Cameron Talks About The Future of New CGI Technology

With his newly developed motion capture CGI, could we see the return of classic characters?

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By BillyBlack - 1/3/2010
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Avatar director James Cameron talked about what could be possible with his new motion-capture CGI technology. It's pretty juicy stuff. Take a look at this excerpt:


EW - From the beginning, you said your goal with Avatar was to figure
out a way to seamlessly translate an actor's performance into a
synthetic computer-generated character. Where did that come from?

Cameron - It evolved from a couple of things: growing up on a steady diet
of science fiction, imagining alien characters, and ultimately being
dissatisfied with what was possible with makeup and prosthetics, with an
actor having to be in the makeup chair for six hours a day. This technology
isn't about replacing or marginalizing actors. It's about allowing actors to
transform and empowering them to be as creative as they want to be.
And by the way, we did tall blue people with pointy ears here. But we could
easily have done a straight human look if we'd wanted to.

EW - Really? Motion capture has been great at creating creatures like
King Kong and Gollum but not as good at making convincing human faces.

Cameron - If we had put the same energy into creating a human as we put into
creating the Na'vi, it would have been 100% indistinguishable from reality. The
question is, why the hell would you do that? Why not just photograph the actor?
Well, let's say Clint Eastwood really wanted to do one last Dirty Harry movie,
looking the way he did in 1975. He could absolutely do it now. And that would be cool.





Seriously. If this is true, could this mean Star Wars episodes 7, 8 and 9 can be done with the original cast looking how they did in the early 80's? What about the return of the Joker for Batman 3? Whatever you think of Avatar as a movie, there is no denying what kind of impact this technology can have on the future of the movie industry.
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19 Comments
BillyBlack - 1/3/2010, 5:07 PM
Damn, my teaser image didn't show.
LEEE777 - 1/3/2010, 5:11 PM
What teaser image??? ; D

And WORTHINGTON for CAP!

BillyBlack - 1/3/2010, 5:15 PM
Damn you LEEE!!!

hahahha. I tried to edit it but it might've resubmitted. Hopefully they can fix it.

Ahh there it is! Thank you Galactus!
lc - 1/3/2010, 5:16 PM
worthington is crap not cap @LEE
get it rigth lol
MercWitaMouth88 - 1/3/2010, 7:07 PM
When Worthington was giving that battle speech I got goosebumps. I just imagined him in his WWII Cap outfit speaking to the troops. I think Worthington is perfect for cap after seeing Avatar. Plus, he is loves the character. He has passion which is truly needed for Cap.
supermarioworldE - 1/3/2010, 8:02 PM
What is the world coming to when an actor doesn't even have to be on film to star in a movie?
georgia49th - 1/3/2010, 9:03 PM
wow you could even bring back dead stars Laural and Hardy with Abbot and Castello in GhostBusters 3 real masters of comedy those 4.
hell bring back Boris Karloff and Vincent Price for a good horror flick .... May West and Marylin Monroe for a good bimbo fest stop me please
BillyBlack - 1/3/2010, 9:52 PM
yeah georgia49th

actually now they can remake movies with the original cast and completely waste everyone's time.

Not exactly what he was getting at I'm sure, but good for you being able to find a way to make this a negative.
JerusalemJr - 1/4/2010, 1:57 PM
I doubt they would ever completely replace an actor for a movie unless they had to (Someone has to have their head blown off or mutate into a monster or something), it is easier to film their acting than to CG it. But I would pay serious money to see another Batman with Heath Ledger as the Joker and it look just like him.
90caliber - 1/4/2010, 2:25 PM
We're talking about taking deceased actors and putting them on screen. That wouldnt be the Joker thats Heath Ledger. If you can do that with him why not Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, James Dean and on and on and on. Does the actor control his likeness or the studio? Where do you draw the line? I dont think i would like the idea of someone having that type of control over my likeness. Not to mention the real world applications once the technology becomes cheaper. I mean go through some of the post on this site. Look what some of you can do now with fan made flims and pics.
JerusalemJr - 1/4/2010, 2:36 PM
Oddly enough I just saw a show on this last week. The families own the likeness of the actor and actually get paid for other people using it. There are agents for the deceased actors and everything.

And in my opinion I would like it because it would be Heath Ledger's Joker, not just Heath Ledger or just the Joker.
BillyBlack - 1/4/2010, 2:44 PM
90calibur

You may be talking about deceased actors, but that's not the main point. The point he made regarding Clint Eastwood, and the one I made after about the final Star Wars Trilogy, are all actors who are still alive as far as I know. They would be acting in the films, the technology would be there to make their appearance as they were at the desired time. The idea of having the Joker come back in the next Batman movie would be for the character, not the actor. I'm sure Heath Ledger's estate would be compensated for likeness as it would with any action figure that bore his likeness. Do you think they stopped making Joker action figures with his likeness once he died? You and others keep making these arguments about Marilyn Monroe and such, which is really a preposterous extreme. I don't recall much offense to these techniques being used for Arnolds likeness in Terminator Salvation, or in the early 90's when they used it to finish The Crow after Brandon Lee's tragic death. Was that different somehow? I'm not a lawyer, but I'm sure any compensation would be negotiated by someone of that capacity. With a full understanding of the law.
theartofoneness - 1/4/2010, 6:12 PM
Ive been thinking about this for a long time actually. I think as computer technology evolves we will soon lose the need for actors. convincing voice generators and cgi duplicates could mean we would get to have our favorite actors continue to play all the roles we want to see them in. Eventually we would be able to do this individually. One day buying programs that would let us create realistic believable movies. Ide love to see a few more arnold movies. I think in an infinite universe there are infinite possibilities. Maybe we are getting closer to tasting what that actually is like to control. We will get to choose the reality we see.
BillyBlack - 1/4/2010, 6:20 PM
theart

I think you're hitting close to the mark there.

This new technology appears to be another step toward a complete virtual reality. How far it has come in the past 25 years, and how much further in can go in the next 25.
Crazyhorrormovienerd - 1/4/2010, 8:33 PM
it's ruining film. CGI and motion capturing is great, but it's people like James Cameron who are abusing it. Pretty images don't make a good movie, that's why I hated Avatar. Nothing but [frick]ing eye candy.
gunner - 1/4/2010, 9:44 PM
i guess the possibility's are endless now.
the world will now be seen as B.A. (Before Avatar)
and After Avatar.
Sam worthington is perfect for cap.
HAQ - 1/5/2010, 11:25 AM
WHOAW!!!!!! I got frickin' goosebumps:O.
georgia49th - 1/6/2010, 11:51 AM
Even better take historical figures and put them in a movie say remake Gettysburg and use the real Generals likeness .... Mind blowing.....
bigbadjones - 3/24/2010, 11:18 AM
I think it's wrong, sick and really creepy. What's the point in bringing back dead actors? If I was a actor I wouldn't want a dead actors or any other actors face in-replace of my own.

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