How Ang Lee cloned Will Smith digitally for Gemini Man
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee showed off the cutting-edge visual effects that went into the creation of a young, fully CGI Will Smith in his upcoming sci-fi thriller, Gemini Man.Updated: Jul 24, 2019 17:43 IST
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee showed off the cutting-edge visual effects that went into the creation of a young, fully CGI Will Smith in his upcoming sci-fi thriller Gemini Man. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the clip showed Will Smith as Henry, an elite assassin who is pursued by a younger clone of himself.
Performing against Henry is a fully CG 23-year-old clone of Smith -- known as 'Junior' -- that was created based on Smith's performance using motion capture at Peter Jackson's VFX house Weta Digital.
"Will is twice as expensive," Lee said during the presentation. He also discussed directing CG Smith's performance, saying "the biggest problem is Will is a much better actor today than he was 30 years ago."
On being praised, Smith burst out in laughter and elaborated, "Ang told me 'I need to you act less good," and he would show me some of the old performances. ... Weta pulled out all of this old footage so I got to see all the tragedies I committed in entertainment."
Ang showed three clips from the film, followed by a soon-to-be-released trailer. The first video features a chase that ends with the reveal of Junior. The second features a hand-to-hand fight between Smith's Henry and Junior. And the third is a dramatic dialogue sequence during which a tearful Junior confronts Clay Verris (Clive Owen), the antagonist who created the clone but was also a father figure who raised him.
"The VFX team has outdone themselves," the actor said while emphasising on the CG character which was created through a different process compared with what is referred to as "de-aging" an actor with makeup and VFX.
Lee made Gemini Man in 3D and 4K at a high frame rate of 120 frames per second (FPS). The screening on Tuesday was in 3D at 60fps at today's more commonly used 2K resolution, using a Cinionic (Barco) laser projection system in the Paramount Theatre.
Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the film said, "A lot of you have memories of what Will looked like on Fresh Prince that is difficult (to recreate) just in 24fps. This is (made in) 120fps. So you see every little thing."
The filmmaker praised the actor for his performance and said, "My way of directing had to change. (The actor) can't act; you have to feel the emotion that will translate to the audience. He has to be real, complicated."
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