Magical Weta Workshop Unleashed opens in Auckland
Weta Workshop Unleashed brings an exciting new level of movie making magic to Auckland.
An extraordinary new visitor attraction, Weta Workshop Unleashed has opened in Auckland, taking visitors of all ages on a magical guided journey through the creative processes of movie making.
Inside Weta Workshop Unleashed, fantastical worlds come to life with resident monsters, galactic robots, a hyper-realistic giant, and surprises around every corner.
The insiders' experience showcases Academy-Award-winning Weta Workshop creativity from conceptual design to creature sculpting, weapons-making to world-building, SFX make-up to massive miniatures, and ends with an out-of-this-world light show.
Weta Workshop Unleashed will complement Weta Workshop’s acclaimed Wellington-based movie effects tours and experiences by showcasing their skills as conceptual designers and storytellers in a completely different way.
The new attraction forms part of the SkyCity Federal Street entertainment precinct, in downtown Auckland, and sits alongside the recently opened All Blacks’ Experience.
Weta Workshop Unleashed takes inspiration from its namesake. For over 25 years the Workshop has applied its creative skills and craftsmanship to many blockbuster films including 'The Lord of the Rings'
and 'The Hobbit'
, 'Blade Runner 2049'
, and most recently, 'Mulan'
It is an exciting move for Weta Workshop, representing the first tourism venture outside of the Miramar, Wellington, home base operation.
Weta Workshop Unleashed represents the fulfilment of a long-term vision for Weta Workshop, co-founders Richard Taylor says.
“Every year we would have many thousands of visitors who want to come through our workshop. But because of the confidentiality and health and safety restrictions, it's simply not practical to bring people into the actual workshop. We have long had the desire to create something fun, compelling, and educational for a broader audience.”
“Weta Workshop Unleashed combines all the creativity of our wonderful team of artists and craftspeople back in Wellington. We’ve created this experience with the distinct desire to unleash people’s aspirations to make cool stuff,” he says.
In addition to celebrating creativity, this latest experience also shines a spotlight on the film genres that Weta Workshop is best known for.
“We’ve invented three original film concepts from the genres that we love -- horror, fantasy and sci-fi -- to showcase how physical effects and props are imagined and then created for the movies. Guests will see all the effects we have created for these films, as if they were about to go into production. And one day they just might be!”
Weta Workshop Head of Tourism, Jake Downing, said the company initially hit pause when COVID-19 hit, in response to the impacts of border restrictions on tourism and the concerns around travel and tourism. But, given the long-term nature of the project, it was decided to keep going and launch the experience in 2020.
“We are excited to be opening an Auckland-based attraction that will showcase our capabilities to even more people,” he said. “Together with SkyCity and our neighbours, the All Blacks Experience, we have created something totally unique and special that celebrates New Zealand’s identity and creativity.”
Find out more about Weta Workshop Unleashed at www.wetaunleashed.com