We’re going “APE” on this episode of BEHIND THE LENS as we swing into awards season action with a pre-recorded exclusive interview with DAN LEMMON, Visual Effects Supervisor on WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Then live, at the midpoint of the show, actress-turned-author PENELOPE LAGOS returns to BTL to talk about her new children’s book, I MISS MY BEST FRIEND. (And considering we all know what happens to the beloved Caesar in APES, we may all need this book!)
Hard at work in New Zealand at WETA DIGITAL at the time of our interview, Dan gives us detailed insight into the art of motion capture and VFX on APES. From the challenges faced in bringing APES to life, to the collaborative process with director Matt Reeves, editor Billy Hoy and cinematographer Michael Seresin, to the technological advancements over this most recent trilogy of DAWN-RISE-WAR, to “ray tracing”, to “aging up” existing characters versus creating new, and to the mastering of fur, this is one of BTL’s most fascinating discussions yet! (Did you know there are over 1450 frames in WAR?)
Virtually everyone has experienced the grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, especially when it’s a four-footed furry loved one. PENELOPE LAGOS lost her own beloved Pit Bull Cassius and from her grief, created I MISS MY BEST FRIEND. Calling on her own life experiences, and working with experts at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, Penelope brings to life not only the love and fun a pet brings, but also the heartache that comes when they pass on. Listen as she talks about the art of writing, as well as the importance of the book’s illustrations, and her year-long journey to bring this story to publication. And could there be more books and possibly an animated short film in the offing? Listen and find out!