New Zealand has a hidden gem for movie lovers around the world. The Wellington-based Weta Workshop‘s filmmaking facilities has been listed as one of the top 10 film studio tours worldwide. They have proven to be extremely popular with over 100,000 people attending the workshop since the beginning of April last year. The Guardian ranked the studio tour alongside tours of Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood and Leavesden studios near London, where the Harry Potter films were made.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Chris Whelan says, “The tour allows people to get a glimpse into the fantastical world of the five-time Academy Award winning Weta Workshop, part of the Weta Group of Companies that has established Wellington as a global player in the motion picture industry.”
According to a New Zealand Screen industry survey conducted in 2014, Wellington is the film hub of New Zealand which has contributed 79% ($645m) of all feature film revenue.
“We have a film-themed trilogy in our own backyard with the production of award-winning films, tourists clamouring for a taste of New Zealand’s film capital, and Weta Workshop’s tour gaining global recognition. It adds up to a blockbuster tale for Wellington.”
Weta Workshop general manager Dave Wilks states, “For Weta studio tours to be included in a list alongside Warner Brothers tours is awesome. I know our crew go out of their way every day to provide great experiences for visitors. It’s terrific for us to have their hard work recognised on a global stage like this.”
The Workshop Tour takes visitors on a journey through the studio’s creative process as told by a member of the crew. The tour space is filled with authentic film props, costumes, miniatures, creatures and vehicles.
Late last year the Weta Workshop launched Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience, showcasing how they remade the 1960s TV Puppet series for an audience in the modern world.
Both guided tours started and ended at the Weta Cave shop which includes a huge range of movie merchandise for film buffs alike.
Best known for their work in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbittrilogies, Weta Workshop includes a creative portfolio Avatar,District 9, The Adventures of Tintin, Elysium and Krampus, andWarcraft which will be due out later this year.
Weta has also worked on large-scale public sculptures including from the hugely popular Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
For more information on Weta Workshop Tours, check out their website: http://wetaworkshop.com/visit-us/workshop-tours/