Production Blog #9: Miraz

Richard Taylor & Daniel Falconer (Weta Workshop Armorists)

Miraz’s helmet was the first component of his armor to find a strong direction during the design phase. From the outset Director Andrew Adamson suggested experimenting with the idea of masks and this eventually lead Weta’s designers to create the stylized, bearded faceplate seen in the final helmet (crafted by Weta sculptor Max Patte). Designer Paul Tobin found inspiration for the shape of Miraz’s helmet in the styles of the Spanish conquistador explorers, while the mask was influenced by the intimidating masks of samurai helmets. Paul reinterpreted them, using sculptural stylization derived from classical European statuary and the iconic representations of the marauding conquistador explorers to marry the helmet and mask together into something new and original.

Isis Mussenden (Costume Designer)

Concept Art

Concept Art

From the military looks to the civilian garb, it was essential that Miraz was strong, Mediterranean, a bit Pirate, ruthless, barbaric in character but more sophisticated in style. I was inspired initially by images from 15th century Spanish soldiers. I came upon something I was not familiar with as an armor piece, and that was the Brigandine. After a wonderful visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, the curator Stewart Pryer educated me about the leather plated armor. Working with Weta Workshop and their wonderful armorist, the bronze armor was adopted and executed to compliment and finish the military look.
I had already decided on my pallet for the Telmarines, taken from a set of paintings by El Greco. Considered a Spanish painter, although Greek (thus the name), these painting stand at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Gruesome images, acidic and cool, perfect for our needs. The next piece of the puzzle was a book about the Sardinian cultural dress I came upon on a shopping trip to Italy. A notorious rough and tough island, it was just the new look I was after. The mood was set. Skirts, vest, wide belts, gaters and jackets…….no capes! My Lord was going to be all Telmarine, and that was going to be a fresh and unique look.

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