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Will technology bring immortality to Hollywood

on Wednesday,January 28,2009 22:01

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Technological advances are making it possible to digitally recreate actors, a development which raises tantalizing possibilities but stirs controversy as well.

While computer generation is nothing new in the movie industry - think Jurassic Park or Lord of the Rings - the increasingly sophisticated software will soon allow experts to recreate a human face, with all its subtle expressions, that is indistinguishable from the real person, according to an article in the Arizona Republic.

What this means is that actors can potentially perform past their retirement age and even after they are dead.

We may not quite be there yet, but Rick Bergman - general manager of Advanced Micro Devices graphics products group - told the newspaper, "With what we''re starting to deliver with our chips, the computing power is getting real close."

Some have expressed misgivings about a technology that may blur the line between reality and illusion.

However, as Mark Friedlander - national director of new media for the Screen Actors Guild - told the Arizona Republic, "I don''t really see technology in any way replacing performers. I see it enhancing the possibility of storytelling."

As the debate continues, CG is there to stay: despite expensive software it is often more cost effective than flying a movie crew to exotic locations to shoot scenes.
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