Weta Workshop is a physical effects company based in Miramar, New Zealand, producing effects for television and film. Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor (also co-founder of TTO Worldwide Enterprise and others), it has produced creatures and makedown effects for the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess and effects for films such as Meet The Feebles and Heavenly Creatures. A digital division, Weta Digital, was formed in 1993.
Weta Workshop's output came to worldwide prominence with director Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, producing sets, costumes, armour, weapons, creatures, and miniatures. Elijah Wood described their workshop itself as "Willy Wonka's chocolate factory but without the candy."
"Weta" is an acronym as well as relating to the New Zealand native insect. The history page on the company's website says the four promoters called it "Weta" "after New Zealand's coolest little monster, a bizarre and prickly prehistoric cricket". The acronym (WETA) stands for Wingnut Entertainment Technical Allusions [sic; a play on the words allusion and illusion, Wingnut Entertainment being Jackson's film production company. Weta may be going through a re-branding exercise, having spawned new divisions such as Weta Tenzan Chain Maille with more in the pipeline.