accessories for several films (among others: Lord of the Rings and The Hobbits). Think swords, the feet of Bilbo (of The Hobbits) and even 5 million dollar tanks.
I arrived at 9 in the morning to make sure I could join the first group. First, we were shown a movie about the Weta Caves. A great introduction of what we were about to see next. Because we were about to enter the workspace ourselves. One of the employees of the Weta Caves studio showed us around. She told us about projects they worked on and things they had already completed. Like the Gorilla head they made for King Kong. It took them months to complete it, because every single hair had to be applied by hand.
She also told us about the changes in film business. A while ago most knights in movies wore shirts with printed chain mails, because real chain mails are way too heavy. But since the introduction of HD filming that’s something they couldn’t get away with anymore. So, they had to come up with new solutions.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures, because of the intellectual property rights on all assets. But it didn’t matter, because it was so inspiring to hear about everything created by Weta Caves that I was seriously considering quitting my job that day. I just wanted to start making things! Being creative! Something that took me a couple of years eventually…
Now, I advise everyone who’s about to visit New Zealand, film lover or not, to go to the Weta Caves for a Workshop Tour. Not to encourage people to quit their jobs, but to just experience the creative energy at the Weta Caves and be amazed by everything the created. And for the real film lovers: they also have a shop where they sell some of their creations.
Weta Caves Website