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September 29, 2005

Kong is Coming...

Wired Magazine's October issue has a spread 'Return of the King' - check it out! Lots of great info on Kong, Peter Jackson, the production, video diaries, and more.

PJ Finals!
And at long last I have my first batch of PJ (Peter Jackson) approved Finals as of yesterday. One of my shots was actually just up for review on the 'look' of the shot, but he finaled it, so that was pretty cool. (then again we are running out of time) The shot had some technical issues so I was able to clean it up right and re-filmed it out last night. Plenty more shots though, it seems like every batch of finals, he turns over a new batch of shots... how all of this work will complete in 7 weeks has got me.

Other Kong Goodies

- King Kong and Volkswagen
Contains some sweet concept art, backgrounds, and the Kong car 'Touareg'

Ohh and it looks like they have dismantled the 'Venture', I'm glad I got to see it while it was still in one piece, and a couple weeks ago we had a crew picture taken on the Venture, it was with all of the compositors, I'll try and get one of those on here soon.

Posted by dschnee at 9:05 AM

September 20, 2005

7 Day Weeks...

Now that the lap of luxury staying at the Duxton Hotel has expired, my rental car days over, I find myself walking about 3km to and from work up a fairly steep hill. It takes me about 20-25min to get down the the hill to work, and about 30-35min to get up it, it's good for me though, and I need it sitting on my ass all day. There's a pretty big storm coming, so the winds were blowing me around tonight on the way home, and it's damn cold, but I was spared with rain... for now.

Have I mentioned that I'm staying with former Tippett Trooper Jeff Johnson here in Miramar? I'm staying in one of the rooms in this 3 bedroom house on the hill overlooking the ocean, it's a beautiful view and an awesome place to live, so I'm going to enjoy what little of it I can...

Which brings me to us being given the official word that everyone is now on 7 Day weeks at Weta, in order to complete some 1200+ shots left on Kong. Do the math... its just krazy. =/ This is how the collective at Weta feels: (donkey --->)

Posted by dschnee at 12:32 AM

September 13, 2005

New Zealand Photos

Well I have been in New Zealand almost 2 weeks now, and have started my second week at Weta... I'm settling in now, making some dailies, and I've got about 15 shots on my plate right now... :/ I had this past Sunday off, and took advantage of it, as I'm not sure how many free Sundays I'll have from here on out...

I spent the day doing a bit of scenic driving and a lot of parking and walking to enjoy the views, the coast, and other odds and ends along the way... I used photoshop cs to create this nifty web gallery from my digi stills, it is much nicer than I remember... So if you no longer want to be bored from reading this, visit my New Zealand photo gallery here: (You will need Flash)

davids New Zealand [digi] Photos - galOne

The gallery has photos from the hotel room over looking Wellington Harbor, Te Papa museum, Civic Square last weekend, and I drove up to the lookout atop Mt Victoria, and it's an awesome view of Wellington's City Center, and the sourrounding Towns, including Weta Digital. I also took a long drive around the coast line, houses on the hills all with amazing views of the bays, it's truly beautiful around here. I also snapped some images of the 'Venture' which is the ship used in the filming of King Kong, it's docked up in Miramar, pretty cool.

Lastly, I parked my rent-A-car and made my way in a restricted area and took this quicktime movie...

FlyByHi or FlyByLo

Cheers, thats all for now, more to come...

So now that my gallery is way 2 sluggish to view, I'll get an html version up tomorrow...

Posted by dschnee at 1:28 AM

September 5, 2005

Weta, Day 1

So today was my first day at Weta Digital, and it was great to take a tour through the places that cranked out the magic and lore of the Lord of the Rings… Orientation sums up my first day though, meet and greet, paperwork, set up a NZ bank account, driving lesson, tour of the facility, and things of this nature.

I had lunch at one of the new facilities for Editing and Sound at Weta, equipped with a nice fancy cafeteria. I sat down with a few x-Tippett folk (jeffj, jbolan, ericj, and others), and later on in the afternoon after my driving lesson stopped by and chatted with some good old Troopers 2 soldiers Mike Leonard and Jeremy Bolan! I embarked with them a few years ago working on Troopers 2, they were the first 2 Troopers2 crew I met, so it was great to have a small mini reunion of sorts.

So it was a pretty relaxed day… for now. They are working on creating a place for me to sit, it’s getting pretty crowded around Weta these days, there is ship loads of work left, it’s going to be crazy, but I love crazy and can’t wait to get to compin’ my first shot!

Posted by dschnee at 11:44 AM

September 3, 2005

Arrival to New Zealand

Whew! What a journey it has been for me… I departed SFO to LAX about an hour and a half late, which meant by the time I arrived at LAX, a runner rushed me to the gate to board my plane from LAX to Auckland, NZ… this meant that my luggage wasn’t going to make it to Auckland with me for the 12 hour flight… Ok, so it happens. The 12 hour flight wasn’t half bad, I slept through most of it with out too much discomfort.

Then the fun begins...

I arrived in Auckland, about 5:15am local time, it was on this flight I lost a day, it’s 5:15 on Friday, I left on Wednesday… I went through customs, and waited at the baggage claim in case my luggage might have made it… but nope. I ventured on, well after a cute sniffing dog from customs stuck her muzzle in my bag. I had half of a turkey sandwich in it the day before, and that’s what she smelt. So I was ok, my smuggling days have long since past. I made it over to the baggage services and have come to find that my luggage was on it’s way to Melbourne, Australia, which then would go to Auckland, then to Wellington, and on to my Hotel at the Duxton. Sounds easy enough right?

By the time I was finished, I had to rush over to the domestic terminal to catch my flight to Wellington. So I jogged about 1km, rushed up to the gate, got on board, and sat… and sat… and sat longer. Due to the dense Fog, we were not able to take off on time. We sat in the plane for a good hour waiting for it to let up for the minimum visibility range. Once we achieved that range, a generator powering the lights on the runway broke down, this meant that our visibility range now had to clear up a substantial amount more… But the fog got worse. Long story short we sat on the runway for 2.5 hours before running out of enough fuel to make the flight to Wellington, turned back and the flight was cancelled.

Ok, so I just need to catch another flight… the next flight was 12pm, but that was full, so 3pm would be the next flight for me. So I hung out at the Auckland airport for the better part of the day, went to some shops, had a bite to eat, checked my email, contacted some loved ones, etc.

A couple hours before my flight I ended up at the airport bar have a few pints with a Kiwi Fisherman and an older Ausie man. This was pretty cool talking to them about a variety of things from rugby, fishing, locals, things to go see and do, petrol, you name it. So I lost track of time, and again needed to jog over to catch my flight 1km away, I arrived over there sweaty and panting, to find out that my 3pm flight has been delayed until 5pm! Son of a Bitch!

The 5pm flight was delayed only until 5:15pm, I arrived in Wellington shortly after 6pm, and a runner from Weta took me over to the Duxton Hotel in downtown Wellington. My luggage arrived the next day about 5pm’ish… The next day the Auckand Airport was closed down due to fog… never easy. =)

The Duxton Hotel? Simply awesome, they set you up in a really kick ass suite and make you feel like a king, it’s really, really nice here.

Posted by dschnee at 11:32 AM