Production for Duncan Jones‘s ‘Warcraft‘ is nearing the finish line and he is starting to open up a little bit about the creation, direction, and future of the film. In fact, they only have 50 more visual effects shots left of the over 1,000 needed for the film! In a recent interview with Wired, Jones finally revealed more details than he previously has in a single sitting and some of what hes shared has us even more excited for the film. According to the director, “It’s been an incredibly ambitious thing, I think we’ve delivered something pretty special.”
Considering that ‘World of Warcraft‘ is one of the largest MMORPGs to have ever been created and turning it into a cinematic masterpiece that has rich lore from multiple games and a huge budget being thrown at it, Jones better be delivering something special! Aside from the gamers who have loved the universe that Blizzard Entertainment has crafted, this also has to appear to fantasy loving moviegoers the world over.
Thankfully Peter Jackson has proven that there is plenty of room for fantasy in our wallets with his films.
While the film is filled with visuals Jones has tried to keep the film as real and full of humans as possible:
“Motion capture has become very specialized but also still just a tool of filmmaking. We tried to do a lot of large, in-camera sets so that we had an actual reality that the film was built on top of. Some of the time we had [actors doing motion capture] on location, some of the time we had them on set, sometimes there was green screen.”
Of course fantasy isn’t the only realm to get inspiration from these days. With how successful the comic book movie industry has become there is clearly an interest in how their effects have been crated as well. Jeff White from ILM was on set to work with the orcs and had experience with another large green creation as he created the digital skin for Hulk in ‘The Avengers’.
“He absolutely nailed that character, and orcs feel like they may have some of the same genetic background as the Hulk. When we found out that Jeff himself was actually an avid Warcraft player as well, it became clear how excited he was about playing in this universe. It was a match made in heaven.”
The creator of The Hulk loves the Warcraft franchise? No wonder the first Orc shots are so beautiful!
While Weta might be one of the go-to companies for digital these days, ILM needed to put their name into the mix for pure fantasy. The early shots show that they have been able to deliver:
“There was an absolute hunger from ILM to be working on this project. There is another facility—whose name shall not be mentioned—that is also incredibly good at this kind of work, and for ILM this was an opportunity to show they are still the best in the world at special effects.”
Of course ILM isn’t the only studio that did art for the film. With it being their creation and wanting things done right Blizzard Entertainment provided the concept art for the fil mto make sure what they had created was properly brought to the big screen.
“We worked very closely with Blizzard on the visualization of those characters. We tried to stay as honest to that as possible. There is a translation process between concept artwork and what happens when you create 3-D models, but we had two fantastic teams on either side The ILM guys did a terrific job of taking this fantastic starting place and turning it into a living, breathing character.”
How do they properly get all of their special effects in? Well, when Clancy Brown is said to be riding around on a wolf he had to actually be on “something that looked a bit like a rocking horse”. Jones seemed to crack up when saying that “to have Clancy Brown try to give this really impressive emotional speech while he’s on a rocking horse, man…here’s just lots of moments like that where you’re doing things that are just extraordinarily silly when you look at them objectively.”
Finally we know that Hollywood likes their trilogies and series films so Jones teases that more ‘Warcraft’ could happen if the film does well.
“If I have the good fortune to work with the same group of people. I’d love to.”
I’m sure it all boils down to box office sales for that one to happen.
What are your thoughts on the behind the scenes details that Jones has shared about ‘Warcraft’? Are you excited for the film to be released? Share your thoughts below!