As the year finally comes to a close, Peter Jackson once again owns December with the success of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. And it’s been a great year for Benedict Cumberbatch too, especially considering he’s not only played Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, but he’s also brought Smaug to life with the help of motion capture.
And indeed, this is what Letteri concentrated on with Cumberbatch when he played Smaug. “We played with a lot of different kinds of body language, and we presented these different [options] to Peter.” As far as animating Smaug, “We were really fortunate that the dwarfs built this treasure hold that was big enough for a dragon to movie in (laughs). That made our life easier, somewhat.”
Monster FX have certainly come a long way, which is great because if a creature isn’t convincing, the whole movie can go down the drain. So it’s great that with today’s technology we can believe that dragons exist, or at least we can find them more entertaining than ever.