Alita: Battle Angel featurette explores impressive motion capture tech

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Even people who are on the fence about ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL have to admit the movie looks visually arresting, using motion capture technology to bring to life the unique look of the title hero. The new featurette for the movie takes a deeper look into the impressive visuals of the movie, especially the motion capture performance by actress Rosa Salazar in the title role, featuring interviews from her, producers Jon Landau and James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez.

“It’s all about this,” says Cameron, holding up his hands in the shape of a frame and putting it up to his face. “If you can make the audience believe that that character is real in a tight closeup…and frankly, Weta [Digital] are the only people I trusted to be able to do that.”

In the video, we also get several new looks at the movie that show off the wide range of emotions the technology was able to capture from Salazar. At one moment she’s doe-eyed and happy, the next she’s kicking ass and shoving people against the wall, so you have to have good tech if you want to capture that convincingly. “When you see something like this it’s like seeing something that looks so different than anything else,” Rodriguez said. “We need a movie like this right now.”

ALTIA: BATTLE ANGEL looks like the first big, exciting adventure in a year that poises to be full of them and given the long-gestating nature of the production there’s a lot riding on it to be great. From the extended clips and trailers, we’ve seen the movie at least looks like an exhilarating treat for the eyes, and our own Paul Shirey confirmed that with his reactions recently, getting to visit Weta Digital in New Zealand and see the movie. We will all get to see for ourselves how it all plays on the big screen on February 14, but I think it’s safe to say buying a ticket in IMAX 3D won’t exactly be a waste.

Here’s the synopsis:

From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.

As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.