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‘Warcraft’ Film Brings Blizzard’s Azeroth to the Big Screen

The world of Azeroth, as depicted in Blizzard Entertainment’s popular World of Warcraft franchise, is being made into a movie, Warcraft, which will debut in June of 2016. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the company responsible for the special effects, has released a video giving viewers a 360-degree view of Azeroth while flying on a griffin.

On filming the orcs, Duncan Jones, the movie’s director, remarked that “motion capture has become very specialized but also still just a tool of filmmaking. We tried to do a lot of large, in-camera sets so that we had an actual reality that the film was built on top of. Some of the time we had [actors doing motion capture] on location, some of the time we had them on set, sometimes there was green screen.”

When talking about visual effects supervisor Jeff White, Jones stated that White “absolutely nailed that character [Hulk in ‘Avengers’], and orcs feel like they may have some of the same genetic background as the Hulk… When we found out that Jeff himself was actually an avid Warcraft player as well, it became clear how excited he was about playing in this universe. It was a match made in heaven.”

Given the fantastical nature of Warcraft, actors often used green screen effects. As Blackhand, actor Clancy Brown rode on “something that looked a bit like a rocking horse” to render a wolf. Jones said that “to have Clancy Brown try to give this really impressive emotional speech while he’s on a rocking horse, man…there’s just lots of moments like that where you’re doing things that are just extraordinarily silly when you look at them objectively.” Photos and scans of the actors were molded with Blizzard concept art to render 3-D images.

While Jones would like to work on different projects after Warcraft, he did say that “if I have the good fortune to work with the same group of people, I’d love to [make a sequel].”

Follow Rob Shimshock on Twitter.

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