Yes, you got that right. Yesterday I met Sir Richard Taylor. Of WETA Workshop in New Zealand. I met him in person. Really.
But let me start from the beginning. And be warned – this will be a blogpost maybe only enjoyable for those of you who take a strong interest in the world of Middle-earth and its peoples, the Lord of the Rings- and Hobbit-movies, creative costumes and a very special kind of escapism.
Meeting peoples of Middle-earth
This weekend, in Bonn (near Cologne) a very unique convention took place – the HobbitCon. I went. The whole Easter Sunday. It was my very first Con ever. It was a fun and slightly surreal experience. A day of being surrounded by stunning dwarves, beautiful elves, cuddly hobbits, one scary Azog, ringwraiths, fauns and all kinds of Tolkienish or non-Tolkienish fantasy characters, creatures, art, weapons, gems, costumes, books, Accessoires…
Meeting the „real“ Dwarves
Eight of the dwarf-actors were walking around in the area freely, hitting the bar in the evening, chatting with fans, telling hilarious stories about their time filming the Hobbit-movie. Those guys are so nice and had such a great time. I went to I think 3 of their panels and I especially remember the one with Jed Brophy (Nori), Dean O´Gorman (Fili), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Adam Brown (Ori) and Mark Hadlow (Dori). During that hour where they answered questions from the audience and of course making fun of each other frequently, there were several occasions where those guys could not keep themselves standing upright because they laughed so hard , and so did we ;-). It was SO enjoyable
Meeting Sir Richard
All in all – the main reason I went to this event was getting a chance to meet Sir Richard Taylor. I admire him and his team SO much. They are so INCREDIBLY talented and creative, have such a vivid and inspiring imagination, such a great sense of humour and are so generous and open to their fans with giving information about what they do. So – as a well-informed fan, I know that he loves dogs as do many of his team members. They have a canine crew of 9 dogs owned by designers running around at WETA Workshop (sounds like heaven to me). Suddenly this crazy idea formed that I just would LOVE to give him a present he really might like and keep, and that I would really enjoy to make. There was no doubt: it just HAD to be a fun dog-biscuit-box with a cute and cuddly dog-sculpture on it. And I thought the best and safest occasion to hand it over was to attend his autograph session.
Well…. he liked the present very much. He asked me to hold it so he could take a photo of me and the box on his iphone, which he did. And he asked me to sign the box for him. Which I did. And told me he would place it in the cabinet they have at WETA right in front. ;-D
This is the Waldo Weta biscuit-box.
this is the bone inside (as there was also a bit of chocolate for Richard)
And he signed my brandnew WETA Artbook “Smaug – Unleashing the Dragon”and wrote a really nice “thank you ” note.
Here´s a bit more flesh to the bone:
I stood in line for quite a bit to hand over Waldo and speak to Richard. In the queue in front of me a blonde bearded dwarf-lady. Behind me her friend, a dark-haired and –bearded dwarf-lady. Surreal. And very amusing.
He took so much care to speak a few words with everyone who came for his autograph and would also see to it not to simply sign with his name but to write a few more personal words.
He was SO nice and polite and patient!
When I walked up to his table and said, after the greetings „I could not resist to sculpt you a present“ you should have seen his face, it was like „What in the world is coming now, what is this woman up to?!?!“ 😉 If I hadn´t been in such a state of dizzy-excited-staring-and-smiling-stupidly, I would have chuckled inwardly. I do now, though ;-)).
So when I got Waldo out of my bag, babbling how I knew of his love for dogs, his eyes grew large and he smiled and said „Oh he is gorgeous! What a lovely gift“. So I went on mentioning I had read in their newsletter that they have about 8 or 9 dogs at WETA Workshop, he smiled even more „Yes, I sure like having dogs around, they keep the pressure at bay“. At the moment, they have 9, the newest arrival is a young beautiful French Poodle. And then he went „Let me tell you a short story. You know Cher?“ and there the questionmark was in MY face, wondering „Yeah sure, but what does Cher have to do with dogs?“ 😉 „Well, Cher came visiting one day and we noticed her wearing a bracelet saying „I did not vote for Bush“. At WETA we are quite political, so we really thought her bracelett was a cool idea for a great statement. So Cher had small bracelets made for all the WETA dogs, and we took a picture of all the dogs wearing their bracelet and raising their paws to state that they did not vote for Bush, either!“ ;-D
Now isn´t that the cutest story??!?I would just LOVE to see that photo.
Here we go with some overall impressions from the event – costumes, room-decoration from Middle-earth, dwarves, costume contest etc etc…enjoy ;-).
….this will be all for the moment, I hope you had a bit of fun joining me 😉 It sure was a very unusual Easter Holiday for me and unforgettable in many ways.