WETA Workshop is a physical effects company based in Miramar, New Zealand, known for producing effects for television and film. It was to have been responsible for producing the Halo Movie's physical effects, and provided the physical props used in the Arms Race shorts directed by Neill Blomkamp.
About Weta Workshop
Weta Workshop is co-owned by friends and colleagues Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger, Peter Jackson and Jamie Selkirk.
Weta Workshop is situated in Wellington, New Zealand and is a comprehensive film and television effects facility that houses a large and varied skill base of creative technicians. Best known for their work on the film Avatar, Weta Workshop is a four time Academy Award winning company that offers services to all aspects of the creative industry including design, special make-up effects and prosthetics, creatures, armour, weapons, miniatures, prop building, large scale sculpture, display work and costuming.
Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger head Weta Workshop and have formed a partnership that brings creativity, artistry and professionalism to any project they undertake.
They have gathered around them a like-minded team with a level of experience, enthusiasm and flexibility that enables Weta Workshop to tackle almost any creative challenge. Weta Workshop is closely associated with Weta Digital (three time Academy Award winning company) and their complimentary relationship is reflected in their integrated approach towards solving specific film making issues and challenges.
Weta Workshop is a 65,000 square foot facility in the suburb of Miramar, five minutes drive from the city's airport and 15 minutes from central Wellington. Weta Workshop is only a few minutes from Wellington's largest studio complex and affiliate business Stone Street Studios, and other associated film production services, including Weta Digital and Park Road Post, are also located nearby.
Weta Workshop also has a successful merchandising business, a chain mail making business and is currently producing its own television series.
In September 2007, Bungie showed off Weta Workshop's "fully-functioning, four-wheel steering, powerful, off-road vehicle with a machine gun on the back" Warthog to Halo fans. It is complete with raised suspension and is able to support an armored "marine" manning the chain gun in back, though it is difficult to stay in due to the lack of support. WETA Workship also produced weapon and equipment props for the Halo: Arms Race short films, including replicas of the Battle Rifle and Gravity Hammer. The Warthog was later reused for Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn with minor changes.
Weta Workshop is well known for their use of "Bigatures," models of places so large that using the term "miniature" is an oxymoron. Such places include the Helms Deep set and the Minas Tirith set (constructed for the "Lord of the Rings" films), both built in the same exact place. It may have been that bigatures would have been created of areas on Halo for the film.
- Weta Workshop would have been designing the SPARTAN armor for the Halo movie.
- In their January 2009 issue, OXM (Official Xbox Magazine) covered a story on editorial contributor Alistair Wallis, whom they sent to WETA Workshop to drive the Warthog. Alistair commented that "the windshield is game-accurate... with poor visibility."
- In early September 2009, a Bungie employee was carrying the replica Sniper Rifle in public. Mistaking it for a real AK-47, a well-meaning bystander called the Kirkland police, leading to a temporary lockdown of Bungie Studios.