You’d never guess it from seeing the verdant freakscape that materializes in Alice in Wonderland, but Tim Burton’s 3-D version of Lewis Carroll’s classic adventure was conjured entirely within the barren confines of a Los Angeles sound stage.
How did one actor — Matt Lucas — play both Tweedledum and Tweedledee within the same frame? What’s the trick behind Crispin Glover’s ability to hover 3 feet above every other actor in a scene? Where did Helena Bonham Carter get such a bulbous head? Answers to all that and more are offered up in Wired.com’s exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Alice in Wonderland.
In the video above, free-associating director Burton explains his “whatever works” approach to making the PG-rated movie, which opens Friday. “It’s been such a weird process…. We used so many different techniques that it really didn’t manifest itself. Shots really didn’t come in, in full, till the very end…. It was a constantly evolving thing.”
Shooting the actors against green screen, Burton says he avoided motion capture in favor of real flesh-and-blood performances filmed through special cameras. The human characters “needed to kind of blend in with the Wonderland world,” the animated director says. “It was like their eyes, them, but in this sort of slightly mutated, or redefined, form.”