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“Speed Racer” Photos

Entertainment Weekly has a lengthy feature about the Wachowski Bros’ Speed Racer.  To take a look at some of the new photos, and check out some excerpts from the feature, continue reading past the jump.

(the following photos are from the article–click to enlarge)

Here are some excerpts from the article.  First up, effects supervisor Muhen Leo on the film’s ‘car-fu’:

You’ve heard of kung-fu–and there’s plenty of it in Speed Racer–but how about car-fu? “[The brothers] realized that real racing wasn’t what they were after,” says Muhen Leo, an effects supervisor. “So the idea of cars fighting one another came about early on. The idea is that drivers have such elaborate control over the cars that they could do kicks and spins and hit each other.”

Because the actors weren’t really racing, they were plopped instead into hydraulically-controlled cockpits that would bob and weave in real time along with what the cars were supposed to be doing on screen. “We gave the directors a joystick that would allow them to simulate other cars bumping into them,” says Leo.

Kim Libreri effects supervisor on the look of the film:

If these photos are looking a bit more two-dimensionsal than usual, that’s by design. The Wachowskis “wanted to incorporate some of the limitations of ’60s cell animation in the movie,” says Leo. Explains fellow effects supervisor Kim Libreri: “The backgrounds are mostly from photographic elements that have been shot from locations around the world [and then] intensely processed to be super-colorful and super-contrasty.”

“Do you remember the 1980s video game Outrun,” asks Libreri, “with the palm trees flying past? A lot of the movie looks like that. But instead of using painted elements that they used the early days [of anime]. there are actually photographic elements flying past the road.”

When the first photos and trailers were released for the film, I feared it looked a bit too cheesy.  But these images and the more recent trailers have me a bit more excited for the film.

Head to EW to read the article, and check out the rest of the photos.

Speed Racer hits theaters on May 9, 2008.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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