While at the Real Steel press junket, we not only got to talk to the actors of the film, we also got to meet the robots Atom and Noisy Boy. Seeing these robots in person was kind of intimidating. I felt like they were going to start boxing right then and there!
Here is a clip of John Rosengrant from Legacy Effects telling us about the creation of robots.
I do not think that the movie would have had the same effect it did had the robots been done completely digital. Having these massive puppets for the actors to look at and talk to made me feel like these boxing robots were possible and gave them humanity, especially Atom.
Director Shawn Levy talks about Atom’s magic:
I directed Atom like another character. He was puppeteered by a remote-controlled puppeteering kind of machine. We made our most human robot be the only robot with no face. And we did it in the hope that the mesh of Atom’s face, with just those LED eyes, would be like a screen that we as an audience would project onto in the same way that Max (Dakota Goya) does.
As soon as I saw how the puppeteers could move him, you could be ten, you could be 42, you could be 62, there was like a magic to that robot. And the reason that the scenes between Dakota and the robot are so wondrous is because that boy Dakota, loved that robot. There’s no pretending. It’s not a tennis ball on a stick. He’s not acting.
When Max looked at Atom and said can you understand me? I told the puppeteer, whatever Dakota does, you do. So literally, when Dakota went like this, Atom went like this. Such that when Dakota finally says, don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me, it’s like, Dakota loved that robot. So it was really effective to build him, and watching it just seemed so real.
See Real Steal today!
Rated: PG 13
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Disclosure: Disney/DreamWorks provided me with an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles for an advance screening of Real Steel. All thoughts expressed are my own.