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Steven Spielberg gives his thougths on the mocap in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

03.15.2011

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg (WAR HORSE) - often with the help of cinematographer and long-time collaborator Janusz Kaminski - has always had the eye for constructing some amazingly gorgeous-looking films. But what happens when a live-action director suddenly turns to a new technology like motion capture, such as that found in the man's upcoming THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN? The Bearded One tells LA Times' Hero Complex, "It made me more like a painter than ever before."

So why did Spielberg choose to go with mocap to bring TINTIN to cinematic life?

“It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could. Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe. It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You’d have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one.”

Realizing an exacting vision though can be a hardship, especially when employing a technology one hasn't used before. Was that the case for The Beard? Absolutely not!

“I just adored it. It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don’t often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller… When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves. So as Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there’s Captain Haddock on the monitor, in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world.”

Excited at all yet?

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN: THE SECRET OF THE UNICORN opens December 23rd.
Extra Tidbit: I'm all for the use of mocap when stylistically employed, so this has me pumped (especially since it's Spielbergo's first run with the tech). On that note, though, I'm also very relieved to hear that Robert Zemeckis' YELLOW SUBMARINE and its Fab Fuglies are now dead in the water...

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