Acting in the Digital Age


Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council

Hosted by Academy governor Bill Kroyer

Revolutionary developments in digital technology are impacting every aspect of filmmaking, including the discipline of acting. Today’s actors are performing in ways their predecessors couldn’t have imagined.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch governor Bill Kroyer led an evening focused on two Oscar-winning films – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008) and “Avatar” (2009) – to demonstrate how innovations in performance-capture technology, digital doubles, digital makeup, photorealism and image manipulation are affecting actors.

“Acting in the Digital Age” featured a panel of cast and crew members from both films who discussed the challenges and opportunities that come with these changing technologies. The program included film clips and behind-the-scenes footage of the actors at work.

Kroyer received an Academy Award nomination for his 1988 short film “Technological Threat,” which pioneered the technique of combining hand-drawn and computer animation. He directed the animated feature film “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (1992), was senior animation director at Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles, and is Director of Digital Arts of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Scheduled guests:

  • Peter Donald Badalamenti – Actor, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
  • Richard Baneham – Animation supervisor, “Avatar” (2009 Academy Award winner, Visual Effects)
  • Paul Debevec – Co-creator of Light Stage (2009 Scientific and Technical Award winner)
  • Jon Landau – Producer, “Avatar” (2009 Best Picture nominee)
  • Joel David Moore – Actor, “Avatar”
  • CCH Pounder – Actor, “Avatar”
  • Steve Preeg – Character supervisor, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008 Academy Award winner, Visual Effects)
  • Andy Serkis – Actor, “King Kong,” “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy
  • Wes Studi – Actor, “Avatar”
  • Garrett Warren – Stunt coordinator, “Avatar”

“Avatar” images courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

Event Information

Thursday, April 22, at 8 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
8949 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Peter Badalamenti and Steve Preeg

Actor Peter Badalamenti and character supervisor Steve Preeg.

Paul Debevec

Paul Debevec, co-creator of Light Stage.

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