Watch the latest motion capture movie magic inspire theatre students

Watch: Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson

Motion capture is the special effects technology that famously transformed actor Andy Serkis into Gollum for Lord of the Rings, the characters of Avatar, and more recently created the dancing holograms of Abba. 

It's also the latest technology that has been brought to a theatre school outside Brighton.

The Institute for Contemporary Theatre in Portslade is teaching students how to act as all manner of characters and creatures - through digital avatars.

The result is that actors are becoming video game characters, fighting in real time.

"You put the suit on and you're a bit like a superhero - you just change and you become that character," student Joshua Davey said.

"You've just got so much freedom to work with. You don't have any limitations, really, apart from the space you've got to stay in. You can be in any environment because we can put an environment behind us."

The theatre school is planning to open its doors to local children for workshops over the summer- teaching the younger generation the next generation of movie magic.

And with the booming video games industry using actors more and more to become zombies, aliens and the like - it's hoped such classes could lead to more jobs for a sector severely hit by the pandemic.

"I think once you do dance classes on Zoom, you learn a new way to adapt mentally to it," student Amy-May Trudgeon added.

"I find that when I do motion capture that, actually, sometimes I find it a lot easier to get into a character because I'm in this little bubble. I'm in my own little world.

"And it's even the people in the background, everything adds up and it builds this kind of environment so that you can have lone creature that just scuttles across - and it changes the entire atmosphere. And that could be me in a little spotty suit."