Gary's role on LOTR involved doing large poly-carving for the Kings around Minas Tirith, and working on the creation of gargoyles for Minas Morgul and Cirith Ungol. Once LOTR finishing filming, Gary was recruited by Weta to working on the merchandising line of Collectibles based on the films.
Gary says the highlights were working alongside conceptual designer Alan Lee, as well as working with the LOTR designers on the collectible ranges. Since then, Gary has been a part of the design process for King Kong, creating the scannable maquettes and making quick design maquettes for a myriad of creatures. He has also worked on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian; Waterhorse; 30 Days of Night and Daybreakers.
The journey to Weta workshop for sculptor Gary Hunt was strongly influenced by his upbringing.
As a child, Gary spent the weekends with his dad, making model kits and collecting war games figures. His father owned a model car and antique toy shop in Somerset, England, which stocked fantasy and war-game figures. Gary would help out at collector's fairs and the store.
Dad taught me everything about collecting"
The store in England became fertile ground for Gary's imagination as he grew up.
Later, as a teenager, Gary studied at Taunton College, Somerset, and obtained a National Diploma in General Art, specialising in graphics. After studying, Gary worked for a die-cast aeroplane company, spraying, painting and casting, while teaching himself to sculpt figures in his spare time.
As his skills in sculpting increased, he studied a National Diploma in Model Making at Bournemouth College in an attempt to better understand the product design trade. Gary then landed a job for a war game company and later moved to London, sculpting toys and merchandise full time, which involved working on Star Wars, The Simpsons, Tellietubbies, monsters in my pocket and Action Man lines.
When he heard rumours amongst his friends that the Lord of the Rings was filming in New Zealand he decided it was time to go travelling.
A friend had given me Weta's address so I was off! A few months later, I ended up in New Zealand, and within 7 weeks I was working in Wellington for the Art Dept on the set of LOTR feeling exceptionally lucky!"