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...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Last Thursday...

I'm going down to Wellington early tomorrow to go to WETA... and I'm super excited!

I know I've mentioned it in previous posts- but today reminded me again of just how amazing the clouds really are Down Under.

I snapped some pics to show you guys why I keep bringing it up.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Hey there chilluns... so it's Wednesday evening here in beautiful Auckland and I'm getting ready to leave the office and grab some din din.

I got my ticket today to go to Wellington Friday, so I can tour the illustrious WETA Workshop! Woo Hoo!

(In my best bad Yoda voice... "very excited am I. Kicks much ass this does.")

WETA Workshop is the amazing special effects house responsible for The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and- sometime very soon- The Red Star. One of the guys from the Workshop is staying at my same hotel and he's setting up a bitchin' tour for me Friday!

I'll have to be careful to avoid some sort of catastrophic geek overload.

Here's some random pics of more cool stuff from the studio.

Now get outta here you knuckleheads.