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Wednesday, 07 May 2014 16:28

The Creation of a 21st Century Godzilla

Written by  Rebecca Davidson
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Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure about the most dreaded monster to ever terrorize the screen.

Godzilla is one of this years most anticipated films. From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (The Avengers); production designer Owen Paterson (The Matrix trilogy) and film editor Bob Ducsay (Looper)

One of the challenges early on for Edwards was creating a monster for the 21st century.  In this version, audiences will see the original animal, with some up to date changes. “The main thing I tried to do was refine the shape and give it a little more aggressive lines in the face and a straighter, sharper silhouette so that it feels a little bit more fierce,” said Edwards. 

When it came time to pick a city to basically trash, Edwards knew the city had to be on the American West coast to fit the story being the movie begins in Asia and ends in America. With the bay and iconic landmarks the production ended on San Francisco. “I wanted a city that had a relationship with the ocean,” said Edwards. “San Francisco just felt like the best playground, no offense to them. I think it’s an honor when Godzilla trashes your city.”

When it came to creating the motion of Godzilla, Edwards looked at hundreds of clips of animal behavior from wildlife documentaries.  He wanted to copy nature but slowly learned it was tough to figure out the emotion of the animals. “We looked at bears fighting and all sorts of different things,” says Edwards. “We found the problem with that is when you are dropped in the middle of a wildlife program and you watch two animals you don't know what the hell is going on. We had to dial slowly away from animals and lean towards the human performance.”

The film was completed with key frame animation where the animators actually acted out the scenes to fully understand the motion of the monster. 

The film stars an international ensemble cast led by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), with Oscar nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”).

Godzilla storms into theaters May16th. 

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