Weta wizard to WelTec mentor
Since working on films such as Lord of the Rings, King Kong, District 9 and Avatar, Gareth McGhie has taken on a fresh
new challenge in the classroom. The Weta Workshop Supervisor recently took a break from managing production at Weta
Workshop to teach Creative Technologies at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec).
Gareth brings more than 10 years of experience in the creative industries to his new role. As Workshop Supervisor,
Gareth was responsible for scoping projects with Richard Taylor and managing the various teams to provide equipment such
as props, miniatures, amour and costumes to meet filming deadlines.
The film industry is an experience Gareth described as both challenging and exhilarating. “Weta is one of those places
where you can’t help but get inspired by the people around you.” According to Gareth the creative energy at Weta often
spilled over into his own artistic practice inspiring his own development in the areas of drawing, carving and painting.
“Workshop is a place with highly skilled collaborative professionals. That’s where WelTec’s shared philosophy of
creative collaboration has made the change a little easier; I’ve been able to transfer some of the creative methods I
used at the workshop to the classroom.”
Teaching is a change of pace for Gareth, but one he has found to be a rewarding experience. “I’ve worked on films for
years and it’s awesome, but there is something really special about working with students. It’s great to offer a bit of
advice and encouragement, and then stand back and see the work they can produce.”
Teriu Lemon, WelTec Programme Manager School of Creative Technologies, is excited about the new learning outcomes Gareth
provides to students. “Gareth brings such a wealth of skills and experience to the School of Creative Technologies.
“It’s important that our students learn from those who are out there creating New Zealand’s artistic history, learning
from mentors who are making things happen.”
“With tutors like Gareth onboard students learn skills relevant to today’s creative industries. They learn skills which
are necessary to succeed as creative professionals, such as how to maintain a professional portfolio, how to manage
resources to budget and how to utilise your contacts. These skills in addition to the development of creative thinking
and practical techniques are what students need to go on to succeed as artists.”