I started at Weta in 2004 on "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" as an armoursmith. I had no previous experience of film, but when I saw the pieces I'd made on the big screen I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
I've worked in almost every technical role at Weta, and am happiest when I'm learning new skills or developing new processes.
I've represented Weta on set in NZ and abroad, set up production facilities and supervised manufacture in China, developed new methodologies such as vac-bagging and infusion procedures for carbon fibre, and helped curate international exhibitions.
For the last five years I have been apprenticed to the Master Swordsmith at Weta, making unique collector's items. The most memorable of these for me has been a commission from President Obama that was gifted to the Prime Minister of NZ.
I have recently completed a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, and look to pursue this discipline further in the future.
When I met Mary at Weta in '07 one of the first things she said was she wanted to return to Dublin someday. I'd finished a stint in Europe on Prince Caspian, and knew that would suit me fine.
We complement each other in a lot of ways - Mary is a fantastically effective manager, and I love solving technical challenges and getting things done right.
Owning our own shop has been our goal for the last seven years. This is the first big step we've taken together in that direction.
I started on my current career path making models for my father's architectural practice in Dublin as a summer job. I eventually decided that I loved making things and would pursue it for a living. I studied two years of Modelmaking followed by a postgraduate degree in Production Design from the National Fim School, Ireland. During this ime, I spent 4 months as an Art Dept Assistant in Los Angeles and, having finished my studies, set sail for New Zealand.
Apart from some short independent contracts, I have been working full time at Weta Workshop since April 2007. In that time I have advanced from being a junior technician to the second most senior position in the Workshop. Over the last few years the 3d Modelling Dept which I ran at Weta has evolved into being the hub of manufacture in the building. Almost all items produced at Weta start life in this department from plate armour to full size sets. We use 3d scanning, laser cutting, 3d printing and CNC milling to produce a vast array of different objects. I was also running any construction jobs we have at the workshop due to my training in the Art Dept. These ranged from typical set construction to large installations requiring complex engineering. I have worked on set as an Art Director and Production Designer for productions connected to Weta and on one independent feature.
I hope to use all the skills I have developed over the years in our business, as I thrive on the diversity of challenges just one day at Weta can provide. My ideal day would include a healthy balance of project management, design and fabriction and I've been lucky enough to have had plenty of these thus far. I'm excited to be finally creating a new enterprise with Tristan and I'm confident that between us, we can offer an exceptional design, management and manufacture package.