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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The past couple decades has seen great strides in motion performance. Of course, Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a landmark achievement, only really surpassed yet again by Serkis’ performance in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, which just recently concluded last year.

However, if you’ve seen the trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming film, Alita: Battle Angel, the adaptation of the manga Battle Angel Alita, you’ll know that they’re using motion capture to bring something else different to the table — a real-life anime character. Taking on the role of Alita is Maze Runner: The Death Cure star Rosa Salazar, and while speaking with CinemaBlend, she opened up about some of the differences and benefits to the motion performance process, which is fairly new to her.

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In this film, Salazar has facial dots on her face, and a camera harness at all times. Using the info from both things, WETA will rework the face in post to end up with the finished product. While there is a drawback in that you don’t have that instant gratification of seeing yourself on playback, it’s not necessarily a bad thing:

“On the one hand, it frees you from doing a nosedive into insecurity land, where you start to pick apart your own performance. You’re an actress. You’re too close to it. You’re not the director. That can be a little bit dangerous, the territory of playback watching. But here, you watch playback, and you can actually see a digital version of Alita and her face. A very raw rendering, but you can see how things are going to move. It takes you out of the ‘How’s it going to be? How’s it going to look?’ zone and it puts your into, ‘Oh, OK, if I’m going to move my hand this way, I need to move it all the way back.’ Because to translate your actual physical movements into that conduit, you just have to figure that out. You’re really just interested in the process. It’s an all-new process.”

While the words “creepy” and “uncanny valley” are undoubtedly ones that pop up in conversations revolving around Alita: Battle Angel, it certainly sounds like one hell of a learning experience for the actress, and may very well help to push motion performance to that next level.

How do you feel about what you’ve seen so far in Alita: Battle Angel? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: CinemaBlend

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.