You will emerge from viewing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes amazed at the motion capture performance by Andy Serkis. Sure, you’ve seen him do Gollum in Lord of the Rings and even Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but Dawn takes the work to an entirely new level. Recently some people in the computer animation and effects space have gotten angry over comments from Serkis that WETA is just “painting digital makeup onto actors’ performances.” Many have felt that minimizes the work of many talented visual effects artists. I didn’t get a chance to talk to the actor, but I was able to chat with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves about the Andy Serkis digital make-up controversy.
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While you’re watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you won’t suspect anything unusual about the way the film was made. But some scenes were shot with actors performing their roles more than 1,000 miles away from each other while director Matt Reeves directed over Skype, from 6,328 miles away. Reeves reveals to me that he directed sequences using Skype video conferencing with Andy Serkis performing Caesar in his performance capture studio in London while Jason Clarke interacted with the ape from a hotel room in Rome. Find out more about the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes skype filming, after the jump.
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Rumors, confirmations, Rebels and more are in this edition of Star Wars Bits. After the jump, read about the following:
- A new rumor connects Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat to Star Wars.
- Andy Serkis hasn’t started shooting his Star Wars Episode VII role yet.
- Watch some viral “leaked Star Wars Episode VII” footage.
- Original Star Wars sculptor Brian Muir is working on Episode VII.
- Watch an hour long, pre-Star Wars interview with George Lucas.
- Read some potential spoilers about the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels.
- John Boyega reflects on the job he’s currently doing.
- Has The Inquisitor‘s custom TIE Fighter been revealed?
- Gizmodo report on the worst Star Wars exhibit ever.
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During my marathon interview with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, I asked if he had exchanged advice with his childhood friend JJ Abrams on Star Wars, or taken any advice from him for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Reeves admitted that he might be part of the reason Andy Serkis was cast in Star Wars Episode VII.
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More so than pretty much any movie this summer, you’re going to walk out of Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and think, “How the HECK did they do that?” The combination of technical expertise mixed with dramatic artistry is absolutely magnificent and, somehow, a huge step up from the already-impressive Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Mix those elements with a complex, emotional story of acceptance, family and prejudice, add in a ton of huge action, and you’ve got one of the best films of the summer.
As for that question of “How,” author Matt Hurwitz has your answers in the new book Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films. Out July 8, it’s filled with concept art and behind the scenes images from both films and, below, we’ve got some exclusive early glimpses. Check out the Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes concept art below. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
20th Century Fox has given us an web-exclusive illustrated “Hail Caesar” poster for Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to premiere this morning. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes illustrated poster was created by UK artist Matt Needle, putting the spotlight on Caesar, the leader of the apes played by Andy Serkis in the film via performance capture. Its nice that big movie studios are starting to release their own Mondo-style illustrated posters, if only for online promotion. Hit the jump to see the poster in full.
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Over the weekend we heard a bit from Andy Serkis about his work for Star Wars Episode VII. The actor is also doing work with Joss Whedon and crew, however, for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Serkis is a principal in The Imaginarium, a company he founded to be the world’s premiere performance-capture outfit. Now Serkis says he’s helping out on Age of Ultron, working with Mark Ruffalo, and that he plays a role in the film, too. Read More »
When you’ve hired a person who is the best in the world at doing something, can you actually ask him not to do it? That’s the question raised with respect to Star Wars Episode VII. In a new interview, actor Andy Serkis spoke about the use of motion- and performance-capture in J.J. Abrams‘ sequel. He confirmed his company, The Imaginarium, would indeed be doing all the mo-cap for the film, adding “and I myself am playing a character in it.” Does that mean he’s a character in the Imaginarium’s work or just a character in the movie?
It would certainly make sense for Serkis to play a performance capture role as he’s the industry’s top performer. He helped define the new art form with his work in in The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But he’s a fantastic actor with or without the computer. So what’s the deal? Read the full Andy Serkis Star Wars quote below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, June 27th, 2014 by Angie Han
Sorry, Breaking Bad fans: Aaron Paul says he won’t appear in Better Call Saul after all. Also after the jump:
- The next Beverly Hills Cop will head to Michigan
- Mission: Impossible 5 might film in the Houses of Parliament
- Benjamin Bratt hops on for Ride Along 2
- Pitch Perfect 2 adds Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
- A top GM designer has a cameo in Transformers 4
- Mark Wahlberg promises Ted is as lovably awful as ever
- Stanley Tucci is glad Mockingjay was split in two
- David Duchovny wants more X-Files movies
- Watch another Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clip
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