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Venom Film Uses Motion Capture

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The upcoming Venom film starring Tom Hardy began production this week. We now have a clearer picture of how the hulking Spider-Man villain will look on screen.

2018 VenomVenom, from Page to Screen

With great Spider-Man adaptations comes great potential for villains. Venom is a character Spider-fans have been clamoring to see on the big screen since Sam Raimi’s first film featuring the wall crawler. Sure, they got a taste in Spider-Man 3, but it was sour grapes. So, with Spider-Man partially in Marvel Studios’ control, a stand-alone Venom film was announced. However, the film is not associated with the MCU and is not crossing over with Tom Holland’s take on the character. Naturally, this made fans more than a little apprehensive.

But, for better or worse, cameras are rolling on Venom. The project boasts a talented cast including Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed. But Tom Hardy is taking on the role of Eddie Brock for the film. Hardy is a great actor and can do a lot with a little. Christopher Nolan loves challenging the actor by covering different parts of his face. So it isn’t a matter of capability. It’s a matter of medium. Venom is a monstrous character, and while a CGI version of the character was inevitable, we now know Hardy is portraying the character via motion capture. Andy Serkis let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview. The renowned motion capture artist said the following: 

“The time has come that people understand that performance capture is a technology, not a genre of acting, Acting is acting, and the more actors – like Steve Zahn… and Karin Konoval who plays Maurice in War For The Planet of the Apes – the more A-list actors that come on board, like Mark Rylance playing The BFG, or a lot of actors in the new Marvel films… Tom Hardy is playing a new character using performance capture. It all points up ‘what is the nature of acting?’ and there is no difference between acting wearing a costume and make up, or wearing a motion capture suit. That’s plain and simple, it just needs awarding bodies to understand that.”

Andy Serkis in Motion Capture

Motion Capture In the Spotlight

Andy Serkis revolutionized motion capture performance. However, he cannot be the only one. Utilizing actors like Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance is paramount to furthering the art form. But, motion capture also relies on excellent effects. An actor can produce the performance of a lifetime. But if the final rendering of the character is bad, the illusion is ruined. Motion capture is a wonderful tool, but it takes a collaborative effort to effectively pull off an incredible performance.

Are you excited for the upcoming Venom film? How do you feel about motion capture? Yea or nay? Let us know in the comments!


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About the author

MJ Smith

MJ Smith makes his home in California, and when not listening to Hamilton, podcasts and writes about pop culture on the internet. He loves board games, Swamp Thing, and The Wachowski’s SPEED RACER.

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