Wētā Workshop's fantastical new immersive experience 'Unleashed' in Auckland has been recognised internationally by winning the Blooloop Innovation Award for Storytelling at an online event hosted in London. The award acknowledges the importance of a compelling narrative when it comes to a successful visitor experience.
Wētā Workshop Co-founder and Creative Lead Richard Taylor said the award was very special for the Wellington-based company.
“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do. Unleashed was a unique opportunity for us to tell our own stories in exciting and innovative ways, using our three favourite film genres; horror, fantasy and sci-fi. To be acknowledged for that by a host of judges from around the world is marvellous.
Our aim with Unleashed was to spark creativity in all those who walk through our doors. We believe there’s a maker in everyone. Our hope is that our storytelling inspires our guests to go home brimming with ideas and an itch to begin creating,” he says.
Wētā Workshop Senior Creative Business Director, Rik Athorne, said creating Unleashed required skills, talent and courage from across the entire workshop.
“We wanted to build an experience which celebrated how fulfilling the creative process and storytelling could be. However, when the global pandemic struck during Unleashed’s build phase in in mid-2020 we had a decision to make. Should we continue to build Unleashed during the midst of a global pandemic, or abandon the project?
“With a good dose of courage and a heap of belief from everyone involved, we chose to forge ahead and bring our vision to life. We’re now looking forward to when the borders open up and we can share our story with guests from further afield.
“For Blooloop to recognise our storytelling by giving us this award means a lot to us,” Athorne said.
Wētā Workshop Unleashed opened in December 2020 and invites guests of all ages, from the curious to the creative, and the family-friendly to the thrill-seeking to go on a guided journey into a fantastical film effects facility.
The inaugural Blooloop Innovation Awards shines a spotlight on visitor attractions from around the world across 14 categories including Interactive, Inclusion, Sustainability, Thrills and Immersive.
Those wanting to experience Wētā Workshop Unleashed for themselves can do so by booking online.
For the full list of Blooloop Award finalists, click here.