Watch: 40 Min Slideshow of Weta Workshop’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Days
by Alex Billington
December 1, 2023
Twenty years ago, the extraordinary Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King opened in theaters, completing the original LOTR saga. Created by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, this epic trilogy is in my humble opinion one of the greatest trilogies ever in cinema history. In celebration of this 20th anniversary, the props & weapons & practical FX house Weta Workshop has posted a video on their YouTube. This “20 years of Middle-earth” video is a “behind-the-scenes at Wētā Workshop” look at their Lord of the Rings days. “In order to share our joy with fans worldwide, please enjoy this collection of fond memories from our days spent sketching, sculpting, exploring, painting, crafting, creating, and, most importantly, dreaming within the vast world of Middle-earth.” It’s a silent slideshow of photographs from the making of the LOTR movies, running a grand total of 40 mins as it slowly fades from one photo to the next. There are SO many incredible images to discover in here. I just wish they could put the score or some music into the video, too.
As a die-hard, mega fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, I can’t help sharing this fun video. It’s a vivid and invigorating reminder of how much passionate effort they put into making them, how hand-made practical work really pays off, and how much this work still looks amazing even today – 20 years later. Click to watch:
Found via YouTube. Here’s their intro: “20 years ago, we witnessed the thrilling conclusion to an epic tale that audiences had eagerly followed in cinemas across the world—a tale we had been helping to craft for over seven life-changing years. Despite one’s imaginations, it is often challenging entirely envisioning the future. Who could have imagined that a project starting out in just a few small warehouses would grow and evolve into such a magnificent saga, enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide? The result is a legacy of art and storytelling that continues to be appreciated & celebrated even now. And, although we may have expressed this sentiment many times, it does not diminish its value: we are honoured to have had the opportunity to contribute to such a beloved tale.” Weta Workshop still operates based out of Wellington, New Zealand. Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger as RT Effects, Wētā Workshop has produced creatures & makeup effects for the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess and effects for films such as Meet the Feebles and Heavenly Creatures. For more info, visit their official website.