Reeves Brings New Dawn to Planet of the Apes

No Apes director has gone through the looking glass to explore the human condition as ambitiously as Matt Reeves. As a result, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes makes a smart and most compelling summer tentpole, with Andy Serkis delivering his most powerful performance yet as Caesar, and Weta Digital making a quantum leap in performance capture. We are totally immersed in Caesar’s struggle to prevent war with humanity, and forget that we’re watching a CG character.

“I thought it would be really cool to start with the apes and enter the world through their eyes, and to tell this story of the potential moment when humans and apes could’ve co-existed as a way of describing our own struggle against the violence within us,” explains Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield), who likens Dawn to The Godfather in terms of the heavy emotional burden on Caesar as leader, husband, and father.

But Reeves wanted to go further aesthetically than Rupert Wyatt’s brilliant Rise, pushing the naturalism by shooting primarily outdoors in the rustic beauty of Muir Woods, and coaxing more photo-realism out of Weta, which had to adjust its Oscar-winning methodology in a less controlled environment with rain and mud.

“They redid everything,” Reeves insists, “their fur simulation, their moisture simulation, their models, they rebuilt the rigs.” Plus with better markers and higher-res and more mobile cameras, Weta achieved greater fidelity to the performances of Serkis and his ape co-stars (including Toby Kebbell, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, and Judy Greer).

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Meanwhile, Fox and Vice Media’s Motherboard have released three shorts directed by Isaiah Seret that help explain the 10-year timeline between Rise and Dawn (see below):

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production

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