British actor, Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum spoke of his dismay that the Oscars do not recognise motion-capture acting. Andy not only plays Gollum, but also the ape Caesar in the upcoming Rise of Planet of the Apes. He said that he would not want to see a special category introduced at the Oscars for motion-capture acting, insisting that success using the technique can be rewarded with current accolades.
“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 [King]Kong?’ It’s frustrating, because I play Gollum and I play Kong. It is acting.
The emotional content of these performances live and die by what the actors bring to the roles on set. I never approach a live-action role any differently to a performance-captured role. The process of acting is absolutely identical.
It should be recognised that there are two parts to the process. The first part is capturing the performance. Only later down the line do you start seeing the characters being painted over frame by frame using pixels.
Performance-capture technology is really the only way that we could bring these characters to life. It’s the way that Gollum was brought to life, and King Kong, and the Na’vi in Avatar and so on and it’s really another way of capturing an actor’s performance. That’s all it is, digital make-up.”