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More Than Meets the EyeSpecial Effects and the Fantastic Transmedia Franchise$
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Bob Rehak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479813155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479813155.001.0001

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Chains of Evidence

Chains of Evidence

Augmented Performance before and after the Digital

Chapter:
(p.107) 3 Chains of Evidence
Source:
More Than Meets the Eye
Author(s):

Bob Rehak

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479813155.003.0004

A certain class of film acting has always depended on special effects for its realization. This chapter traces the history of augmented performance from its roots in cel and stop-motion animation to the digital “synthespian,” using the case of Gollum in the Middle Earth trilogy to argue that the sense of life for these characters relies on a “chain of evidence” through which the animator’s (and later actor’s) performance is channeled into the artificial screen body. Willis O’Brien’s creation of King Kong receives extended scrutiny, as does the 2001 film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Ultimately, the chapter argues that augmented performance is central to the transmedia presence of virtual actors across media and platforms.

Keywords:   augmented performance, Gollum, stop-motion animation, King Kong, synthespian

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