One great thing about doing mo-cap if you’re an actor--it goes by a lot faster than the live action stuff.
The Hobbit starting shooting about a month ago and, now, THR says that Andy Serkis is actually all done with his portion as Gollum. Like, totally done. It sounds like he was having too much fun on set to leave, though, because he’ll now be the second unit director.
He broke it down thusly…
“I think I understand Peter’s sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth… A lot of the crew from the Lord of the Rings was returning to work on the Hobbit. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic."
I recall there being a lot of uncredited directing on the trilogy by surprising members of the team. I want to say Jackson’s wife and co-writer, Fran Walsh, did a lot of directing, so this isn’t exactly a break from business as usual on a Middle Earthly set.
A very interesting appendage on this concerns Serkis’ plans to launch a performance capture studio and training center called the Imaginarium. If you think about it, that's really the next logical step as he’s pretty much become the Doug Jones of ping pong ball-adorned leotards. In addition to his advanced miming in King Kong and, soon, Rise of the Apes and Tintin, he’s also done a healthy amount of work with video games both in front of and behind motion sensors.
We're watching a new art form develop here, people! And it needs a teacher like Serkis to guide it!