'The Time is Now' - Andy Serkis' 'Rise' Oscar Campaign Has Begun!
The Time is Now, rise up my simian friends and revolt! We heard that this was coming, but were waiting to actually see something. Although I'm not sure if this is just fan-made or not, SlashFilm has posted "one of the many versions of the Oscar ad" that Fox has started running for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, supporting Andy Serkis, who played Caesar by way of performance capture, for Best Supporting Actor. I can tell you right now I am all for this, he was fantastic in the film, making it one of my favorites and I think he deserves to be recognized. But will all this make a difference? We'll have to see. Ads & more links below.
The original news came from THR last week, saying that Fox was going to begin an Oscar push for Andy Serkis, which was optimistic on their part, but potentially not enough to make a difference, though I'm hoping that's not the case. That's why these Oscar ads, like the two below (one from SlashFilm, other from Tumblr), stating "The Time is Now", hit the issue right on the head—saying that now is indeed the time to recognize a performance capture actor in his prime. But then there's the never-ending Uggie "dog Oscar" vs mocap debate, and if this gets in, what about Tintin, which Serkis is in anyway—the debate goes on and on.
Here's the first two Time Oscar ads. I'd love to see more and if we find any more, I'll be sure to post them.
It's great to see a few ads like these so far, and I'd love to support this campaign, but I've been wondering when we'd see some real content. A few interviews have been hitting recently, including a great Q&A at Hollywood Reporter, where he says things like: "Acting is acting. Performance capture is a technology, not a genre; it's just another way of recording an actor's performance. It's very interesting being in two movies this year that are manifested completely differently but use the same process." Serkis also spoke to In Contention, reiterating, "I absolutely believe [that performance capture] should be a part of the acting category. At the end of the day, performance capture is a technology. It's not anything other than that."
If you want to see more, MTV has a glimpse at the mo-cap apes behind-the-scenes from the DVD/Blu-Ray, hitting shelves next week. There's also a great article on The Guardian posing the question, "Should Andy Serkis's monkey capture a mo-cap Oscar?" Here's one of his more effervescent sections on the possibility:
"I'm inclined to think that Fox and Serkis have a point here. But that doesn't mean I expect, or would even like to see, the actor on the best supporting nominees list when it's announced early next year. Here's why…"
"Apart from anything else, no one really knows how to quantify greatness in motion-captured acting yet, mostly because the number of films which have properly made use of the technology remains low. To put it bluntly: until we've seen bad motion-captured acting, it's going to be very difficult to say just how good the good stuff is. Serkis may have to accept that his career-defining performances will only truly be recognised as the technology becomes more commonplace, and awards bodies have a context within which to place his acting." -Sekis via The Guardian
That's some pretty honest criticism, but it's true. He also poses some more challenging questions, like "does that make it one of the year's best performances, or just one of 2011's most groundbreaking turns?" This is how hard it is for actors' to vote, is essentially what he's saying, and what it'll just be instantly ruled out before it has any chance, unfortunately. But there's still hope, which is why this campaign is underway! "If the performance is emotionally engaging and means something to an audience, then that is generated initially by the work of the actor," Serkis tells In Contention. "The enhancement of it in a film where the ownership, the authorship of the character originates from the actor, that's significantly different than an animated movie, where the authorship of the character really belongs to a much bigger group of people."
We'll keep supporting Serkis for Oscar (there's even @OscarForAndy) and hope enough Academy or SAG members take notice and give him a chance. I'm not sure if they'll listen to Fox's blunt "The Time is Now" messages, but we can only hope something sticks. I'm sure there will be plenty of debate/discussion about whether Serkis is even good enough to be nominated, or if this would/could ever happen, but I'm pulling for it. Why not, it would be great to see him nominated (and win) and I think he deserves it! What about you?