Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Hologram rock stars

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hologram rock stars

Technology sure is making leaps and bounds these days. Most of which both frighten and fascinate me. This hologram of Tupac performing "live" at Coachella just North of my hometown has been causing a big stir in the music world. Once this video went viral, the rest of us got to experience what the Coachella audience saw; just how eerily convincing Tupac looked on stage. To add to the illusion, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre joined him on stage. They start to talk to Tupac, and he is responding. Woa!

This hologram makes me wonder....where will this go from here?

First I had to look into seeing how they did this, and if this is something that will become "the norm." I found that this sort of technology WAS first done with Elvis on American Idol in 2009 (no wonder I never saw it).

It as also worth noting that Gorllaz have been doing this on tour for a while now.

The great thing about this video is it is stirring up a lot of FRESH excitement about this technology. It may not be as new as we thought, but I think it is pretty clear it is on the brink of becoming the new way. Apparently the creators are pretty close lipped about how they did it, but they did share this....
The hologram of Shakur was created by special effects production house Digital Domain, a spokesperson for Dr. Dre told MTV. Digital Domain is the company behind the computer-generated imagery that transformed Brad Pitt in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The company's artists also won an Academy Award for the blockbuster film "Titanic." AV Concepts was charged with projecting the image of Tupac on the stage. Nick Smith, the company's president, told MTV it took several months of planning and four months of studio time to create the hologram. Smith declined to comment on the price of the project, but said a comparable project would cost from $100,000 to $400,000. His company has the ability to recreate long-dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. "You can take their likenesses and voice and ... take people that haven't done concerts before or perform music they haven't sung and digitally recreate it," he said."This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion," Ulbrich told the Journal. "This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this."
Fans and music critics alike have brought up some pretty good points about the holograms:
  • "It just goes to show you how bad things are nowadays, the most talked about performance of Coachella came from a computer generated image of a dead man."
  • "I don't care how they do it! It would just be great to see Elvis again!"
  • "With our technology nowadays anything is possible, they might be using voice changer or a voice actor whos voice is 2pac like."
  •  "Can anyone see Tupac's eyes? Did he look vacant? He is there but he's not really there. He's only doing the creators interpretation of what they think Tupac might do onstage."
Not to mention, the potential for future rock star hologram performances. My first thought when I saw this actually was "I wonder why they did this for Tupac first and not like say...John Lennon or Elvis Presley." Can you imagine going to see a live performance of a John Lennon hologram, or Elvis Presley? (Well I soon found they DID do Presley...) As a big fan of both I can say that I would be well aware it isn't them and that they are dead...but not long after would I get swept up in the experience. Since they are no longer with us, this is the best it can get. And quite frankly, it sounds pretty exciting.

The possibilities are endless if you let your mind wander. THE BEATLES COULD TOUR AGAIN. They could make a hologram John and a hologram George! They could 'resurrect' Elvis, Joey Ramone, FREDDIE MERCURY. Tupac was a talented guy who inspired lots of people, but I think if there were a John Lennon hologram there would be pandemonium.

A lot of Tupac fans who believe Biggy Smalls bumped him off, think this hologram performance is a big pay day for the people who had him killed. That's a pretty good point. Whether the intentions behind the hologram performance were exploitative or not I think this is something we'll be seeing a lot more of, and hopefully with our beloved rock stars.

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