Thursday, January 15, 2009

What is the Internet?

We need to try to answer that question. For film makers it’s a place to meet, to learn, to find jobs, to locate and experiment, and finally, perhaps to distribute the results of all of the preceding elements.

This is precisely the dilemma facing the SAG committee. What is the internet? What does it mean to the future of actors and acting? What does it mean in terms of where lives and careers are going?

Tina Fey’s comments on The Golden Globe Awards last night, “there’s this thing called the Internet…” True Tina Fey, there is this thing called the internet but what is it? Do you have the slightest idea of what it is right now? It’s still in development. How can you set the rules before you know the experiment worked. They have much more than the internet to fear I’m afraid. Check out this video to get a glimpse of where things are at right now, let alone where they are going.

This is a tech demo. The actor is not really saying or doing - the whole performance is animated plain and simple. I have had several discussions with my colleagues in the animation field who suggest that this is not animation but is instead visual effects. In my opinion if it comes from the results of individuals manipulating lines, images, pixels etc., it’s animation and this impresses the fact that we are so very close to synthetic actors that they do indeed have things to worry about, however its got nothing to do with the internet and will have much greater impact on their lives than the internet ever could. In Japan they nearly have the challenge of synth-voices cracked as well. Try this link and play around with it for a bit.

This isn't even the leading edge stuff - I'll post that when I find it. This is pretty impressive though.

You decide. Is it animation or visual effects? What are visual effects in this age of blurred reality?

Next post I'll tackle the mounting pressures on the industry. We still have Steven Harper's block headed stubbornness to contend with. He still doesn't seem to get it. More later. Here's the link to the Youtube location if you want to look at it in HiDef.

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