Weta Workshop was commissioned by Wellington City Council to design and manufacture a public art sculpture as a tribute to the New Zealand Screen Production Industry.
Four designs were short-listed and the final design was manufactured in the workshop over 2005. The finished sculpture was installed on the corner of Courtenay Place and Cambridge Terrace, in the heart of Wellington's entertainment district, in November, 2005 and was formally unveiled by her worship Kerry Prendegast, Mayor of Wellington later that month.
The tribute is a film camera on a tripod that appears to be composed from a collection of recycled mechanical parts including a video game console, toasted sandwich maker, radio and railway sleepers, with the camera made from an engine block and a hairdryer for the view finder.
Described by Richard Taylor as an out-of-control giant robot running amok in the city of Wellington, he says it symbolises the ingenuity and unbounded imagination that the New Zealand screen industry thrives on. "We wanted to pay tribute to the New Zealand screen industry's number 8 wire attitude and ability to create with whatever is at hand,".
Mayor Prendergast describes Tripod as an audacious attention seeker. "It stops people in their tracks; you can't fail to notice it", she says. "It's a unique, creative, modern piece that's already got people talking. Tripod is also a fantastic example of local ingenuity and creativity. Weta's passion, energy and enthusiasm is clearly evident in this work. Tripod will, I am sure, become a much-loved and much-admired Wellington icon and another jewel in the city's ever burgeoning crown. The film industry plays a vital role in the economy of our region and this is a very fitting tribute to it."
The sculpture concept was designed by Greg Broadmore.