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Andy Serkis Talks The Hobbit and Motion Capture

andy serkis hobbit

All seems to be well with The Hobbit movie production.  Both Orlando Bloom and Stephen Fry are in Wellington filming for The Hobbit movie and there have been plenty of sightings.

We look forward to another video blog from Peter Jackson, which we suspect will be released in the next couple months.  He has yet to disappoint with these.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes opened this weekend, which features Hobbit actor, Andy Serkis, who played the character Caesar, which was also a motion-captured character.  During the premiere, Serkis talked a lot about the art of motion capture and how it is truly just that.  He also discusses this art in relation to Lord of the Rings and the upcoming Hobbit movies.  Here are some segments from his interview:

“I am a bit evangelical, I know…but performance-capture is still misunderstood. Ten years down the line, people say, ‘Oh, so you did the voice of Gollum?’ Or people go, ‘You did the movements for Kong?’ It’s frustrating, because I play Gollum and I play Kong. It is acting…

“Originally when I went off to work on The Lord of The Rings I got a call from my agent saying that I was just going to do a voice… But I couldn’t really approach it like that. To get Gollum’s voice I had to play the character. I told Peter that was how I’d like to do it and when he was watching me moving around on set he said, ‘Stop everything. We are going to film Andy’s performance and then we are going to experiment with performance capture.’

“At that time the technology was very, very basic… There was a tiny little room with a small area to move in and the computers kept breaking down, and the cameras kept breaking down. But the very first time I saw Gollum move in real time, with my movements, I knew that this was a technology that I wanted to get involved in.”

“Peter Jackson asked me if I’d be the second-unit director on The Hobbit, so I am back in New Zealand doing that… A project of that scale means you are shooting large sections of the movie, everything from big stunt sequences to drama to vista shots, everything you would do on a main unit. It’s been amazing, and Peter’s put a lot of trust in me.”

Serkis also will be appearing doing motion capture acting in Spielberg and Jackson’s Tin Tin, which is a highly anticipated film scripted after the popular books.  No doubt Andy Serkis is a crucial part of the Hobbit movie and also was so with Lord of the Rings.  We look forward to seeing Gollum in action once more.

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  • Michelle

    I just love Andy’s performance in The Lord of The Rings! I am really envious that he is getting to expand his repertoire. My Father (God rest his soul) was a Director of film in Australia, and if he were alive, he would be champing at the bit to be second unit on this project!

  • http://twitter.com/RowanGonzalez Rowan

    It realy is interesting to see in how many movies Andy Serkis played as a motion captured character almost without noticing that it’s him. Lately i’m discovering more and more about motion capture and this techniques are realy mind blowing. I wonder where motion capture will stand in a few years.  And I wonder in which movies we can see Andy Serkis without knowing it’s him.

    If your also discovering more about motion capture like me lately, you should have a look at http://www.computergeneratedimagery.net/2011/08/motion-capture-explained/ where they explain the more basics of this technique :) .