Tag Archives: Weta Digital

Weta Digital Receives Significant Investment

Weta Digital Receives Significant Investment

Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker has invested in film director Peter Jackson’s Wellington-based visual effects studio, Weta Digital, Fortune magazine reports. Weta Digital has contributed work on a number of blockbuster films…

Unique Sneak Preview for Effects Man Matt Aitken

Unique Sneak Preview for Effects Man Matt Aitken

New Zealand-born VFX supervisor Matt Aitken talks about Marvel’s “unusual” move that helped make the biggest superhero blockbuster ever, Avengers: Infinity War. Aitken’s credits included an Academy Award nomination for visual effects for 2009’s District…

New Zealand’s Tech Industry Boots Up

New Zealand’s Tech Industry Boots Up

Majestic scenery, adventure tourism and agricultural products may be central to New Zealand’s international image, but technology and digital exports are growing fast, prompting industry calls for greater recognition, David Brooks reports for Nikkei…

Weta Digital Underway on Avatar Sequels

Weta Digital Underway on Avatar Sequels

“Weta Digital has announced that it has gotten underway on the four Avatar sequels that James Cameron will direct for Fox,” writes Mike Fleming Jr in an article for Deadline…

Wellington – The High-Tech Capital Of Asia Pacific

Wellington – The High-Tech Capital Of Asia Pacific

“Wellington is emerging as a rival to Sydney and Melbourne as the start-up hub of the Asia-Pacific region, with the New Zealand city positioning itself as a powerhouse for high-tech start-ups in fields such…

John Gilbert and Dan Lemmon Win at Oscars

John Gilbert and Dan Lemmon Win at Oscars

Two New Zealanders have won at the 89th Academy Awards: John Gilbert won Best Editing for his work on the WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge and Dan Lemmon won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects…

How Oamaru Became Steampunk Capital of the World

How Oamaru Became Steampunk Capital of the World

Oamaru “used to be known for its population of blue penguins and having the best-preserved collection of Victorian architecture in the country”, writes Eleanor Ainge Roy for The Guardian. In 2010 the…

Ride With Pete’s Dragon in 360 Flyover Experience

Ride With Pete’s Dragon in 360 Flyover Experience

Walt Disney has given fans an opportunity to ride with Pete’s pet dragon Elliott (Pete’s Dragon) in a VR/360 experience that was created with the help of Air New Zealand, Nokia; Tourism New Zealand…

Meet the Real-Life Tech Wizards of Middle Earth

Meet the Real-Life Tech Wizards of Middle Earth

Have you ever heard of No. 8 wire? In the 19th century, farmers used the wire to build fences for sheep and later on turned it into a jack-of-all-trades material for getting work done….

Virtual Reality Start-up Attracts NZ$20 Million in Funding

Virtual Reality Start-up Attracts NZ$20 Million in Funding

8i, a Wellington-founded virtual reality start-up has raised NZ$20 million (US$13.65 million) from technology investors including Samsung Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures and Sound Ventures, a fund owned by actor Ashton Kutcher. The virtual reality venture wants…

WETA Digital Helped to Complete Paul Walker’s Scenes for ‘Fast & Furious 7’

WETA Digital Helped to Complete Paul Walker’s Scenes for ‘Fast & Furious 7’

WETA Digital has helped to finish current box office hit Fast and Furious 7 after movie star Paul Walker passed away in a car accident halfway through the filming. Walker’s accident left the directors with…

New Zealand, the Youngest Country on Earth

New Zealand, the Youngest Country on Earth

Take a look at this incredible video of New Zealand’s sights and discover the beauty of the youngest country on Earth. The video was produced by Weta Workshop, which…

Filmmakers Galore

Filmmakers Galore

When it comes to supporting fledgling filmmakers, part of New Zealand’s challenge is the sheer number of them. Inspired by Peter Jackson’s success, young people are swarming film schools here. Weta Digital itself is…

Unexpected Welcome

Unexpected Welcome

Over the next few months at Wellington Airport, a giant 13m Gollum diving for 4m fish, will welcome visitors to ‘the middle of Middle Earth’. Designed by Weta Workshop, and built by Japanese artist…

Master of All Surveyed

Master of All Surveyed

“Watching on a monitor, tucked out of sight , is Peter Jackson, the magician of Middle Earth,” Kim Masters writes for The Hollywood Reporter. “He had to overcome many…

Miramar’s Awakening

Miramar’s Awakening

“Until Sir Peter Jackson and his producer Jamie Selkirk made films in Miramar in the 1990s, the Wellington suburb was sleepy,” David Burton writes for Monocle. “‘There was tumbleweed, rolling down the street,’ jokes…

Oddball Wins Over Director

Oddball Wins Over Director

The Peter Jackson-produced and Steven Spielberg-directed 3-D performance-capture film The Adventures of Tintin opens in the United States this week just ahead of the film’s New Zealand release. The Adventures of Tintin arrives in the US as…

Weta Leads The Charge

Weta Leads The Charge

“Wellington: once you come, you stay,” Crave Online’s Grae Drake is told on a visit to Weta Digital. “This is both a threat and a promise, uttered by the geniuses employed at Weta. The…

Parallel Computing Hotbed

Parallel Computing Hotbed

New Zealand could be a hub of expertise for parallel computing — “the future of computing” — according to software director at chip maker Intel James Reinders. Parallel computing is when software uses multicore…

Unique Creative Sensibility

Unique Creative Sensibility

New Zealand’s “famously scenic locations are a big draw for Hollywood filmmakers — but they’re not the only one,” Sangeeta Anand writes for Time. “New Zealand’s Large Budget Screen Production Grant offers a 15…

Children Rule On Big Screen

Children Rule On Big Screen

Children’s television series, The Tribe, which was first produced in New Zealand, is being developed into a film in the United States. According to Variety, “Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop has already agreed to tackle…

Theatrical Isolation

Theatrical Isolation

Paul Stephanus, director of the play Quarantine, plans to ferry his audience at dusk to a disused convalescence chamber on Matiu/Somes Island in Wellington harbour during next month’s Fringe Festival. Once the audience disembarks…

Tintin draws closer

Tintin draws closer

Three new images from the Peter Jackson-produced and Steven Spielberg-directed 3-D motion capture film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, have just been released online. Secret of the Unicorn is the…

Sci-fi Artistic Wonder

Sci-fi Artistic Wonder

To be released in November, art book White Cloud Worlds showcases a never-before seen collection of science fiction and fantasy artwork from New Zealand, “home to Weta Workshop, and a fantasy/scifi concept art powerhouse,”…

Weta Puts Out Feelers

Weta Puts Out Feelers

New York-based Ohio Edit is to represent Weta Digital on the US commercial circuit. Company heads Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor decided that their acclaimed effects house would benefit from small international projects in…

Fighting the Demons

Fighting the Demons

Principal photography has begun in Wellington on World War II horror film, The Devil’s Rock, award-winning director Paul Campion’s debut feature film. Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop (Avatar, District 9, Lord of the Rings, King…

Kong is Back

Kong is Back

The King Kong attraction at Hollywood park, the first theme park attraction that Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based f/x shop Weta Digital has created, reopens on July 1 after a devastating fire two years ago….

Tentative ten

Tentative ten

Wellington’s Weta Digital effects house has begun pre-production on the sequel to Peter Jackson-produced District 9, the “tentatively titled” District 10. Filming is scheduled to begin in South Africa and New Zealand in October….

Weta woos Hollywood

Weta woos Hollywood

Wellington-based Weta Digital, which was behind the effects work on blockbusters Avatar and District 9, has been nominated for nine Academy Awards; CNET Asia’s Daniel Terdiman says the “accolades may finally make Weta a…

Televised Aliens

Televised Aliens

Wellington-based Weta Workshop is working with Disney XD on a television movie called Skyrunners creating, what the star of the show American Kelly Blatz describes as, a “unique and frightening … transparent” alien “with…

Long Distance Teamwork

Long Distance Teamwork

Tintin collaborators Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are in touch across the world via a video-conferencing setup for the first installment of the film, using a custom-made iChat-type system by which Jackson can see…

Dreamy Transformation

Dreamy Transformation

26 February 2009 – Aucklander Nadya Vessey, who lost both legs to a childhood illness, now swims as a mermaid might with a custom made wetsuit created for her by Wellington’s Weta Workshop. Vessey…

Alveridge Animated

Alveridge Animated

The rights to Queenstown artist Ivan Clarke’s Lonely Dog picture book — “a series of paintings featuring a lonesome-looking pooch” and his friends in the mythical world of Alveridge — has been bought by…

Dodgy and Deadly

Dodgy and Deadly

Over three weeks, Wellington artists Christian Pearce and Greg Broadmore created exhibition ’99DS’ with digital images created entirely on Nintendo’s DS handheld game console, which were on display through February in Wellington’s Civic Square….

Brain Dead Dolls

Brain Dead Dolls

Wellington’s Weta Workshop will create practical and creature effects for American director Kristoffer Aaron Morgan’s independent horror film, The Home. “The Home is going to be an amazing film that we are thrilled to…

NZ’s film bonanza

NZ’s film bonanza

Wellington’s Weta Digital will develop the effects for upcoming 3D motion-capture trilogy, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, the sequel of which Peter Jackson will direct in New Zealand. Recently announced is…

Two Hobbits of a Kind

Two Hobbits of a Kind

Peter Jackson is joining forces with Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro to make the two back-to-back film adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Jackson will co-produce the film with fellow director Fran…

Taylor-made for Shortlives

Taylor-made for Shortlives

Richard Taylor’s animated children’s programme Jane and the Dragon now airs in the US every Sunday afternoon on NBC. Jane and the Dragon is created from drawings so detailed they required even more…

Tintin gets Jackson treatment

Tintin gets Jackson treatment

Dream Works has hired Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg to direct and produce three feature films based on the popular Tintin comic series. According to Variety, each filmmaker will direct one of the movies,…

Teen Actors on Global Stage

Teen Actors on Global Stage

Disney fantasy film Bridge to Terabithia has thrust four teenage New Zealand actors into the limelight. The film, which features Carly Owen (pictured), Isabelle-Rose Kircher and Cameron Wakefield of Wellington and Aucklander…

CG Cameron

CG Cameron

Titanic director James Cameron has enlisted the help of Weta Digital for his upcoming US$200 million sci-fi epic, Avatar. Cameron also plans to shoot sections of the film at Peter Jackson’s Wellington studios with…

Bring on the Sheep Jokes…

Bring on the Sheep Jokes…

Following a rousing reception at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, NZ film Black Sheep has sparked a “bidding frenzy” amongst distributors in Asia, Latin America and Europe. The film was recently acquired by IFC…

World class visionaries

World class visionaries

Weta Digital is to provide special effects for upcoming Hollywood blockbuster Avatar. Directed by James Cameron, the US$200 million sci-fi epic will be almost entirely made up of computer generated action. Cameron used…

Another lovable monster for Letteri

Another lovable monster for Letteri

Weta Digital head Joe Letteri is to be visual effects supervisor on the upcoming children’s feature, The Water Horse. Letteri was part of the Oscar-winning visual effects team for Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Based…

Disney Classic Gets Kiwi Treatment

Disney Classic Gets Kiwi Treatment

A new Walt Disney stage production of Beauty and the Beast has proved a double coup for NZ. Weta Workshop is to design costumes for the $1 million extravaganza, which will be presented by…

War at Gallipoli Re-activated

War at Gallipoli Re-activated

Peter Jackson and Wellington special effects edge-busters Weta Digital have used their expertise to restore the only film taken of the Anzacs at Gallipoli. The Lord of the Rings director has restored the film to the original…

One Computer to Rule Them All

One Computer to Rule Them All

The supercomputer used to create Oscar-winning special effects for the LotR trilogy is now for hire. Weta Digital and Gen-I (a Telecom subsidiary) have established the NZ Supercomputing Center in Wellington, where commercial and scientific research can…

Jane and the Weta

Jane and the Weta

Weta Workshop is collaborating with Toronto-based animation house Nelvana to produce a CGI television series of Martin Baynton’s popular Jane and the Dragon books. The 26-episode series is Weta’s first foray into children’s programming….

Lions and Witches in Kiwiland

Lions and Witches in Kiwiland

18 December 2003 – Pre-production on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is officially underway in NZ, with Weta Workshop on board for the visual effects and Kiwi Andrew Adamson (Shrek) at the…

Wetawood

Wetawood

Two LA Times features look at the phenomenal success of Peter Jackson’s Miramar-based empire; Weta Digital, Weta Workshop, and the Film Unit. The challenge meeting Jackson’s business is keeping the world-class staff he amassed…

Weta Digital Uncovered

Weta Digital Uncovered

The Wellington-based animation team behind the Lord of the Rings‘ award-winning visual effects were one of the main attractions at the annual Siggraph exhibition in San Diego, California. Established in the 1970s, Siggraph is…

Weta’s Secrets Revealed

Weta’s Secrets Revealed

Te Papa’s record-breaking Lord of the Rings exhibition opens at London’s Science Museum in September – it’s only European showing before travelling to Singapore, Sydney, and Boston. The exhibition focuses on Weta Digital’s FX…

Precious Guests

Precious Guests

Gollum and his maker are to share star-billing at the University of Teesside’s annual animation festival. Weta Digital’s lead animator, Jason Schleifer, will be on hand to deliver a series of lectures and workshops.

Rings Actors Awestruck

Rings Actors Awestruck

“It seems that those involved are only starting to realise just how big a movie project with which they have been involved. The actors were awe-struck by look of the movie and the spectacular…

Virtual Hobbits

Virtual Hobbits

“In a nondescript suburb of New Zealand’s capital, the team at Weta Digital, an offshoot of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films, is producing more than 1,200 visual effect shots for the three Lord of…