Big Screen Panel For Real Steel – Shawn Levy Talks, Footage Screened

Posted by August 13, 2011 Comment

Shawn Levy says that he can’t think of a live action film with robots that is humanist in the way that Wall-E or The Iron Giant is, and thisinspired Real Steel. Okay, fair enough – not everyone can have seen Silent Running, or anything with C3-PO or R2-D2.

The first footage screened tonight was a fight scene set in an underground robo-boxing club and featured Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo as father and son, and CG and steel contraption as their bot, Noisy Boy. The fight is fast, loud, metal-on-metal smackdown stuff, and has a half-hidden surprise ending. What’s most impressive is how easy it is all to follow, and how natural – right down to how convincing the roboFX appeared.

Talking about the clip, Levy explained how many of the shots featured real robots, or at least physical in-camera FX, and it’s a pretty big proportion. Effectively, it’s anything where the robot doesn’t have to be too agile or get into a punch up.

The robot boxing was not animated from the ground up but performance captured on the stage at Giant. Levy explains that the fights were then slowed down to 89% to lend them the mass necessary to convince of their gigantic, steely nature, and some glitchy slowdown animated into their joints.

It’s really worth noting that Mauro Fiore’s cinematography is wonderful.

The second clip showed off Sugar Ray Leonard on the film’s set, teaching Hugh Jackman how to box for his back-story scenes. It’s obvious how impressed the filmmakers are by Leonard’s legacy, it’s less obvious that they really needed him.

And then the final clip showed off the entry of Atom, the film’s lead robot. He’s discovered in the junk in Metal Valley, a huge and dangerous landscape full of scrap. He’s found as the result of an accident, when young Goyo’s character falls into a long, Romancing the Stone waterslide and, after zipping off a sheer drop, gets snagged on an extended robot arm from the cliffside.

Levy says that the film was shot in 2D because we find it easier to think of the sports genre, conventionally, as being in just two dimensions. It was simply a decision about stacking the audience’s generic expectations correctly.

(Last Updated August 14, 2011 5:51 am )

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