Cinematographer Michael Seresin Talks Filming in 3D, the Look of the Film, GRAVITY, and More on the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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While I love getting to talk to the actors and director on a film set, one of the people I always want to talk to, and rarely get the chance to do so, is the cinematographer.  The reason interviews with cinematographer is so rare is time.  While actors take a break in between shot set ups, the director of photography is constantly working.  The second the director gets the shot, the DP is moving his team to the next location, trying to figure out how to make it perfect.  Because of time constraints, I’ve rarely talked to a DP on a movie set.  But on the New Orleans set of Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last summer, I was able to participate in a group interview with cinematographer Michael Seresin.

During the interview Seresin talked about why they used the Alexa camera over the Sony F65 and the Red Epic, the decision to shoot in 3D instead of post-converting, what shooting in 3D adds to the schedule, how many rigs were they using, why he wanted to use new Leica lenses, if they were trying to match the look of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, working with the motion-capture actors, his work on Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (he did additional photography on the film), and more.  It’s a great interview so check it out after the jump.

15 New DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Toy Images Show off Caesar, Maurice, and Koba

by     Posted 3 days ago

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We’ve got 15 new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes toy images to share with you today.  These articulated Neca Series 1 action figures show off great looks at Caesar, Maurice, and Koba in action.  Fans of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie should recognize those monkey monikers, since the characters played pivotal roles in defeating the initial human force.  Now it appears as if they’re once again ready for battle in the Matt Reeves sequel, due out July 11th.

Andy Serkis, Karin Konoval, and Toby Kebbell play Caesar, Maurice, and Koba respectively, with Jason ClarkeKeri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique Murciano also starring.  Be sure to check out Steve’s set visit report and interviews with Serkis, and Clarke.  Then, hit the jump to check out the new toy images.

45 Things to Know about DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES from Our Set Visit

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a great movie.  In a summer filled with explosions and spectacle, Apes used motion capture and other modern technology to help tell its story and audiences embraced the film.  By the time the movie finished it’s theatrical run, it had made close to $500 million worldwide.  Based on the box office and reviews, it was no surprise when Fox moved forward with the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The 2011 film set up a world and story that people wanted to see more of, so this felt like a sequel that was being made for the right reasons.

Last summer, when director Matt Reeves was filming in New Orleans, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters.  While on set I watched some filming, participated in group interviews with some of the cast and filmmakers, and learned a lot of cool stuff about one of my most anticipated films of 2014.  If you’re looking forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hit the jump for 45 things to know about the film.

Andy Serkis Talks Working with Matt Reeves, Advances in Motion-Capture Technology, and More on the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Quite possibly the best (and definitely the most surprising) popcorn movie of the summer of 2011 was Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  Most audiences were expecting a generic retread of well-worn material, but director Rupert Wyatt gave us a smart, thoughtful and fairly tragic sci-fi adventure.  Andy Serkis stole the show as the motion-captured ape Caesar, and his amazing performance led many to say he should be nominated for an Oscar.  Following the success of the film around the world, it was no surprise Fox moved forward with a sequel, and last summer when the production was shooting in New Orleans, I got to participate in a group interview with Serkis during a break in filming.

During the interview, Serkis talked about where the film picks up, Caesar’s relationship with his tribe and the human survivors, Caesar’s family life, advances in motion-capture technology, the apes language, working with Matt Reeve’s, his involvement in casting the other actors portraying apes, filming on location, and so much more.  If you’re looking forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, you’re going to love this interview.

Jason Clarke Talks Working with Andy Serkis, His Character’s Relationship to Caesar, and More on the Set of DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 3 days ago

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One of the interesting things about director Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the way the film flips the switch on how animals and humans currently live.  When the film starts, the apes have built a flourishing society in the forest outside San Francisco with Caesar (Andy Serkis) as their leader.  On the other hand, the humans, being led by Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke, are living hand-to-mouth, struggling to survive.  After the events of the first film when the two societies eventually collided…Let’s just say neither side trusts the other and that dynamic plays into the rest of the film.

During a break in filming last year when the production was in New Orleans, I participated in a group interview with Clarke.  He talked about how he got involved in the project, the great script, working with Andy Serkis and the other motion capture actors, his charascter’s backstory and relationship with Caesar, what filming on location adds to a performance, and more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

New Images from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Feature Shotgun-Wielding Simians

by     Posted 8 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released 10 new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes images including some fresh details on the upcoming sequel.  The story takes place 10 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  “The small group of humans are struggling to come back from devastation, and the apes are fighting for survival,” director Matt Reeves tells USA Today. “The big question is, can they co-exist?”  Serkis also points out that in the new movie, “Caesar not only has a wife, but also an infant son and a teenage son,” adding, “This film centers around the notion of family — the survival of the family and what lengths you would go to protect them when life is extremely hard and tough.”  In another interesting note, Judy Greer plays Caesar’s wife Cornelia, and before she got the role, Terry Notary, a former Cirque du Soleil performer and the film’s stunt and movement coordinator, had to sign off.  I can only hope Greer responded, “You are not my supervisor!

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk Acevedo, and Enrique MurcianoDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 11th.

Exclusive: Check Out an Awesome New Poster for Director Matt Reeves DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 18 days ago

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A few days ago at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox world premiered footage from a number of their upcoming films.  While I’m incredibly excited about their 2014 and 2015 slate, near the top of my list is director Matt Reeves Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.   The story takes place 10 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy Greer.

With the film opening July 11th, Fox has started ramping up the promotion for the film.  Just a few minutes ago we posted the brand new TV spot (watch it here), and now I’m happy to offer our readers an exclusive new poster.  As you can see after the jump, the poster is clearly a nod to the emotion in the movie, like we saw in the last one.  Having seen the footage at CinemaCon, I can tell you there will be epic action and a great story.  I really can’t wait to see the finished film.  Check out the poster and let me know what you think of it in the comments.

First TV Spot for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell

by     Posted 18 days ago

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If you couldn’t get enough of the post-apocalypse during tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead, the commercial breaks had you covered with the first TV spot for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  The spot finally provided us with some new, finished FX footage of the apes, and they’re looking good.  I really like how director Matt Reeves is not only putting his own mark on the franchise, but trying to find subtle ways to show the apes as a growing force and a growing civilization.

Hit the jump to check out the TV spot.  The film stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary Oldman, Toby KebbellKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 11th.

Andy Serkis Talks Directing THE JUNGLE BOOK and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Reveals First 20 Minutes Is Just the Apes

by     Posted 20 days ago

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A little while before picking up his CinemaCon Vanguard Award, I landed an exclusive video interview with Andy Serkis.  During the interview, Serkis talked about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and directing The Jungle Book for Warner Bros.  For fans of the Apes franchise, Serkis says the sequel is completely different than the first movie and reveals that the first 20 minutes of the movie focuses on just the apes.  In addition, he’s seen a rough cut and think it’s a very powerful film about identity and tribalism, and 90% of the film is shot on location because of advancement in motion-capture technology.   He also revealed that seeds are planted for a third movie, which already has Matt Reeves set to return as director.

Regarding his directorial debut, The Jungle Book, Serkis praised the dark script and how developing Animal Farm gave him the tools to create the motion-capture animals in The Jungle Book.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Mo-Cap Goes Ape in New Behind-the-Scenes Photos from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 21 days ago

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A few days ago, we got a new set photo from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now three more have arrived.  The story takes place 15 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  While Rise of the Planet of the Apes certainly had its fair share of apes, they’re presumably going to be an even bigger part of the sequel.  This means more mo-capping, and one of these photos show Serkis and his co-stars going ape while the other two focus on human characters played by Jason Clarke and Keri Russell and a close-up on director Matt Reeves.  But most importantly, Caesar’s going to be riding a horse.  Aw, yeah.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Gary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, Toby Kebbell, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18th.

New Set Photo from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and Toby Kebbell

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Fox has released a new photo from the set of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Since the special effects work is still heavily underway, we probably shouldn’t expect to start seeing damn, dirty, CGI apes until later this spring, but this is still a nice tease for the post-apocalyptic sequel.  The story takes place 15 years after the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.  This time around, Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans) will be throwing on a mo-cap suit, and it will be interesting to see how his work compares to the veteran Serkis.

Hit the jump to check out the set photo.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, Keri RussellGary OldmanKodi Smit-McPheeKirk AcevedoEnrique Murciano, and Judy GreerDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens in 3D on July 18th.

CinemaCon: Posters for SPIDER-MAN 2, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, TF4, THE BOXTROLLS, EXPENDABLES 3, and Many More

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Continuing our coverage from CinemaCon 2014 (Comic-Con for theater owners), I snapped a ton of pictures of the many posters and theater standees on display today.  Included in this article are The Expendables 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Boxtrolls, Transformers 4, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Earth to Echo, Edge of Tomorrow, From the Rough, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Deliver Us From Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Purge: Anarchy, Neighbors, and many more.  Hit the jump to check them out and look for a lot more updates from CinemaCon all week.

And click here if you missed the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold.

Rotten Tomatoes Users Rank X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST as the Most Anticipated Movie of the Summer

by     Posted 35 days ago

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The summer movie season is just around the corner, and while 2014 isn’t as overloaded with crazy releases as 2015, there is still plenty to look forward to.  We’ve got sequels, reboots, sequel-reboots, remakes, and even the rare original story all slated to open, and the folks over at Rotten Tomatoes have put together a ranked list of the most anticipated films based on the site’s user rankings.  Coming in at #1 on the list with 100% “want to see” from a total of 110,869 votes is director Bryan Singer’s superhero sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Having helmed the first X-Men in 2000, Singer is one of the godfathers of the modern superhero movie era.  It’s not exactly a shock that fans are eager to see his return to the X-Men franchise, since the time-bending DOFP infuses the new X-Men: First Class cast with the classic X-Men actors from the original films.

Hit the jump to take a look at the Top 10, which includes a couple of surprises.

SXSW 2014: Kodi Smit-McPhee Talks THE WILDERNESS OF JAMES, Being Free with the Character, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and More

by     Posted 39 days ago

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From writer/director Michael James Johnson, The Wilderness of James (playing at the SXSW Film Festival), tells the story of a lost teenager named James (Kodi Smit-McPhee). He’s crawled into his shell as he struggles to deal with the tragic death of his father, and he lives in a world of his own making that is defined by his bizarre fascination with death. As tensions mount with his mother (Virginia Madsen) at home, he begins to explore the wilderness of the city, finding himself drawn to a girl (Isabelle Fuhrman) and a charismatic stranger (Evan Ross).

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee talked about how he came to be a part of this film, why he was so drawn to the role, what his typical process is for finding a character, letting himself be free with the character, why the set was such a good environment, why he prefers being on the giving rather than the receiving end for fight scenes, and how much he enjoyed working with this cast.  He also talked about his experience on the upcoming blockbuster sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, reuniting with his Let Me In director Matt Reeves, and that he can’t wait to see the film.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Keri Russell Talks THE AMERICANS Season 2, Reacting to the Events of Last Season, Bad-Ass Fight Scenes, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, and More

by     Posted 43 days ago

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The FX period drama The Americans is back for Season 2, as it follows the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.  The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), whose 14-year-old daughter Paige (Holly Taylor) and 11-year-old son Henry (Keidrich Sellati) know nothing about their parents’ true identity, is becoming more genuine, as the escalation of the Cold War makes everything more dangerous.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, actress Keri Russell talked about the endless complications for characters living in a spy world, how Season 2 gets more layered and rich, that Elizabeth is really knocked off of her center after the events of last season, where things are at now between Elizabeth and Phillip, how much she enjoys the bad-ass fight scenes, how happy she was to get Margo Martindale back for a bit of this season, and why she loves working with director Thomas Schlamme.  She also talked about her experience making Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and how she owes her casting in the film to director Matt Reeves, who created the TV series Felicity with J.J. Abrams.  Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.   

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