Weta Digital takes us behind the scenes on War for the Planet of the Apes, showing how some of the nuances of expression were created. Via Variety:
The 2011 “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” offered visual-effects breakthroughs, and the filmmakers raised the bar even higher in the 2014 sequel. The finale in the trilogy, 2017’s “War for the Planet of the Apes,” is the most ambitious and most effective yet, thanks to director Matt Reeves, who gives a lot of credit to Weta Digital: “These guys make the impossible happen.”
“War for the Planet of the Apes” is Oscar-nominated for its VFX work and on Feb. 13 led the Visual Effects Society Awards, with four trophies.
Reeves talked with Weta’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon about “War” in a Q&A session at the Directors Guild in Hollywood Feb. 12. The film’s innovations include a spectacular avalanche, the enhancement of the many real locations (e.g., adding a key waterfall), an explosive helicopter battle, details like wet and/or snowy fur, and the creation of new characters like Bad Ape.
Their biggest challenge was subtle, but crucial: facial work on the multiple ape characters. The script by Reeves and Mark Bomback gave more depth to the characters than in the previous films, with greater introspection and conflicting emotions, often done in closeups.