I am not giving you baking lessons, please do not worry, but when you put an actor and voiceover artist in an equation, you come out with animation, video games, anime something like that. Chuck a bit of theatrics, stunts, and skills in there, and we are in mocap and voiceover territory. Actor Andy Serkis is who I am referring to as the King of Mocap, and I will explain a little bit as to why and why these ingredients are essential.
The Power of a True Actor
Be it in a booth as a voiceover artist or in front of a thousand people in the round, the true power of an actor is born when an exceptional performance is birthed, which isn’t just recognisable, relatable, or memorable but when it has a global impact. Andy Serkis did this with Golem. He made a character that is now an archetype for the whole planet to quote, imitate, and aspire to.
PR for Actors and Voiceover Artists
One of my clients wanted a performance capture-themed edition for the magazine I regularly contribute to. Due to my love of performance capture and mocap, I was inclined to accept the task of fuelling it with plenty of content. Typically, my content consists of interviews or articles I have written to elevate, uplift, and educate, but in this instance, we have a review of an industry figure and pillar. The request to review Andy made sense because he is the king of performance capture and mocap. But this certainly was new to me. What do we talk about? We talked about the trend and bar he set for the industry and why this fantastic part of the industry is growing.
Where Does Voiceover Fit?
You can learn plenty about performance capture and motion capture (mocap) through several blogs on my website but a quick refresher on the terminology. Motion capture is just the capture of the body. Performance capture will incorporate something else, such as facial expressions or voice over. Full performance capture will have everything. So why is this area growing so much?
Simply put, it’s because it delivers the most accurate, powerful, and truthful representation of what is needed to be achieved. Humans are not mechanical; motion is fluid, and moreover, everyone is so different! No two people move perfectly the same; we all have our own unique movement signatures and quirks. When an actor performs in the volume, the digital representation perfectly captures this unique movement signature. Moreover, the actor is creating a character, so it’s not even associated with that individual’s natural movement but with something new, fresh, and creative. This makes it so desirable for video game companies and global film effects pros!
Growth in Acting, Mocap, and Voiceover
It’s commonly known that video games make more money than movies and music combined regularly. That’s insane, right? Crazy money. It is important to recognize that Andy revolutionized performance capture and brought it to a new and never seen level of popularity. Golem’s facial expressions, movements, and voice were all of Andy’s character. He made that! Like in every other element of acting, he was a distinctive character, and it was so impactful that it made history and became the icon we all know and love today.
Working in Mocap or Performance Capture
Andy was responsible for the beautiful studio in London known as the Imaginarium, which is home to one of the world’s biggest, most up-to-date, and most beautiful volumes. Seeing thousands of actors go through and countless projects done, we can see that the desire for performance capture since Golem has hit the entertainment industry massively. More studios opening can only mean increased content is being produced, and more and more companies are taking performance capture projects up.
My Experience in Mocap and Voiceover
The likes of Andy Serkis and Benedict Cumberbatch (who played Smaug in The Hobbit) inspired me a lot. Being theatrically trained, I typically like the more prominent characters. Voiceover naturally brings me into animation, video games, and anime. However, my consistent work on-screen and my training in front of the camera means I dial it back regularly to offer a more naturalistic performance. I love all forms of acting and voice over, but the most fun for me is the big surreal characters like the ones we have been talking about in this blog. I love bringing big characters to life, be they weird, surreal, mysterious, fairy tale, or fable. I feel that as an actor and voiceover artist, I get satisfaction from my work when I produce something that is seen as truthful and powerful.
Simply put, doing just that with these massive characters is the best. I have played a dinosaur, a dog, a lion cub, a robot, a politician, a barista, and many other characters, and having a diverse range is important. But let me close with this, ask yourself, what do you love to do, and why do you love to do it? Always aspire and shoot for the stars. The industry is constantly training, and there is so much opportunity to do amazing things. Learn new skills, train regularly, allow yourself to dream and imagine, and most importantly, have fun. There are some phenomenal actors out there, and I believe there is space for many more, I look at the chaps I have mentioned here as inspiration, and I am grateful to them for setting such a fantastic bar and trend because it shows me where I need to work at.