With more than 30 years’ experience working in the world’s creative industries, Richard is CEO and Design and effect supervisor of this award-winning company. As a passionate creative at the core of Wētā Workshop, Richard collaborates each day with his colleagues and friends across a diverse range of artistic and technical disciplines. With 340 crew across five businesses, the Workshop has grown to become a multifaceted, creativity focused company.
Richard has won five Academy Awards© across three disciplines, for special effects makeup, visual effects, and costume design. He has also received four BAFTAs, two THEA Awards and more than 30 national and international awards for his work within the creative industries. In 2010 Richard was made a Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for his services to film, and voted New Zealand Entrepreneur of the year, and in 2012 he was named New Zealander of the Year. Richard and Tania are patrons of the Little Miracles Trust and are heavily involved in the Wellington community, giving their time to charity projects and initiatives.
Wētā Workshop has provided the design and physical effects for more than 120 films, numerous television shows, and multiple location-based experiences. Best known for their work on the globally acclaimed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as the Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, Avatar, District 9, Ghost in the Shell, Mulan, Thor, and Black Panther to name a few.
Wētā Workshop also operates a number of popular tourist attractions, a digital game studio and produces high-end collectibles. They also specialise in the design and manufacture of location-based visitor experiences, including their Thea Award-winning works: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War exhibition and Weta Workshop Unleashed, a fantastical film FX experience.
Richard and Tania co-own children’s IP and television production company called Pukeko Pictures, which developed the award-winning television shows Jane and the Dragon, the Wot Wots, Kiddets, Book Hungry Bears, and reimagined the Gerry Anderson classic Thunderbirds Are Go.
Richard and Tania also co-own Stardog LP, a fine art and IP development company that helps young people within their team to realise their own creative endeavours.
Richard has spent more than 24 years working in China, building a highly-respected relationship with local and central government, educational facilities, and the creative industries, and has nurtured many strong business collaborations.
Richard was also a founding Board member of Magic Leap, a mixed reality technology company based in Plantation Florida. Working with Rony Abovitz over nine years in the creative development of what is possible through this extraordinary technology.
Richard and Tania have two children together and still live less than 10 minutes from their workshop.