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Jessica Jefferies

After graduating from East 15 Acting School, Jessica worked as an actor for nearly 10 years in theatre, film & video games. During her acting career, Jessica worked primarily in the world of performance capture for video games & VFX, before moving her expertise to support the development of specialist casting in 2018. Jessica is passionate about improving industry standards and fair, transparent treatment for actors, as well as working closely with agents to encourage a greater understanding of working within this field.

 

She continues to be an advocate for performers in new media, video games, VFX, XR & animation, and truly understands the skillsets they require and how this industry is carving its own unique space in the world of entertainment. Jessica is now the UK's leading casting director in the field of voice, motion & performance capture for video games, and is a member of both the Casting Directors Association and the Casting Directors Guild, as well as being a full voting member of BAFTA.

 

Award nominations:

CDA Award nominee 2023 for Best Casting in Open Media.

CDA Award nominee 2021 for Best Casting of a Creative Project.

Mandy Casting Director of the Year award nominee.

Recent clients include:

Tencent & NExT Studios, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Goodbye KansasAxis Animation,

Maze Theory, Supermassive Games, Games Workshop, Pixel Toys, Reflector Entertainment.

How do you cast actors for performance capture?
 

Jessica has been casting actors since 2018 for projects in this medium; she has honed her process and gained industry wide respect as an expert in her field. Performance capture is play, in its purest form. It requires actors to be truthful, extremely detailed and connected throughout their entire body and voice performances, as we capture every nuance and aspect of their storytelling and translate it into any and every digital form imaginable. It begs for actors to be more imaginative and creative than ever, often reminding them of why they became actors in the first place. For motion and performance capture, they are working in a studio with no set, lighting or costume and minimal props, but we, the audience and players, need to see and believe that they're on the top of a snowy mountain in Canada, having just run from a beast more terrifying than they could have dreamt of, cold and with a broken, heavy backpack and zero phone signal. Embodying that environment, feeling the temperature in the air, sensing that costume and the weight of the props, and feeling a ground which isn't there. These are the depths and layers Jessica draws from actors during a casting process in video games; watching every movement, every narrative beat, told by them and knowing exactly how that translates not only on screen but on a digital doppelgänger.

Or maybe a zombie... 

Kevin Shortt, Narrative Director

Tencent Games

"Jessica spearheaded the casting and delivered a stellar band of performers who significantly elevated the game. We needed a diverse cast of voices from across the globe... recording over a couple years and included voice and motion capture performance. Jessica handled all aspects of the casting from callbacks to actor negotiations and contracting. She does all this with such precision and professionalism, while bringing joy and humour to her work. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jessica. I look forward to our future projects together."
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