Plastic Chainmail Forges A Link Between Moviemaking And Architecture

Forbes feature written by Laurie Winkless

Extract: I’m always curious about how businesses come up with their names. But I think having one bestowed upon you by award-winning actor Viggo Mortensen – or if we’re giving him his full title, Aragorn, son of Arathorn – is the coolest origin story I’ve ever heard.

And that is exactly what happened for New Zealand-based materials company, Kaynemaile. Early on in founder Kayne Horsham’s role as artistic director for the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) movie trilogy, they hit a snag. “I was spending a lot of my time investigating local industries, to see what they could do,” he said. “We were also on the lookout for niche elements or ideas that we could collaborate with people on, to meet the specific – and occasionally, weird – needs of this project.”

And one of the key things that Kayne had to source was chainmail. If you’ve seen any of the LOTR movies, you’ll know that almost every character wears some (except the elves – they have plate armor, but I digress). So, it needed to look, move and sound authentic on screen, while also being robust enough to cope with a long shoot and multiple battle sequences. Thankfully, humans have been making chainmail since the 5th century and it was the main type of armor used by soldiers right up until the 16th century… so we know lots about it. Kayne managed to find a producer in India, but, the resulting chainmail was incredibly heavy, and the actors and stuntpeople really struggled to perform in it.

Read full feature article here.