Gore Verbinski Sheds Some Light on Rango
07.01.10 by BJSprecher
When the ultra-weird first teaser trailer for director Gore Verbinski's CG-animated feature Rango debuted, it left most people scratching their heads. Now that a lengthier teaser-trailer has been released, we at least have an idea of what the lead lizard, Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp), is like. Fortunately, Verbinski invited a group of reporters to his Blind Wink offices, where he shed some light on Rango's background and explained how he ended up in the desert. Verbinski also discussed "emotion-capture," a process that is unique among animated features.
Verbinski describes Rango as a pet chameleon accustomed to living in a terrarium with nothing but inanimate objects for companions.
He’s a thespian in search of an audience. He’s made friends with the inanimate objects in his terrarium — he calls them all by name. And when we meet him, he’s in the process of putting on a play with the various objects.
An armadillo named Roadkill (voiced by Alfred Molina) is responsible for Rango being stranded in the desert.
Roadkill’s run over as part of the origin of Rango’s demise, where his terrarium is thrust from his car, and he ends up in the desert.
At the end of the second teaser, Rango enters a tough-looking town called Dirt, where he thinks he might have finally found the audience he has been longing for.
This town is really hungry for a hero, and they get the great pretender. Rango has to ultimately come to terms with the difference between pretending and what’s real.
Unlike most other CG-animated features in which individual actors record their dialogue alone in a sound booth and use motion-capture technology to map their facial and body movements, the actors working on Rango acted out the movie together on a stage. Limited props and costumes were used during the 20-day shoot, which was all recorded using standard video cameras.
It’s not motion capture — we call it emotion-capture. I didn’t want to give up the techniques that were developed in shooting live action, where you try to optimize the possibility of capturing the awkward moment — the moment where things aren’t cerebral or manufactured. Everything in an animated film is manufactured. There are no accidents. So we were trying to encourage a kinetic, raw spark to the audio track.
John Logan (Gladiator) wrote the script for Rango from an idea conceived by Verbinski and James Ward Byrkit. The movie also features the voice talents of Abigail Breslin, Ray Winstone, Isla Fisher, Harry Dean Stanton, Bill Nighy and Timothy Olyphant.