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Re: Kong Credits

Some of the Spider Pit critters were based
on real insects...

Granted, not really a comment on dinosaurs, but for those with arthropod interests as well: The tactile navigation and movement of the centipedes looked exactly like real centipedes (and was nice and scary to boot). The spindly spider creatures were scaled-up vinegaroons, and the giant orthopterns leaping onto Driscoll appear to be scaled-up wetas. Wetas, for those who don't know, are very large, freeze-tolerant crickets native to New Zealand that happen to terrify Peter Jackson (which probably influenced their inclusion in the movie). I felt that all of those animals looked and moved fantastically well in the movie.

So, to make a more general point (one relevant to the dinosaurs): Weta did very well with any animals (scaling physics aside) for which they had direct, living analogs (or really, homologs). The Weta digital crew generally likes to have living models for their creatures when possible. Even in LOTR they used a lot of 'on site' animals for sounds and looks (for example, they took the time to catch wild spiders and bring them into the studio to help model Shelob in Two Towers). The dinosaurs, of course, don't fall into this direct analog category so well, and so had a unique suite of issues.

So, I'm going to shift the subject a little bit and propose this question to the list (should be fun and interesting):

What are the top five suggestions that you would make to a special effects studio regarding the recreation of dinosaurs for film?

Have at it, and Happy New Year to all,

--Mike H.