INTERVIEWS

Comic-Con Video Interview: Weta Workshop's Richard Taylor

by
July 28, 2010
Source: wetanz.com

Richard Taylor Comic-Con

On Sunday at Comic-Con, Golden Briefcase host Tim Buel and I caught up with Weta Workshop's creative genius Richard Taylor. If you don't know who he is, Taylor is one of the top designers and executives from Weta Workshop, the studio that designed all of the creatures, costumes, armor and weapons from Lord of the Rings as well as King Kong, Chronicles of Narnia and District 9. Taylor has won five Oscars in various categories like Costume Design, Makeup and Visual Effects, and is an amazing behind-the-scenes cinematic legend. It was an honor to speak with him and a fun interview to conduct right on the Comic-Con showfloor.

Watch my Comic-Con interview with Weta Workshop's head Richard Taylor:

Yes, I am apologizing now for the droopy camera, I thought I had it aimed right at him the whole time but I guess not. As mentioned in the video, Taylor is currently working on the animatronic Wind in the Willows movie (watch a teaser here) which you can see maquettes for on SlashFilm, as well as The Hobbit (one day) and anything else Weta is attached to, like Aaron Morgan's The Home. As we shot this video right at Weta's booth on the Comic-Con showfloor, a crowd had gathered by the time finished and applauded Taylor once we had wrapped up. It was wonderful to meet him and I'm looking forward to whatever Weta delivers next!

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  • LINKFX
    Also Weta did Avatar...
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    ^ That was mainly Weta Digital, which is a diff company.
  • LINKFX
    yes, you're right, 100%, hahaha...but Taylor has his fingers on both sides of the practical/digital divisions...hence his multiple dual awards for makeup & visual effects. But you're specifically talking about Workshop here, but they also did the practical sets and the practical fauna and practical vert-takeoffs for Avatar...pretty sure, I'll look into it.
  • Linkfx
    Here's your proof straight from James Cameron. Maybe it would help to do your research first. “Richard Taylor and his team at Weta Workshop bring not only world class artistic and technical talent to what they do, they also bring a spirit and a passion which is invigorating for the film-maker, and makes for a great working relationship. In designing and building many of the key props, costumes, machines and set-pieces for Avatar, they went so far beyond our expectations, both creatively and in the physical execution, that we are a bit in awe of what they do and how they do it. Of course it all starts with Richard, and his fan enthusiasm for movies and all things fantastic, and that spirit infuses his whole team, and informs everything they do. They don't just design a weapon or a costume, they create the whole culture which stands behind it. Their approach to fantasy is holistic and immersive. They believe that only by understanding the world, the cultures in it, and the characters within the context of those cultures, can you begin to design the individual pieces which will go before the camera. Avatar is all the richer for this approach. I look forward to the next time I work with Richard and his crew, so I can see what their fertile minds will devise.” James Cameron, Director (Titanic, Terminator, The Abyss)
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    I'm not trying to DENY it, I was just mentioning stuff he was best known for in the intro. They definitely did work on Avatar, obviously, he's a great guy all around. My interview, however, was specifically focused on his work at Weta Workshop.
  • Linkfx
    Ok cool, not trying to rile you up, I originally brought it up because it was an interesting factoid...I bet not everyone is aware that there were physical parts of the Pandora jungle built and many of the interior set pieces were practical and designed by Weta...
  • Clover
    This is the best thing you have ever done Alex.

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