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The Quarry's Ted Raimi Gushes Over The Motion Capture Process That Brings The New Video Game To Life - Exclusive

While horror fan favorite Ted Raimi has done his share of live-action acting over the years with the "Evil Dead" movie trilogy, the spin-off series "Ash vs Evil Dead," and most recently, an episode of the horror anthology "Creepshow," he has largely relied on practical effects to highlight all the bloody details surrounding his characters. That included wearing heavy prosthetics to play the wretched Deadite version of Henrietta in "Evil Dead II" and "Ash vs Evil Dead," even though in the latter, technology could have conceivably provided the beloved actor a less cumbersome alternative in delivering the performance.


In his latest horror project — the interactive, multi-player video game "The Quarry" — Raimi is going fully digital for a role for the first time in his career, since it was entirely produced via the wonders of motion capture. That meant Raimi and his castmates all wore mo-cap outfits to help create the performances that exist in the virtual environment of the game.

"The Quarry" finds a group of nine camp counselors trying to survive the dangerous wilds outside the remote town of North Kill in upstate New York, where they encounter menacing characters like Raimi's Sheriff Travis. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Raimi described his first dive into the world of motion capture and pondered other mo-cap possibilities.


Raimi calls the motion capture in The Quarry 'mind-blowing'

Since "The Quarry" marked Ted Raimi's introduction to acting via motion capture, he marveled at the massive amount of work that director Will Byles and his production teams put into creating the video game. "This was the first time I'd had my body scanned, my face scanned, my voice scanned. I'm in 'The Matrix' in a real way — they've got me now! The time it takes to do that is insanely long," Raimi enthused. "What Supermassive has done — the months and months it takes to do this — is mind-blowing. [This project is] a very vital one [for mo-cap]. Without that, the actors would not be able to interact at the same time in the same space."


He added that it is important the actors share the same space because "it creates a very interpersonal feeling between the actors during the dialogue sequences" — an option that's not available for most video games.

"Most video games are done — not that they're bad, necessarily — but they're done in this way where the animators will, with a picture or a video they've seen, create the character in their body. Then the actor comes in later, and very much like a cartoon, adds the voice," Raimi explained. "But in this case, I was there with [co-stars] Siobhan [Williams] and Skylar [Gisondo], and Lance [Henriksen] and Lin [Shaye], and we were all in the same room, all interacting. All of that adds 10 layers of intense horror onto the situation because we're there."


Raimi mulls whether a mo-cap Henrietta would work

Now that Ted Raimi has experienced the world of mo-cap playing Sheriff Travis in "The Quarry," would he entertain the chance of forgoing the heavy prosthetics to recreate a character like possessed Henrietta? In short, the actor said, he's not sure.


"It depends on what the nature of the rest of the actors and the vibe of the movie or project is," Raimi told Looper. "With 'The Quarry,' everything is mo-cap, so that becomes the reality. The moment you see those faces, they're lifelike, they're incredible, and yet we know that they're not actual faces. That's the reality of it. With something like 'Evil Dead' with Henrietta, that's a different story because if you had real actors but a digital Henrietta, the audience would not find it as interesting or as scary. It completely depends on the project itself, so it's hard to answer that."

"The Quarry" is available in stores and online from Supermassive Games and 2K Games.