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Johnny Fraser-Allen: from school to Weta Workshop

August 24, 2013 at 7:35 am by Demosthenes  - 

Hohnny Fraser-Allen. Photo: FAIRFAX NZ.

Johnny Fraser-Allen. Photo: FAIRFAX NZ.

Johnny Frazer Allen is a rising star in Tolkien fandom and the art world. He won a lot of hearts at San Diego Comic-con with his generosity and authentic fan enthusiasm, providing insight into the design of Radagast while signing with author/actress Evangeline Lilly. TheOneRing.net even covered his Gloaming exhibition earlier this year.

Johnny has a standing invite to appear on TORn Tuesdays to further chat with fans, when he’s able to break free from his many obligations!

Here, mainstream magazine Stuff now profiles Frazer-Allen’s rising career.


There is a fairytale-like feeling to the story of 28-year-old Johnny Fraser-Allen. A chance encounter with Weta Workshop’s Sir Richard Taylor at the airport, and the pivotal decision to miss a flight home so he could talk to him, landed Fraser-Allen his dream job at Weta at the age of 19. Nearly a decade on, he has put working for the creative company on hold to focus on his latest adventure – writing and illustrating children’s books, and gearing up for his second exhibition.

Landing his dream job at Weta took a touch of fate for Fraser-Allen. He had flown from Christchurch to Wellington, hoping to show Taylor his final high school design portfolio at a photography exhibition by Lord of The Rings star Viggo Mortensen, but Taylor was a no-show.

Despondently waiting for his flight home, he spotted Taylor at the airport. “I had the choice of missing my flight or talking to him, so I missed my flight.”

The meeting was a turning point.

“Richard took a lot of time with me, gave me a lot of advice, then he gave me his card and told me to bring my portfolio up in person.”

When Fraser-Allen got home, he scrapped his portfolio and started again, based on the Oscar winner’s advice.

When Taylor eventually looked at his portfolio, he said Fraser-Allen’s skills weren’t good enough for the design room, but he employed him based on his enthusiasm.

[Read More]

Posted in Crew News, Evangeline Lilly, Hobbit Movie, Production, Richard Taylor, The Hobbit, WETA Workshop on August 24, 2013 by
Source: Stuff.co.nz