Movie News: Steven Spielberg On Why "Tintin" is in Motion Capture

3/23/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie News

Steven Spielberg On Why "Tintin" is in Motion Capture

By our guest blogger, Matt Jussim

While the release of "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn" is over a year away, director Steven Spielberg is already speaking out about the motion-capture technology that allowed him to digitally recreate the look of the original "Tintin" comics by Hergé on the silver screen.

Steven Spielberg gave some details on the film in an interview with The Los Angeles Times and said that the reason he and Peter Jackson went motion-capture with their adaptation was due to his respect for the material and "wanting to get as close to that art as I could."

Said Speieberg: "Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe. It was the real universe he was working with, and he used National Geographic to research his adventure stories. It just seemed that live action would be too stylized for an audience to relate to. You'd have to have costumes that are a little outrageous when you see actors wearing them. The costumes seem to fit better when the medium chosen is a digital one."

Because much of the film's production was shot with the same techniques used with the Pandora scenes in James Cameron's "Avatar," Spielberg had the luxury of seeing what the end product would look as he was filming it.

Said Spielberg: "When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves. So as Andy Serkis runs across the stage, there's Captain Haddock on the monitor, in full anime, running along the streets of Belgium. Not only are the actors represented in real time, they enter into a three-dimensional world."

Actor Nick Frost has described the motion-capture process as being "like rehearsing a play," and Spielberg has found the process very liberating.

Spielberg added: “It made me more like a painter than ever before. I got a chance to do so many jobs that I don't often do as a director. You get to paint with this device that puts you into a virtual world, and allows you to make your shots and block all the actors with a small hand-held device only three times as large as an Xbox game controller.”

I can’t wait for the release of this film. Anytime two filmmakers like Spielberg and Peter Jackson get together, you know things will be epic. Also, hearing how enthusiastic Spielberg is also makes this project feel even more promising.

"The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn"--the first film in a trilogy by Spielberg and Jackson--will star Jamie Bell in the title role, along with Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and Nick Frost. It will be released in the U.S. on December 23, 2011--two months after its release around the world.

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