Could CGI Replace Human Actors?
Image Source: CartoonBrew.com
We’ve come a long way in modern-day cinema thanks to the use of computer generated imagery (CGI). CGI has become a necessary tool in making unbelievable experiences appear believable and has truly changed the cinematic experience.
After watching Tarantino’s latest movie “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood,” it reminded me that stunt doubles exist and that they are an integral part of any movie. There are two main reasons to use a stunt double: to model a specific body part or to showcase a specific skill set. With CGI being such an integral part of film these days, what if we were able to have digital body doubles rather than hiring a stunt double with the right type of body or the ability to perform martial arts?
In Hollywood, it is becoming a more common practice to scan an actor’s body in order to have a digital version to use for certain actions and to have the ability to digitally manipulate them after production. This practice is beneficial in terms of cost and efficiency during the editing process and can be helpful when the actor is absent while filming is still in session. However, with such a new application of body doubles, it makes you wonder how much liberty is granted to those who are using them and for how long? With a digital copy, you can virtually live forever and be featured in any movie long after your death (which explains the reappearances of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher in the release of Rogue One). What’s stopping someone from establishing a digital archive of actors to be used perpetually?
There are a lot of ethical concerns actors have with this practice and many actors decline roles if they are to be scanned and archived for even editing purposes. Some people worry that CGI actors will replace real ones, but in reality, that probably won’t ever happen, since actors are needed even after production for publicity. But, it’s certainly an interesting (and creepy) thought that computer imagery could someday totally replace actual humans on the big screen!
Posted by Lucy