Synthespian Wannabe: Tron Legacy's Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges is the first actor to play opposite a younger synthespian version of himself, which he does in Tron: Legacy, the upcoming blockbuster from Disney. As those of us who saw the original recall, Bridges played video-game mogul Kevin Flynn. Thirty years later, he faces a digital version of himself in his thirties.
(Bridges (elder) vs. Bridges (digital younger))
New technology enabled film-makers to record the star’s facial movements in minute detail and then superimpose them onto a digital model of his younger self.
For Bridges, the development marks a new epoch in cinema.
‘Whenever I see a big, epic film where the character has aged from being a boy to an old man, traditionally there are different actors playing him and there’s always a little bump for me when they change from one actor to the next. But now I can play someone at any age. It’s the beginning of a new era of film-making.
‘This technology means I’d never have to work again in my life and I could still make films. I can say, “I’ll lease you my image.” In a few years they’ll be able to take aspects of three different actors and make a fourth character. It’s getting weird. They can say, “Let’s put Bridges in here, but I want a little Al Pacino in there – what the heck. Let’s see what kind of guy we come up with.” I think they’ll have this ability to go, “We’re going to give you lots of money; you just come in and do all your expressions, be real, sad, happy… and that’s it.”’
Is he joking?
‘No, this is where movies are starting to go now. They’re taking the actors and putting them in a computer, very much like Tron. It’s got to the stage where we’re close to not having to work at all.’
I'm sure that the irony of Jeff Bridges being scanned into the movie Tron: Legacy in a manner similar to his character Kevin Flynn being scanned into the video game Tron in the original movie Tron will not be lost on Technovelgy readers.
(Bridges (seated left) being scanned into the game in the original Tron)
Science fiction fans have been waiting for this development for many years. William Gibson brought the idea to the fore in his 1996 novel Idoru:
"What did Blackwell mean, last night, about Rez wanting to marry a Japanese girl who isn't real?"
"Idoru," Yamazaki said... "'Idol-singer.' She is Rei Toei. She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents, the creation of information-designers. She is akin to what I believe they call a 'synthespian,' in Hollywood."
(Read more about synthespians)
The first entirely digital actor was created by Jeff Kleiser and Diana Walczak for their 1988 short film Nestor Sextone for President. See a brief video of this historic creation here.
Theater audiences were treated to an advanced version of synthespians in Avatar (see my earlier article James Cameron's Avatar Synthespians).
Via an excellent article in the Daily Mail.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/30/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Lumo Projector Turns Kids Rooms Into Bradbury's Veldt
'The walls began to purr and recede... and presently an African veldt appeared...'- Ray Bradbury, 1951.
Hologram Protest World's First
'Their bodies were in their dwelling cells, but their telucid images filled the hall.'- RF Starzl, 1931.
Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'- Philip K Dick, 1954.
Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'- John Varley, 1977.
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.
Storing 1 Zettabyte In 10 Grams
'It is theoretically possible to have a matrix in which each individual molecule has a meaning...'
Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon... for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on...'
Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...'
Pneumatic Micro-Tentacles Kidnapping Ants
'Long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'
Bee Narcs To Perform Drug 'Stings'
'Time for a replacement of both Behren and his dipterous insect...'
3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up....'
Airbus E-Fan All-Electric Plane Now Ready
I couldn't believe it, either.
Robot Swarms Improve Culture By Forgetting
'My mind was filled to the splitting point...'
Melomics Avant Garde Computer Musician
'Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused somewhere off into the shadows...'
Samsung's Transparent Display Finally As Big As HG Wells'
Wells also figured out that 16x9 is the shape to have.
Nanotech Used To Create Custom Water Filters In Tanzania
'People started out squeamish about Clearsacs...'
This Robot Swordmaster: Yaskawa Bushido Project
'The instrument of prisms and target could not think, feel caution or remorse. And it carried a real blade.'
Thync Mood-Changing Wearable Device
'Very gently, hypnotically, the electronic pulses throbbed in the frontal lobes of his brain.'
What Science Fiction Inspires Russia's New Robot?
Russian science fiction fans had their own inspirations.
LightSail Solar Sail Deploys
'This was the first time any solar yacht had ever attained it...'
Living Concrete Repairs Itself
Science fiction fans were given this idea in 1951.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories