Saturday, August 05, 2006

Weta and Wellington... part 1

I just got back from a 24 hour excursion to the NZ capital city of Wellington, which is on the southern tip of the North Island. It's roughly the same distance from Auckland as Vegas is from LA. (or maybe from Baltimore to New York City for all you wacky funsters from the East Coast.)

I don't have a lot of time to get too into it right now, but Wellington is, without a doubt, the most beautiful city I've ever seen. Seriously. Nothing else even comes close. My love for NZ and Auckland has been well documented in these very pages- but I'm telling you, boys and girls- Wellington makes Auckland look like a slum. It's just amazing.

I arrived in Wellington at about 9am Friday and immediately made my way to the WETA Workshop, which is only an 8 to 10 minute cab ride from the airport. Gino Acevedo, (fellow yank, incredibly cool cat and one of the most accomplished and respected make up/ prosthetic artists IN THE WORLD!), greeted me and gave me an exhaustive tour of the Workshop and the archives...

There are no words for how unbelieveably amazing it was. It was like dying and going to movie geek heaven.

WETA is home to some of the absolute best production, visual and digital effects artists on the planet: King Kong, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia... these guys made all that happen. All of those remarkable moments and images were created by this group of mad geniuses out here on the other side of the world. Every single one of them was incredibly welcoming, friendly and gracious.

It was just unreal.

After the tour, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay and hang out with Gino and Gus Hunter, (Gus was the main production artist for King Kong- he's an absolute master. He's so talented, it's not even fair. I've attached a piece of his awe inspiring work from Kong), at their studio in the workshop for the rest of the day. After work, Gino and his beautiful, (and very pregnant), wife Liz graciously offered to put me up in their guest room for the night... then we all went to dinner...

NZ Thai food kicks ass- that's all I'm gonna say.

Liz went back home and called it an early night, but Gino and I met up with Barry and Max for some drinkin'. Barry and Max are both talented sculptors from London who just started at WETA.

There was much drunken tomfoolery...

And Barry got flashed by a 6'4 transvestite.

Part II when I have some more time...


Blogger kidjoker said...

due i am getting wetta just reading that crap and i can not imagine the enourmous hard on i would have had for the rentire tour. I mean you hear the pharmacutical comercials about if you have an errection for more then four hours seek medical treatment, all i have to say is depending on how long the tour was how was the medical treatment in NZ

6:26 PM  
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11:45 AM  

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