Serkis: Capturing the art of screen avatar

Animation Elite 2012: Andy Serkis

With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work on this film?” which extended his stay to two years.

In Serkis’ experience, the motion capture process has advanced from performing solo to allowing multiple actors to play off one another for “Apes.” And as the technology advances, so does acceptance of the technique.

“The younger generation, the videogame generation get it,” he says. “There is a generation at the other end that doesn’t understand it, that is fearful of it and are actually cutting off a profitable and liberating tool.” From an actor’s perspective, you can’t be vain, Serkis says: “If you’re worried about not having your face onscreen, then it’s not the job for you. But it’s never bothered me.”

Serkis is so invested in the format that he established his own motion capture studio in London, Imaginarium — the goal being to develop the technology in the northern hemisphere for films, TV, theater and videogame projects. First up is an adaptation of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.”

More Film

  • Amazon Studios Head of Motion Picture

    Amazon Studios Head of Film Production Ted Hope to be Honored by Locarno Festival

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

  • netflix-logo

    Netflix Picks up Kim Jee-woon's 'Wolf Brigade' (EXCLUSIVE)

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

    Film Review: 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

  • Rose Byrne

    Film News Roundup: Rose Byrne in Talks to Join Tiffany Haddish's 'Limited Partners'

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

  • Cher and Meryl Streep'Mamma Mia! Here

    How the Cast of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Geeked Out Around Cher

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

  • 'BuyBust' Review

    Film Review: ‘BuyBust’

    With “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” motion capture maestro Andy Serkis not only reprises his role as Gollum but receives a promotion as well. Serkis says he expected to spend only a couple of weeks Down Under working when helmer Peter Jackson emailed to say, “Oh, by the way, can you (direct) second unit work […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content