Technological construction of performance: case of Andy Serkis
Karpat, Colleen Kennedy
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Performance in film can be considered as a construction that goes beyond mere recording of the actors to comprise a synthesis of discrete elements that have been removed from their original contexts, rearranged, and reshaped. Today, owing to digital effect technology such as motion capture and digital compositing, the film industry shows an advanced degree of these processes that allows filmmakers to influence, reconstruct, and even alter the actor’s performance. This study examines the technological construction of performance, dealing especially with motion capture technology in Hollywood blockbusters. This study relies on an analysis of specific performances in order to explore how they have been constructed with the help of technological intervention. As the main case study, the career of Andy Serkis, the most visible example of the motion capture actor, is analyzed to understand and discuss how the technology is perceived in terms of screen performance.