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Movie Natters: March 12, 2008 Archive

Brett Morgen's weighty task in "Chicago 10"

Posted at 1:33 PM on March 12, 2008 by Euan Kerr

Brett Morgen has been living with the "Chicago 10" project for 10 years. He set out to tell the story of the trial of the group of protest leaders who were accused of conspiracy following the violent confrontations with police outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago in August 1968.

His film is a remarkable mix of archival footage and animated sequences to represent the trial of Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale, Tom Hayden and friends.

The crew used motion capture for the animation, and Morgen admits that he did a number of the characters himself, donning one of those skin tight suits with the dots on them which become the basis for a character's movements.

He says the biggest challenge was to portray the judge who was in his 80s. His movements were too youthful they decided, so the animators attached 20 pound metal bars to his arms, back and forehead to make him move a lot more deliberately. It worked.

We'll run the interview with Morgen later in the week.

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