Ben Hawker

Ben Hawker

Ben has had a lifelong career in theatre, film, and television spanning multiple disciplines, most recently art direction for conceptual design and physical manufacture on GHOST IN THE SHELL and DUNE. Ben has written screen content for various Hollywood Studios, directed a feature, and is leading the development of several international projects for film and television.



Ben has over 30 years' experience in the New Zealand and Australian film industries working in special and visual effects, creatures, prosthetics, art direction, IP development, screenwriting, directing and editing.

While at Sydney's 20th Century Fox Studios, Ben worked on Jane Campion's Holy Smoke, George Miller's Babe: Pig in the City, and The Wachowski sibling's The Matrix.

A key crew member of Wellington's Weta Workshop from 1999 to 2023, Ben has worked on numerous high-profile films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Last Samurai, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, King Kong, 30 Days of Night, District 9 and Avatar.

Ben wrote, produced, co-edited, and directed the independent feature, Blackspot, in 2007, earning the Grand Prize for editing at the Rhode Island international film festival in 2008.

Ben has directed several short films and music videos and helmed documentary content for Wellington’s Neonatal Trust and the New Zealand National Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.

Ben most recently headed Screen Business Development for Weta Workshop and was the Creative Director for Weta Workshop's Design Studio. Ben’s responsibilities included engaging with studios, producers, and filmmakers to secure international projects for design and manufacture, and coproduction's for Weta Workshop's content division.

Ben has led scripted IP development for Dark Horse Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Amazon Studios, Netflix and Legendary Films, and art directed concept design for Ghost in the Shell and Dune.


Year Production Role Company / Director
2021 Invasion Art Director Apple TV
2017 Ghost in the Shell Art Director Paramount Picitures
2016 If I Move to Mars, Fade, Rainbow Director NZ On Air
2014 Building Gallipoli Writer & Director Te Papa Tongarewa
2009 District 9 Prosthetic Makeup and Creature FX TriStar Pictures
2008 Blackspot Writer, Director, Producer Talking Hawker Pictures
2005 King Kong Concept Design & Prosthetic Makeup Universal Pictures
2001-2003 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Concept Design & Prosthetic Makeup New Line Cinema
1999 The Matrix Special Effects Technician Warner Bros. Pictures
1995 National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Training Sydney, Australia
Associate Diploma in Production Crafts & History of Theatre