'Welcome to Marwen' director explains how film captures power of performances with latest tech

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Sunday, December 23, 2018
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Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis uses all the state-of-the art wizardry in his latest film, "Welcome to Marwen."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Robert Zemeckis, Oscar-winning director of "Forrest Gump," "Back to the Future" movies and "The Polar Express," uses all the state-of-the art wizardry in his latest film, "Welcome to Marwen."

"Welcome to Marwen" mixes performance-capture technology with live-action scenes. It's based on the true story of a man, played by Steve Carell, who was beaten to within an inch of his life, just for being different. The injuries haven taken away his memories.

To help cope with his new life, he creates a miniature world he calls Marwen.

The film moves back and forth from reality to fantasy.

Thanks to technology -- and plenty of research and development-- Zemeckis and his team brought it all to life, working hard to capture the emotional power of the performances.

"There was no animation all. All the dolls that are moving in this movie are absolute human performance," Zemeckis said. "And not one touch of animation because I didn't want it to be just a voice performance."

Zemeckis knows "Welcome to Marwen" is not an easy movie to describe. He calls it genre fluid because it has "kind of everything."

"Movies are supposed to take us to these other worlds and show us things that we can't see in real life," Zemeckis said. "And I think that's sort of like what a filmmaker's, you know, responsibility is -- to show us the world in a different way."

"Welcome to Marwen" is rated PG-13.