Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 41 (Round IV) "In the trenches": landscapes of history edition

A couple of weeks ago, watching the remarkable work of New Zealand's WETA studios in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (pretty talented bunch of Kiwi's, even in the first film), I was reminded of the fact that as a kid, one of the professions--along with archaeologist, marine biologist, and soldier--that I thought I might really like was that of museum diorama builder. I loved building models, especially of landscapes, and was pretty damned good at it: for a 7th grade American history project, I built a to-scale topographical diorama of the Gettysburg battlefield, and used it ("flashpoint" gunpowder squibs and all) to describe the course of the day's battle. Watching the incredible worlds the WETA boys built (Isengard, the Dark Tower, Minas Tirith, Helm's Deep), I am reminded of that early yen to be able to spend a life building worlds of imagination.

But I reckon I won't complain.

Because I reckon a life spent building landscapes of the imagination is, actually, pretty near exactly what I've had.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

You think they look good on screen, even in the behind-the-scenes stuff, you should see the stuff that survives at the WETA workshop with your own two eyes. Stunning. And that's all you can really say about it.

New Zealand is kinda like that, all over. Even when the backgrounds came from one place on the North Island and the foregrounds were some other place on the South Island, the movies are truly what New Zealand looks like, through and through.

If you've never been, a HIGHLY recommended vacation destination. Samantha and I went for three weeks last summer...uh...winter. Last August. I loved every minute.