Avatar Special Effects Masters Sharing Their Work on Facebook Today

By Kenna McHugh Comment

A social media event is happening for Rise of the Planet of the Apes today at 2:30pm Pacific/5:30pm Eastern from WETA’s headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand. I am attending via Facebook and hope to see you there, too. This is a great opportunity for film students and film fans. WETA’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon will give viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at their work on the film. The movie is a reality-based cautionary tale that blends science fiction and science-fact that will open this summer. WETA Digital is the Academy Award winning visual effects house behind films such as Avatar, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and District 9.

The event will be live on Facebook’s official fan page for Avatar, which has 14.2 million followers. Last year, WETA won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking visual effects work in rendering an entire fantasy world in James Cameron’s epic. WETA’s work on Rise of the Planet of the Apes presented very different challenges and opportunities. In addition to creating a CG character that gives a performance of unprecedented emotion and intelligence, WETA is applying some of the technology it developed for Avatar to bring to life a real world.

Letteri, a five-time Oscar winner, and Lemmon will provide a look into WETA’s process as a worldwide social media presentation. Visitors to the livestream event will hear from other filmmakers, including director Rupert Wyatt, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the work of actor Andy Serkis, whose nuanced performance is playing a key role in WETA’s rendering of Caesar, the film’s principal ape character.