Resident Evil 6 Interview Part I - Sergia Louise

Resident Evil 6 Interview Part I - Sergia Louise


Interview by: Leen Isabel

The Resident Evil franchise is no stranger to kick-ass, female characters. But just who is behind all those incredible moves? Geek Girl, Leen Isabel, talks to the four talented women who brought our favorite characters to life in Resident Evil 6. Each week we'll release a new interview with each mo-cap artist where they share their experiences and memories with us. We love to celebrate the geek girl -- including those who work on awesome games!

Sergia Louise Anderson provided the motion capture work for Resident Evil's Ingrid Hunnigan as well as zombie characters, too! This multi-talented dancer owns her own studio in the Los Angeles area. We're excited to talk to her about her experiences on Resident Evil 6. Read the interview below:
Sergia Louise Anderson

1. Hi Sergia! Weíre happy to have you here with Geek Girls! Before we dive in, please tell me a little about yourself.
I am an artist and performer as well as a dance studio owner, instructor, and professional pole dance competitor. I was the motion capture for Hunnigan in Resident Evil 6 as well as some zombies and civilians. I was also motion capture for the characters Quina and Mercedes in the game Dragon's Dogma.

2. At Geek x Girls, we love to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the industry. How did you get into working as a mo-cap artist for video games? Is that something you knew you always wanted to do?
I have always been a performer and a major body geek. So dance and movement along with acting have been a part of my life since I was a little girl. I used to put on one-woman shows for my family starting at 4 years old with dance numbers, songs, and stories. Of course, I had to play several characters at once. I got involved in Motion Capture through my acting career and began work with Just Cause Entertaihnment on the games Dragon's Dogma as well as Resident Evil 6. Motion Capture work is super fun and quite an incredible process!

Sergia Louise Anderson

3. How long have you been working in the industry?
I have been dancing, choreographing, and performing since I was young, then attended Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and received by BFA in Drama. From there I mainly focused on my acting career in New York City until 2008. At that time I began studying and competing in Salsa and Latin Hustle, moved out to Los Angeles and also started to do some hosting as well. Motion capture was something I was lucky enough to stumble into a few years ago, and it seemed like a perfect fit. My dance and acting background definitely helped me because movements had to be clear and honest as well as natural. It's important to continue sending your action and telling the story from your head to your toes. It is really about embodying the character and that takes an ability to be connected to what that character is feeling at all times.

4. Can you tell me a bit about the process behind motion capture for those of us who arenít familiar with it?
Sergia Louise Anderson

Motion Capture is a trip. We are in skin tight suits with small reflective sensors strategically placed on our bodies to catch our body movement from all angles while we are in the middle of a playing area we call the "volume." From our standpoint as motion capture actors, the work feels much like stage work in Theater, except for you are being recorded and viewed from all sides 3 dimensionally, as opposed to playing to a front or 4th wall in a proscenium theatre. With all of the roles I have done in motion capture, it was a fabulous acting exercise because even though our bodies are the only things being captured at the moment, the timing and movement will eventually have to be synced up realistically to the audio. So all of the scenes we are involved in require us to move as we would in real life as well as speaking our lines.

Sergia Louise Anderson

5. Now, Iím a huge fan of the Resident Evil franchise. Iíve been playing it since the second installment. Were you familiar with the series before working on it?
I knew of Resident Evil, but wasn't very familiar with it when I was asked to do the project. But soon I became pretty intimate with the characters, as I was embodying Hunnigan as well as different zombies and civilians. It's funny, I am a huge wimp when it comes to watching scary movies and video games, because my imagination runs away with me when I am a spectator or an audience member. For me, acting in games or movies is completely different! When I am embodying a role, I am stepping into a character and using my imagination to put myself in "what if" situations and experiencing the environment from a single character's point of view rather than being a spectator of a whole story. It is much easier for me to concentrate on being, rather than getting swept away in the overall story. So if it makes any sense. It's much more fun for me to "be a zombie" than it is for me to "watch them." Is that strange? Lol!

Sergia Louise Anderson

6. I know that your character, Hunnigan, serves as Field Operations Support for Leon. By phone, she guides him and Helena to safety and also drops them hints on occasion. So, unlike the other characters that are out fighting zombies, Ingrid is mostly sitting inside a workroom. What set your mo-cap work apart from those that had to jump and run around? Was there anything especially challenging?
Since I am such a mover in my dance life, it was a bit of a challenge to access Hunnigan's cool, calm, collected stillness at times, while still trying to depict emotion through small, truthful movements in my body language. While I was working on Hunnigan it was very different from some of the high action scenes that would be shooting before and after me during the day. I also did mo-cap for zombies as well as civilians. So I did have an opportunity to jump around quite a bit when Hunnigan's work was done. There would be times that all the actors would all line up on one side of the volume and do "laps" as zombies with different characteristics over and over while they captured our every move. These times were especially fun with the cast. It was like "Okay, Zombies running Take 26, this time with less energy and a strange limp, action!"

Sergia Louise Anderson

7. From the credits in the game, I understand that Resident Evil 6 had separate voice-actors from their motion capture artists. Did you have to act to pre-recorded dialogue or was it opposite and the VA had to act from your recorded motions?
I imagine it must be a challenge to get the timing just right!

I was lucky, because they work on all of the body motions first, so I was really dictating the speed and timing of when Hunnigan was moving and speaking. It was later that the voice-over actors did their work. I do imagine they had to watch our movements and timing over and over!

8. I always imagined that wearing a mo-cap suit must be strange or uncomfortable. Whatís it like?
Hot! The funniest are the little high heels with mocap sensors on them. One of the most difficult and humorous situations was trying to time out my pee-breaks! Once those suits came off for a bathroom break, the whole production had to stop while your sensors were re-placed into perfect position and the computers had to adjust to your sensors again. By the time you were ready to go back into the volume it was a 10 minute ordeal, and you never wanted to be the actor that held up everybody because you couldn't hold your bladder. By the end of the shoot, I was avoiding hydrating altogether, or doing my best to strategically place my drink breaks.

9. Was there a favorite moment you had during the motion capture process?
Some of the most memorable moments about doing the motion capture work for Res 6 and for Dragon's Dogma, was how much laughter we shared as a production. It was very interesting because our directors and much of our crew did not speak English. We were getting directed to in Japanese with English translators, so that made things interesting and endearing. There was so much information about movement shared through the translators, so there was always a lot of body language happening even in our communication.

10. It all sounds like such exciting work! Do you do anything else outside of mocap work?
Still performing, acting, dancing, and competing as well as running my Dance Studio, The Vertitude in Woodland Hills, California. My body geek ventures today include Free-Running/Parkour, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Chinese pole acrobatics, learning aerial tissu and competing nationally and internationally in pole dance.

11. Thank you! I appreciate that you taking the time for this interview. I wish you much success down the road, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
Thank you Leen! It is so wonderful to be able to share my experience on this project and have really fallen in love with motion capture work. Can't wait to get back in the suit! Lol!

Sergia Louise AndersonSergia Louise Anderson
Thank you to Just Cause Production Inc. for their help to make these interviews happen!

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January 06 2013

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