Andy Serkis and WETA Digital’s Joe Letteri Talk THE HOBBIT, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Whether Performance Capture Will Ever Be Recognized by the Academy, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 288 days ago

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At the VES Awards last week, I was able to get a few minutes with Andy Serkis and Weta Digital’s Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri.  During our red carpet interview we talked about the audience reaction to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the sequences that were the most challenging to get right, how far along they are on the sequels, and more.  In addition, Serkis talked about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and they both talked about the perception of performance capture and why it seems to be overlooked by the Academy.   Hit the jump to watch.

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  • nintendo zapper

    If the Academy starts giving motion capture recognition than it should also acknowledge and award every animator of who worked on the supposed winner. While Serkis does a great job, if we just put up his performance minus the animation it might not hold up as well,.,, Gollum would strange as just a dude in a black leotard with little balls taped around his face.

    • peopleRcunts

      Animators and SFX teams do get recognised. They can win for their work on films quite easily. But the performances which drive and push the animators along don’t.

      And plus it’s all well and good having a nicely animated character etc but it’s a shit performance well they’ve just wasted their time.

      • nintendo zapper

        so there is an academy award for animation of a motion capture? My point is the performance you watch is amazing because of two things: Serkis and a team of animators… one without the other does not work for a singular performance, it’s a team effort. I agree if it’s a shit performance it’s a waste of animation but if it’s shit animation its a waste of a good performance.

    • David Ferry Jr.

      this is where you, and potentially the Academy, are wrong. This is exactly the point people are trying to make. Andy Serkis’ performance underneath the CGI IS amazing. Just because he ultimately appears as a digital creature does not mean that his actual performance is not worthy. Though I agree that an animator also should be recognized for their ability to create a performance, there is no comparison between this and an actual performance by a person. Just watch some of his performances as Gollum in the behind the scenes documentaries…phenomenal.

      • nintendo zapper

        if you animate the motion capture shitty-like this will detract from a great performance. All I mean to say is that Serkis is amazing, but without the Gollum animation, it’s still just a guy in a suit with a great voice and facial expressions. I am talking strictly motion capture, not about animators who just create things from thin air… they have an award it’s for Visual Effects. Motion capture is an amazing new tech that has many applications but we should not separate any of the talented individuals who brought together several things to appear only as just one.

  • David Ferry Jr.

    this is where you, and potentially the Academy, are wrong. This is exactly the point people are trying to make. Andy Serkis\’ performance underneath the CGI IS amazing. Just because he ultimately appears as a digital creature does not mean that his actual performance is not worthy. Though I agree that an animator also should be recognized for their ability to create a performance, there is no comparison between this and an actual performance by a person. Just watch some of his performances as Gollum in the behind the scenes documentaries…phenomenal.

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  • Alan F

    There is not that much actual animation as such anymore. The CGI character is a virtual puppet that moves in accordance with direct motion capture driven by the actor. It is to all intents and purposes digital makeup and if a person with prosthetics can earn an award like John Hurt did for the Elephant Man then Andy Serkis certainly deserves a nomination for Gollum. The Motion Picture industry and the Academy in particular needs to wake up and realise that dismissing motion capture as they do at the moment is frankly an insult to the art that is acting. They cannot continue to ignore the invaluable and highly talented performances that are required to make a character like Gollum shine on screen.

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