Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cinematography in "King Kong"

American Cinematographer Magazine has an extensive article on how Andrew Lesnie, the chief cameraman of "King Kong", filmed the enormously complicated movie. Among the technical tidbits revealed in the article:

1) The production’s set for New York was built on an industrial site in Seaview, a suburb of Wellington, New Zealand. Occupying seven acres, the set featured a complete scale representation of Times Square. The production team wanted to make "subtextual parallels" between Manhattan and Skull Island, Kong’s home. “There’s a distinct correlation between Kong’s lair, which overlooks much of Skull Island, and the view from the Empire State Building down to lower Manhattan,” says the production designer. “Also, the big towers of broken rock [on Skull Island] suggest the canyon-like streets and huge buildings of New York."2) “To create Kong’s presence, I spent a lot of time up ladders or on top of scissorlifts and platforms in the gorilla suit,” recalls Andrew Serkis (the actor who plays Kong). “Naomi [Watts] always had my eyes, so every scene was a response between one of us towards the other in the moment. Sometimes we could be up close beside the camera, and Naomi could touch my face if she needed to.”

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