If anyone has singlehandedly shown the potential that motion capture performances can have, it has been Andy Serkis. First as the tortured Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy and then in Jackson’s King Kong remake and The Adventures Of Tintin and as Caesar in Rupert Wyatt’s Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, he has provided complex performances underneath the computerized digital “make-up” demonstrating that the process can be more than just a nifty special effects parlor trick.
Serkis is now going to be taking a further step in advancing what can be done with motion capture by stepping behind the camera as it were to direct a motion capture adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm.
The film is set to be the first from Serkis’s Imaginarium, the London-based studio he founded last year for motion capture projects.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Serkis described how the project would incorporate motion capture along with a number of other filmmaking techniques.
I think we found a rather fresh way of looking at it. It is definitely using performance capture, but we are using an amalgamation of filming styles to create the environmments. We are in proof-of-concept stage at the moment, designing characters and experimenting on our stage with the designs.
It is quite a wide canvas as to how much and how far we can take performance capture with quadrupeds and how much we will be using facial [capture]. We are not discounting the use of keyframe animation or puppeteering parts of animals.
Serkis has already racked up some directorial experience while working on The Hobbit when he was in charge of some second unit shooting. Given his own insights into the motion capture process, this is definitely going to be a project to look forward to as time goes on.