Mo-Cap Case Study.

Following a comment made by a visitor to the blog on a previous entry, I will be doing a quick examination of what lets down a film with Mo-Cap.

“Hey Thomas. This was incredibly informative and interesting to look at. As a South African, I was glad to see that district 9 did really well. Really makes you think about films as an investment opportunity as well, I bet there is a lot of money changing hands pre-production. As an extension to the article, it could be really interesting to look at movies that have flopped, and perhaps why they have done so.”

 

Mars Needs Moms (2011) is such an example of a failed attempt at Motion Capture within Animation. The film suffered poorly for the money spent on it, (See the previous entry to see a breakdown of different Mo-Cap Film finances).

Among the many problems listed by The Hollywood Reporter, the misuse of performance capture seems to be emblematic of how not to use the technology. Whereby it is an attempt to make human-like entities as close to being human as possible but not quite, thus falling into the aptly named Uncanny Valley that Mori speculated over in the seventies.

It makes clear the strengths of the current Planet of the Apes saga whereby the technology is used to turn humans into apes rather than humans into to other humans. It just isn’t working right yet and those innate feelings of disgust and anxiety over what it just a little uncanny aren’t going anywhere. Those are some hardwired mate selection tools we have and they’re damn useful for selecting mates and avoiding disease or predators.

 

 

Mo-Cap Blockbusters: The Numbers

 

In my previous entry, I detailed how frequently Andy Serkis has donned lycra in pursuit of capturing performances fit for the big screen. In this entry I will be exploring the biggest films to feature Motion Capture Performances, how much they earned, how does that compare to films without Motion Capture generally and finally how Andy Serkis fits in.

The list below includes films from previous entries, minus those which provided incomplete or no box office data from the source page (IMDb). The list displays the accosted Gross Profit as well as the budget of these films.

2000


Gladiator

Budget

$103,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$457,640,427 (Worldwide) (28 February 2012)


2002


 

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Budget

$94,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$926,047,111 (Worldwide) (25 November 2011)


Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

Budget

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$119,723,358 (worldwide)


2003


Hulk

Budget

$137,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$245,284,946 (Worldwide)
$113,107,712 (Worldwide) (except USA)


Inspector Gadget 2

Budget

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$56,375,000 (worldwide) (31 December 2016)


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Budget

$94,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$1,119,929,521 (Worldwide) (25 November 2011)
$742,083,616 (Non-USA) ( 2003)


Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

Budget

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$197,011,982 (worldwide)
$85,250,000 (Non-USA)


2004


Appleseed

Gross

$124,967 (USA) (13 February 2005)


I, Robot

Budget

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$202,433,893 (Worldwide) ( December 2004) (except USA)
$347,234,916 (Worldwide) ( December 2004)


Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Budget

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$209,073,645 (Worldwide)
$90,439,096 (Non-USA)


The Polar Express

Budget

$165,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$307,514,317 (worldwide)
$124,140,582 (Non-USA)


2005


King Kong

Budget

$207,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$550,517,357 (Worldwide) (27 April 2008)
$331,278,422 (Worldwide) ( May 2006) (except USA)


2006


Happy Feet

Budget

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$384,335,608 (Worldwide) (10 May 2007)


Monster House

Budget

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$140,175,006 (Worldwide)
$66,513,996 (Worldwide) (except USA)


Night at the Museum

Budget

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$574,480,841 (Worldwide) (15 March 2009)
$323,617,573 (Non-USA) (15 March 2009)


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Budget

$225,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$1,066,179,725 (Worldwide)
$642,863,913 (Non-USA) ( 2006)


Renaissance

Budget

€14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$63,260 (USA) (15 October 2006)


2007


Beowulf

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$196,393,745 (Worldwide) (12 August 2012)


The Golden Compass

Budget

$180,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$372,234,864 (worldwide)
$346,000,000 (worldwide)


I am Legend

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$585,349,010 (Worldwide) (12 July 2012)


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Budget

$300,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$963,420,425 (Worldwide) (25 November 2011)
$654,000,000 (Non-USA) ( 2007)


Stardust

Budget

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$135,560,026 (Worldwide) (14 September 2008)
$96,925,088 (Non-USA) (14 September 2008)


2008


Bedtime Stories

Budget

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$212,874,442 (Worldwide)
$102,772,467 (Non-USA)


The Day the Earth Stood Still

Budget

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$230,831,978 (Worldwide) (29 March 2009)
$233,093,859 (Worldwide)
$151,465,000 (Non-USA) (29 March 2009)
$153,726,881 (Non-USA)


The Incredible Hulk

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$263,427,551 (Worldwide)


Iron Man

Budget

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$585,174,222 (Worldwide) (2 October 2008)
$266,800,000 (Non-USA) ( 2008)


2009


Avatar

Budget

$237,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$2,787,965,087 (Worldwide) (13 February 2015)
$2,782,275,172 (Worldwide) (25 November 2011)
$2,027,457,462 (Non-USA)


A Christmas Carol

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$325,286,646 (Worldwide)
$187,430,783 (Non-USA)


District 9

Budget

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$210,819,611 (Worldwide)
$95,173,376 (Non-USA)


Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$413,106,170 (Worldwide)
$235,862,449 (Non-USA)


Watchmen

Budget

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$185,258,983 (Worldwide)
$77,749,184 (non-USA)


2010


Alice In Wonderland

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$1,024,299,904 (Worldwide) (6 November 2011)
$1,025,467,110 (worldwide)


Iron Man 2

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$623,933,331 (Worldwide) (19 August 2010)


Tron: Legacy

Budget

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$400,062,763 (Worldwide) (1 May 2011)


2011


The Adventures of Tintin

Budget

$135,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$371,940,071 (Worldwide) (21 February 2012)
$373,993,951 (Worldwide)
$296,402,120 (Non-USA)


The Green Lantern

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$219,851,172 (Worldwide) (29 September 2011)
$214,200,000 (Worldwide) (4 September 2011)


Happy Feet Two

Budget

$135,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$150,406,466 (Worldwide)
$86,400,000 (Non-USA)


Mars Needs Moms

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$21,345,454 (USA) (12 June 2011)


Paul

Budget

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$13,043,310 (USA) (20 March 2011) (2,802 Screens)

Gross

$101,162,106 (worldwide)
$63,749,161 (Non-USA)


Real Steel

Budget

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$27,319,677 (USA) (9 October 2011) (3,440 Screens)

Gross

$276,654,000 (Worldwide) (26 December 2011)
$299,268,508 (Worldwide)
$213,800,000 (Non-USA)


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Budget

$93,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$54,806,191 (USA) (7 August 2011) (3,648 Screens)

Gross

$468,969,479 (Worldwide) (10 November 2011)
$482,860,185 (Worldwide)
$306,100,000 (Non-USA)


Super 8

Budget

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$259,713,319 (Worldwide) (29 September 2011)
$244,000,000 (Worldwide) (28 August 2011)
$260,095,986 (Worldwide)
$133,091,807 (Non-USA)


2012


The Amazing Spiderman

Budget

$230,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$62,004,688 (USA) (8 July 2012) (4,318 Screens)

Gross

$757,930,663 (Worldwide)
$495,900,000 (Non-USA)


The Avengers

Budget

$220,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$207,438,708 (USA) (6 May 2012) (4,349 Screens)
£15,778,074 (UK) (29 April 2012) (521 Screens)
$178,400,000 (Non-USA) (29 April 2012)

Gross

$1,519,557,910 (Worldwide)
$896,200,000 (Non-USA)


Foodfight! (Don’t Bother)

Budget

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

£20,440 (UK) (17 June 2012)
RUR 53,266 (Russia) (6 May 2012)


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Budget

$180,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$84,617,303 (USA) (16 December 2012) (4,045 Screens)
£11,601,538 (UK) (16 December 2012) (598 Screens)
$222,600,000 (worldwide) ( 2012)
$138,000,000 (Non-USA) ( 2012)

Gross

$1,017,003,568 (Worldwide) (27 April 2013)
$1,021,103,568 (worldwide)
$138,200,000 (Non-USA) (16 December 2012)
$718,100,000 (Non-USA)


John Carter

Budget

$250,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$30,180,188 (USA) (11 March 2012) (3,749 Screens)

Gross

$284,139,100 (worldwide) (28 June 2012)
$211,061,000 (Non-USA)


Mirror Mirror

Budget

$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$18,132,085 (USA) (22 July 2012) (3,603 Screens)
£2,389,033 (UK) (8 April 2012) (392 Screens)

Gross

$162,700,692 (Worldwide) (22 July 2012)
$183,018,522 (worldwide)
$76,500,000 (Non-USA) (22 April 2012)
$118,083,355 (Non-USA)


Snow White and the Huntsman

Budget

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$56,217,700 (USA) (3 June 2012) (3,773 Screens)

Gross

$396,592,829 (worldwide)
$241,260,448 (Non-USA)


Ted

Budget

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$54,415,205 (USA) (1 July 2012) (3,239 Screens)

Gross

$549,368,315 (Worldwide)
$330,552,828 (Non-USA)


2013


Elysium

Budget

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$29,807,393 (USA) (11 August 2013) (3,284 Screens)
£2,152,458 (UK) (25 August 2013) (710 Screens)

Gross

$286,140,700 (Worldwide)
$193,090,583 (Non-USA)


Ender’s Game

Budget

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$27,017,351 (USA) (3 November 2013) (3,407 Screens)

Gross

$125,537,191 (Worldwide)
$63,800,000 (Non-USA)


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Budget

$225,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$73,645,197 (USA) (28 December 2013) (3,903 Screens)
£9,325,626 (UK) (15 December 2013) (580 Screens)
$209,000,000 (worldwide) ( 2013) (20,308 Screens)
$135,400,000 (Non-USA) (11 December 2013) (16,405 Screens)

Gross

$960,366,855 (Worldwide) (9 January 2015)
$893,819,001 (Worldwide) (27 February 2014)
$858,276,240 (Worldwide) (14 February 2014)
$847,488,560 (Worldwide) (28 January 2014)
$702,000,000 (Non-USA)


Iron Man 3

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$174,144,585 (USA) (7 May 2013) (4,253 Screens)
$174,144,585 (USA) (5 May 2013) (4,253 Screens)

Gross

$1,215,439,994 (Worldwide)
$806,426,000 (Non-USA)


Man of Steel

Budget

$225,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$116,619,362 (USA) (16 June 2013) (4,207 Screens)
£11,191,595 (UK) (16 June 2013) (572 Screens)

Gross

$668,045,518 (Worldwide)
$377,000,000 (Non-USA)


Oz: The Great and the Powerful

Budget

$215,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$79,110,453 (USA) (10 March 2013) (3,912 Screens)

Gross

$493,311,825 (Worldwide) (13 September 2013)
$490,032,311 (Worldwide) (6 June 2013)


R.I.P.D.

Budget

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$12,691,415 (USA) (21 July 2013) (2,852 Screens)
£506,521 (UK) (22 September 2013) (375 Screens)

Gross

$78,324,220 (Worldwide)
$44,705,365 (Non-USA)


Ted 2

Budget

$68,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$33,507,870 (USA) (28 June 2015) (3,442 Screens)

Gross

$215,863,606 (Worldwide)
$134,387,221 (Non-USA)


2014


The Amazing Spiderman 2

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$91,608,337 (USA) (4 May 2014) (4,324 Screens)

Gross

$708,982,323 (Worldwide)
$506,128,390 (Non-USA)

 


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Budget

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$72,611,427 (USA) (13 July 2014) (3,967 Screens)

Gross

$708,835,589 (Worldwide) (26 April 2015)
$208,545,589 (Worldwide) (28 February 2015)
$710,644,566 (worldwide)
$502,098,977 (Non-USA)


Guardians of the Galaxy

Budget

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$94,320,883 (USA) (3 August 2014) (4,080 Screens)

Gross

$774,176,600 (Worldwide) (28 February 2015)
$768,004,000 (Worldwide) (9 November 2014)
$774,176,600 (Worldwide)
$438,000,000 (Non-USA) (9 November 2014)
$441,000,000 (Non-USA)


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Budget

$250,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$54,724,334 (USA) (12 December 2014) (3,875 Screens)

Gross

$955,119,788 (Worldwide) (26 April 2015)
$665,032,000 (Worldwide) (2 January 2015)
$956,019,788 (Worldwide)
$700,000,000 (Non-USA) (5 March 2015)
$697,600,000 (Non-USA) (18 February 2015)
$457,800,000 (Non-USA) (2 January 2015)
$700,900,000 (Non-USA)


Into the Woods

Budget

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$31,051,923 (USA) (28 December 2014) (2,440 Screens)
$129,563 (Portugal) (1 January 2015)

Gross

$212,902,372 (Worldwide)
$84,900,000 (Non-USA)


Kochadaiiyaan

Gross

$663,000 (USA) (2 July 2014)


Maleficent

Budget

$180,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$69,431,298 (USA) (1 June 2014) (3,948 Screens)
£6,590,071 (UK) (1 June 2014) (486 Screens)

Gross

$758,410,378 (Worldwide) (28 February 2015)
$335,469,968 (Worldwide) (9 June 2014)
$758,539,785 (Worldwide)
$517,129,407 (Non-USA)


Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb

Budget

$127,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$5,541,830 (Russia) (12 January 2015) (1,690 Screens)

Gross

$363,204,635 (worldwide)
$249,458,014 (Non-USA)


Paddington

Budget

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$25,205,000 (USA) (18 January 2015) (3,303 Screens)
£5,191,930 (UK) (30 November 2014) (502 Screens)

Gross

$259,541,430 (worldwide) (18 June 2015)
$233,520,839 (worldwide) (5 March 2015)
$183,317,852 (Non-USA) (18 June 2015)


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Budget

$125,000,000 (estimated)Opening Weekend

$65,575,105 (USA) (3 February 2015) (3,845 Screens)

Gross

$493,333,584 (worldwide)
$302,128,830 (Non-USA)


2015


Antman

Budget

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$57,225,526 (USA) (19 July 2015) (3,856 Screens)

Gross

$519,445,163 (worldwide)
$339,243,000 (Non-USA)


Avengers Age of Ultron

Budget

$250,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$191,271,109 (USA) (1 May 2015) (4,276 Screens)

Gross

$1,405,413,868 (Worldwide)
$946,408,000 (Non-USA)


Jurassic World

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$208,806,270 (USA) (12 June 2015) (4,274 Screens)

Gross

$1,670,400,637 (Worldwide)
$1,018,130,012 (Non-USA)


Pan

Budget

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$15,315,435 (USA) (11 October 2015) (3,515 Screens)

Gross

$128,388,320 (worldwide)
$93,300,000 (Non-USA)


Pixels

Budget

$88,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$24,011,616 (USA) (26 July 2015) (3,723 Screens)

Gross

$244,866,996 (worldwide)
$166,119,411 (Non-USA)


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Budget

$245,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$247,966,675 (USA) (20 December 2015) (4,134 Screens)
£34,011,849 (UK) (20 December 2015) (670 Screens)

Gross

$2,068,178,225 (Worldwide)
$1,131,516,000 (Non-USA)


Terminator: Genysis

Budget

$155,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$27,018,486 (USA) (1 July 2015) (3,758 Screens)
£3,793,617 (UK) (5 July 2015) (536 Screens)

Gross

$440,603,537 (worldwide)
$350,842,581 (Non-USA)


2016


Alice Through the Looking Glass

Budget

$170,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$28,112,000 (USA) (29 May 2016) (3,763 Screens)

Gross

$299,455,833 (worldwide)
$222,413,452 (Non-USA)


The BFG

Budget

$140,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$19,584,969 (USA) (3 July 2016) (3,357 Screens)

Gross

$176,845,402 (Worldwide) (27 October 2016)
$60,480,422 (Non-USA) (31 July 2016


Deadpool

Budget

$58,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$135,050,000 (USA) (14 February 2016) (3,558 Screens)
£13,729,803 (UK) (14 February 2016) (543 Screens)

Gross

$783,770,709 (Worldwide)
$420,700,000 (Non-USA)


Doctor Strange

Budget

$165,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$85,058,311 (USA) (6 November 2016) (3,882 Screens)

Gross

$677,718,395 (worldwide)
$445,076,475 (Non-USA)

 


The Huntsman: Winters War

Budget

$115,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$19,445,035 (USA) (24 April 2016) (3,791 Screens)

Gross

$47,952,020 (USA) (12 June 2016)
$164,602,163 (Worldwide) (16 June 2016)


The Jungle Book

Budget

$175,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$103,261,464 (USA) (17 April 2016) (4,028 Screens)

Gross

$966,550,600 (worldwide)
$602,549,477 (Non-USA)


Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV

Gross

$233,569 (USA) (28 August 2016)


The Legend of Tarzan

Budget

$180,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$38,527,856 (USA) (3 July 2016) (3,561 Screens)
£3,570,350 (UK) (10 July 2016) (507 Screens)

Gross

$356,743,061 (worldwide)
$230,100,000 (Non-USA)

 


Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

Budget

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$28,871,140 (USA) (2 October 2016) (3,522 Screens)

Gross

$285,540,870 (Worldwide) (19 January 2017)
$296,477,016 (worldwide)
$209,234,182 (Non-USA)


A Monster Calls

Budget

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Gross

$40,915,762 (worldwide) (25 January 2017)
$40,919,166 (worldwide)


Rogue One

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$155,081,681 (USA) (18 December 2016) (4,157 Screens)
£17,261,889 (UK) (18 December 2016) (698 Screens)

Gross

$1,055,920,180 (USA) (27 April 2017)
$1,055,954,685 (Worldwide) (1 May 2017)
$1,055,931,180 (Worldwide)
$523,735,006 (Non-USA) (12 March 2017)
$523,777,276 (Non-USA)


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Budget

$135,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$165,685 (USA) (25 September 2016) (33 Screens)
$35,316,382 (USA) (5 June 2016) (4,071 Screens)

Gross

$245,623,848 (worldwide)
$155,035,438 (Non-USA) (31 July 2016)
$163,572,247 (Non-USA)


Warcraft

Budget

$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$24,166,110 (USA) (12 June 2016) (3,400 Screens)

Gross

$433,677,183 (worldwide)
$386,311,893 (Non-USA)


2017


Beauty and the Beast

Budget

$160,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$174,750,616 (USA) (19 March 2017) (4,210 Screens)

Gross

$1,187,621,648 (worldwide) (11 May 2017)
$180,000,000 (Non-USA) (21 March 2017)


Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Budget

$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend

$145,049,000 (USA) (7 May 2017)

Gross

$508,957,419 (worldwide) (11 May 2017)



 

Those are not numbers to be taken lightly. When taken as an average the mean of all budgets (minus three where no data was available)  comes to roughly:
$140 000 000.00
Before adjusting for inflation. So films with Mo-Cap being used to varying degree have a budget not to be sniffed at.

How do the gross profits weigh up? Well looking at the worldwide gross of films listed where available from IMDB we come to an average Gross profit of:
$538 155 041.72.
A substantial sum to be sure. In the next entry I’ll hopefully be able to shed some light on how much Mo Cap Features into the budgets of these films

As for Serkis? His appearance in Mo-Cap films results in a average Budget of:
$152 250 000.00 (In films where Serkis has performed for mo-cap where available).

…and a Worldwide Gross profit of:
$934 661 416.86

Placing Serkis ahead of the average of the combined Mo-Cap figures averaged.

How much has Andy Serkis contributed to Performance Capture?

Andy Serkis, renowned for his motion capture performances, most notably in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, earned him the title of ‘Godfather of Motion Capture’. (Clark, 2016)

But just how much has he contributed to the art? How many films has Serkis aided with his expertise of lycra-suit-wearing displays?

 


The Two Towers (2002) – Gollum

Return of the King (2003) – Smeagol / Gollum

King Kong (2005) – Kong / Lumpy

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) – Caesar

The Adventures of Tintin (2011) – Captain Haddock/ Sir Francis Haddock 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – Gollum

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Caesar

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – Supreme Leader Snoke

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – Caesar

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – Supreme Leader Snoke

Jungle Book  (2018) – Baloo 

Star Wars: Episode IX  (2019) – Supreme Leader Snoke 

The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun – Haddock

Untitled Third Tintin Film – Haddock (presumed)


Excluding the number of games he has lent his talents of performance capture to and assuming the films yet released will be, this is a substantial list. Not to mention several films that Imaginarium Studios has lined up (Serkis is a Co-Creator and public figure for the company). 

If we take it as fact that all the films listed in the previous post indeed contain legitimate motion capture performances then a little over 10% of films since the year 2000 which incorporate the technology have included Serkis. Comparatively there have been few actors who have made such success from the art form. 

What’s more impressive is the actual list of films present. All of which appear at first glance to be legitimate blockbusters. In the next entry to the blog I will be investigating the success of Motion Capture films since 2000 and how Serkis relates to which films. 

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A list of films utilising Performance-Capture since the Millennium.

Andy Serkis’ Gollum is a distinctly renown cultural icon, not least for the already recognised genius behind his inception by Tolkien but for the performance that Serkis gave to bring the character to life using Motion Capture Performance.

But it was a turning point in the early development of Motion Capture.

Since the millennium over one hundred films have incorporated the technology (not including video games).

Below is a non exhaustive list of films which meet the criteria:

2000

Gladiator

Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists

2001

Barbie in the Nutcracker

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

2002

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

2003

Hulk

Inspector Gadget 2

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

2004

Appleseed

I, Robot

Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Polar Express

2005

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

King Kong

2006

The Barbie Diaries

Happy Feet

Monster House

Night at the Museum

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Renaissance

2007

Beowulf

The Golden Compass

I am Legend

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Stardust

2008

Bedtime Stories

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Incredible Hulk

Iron Man

Resident Evil: Degeneration

2009

Avatar

A Christmas Carol

District 9

Night at the Museum 2: Battle at the Smithsonian

Watchmen

2010

Alice In Wonderland

Iron Man 2

Tron: Legacy

2011

The Adventures of Tintin

The Green Lantern

Happy Feet Two

Mars Needs Moms

Paul

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Super 8

2012

The Amazing Spiderman

The Avengers

Foodfight!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

John Carter

Mirror Mirror

Snow White and the Huntsman

Ted

2013

Elysium

Ender’s Game

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

Man of Steel

Oz: The Great and the Powerful

R.I.P.D.

Tarzan

Ted 2

2014

The Amazing Spiderman 2

Appleseed Alpha

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Into the Woods

Kochadaiiyaan

Maleficent

Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb

Paddington

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2015

Antman

Avengers Age of Ultron

Jurassic World

Pan

Pixels

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Terminator: Genysis

2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass

The BFG

Deadpool

Doctor Strange

A Flying Jatt

The Huntsman: Winters War

The Jungle Book

Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV

L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties

The Legend of Tarzan

Loving Vincent

Midnight Delight

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children

A Monster Calls

Nagarahavu

Rogue One

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Warcraft

2017

Beauty and the Beast

The Guardians

Thor Ragnarok (upcoming)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Upcoming)

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

 

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Trailer Talk: Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes, set to release in July on the 14th worldwide and looks to be nothing short of a spectacular third instalment to the modern Andy Serkis Saga.

As if the stakes of the previous two instalments couldn’t get any higher, with the fate of humanity in the balance. Yet the trailer promises to deliver an even more epic story; if the dynamic between Woody Harrelson and Serkis is anything to go by.

We know what happens, of course. As we knew with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and later Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But that doesn’t matter. The journey into this world before our fall from grace is the masterpiece. The story of Caesar and his ever more complex position and morality is the adventure.

Matt Reeves has done a magnificent job of care-taking for this modern investment to the franchise and it would come as a real shock to be let down by this next release, given the importance he has demonstrated it has for him in interviews. The bond between Serkis and Reeves looks strong and the effort and years spent on these movies is not to be under estimated.

It looks darker too. Though the previous two films were not exactly light hearted themselves, with Rise being less gritty than Dawn. The films always portrayed a significant feeling of realism despite, at heart, ultimately being the inheritor of a Sci-Fi legacy.

This may be because of the intrinsic duality which ran through the heart of the story. Particularly Dawn, where the antagonist’s motives are not beyond reason. If anything its relatable. If we were to place ourselves in the shoes of Gary Oldman’s ‘Dreyfus’: He’s lost everything, struggling to cope in the scenario he’s been placed in, with the fate of his species in the balance. It makes sense he’s resistant to co-existance with the creatures that are now filling the power vacuum we would leave after already falling so far.

We see a similar scenario with Harrelson’s ‘Colonel’ character. Here he is after being called in to assist survivors following Koba’s War against the humans. He has his mission, its of vital importance for the survival of humanity. From the trailer his motivation is made clearer by the line: “There are times when it is necessary to abandon our humanity, to save humanity”.

That’s the genius of this saga. It isn’t a clear cut good and evil, hero v.s villain fairytale. Its an epic tale dealing with ours (and chimps) inner conflicts, motivations, loyalties and humanity.

Returning after working on Dawn, Michael Seresin’s cinematography looks fiercely meaningful. Every frame from the trailer bleeds epic, and if Dawn was anything to go by we’re in for a treat with the visuals. I remember seeing it in the cinema and being blown away by not only the dynamic of the story but by the gritty and vivid depiction of Caesars world.

The soundtrack should not be forgotten either, nor should returning composer Michael Giacchino. Who should be held in high regard with his auspicious track record and attachment to the saga. Dawn’s soundtrack is one of few soundtracks that I was compelled to buy shortly after seeing the film. Without a doubt it helped to achieve the epic standard that we have come to expect from much of what Serkis finds himself in.

I look forward to seeing Serkis performing again on the big screen. I have yet to see a film he stars in ever disappoint me. From Gollum to Ian Dury, to King Kong to Caesar, he has consistently raised the bar of motion-capture performance and proven himself without the suit too.

For now we’ll have to wait for the release to roll out, but I am confident I will enjoy War for the Planet of the Apes as much as I did its predecessors; as I am confident any fan of the franchise will enjoy it.

Photography Demonstration

Recently I have engaged in quite a lot more photographical outings with the expressed intent to upload to my Instagram; the best I’m placing on viewbug.com.

The rational being I’m aiming to dramatically improve the quality of my com-positioning and framing to a professional standard, with hopefully the added benefit that the skills will carry over to my video projects. Enabling me to become better with overall camera operation.

Instagram Selects 2

Film Review: Get Out

Earlier today I visited The Odeon Cinema at Covent Garden to watch the psychological thriller Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele. A minimal of spoilers may be encountered below.

Overall its merits far outweigh its flaws and I would recommend those of the necessary age to see it (and those with the constitution to watch horror) to go and give it a watch.

On the characters, the film does an exceedingly good job of making Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris Washington relatable from an early stage in the movie; by the films climax I found myself almost audibly urging him forward during his climatic escape in the third act. Whereas Kaluuya’s performance instills a shared sense of dread for the situation he is in with the audience, the creep factor gets turned up immensely by some of the other leading cast members as the film progresses. Leaving the cinema had us feeling generally uneasy for a good while afterwards to boot.

The visual storytelling at first seemed a little forced with its depiction of revealing who our character was, but ultimately essential for the pace I felt personally. It was relatively easy to detect where the camera would pan a good while before it did and you knew what would follow reasonably easy. However some of the more clever set design elements came into play during the reveal scene where all the main cast are gathered. If you happen to watch Get Out anytime soon, be sure to pay attention to the decor and furnishings of the main location.

The pace of the story is to be expected of most horror films but pausing every so often to give the audience a laugh of relief for the racially charged content. Which, it goes without saying, is inescapable in this movie. It was a very strange combination of real apprehension and innocent laughter.

It felt very fresh in a peculiar way and seemed to have a dialogue about race which might appear clumsy on the surface, such as the trailer, but seemed to alleviate a lot of the imposing gravity whilst actively engaging with it to an mainstream audience.