Stuntman, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Actor, Founder.
Ace Ruele is it all… and more. The Founder and Director of Creature Bionics, a UK based character development and performance specialist. He and his team do more than simply create Computer Generated characters for film, tv and video games, they truly develop characters. From concept to psychology and physicality, Ace is truly a creator.
He has walked many paths throughout his life, met dead ends and forged his own lanes. Excelling in bringing his visions to reality.
We spoke to Ace about his work from Marvel to Mentorship and to explore the visionary and his visions.
Please introduce yourself…
My name is Ace Ruele and I’m 34 years old from London. My profession is within the entertainment industry as an actor and a character development and performance specialist for creatures and fantasy characters, which is a service through my company Creature Bionics. Most importantly I’m a family man, a father of 3 boys with my partner, including my 16yr stepdaughter.
Describe your current life situation in a word or a sentence
Ruelellion is now – a saying that means my legacy is in motion.
Please give us an overview of Creature Bionics and how this came to be.
Originally, it started from me realising the gap in the market of not seeing anyone like myself in the field of motion capture, which I discovered after playing the apes and lions for The Legend Of Tarzan film. That experience led to me staying on the path of motion capture and creature acting. It then evolved into me wanting to be known for using creature rigs to enhance my creature performance, again, I saw no one like myself doing this, as well as it being rarely seen in general. It started with arm extensions like Andy Serkis for Planets of The Apes, but as I didn’t want to just be known as the black Andy Serkis I went on to find someone who could create other creature rig ideas I had, which led to the beginning of Creature Bionics.
After 2 years of selling creature rigs, running workshops and working on various film and video game productions, it came to my attention how much character development I was doing for the character I was hired to play in order to create the best performance. So in 2022, the company changed from being a practical effects service, into a character development and performance company.
What has the creation, development and maintenance of Creature Bionics taught you?
The importance of having a team and how you can not expand without one; it is not a company without company. The money I am continuously spending for the business for its growth and branding, also, the lack of work companies, especially the bigger studios, put into character development.
What does your creative process look like and how do you go from an abstract idea to a fully realised (Creature Bionics) creation?
It is important to; Learn the back story of the project and character via meetings and notes from the production
team, as well as reading the script – reading the script is a must; Develop or figure out the psychology and intentions of the character through the script, notes and anything already out there in the world on that character; Develop the behaviour of the character in relation to the script, which leads to designing the characters locomotion (movement), create the locomotion practically. Once the movement is approved, either I will perform as the character or the actor hired will be trained, as well as provide the right creature rigs if needed. MoCap services are also available via our Xsens MoCap setup and last but not least supervise the performance on shoot days if I’m not performing as the character.
What do you personally enjoy more, the psychology & character development or the innovation involved in the technical aspect of your craft?
That’s a hard one, but I’d say I like the character development stages more because I was a part of the creation from the beginning and therefore understand everything after.
What has your position as a pioneering Black Man in Performance Capture been like and has that changed since you founded Creature Bionics back in 2020?
The best thing about it all is knowing I’m able to live up to the work and that it’s not just a fancy title. All my work recently has come from recommendations or via LinkedIn where my work is visible the most. Now, it evolved from being just Ace Ruele to my name being mentioned alongside my company. I don’t want my company to do well just because of my name, I want it to do well because the name speaks for itself, that is what I’m working more towards. Marvel doesn’t need an A-list cast, it helps but marvel can sell with names that no one has seen before because they trust in the name, that is what I strive for.
Creature Bionics has worked with the Marvel Cinematic Universe very recently, on the hotly anticipated Antman: Quantumania, can you tell us about that experience and how you were involved?
The most I can say is that they bought some creature rigs from me, and then I was able to play a couple of characters, one where I got to use a rig I’ve never used before on a set. I wasn’t called in for character development on this project, just performance and the purchase of my rigs.
What is it like working with Marvel? Do they ask for a lot of creative development on your part, or was your focus on the technical expertise?
I was hired for my skills as a creature actor via the stunt team, at that stage, things were already in motion. The best thing was being able to use one of my favourite rigs as part of the shoot which I can’t wait to share if they don’t cut the scene, fingers crossed!
What are you working on at the moment, can you give us an insight into your next project?
I’ve recently done some character development as part of the stunt team from another marvel movie. My next project will be for a screenplay version of the book Pandaemonium By Christopher Brookmore, where I’ll be playing a character, providing character development, coordination and casting, which already began back in March.
What is your ultimate goal for Creature Bionics?
To be the number one character development company in the universe working across films and video games and to develop a part-time respectable school on creature and fantasy characters, so far we have a 1 day and 2 day workshop, but to expand to 6 weeks or so; to create some of the best sci-fi fantasy films to grace the earth through Ruelellion studios which will be in operation from next year.
It is no overstatement to say that you have had some pivotal crossroads in your life, which you have been very open about. Have you felt like your life has followed a set path, from prison to studies, to being a successful entrepreneur, how would you describe your journey? What should our youngers in the community take from your journey and your outlook?
It’s been a journey, my vision was always an actor from a young age but never did I think I would be in the line of work as an entrepreneur. In regards to youth, I don think I can even write out the advice I would give without it becoming a small bible lol, but I live by these rules:
- Take from the experience, don’t let the experience take from you.
- What thoughts and feelings do you want to provoke in others when your name is mentioned now
and after your time is up here on earth.
- Treat yourself how you want others to treat you.
- Go beyond the stereotype, you will stand out more.
- Nothing can be created without purpose, find yours, it’s your life’s map.
- The experience doesn’t matter, the perception of it does – own your perception, or you will be
living your life through someone else’s.
- The harder the journey the more inspiring the story, true alchemy is turning negative into positive.
- Self-study on psychology – to have a mind your entire life, the Bearer to your existence, but know
nothing about it is dangerous. Can you imagine having a phone for 10 years and still not knowing how
to use it?
- Would you be happy if the people you love the deepest were to copy all that you are doing? If not,
start making the changes?
- Everyone is an example of something, what are you an example of? Are You Happy with that?
Learning and Development is obviously very important to you, as is your commitment to extending that knowledge to others, not just through the Creature Bionics Academy, but through your independent workshops. What are some of the things you focus on your mentees and is this linked to your own upbringing?
My purpose in life are simple things like exercising my potential and helping others know and access their potential. I say access because I can’t help them live their potential because it’s theirs and it’s limitless, but if I can help them access it and know it exists, where they go from there is endless. I am a mental activist, I will continue to use all I can to help others free their mind from the chains that hold them down. I always think, what if Will Smith came into my school and gave me and others that look like him a talk, I always wonder would my life be different? I am going to be the Will Smith/ Ace Ruele that goes to school after school ensuring youth gain that experience. This is linked to my whole life.
Getting to Know You…
- A book you have in your collection? No1. Book – The Kybalion
- A song/album that defines the soundtrack of your life to date? The Man Of Steel soundtrack, no words, just how it moves me. But an actual song – I’m old school – Mary J Blige – My Life
- A film/TV show that you can watch/have watched repeatedly? Man Of Steel & Don’t Be A Menace While Drinking Juice In South Central LA
- The first stage production you saw and what it meant to you (play, dance or concert)? When I was a teen and went to a break dancing championship because I use to break and body pop, that was a great experience.
Find out more about Ace Ruele’s Creature Bionic here.