Thursday, July 1, 2010

MakingOf Shares Footage of Taylor in Grey Leotard

I'm sure most of you remember Taylor Lautner discussing during his Eclipse junket interviews about the grey leotard he had to wear on the set of Eclipse during scenes that take place between his wolf and Bella. (The leotard helped the visual effects crew make his CGI wolf more life-like). Well, MakingOf sat down with visual effects mater Phil Tippett (check out his interview with MTV too) where footage of Taylor in his leotard is shown. Worth the watch!

MakingOf: How did you create the illusion of Jacob and the wolfpack transforming from humans to wolves?

Phil Tippett: Well, the transformations we always knew were going to be an issue. Our challenge was to, as we characterize, figure out how to put five pounds of shit into a two pound bag. Because a human being the size of Taylor Lautner, who is not like a huge guy, has to transform into a wolf that is the size of horse. And so, how do you do that? It's like the deck is stacked against you. And luckily our first approach worked. And we did a test for Chris and the idea was find a dramatic situation that, and it was already in Stephenie Meyer’s stuff, that these guys turn into wolves when they lose it emotionally and they kind of explode or attack. So they are like very big, fast, quick movements, and that was the secret. If we can get from man to wolf in like 12 frames, which is half a second, then it is over before you know it. So it was like a magician's slight of hand kind of a thing. So it was like, we did a test and it worked and Chris Weitz looked at it and went great, okay, fine, next problem.

(MO): The final fight sequence is very epic and no doubt required a lot of choreography and a lot of work went into that. Can you talk to us about that and paint a little picture for us behind the scenes?

(PT): In the battle there was a great deal of contact between the wolves and people and there was some intimate scenes between Jacob as wolf and Kristen. And how to get the people and the wolves, real people to blend with computer graphic wolves, is always the problem, particularly when there is like really close, close contact. So we would come up with various scenarios for when people are tackling wolves and stuff like that, we build this thing that we called the potato that was just roughly the shape and the mass of the wolf that people could hang on to that we would have the effects guys rig with wires that would go out of the top of the frame and we could move this thing around and choreographic it in a way that we knew we could make work with a wolf later on.

(MO): How was it for the actors working with the potato?

(PT): Usually the level of acting you are dealing with at that point is stunt men, and so that is what you get. I mean, its people, they usually rehearse this stuff but they have never done it before that day and they are jumping on this thing, you know. And then you just hack away and try to make it work. In the instance of, like, Kristin and her scenes with Jacob as wolf, what David was very adamant about doing, which was a good idea, was to have Taylor Lautner in the scene and he would dress up in a grey leotard so that he didn’t reflect back his skin tone onto Kristin. And he would actually stand in the scenes in different kinds of physical contact so they could have actual eye contact. And even though he was not delivering lines, her lines would at least have some real connection. She wouldnt be looking at a golf ball off screen, or something like that. Taylor would be in the physical space that the wolf is in and we would paint him out.


1 comment: