Friday morning at San Diego Comic Con 2011 started off with a bang, as the massive convention center hall known as Hall H was packed with people ready to see Steven Spielberg make his Comic Con debut. Spielberg was of course at Comic Con to present his latest feature The Adventures of Tintin. Audiences were treated to a big surprise as well, as fellow producer and intended director of the ‘Tintin’ sequel, director Peter Jackson joined Spielberg on stage to further make for a great panel. Easily a great way to really get audiences going wild and begin a wonderful day for those, including myself, who were intending to spend the entire day inside of Hall H.
The rest of this post will revolve around the various things that occurred during this highly entertaining panel and I am sure that fellow Why So Blu writer Sean Ferguson will make any additional notes in the comment section below or in his own Comic Con articles.
Before getting into ‘Tintin’, Steven Spielberg was presented with the Comic Con Inkpot award for lifetime achievement. As the excited crowd settled down, things got underway with some discussion of what the process was like for Spielberg to step away from making movies through the use of film and step over to the digital side, as ‘Tintin’ makes full use of motion capture technology, similar to Avatar. After explaining how he got into the ‘Tintin’ comic book series to begin with, Spielberg explained the process, addressing his treatment of the digital camera as if it were him filming a live action feature, as well as a discussion of how the actors were implemented in this style of filmmaking.
Following some of this discussion, Spielberg decided to show off some test footage designed to see how the look of digital elements would compare to the live action actors. This became a bit of a surprise gag, as Peter Jackson was the star of this footage, auditioning for the part of Captain Haddock, while Tintin’s dog Snowy (full CG) appeared, jumping around in the background. After this footage ended, everything became more amazing, as Peter Jackson joined Spielberg on stage for the remainder of the panel. I would guess that many were shocked, as Jackson was presumed to be busy in New Zealand, filming The Hobbit, but due to a three week break, Jackson was able to join in on the fun at Comic Con.
As the panel continued, the duo premiered an extended look at ‘Tintin’, which lasted for a good five minutes, and did a great job of showing off the style of film that these filmmakers were intending. ‘Tintin’ is very much a classical adventure story, which should be filled with action, adventure, comedic elements, and even some noir-ish qualities as well, since it is a globe-trotting, murder mystery of sorts. All of the footage was shown in 3D, and while it did look very good, Spielberg did say that the final rendering of the CG motion capture has not been completely finished as of yet. If this film can look even better than it already does, then people will be in for quite the treat, come this December.
Following the main panel, Q&A was opened up to the floor and audiences were treated to another surprise. At the front of the Q&A line turned out to be actor Andy Serkis, who previously starred as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and will be portraying Captain Haddock in ‘Tintin’. Following this brief appearance, many fans got the chance to ask these filmmaking questions, which led to one very lucky man having the opportunity of a lifetime, as he got to join Spielberg and Jackson on stage. While simply wanting to know Spielberg’s filmmaking preference, his shirt read, “If possible, I would love to meet Steven Spielberg just to shake his hand and say thank you,” which worked very well in his favor.
The panel was definitely a lot of fun and a highlight for many in attendance at San Diego Comic Con this year. The Adventures of Tintin opens on December 22 and below you can find some highlights from the panel as well as the trailer for the film.
The Adventures of Tintin Trailer:
Andy Serkis in Q&A Line