George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

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George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby MouthForWar » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:51 am

Lucas has been gathering the film rights to some of cinema's most famous deceased movie stars of Hollywood's golden years and plans to use digital effects to feature them in a film with actors and actresses of today. What?!


http://www.firstshowing.net/2010/12/06/ ... w-project/

This sounds like the worst idea ever. Hard to believe the maverick that helped resurrect American cinema by giving us the amazing triple punch of THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars went on to become one of Hollywood's biggest jokes.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:05 am

that sounds HORRIBLY disrespectful...
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:13 am

So George Lucas has become a full fledged Mad Scientist.
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Postby The Shadow » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:37 pm

I'm puzzled as to why this seems to be a big deal. Lots of people all over Hollywood (and television) have been working on this concept for years now.


The 1997 Dirt Devil ad with Fred Astaire (footage from Royal Wedding I believe); although to be completely fair, the Dirt Devil ad puts their product into an existing clip rather than excising and recompiling clips of Astaire for their commericial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-ix5IYz0cc


In 2005 Volkswagon did that ad using Gene Kelley's likeness (from Singin' in the Rain).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYe7PA1jUjk

Ford had a commercial a few years ago for the 2005 Mustang using Steve McQueen's likeness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZzXHq7gKN8


Perhaps the most notable movie use in recent years may be Laurence Olivier's posthumous appearance in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (an under-appreciated film if I ever saw one, it would have done better in theaters without Paramount's meddling).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqGBt0124bY


And of course there was Bryan Singer's use of Marlon Brando's image (and lines) for Superman Returns in 2006.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K_x-HE_ya8
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Postby lhb412 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:59 pm

^Those were (mostly) actual performances re-purposed.

This won't be those stars: if they make a new Marx Brothers movie it won't actually be the Marx Brothers. It'll be creepy CGI renderings of them with voice actors impersonating their voices.
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Postby MouthForWar » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:13 pm

lhb412 wrote:^Those were (mostly) actual performances re-purposed.

This won't be those stars: if they make a new Marx Brothers movie it won't actually be the Marx Brothers. It'll be creepy CGI renderings of them with voice actors impersonating their voices.


Exactly. Those examples are mostly stock footage. This will not be. And it'll have voice actors impersonating the actors as well.
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Postby Einstürzende » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:52 pm

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Postby Shonokin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:32 pm

But CGI dead people don't look creepy at all!
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Postby canofhumdingers » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:52 pm

Shonokin wrote:But CGI dead people don't look creepy at all!


yikes! That was bad enough, but then I had the misfortune to cave into curiosity and watch this, which was linked from the popcorn commercial...
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Virtual Elvis from the makers of Virtual Tupac

Postby mr.negativity » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:11 am

Last edited by mr.negativity on Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MouthForWar » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:17 am

That makes me sick. :x
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Postby kidnicky » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:22 am

I don't even like Elvis, but this is sick and weird.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:14 am

This is hilarious.
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Postby Henry88 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:19 am

I'll bring the popcorn.
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Postby mr.negativity » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:58 am

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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:19 am

An unexpected appearance by Andy Kaufman's 'daughter' at an event raises new questions

Words like 'alive' and 'dead' get strange when you're talking about Andy
Drew McWeeny wrote:Andy Kaufman is alive.

Ultimately, it is irrelevant if he actually still occupies a body and is actively participating in things, because it is obvious just from reading reactions to Monday night's amazing events at the annual Andy Kaufman Awards that he is still creating conversation and speculation, which seems to have been his lasting legacy.

I've read anything i could find today about the incident, and I'm still not sure what to think. I do know that I wish I'd been in the room, and I am hoping someone got this on tape so that we can actually see it at some point. For now, here's what we know. Every year, there is a talent competition to help foster new comedy voices, and it comes down to a performance/awards show where they pick the winner. This was the ninth annual event, and as part of the ceremony each year, they have a special guest come to speak.

This year, Michael Kaufman was part of the proceedings, and at some point during the evening, things got very, very weird inside the Gotham Comedy Club. To fully understand, you need to know that Andy Kaufman passed away from lung cancer at the age of 35, but before that, he was positively obsessed with the idea of faking his own death. Based not only on what I've read over the years but also on dozens if not hundreds of conversations I've had with people in and around the LA comedy scene, I would say it's pretty clear that by any standard mortal definition, Kaufman is deceased. And yet, every few years, there is fresh speculation spurred in many cases by clever appearances by Tony Clifton or some new story told by Bob Zmuda.

With Monday's event, though, things were taken to a different level, and I'm fascinated by just how something like this comes together. As Michael Kaufman was onstage, someone asked him for what must have been the billionth time if Andy is still alive, and he replied, "I don't know," according to the account by Sean L. McCarthy over at The Comic's Comic:

Michael Kaufman told the audience that while cleaning out Andy's things after his death in 1984, he found among his many writings an essay about how Andy planned to fake his own death, his literal, figurative and spiritual leaps through meditation, and how he'd eventually reappear on Christmas Eve on 1999 at a particular restaurant that had served him a favored dish years earlier. When that date arrived, Michael said he ventured to the restaurant, asked for a table under one of Andy's pseudonyms, and waited. He didn't meet Andy that night, but said someone handed him an envelope, and in that envelope was a letter addressed to Michael from his brother. The letter purported that Andy wanted to go into hiding and live a normal life, that he'd met and fallen in love with a woman and had a daughter, and that he didn't want Michael or anyone to say anything while their own father was still alive. Andy's and Michael's father died this summer. Michael said a young woman called him a month afterward to say that Andy indeed was alive, that he was watching the Andy Kaufman Awards from afar and loving the fact that so many comedians had been inspired by him. When Michael asked the Gotham audience if that young woman had showed up Monday night, a 24-year-old eventually stood up from the back of the room and sheepishly made her way onstage.

Michael asked the audience if they believed her, or him, and said he didn't know what to make of it all himself.

Killy Dwyer, one of this year's Andy Kaufman Awards finalists, already had burst into tears while Michael was reading the alleged 1999 letter from Andy.

Dwyer wrote on her Facebook page afterward:

"Ok. Tonight was a "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!". Anyone who was there will attest. Andy Kaufman's daughter came onstage and claimed he was alive. It was. It was...I can't tell you how it was, only that it was as real as any reality that i've seen. and yeah. I get that it is - could - might all be a hoax. That was the only and last thing I want to say. it was "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" up. She said he is alive and that the passing of his father this July made him want to reach out via her- to Michael, Andy's brother. She said he is watching the award entries, semi and finalists with great interest always. He just wanted to disappear. To be a father. To be an observer. As much as this seems like bullshit as I type it, it was as real as anything I've ever seen. There is video. It was chilling, upsetting and absolutely intriguing. I bawled my eyes out. The entire room was freaked out. It was, if nothing else, brilliant. and incredibly "OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE!" and AWESOME."

Michael escorted the young woman offstage and asked that we respect her privacy.

That is just straight up next level crazy. If it's not true, then whose joke was it? Do you think Michael Kaufman perpetuates the idea with stories like this? I've never heard of him doing it before. Or do we think maybe Bob Zmuda helped put this together? Because he's not really even mentioned as being at the event on Monday, and I would think he'd want to be there to see it play out.

My favorite idea is that Andy Kaufman actually outlined all of this before his death, right down to the notion of introducing a 24-year-old daughter at some event. It would be so great to eventually learn that he had come up with the notion because I love the idea of him picturing an audience in the year 2013 still (A) caring about him and (B) debating the notion of his mortality. Andy loved to play the long con, but there's only so long he could personally take a joke considering he passed away at the age of 35.

I love jokes and pranks that take a long time to play out. One of my favorite stories about George Clooney involved a garage sale painting he found while he was driving one afternoon. He said it was the ugliest painting he'd ever seen, and so he bought it, took it home, and then immediately bought a ton of art supplies. He set up a new painting room for himself in his home, put up some incomplete canvasses, and made it look like he'd been painting in there. He then invited over one of his dearest friends, Richard Kind, to tell him about how he'd been learning to paint. He proudly showed off the garage sale find, which he claimed was his very first completed painting, and he made a big deal out of gifting it to Richard, who said how much he liked it.

Here's the best part: Clooney let Kind hang that painting in his house for a year before he finally confessed the prank, and what makes it truly funny to me is the thought that, for a year, Clooney could go sit at Richard's house and look up at that horrifying terrible painting on the wall in a place of honor. You have to be better at playing it straight than I am if you're going to pull off a joke like that. I would have been in tears laughing every single time I saw the painting. There's no way anyone would have believed me if I'd tried to pass it off as my own, but with Richard, he wanted to believe that Clooney would make a gift of something that personal, and that's part of any good prank. You have to set people up to reveal some truth about themselves, something that they would do or say or be without your help. Great pranks reveal character, and time is a big part of that.

With this Kaufman story, all you need to do is take a look at how much coverage it got online today to see that, no matter what, Andy wins. Andy turned his own life into such an elaborate hall of mirrors that people are able to believe, no matter how unlikely, that he could have actually faked his death and disappeared and, more importantly, stayed gone. People want to believe it because so much of his art seemed to be building up to that one final epic punchline, and it's more fun to imagine that he pulled it off than it is to imagine him dying of lung cancer in a Los Angeles hospital just as he was starting to enter the prime creative phase of his career.

Let's say someone does an independent DNA check on this girl and she turns out to really be Andy Kaufman's daughter. Would that ruin the fun? If she turns out not to be his daughter, does that put a definitive button on things? At this point, can there be a conclusive answer that everyone would accept?

If the answer is no, then Andy is indeed alive. He's alive when I hear theaters howling at "Bad Grandpa." He's alive when I see four different paparazzi photos exposing four totally different people as being the "real" Banksy. He's alive in the way the word "reality" has been so permanently and hopelessly perverted by television shows that have nothing to do with reality. He is alive when someone stumbles on a Tim and Eric infomercial at 2:00 in the morning on Adult Swim and has no idea what they're looking at. He is alive when you see how Neil Hamburger uses Twitter to talk to corporations. He is alive because his comedy, barely commercial when he was alive, has influenced not just other comics, but musicians, filmmakers, writers, and artists of every stripe. Andy Kaufman is alive because Andy Kaufman can't die at this point.

Even if he did.
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:58 pm

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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby lhb412 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:45 pm

I'm wondering if digitally resurrected Peter Cushing and giving him as much screentime as they did was essentially a test run for even more ambitious resurrections?

If they really wanted to make his part seamless they could've done a lot of workarounds: made his shots briefer and had the majority of his time as a communication hologram. Putting him in front of you for so long makes you see through the illusion more and more, but it makes sense if the impetus was less about serving the film as it was testing the waters.
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:50 am

Einstürzende wrote:False.
Collider DECEMBER 7, 2010:
George Lucas NOT Digitally Resurrecting Dead Actors


Variety:
‘Rogue One’: What Peter Cushing’s Digital Resurrection Means for the Industry

The New York Times:
How ‘Rogue One’ Brought Back Familiar Faces
DAVE ITZKOFF wrote:Tarkin presented considerably greater difficulties, but the filmmakers said it would be just as hard to omit him from a narrative that prominently features the fearsome Death Star — the battle station he refuses to evacuate amid the rebels’ all-out assault in “Star Wars.”

“If he’s not in the movie, we’re going to have to explain why he’s not in the movie,” said Kiri Hart, a Lucasfilm story development executive and “Rogue One” co-producer. “This is kind of his thing.”

For principal photography, the filmmakers cast the English actor Guy Henry (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”), who has a build and stature like Cushing’s and could speak in a similar manner.

Throughout filming, Mr. Henry wore motion-capture materials on his head, so that his face could be replaced with a digital re-creation of Cushing’s piercing visage.

Mr. Knoll described the process as “a super high-tech and labor-intensive version of doing makeup.”

“We’re transforming the actor’s appearance to look like another character, but just using digital technology,” he said.

Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic said their re-creation of Cushing was done with the approval of the actor’s estate. But the technique has drawn criticism from viewers and writers. The Huffington Post called it “a giant breach of respect for the dead,” and The Guardian said it worked “remarkably well” but nonetheless described it as “a digital indignity.”


Mr. Knoll said he and his colleagues were aware of the “slippery slope argument,” that their simulated Cushing was opening the door to more and more movies using digital reproductions of dead actors.

“I don’t imagine that happening,” Mr. Knoll said. “This was done for very solid and defendable story reasons. This is a character that is very important to telling this kind of story.”

He added: “It is extremely labor-intensive and expensive to do. I don’t imagine anybody engaging in this kind of thing in a casual manner.”

If “Star Wars” films are still made in 50 or 100 years, Mr. Knoll said audiences would probably not see likenesses of Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford playing Luke Skywalker or Han Solo. (He noted that the actor Alden Ehrenreich had already been cast to play the young Han Solo in a coming film about that character.)

“We’re not planning on doing this digital re-creation extensively from now on,” Mr. Knoll said. “It just made sense for this particular movie.”


/film:
Martin Scorsese to Digitally De-Age Robert De Niro in ‘The Irishman’

DailyMail:
Actors rush to protect their image from 'digital resurrection' after they have died following eerie Star Wars: Rogue One reanimation of Carrie Fisher
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:59 am

StarWars.com:
A Statement Regarding New Rumors

THR:
Lucasfilm Has "No Plans" for Digital Re-Creation of Carrie Fisher as Leia
"We are still hurting from her loss."

THR DECEMBER 11, 2015:
How 'Furious 7' Brought the Late Paul Walker Back to Life
The actor's 2013 death didn't kill his character: VFX artists, with the help of his two brothers, created 350 shots to keep him on the screen.
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby lhb412 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:08 am

mr.negativity wrote:StarWars.com:
A Statement Regarding New Rumors


Hrrrmmm... I guess we'll wait and see.


(Seriously, considering the circumstances would anyone really bow up against the idea of, say, Streep or Sarandon playing Leia in Episode 9?)
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Re: The Real Ghostbusters 3

Postby mr.negativity » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:55 pm

Fox, Paramount Accused of Using Stolen Computer Graphic Technology for Hit Films
A VFX firm demands an injunction on "Deadpool" and three other blockbusters plus one huge video game.


THR JULY 24, 2017:
Harold Ramis' Daughter Addresses 'Ghostbusters 3' Possibly Including a CG Egon
Ryan Parker wrote:"Personally, for me, it is hard to imagine that people would accept it, but who knows. The technology now is amazing."

Ivan Reitman made headlines over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, where the producer/director said there may be another live action Ghostbusters down the road.

Reitman made the comment while discussing possible projects in a panel related to the beloved franchise, which included "wonderful plans for an animated feature that we're deep in design on already and a really great story ... And of course a new live-action film. I am not giving any more secrets," he said.

Screen Rant reported that Reitman was asked during the panel if any consideration was given to creating a CG version of any of the original cast, which would include the late Harold Ramis for Egon, if the possible fourth film changed gears from the 2016 female-led reboot, to which the director said "It’s possible … it’s something we’re thinking of."

On Monday, Ramis' daughter, Violet Ramis Stiel, told Heat Vision she was aware of Reitman's comments over the weekend.

"It's bizarre," Ramis Stiel said of the possible digital re-creation of her late father. "Personally, for me, it is hard to imagine that people would accept it, but who knows. The technology now is amazing."

Ramis died in 2014 at the age of 69. In 2016, his daughter penned a touching essay about growing up with her dad on the sets of movies like Ghostbusters.

Bringing actors back from the dead for a film has been somewhat controversial. When the legendary Peter Cushing was re-created for Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, some fans praised how far technology had come to allow the effect to happen and to look so eerily great. But there were others who said it was disrespectful to the late actor. The Cushing estate gave its blessing for the endeavor.

The original stars of Ghostbusters have talked for decades about a possible third installment to follow up Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghosbusters II (1989). Those have yet to materialize, but the 2016 reboot was a commercial bomb. It's unclear how serious talks of a third film starring the original cast really are.

Ramis Stiel said if — and it may be a huge if, who really knows — another Ghostbusters is made and her father is digitally added, it would be OK with her as long as the work is exceptional.

"I try to think what would he have thought," she said. "If it's great and it works, then good. And if there is a problem, then obviously no."
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:31 pm

THR, AUGUST 10, 2019:
Will Smith, Robert De Niro and the Rise of the All-Digital Actor
Carolyn Giardina wrote:This fall's 'Gemini Man' and 'The Irishman' are just the tip of the iceberg for how studios will look to capitalize on de-aging VFX techniques: "It's safer and cheaper than plastic surgery."
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Re: George Lucas' Dead Celebrity Extravaganza.

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:43 am

THR, 10/9/2019:
From 'Gemini Man' to 'The Irishman': Dawn of the De-Aged Actor
Carolyn Giardina wrote:While directing Will Smith in Gemini Man, in which the 51-year-old actor stars as an assassin hunted by a clone of his younger self, director Ang Lee made an unusual request of his star. He asked Smith to "act less."

Lee needed Smith to go back to his less-polished acting roots from the early 1990s in order to capture the performance for his younger clone. But to make Smith look like his youthful self required a whole new level of trickery that saw Lee and his visual effects team create a fully digital CGI 23-year-old Will Smith.

The result: On Oct. 11, audiences will see a Fresh Prince-era Smith trade punches with his present-day self. A few weeks later, septuagenarian screen legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino will perform together as younger men in Martin Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman. As visual effects technologies advance, filmmakers are rethinking the potential of digital humans, particularly as a tool for de-aging actors.

While crafting a believable synthetic human is the most difficult of VFX wizardry, Hollywood saw the possibilities a decade ago when an elderly Brad Pitt aged backward into his youthful prime in David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The work won the VFX Oscar that year, but the challenge of aging an actor up or down was still so daunting that it was rarely used outside of limited and specific story needs.

In 2019, nostalgic audiences are seeing several stars appear as their younger selves thanks to a range of VFX techniques, including Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame and Linda Hamilton in the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, as she returns to the franchise after 28 years (2015's Terminator: Genisys likewise featured a de-aged Arnold Schwarzenegger).

But to de-age by creating a synthetic human is still largely uncharted territory, and top VFX artists are using various techniques that present challenges and opportunities for directors, effects artists and even the actors themselves. Upon seeing his digital younger self for the first time in The Irishman, ILM VFX supervisor Pablo Helman says De Niro told him, "You just gave me 30 more years of my career."

Scorsese knew he needed to wield the full capacity of de-aging magic in order to make The Irishman the way he wanted: that is, with his three leads — De Niro, 75, Joe Pesci, 76, and Al Pacino, 79 — playing their characters through the decades that the story spans. But motion-capture methods of creating an onscreen digital human couldn't be used on the three veteran actors. "Marty said to me, 'One thing I know for sure — Bob's an actor's actor, Pacino and Pesci as well. They're not going to wear a helmet with two little cameras and markers all over their faces,' " says Helman.

This led to a bold initiative at ILM to develop its performance-capture capabilities so that actors do not have to wear markers on set. Netflix, which made The Irishman for $159 million, and ILM say it involves a three-camera rig with a main camera and two witness cameras, as well as companion software.

"We had taken the technology away from the actor and let the director and the actors do what they need to do," Helman explains. He adds that particularly with stars such as De Niro and Pacino, they like to act opposite each other and improvise. "That kind of interaction can't be done in the moment when you have one actor acting against a tennis ball," he contends. "We didn't alter any performances. There were changes that were made to the appearance but not the choices they made in the bodies and also in the faces." Each finished shot was then reviewed by Scorsese. "He would tell us if he felt the same way as he did when he selected the take, and if it would work for the movie."

For Paramount's Gemini Man, made for $138 million (plus rebates), Lee took digital human work into a whole new realm. The VFX supervisor, Bill Westenhofer, explains that as the younger and older Smith had to appear together in the same shots, other VFX techniques simply were not an option.

"I believed it was time to try a digital human," Lee says. "You had to build the character, the detail and really study human details and the performance from our actor. I believe that's what you have to do if that's your lead character."

VFX house Weta gathered images of Smith at a younger age and studied anatomy and terms such as nasolabial folds. "If anything isn't right, it falls apart," says Guy Williams, Weta's VFX supervisor. "We did a deep dive into how light interacts with skin and creating pigments under the layer of skin."

For shots in which Smith appears with his young clone, Junior, the actor performed first as Henry, with a reference actor of similar physicality playing opposite him as Junior. Then Smith performed Junior's role on a motion-capture stage opposite a reference actor playing Henry. In scenes in which Henry and Junior are not both in the frame, the team would photograph Smith wearing a facial-capture system and then perform digital face replacement on his body. Action sequences involved fully digital doubles based on stunt performances with face replacement.

Westenhofer says that while getting the eyes right is important to overcome the uncanny valley, every element of the face and body has to be spot-on. "We had in our favor that Will is pretty healthy and still moves pretty youthfully. Making sure the youthfulness came through in the body was a consideration throughout."

Costs can vary. At the moment, a fully digital human generally starts with the creation of a movable model of the human, explains Darren Hendler, head of VFX house Digital Domain's digital human group. He estimates that this could cost from $500,000 to $1 million to create. Then, he adds, producers could expect to pay anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per shot, depending on the individual requirements of the performance in the scene. VFX pros point out that costs will drop as computers get faster and techniques evolve.

Because of the cost and complexity of creating a digital human, filmmakers often instead use so-called digital cosmetics for de-aging tasks on the actor's actual image, such as removing wrinkles. This was seen in Marvel's Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel, de-aging Downey and Jackson.

These capabilities raise important ethical questions: When is it appropriate to use an actor's likeness, and what are an actor's rights to his or her likeness? That conversation intensified when late actor Robin Williams' estate put restrictions on the use of his digital likeness, an unusual move.

Westenhofer believes these are discussions that will need to happen, including how likenesses are used in Deep Fakes. "For us to do this, it took a team of several hundred artists two years to pull off. We are not close to someone going in their garage and completely fooling someone," he says.

And then there are questions about how digital humans could impact acting opportunities — actors hired to portray younger versions of lead characters may lose out on those opportunities. Still, Westenhofer is optimistic about how digital humans could lead to new stories that maybe Hollywood hasn't considered at this point. He says, "Our role is to show that all of these things are possible and allow incredibly talented people with these great imaginations and storytellers to come up with things that we haven't thought of yet."
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