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Why ‘Coco’ filmmakers strapped GoPro cameras onto musicians’ guitars

By in Press Enterprise on November 18, 2017

By Rob Lowman

As a longtime guitarist, I find it irritating when an actor in a movie is obviously only pretending to play the instrument.

Even with an actor who can play a bit, things can go wrong, like only hitting one note when there should be four.

That is why I sat completely wide-eyed in Pixar’s “Coco” watching the computer-animated characters intricately picking and fingering their guitars. Not only do the characters accurately move their hands around the fretboards, they hit the right notes and chords to the songs on the soundtrack.

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“We did it just for you,” jokes co-director Lee Unkrich, who explains that when the filmmakers first decided that performance was a key part of the film, the goal was to make it as real as possible.

“I was always bothered by actors just pretending to play,” the director says. “For me, that introduced artifice into the story.”

So the filmmakers recorded the musicians playing each song or melody and strapped GoPros on their guitars so they could give the animators plenty […]    

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