Heavy Rain Week: Behind The Scenes
At Gamescom last year we had the opportunity to sit with David Cage and Pascal Langdale, the actor who plays Ethan Mars in Heavy Rain, and they gave us a unique insight into how the game was put together. It was an intensive process with a great deal of work for writers, actors and even the director. You can read their thoughts and see some behind the scenes imagery given to us by Sony below.
David Cage on finding his Ethan Mars: “We spent about a year looking for this guy. We were looking for our Ethan Mars and it was very difficult because we needed the right face, the right voice, the right talent and the right moods; we really were looking for Ethan Mars. The same goes for all the characters in the game.”
David Cage on the capturing process: “Our co-operation was spread through more than a year where Pascal came very often to do motion capture – he knows the script as well as I do – and it was pretty intense and physical with all the voice work, motion capture and face capture work. This is to my mind the first example of a virtual clone from a real actor where the challenge was not so much to have a character who looked like Pascal because there are many people who can do that these days with 3D scanners and so on. The challenge was really to keep Pascal’s performance from what he delivered on stage to the game as much as possible, although in the game we are forced to cut things and edit things for interactivity, we tried to keep as much as possible from the initial performance.”
Pascal Langdale on his unique experience: “The process was quite unique to me as obviously I had never done something like this before. With any different medium you have different challenges. In theatre it’s things like appearing intimate over a long distance or speaking loudly to someone who’s right in front of you. In film you might have the opposite with the constraints of short scenes, the editing is out of your control. This presented a whole range of different challenges and I can’t think of many actors who have ever come across these before. I think like many of the other people in Quantic Dream I was encountering unique problems. I did kind of feel like I was sharing this journey of coming across something new and having to come up with a new solution to make it work and bring what I could to it at the same time. What David said about losing certain things due to interactivity I feel that in film you’ll do several scenes, you’ll do several takes over and over again and you don’t know which one’s the editor’s going to take, whether the shot will be on you or on the other character. I think there’s always a certain amount of editing that’s going to occur anyway, so for me that’s not particularly surprising. What any actor must do in film and in what I tried to do here is to offer as much material as possible, as much realistic, believable behaviour, so that then the team would have a wide range of choices to build and tell the story.”