Andy Serkis Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Deleted Scenes, Advances in Motion Capture, and How Early He Was Cast in STAR WARS: EPISODE 7

by     Posted 163 days ago

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Let me be very clear: Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of the year and a huge step forward for what can be accomplished with motion capture technology, as Andy Serkis has again delivered one of the year’s best performances.  Loaded with incredible performances all around and a great script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the rare commercial movie that’s also deep and thoughtful.  Dawn is also atypical in that tells a complete story but also opens the door for another sequel.  As I said, Reeves has hit a massive home-run with this film and I truly hope audiences and critics embrace this special movie.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a great video interview with Andy Serkis.  He talked about his reaction to the finished film, advances in motion capture and film technology, how everything you see any ape do was done by a human performer, deleted scenes, how long ago he was cast in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode 7, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Andy Serkis:

  • What was his reaction to seeing the finished film
  • Talks about the advances in motion capture and film technology
  • How everything you see any Ape do was done by a human performer.
  • Deleted scenes talk
  • How long has he been part of Star Wars: Episode 7?


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  • Peter

    Steve, you’re always a great interviewer – you need to see if you can do some more long form style ones, I’m sure they’d be fantastic!

    • axalon

      Yeah I’m never disappointed with Steve’s interviews, he always asks great questions and manages to always get some type of new information out of the interviewer.

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  • NorthernSoul

    No, it’s not entirely authored on the set, otherwise it wouldn’t take months for the final shots to be finished. It would be nice, if only just once, Andy Serkis would acknowledge the army of artists and animators integral in the overall process of creating these digital performances. His refusal to do so is disrespectful and reeks of ego.

    • fatboy35

      Soul,

      You should go back and listen again. Andy spent the first minute gushing about how WETA’s advancements really are able to pick up every emotion, every nuance of performance. Doesn’t sound disrespectful at all.

      He simply stated that Matt formed the film around the on-set performances
      because the effects wouldn’t be done for “months and months”. That was possible because of WETA’s advancements and Andy seemed thrilled that the actors’ performances really came through the effects.
      Besides, you can’t be a good actor without ego.

      • NorthernSoul

        I listened to his words very carefully. What he was trying to get across is that WETA’s technology has come so far that his performance is the only thing you see on screen, which again is an attempt to minimize the amount of post-production work that goes into these films, and yes, this includes animation. He wants to re-brand what animators do as “digital makeup”, another way of diminishing their contribution to these performances. I saw the list of animators who worked on this film, and it was massive. For Andy to stand up there and soak up all the credit for Caesar’s performance is extremely disrespectful to all the artists and animators who help bring that character to life. I know animators who’ve worked with performance capture, some of it from Andy Serkis himself, and it often requires editing, polishing, and sometimes complete rework. These performances are a collaborative effort, that’s the truth of it, and he should recognize that.

      • NorthernSoul

        I listened to his words very carefully. What he was trying to get across is that WETA’s technology has come so far that his performance is the only thing you see on screen, which again is an attempt to minimize the amount of post-production work that goes into these films, and yes, this includes animation. He wants to re-brand what animators do as “digital makeup”, another way of diminishing their contribution to these performances. I saw the list of animators who worked on this film, and it was massive. For Andy to stand up there and soak up all the credit for Caesar’s performance is extremely disrespectful to all the artists and animators who help bring that character to life. I know animators who’ve worked with performance capture, some of it from Andy Serkis himself, and it often requires editing, polishing, and sometimes complete rework. These performances are a collaborative effort, that’s the truth of it, and he should recognize that.

  • MITIOR

    Good interview…he is always such a great guy. I’m glad he is part of StarWars. Now along with Christopher Lee he will bee in one of the 2 biggest franchises in film history.

  • ItsNotaSchooner

    Steve, you really do great interviews, and I love the types of questions that you ask. Do you think though it’s time to revisit your video compression? I feel like a small investment can get you a much better high def camera and some software that can keep the quality up while still compressing it for online streaming. Yes, its the stupid nerd techie in me talking, but I do enjoy your stuff so it is something I think about. Thoughts?

    • Diaz

      You aren’t the only one. I was thinking the same thing. Time to upgrade fellas!

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