Kevin Smith interview: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ visual effects
“All the other Kongs, we kept at arm’s length,” reveals Kevin Smith about portraying the iconic King in “Godzilla vs. Kong.” For our recent webchat he continues, “You want this iteration of Kong to be unique.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“Godzilla vs Kong” is the fourth film in the MonsterVerse, building on the worlds created in two previous “Godzilla” films and “Kong: Skull Island.” In the movie Godzilla has resurfaced, and King Kong is brought out of his containment zone to help humans eliminate the threat posed by the monster.
Smith was visual effects supervisor on the project, as a long serving member of the Weta Digital VFX company. They were responsible for visualizing shots of Kong and the film’s epic landscapes, spanning across Skull Island, Antarctica, and Hollow Earth.
Smith admits, “It could be really easy for Kong to just be this rampaging monster. You give him an Arc and you make him this thoughtful protagonist. It was certainly interesting work, because he’s on this emotional arc and he’s a character, with no dialogue. It really came down to the artistry of all the animators and lighters, and getting all the emotional beats that we needed him to have without speaking.”
The film has made the 2022 Oscars shortlist for the visual effects category. The supervisor reveals, “The trickiest thing was always scale, because Kong is 300 feet tall. It’s ridiculous! He’s on all fours and he’s running across the lava planes in hollow earth and he’s going 500.”
Smith reflects a pivotal moment was when the humans were trying to convince Kong to go through the gate to hollow earth in Antarctica. He says, “For me, in that moment, you put yourself right in in his emotional shoes and you can see him. You can see him start to turn the tide and he’s like, ‘okay, we’re going to do this and it’s all in his face and all without dialogue.’ For me, after that, Kong is just a character. He’s just another actor in the movie.”