Will Lucas Resurrect Dead Actors Digitally?

Has George Lucas been buying the film rights to dead celebrities to put them back on the silver screen? A similar feat was accomplished recently as Jeff Bridges plays opposite a younger version of himself (see Synthespian Wannabe: Tron Legacy's Jeff Bridges).

British comedian Mel Smith, a friend of Lucas', stated:

"George has been buying up the film rights to dead actors in the hope of using computer trickery to put them all together, so you'd have ORSON WELLES and BARBARA STANWYCK alongside today's stars."

This kind of effort has been tried before, with different technology. In a 1991 commercial for Diet Coke, ad agency Lintas: New York used simpler techniques to bring dead stars back to life. Humphrey Bogart in All Through the Night (1942), Louis Armstrong in High Society (1956) and James Cagney in snippets from Public Enemy (1931) and The Roaring Twenties (1939) were placed in the commercial spot.


(Diet Coke sold by dead celebrities)

The footage was taken to R. Greenberg Associates, who edited Woody Allen into old film footage in his 1983 movie Zelig. Through a process called "rotoscoping," technicians isolated the images of Bogart, Armstrong and Cagney from the vintage movie clips. Then the legendary stars were computer- stitched into the contemporary nightclub scene.

The work was painstaking. Cagney was shorter than the modern blond actress with whom he is seen ordering a Diet Coke. So the editors blew up the image until his height matched that of his co-star. The Golden Age actors were carefully colorized frame by frame to match the hues of the fresh footage. In the stunning final product, Bogart wanders among the nightclub clientele, exchanging greetings with a patron probably not even born when Bogie died in 1957. Louis Armstrong blows away on his trumpet, sharing a knowing glance with Elton John.

If the story about Lucas is true, he's trying to do more than that. It would involve a digital recreation of the actor. But just think of what could be done. Industrial Light and Magic could create different versions of an actor from different films; you could have 37 year-old Bogart (from The Petrified Forest, 42 year-old Bogart from Casablanca and 55 year-old Bogart from Sabrina. Here's looking at you, and you, and you, Bogie.


(Bogie in Casablanca)

ILM will need some additional sfnal gear to do this effectively. It's not enough that your digital recreation look like Bogart; it needs to act like him, and for that you'd need a personality construct like that described in William Gibson's 1985 novel Neuromancer:

Molly had gone back to the loft hours ago, the Flatline's construct in her green bag, and Case had been drinking steadily ever since. It was disturbing to think of the Flatline as a construct, a hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man's skills, obsessions, knee-jerk responses.

Via The Sun; see also Marketing Ghosts in the Commercial.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/7/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.