The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 27

Which brings us to Bloodshot.
If most of your experience was
in digital SFX, it must have been
a massive leap to direct actual
actors. How did you handle that?
Don’t worry, studio executives
struggle with that leap too… It’s
fascinating because there’s a big
misconception about animation
– at least the type we were doing
at Blur – and what live-action
directing is. If you look at Avatar
or Planet Of The Apes or any Marvel
movie, they’re so digitally
orientated these days that there
isn’t a big difference. What I mean
is, there’s key-frame animation
on one hand, and performanceor motion-capture on the other.
Key frame is a guy sitting in front
of a box, moving rigs around to
animate characters. Or classic
Disney-drawing animation.
But at Blur, a big part of what
we did was performance capture,
which is when you put actors into
a bodysuit with dots on it, and
film them on a motion-capture
stage. Years ago, you couldn’t
capture their facial performance
so you would have to key-frame
animate the whole thing. Today
it’s all performance capture.
Okay, but what about
the “human” interaction?
Oh man, we’d get asked this a lot:
can he work with actors? Which
I find funny anyway – like they’re
this alien species you’ll have deal
with. The thing is, it’s probably
more difficult to direct actors in
performance capture than it is
in live action. If you can imagine,
in live action they’re in wardrobe,
they have other actors there, they
are either on location or on set, and
the world is filled in around them.
But on a motion-capture stage,
they’re basically standing there,
extraordinarily vulnerable, in a
black leotard, in a white padded
Left: Sunrise shoot
at Kalk Bay pier.
“I was so happy to
see Olympia Cafe
was still there all
these years later,”
says Dave. Below:
Bloodshot’s A-list
cast includes (from
left) Guy Pearce,
Outlander’s Sam
Heughan, and
action superstar
Vin Diesel.
room – and you have to fill in the
world for them. You have to say,
“Okay, on this wall are the plains
of a distant planet, and over here
is a window, and you’re wearing a
space suit…” You have to paint the
entire world for them and make
them feel comfortable with it.
The movie was shot in Prague and
Budapest, and also Cape Town.
Was that because of production
costs, or was there something
more symbolic about it for you?
I wish I could say I was powerful
enough to convince Hollywood
to congregate in my home town
to shoot a film, but unfortunately
I’m not. I don’t really like the fact
that people think it’s all about
production costs. The truth is,
yeah, Cape Town is certainly
on the list of affordable places
to shoot, but no director will go
there if he can’t get the quality
he wants. There’s a lot of skill
and experience in Cape Town,
and I was incredibly impressed.
The crews are fabulous, the
craftsmanship is amazing –
the sets we built inside the
Good Hope Centre are some
of the most incredible things
I’ve ever built. The only mistake
you can make in Cape Town,
I think, is to try to make her
something she doesn’t want
to be. For example, small-town
America; there are just too many
walls and too much razor wire.
But if you’re building sets or just
using natural locations, it’s great.

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