Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

There & Back Again: The Weta Tour

SAM RECOUNTS HER TIME VISITING WETA STUDIOS IN NEW ZEALAND!

On December 26th, I got to visit Weta Studios on the Miramar Peninsula in Wellington, NZ, fulfilling an eighteen-year dream. Weta is four separate companies — Weta, Weta Digital, Pukeko Pictures, and Park Road Post. They also have physical studio space at Stone Street Studios. The front doors of the Weta Cave, the physical effects and prop house where Richard and Tania Taylor, along with Peter Jackson crafted the miniatures of Middle Earth, are guarded by Mr. Bilbo’s trolls. There’s a gift shop with a mini-museum, one of the only places where they have any major references to Peter Jackson’s early horror films. We got a snap of the Sumatran Rat Monkey.

Simian Raticus Rat Monkey Sumatra

The tour itself does not go through any workspaces, but it does include windows into their machine shop and armory. There are also artists working on their projects that take questions at the end. It’s far from the real experience of being in a studio space, but the tour guides and props they have on display are no less beautiful.

The second half of the tour found us at Pukeko Pictures, a production company responsible for the animated series Thunderbirds Are Go! Like the original Thunderbirds series from the 1960s, this family show used physical sets. However, instead of marionettes, the characters are all CGI animation. The sets themselves are more of what I had expected to see at the Weta cave — sets actually used for filming, and they were an absolute dream to view up close. Seeing the craftsmanship, ingenuity and creativity, not to mention the fascinating hybrid animation technique, really inspired me.

It has been eighteen years since I first watched Fellowship of the Ring — my first true movie obsession, the film that made me want to make films. In that time, I did go to film school, and I now work in animation, albeit in marketing, not production. It’s fascinating to take a step outside of that and see a movie studio through a fan lens. It made me realize what a big influence a movie can have on a person. As much as I wanted to see the nitty-gritty, the cubicles, the harried assistants and the ugly process of actually building a movie, it was refreshing to be reminded of the magic.

Thunderbirds set.

This week, back at my own desk, bogged down in the minutiae of one sheets and trailer release dates, I kept reminding myself to take a step back. While movies are my job and jobs feel tedious more often than not, what we do has the potential to connect with people. Whether it’s a favorite joke, a sweet character moment, or a movie like Fellowship that is such a big undertaking it inspires a person’s life choices, movies find their way into our hearts and minds. They connect us across oceans and continents, and we find ways to make sense of our own stories because a bunch of weirdos go to work every day to build something from nothing.

Weta was not necessarily the mind-blowing experience it would have been for me when I first watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but in some ways, it was more satisfying. It changed me yet again — from a jaded adult to one a little more inspired to take on her day.

Episode 11 – Middle Earth Manners

Sam spends a lot of time talking about manners this week. Whether dealing with significant others or creepy acquaintances, we could all stand to be a little more polite. She also addresses whether or not Frodo was special or just a good dude.

We now have our own feed now, so please rate and review us on iTunes!

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.


DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

Episode 10 – The First Counsel of Samrond

Michaela Bayas (@BayasThoughts) joins this week as Sam’s first guest. She has a question about sexism in her film class. Sam also discusses a couple of tricky relationship questions.

 

We now have our own feed now, so please rate and review us on iTunes!

 

Here is the link to the Reddit post referenced.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 9 – Shine Bright Like Mithril

Clothes, open-mouth chewers, crazy siblings, and fandoms find their way into Middle Earth this week!

We now have our own feed now, so please rate and review us on iTunes!

 

Here are links to help the victim’s of the Cailfornia wild fires:

 

Here is the link to Captain Awkward’s Friday column I referenced.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 8 – Boromir is a Hot Mess

Boromir’s many screw ups can teach us so much about love, work, and stopping sexual harassment.

We now have our own feed now, so please rate and review us on iTunes!

 

Here are links to help the victim’s of the Cailfornia wild fires:

 

Friend of the show Laura Solomon is helping friends in Paradise, CA.

 

California Firefighters Foundation.

 

Refinery 29 has a marvelously comprehensive list here.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 7 – Be Like Gandalf

Yet another question about dogs, a moving question about being supportive to the grieving Jewish community as an outsider, and how to exercise better, Middle Earth style!

We now have our own feed now, so please rate and review us on iTunes!

 

Here is some helpful reading about understanding and combating anti-semitism that I mentioned:

 

From the Washington Post.

 

From Smithsonian Magazine, about how we’ve perhaps taken the wrong lessons from history.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 6 – The Hearts of Men

A question about the current state of things throws Sam for a loop. But the Lord of the Rings comes through, as always.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE!

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY NOW!

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 5 – I Am No Man

This week’s episode tackles what it means to be angry like a girl, meddling in friends’ affairs, and those convenient eagles.

 

The new feed has been created and submitted to the Council of Elrond. We’re just waiting to hear back.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY SOON

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 4 – The Whithertos and the Why Fors

In this episode, Sam answers questions about job changes, dishes, and relationships!

 

As we find our feet, we’ll be appearing in the After the Hype podcast feed every Tuesday at 10:00am.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY SOON

 


Instagrams to follow:

Samantha: @samijane613
Laddi: @saint_laddi
After the Hype: @athpodcast

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons

 

Episode 3 – Denethor and Dogs

In this episode, Sam answers questions about dogs, lots and lots of dogs!

 

Here’s the article I was referencing about sperm counts.

 

As we find our feet, we’ll be appearing in the After the Hype podcast feed every Tuesday at 10:00am.

 

To have your question answered, email sam.wise.ath@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at (608)561-2755.

 


 

DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE
SUBCRIBE ON ITUNES NOW AND GOOGLE PLAY SOON

 


THEME MUSIC COURTESY
Bradley David Parsons