Monday, September 12, 2005

End of the Actor? Digital Doubles and KING KONG

If you haven't checked out the official behind the scenes web site of Peter Jackson's King Kong, ( ), do! Its fantastic. Intimate and interesting it gives us an inside look into the production of the 2005 version of the 1933 classic. Live chat opportunites, message boards, latest news as well as PJ's Production Diary make for a stimulating site.

The Production Diary, film footage narrated by PJ and other members of crew, is a weekly commentary providing the viewer with plenty of behind the scenes footage and short but detailed accounts of various tools used in producing the film we will be seeing on the big screen, including clips on Rotoscoping, Foley FX and ADR recording. Its intersting stuff if your into it!

Talking about special FX in the lab today, made me take a closser look into an effect used in King Kong, Digital Doubling. Going into post production mode now, this is becoming a handy tool for the crew. Digital Doubling is basically about creating a high tech stunt double for an actor or actress, produced by sacnning and creating a perfect replecar of the individual. Apparenlty the work done with Digital Doubling on KK is a huge advancement from the work done of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which already created amazing stunt effects. Creating a digital double allows a scene to be shot visualising the cast doing actions which could quite possibly kill them, and also allows for placing cast in environmnets which are difficuilt to build. It also allows for actions to be craeted after the cast have left the set. Basically the cast all have digital stunt 'clones'.
PJ concludes the segments by expressing that some critics belive this could spell the end for the need of an actor, replacing the 'clones' to create the action. But its the actors and actresses hearts and souls which give the action meaning he says, and that the body alone cannot provide everything the film needs.

Just released is the trailor ( ) Cant wait!


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Andrew R. said...

Back in the the 1930s when the original King Kong was made they used all kinds of unheard technology to make that film possible - all of which was authentic material, simply manipulated through miniature projectors and blue screens. Today it's just all false and although digital technologies may make the movie look good they dampen the true meaning of movie making from an artistic viewpoint and perhaps as suggested, the end of the actor.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger jules said...

i dont believe that the new technologies spell any loss of 'true movie making'. Just like everything else, the art of film is evolving ( alot of the film is still shot using blue screens also). I dont think artistically they are any less creative either. Its till takes a whole lotta skill to pull of what these guys are doing, and creative thinking. I agree though to a certian point that teh subsitution of reala ctors takes some of the authenticity away from the film.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Andrew R. said...

That is true - it still does require work I guess and artistic flair but from behind a computer screen. I'm just old-fashioned when it comes to movies. But very thought-provoking post though and like you say - the actors may soon be retired to doing simply voice work.

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

Yeah i doubt we would see the end of the actor, the star persona is too entrenched into the public for it to simply dissapear, although the advent of CGI has seen the need for massive, massive amounts of extras dissapear, i think Ghandi holds the record for most extras, something like 300,000 for the funeral scene i think.

By using CGI armies and digital doubles it saves heaps of money during production and if they can make them look authentic then good on them, i for one couldn't tell that the armies in Lord Of The Rings were computer generated unless i looked really hard, didn't PJ and his team invent some program that gave the little soldiers A.I and they could choose the way they behaved, can't remember the name of the program though.


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