EXCLUSIVE: Andy Serkis, who’s pulling on his latex suit again for The Hobbit, has gone into the performance capture business himself. The Imaginarium is the UK’s first performance capture studio. Serkis wants Imaginarium to provide live avatars at rock concerts or the ballet, not just movies and commercials. He’s already directed performance-capture scenes for a couple of video games, one in the US and the other in New Zealand. Serkis was brought in to punch up the cut scenes.
Serkis moans that the UK hasn’t capitalised on its performance-capture talent base. After all, we export CGI technicians all over the world. And Hollywood comes to London when it needs visual effects done on Harry Potter, Batman or James Bond. Part of it’s the usual British snobbery, he thinks. Performance capture acting is somehow looked down on. I wonder if that’s because people look silly in those dotty suits. “Dramatically, there’s absolutely no difference whatsoever,” he says. “There’s no difference in terms of the acting process.”
Serkis is, after all, our greatest cyberthespian. He also played King Kong for Peter Jackson. Anyway, here he is talking about his plans at the recent British Screen Advisory Council confab in London: