The previous trilogy of Planet of the Apes films released between 2011 and 2017 included some pioneering work in the field of motion capture – and that has very much continued into the latest film in the franchise.


Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is helmed by Maze Runner director Wes Ball, who is working with motion capture for the first time in his career, and speaking exclusively to ahead of the film's release he outlined the painstaking process that goes into this kind of film.

He revealed that although it was "a pretty straightforward process technically", it was also "extremely difficult", given that he essentially had to shoot everything twice.

"You're shooting with your actors with this funny stuff all over their face, and the dots and then all the technical requirements that that means – with hidden cameras all around them picking up all the data and all that kind of stuff," he said.

"But then you have to go back and reshoot the movie again, without the actors in it, so I have the clean plates to put the apes into. So basically I'm shooting the movie twice, which is a pain in the ass."

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He added: "But it's part of making the movie. And so these movies in particular are a very delicate kind of technical process... the craft of making these movies, they're not like normal movies. And it was, at times, certainly frustrating, but a lot of fun. I had a blast."

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes still showing an ape with a bird of prey on its arms
Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. 20th Century Studios

Asked if there were any shots in particular that were difficult to put together, Ball answered that there were "a bunch of those", and singled out one particular instance that took an entire year to craft.

"There's a ton of stuff where we invented whole scenes sometimes – where I would take a performance from one scene and put it into a shot from another because I can, because they're CG," he explained.

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"But there's this one shot in particular in the second act where, you know, it took us a year to work on it. It's this big, long oner shot that we do.

"And you're just trusting that by the end, after almost a year of not seeing it, that by the time it gets through this whole giant process with hundreds of people touching the shot and all this artistry involved, then it comes out the other end. And it's cool.

"You know what I mean? It's wild, it's fascinating."

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is released in UK cinemas on Thursday 9th May 2024.


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