With the theatrical release of War for the Planet of the Apes today, I am sure many wonder not just with this film but others like it, “how did they do that?” I know I have pondered this question for the last several years. Is it as simple as a computer? A mask? Makeup? The answer is simply, NO! Not only is a lot of technology involved, talent, and passion is the driving forces that give these special effects life, in this instance in the Planet of the Apes films.
All of this is taking place over at Weta Digital. Weta is a digital effects company that is based out of New Zealand and founded by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, and Jamie Selkirk back in 1993. Weta has achieved so much since its conception such as Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), King Kong (2005), and Avatar (2009).
Weta’s resume includes films such as 30 Days of Night (2007), Predators (2010), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012), Krampus (2015), and of Course The new Planet of The Apes Films, and the list continues to grow with over 50 films under its belt.
War for the Planet of the Apes has presented a new challenge in capturing more Apes than in the previous films. Leaving the comfort of a controlled environment, performance capture finds a new home within the actual on-location sets.
iHorrror recently spoke to Weta Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Lemmon & VFX Art Director/Texture Supervisor Gino Acevedo about their careers and processes that go into making movie magic. Check out our interviews on pages 2 & 3.