The Future of Film? Empire blog post

KirstieT Posts: 1,086 Staff
edited September 2014 in General

I don't know whether I was the only one to feel very uncomfortable when I saw Audrey Hepburn's likeness being used in Galaxy's advert a while back - but the idea that digital likenesses could become more commonplace is a little disconcerting to me. 

Audrey Hepburn in the Galaxy advert

Empire have just put up a blog post about The Future of Film and have concentrated on this particular aspect, and it's really interesting so I wanted to draw y'all attention to it:

Of course, there have been plenty of incidences where photorealistic CGI characters have been used - Maleficent, Planet of the Apes, Avatar etc. but one point in the article they specifically bring up using digital doppelgangers for biographies or historical movies. 

Wondering whether people find this to be a natural progression, or whether we're potentially fighting a moral issue here if (as Empire said) we are capturing the lives of real people and even recreating the deaths of 'real people' on screen. I personally find the idea quite revolting.

Digital doppelgangers have come a long way in a few short years - how far are we going to go?


  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast

    To take the same tech in a different direction, one aspect (having not read the article yet, so apologies if this is mentioned) which really excites me is the idea of actors being able to play characters of any age. Clint Eastwood could still be playing action heroes. At the same time, The Dark Knight Rises could have been made with a 55 year old Christian Bale. There's a lot of really interesting potential there.

    It's been kinda glimpsed in Benjamin Button and even The Winter Soldier, whereby the actor's performance was maintained even while using digital tech to age them one way or the other. 'Old Peggy' in Winter Soldier was a phenomenally good bit of ageing digital makeup.

    Recreating the likenessess of real people, though, is indeed a tricksy thing. That said, we already have movies in which actors portray historical figures under heavy prosthetic make-up - eg, the billion actors who have played Nixon over the years, courtesy of a giant nose appliance. Is a digital, more accurate copy ethically any different to that?

    The real ethical problem is in the presentation of the material, because you suddenly enter into Running Man-style territory when footage can be 'easily' faked to show somebody doing something which they may not have really done. We already have dodgy news stations and documentaries around the world 'accidentally' using footage from military computer games without realising; what happens when editors start getting confused over genuine historical footage and artificial?

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,452 Ambassador

    'Wag the Dog' and 'Capricorn One' in the 21st Century.

    I think you hit the nail on the head Simon.   Bad taste aside from profiting on someone else's likeness, who would never have given permission in the first place, palls in comparison to the recreation of recent events for political gain.

    In such an environment truthsayers may find it difficult to find an audience.

    On the bright side, compositors at Fox News will have work.