LOS ANGELES--Big-budget sci-fi movies and computer-generated visual-effects are inseparable and probably will be for years to come. That doesn't mean there isn't still something magical about using engineering and craftsmanship to make lifelike, "in the flesh" versions of the other-worldly or futuristic characters these movies bring us onscreen.
That's part of the reason director Shawn Levy decided to build huge, gadget-rich "puppet" versions of the boxing robots from the new Hugh Jackman action movie "Real Steel," which opened in theaters yesterday. The Dreamworks film takes place in the near future when human fighters have been replaced by mechanized pugilists.
There are plenty of CG shots of the automaton ring warriors training and going at it round by round. But Levy had Legacy Effects construct working "real life" versions of the creatures via animatronics to interact with Jackson and the other actors on-set.
During a recent press event for the flick, Levy said he was amazed at how well the robots worked and how easily his cast rubbed elbows with them. … Read more