SFX 250 PREVIEW! Why Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Faced Up To The Elements

It’s quite literally gorillas in the mist. And chimpanzees in the rain.

The sequel to 2011’s Rise Of The Planet of the Apes had a very different production to its predecessor, according to director Matt Reeves. So when he got the job for the biggest performance capture movie in cinema history, what did he decide to do?

Shoot it in wet, rainy forests.

“I wanted the production design, the light, all of that kind of stuff, to be at a higher level of reality. To get the uncanny feeling of watching something that somehow felt and looked utterly real.

“The first movie shot probably 60, 70% on the stage. Which makes sense for a motion capture movie, because there’s a lot of equipment that goes along with it. I wanted this movie to have the inverse of that. We probably shot 85% on location.

“In order to be in the woods, I wanted us to be in the weather,” he continues. “I wanted us to embrace all of that. So we went there knowing it would rain, knowing that we would have motion capture cameras, 3D cameras, all of that equipment on a rainy hillside, freezing cold, with fibre-optic cable in the dirtiest of conditions.”

If there are mysterious muddy stains on the cinema screen, at least now you know why.

Read more in the new issue of SFX, on sale Wednesday 25 June. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is set free in cinemas on Thursday 17 July.

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