This year, we went to Wellington for Christmas. While we were there, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit Weta Workshops, the world-famous home of hobbits, trolls, and all things Lord of the Rings.
While Weta Workshops is most famous for their work on the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies, they actually make physical movie props for a range of movies, from District 12 to Avatar (although that was largely the work of their associated organisation, Weta Digital, who do all the computer animation).
Our guide took us through the design process, showing us how it could take dozens or hundreds of sketches before a design was approved. How a plastic mould was then created—over 80% of the props, from the firearms to the swords to the vehicles, are made of plastic.
She then told us how the plastic models were turned over to the painting department: The Department of Lies.
Why the Department of Lies?
Because they take shaped white plastic and turn it into something it isn’t: a wooden gun, a leather shield, a metal sword. They can make it look new, or they can make it look old. It’s all just spray paint and plastic.
Plastic looks good, but lacks any functionality. A plastic sword won’t cut anything. Won’t hurt anyone. A plastic shield won’t protect an actor from anything other than plastic sword.
The plastic looks good, but it’s not perfect. Modern digital cameras are so powerful, they still need to use real props for the close-up shots. Real swords. Real knives. Real shields.
It struck me that the Father of Lies takes the same approach. He takes the real thing, and substitutes it for a fake. We can only tell the difference if we look carefully, and if we know what the real thing looks like.
And only the real thing will protect us.
That means spending time with God, in His Word, ensuring we know the real thing so we can see the lie. It means spending time with other Christians, learning from them, as iron sharpens iron.
Because we don’t want to be stuck with a plastic sword when the Father of Lies comes against us with the real thing.
Meanwhile, now I know it’s all makeup and plastic swords, it’s going to be difficult to be afraid of those orcs!