Apes Will Rise: Serkis Talks About How He Prepared For Ceasar and VFX Team About The Creation of Apes
After the second trailer piqued my curiosity, I went to see The Rise of The Planet of The Apes and did not regret it one second. It is a great action movie that will ‘wow’ you visually thanks to stunning special effects and action scenes, and that also has a solid story with a powerful subtext, two elements that action movies have been consistently lacking recently.
Andy Serkis’ Ceasar impersonation is flawless and he, in collaboration with Weta Digital, brought humanity to a character with an arc far more complex than many contemporary heroes. His performance is so powerful that the hashtag #giveserkisanoscar has been trending for couple of days on Twitter.
[Duncan Jones retweets #giveserkisanoscar – August 7th, 2011]
I recently gently mocked the fact that Serkis seems to be in every coming motion-capture movie, and obviously the reason behind that is how good he is at performing within the motion-capture constraints. If things keep going with that speed, we might end up with Serkis nominated for best-actor as an Ape and best supporting actor as Haddock. (assuming he will do a great job as well, despite Tintin’s less promising visual)
Back in April, Weta Digital released a 25 minutes video where Serkis talked about how he prepared to play the part of an Ape:
There is obviously a physical period of training where you’re learning how a primate walks. (…) But I never approach a performance-captured role or a physical role any different to any other kind of screen acting role. It’s all about embodying the character, and finding the psychology and finding an emotional chore or truth that is going to tell the story.
And he adds:
It’s honestly one of the most challenging role I think I’ve ever undertaken physically and emotionally and as a story arc.
The video, that I recommend, also spends some time on the Visual Effect and the massive work Weta Digital had to put into the creation of dozens of Apes. Joe Letteri, Senior VFX Supervisor at Weta Digital explains:
What we did is that we took the performance capture-technology from Avatar and just married it to the live action stage. So that we’re capturing everything in the moment. That gives us a great way to really look at the performance, because unlike in the past where you’d have to separate the two ideas, here the performers could all been working with their live action counter-part. There is no missed opportunities, everything actually happens in the moment and that gives us a tremendous way to tell the story.
Below watch the full video released by Weta Digital: