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Andy Serkis talks Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Acting, The Imaginarium, the Future of Motion Capture, Caesar's development, the possible futures of Planet of The Apes and tells us a role he would still like to play - An Evening with Andy Serkis Part 2 - IN CONVERSATION


Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Thursday, November 27, 2014

 Andy Serkis talks Dawn of The Planet of The ApesContinuing on from Part One of an evening with Andy Serkis, in which I gush about the wonderfulness of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and can be found over here!

Whilst my head was buzzing from the celluloid high that I haven't had in awhile from a film. Empire's Don Jolin popped onto the stage for a chat with Mr Andy Serkis.

If you have read my review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes you know that I loved it not only as an incredible piece of entertainment but as an insightful and intelligent metaphor of exploration of the human condition. So far the remakes of The Planet of The Apes films have been extraordinary films doing both justice to Pierre Boulle's original tale as well as forging a place for themselves in the modern zeitgeist.

Much of what makes The Planet of The Apes films as magic as they are is - the authenticity of the simian characters. Their credibility on screen a combination of astounding effects making their computer generated avatars incredibly lifelike. As well as the emotive performances behind the Apes giving them individual personality, emotion and life - so much so that you forget that you are watching computer generated imagery.

And nowhere is bringing these avatars to life more profoundly or poignantly manifested than in the immeasurable talent of Mr Andy Serkis.

The Establishing Shot: ANDY SERKIS DISCUSSES DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES AT THE HAM YARD HOTEL LONDON
The Establishing Shot: ANDY SERKIS DISCUSSES DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES AT THE HAM YARD HOTEL LONDON

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster (ZOOM)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Ten years after a pandemic disease, apes who have survived it are drawn into battle with a group of human survivors.

Director:
Matt Reeves


Writers:

Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Pierre Boulle

Stars:
Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis


UK Release:
On Blu-ray, DVD on 24th November 2014

In my last post I expounded upon what a great evening I had, firstly been blown away by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and then to hear Mr Andy Serkis discuss working of The Planet of The Apes so far giving some real insight into not only his inner workings but also the development of Motion Capture and our favourite Chimpanzee revolutionary Caesar.


During the QA some of which is captured in the videos further below Andy Serkis discusses all manner of things Planet of The Apes related. All the way from what drives his performances, what drives Caesar, the development and evolution of Caesar, performing with Motion Capture, the initial strange discrimination of Mo Cap performers, his new studio The Imaginarium, the future of Motion Capture, the cultural relevance of Planet of The Apes as well as what might be ahead for The Planet of The Apes franchise.

But first Dan Jolin who hosted the QA session gives Serkis a pretty good Introduction covering his career at a very high level before getting into the good stuff.


00:13. Dan Jolin introduces Andy Serkis.
Click here to view this part on YouTube.


... and has evolved into the world's foremost proponent of a whole new craft, an exciting blend of cutting edge technology with the most fundamental elements of performance.


I first interviewed Andy around twelve years ago. That was for a film called The Two Towers, part of the Lord of The Rings trilogy in which he played Gollum - a tiny mutant Hobbit, since then he has played King Kong - a gigantic, monstrous gorilla, he has played Captain Haddock - the literal drunken sailor (in The Adventures of Tintin) and of course as you have just seen the chimpanzee leader of the Ape revolution Caesar - all the way from childhood to silver backed dominance.


But not just that - he is now directing his own performance capture epic - Jungle Book: Origins at the state of the art studio he built himself  - The Imaginarium Studios in Ealing.


So far this year his expertise at The Imaginarium have been tapped by the likes of Joss Whedon for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and J.J.Abrams for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and to top it all off Andy is a bloody nice bloke so I'm going to shut up now and invite him onto the stage.


Ladies and Gentleman Andy Serkis the Master of Mo Cap! The King of the Swingers!”
                                                             - Dan Jolin


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Andy Serkis is Caesar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Andy Serkis is Caesar (ZOOM)

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01:56 Andy Serkis talks about the influences on Caesar both animalistic and otherwise.
His experience of studying animal behaviour for both King Kong and The Planet of The Apes and the influence world leaders has on Caesars evolution [Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

05:01 Andy Serkis talks about playing Caesar
His initial thoughts on the POTA script how Caesar's transformation changed his mind. His approach to playing Caesar and Caesars psychological drivers.  [Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

07:43 Andy Serkis discusses Performance Capture
The differences in approach to playing a live character over a Performance Capture roles and what drives Andy Serkis' performances
[Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

09:44 Dan Jolin and Andy Serkis discuss how Performance Capture enhances performances
How it has evolved and how onscreen performances are actually authored. How the technology and expertise in Performance Capture has advanced.
 [Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

14:04 Andy Serkis on the future of Performance Capture
What The Imaginarium is working towards. And a little bit about how they are applying the Performance Capture craft for Jungle Book: Origins.
 [Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

16:06 Andy Serkis talks about the script development of both; Rise of the Planet of the Apes & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
As well as the development of Caesar's character.
[Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

20:35 Andy Serkis discusses the possible futures of The Planet of The Apes 
And its culture relevance.
 [Click here to view this part on YouTube.]

The Establishing Shot: ANDY SERKIS DISCUSSES DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES & MORE





... when we make a film about these kind of Apes of course we are making a film about ourselves ...”
                                                             - Andy Serkis


As a bonus - in the clip below we ask Andy Serkis if there are any characters or roles from popular culture he would still like to play.

After a little thought he does tell us a character that he would still like to play, but is also quick to conveys that his focus is shifting to the stories he would like to tell as a Director as well as via The Imaginarium.

It was great to finally hear about a role he would like to take on but sadly this was a missed opportunity on my part to explore what we could expect from his coming up version of Jungle Book: Origins would it be a realism based allegorical tale in line with Rudyard Kipling's books, similar to The Planet of The Apes films or more in line with the childhood Jungle Book we have come to know?


Video: The Establishing Shot: ANDY SERKIS TELLS US A CHARACTER HE WOULD STILL LIKE TO PLAY


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out on Blu-ray, DVD on 24th November

Get ready for worlds to collide like never before! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment takes you to the center of the battle between apes and humans with DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES on 3D Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and DVD from 24th became the highest grossing installment of the franchise, netting £31.9 million at the UK box office most critically acclaimed blockbuster of the summer.

Video: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes | Official Trailer #3 HD | 2014



Andy Serkis, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Keri Russell star in this thrilling next chapter of The Planet of the Apes. It is 2026 and humanity has been pushed to near extinction by a deadly virus. When a group of survivors desperate to find a new source of power travel into the woods near San Francisco, they discover a highly evolved community of intelligent apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis). The two species form a fragile peace but dissention grows and the groups find themselves hurtling toward all-out war. Fans and critics flocked to the film, with The Hollywood Reporter raving that “In the annals of sequels, Dawn is to Rise of the Planet of the Apes what The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars—it's that much better.“

With approximately two hours of special features the epic battle for survival continues on Blu-ray making DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES a perfect Christmas gift for any fan of intelligent action films.

Jam-packed with deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes including intimate interviews with Andy Serkis on how he masterfully created Caesar and inside looks at how the filmmakers developed the relationship between man and apes. In addition, explore how the stunning apes and their world were brought to life with groundbreaking special effects.

Eager fans can experience DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES anytime, anywhere on Digital HD and will be available at digital stores including iTunes, Google Play, Xbox Video, PlayStation Network, Amazon Instant Video and Sky Buy & Keep.

The Establishing Shot: ANDY SERKIS TALKS DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, ACTING, THE IMAGINARIUM, THE FUTURE OF MOTION CAPTURE, CAESAR'S DEVELOPMENT, THE POSSIBLE FUTURES OF PLANET OF THE APES AND TELLS US A ROLE HE WOULD STILL LIKE TO PLAY - AN EVENING WITH ANDY SERKIS PART 2 - IN CONVERSATION

With a rebel yell!
Craig is a retired superhero, an obsessive hobbyist, comics fan, gadget lover & flâneur who knows an unhealthy amount about Ian Fleming's James Bond. When not watching or making films he takes pictures, eats, drinks, dives, tries to connect to nature whilst mentally storyboarding the greatest film ever made. 

He also  & sometimes utilises owl-themed gadgets to fight crime.  A list of his 133 favourite films can be found hereIf you would still like to contact Craig please use any of the buttons below: 


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