Ryan Mercier has been part of the Target3D family for three years, but recently joined us full time in a brand new role that combines his expertise in mocap, film and tutoring. We caught up with him to find out about his journey into mocap.
Growing up, Ryan always loved film. He would have wanted to be an actor but felt ‘too shy, too scared of being laughed at’. Instead, on leaving school he worked the ski seasons, and a summer sailing season in Greece.
Back in his native Portsmouth, Ryan took a sales job at Zurich financial services where he rose to a sales manager, and included a stint working in Bangalore as a service coach.
Ryan couldn’t have envisioned then that he would be teaching motion capture performance and creating training curriculums for motion capture. So, how did that happen?
When the recession hit in 2008, Ryan took redundancy from his desk job, seized the opportunity to do something he loved and began to study acting. Moving to London, he studied different techniques and short courses and began writing short scripts with friends. He gained a scholarship to study for a year at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) in 2012 before returning to Brixton to begin working as an actor for gangster films, tv shows including for HBO, commercials and theatre productions. Who is he most proud of sharing a screen with? Christopher Lee, of course.
The MetFilm School invited Ryan to do a performance consulting role; working with filmmaking tutors to help them understand how to best collaborate with and direct the actors.
In his seven years with the Met, Ryan also led their Acting for Film courses and re-wrote and managed their residential summer camps for young people.
Around this time, Ryan was drafted in (for the first time) by Target3D to be the course leader on our Introduction to Motion Capture Performance workshops, coaching actors on working in the volume, creating characters and the basics of the craft. It was also while working on a film at the Met that Ryan met his wife, a theatre actor. Together, they worked with Kings College Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital on simulated patient work - essentially improvised role play of medical situations to aid the training of junior doctors, for instance, alongside their theoretical study.
Enthusiastic about applying that structure of teaching style to mocap - delivering the principles through theory and practical methods - Ryan recent joined Target3D full time as
Curriculum Developer and Performance Consultant. Combining his knowledge of mocap, film and tutoring, Ryan will create and develop our curriculum based around the principles of teaching mocap to our clients and ‘training the trainer’ at universities and institutes. Part of his role will include expanding our performance capture workshops as well as directing mocap filming on some of our bigger shoots.
“I’m looking forward to stretching my creative muscles,” he shares. “Watching performances, observing people working in the volume, is something I love. With mocap it’s like having carte blanche to push your imagination and see where it will go, really pushing the boundaries of a performance.”