While casting and recording for Kinect Sports Rivals throughout 2013, we got the chance to work with some highly talented, extremely versatile and occasionally hilarious acting talent. And it wasn’t confined to the voiceover booth: for KSR‘s team and training cutscenes we decided that full performance capture was the only way to go.
So we hauled our actors down to Shepperton Studios, stuck them in bodysuits and headcams, and let the magic happen. Then we got them to answer a few quick questions so that we could introduce you to the fine people behind the characters (in the English-language version, at least).
Up first: your new daddy, Coach. Or more accurately, Mr. William Hope. Yes, he was also in Aliens. Yes, we were ridiculously excited. Legend.
Rare: Can you give us some background on yourself?
William Hope: Have been a professional actor in all media for 35 years and am best known as Lieutenant Gorman in James Cameron’s Aliens. Done over 30 feature films, over 50 TV productions, recorded hundreds of plays in radio drama, documentary and commercial v/o, over 65 audio books, many video game characters and contribute many regular characters to the global kids’ cartoon series Thomas and Friends. Regularly heard on BBC Radio 3, 4, 7 & World Service.
Rare: How did you get into videogame acting?
WH: A friend was directing a big techno political thriller and cast me as the leading bad guy contracted for 70 hours perf capture. I completed around 15 hours and the production was then cancelled by the new publishers. It may still be resurrected.
Rare: Was this your first experience of performance capture? If so, how was it? If not, are you worried that you’re starting to like the suit?
WH: All any actor really wants to do is get a crack at good writing, expand and deepen your skills and pay the bills!
Working in a suit is fine and gives the opportunity to explore new territory. The ultimate goal is to perform superb work like Andy Serkis’s Gollum!
Rare: Where are gamers and non-gamers most likely to have seen (or heard) your work before?
WH: Movies like Aliens, Dark Shadows, Sherlock Holmes, Captain America: The First Avenger, xXx, Dark Floors, The Detonator. TV like Spooks, Episodes.
Also voiced many characters in video games like Aliens: Colonial Marines, Driver: San Francisco, Constantine, Aliens vs Predator and many more.
Nobody knows sports like Coach! He’s done his time in the field and is now a seasoned expert on any event under the sun, which makes him the perfect candidate to fast-track all new competitors through their training duties. A former drill sergeant, he hustles players through the learning process with a blend of military precision, whooping motivation and irreverent feedback. Up-and-coming Champions really feel like they’ve earned any compliments that come from Coach.
Role: Personal trainer
Favourite sport: Any and all
Personality: No-nonsense pro, enjoys his own jokes, keen to acknowledge a quick learner
Interests: BBQ cookery, reality TV, meditation
Most likely to… call you out on the slightest mistake
Least likely to… admit to not knowing something
Soundbite: “Wasn’t so hard, don’t know why you were cryin’ about it in the first place!”
Look out for the full game coming your way in April!
With thanks to Bill, and also to the team at Side.