Two of modern cinema’s great­est film­mak­ers team up to take in­trepid reporter Tintin to an­other di­men­sion, writes

Maria Lewis

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

LMOST a cen­tury has passed since the char­ac­ter Tintin made his first ap­pear­ance in a comic strip. The brain­child of Bel­gian writer Ge­orges Remi – work­ing un­der the pseu­do­nym Herge – the young reporter and his faith­ful dog, Snowy, have ex­pe­ri­enced var­i­ous rein­car­na­tions in their 82-year his­tory with live-ac­tion films, an­i­mated se­ries and pub­lished ad­ven­tures. But never has Tintin been seen like this. Util­is­ing the mo­tion-cap­ture tech­nol­ogy (mo­cap) de­vel­oped by Peter Jack­son’s Weta Dig­i­tal in New Zealand, Tintin and his uni­verse ar­rive in jaw-drop­ping 3D on the big screen on Box­ing Day.

is the pas­sion project of Os­car-win­ners Steven Spiel­berg ( and Jack­son ( The Lord Of The

tril­ogy) who pro­duced the film to­gether, with Spiel­berg also di­rect­ing and Jack­son as first as­sis­tant di­rec­tor. The duo have spent years tire­lessly work­ing to bring Tintin to life on the big screen again.

‘‘Tintin is an in­trepid and tena­cious reporter,’’ Spiel­berg says.

‘‘What I al­ways iden­ti­fied with with Tintin is he doesn’t take no for an an­swer, which is the story of my life.’’ The film fea­tures the same tech­nol­ogy used on Avatar, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and to craft the char­ac­ter Gol­lum in The Lord Of The Rings. Clad in mo­tion sen­sors, the per­form­ers act out the story, with their move­ments and ex­pres­sions trans­lated into a dig­i­tal model.

For some­one who ‘‘can’t even send emails’’, Jack­son says mo­cap is an in­valu­able film­mak­ing tech­nique.

‘‘Mo­tion cap­ture is not a genre. It’s a tool and a tech­nique. We can’t use com­put­ers, ei­ther of us, but we wanted to walk into this dig­i­tal world where Tintin was cre­ated and be able to lit­er­ally pick up a dig­i­tal cam­era,’’ he says.

The re­sult is ac­tion scenes usu­ally too in­cred­i­ble to film in real-d – and a bro­mance be­tween Spiel­berg and Jack­son.

‘‘There was no ego, no com­pe­ti­tion; we were both on the same page,’’ Spiel­berg says of work­ing with Jack­son.

‘‘We were just two Tintin fan boys try­ing to bring those books to life.

‘‘He’s a prob­lem-solver and likes to look at things from all an­gles. I get anx­ious on sets and have a thou­sand ideas at once, but Pete has a very good sense of see­ing the big pic­ture and realising the way to get there. We were like two code-break­ers work­ing on the Enigma code to­gether.’’

Jack­son says Spiel­berg ‘‘brings a child­ish en­thu­si­asm, which is ex­cit­ing’’.

‘‘The first time he walks on set, it’s like he’s step­ping on a movie set for the first time ever,’’ he says.

The Ad­ven­tures Of Tintin opens on Box­ing Day.

Right: Di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg and pro­ducer Peter Jack­son de­liver the goods with The Ad­ven­tures of Tintin (top)

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