I was fortunate enough to watch an advanced screening of the newest Apes film, and then chat with the cast and director afterwards for ITN, Channel 5 and ITV.
Aside from the interviews being held during what felt like the apocalypse in London and me quickly realising that no matter how I regard myself, the electric fans and buckets of ice in each room were there solely for the real 'talent' - it gave me a pretty juicy (and sweaty) insight into how such an impressively-made film is actually done.
Motion capture is beyond me. The technology is and always will be more foreign to me than Sadiq Khan is to Nigel Farage. But that doesn't mean I (and by osmosis you...) can't revel in the unbelievable monkeying around of Andy Serkis. The man's more monkey than Tarzan, George and Darwin put together (The Wild Thornberrys...NOT Charles).
I've never been a PotA convert. The less said about the Mark Wahlberg reboot the better. But the most recent series of 3, War for the Planet of the Apes being the third, have caught slightly more of my attention.
Matt Reeves, fresh from a pretty epic Batman, is on his second Apes film - and it took me minus thirty seconds of interviewing him to realise what makes the man such a genius. He LOVES what he does.... I sat down in the room before he entered and was briefed by the floor manager who said, 'Matt tends to answer questions in FULL detail, so you may want to be selective with what you as him - because you'll definitely run out of time'.
I managed 2 questions in 5 minutes.
The first one was 'How are you?'.
Look. Its not the greatest film of 2017. Dunkirk is looking pretty damn epic. But if you want to bask in the glory of super close-up monkey shots, incredible landscapery (I wish that was a word) and a heart-warming primate caper, then it wouldn't be 2 hours wasted.
Woody Harrelson's role is slightly more limited than anticipated, but a dusting of The Colonel is all you need - anymore probably would be a drag...
Whether you want to take time to think about the deep political utterances of separation, nationalisation, environmentalism and war - or if you just want to see monkeys and humans alike firing guns and throwing grenades - it's definitely worth a punt for me.
Here are some of the interviews I did with the cast: