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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Director Says The Movie Is Filmed Like A ‘Live Action’ On Real Locations; Find Out More

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes ditched the blue screens over live locations!

You would think a movie with Apes as the lead would rely on CGI, but director Wes Bell took the unconventional route and shot on real locations. Bell was focused on bringing authenticity to the shots and making it exciting for the actors. “We’re out in real locations shooting with real actors. They happen to be in these funny dots with this stupid camera in their face,” he said.

Wes Bell on shooting in real locations 

In an interview with Collider, Bell opened up about his shooting strategies for the movie and his efforts to make it as ‘live-action’ as possible. “That, to me, was what was so surprising about this process. We probably had one blue screen set on the movie. For the most part, we’re out in real locations shooting with real actors,” he said. 

The reason for taking this route was to bring spontaneity and flow to the shots. “You just have to imagine that, ‘Oh, that’s going to be an ape doing that in a year.’ That’s the whole thing. How do you give spontaneity? That’s the thing for me,” Bell said. 

Bell calls making the movie similar to building a jigsaw puzzle

Although CGI will be used to turn the actor into Apes, the director says the full CGI scenes in the fourth instalment of Planet of Apes will be hard to spot. 

Talking about the technicality of live-action shoots, the Maze Runner director said, “I kind of liken it to you’re building a jigsaw puzzle, all in separate pieces, its own piece individually, and you gotta carve it just right way over here in these different kinds of arrangements.”

“It’s not until the last four weeks, where I’m at right now, where all those pieces come together, and you have no time to change it, and they better fit,” Bell told Collider. 

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes is a blend of traditional and modern filmmaking 

Bell shares that shooting in real locations and capturing precise moments was made easy with motion capture technology. Although actors were performing scenes and stunts on location, thanks to modern technology, Bell could capture the raw moments through a multi-camera set-up. 

To make the shots seem natural, the director had several cameras camouflaged around the sets. “The problem is, I have twelve cameras around us that are just separate cameras capturing every little nuance of the actor,” he shared.

“I’ve got a camera on one face, and I’ve got about half-a-dozen to two dozen infrared cameras that are hiding in the set, behind little things of leaves, or whatever, just camouflaged on the set,” Bell added. 

 Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes  is shot on real locations

Real and CGI shots will be hard to differentiate

These raw shots will seamlessly blend with CGI Apes in post-production, creating a perfect mix of traditional and modern filming. The director wants the Apes to interpret every nuance and tiny movement of the actors to make the film more realistic, which makes it difficult to tell CGI and real shots apart. 

“So, ultimately, the images up there might be full CG, 100%, which there’s about 30 to 40 minutes of full CG, which I don’t think people will be able to tell, there’s some scenes that you would never guess, just because that’s how it had to get done. But it all started from a real camera, and a real world with real, physical actions,” Bell told Collider. 

The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes will hit the theatres on May 10. 

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