Motion-Capture at the Oscars?

Evan Williamson, Staff Writer

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It is not uncommon for certain categories to snub those who deserve it. One actor has had to deal with the pain of not being recognized by the Academy for years.

Andy Serkis, who is best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit has once again been denied a nomination, this time for his role as Ceaser in “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

The argument is that since the actor isn’t on screen they shouldn’t be nominated for best actor. I can see the argument but actors/actresses that perform using motion capture sometimes do more than their counterparts.

The biggest snub in the history of the Oscars, in my opinion, was Serkis never getting nominated for his performance as Gollum/ Sméagol in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Serkis’ performance in these films has changed how they go about doing motion capture.

Peter Jackson could have had Andy Serkis do just the voice of a computer-generated Gollum. But he didn’t, he instead put on an uncomfortable suit that captured his movements.

All his movements, facial expressions and voice were captured and put in the films. The character Gollum is schizophrenic, so he had to change between the personality of Gollum and Sméagol, sometimes arguing with himself in the same scene.

He would also film with the actors on location doing all that he would do in the motion-capture studio. This performance was not recognized, resulting in a miscarriage of justice toward one of the greatest performances in film history.

It’s been 15 years and Serkis still isn’t being recognized for his motion-capture performances. Serkis isn’t the only motion-capture actor or actress to not be recognized for their efforts, many others have had to wear the uncomfortable suit and are not being recognized for what they’ve done.

There are a lot of categories that people would like to add to the Oscar’s, some of which make sense because of the continued lack of recognition for certain genres and other things. I think the one that makes the most sense that desperately needs to be added by next year is an award for best motion-capture actor/actress.

I believe that Serkis should get an honorary version of this award for his performance as Gollum. Nowadays I believe it is more important than ever to have motion-capture be a category, as it is becoming more prominent in the making of films.

Actors are now actually acting out computer-generated characters when they used to just do the voice. With technology continually evolving, they are able to put more of a mark on the business which is basically a prerequisite of being considered for an Oscar.

With all the different movies that are coming out in the next few years, including a live action “Lion King,” it is important to be able to recognize these great actors/actresses. I believe that Serkis deserves to be recognized for his accomplishments, as well as those who are still to come.

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