At this point, our excitement levels for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is probably classifiable as "inhuman." The Matt Reeves-directed sequel to 2011's surprise critical and commercial smash "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which takes place 10 years after the events of that first movie, while planet Earth is slowly transitioning from on being ruled by humans to a world controlled by primates, opens later this week and it looks like a corker. Most of this is due, of course, to the staggering work of New Zealand effects-house Weta, who once again bring their artistic precision and technical expertise to the forefront. With this exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette, you're let in on how they brought these apes to life.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Clip No. 1

"As 'Dawn' begins, the feeling is that it's the dawn of a new species," Reeves states at the beginning of the piece, once again sporting his patented 18th Century fop fashion sense (where does he get those bow ties?) "The thing that has happened between 'Rise' and our film is that Weta has taken a quantum leap forward." And for Weta, a quantum leap is pretty sizable indeed.

The rest of the little featurette, which mixes finished footage from the film with behind-the-scenes photography (both are captivating), showcases some of these technological breakthroughs. But, as Andy Serkis, the performer who acts as Caesar, leader of the ape revolution, says: "This film is, in many ways, more challenging than the first film, in terms of its scope and scale."

So with the technological leaps forward, with things like more nimble, flexible suits and cameras for the performance capture aspects of the film, came more hurdles as well -- things like large group shots of the apes, the infamous difficulties of shooting with 3D cameras, and simple things like creating realistic looking hair and fur that is wet or matted with mud. It's funny thinking of the kind of excessive technological prowess that is powering something that is supposed to look decrepit, rundown, and crummy.

Even if you can't understand some of the techno jargon, this is very much worth a watch. We honestly thought it was impossible to be even more excited about this movie, but this little featurette has proven us wrong.

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," which costars puny humans Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kirk Acevedo (special agent Charlie Francis!), opens on Friday on both our planet and the planet of the apes... Wait? What? It's the same planet? You blew it up! Damn you! Damn youuuuuu!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Poster
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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