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"Iíve been all over the world and I know that Wellington is the best place to study and liveÖ"

With movies like Thor: Rangnarok, Lord of the Rings, and Avatar to his credit, Shane Rangi is a stunt specialist at the top of his game. He spoke about Wellington, studying in New Zealand, and a film career.
BY Skendha Singh |   16-04-2019

BrainGain MagazineShane Rangi & the Wellington delegation

Actor Shane Rangi, also known as the Kiwi Rock, was recently in India to talk about studying in Wellington. He was a member of a delegation of experts. “I’ve always fancied working in a Bollywood blockbuster,” Mr. Rangisaid. “That hasn’t happened yet but being able to come to Mumbai and share some stuntman secrets from Wellington is the next best thing.”

BrainGain Magazine spoke to Mr. Rangi about his support for Wellington Education, his career in the movies, and the future of the New Zealand film industry. Edited excerpts are below:

  1. Witch King of Angmar
    As the Witch King of Angmar in Lord of the Rings
    What inspired your choice to support Wellington Education?
    A good education is so, so important. My training [at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School] prepared me very well for my career. When the people from Study in Wellington got in touch, I was really happy to help represent them and the city I love so much, so we can encourage more people to study in our vibrant and welcoming home.

     
  2. How did you build a career as a stuntman?
    I had just come out of studying at Toi Whakaari, when auditions started happening for the first Lord of the Rings. I was lucky enough to get a part [of the Witch-King of Angmar] and my career really built from there. Weta Workshop, the group behind all the blockbuster films made in Wellington, has always broken new ground in film technology - like motion capture. Because I came from an acting background, but loved the stunt work, I [earnt respect] for bringing my characters to life.


     
  3. What was it like, working for the exacting Peter Jackson, in the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy?
    What Peter Jackson did from a small city like Wellington was nothing short of astounding. The creative legacy he has left has added so much to the vibrancy of the city. That said, he did set high standards, but that often comes with creative genius.

     
  4. To people who confuse stunts with special effects – is there anything that you’d like to say?
    Stunt work and special effects are often quite different. I like the cut and thrust of stunt work, particularly now that I am doing some stunt choreography. But the digital effects stuff is really technically interesting, and there is so much innovation in that space in Wellington.

     
  5. What are your thoughts on the entertainment industry in New Zealand today? And on how it might develop in the future?
    I think Wellington’s creative industries have a great future. We’re about to start shooting on the next Avatar film, and then there are multiple sequels planned beyond that. The first Avatar movie really pushed the technical boundaries of film. Because we have a really strong talent pool in creative technology now there are so many exciting businesses popping up in the Augmented and Virtual Reality space. I love that area!

     
  6. Any words of advice for young people thinking of studying, living and working abroad?
    Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity. In my role I travel a lot, and I love experiencing new cultures. When you settle down to study you need to know that you’re in a safe, welcoming environment that is going to challenge you to be the best you can be. I’ve been all over the world and I know that Wellington is the best place to study and live.

     
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