Things about Warcraft movie from Duncan Jones
Folks from Wired.com checked with Warcraft movie director Duncan Jones and this is what they learned about current status of the production. The visual effects are pretty much done it seems, only 50 left from more then 1000.
“It’s been an incredibly ambitious thing,” Jones says. “I think we’ve delivered something pretty special. We’ve delivered as far as the film goes, but the challenge is going to be to get people into the seats in the cinemas in the first place, to find a way to convince people who haven’t played Warcraft.”
When the movie idea first came into the picture, which is kinda long time ago if you think about it, everyone was freaking out about CGI orcs and how that will look like. Well, since 2006. the visual effects got a lot better I guess, so even though the story is set into the origin story of the first Human and Orcs encounter and there will be a lot of Orcs. But as wee seen on the first CGI look at Orgrim Doomhammer, I’m not worried. ILM did an awesome job. Also it seems that it was not all about CGI since there were some pretty large set made for some scenes.
“Motion capture has become very specialized but also still just a tool of filmmaking,” Jones says. “We tried to do a lot of large, in-camera sets so that we had an actual reality that the film was built on top of. Some of the time we had [actors doing motion capture] on location, some of the time we had them on set, sometimes there was green screen.”
Motion capture was done under supervision of Bill Westenhofer, two time Oscar winner and Jeff White and Jason Smith from ILM. White was working previously on the design of Hulk in Avengers, so design of Orcs was inspired by the Hulk.
“He absolutely nailed that character, and orcs feel like they may have some of the same genetic background as the Hulk,” Jones says. That wasn’t the only thing that made White well-suited to the job. “When we found out that Jeff himself was actually an avid Warcraft player as well, it became clear how excited he was about playing in this universe,” Jones adds. “It was a match made in heaven.”
It seems that ILM wanted to push the border with Warcraft project and their work on the VFX to show they are still the top dog in the playfield.
“There was an absolute hunger from ILM to be working on this project,” Jones says. “There is another facility—whose name shall not be mentioned—that is also incredibly good at this kind of work, and for ILM this was an opportunity to show they are still the best in the world at special effects.”
Blizzard was involved a lot in the concept art creation since everyone wanted to make the movie look and feel like Warcraft that we all know and love. When you spend hundered of hours in that world you will notice every little detail in the movie, so to set that problem to minimum, who is best to show ILM crew how things need to look like then Blizzard artists.
“We worked very closely with Blizzard on the visualization of those characters,” Jones says. “We tried to stay as honest to that as possible. To do that, ILM’s team took photographs and scans of the actors playing orcs and integrated those images with concept art done by Blizzard. There is a translation process between concept artwork and what happens when you create 3-D models, but we had two fantastic teams on either side,” Jones says. “The ILM guys did a terrific job of taking this fantastic starting place and turning it into a living, breathing character.”
There were some funny mo-cap stories from the set, cuz it’s not easy to pretend you are this huge Orc, riding on a CGI wolf and giving serious speech.
“And to have Clancy Brown try to give this really impressive emotional speech while he’s on a rocking horse, man…” Jones laughs. “There’s just lots of moments like that where you’re doing things that are just extraordinarily silly when you look at them objectively.”
Warcraft sequel maybe?
“If I have the good fortune to work with the same group of people,” he says, “I’d love to.”