James Gunn has shared another new video of him performing the motion capture reference for Baby Groot’s dance during the opening credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
There’s a lot to love about Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. From the charismatic rogues that populate the films to the cosmic action to the unprecedented use of comedy and music in a big budget action film. Still, one of the best-loved parts of both movies so far has been Groot. While his presence in the first film was met with a huge reception from moviegoers, his baby form proved even more popular—even before the film was released.
Though the character had a number of standout moments in Guardians 2, his dance during the opening credits is certainly the highlight. Not only did it let the film go toe-to-toe with the opening from the first film, but it was a fun and funny way to subvert the action and spectacle taking place around the character. Credit, of course, goes to writer and director James Gunn for penning and shooting the scene, and seeing it through to its final look, but that wasn’t the only role he played. Like Infant Groot’s little dance at the end of the first Guardians, Gunn provided the motion capture reference for the entirety of Baby Groot’s opening dance. Last week, Gunn shared a video of some of his moves juxtaposed with Groot’s, and now he’s given fans an even deeper look at the process.
James Gunn took to his Instagram to share another video of him dancing for Groot’s scene, along with a lengthy explanation for how the whole process came about and unfolded. Check it out below:
Ah yes, another video of me doing the motion reference work for #BabyGroot. Believe it or not, I actually did three different versions of this dance at three different times. The first time was when I first wrote the scene, in my office st home, recorded by @simonlikes on his iPhone. That one was mostly so that I could remember the camera angles and camera movements I had in my head while writing than it did the actual dance. The second time was on set in Atlanta with a single camera and our visual effects team. That time it was doing the dance full out - there were some bits and pieces we used - but because Groot is moving and the camera was stable I was only able to travel for very short periods. And so we did it again, this time in Los Angeles, with many cameras lined down a long space so that I could actually do all the long walks and jumps Groot was doing. That's when this is from. For those of you who've asked, bits of the dance were ideas of things I had in my head, or things designed for the already planned camera movies, but most of it was free form made up on the spot. The other question I've gotten asked a lot is whether or not I was just doing my regular dancing or was it in character. The answer is of course in character - I think you can see clearly in this video I'm trying to move my body that works for a little tree more than what I'd be dancing like in a nightclub in L.A. This is of course all courtesy of the visual effects company @framestore who turned this stuff into something magical, creating one of the most impressive single shots ever. #GuardiansoftheGalaxyVol2 is still out in theaters so go see it again this weekend! #gotgvol2 #GotGPicoftheDay #fbf #flashbackfriday #friday #instagood #filmmaking #movie #movies #dancing #love
Though the clip is short, Gunn’s lengthy text supplies lots of information on how the scene evolved. From shooting his rough idea on the fly to working with a crew to finally shooting the whole thing in real time, it shows just how dedicated Gunn is to getting his moments right and adding verisimilitude to his CGI creations.
It’s thanks to Gunn’s dedication that both Guardians films have been so successful. The sequel has already passed the $800 million mark worldwide, and it will continue to be beneficial for Disney thanks to merchandising and its future home video release. Meanwhile, Gunn’s success is earning him a place alongside Kevin Feige and the Russo Brothers as one of the people shaping the future of the MCU.
For fans, Gunn’s willingness to take to social media and share things about his films is also what makes him so beloved. Just yesterday, he helped explain how Yondu’s yaka arrow works, and earlier this week he laid out some of Stan Lee’s other cameos from Doctor Strange that Gunn shot. It’s this dedication to the nerdy details of his films that’s likely led to Gunn being one of the few creators to get their own Funko figure. In the meantime, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is still in theaters, so you can relive Baby Groot’s dance some more, or check him out at Disneyland’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attraction:
Source: James Gunn