Hollywood has been experiencing a motion capture revolution over the past couple of decades. Motion capture, in Hollywood, is when an actor acts as the physical representation of a character that will later be added in the film via CGI. Ahmed Best is not a household name and he probably certainly isn’t considered a legend in Hollywood, but Best did bring Jar Jar Binks to life in the film, ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’. Best’s work was revolutionary at the time so it is only right that he feels overlooked by Andy Serkis, the King of Motion Capture, who recently released a video tribute to the artform without Best’s work included.
Andy Serkis rose to critical acclaim for his motion-capture performance of the character Gollum in the legendary trilogy, ‘Lord of the Rings’. Since then Serkis has been a part of nearly every major mocap performance in Hollywood, most recently playing the role of Caesar in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy. Serkis was brought on the host a video released by Wired titled, “Andy Serkis Breaks Down the History of Motion Capture Performance.” The video went over, in detail, all of the big motion-capture breakthroughs throughout the medical, video game, and entertainment industry. Notably absent was Best’s work as Jar Jar Binks in the ‘Star Wars’ prequel series. The reason that Best is notably upset was that his mocap performance actually precluded Andy Serkis’ star-turning performance in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.
Ahmed Best took to Twitter to vent his frustration. Best said, “I don’t know how to retweet this and not sound bitter, but I feel I have been forgotten. No disrespect to the great @AndySerkis”. Best went on to point out that Jar Jar Binks created the workflow that would later be used on ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Avatar’.