Nine Grads Contribute Their Expertise to ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

In 1968, director Frank J. Schaffner told the story of an astronaut who finds himself stranded on a planet populated by hyper intelligent apes and their human slaves. That movie, Planet of the Apes, became a cult classic well known for its surprise ending. Turns out George Taylor (Charlton Heston) was on earth the entire time.

Now, director Matt Reeves reveals the events that led to humanity’s downfall in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

The movie is set ten years after the events of the previous prequel, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Apes and humans have negotiated an uneasy peace in the wake of the simian flu epidemic, which has devastated the human population of San Francisco. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes presents a much slicker production value than the 1968 original, and featured the work of nine Full Sail graduates:

  •  Tim Bird (2011 Film graduate; additional rigging electrician)
  • Raymond Brown (2012 Film graduate; office production assistant)
  • Robert “Bryant” Hardwick (2007 Computer Animation graduate; texture artist)
  • John C. Hoffler Jr. (2009 Film graduate; second assistant camera)
  • Seth M. Johnson (2009 Film graduate; art production assistant)
  • Larry Katz (2000 Film graduate; key second assistant director)
  • Chad Taylor (2009 Film graduate; fiber optic technician)
  • Steven Lee Tyler (2009 Film graduate; construction production assistant)
  • Miccah Underwood (2010 Film graduate; art production assistant)

Hall of Fame inductee Larry Katz had this to say about his time spent working on the film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a memorable experience for me. I was fortunate to be able to spend about 5 weeks working on the production. The bulk of it was spent on a motion capture (mocap) unit. It was fascinating to learn about the mocap process, and I was so lucky to have the crew from WETA there to patiently get me up to speed.”

Katz was able to work with many of the motion capture artists, including Andy Serkis. “Watching them emote, through this technology, was the coolest part,” says Larry. “I cannot wait to see this movie.”

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