Being a lifelong lover of horror, I’ve naturally indulged in the genre outside of movies and literature. To be honest, the video game medium might be my favorite to explore this avenue just because of how immersive it is and how it transports you to a different world like no other.
But for the longest time, there weren’t many franchises that did it well outside of Resident Evil and Silent Hill, at least in my view. Fortunately, though, we’ve seen a turnaround with the likes of Dead Rising, Dead Space, The Evil Within, Until Dawn and, of course, Friday the 13th: The Game.
Considering how popular Jason Voorhees’ latest foray into the gaming realm has proven to be amongst the fanbase, I knew I had to touch on it when interviewing Kane Hodder last weekend at Astronomicon. And as he shared his experience of making the game, it quickly became apparent as to how much goes into the process. Believe me, there’s much more to playing Jason than just swinging a machete.
Here’s what he had to say about the motion capture, even referencing the topic of Jason X from earlier in our discussion:
“What I look like when I’m doing motion capture for the game is totally different. I’m wearing spandex and I have motion sensors all over me, so it’s not the typical look of Jason. But then, I thought, once again, I’m going to be consistent to what the character has always been to me, regardless of what I look like. Just like with Jason X, regardless of the setting, I wanted to be consistent.
“So, it’s interesting because we started the motion capture in January of 2016 and the most recent session we did was October of 2017, so that was a year and ten months off and on doing mocap sessions for the game – and there’s still stuff we’ve done mocap for that hasn’t been put in the game yet.”
Of course, he was referring to the DLC that’s been dropping when recalling those latter sessions. Having played Jason in four of the films, there was the issue of portraying those that preceded him in the game. As Hodder continued, he talked about the challenge that came with having to put himself in the headspace of other actors:
“So, that was interesting because, in all my versions of Jason I played in the films, I never thought Jason should run because I just didn’t think it seemed right, so I never ran as Jason. But now, I’m doing motion capture for the game and I’m realizing that, in this stuff, you could play as Richard Brooker’s version from Part 3, and Jason ran.
“So, here I was doing Jason moves and running. It was a weird thing playing Jason and going against what I always thought. But, you know, because you’re playing as a Jason that I never played in the film, I thought it was right to recreate a little bit of what the other actors did in their performance in the film because you’re playing Part 3 Jason and it needs to be consistent. That was part of the challenge of doing the motion capture: Staying consistent to characters that I didn’t play in the movies.”
Now that you’ve taken all that into account, keep it in mind the next time you’re playing Friday the 13th: The Game. It sounds like Hodder and company put a lot of hard work into that bad boy, which undoubtedly had to be instrumental in making it such a success.