Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

A Sculptor’s Journey 2018

Directed by Jeff McDonald

Sculptor Sabin Howard enlists the technical expertise of the whizzes at Weta Workshop to help envision a massive WWI sculpture he has been commissioned to design for Washington DC.

52 minutes DCP



Jeff McDonald
Steve Unwin
Hans Weston


Bridget Lyon


Sabin Howard
Richard Taylor
James Doyle
Traci L. Slatton
Joe Weishaar

American sculptor Sabin Howard has been commissioned to contribute a massive sculpture for the National WWI Memorial planned for Pershing Park in Washington, DC. The move into the intensive, collaborative nature of creating a lasting piece of public art is a challenging one for Howard, who is more used to creating his classically influenced figurative sculptures in his Bronx studio.

Howard conceptualises an immense relief sculpture for the site that follows the journey of a soldier throughout the war. He needs to create a maquette – a preliminary model on a smaller scale – of his vision in order to receive final approval, but Howard knows he willl need help to create such a huge work in such a short amount of time. This is where Wellington’s own wizards of effects, Weta Workshop, come in. With their technical nous and state-of-the-art model making techniques, Sir Richard Taylor and the Weta crew become crucial participants in helping Howard to achieve his epic vision.

Filmmaker Jeff McDonald follows the process as Howard comes to Wellington to prepare the maquette, but with approval needed from four different government agencies, will it be enough to convince the gatekeepers? — MM