Thursday, August 24, 2006

Greg Broadmore and Weta Workshop

"Act Now!" Poster
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Manmelter 3600ZX
Sub-Atomic Disintegrator Pistol
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Goliathon 83
Infinity Beam Projector
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FMOM Industries
Wave Disrupter Gun
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Introducing Dr. Grordbert's Infallible Aether Oscillators, for all your pachyderm-vaporising and martian-defying needs! Designed by Greg Broadmore at the Weta Workshops (the same guys who did all the creature effects and design for the Lord of the Rings and Narnia films,) these alternate-history rayguns are absolutely crammed full of steampunk goodness. They don't appear to have been released to the general public yet, but once they are, you'd better believe I'm going to be doing whatever it takes to get my hands on them.

Really detailed and inventive prop design is an art-form unto itself. While I must admit that I have a bit of a weakness for functional art and Broadmore's rayguns are pretty much the anti-thesis of "functional" (...unless they aren't, in which case I'm definitely buying them,) this is some of the best prop work I've ever seen - which should come as absolutely no surprise, considering the source. While effects houses like Industrial Light + Magic are known for the sheer overwhelming bombast of their mostly-CG design, Weta stands head and shoulders above anyone else working in the industry on the combined basis of realism and imagination: they don't just design a sword, they design a sword with bits of rust flake on the hilt and chips and cracks in the blade and possibly weathered fabric from an old tunic wrapped around the handle. There's a lot of enthusiasm and care put into everything they produce, and I can't help but admire them for it.

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