Interview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

We speak with Weta Digital's Joe Letteri about the evolution of effects needed to make the latest in the Planet of the Apes franchise.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the latest film in the long-running sci-fi franchise, the seventh feature-length film based within the canon including Tim Burton's 2001 remake of the original. Rise takes place in the present time and tells the story of Caesar, the first of the simians to gain intelligence and who is eventually responsible for the revolution against mankind.

One of the key differences in the presentation of the apes in this latest film is the introduction of CGI characters rather than actors in suits. Fresh from its work on James Cameron's Avatar , Weta Digital was charged with creating the effects for the film, using the same motion capture techniques employed to create the Naavi characters in Avatar, as well as Golem in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

We sat down with the director of Weta Digital and the senior visual effects supervisor on Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Leterri, and asked him about the evolution of Weta's motion capture technology and about some of the other kit involved in creating the effects in the film.

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.

 

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