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Hobbit at the Roxy

Right after the tour, I saw the Hobbit at the Roxy Theater down the street from Weta. The Roxy is a 1920s art deco theater restored by Peter Jackson (among others). Some of the design is a little different than your standard art deco.

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The Hobbit was shown in 3D HFR (high frame rate), which is double the standard movie frame rate. It’s very different and…weird. I don’t know if it’s something I’d get used to. I thought it gave it a sort of video feel, and some of the backdrops looked really flat, even though I’m pretty sure they were shot on location. The only scenes I thought it enhanced were the darker CGI scenes, such as the ones in the goblin cave.

Weta Continued

I’m sitting outside in the very strong wind because I have an obligation to my loyal readers to bring them the most up-to-date information possible. Also because it’s the only place where I can get a triple latte and free wifi.

I picked up my rental car (a Nissan Note) yesterday afternoon and drove out to the Weta Cave. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, except for the Komodo monitor by the door.

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Inside the door is a store that sells prop replicas, collectibles, and t-shirts/books/gewgaws. Prices range from a couple dollars for stickers and postcards to almost $12,000 for a made-to-order replica of Sting.

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At one end of the store was a mini-museum with props and prosthetics from various movies.


When I was standing in line to buy t-shirts, I overheard someone talking about a tour, which turned out to be this:

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The footsteps lead here:


This is a tour of Weta Workshop. They just started doing it in November, so it isn’t mentioned in any of the guidebooks. They have one room set up with props, prosthetics, and models in all stages of development, and you get to see the whole development process. It lasts about an hour. There are also a couple of windows to the actual work areas.

In the middle of all of this was one of the sculptors working on a full-size plastiline sculpture of Neptune, which he described as a “personal project.” He said it was going in his garden.

We weren’t allowed to take pictures, but we were allowed to touch most of the things we saw.

Te Papa

I’m at Te Papa Tongarewa. I really need to rethink the size of the camera I schlep around.

This is a big museum. There are Maori boats and houses, interactive earthquake displays, Captain Cook’s cannon, videos of Roger Muldoon, and a Sheep Cam.

Phar Lap’s skeleton is here, but his hide is in Melbourne.

There’s a moa, too, but it’s fake. I will not be fooled!

And trolls.

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