Spencer Locke On "Monster House" and Motion-Capture

by | July 11, 2006 | Comments

On a recent visit to the set of "Resident Evil: Extinction," RT had a chance to speak with young actress Spencer Locke about her next film, "Monster House," which opens July 21.

"Monster House" is a PG-rated animated thriller about three kids who realize the creepy house in the neighborhood is really a living, scary monster. Spencer Locke stars as Jenny, one of a trio of kid heroes trying to alert oblivious grown-ups to the danger; the cast is fleshed out in animated motion-capture performances by the likes of Steve Buscemi, Nick Cannon, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Jon Heder, Catherine O’Hara, Kathleen Turner, and Fred Willard.

At just fourteen-years-old, the dynamic, blond teenager is, like her fellow "Monster" kid co-stars Mitchel Musso and Sam Lerner, already a vet of television shows like Disney’s "Phil of the Future." Locke is currently experiencing what is arguably the coolest summer vacation ever — on the Mexico set of "Resident Evil 3" after finishing ninth grade — and is gearing up to launch a press tour for "Monster House."

Executive producers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis brought the unique animation process to "Monster House," using the same animation-over-motion capture technique used in Zemeckis’ "The Polar Express." To film these motion-capture performances in "Monster House," actors had to wear special suits and have reference dots glued to their faces; they also had to perform with wire-frame props that could be transformed digitally in post-production, and do all their scenes in an incredibly small 20′ x 20′ space, or "volume."

Locke found the motion-capture experience to be good exercise for her creativity. "In ‘Monster House,’ obviously I had to imagine everything, so that really getting there mentally was great training," she said. "We did the scenes together, motion capture, we did everything together in that small volume."

It’s a training in digital acting that Locke can put to good use in future roles, like the one she plays in "Resident Evil 3." "[‘Monster House’] helped a lot, because doing stuff this morning with the green screen [for ‘Resident Evil 3’], you have to imagine it," she said.

"It’s really cool that I had that experience coming on, really getting the imagination going," Locke continued.

What’s next for the high-schooler? "Vacation!" she said. "Actually, when I get home I get a week off, and then I’m going on a "Monster House" publicity tour, which is gonna be a blast, I can’t wait — I get to go all over the country!"

"Monster House" opens July 21 nationwide and in eye-popping IMAX 3D!

Tag Cloud

President Extras Photos FOX Disney Tomatazos Esquire politics Superheroes BBC America Hulu Showtime DirecTV SundanceTV Star Wars El Rey Adult Swim TCA 2017 thriller Comedy Central Lifetime psycho Emmys Drama Pop Lionsgate Valentine's Day Music IFC Horror supernatural Nickelodeon Marvel Writers Guild of America Mary Tyler Moore science fiction serial killer composers Nominations Musical OWN Schedule Oscars crime Holidays Comic Book Sneak Peek Logo Interview Musicals travel Tumblr LGBTQ The Arrangement Reality Competition Spring TV GoT adventure MSNBC TLC Netflix Certified Fresh Grammys ITV Winners GIFs Food Network sitcom CMT discovery History Year in Review American Society of Cinematographers Ghostbusters VICE Teen 2017 2016 Action NBC biography Freeform BBC cops Thanksgiving comiccon Cartoon Network Podcast Mindy Kaling crime thriller The CW PBS Crackle ABC Family APB period drama Fantasy Infographic A&E Dark Horse Comics Pirates Trailer Sci-Fi Ellie Kemper BET social media Masterpiece ESPN war SDCC Countdown TruTV aliens Rock Box Office Character Guide HBO Premiere Dates Animation cinemax Watching Series Reality Election Amazon Winter TV technology TV Land Red Carpet Opinion sports Summer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt crime drama Bravo harry potter Star Trek GLAAD vampires boxoffice Nat Geo Starz Rom-Com dramedy VH1 Disney Channel First Look based on movie X-Men Rocky Biopics Cosplay Universal YA TIFF 007 AMC Syfy TV TNT USA Mystery Martial Arts Kids & Family Trivia MTV singing competition 24 frames 2015 NYCC Fall TV TCA police drama Best and Worst FX CBS Awards Comedy PaleyFest TCM Marathons E! diversity Super Bowl Set visit Toys Fox News zombie docudrama RT History Sundance Video Games cooking Calendar FXX CNN historical drama Country ABC WGN TBS DC Comics Polls and Games CBS All Access