Chapter Five: THERE AND BACK AGAIN: A Geek's Adventure in Middle Earth!

Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News pays a visit to Weta Workshop and reports on the films' use of blue screens, marquettes and props.

Here is a brief excerpt:


From the outside it is a rather plain looking manufacturing looking facility… but as I walked past the security guard’s booth I see hundreds of heads… hundreds of molds… all being set to be destroyed, as they have no room for storage. A waterfall of tears cascade from my cheeks… DESTROYED? Oh the agony… the torment!

As I’m in the midst of a MATRIX style kung fu fight with the guards, Richard Taylor, head poobah of Weta Workshop, comes jogging up to meet me. He shakes my hand and says I can drop off my bag upstairs where we’ll begin the tour. So I go up, and drop off the bag.

The stairway has pictures alongside the walls of creatures and effects that WETA WORKSHOP have created in the 14 years they’ve been tinkering and creating magic. Now before I start this you must understand something… I saw roughly 35,000 objects created for LORD OF THE RINGS in a one and a half hour time frame…. I was introduced to dozens and dozens of folks creating the stuff… handed an ice cream cone, a coke and various objects that I’d give my right and left nut to possess. I held everything from Sting to Gandalf’s (I know I’ll misspell it) Glamdring the Thoehammer (alright scream at me, I don’t have the sacred text on me at the moment.) Did I see Gollum and the Balrog? Well… I’ll put it this way… I saw about 75 maquettes of each of those characters. What did they look like… well, they were all Gollum-y and Balrog-y…

Alright… Gollums ranged from Froggy giant eyed large mouthed things… to emaciated drooping fleshy shells of Hobbits… Some had long stringy patchy areas of hair… some were clean shaven…. It literally felt like being at the end of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE… "Choose one, but choose wisely!" Balrogs ranged from having wings to not… to fiery manes to black monstrosities… all the designs had a primeval darkness to them.

Uruk Hai… well you remember those maquettes you saw in the Internet Teaser? They have a lot more…. Hundreds of the buggers. I don’t have the capability to tell you about them… I know it feels like a cop out… but ya know, to even do what I saw justice, I would need to be left alone in each room with a guide… my laptop and a case of caffienated soda and write about 10,000 words about each room of the place.


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Be sure to also follow the links below to read Harry's previous reports:

 

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