Friday, July 27, 2007

Eh-hum # 187

Being a (new and perhaps less rabid) Neil Gaiman fan, I am looking forward to watching his novels/works on the big screen. Though I want to read the novel first, I am pretty excited with Stardust, which will be released this August. But I am more excited with this one:

Gaiman, together with Roger Avary (Pulp Fiction), adapted the legend that is Beowulf to the screen. Using the same "performance capture technology" in the film Polar Express, this version is in CGI and features both the voice and acting talents of Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, John Malkovich, and Angelina Jolie. Watch the trailer, and am sure you will be amazed how similar (looking) the actors are to their characters/movie counterparts. Well, that's because the movie is entirely motion capture and the said actors were doing the voice, acting and facial/body movements. The only exception is that they had blue/green screens as the set and were fitted with special suits and sensors. Gaiman described the "melding of the actors' work and the performance capture technology as digitally enhanced acting (this was during the Q and A portion at the 2007 San Diego Comic Con where 20 minutes of the movie was shown)."

This could be a new trend in producing major epic movies. You don't need expensive sets, elaborate costumes or an army of stunt people or larger than life pieces like dragons. Also, producers can hire actors regardless of age, since it does not matter in motion capture. For instance, Ray Winstone is already in his early 50s and his Beowulf has a physique (see above picture) that could match Gerard Butler's King Leonidas (by the way, Butler also played Beowulf in 2005's Beowulf and Grendel). And just because its animated, it doesn't mean its exclusively for children.

But I guess the downside is that you will be putting a lot of stunt and props people out of work. Also, some people would prefer to see real flesh and bone running around. Hmmmm...

Picture from The site is up but some parts are still under construction. Enjoy!

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