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.
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.
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.
Samantha Garrison belongs to a Saint Bernard named Laddi, so her life is an endless stream of drool. She believes in Ewoks, the true saviors of the galaxy far far away, Tilda Swinton, and a world without Jurassic Park sequels.
Imagine a time when comic book movies were not even a genre and the idea that they would dominate the box office would be laughable. Imagine a time when a film based on a comic book was seen to be a huge risk. That time is 1978 and a film was on the horizon that would change American Cinema forever. That film was Superman. At this point the most well known comic book adaptation was the live action Batman starring Adam West. The campy series was the exact opposite of what producers Ilya Salkind, Alexander Salkind and Pierre Spengler wanted to achieve. The development of Superman is the stuff of legend and borderline insane.
A Tabletop RPG podcast from ATH Network with a focus on fiends.
We’re excited to announce Demon Dayz, an Actual Play podcast whose goal is to focus on the oft-overlooked devilish and demonic characters found in tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, and any other game system that can support a group of “horned bastards” creating mischief wherever they go.
If you’re familiar with and enjoy shows like Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, Friends at the Table, High Rollers, and Sirens of the Realm from Maze Arcana, you’ll be right at home here. The first campaign will use Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and future campaigns will switch systems (and possibly Dungeon Masters) to shake up the storytelling and offer a different authorial voice. Some campaigns will be lengthy epics spanning years, while others might be as short as a one-shot. Some stories might feature the tried-and-true, while others could skew heavily experimental. Demon Dayz will be a storytelling playground, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this journey with you all.
The first few episodes of our new show will appear in the main After the Hype feed to introduce you to the characters and setting and give you a feel for what to expect. After that the show will break out into its own podcast feed. Along with each episode we’ll have an “enhanced” version on our YouTube channel with character stats, story and fan art, and anything fun we can think of to add to the experience.
We’ll have more specific information in the coming weeks such as cast and character reveals, campaign synopsis, and more. You can find all that information over on the show’s twitter page, as well as any other teasers that come up. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this thematic teaser trailer to get HYPE.
The new year has arrived, and with it come more episodes of your favorite podcast of all time. Well, it’s Bryan’s favorite podcast of all time. Well…..ALL his podcasts are his favorite. Join him, Graham “Pineapple” Mason, and Nick “Raspberry” Friedemann this week as they take on the next episode in the third season: Home is Where The Hate Is.
INTRO MUSIC COURTESY Bradley David Parsons inspired by JG Thrilwell
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A NEW SHOW TO WATCH IN 2019, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS EXCELLENT COP DRAMA.
In this age of binge watching and box set consumption people are forever looking for new shows to watch. The first show I recommend to everyone is Bosch. Based on the books by Michael Connelly, Bosch stars Titus Welliver as the titular character. A hard boiled, old school detective who constantly clashes with his superiors. It sounds like a cliché, and in some ways it is. But in others it is one of the most impressive crime series I’ve seen since The Wire.