Continuing our rundown of the most important shit that went down at this year’s Comic Con, we move to what many consider the victor of the con… Warner Brothers. For the moment, we’ll be focusing on one of their many presentations, all united by one key thing… big, BIG shit.
First up, Pacific Rim.
Never one to miss an opportunity to swear in front of 6,500 people, Guillermo Del Toro was on hand to discuss his latest, biggest film, and to show footage that he promised would not be seen anywhere else before the year’s end (which kinda suggests a trailer paired with The Hobbit, no?).
Rolling on the footage, Del Toro demanded, “All you motherfuckers with James Bond glasses don’t record this!”
The thing most took away from the footage seemed to be scale…
• The story resembles Neon Genesis: Evangelion or even Power Rangers as we call upon giant, human-piloted robots to fight against giant Kaiju creatures that have awakened and begun attacking the earth.
• The crafts are piloted by two humans, one controlling the left and the other the right side of the robot’s brain, so to speak. The actual controls are machines connected to the hands and feet of the pilot, who is suspended inside and walks/fights for the robot to mirror the commands.
• The film is obviously a giant CGI construct, but Del Toro avoided any “fucking motion capture,” forcing the animators to keyframe the idiosyncratic motion of a massive, mechanical robots. He also emphasized that as much care was given to the human characters and the storytelling surrounding their journey.
• The robots are HUGE, with humans standing shorter than even their feet. They’re big enough to stand tall above bridges, and are shot to heighten the scale- you won’t see a lot of clearly digital camerawork swooping around and capturing all of them at once. Del Toro also emphasizes how much of a priority he made it to obfuscate the digital work with grimey camera views.
• “When you get a [big] budget, you can do two things: You can be crazy or lazy,” Del Toro said. “I’ve chosen to be as crazy as I can.”
Apparently that meant designing 40 different Kaiju monsters and putting them through the ringer to pick the 9 best, some of which fly, some of which swim.
“We designed 40 Kaijus and we did an American Idol on them. We designed them and then everybody would vote, there were heated discussions, punches were thrown and the better Kaijus are the ones in the movie, the ones that won.”
• Shooting is long-complete- the production wrapped 12 weeks ago.
As for the footage, it basically ran as such:
• After seeing a giant robot come up on two guys search with metal detectors in the ice, the giant figure collapses and you get a sens of how big these guys are, “easily 80 feet tall.” That’s followed by views of the human getting geared up and piloting the devices, and then some montagy looks at robots fighting Kaiju, without showing much of the creatures.
The big takeaway from the footage really seems to be Idris Elba shouting, “Today, we are canceling the Apocalypse!” like a badass.
You can get a more full rundown of what was seen from Eric Vespe at AICN, THR or over at Wired. Personally, I’m going to try and put it out of my mind for the six months or so till we see the trailer in theaters, otherwise I’m going to vibrate myself out of existence with excitement.