The visual effects company Weta Digital became a household name following their groundbreaking work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and they’ve worked on a number of other impressive films in the interim, ranging from District 9 to Avatar to Man of Steel. With Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, the company built upon the technology used to bring Gollum to life in Lord of the Rings to create phenomenal motion-capture apes. That technology has advanced even further for the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with astounding results. What Weta has accomplished in conjunction with the actors that played the Apes is a huge step forward for how technology can shape a movie. I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.
At the recent San Francisco press day I landed an exclusive video interview with senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about their work on the film. They talked about advancements in technology and the challenges of bringing realism to the screen, deleted scenes, the technical challenges in the script, what it was like working with Matt Reeves, what it meant shooting a majority of the movie on location, future projects like Batman v Superman and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.