CGI polemic about bring back actors.

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R Michael Pyle

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 2:20 pm

Adding to Bob Lipton's query regarding Swift's A Modest Proposal:

(How the CGIer would end his/her/its Modest Proposal)

We profess, in the sincerity of our hearts, that we have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this furthering of life of dead people other than considering it necessary work, having no motive other than the public good of the film viewing public, by advancing the trade of film-makers, providing for the education of uneducated college students majoring in film (and, too, all those who watch television), relieving the poor individuals not old enough to ever remember these individuals when they were alive, and giving some pleasure to the rich besides – most of whom are older and DO remember many of these individuals being CGI’d. We have no other reasons to do any of this for any money, other than that which can be got, our pockets being perpetually empty.
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boblipton

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 2:22 pm

All Darc wrote:Bob, I didn't watched A Modest Proposal.

What I'm saying is not that the ethics depend exclusivelly from the quality of CGI. I'm saying that a low quality certainly make the whole thing offensive.
If it will also be offensive, even with high quality, it's another thing to judge.


Whereas I hold that the issue of whether CGI of dead people can be done well is as irrelevant to the issue of whether it is right to raise Irish babies for the dining tables of English men and women as the issue of how they might taste... which is pretty much Swift's point. I understand that in this modern world of moral relativism and assertion of rights without any philosophic underpinnings, that all men and women are created equal, not because their Creator endowed them each with a soul which He values values equally, but because... well, there is no because in this G*dless world, where the Crowleyite dictum of "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is the only rule that applies, and the dead are no more to be honored than the value of their assorted body parts in the market of commerce.

I say it's wrong, regardless of how well some one might fake things up. The ability to lie convincingly does not make the lie proper, nor how much you can pay a third party to make that lie legal.

All of which comes down to the old joke "Would you have sex with me for a million dollars?" "Yes, I would." "Would you have sex with me for a dollar?" "What do you think I am?!" "We've settled that. Now we're haggling about price."

Bob
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Donald Binks

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 2:53 pm

I seem to be the only one in this thread who is not vehemently opposed to displaying the likeness of a dead person on screen by way of CGI. Let me act here as Devils' Advocate.

As respect has very little to do with people making lots of money, I think that actors and actresses in today's market at the high end are probably getting to the point where they might be pricing themselves out of a job. Fine, I don't mind people earning a good rate of pay - but now when this rate of pay is getting up into the multi-millions, there does seem a ridiculous side to it. I would therefore not be surprised at an attitude of producers who might say "Hey, why pay Joe Blow here $85,000,000 for a picture when we can re-create Barney Phart from CGI for a quarter the price?" It could just end up as pure economics.

Respect for the dead? It could be argued that watching any picture that displays a person now deceased in an animated form is not respecting the dead - whether that be from recording from actuality or re-creation from C.G.I.? Once an actor is dead the old way of thinking would have been that all copies of filmed work should have been buried with him/her; that it would be ghoulish to resurrect them by way of moving imagery. The trends of time have helped us over that hurdle and we think nothing today of looking at dead people (by way of image).

Actors and actresses have long had a reputation for egocentricity and the thought that they could continue to perform before an adoring public long after they have departed this mortal coil would probably appeal to a lot of them.

So what do we do about it all? Well like everything else in this life, we bring in bureaucracy and appoint a committee to vet the process with a valiant endeavour to make sure that those resuscitated are done so in some degree of good taste and that their "new" performances are not out of line with their overall image.

Perhaps finally, it is a comment on the woefulness of modernity in films that there is a market out there for the 're-production" of old stars?
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boblipton

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 3:29 pm

There being no more certain arbiter of right and wrong than a bureaucrat, since properly completed forms are the only things that matter.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Donald Binks

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 3:39 pm

boblipton wrote:There being no more certain aribiter of right and wrong than a bureaucrat, since properly completed forms are the only things that matter.

Bob


Of course! We have to keep people in jobs somehow. :D
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Ludi

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 4:03 pm

boblipton wrote:I say it's wrong, regardless of how well some one might fake things up. The ability to lie convincingly does not make the lie proper, nor how much you can pay a third party to make that lie legal.



I agree with you, Bob. It would make me sad to see a fake version of a favorite actor. I personally feel it is an insult to that person's memory.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 5:05 pm

Bob, it's not really a lie if people knew it's not the true actor.

Quality it's important, and I refer not just to CGI graphics textures, but the "mimic acting" too, since if you wanna homage a actor you have to make a decent looking, decent work. Of course image quality and mimic acting do not save a CGI from offensive if the content makes the whole ridiculous or greed exploitation. The Bruce Lee CGI to sell whiskey for example, I did not like it, even with his family consent. If was for example a Kong-Fu thematic, like a homage for hin, it would be fine.

In Roque One I see no big offense, as they put the image of Cushing in a role he did in 1977 and enjoyed a lot, and they tried to make it close to him, and was not a long scenes or a entire film focused on his character.
It's very different than for example put Cushing's image to sell hot-dogs or Mcdonald's burguer on TV a commercial
That's the difference of Fred Astaire commercial and Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole (colorized) clip.

There are many ways of be respectfull and disrespectfull to someone, and CGI itself it's not a defenitive answer to this.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 7:08 pm

It's a complex issue.

But I think that most usage of this type (THOUGH IN THIS CASE, THE PARTIES INVOLVED DID OKAY IT, AND THE INTENTIONS WERE GOOD) is wrong-headed. Mainly, because an actual human visage and voice is so intricate, that even the best examples of this fall into what is called "The Uncanny Valley." Subconsciously, most viewers just keep sensing, "something is wrong here..."

And speaking as an actor, there is the same old way to avoid that that has always existed: careful casting, rehearsing, coaching, and makeup.

If you watch the on-set basic footage for STAR WARS, you'll see that with the above elements cared for, Guy Henry himself w/o the CGI, would have been fine in the role. (And after all, the character is "Tarkin," not "Cushing.")

That being said, as a friend in the biz always reminds folks, film is and has always been a techincal medium; it is ALL, on one level, "fake."

So, no charges of blasphemy (as with Colorization) are called for here.

-Craig
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Ludi

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 7:36 pm

wich2 wrote:Guy Henry himself w/o the CGI, would have been fine in the role.


I would personally prefer this - a real actor portraying a role.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostMon Jan 09, 2017 8:25 am

Genevieve O Reilly played Mon Mothma in Rogue one, while in The Reurn Of Jedi Caroline Blakiston played the role.

Image

Different actress but O Reilly remamber a lot Blakiston.
For about just 7 years earlies in age, time from A New Hope to The Return of Jedi, she is a bit too young in comparison. They should had added some aging make-up.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostMon Jan 09, 2017 1:25 pm

Talk about revisionism.

The modern CGI artist can put whatever nuance they want into the demeanor of the actor. Even if the owners of the estate gave the rights, that doesn't mean that it reflects at all the actor's intentions. Actors don't even always get along with their own children, needless to say whoever ends up with the rights to using their image or name.

This further demeans the craft of acting away from those of the other arts such as composers or poets.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostMon Jan 09, 2017 2:11 pm

The weird thing was I thought Felicity Jones looked very much like a young Carrie Fisher - so much so that I thought it would be a plot point eventually. Of course my internal facial recognition software is buggy and extremely unreliable so it's very possible I'm the only one on the planet who thought that.

It's not like replacing actors is such a taboo. CGI actors seems like a bit of the technical wankery cart leading the storytelling horse. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostMon Jan 09, 2017 3:20 pm

FWIW, my wife thought that CGI Cushing was actually Cushing; she asked afterwards, "how can he possibly still be alive?" So I have few complaints about the visual. The voice, otoh, had the inflections and the archness all wrong. A closer study of Cushing in films other than Star Wars (where he has only a tiny bit of screen time) would have done the actor some good since it sounds like he has the basic character of Cushing's voice down, but was just inflecting it wrong.

Since Cushing's estate is credited (twice) and they gave approval, I don't have an issue with it. They should care more than I do.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostTue Jan 10, 2017 9:13 am

I think there's a significant difference between using a CGI version of an actor to reprise or complete a role they'd played in a film while alive, vs. using his/her likeness to sell a product in a commercial.

(Yes, one could argue that all films are products whose purpose is to be sold, but that's sophistry.)

Of course this all comes from sampling culture, which allows us to capture a digital facsimile of something and turn it into an object to be used however we like. And "however we like" usually turns out to be "repeated endlessly without meaningful change, to be used as a static signifier rather than as a dynamic subjectivity".

Or as Simone Weil once wrote, power is that which turns people into things.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostWed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 am

This reminds me of one of my favorite author's books called Remake which is a sci-fi story set in the future where it is cheaper to re-use the likeness of famous actors in movies than to hire new ones so icons like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are used over and over again in new movies or remakes of old ones. Kind of a scary thought.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostWed Jan 11, 2017 8:33 am

maliejandra wrote:This reminds me of one of my favorite author's books called Remake which is a sci-fi story set in the future where it is cheaper to re-use the likeness of famous actors in movies than to hire new ones so icons like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are used over and over again in new movies or remakes of old ones. Kind of a scary thought.



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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostWed Jan 11, 2017 8:39 am

maliejandra wrote:This reminds me of one of my favorite author's books called Remake which is a sci-fi story set in the future where it is cheaper to re-use the likeness of famous actors in movies than to hire new ones so icons like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are used over and over again in new movies or remakes of old ones. Kind of a scary thought.


That's Connie Willis' book. It was originally published in 1996 and is set about 20 years in the future.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostWed Jan 11, 2017 11:17 am

maliejandra wrote:This reminds me of one of my favorite author's books called Remake which is a sci-fi story set in the future where it is cheaper to re-use the likeness of famous actors in movies than to hire new ones so icons like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers are used over and over again in new movies or remakes of old ones. Kind of a scary thought.


Connie Willis. LOVE HER.

I didn't have a problem with the CGI in Rogue One. I was pleased to see Peter Cushing again.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostWed Apr 05, 2017 7:29 pm

Purists was nearly right...

It's harder than we imagine to "bring backa dead actors" (digitally recreates), as shows this quality comparison of Peter Cushing real action in Star Wars episode IV and the CGI character recreation (with acting help of Guy Henry and CGI artists:



See how the moviment of the CGI appears different from Cushing's style. Cushing have a combination of some few fast and short sporadic moviments. His acting also have a touch of charm and sarcasm combined, like a "charming evil", with a flexible aspect in face expressing during acting. Guy Henry in the CGI rendering it's a bit too solid, a bit robotis in terms of motion if compared to Cushing, and also looks too cold, like was too focused in represent a evil guy in the basic sense.

In Episode IV Tarkin's sking looks like get some make-up that make his senile skin stains less pronunced, while in Rogue One it's like the make-up standart for the actors was changed a bit, not the same as in Episode IV.

The CGI, despite all efforts to rendering even the minimal texture details, in some angles looks just a litle bit synthetic. Just a little... It's difficult to point what causes this very few "synthetic thing".

Am I the only one who noticed the analogic display devices, like Star Trak original series analogic chronometer, in the short sequence of Death Star preparing to fire ?
Looks like they took some piece of some electric usine control room and placed in the film sets/displays.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 5:07 am

When it came time to have an actor in make-up impersonate Governor Tarkin for one scene in REVENGE OF THE SITH, they actually asked co-star Christopher Lee, out of respect for his decades-long friendship with the deceased actor, what Cushing would have thought of his character's "cameo" there. Lee assured them he would not have had a problem with it.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 5:28 am

Blackbird, do you consider the two equivalent? A one-scene bit and a major character?

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostThu Apr 06, 2017 10:27 am

The Blackbird wrote:they actually asked co-star Christopher Lee, out of respect for his decades-long friendship with the deceased actor, what Cushing would have thought of his character's "cameo" there. Lee assured them he would not have had a problem with it.


Because he was a working actor and an intelligent man.

Neither of those types should have the slightest reseveration about another actor taking over a fictional character, after they are no longer able.

-Craig
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