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From, 08/03/01:

How They Did That

In Planet of the Apes, how did they get humans to run like primates?

It could be the most striking image in Tim Burton's movie: scores of actors in full ape regalia on all fours, sprinting at what appears to be Olympic speed. ''It's all smoke and mirrors,'' says villainous ape Tim Roth. ''You don't wanna know how it's done -- it just looks good.''

Ah, but we do wanna know. Turns out producers hired Terry Notary, a former member of the acrobatic Cirque du Soleil, to help the actors and stuntmen access their simian side. ''We call it loping, or quadrupeding,'' says Notary. ''We did workshops with Tim, showing him different combinations, from zero percent ape to 100 percent ape. And he said, 'I like it right about 20 to 80 ape to human.' But when they start to get emotional or they get into a battle scene, they jump to 100 percent ape.'' Notary needed only 30 minutes to perfect the technique. ''You just have to really bend your legs and try to make your arms as looong as possible,'' explains Notary, who trained 20 performers for the shots. ''A lot of the guys you see are [digital] replicas of themselves.''

Burton insists he didn't have to speed up the film to achieve the high velocity effect. ''I thought we were gonna have to do other things to kind of goose it up,'' he says. ''But these guys did it. I was amazed, actually.'' Still, in some of the scenes, going from zero to 100 percent ape did require a little trickery. ''Those guys were getting shot forward on wires,'' says orangutan costar Paul Giamatti of the stuntmen. ''And then they [were] dragged on these rubber mats, so it looked like they were going really fast. I couldn't have done that.'' Thank God for evolution.