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07/20/2001 - The Digital Revolution

How to Produce Movies for Television

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."

-- Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) American writers

The Digital Revolution

In today's brave new world, actors are composed of pixels. They're manipulated by computer animators who move the characters eyes around to create the illusion that the character is thinking and feeling and that there's a soul hidden behind the deep surface of those believable eyes.

Digital production and distribution will revolutionize the way movies are shot. The computer recreated ancient Rome for "Gladiator" and staged a spectacular aerial dogfight for "Pearl Harbor."

It's only a matter of time before the computerized actor on screen will appear with nuances and mannerisms that are all too human.

Today's photo-realistic computer characters are on the very edge of convincing audience that real people are on screen.

Digital actors will soon be turned into cyberslaves who will star on screen and never ask for a luxury trailer or a producer's credit for their nannies or hairdressers because these stars of the future won't need nannies or hairdressers. They'll work for scale-to the producer's delight-- and whistle a happy tune.

There are those, of course, who debunk the theory that computer actors will soon take over. George Lucas doesn't believe that the computer will ever replace human characters. And Steven Spielberg considers it to be "a nonissue."

The real fear isn't that computer-generated films will be made without actors. No one has yet figured out how to do this without using the voices of real actors. The big concern is that futuristic technology will allow unscrupulous filmmakers to improperly use actors' images by transforming celebrities into digital creations that are eerily similar.

The technology may bring deceased stars back to life, or even create virtual images of a youthful performer who has now aged and by grafting a digital skeleton over the shape of that actor. For many in Hollywood, this could be a portent of things to come-call it Scary Movie 3 and on to infinity.

The Digital Revolution (continued)

The good news is that filmmaking has always been and will always be a collaborative art. The major difference is that directors will have even greater control over the look and feel of the film, even down to the individual performances. (That will teach testy stars to watch their manners).

We are all subject to change. How we adapt to change is what counts in the end.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

-- Mother Theresa


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