Fans of the Thunderbirds Are Go television series will be able to go behind the scenes and see the artistry behind the show from early December when the latest Weta Workshop tourism experience opens in Miramar.
The Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience takes guests on an exclusive tour of the authentic props, models and set pieces used in the production of the hit Pukeko Pictures and ITV television show.
Visitors to the Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience will see a selection of the concept art that the designers at Weta Workshop created and continue to create as production moves forward on Season 2. The 45-minute guided tour also features the scale models used as the filming sets for Tracy Island, the Thunderbird Hangers, and Creighton Ward Manor, as well as the shooting stage and authentic models being built by Weta Workshop technicians who are more than happy to answer any questions guests may have.
Filming for the second season is happening now in Miramar, and the miniatures that visitors will discover on the tour are the same ones used on set. In fact, a shooting stage has been incorporated into the tour to provide a fascinating glimpse at the tricks of the trade used to bring this highly detailed world to the screen.
Thunderbirds Are Go, the contemporary retelling of the beloved 1960s TV show, features a blend of digital characters and physical sets, with the iconic vehicles and aircraft being a mix of the two. This unique approach keeps the show true to its lineage while giving filmmakers the ability to incorporate enthralling action sequences and a wider range of character emotions and movements.
Weta Workshop CEO and Co-founder, Richard Taylor has long been a fan of the original show, which inspired his filmmaking career.
“My life-long fascination with model making and practical film effects was born of the Thunderbirds and other shows like it. So it has been terrific to have been involved in the design and manufacture of what you’ll see on this tour.”
The Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience officially opens on Saturday, December 5 and will be open every day excluding Christmas day, with a new tour departing every half hour from 9.00am – 5.15pm. Bookings can be made online at www.wetaworkshop.com/TAG, at the Weta Cave Shop, or at the Wellington i-SITE in Civic Square. Tours depart from the Weta Cave Shop, 1 Weka Street, Miramar.
The man behind the cave
Sir Richard Taylor is the creative force – co-founder and co-director – behind world renowned Weta Workshop which provided the special effects wizardry behind the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies, and a raft of successful movie and television productions seen in New Zealand and internationally.
His credits to date include five Oscars, four BAFTAs and a raft of other international entertainment awards – including numerous achievements for Weta’s success in the disciplines of make-up, costume and visual effects.
Taylor’s wide-ranging talent is about turning fantasy into reality, and his ever expanding portfolio of creations includes everything from larger-than-life monsters to amazing costume designs, high tech prosthetics, intricate models, sculpture and collector’s pieces.
In New Zealand, he’s also a local hero – honoured with a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010, and named the 2012 New Zealander of the Year.