New Zealand effects experts advise Korean moviemakers
The dark can bring many things to light, however. By recreating nightmares, daydreams and a mirage of wayward fairytales and illusive fantasies as actual visual images, New Zealand’s Weta Workshop has been responsible for the realization of the visual poignancy and technical craftsmanship of movies such as “The Lord of the Rings,” “King Kong” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
The company, situated in Wellington, New Zealand, and founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, is now co-owned by the two, Peter Jackson and Jamie Selkirk. Like many interesting success tales, the company had humble beginnings, starting out as RT Effects in the back room of Mr. Taylor and Ms. Rodger’s flat in Wellington, in 1987. Eight years later, the pair linked up with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Selkirk, expanded the company’s scale and renamed it Weta. It has since provided the special effects and high-tech post production skills to numerous film and television projects. After the success of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the company gained worldwide acclaim and recognition.
The dinner was organized by the New Zealand Embassy in Korea and the Puchon Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan), in an effort to build a relationship between the film industries of Korea and New Zealand aimed at forming future business and cultural ventures together.
The first step was the participation of the Weta Workshop in the PiFan festival, which began last Thursday. An “Everyday Workshop” led by the Weta team will be held for the duration of the festival. There will be an exhibition of work from “The Lord of the Rings,” as well as instruction and lectures by the Weta Workshop team. The event is a world-first exhibition of the Weta workshop portfolio.
“Together, [Korea and New Zealand] are constantly looking for ways to forge a partnership that is modern, vibrant, and fit for the 21st century,” said Rod harris, the Charge d’Affaires of the New Zealand embassy, in his opening speech at last Friday’s event.
Throughout the night, Weta co-founder Mr. Taylor expressed his deep respect for Korean directors active in the scene.
“‘The King and the Clown’ was such a breakout film for Korea. What I admire most about Korean films is that there is no crossover, and the films do not customize themselves for the international audience. There is a certain pride and fierce independence in the films that are made in Korea,” he said.
The evening was accompanied by a screening of work from Weta Workshop, a selection of New Zealand wines, such as the Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot/Cabernet 2003, and staple New Zealand dishes such as golden kiwi pavlova and New Zealand brie cheese.
by Cho Jae-eun