That is one of the more bizarre things about the reach of this, knowing that David Bowie is a fan. How did I find out he was? Fuck, I can’t remember. Maybe I just made it up… Okay, let’s say this: I definitely heard that. It was someone who knows him, but I cannot remember what the connection was.
Benedict Cumberbatch USA Today interview
Cumberbatch talks with USA TODAY about his Hobbit roles, his 2013 highlights and who’s he taking to the movies on his Christmas break.
Q. How much motion-capture did you do for ‘Smaug’?
A. The most bits I recognize are when it’s square on, where it’s face to face with Bilbo (played by Martin Freeman) or Thorin (Richard Armitage) in the Hall of Kings at the end. That’s where I can definitely see my gestures.
There’s a temperature and pace to some of the movement of the dragon before he obviously flies and does the fantastical things he can do that no human can. Those guys at (digital-effects company) WETA are extraordinary, but they were really receptive to the idea of me characterizing him first in the flesh and moving around the mo-cap studio — “the Volume” as they call it — and give an anthropomorphic quality to this reptile who can breathe fire and fly.
It was also important for me to physicalize where the voice was coming from and not just be a bodiless voice. It fed into the stuff we then did on the soundstage.
There were certain characteristics, eye movements and facial expressions layered underneath this extraordinary creation that came from me.