Thursday, August 15, 2013

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2: Falcon Actor Anthony Mackie Says Sequel Has "As Little CG As Possible"

Let's talk about computer graphics in film for a moment.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, one man's company helped to pioneer a blend of real, practice sets and locations with what was highly innovative computer effects at that time. George Lucas and his company Industrial Light & Magic applied these principles to his movies franchises Star Wars and Indiana Jones and changed movie making.

Over the course of the next few decades, computer technology would advance to where all you needed was actors in costumes and a green screen. The computers would do all the background, explosions and any other effect the imagination could create on it. Lucas and ILM also brought this technology to the fold with the use of digital cameras in the Star Wars prequels.

To get to the point, Marvel Studios released Iron Man bucking the trend of heavy green screen use in exchange for blending state of the art computer graphics with real locations and set pieces. Although it is a costly process and budgets can skyrocket, Marvel has stuck with this production principle and the films have a more realistic look.

This past spring and summer, Marvel was filming next April's Captain America: The Winter Soldier in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Cleveland. Dozens and dozens of real locations were filmed in metropolitan areas, at monuments, parks, museums and the list goes on and on. The budget is not as big an issue for Marvel (and its parent company Disney) after having two consecutive films gross well over a billion in the box office.

Captain America 2 actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon, spoke with MTV at the D23 Expo and talked about how directors Joe and Anthony Russo are not using as much CG effects in their Marvel movie.

"The Russos, what they did that was so great was, they wanted to stay with live action, which is a dying art form," Mackie said. "If they can build it, they built it. If we could do it, we did it. They wanted to do as little CGI as possible. That's why the movie looks so great."

Captain America is one of Marvel's heroes who doesn't need to rely on heavy effects for lightning, or blasters, or flight, so less CG is a good thing for Cap's next big screen adventure. With Falcon, of course, there will be some CG effects because he can fly or glide in the movie with the use of some form of mechanical wings.

Mackie also talked about the look of the Falcon in the sequel.

"The thing about the Falcon is, he has three different incarnations throughout the course of his comic book life, and we went more with the latter of his story lines than the earlier stuff," he said. "I think Marvel kept introducing him because they realized the value of an African America superhero, and they wanted to get it right. He's more of tactical expert than a bird man from Harlem."

In past interviews, Mackie said he really hoped the red and white suit would be used in the movie but the Russos went with the more realistic look to go along with their practical use of effects and minimal CG. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is sounding like it will shape up to be a thrilling adventure next year with plenty of realistic live action.