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Tintin – Spielberg talks about why he went motion-capture

Posted by LiveFor on February 22, 2010

There is a great interview with Steven Spielberg over at the LA Times about his work on the Tintin adaption – The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

It stars stars Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong) as Tintin, Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig (Casino Royale) as Red Rackham and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) as the Thompson Twins. Peter Jackson is producing it with the animation done by Jackson’s Weta Workshop.

“It was based on my respect for the art of Hergé and wanting to get as close to that art as I could, Hergé wrote about fictional people in a real world, not in a fantasy universe,” Spielberg said. “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.”

They are using the technology from James Cameron’s Avatar so it means that it should look spot on and Spielberg could also watch the action on the digital sets as the actors went through the motions.

“I just adored it,“ he says. “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.”

“When Captain Haddock runs across the volume, the cameras capture all the information of his physical and emotional moves,” the director said. “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.”

Fingers crossed that they get it spot on as I have fond memories of reading the Tintin books when I was a kid. The film is due out in 2011.

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