Taichung City Information Bureau Director-General Wu led a delegation to visit New Zealand, and today (29th) they met with the production team of Lord of the Rings Weta Workshop to observe and learn from its postproduction special effects and developments in the local tourism industry. These experiences and knowhow will be used as a future reference for Central Motion Picture Corporation. In addition, Director-General Wu also exchanged experiences with Weta in relation to the government's role and administrative assistance it can provide. Since Weta will be creating a model exhibition space in Auckland for Lord of the Rings and Avatar next year, the city hall invited Weta to curate an exhibition in Taichung, to which Weta responded positively, indicating that they will begin planning for the exhibition after the Auckland center is completed. Director-General Wu expressed his gratitude to Weta and hoped to promote the TIAF and turn Taichung into a filming hub.
The epic battle scenes in the movie Lord of the Rings as well as the ultra-realistic character models and armor costumes are simply awe-inspiring. Together with extravagant special effects and music, the film is still captivating audiences around the globe 2 decades after its premiere. In order to gain further insight into the prop design and postproduction special effects industry, Director-General Wu led a delegation to visit internationally-acclaimed special effects studio Weta Workshop. They were welcomed in person by General Manager David Wilks, who gave them a guided tour of the costumes, models, sets, weaponry production, and 3D printing. Both parties shared their experiences and exchanged opinions during the process.
According to Director-General Wu, the primary purpose of this visit is to forge a partnership among Information Bureau staff, Central Motion Picture Corporation, and Weta Workshop; in addition to obtaining information on model construction and set design, they can also share their wealth of experience in international filmmaking and postproduction special effects. The aim of this partnership is to facilitate potential cooperation opportunities in the future.
In particular, the city hall is currently striving to promote the film industry, so it hopes to understand Weta Workshop's experience of cooperating with Wellington City Council or Film Auckland in the past from a government's point of view, so that the city hall's strategies such as administrative support and tax benefits can be adjusted accordingly in an effort to create a friendlier filming environment.
Furthermore, Weta Workshop has collaborated with numerous prominent international films including the Lord of the Rings series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, Mad Max, Ghost in the Shell, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, and Alita: Battle Angel, and it has won 5 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects. It plans to open an exhibition center in Auckland next year to showcase its lifelike film character models and merchandise.
Director-General Wu invited Weta to organize an exhibition in Taichung, and the city hall has promised to lend its full administrative support to facilitate the event. It is believed that the exhibition will not only set a milestone with the first-ever postproduction special effects exhibition in Taichung but also brings together both countries' film and tourism industry, marketing them to a global audience.
Weta Workshop General Manager David Wilks responded to the invitation positively, expressing Weta's willingness to engage in further collaborations with the city hall, and he plans to begin preparing for the exhibition next year. He also introduced the processes involved in Weta's postproduction and special effects in detail, generously sharing the company's experiences with the Information Bureau delegation. In addition, he explained that the Wellington City Council offers private filmmakers with various administrative support measures, and the knowledge proved to be extremely useful for delegates from the Information Bureau. The bureau elaborated that The Weta Group of Companies consists of subsidiaries including Weta Workshop, Weta Digital, Park Road Post Production, Stone Street Studio, Pukeko Picture, and Roxy Cinema.
Weta Workshop specializes in the production of armor, weaponry, micro-models, and special effects makeup. Together, the team has over 27 years of film production experience and has been involved in prominent movies such as the Lord of the Rings series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, Mad Max, Ghost in the Shell, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, and Alita: Battle Angel, and it has won 5 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects.