Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cameraman Talks Motion Capture on Lord of the Rings

Recently motion capture pioneer Andy Serkis (Gollum) commented about the developments in motion capture that have reached a point where it truly captures a full acting performance where "Every reaction, every emotion, every acting choice and beat happens there and then." Sadly most critics and fellow actors continue to believe that motion capture is the equilvant of animation where the actor is more of a guide then true acting. Someone who knows there is more to it then some dots, suit and computers is Return of the King camera man Evan Pugh who wrote about his experience working with Serkis on the Butchers Hook blog.
People who dislike the increasing use of CG in films should remember that movie making is about creating magic, about making make-believe. At the end of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, before the hobbits are able to have their overextended self-congratulatory epilogue, Frodo bites the ring from Gollum's finger, Gollum then falls into Mount Doom. As he flails backwards into a sea of fire we watch his horror, not at his impending demise, but at his loss of the ring and then as he falls his glee that the ring is going with him. This dramatic scene was all made possible because Andy Serkis contorted himself over the back of a broken office chair in a draughty warehouse in a suburb of Wellington, New Zealand. As a member of production explained at the time this was a 'Kiwi job'. Who cares that the practicalities of shooting that scene - both for facial expression and motion capture -weren't salubrious, when the technology allowed it to be transformed into the magic that made the final cut.

1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    As a Reene Cataldo fan, I'm looking forward to see all the news about this new film and the special effects used to make RC a good looking goblin..

    Andrew Fischer from