Recently we’ve been lamenting the fact that director Robert Zemeckis seems to be only interested in doing movies that use his patented “performance capture” technology — that is, movies like Beowulf, The Polar Express, and A Christmas Carol, where the actors’ movements and voices are recorded but then everything on screen is rendered with CG. It’s not so much that the technology doesn’t have potential, but the main issue is that he’s so focused on the tech that the actual stories aren’t necessarily compelling. Well, this week the folks over at Film Drunk found an interesting article where Zemeckis pushes for motion capture to be taken more seriously, particularly by the Academy Awards. The quote (translated from Spanish) is as follows:
“I’d say that the appropriate thing would be to create a new category, like when Walt Disney made the first animated movie. He got a special award since no one had ever done that.”
The statement seems a bit silly since we all know Zemeckis wouldn’t have much competition for the Oscar at this point in time, but it does bring up an interesting question. Is performance capture different enough from straight up animation or pure live action to qualify for its own category? And if not, which category does it belong in? Even the fact that Oscar nominees are placed in different categories based on their medium is a bit odd… it’s like saying that animated films and documentaries are a lesser art form and generally can’t compete alongside the live action films. Either way, I doubt this will change anything at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new category if more mo-cap films start getting made. What do you think, does Robert Zemeckis have a good point, or is he completely out to lunch? Are you a fan of motion capture, and is it worthy of its own Oscar? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.