American film director, screenwriter and film producer, Darren Aronofsky refused to use real animals while making the film “Noah,’ after working with primates on “The Fountain.” When it came to shooting scenes featuring animals for the new film, Aronofsy made the progressive and compassionate decision to use computer-generated imagery.
When Aronofsky had to film his menagerie of animals he made a promise to his leading man: “One of the first promises I made to Russell Crowe when he took on the role,” Aronofsky said, was that “I promise you won’t be standing on a deck with two giraffes sticking out behind you.”
Computer animation artists at the effects company Industrial Light & Magic, created some 14,000 computer-generated animals, none of which resemble any real animals in the twenty-first century, lending an autheticity to the film. Aronofsky “didn’t want traditional animals,” said visual effects supervisor Marc Chu. “This is not your father’s Noah story,” he added.
In an exclusive interview with the PETA, Aronofsky explains that it would not make sense to make a film that is about saving animals, if they are being put in harm’s way on the film set. Aronofsky recalls his experience working with live primates in the making of, The Fountain. “I was pretty alarmed with the condition that they were being kept in,” he said.
“When you’re doing Noah’s ark, of course you’re going to be dealing with animals—that’s the whole story,” Aronofsky said. “Immediately, it would be very questionable to start taking sentient creatures and sticking them on a set .… [I]t’s kind of against the actual themes of the film.” Ultimately, he concluded, “It’s undoubtedly a more realistic, truthful film … because we were able to create our own animal kingdom.”
Thanks to visionary directors like Aronofsky, and the use of advanced technology, the suffering of animals for film and television will soon be a thing of the past. Aronosky insists that adding digital animals in postproduction saves an enormous amount of time and money. “You’re gonna spend a lot more time on set dealing with a live animal,” he said. “There’s really no reason to do it anymore because the technology has arrived. … You can pretty much bring anything to life.”
According to PETA, “[a]nimals used in film and television typically spend their lives in small cagesand are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. Many are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth and subjected to abusive training methods, such as beatings, electric shocks, and food deprivation, to suppress their instinctive behavior. Once they grow old and are no longer useful to their trainers, they are usually cast off to seedy roadside zoos or other substandard facilities.”
Although there are many reasons to see visionary filmmaker Aronofsky’s new film, Noah, such as its awe-inspiring visuals, epic story, and star-studded cast, which features Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins, knowing that no animals were exploited, or harmed for the making of the film makes it all the more appealing.
The director’s decision has already earned him the inaugural Humane Filmmaker Award from activists at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who have officially given their support to the Noah film.
Check out Noah in theaters on March 28, and see the future of fimmaking!
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