“Richard Taylor and his team at Weta Workshop bring not only world class artistic and technical talent to what they do, they also bring a spirit and a passion which is invigorating for the film-maker, and makes for a great working relationship. In designing and building many of the key props, costumes, machines and set-pieces for Avatar, they went so far beyond our expectations, both creatively and in the physical execution, that we are a bit in awe of what they do and how they do it. Of course it all starts with Richard, and his fan enthusiasm for movies and all things fantastic, and that spirit infuses his whole team, and informs everything they do. They don't just design a weapon or a costume, they create the whole culture which stands behind it. Their approach to fantasy is holistic and immersive. They believe that only by understanding the world, the cultures in it, and the characters within the context of those cultures, can you begin to design the individual pieces which will go before the camera. Avatar is all the richer for this approach. I look forward to the next time I work with Richard and his crew, so I can see what their fertile minds will devise.”
James Cameron, Director (Avatar, Titanic, Terminator, The Abyss)
The design team is an artistic engine that has worked with some of the most creative minds in the industry, including Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong) and Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia). Most recently, the team has engaged with directors James Cameron (Avatar), Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) for their film projects. At the moment, the Design department is heavily engaged with Peter Jackson on The Hobbit.
Weta Workshop offers a comprehensive design service that includes 2D conceptual illustrations, 3D conceptual design, 3D-sculpting (both traditional and digital), model making and idea-generation sessions. One of the principles of Weta's design philosophy is world-design, where by the designers adopt the mindset of creating entire worlds with their own internal consistency, as opposed to designing specific items in isolation. This helps bring a universal reality to the work produced, with each item having being conceived of thoughtfully and within the context of the rest of the world it exists in. This approach has yielded clients with a fertile source of inspiration and brought many a memorable character, prop, weapon, costume, culture, environment or effect to the screen. Guided by the experience and inspiration of Weta Workshop director Richard Taylor, the design team enjoys engaging clients in creative discussion to expand ideas and enhance the design brief to give them the most value and visual impact for their specific project's needs.
Given Weta Workshop's many services, and proximity and relationship with Weta Digital, designs can be followed and guided from conception through to completion within the one facility, yielding results that honour the original intent of the design and maintain the highest quality and efficiency.
Weta Workshop's designers also have established relationships with digital effects facilities including Weta Digital and have an established pipeline to ensure smooth communication and creative information transfer so that we can deliver designs to be used in the next stages of production. This is part of the design team's dedication to producing powerful ideas, presented in compelling art of the highest quality, for any creative endeavour and in any genre -- to budget and to deadline.
Check out what Weta's designers are up to between projects: