ADG Perspective

January-February 2018

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120 P E R S P E C T I V E | J A N UA RY / F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 8 reshoots by Katie C. Shipley, Associate Editor Images courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library Above is a design sketch by William J. Creber, of a cave-like structure from the ape village set in PLANET OF THE APES, 1968. This particular cave housed the ape's version of the Natural History Museum, featuring vignettes of an uncivilized human race. The village was constructed at Fox Ranch in Malibu Creek State Park. In the novel, upon which the film is based, writer Pierre Boulle describes the simian city to be made up of modern dwellings, a detail which remained in the screenplay written by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling. However, as production costs continued to mount (ape makeup accounting for a large portion of the budget), a more primitive style was adopted. It just so happened that Twentieth Century Fox's Art Department had been experimenting with a polyurethane foam which could be sprayed from a gun. It was light and easy to manipulate into any desired shape. Pencil-thin iron rods, bent rebar and wire mesh made up the basic building structures, which were then covered in foam and gunnite. In 2001, PLANET OF THE APES was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry and the Library of Congress. It is listed amongst others, as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." The film registry has compiled the list in an effort to "reflect the full breadth and diversity of America's film heritage." William J. Creber went on to design two of the sequels in 1970 and 1971. In an interview at Comic-Con in 2013, he refers to the process of designing a film as "solving a puzzle." Considering the number of iterations the PLANET OF THE APES premise has seen (three sequels, two television series, one remake, three reboots and a number of comic book adaptations) and the advancements in filmmaking since the original was made, Creber was asked his opinion on the use of digital effects. He says simply, they are "better tools to do the same thing" and that in either scenario, "you have to satisfy the requirements of the story."

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