An actor's performance is captured using motion capture, prompted by an unseen director. Character design and animation by Andrew Brownridge.
Burgesses’s A Clockwork Orange, as filmed by Stanley Kubrick, offered a vision of Britain that was dystopian, - blighted by gangs and ultraviolence. However, the film is based on the American version of the book, in which the redemptive final chapter 21 is omitted. Burgess explained that when he first brought the book to an American publisher, he was told that U.S. audiences would never go for the final chapter, in which Alex sees the error of his ways, decides he has lost all energy for and thrill from violence and resolves to turn his life around.
In this video, I have made a film of that final chapter which Kubrick omitted. An actor performs sections from the chapter, but instead of being filmed, his movements are captured absolutely faithfully by a motion capture suit that the actor wears, whilst his voice is recorded conventionally. The resulting lifelike figure is then clothed in a computer generated avatar, which appears real but not quite real, a phenomenon described by the roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970 as the “uncanny valley”. The idea of the lifelike doll was also explored by Freud in his seminal 1919 essay The Uncanny, where the simulated figure creates revulsion, and even disgust. Even as Alex tries to redeem himself, his figure inspires distrust, and discomfort.
Performer Charles Swift
Director David Salter
Motion Capture Dr Peter Twigg Stephen Sigurnjak
Thanks to the Science and Engineering department of Manchester Metropolitan University