Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 American monster film directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly, from a story by John Gatins. The film is a reboot of the King Kong franchise and serves as the second film in Legendary’s MonsterVerse. Director Vogt-Roberts stated that he wanted Kong to look simple and iconic enough that a third grader could draw him, and the image would still be recognizable. Vogt-Roberts also wanted Kong to feel like a “lonely God, he was a morose figure, lumbering around this island,” and took the design back to the 1933 incarnation, where Kong was presented as a “bipedal creature that walks in an upright position.”
Nowadays, when we see giant creatures stomping across our screens, it goes without saying that there’s some nifty computer graphics behind the action. And that’s certainly the case in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island, which features incredible visual effects from Industrial Light & Magic. You can track the history of visual effects through the 80+ years of King Kong movies; creating the massive ape has often pushed the limits of VFX and been the inspiration for new techniques and technologies.
In the 2005 film, the advent of motion capture and digital visual effects sufficient enough to create a physically plausible King Kong paved the way for just about all future creature features, especially those involving apes. One of Weta Digital’s principal challenges, apart from ensuring Serkis’s performance came through in their digital Kong, was implementing a photo-real fur system.
The latest installment in the franchise, Kong: Skull Island, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and in theaters March 10, features the largest, most realistic Kong yet. Created by visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic, he stands at a towering 100 feet and wears a coat of 19 million digital hairs. As visual effects supervisor Jeff White tells TIME, this Kong is remarkable not just for his scale but for the way he interacts with his environment: the insects buzzing around his head, the mud caked into his fur, the way his hand splashes through water.
VFX for films is completely evident in this edition of Kong that makes us amply clear on the concept of use of special effects to change the face of the entire film. If you wish to learn the art of manipulating images and scenes on the screen then sign up for a VFX course in Kolkata and get a job in the visual effects department for your bright future.