Monday, May 12, 2014

Bringing the Dead to Life in Hollywood

I have a feeling I'm not the only one who gave the new Dove commercials a double-take when they started airing.




How did they find an actress who looks so much like Audrey Hepburn? Side-by-side, it's remarkable.





Actually, two different actresses played the role and neither bore an exact resemblance to the film icon.



So how did they do it? CGI. Here's HepburnTM, the digitized version that was created using the above actresses as doubles.





At first I wasn't sure how to feel about this. If we can create actresses by computer, why do we need real actresses?

But a lot of work goes into these. Besides, real actresses/models were needed, along with quite a few talented artists.




Audrey isn't the first legend to be recreated for a commercial. There's the well-known Dior commercial from a couple of years ago starring a recreated Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, and Marilyn Monroe alongside a (still alive) Charlize Theron.




How do you feel about bringing Hollywood legends back to life using modern technology?




If you live in the Nashville area, come out for my first bookstore appearance! It's May 15 from 4pm-6pm at BookmanBookwoman in Hillsboro Village. Click on the image below for details.





54 comments:

  1. Personally. I think it's kind of a scary thought, knowing that they can do that.

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  2. Stephanie, how exciting! Your first book signing. Good Luck.

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  3. Hi Stephie
    You must be thrilled and looking forward to your first bookstore appearance. I wish I lived nearer to give support. Enjoy your day.

    As for recreating the film actresses, I think that the original is always the best because we are each so unique. They should have new faces, although I suppose they're trying to say that whatever it is they're selling has been around and used for a long time.

    Wishing you success at your book signing.

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  4. Congratulations on your book signing... I hope it goes really well for you .. Have a lovely day ♡♥

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  5. Congrats on the book signing. I hope you have fun.

    The revived actress thing might work for an advertisement because those are so quick and are about the image. It would be a different thing to try and use one for a film. I suppose a biography might make sense, but I hope they don't try to do this with new material or remakes. That would be creepy.

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  6. I adored the J'dore Dior commercial with Charlize Theron! I haven't seen this one with Audrey, but I'm obsessed with all Dove's products and my bathroom looks like their supermarket rack :)

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  7. Hi Stephanie .. great news about your bookstore appearance - I'm sure it'll be fun.

    Recreating .. it's interesting, thankfully I do remember it's an actress ... I wonder how Nicole Kidman will do being Grace in the new film ...

    So much is falsified now ... stretched, cleaned up etc .. we just need to remember ... but the commercials can be amazing ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  8. Have fun at the bookstore! Wish I lived closer :) And that's a bit strange about "bringing back" older actresses. While I love seeing their familiar faces, it strikes me as just a bit creepy. But that's probably just me :)

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  9. creepy! dead for a reason, appreciate what they did... just because you can, doesn't mean they should! just my opinion... and i actually deal with the illegality of clone androids in my next futuristic thriller!

    i wish i had more time to go down to Nashville - i just can't spare the 4.5 hr drive... make sure you tell me about any events in that area, tho - would be great to do one in TN!

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  10. Tara Tyler--There's a big children's writers conference here in September--SCBWI Midsouth. TONS of authors, editors, and agents. It's a great opportunity to get the word out about your books.

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  11. An advertisement for Dove? Here in the UK this is an advert for Galaxy chocolate.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2283876/Audreys--chocoholic-Hepburn-returns-big-screens-new-Galaxy-advert.html



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  12. Found this, Tracy: "Outside the USA the Dove brand is sold as Galaxy (except for certain countries, including China, Canada, Australia, Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands, where it is sold as Dove)."

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  13. Do you remember a while back when there was a vacuum cleaner commercial that used Fred Astaire? I don't recall which brand it was, but Fred danced with the vacuum on the ceiling and walls. That one I didn't like very much. I don't mind the Audrey commercial though—maybe I've gotten used to it.

    Best of luck with your bookstore appearance!

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  14. reminds me of that bruce willis movie where they just stayed virtually hooked up to the world and sent out perfect doubles to represent themselves. ah, well. my imperfect self manages just fine. :)

    good luck with the book appearance!

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  15. Wow, that is incredible how they can do that with digital imaging!

    So cool about your upcoming book signing! Sounds so fun! Wish I lived closer so I could come and have you sign my copy. :)

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  16. Your first book appearance is on my birthday!! Good luck and I hope you have fun with that.

    As for recreating past legends I think it's all about playing with nostalgia.

    LittleCely's Blog

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  17. I find it really creepy when Hollywood stars are revived this way! It's one thing finding an actress or actor who looks like them, but to actually re-create them is weird!

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  18. Amazing post dear!! I love it!!

    XOXO!

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  19. It's a little spooky to me, but ad men have never shied away from being spooky or kooky or whatever it takes to sell a product. I do think they risk turning people off. It will be interesting to see how this ads are received.

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  20. Hmm, CGI, great fodder for a suspense. ;) Enjoy your book signing!

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  21. This reminds me of that Superbowl commercial from years ago where they showed Christopher Reeve walking again after his accident. It was creepy. It makes me think I really can't trust ANYTHING I see on TV.

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  22. Wow, now that's weird--with Audrey. After seeing John Wayne recently promoting something, I thought, Gee, some people get to live forever.

    Have fun at your book signing. Yay!!!

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  23. I think it's interesting. I love the technology that allowed Laila Ali to "fight" against her father, or let Natalie Cole "sing" with hers.

    Not to be snarky, but I much prefer this than having someone like Jennifer Love Hewitt star as Audrey! That was a travesty.

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  24. FGirst off and most important-good luck for the 15th, breathe and know you will do wonderfully! I think it is sad that they are using old actors to sell their wares. I don't agree with it. It's like bringing them back from the dead because they don't know what else to do. I am also not sure if Audrey hepburn herself would have been happy with that. She had a well known quote that I can't remember but it talks about when you want your eyes to look young look at a child and stuff like that. She said it much more eloquently. It is sad that the people in charge of their estate and image sell out. There are many actors who would love to have a joband could sell it without using an image of a dead star. let them rest in peace and honour them the way they should be

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  25. Interesting! I thought they just used old Audrey Hepburn clips for that commercial, honestly.

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  26. It's amazing what technology can do!
    Have fun at your signing!

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  27. How I feel about it... Well, if it's tastfully done and not to sell a bar of soap, I'm all for it.

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  28. Have fun at your book signing!

    I don't know how I feel about bringing the legends back like this. Are the families compensated? I wonder if there are any copyright issues with using a dead person's identity (persona), especially more recent ones.

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  29. Hi Stephanie,

    How exciting! Your first book signing. Good Luck.

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  30. I think I'd be okay with it if the CGI didn't make them look inhuman. I mean, we as woman already compete against air brushed super models, now we have to compete with long dead Hollywood sirens who are remade flawlessly with computers? No thanks. The bar for beauty just keeps getting higher and higher, and we keep jumping to try to reach it. It's terrifying.

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  31. I think that's another possibility--if they can do that with old Hollywood stars, what will they soon do with today's stars? Correct every flaw using digital enhancements? Make every movie star look super-thin and perfect even if they aren't?

    As Diane Carlisle mentioned, I sure hope the families receive some compensation for this. The contracts they have are long expired by now, I'm sure, and probably took nothing like this into account...

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  32. I haven't seen these commercials. I guess I'm not watching enough television ;)

    Have a great book appearance!!

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  33. It's kind of creepy. It also ticks me off in some indefinable way, enough so that I go out of my way to avoid their products. So, not what they intended, I expect.

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  34. That's a bit creepy lol. Kind of cool though too :)

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  35. I wish I lived closer, I'd so come out to support you and your book! I'm sure it'll be a fantastic night. I remember seeing that commercial(was it on during the Super Bowl?) but didn't realize she was supposed to be Audrey Hepburn. I've actually never watched one of her movies...I should remedy that!

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  36. Two actress for one short commercial? Plus, technology to make them look like Audrey Hepburn? That's a bit much. But I do like seeing these legends on modern commercials.

    Have a good time at your first signing!!! :)

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  37. I knew there was something weird looking about that model. She had a very flat look about her. No real life breathed through her for sure...

    I think it's an interesting idea, but they need to perfect it better.

    It's like when they did a computer generated model on the cover of one of the fashion magazines years ago! People freaked out about it, but now it's back to the real human models again. It's probably just a fad.

    With ALL THE LOOK a LIKES out there, I'm sure they could have found a real looking model resembling Hepburn.

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  38. It's weird. It's the photographic equivalent of auto-tune - just feels wrong. I'm glad live actresses are getting work out of it, though.

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  39. Although they can "create" people, they still need real people to do the motion capture parts. I think it's kind of weird to resurrect the dead this way. Maybe this is the future of immortality.

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  40. I thought they were using old film clips and manipulating them. Hmm. I think it's weird. They should use actors today. Hollywood is stuck in a rut. They're afraid of doing anything new, so they rehash and recreate films, actors, icons. Bah.

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  41. I was just talking with my daughter about this over the weekend and she asked how they got Audrey Hepburn on the commercial. I told her it was probably CGI, so I'm glad I wasn't completely off base. I think it's cool they can do that, kind of weird, but I love Audrey Hepburn's classic look, so it worked for me!

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  42. Creepy!

    BTW, enjoy your book launch!

    Yvonne

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  43. I think the process is amazing, but it is a little freaky at the same time.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your book signing. How exciting! I wish I lived closer. :)

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  44. I'm okay with it. It introduces the youngsters to the fabulous movie stars of yesteryear.

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  45. It is amazing what they can do with technology these days. I don't know, a bit disrespectful for bringing back someone who is no longer with us just because they can. I think if I was a relative of that loved one, I wouldn't be exactly pleased.

    Good luck with your book signing!

    betty

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  46. It's always so impressive to see what you can manage to do!

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  47. I bet it won't be long and they'll be doing all sorts of things with computers we never dreamed possible.

    Good luck at your book signing.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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  48. I think it's going to happen. I mean, look at Tron Legacy. They made lifelike CGI characters looking like a younger Jeff Bridges. (In fact, it was so life-like I sort of assumed it was just another actor until I read an article about it.)

    Still... I wonder if it's ethical to use dead people's image like this, because where will it stop? What sort of legacy will it create if people start using Grace Kelly's image in a porn movie or something like that?

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  49. Good luck with the appearance! How exciting.

    As for the commercial, I guess I didn't think of it until you analyzed it for me. I assumed they just used computers and not stand-ins at all.

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  50. My daughter and I were just talking about that commercial. I don't know how I feel about it. On one hand I think it's interesting, on the other, it seems like you are manipulating something classic.

    Congrats on the book signing! :)

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  51. Congratulations on your signing! That's so exciting. :D

    The recreation of icons in modern commercials fascinates me. Technology keeps making advancements that are only limited by our creativity (says the computer programmer).

    Honestly, I hadn't thought about anyone abusing such wondrous capability until I read about it in the comments. That thoughts would turn in such direction is what disheartens me.

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  52. I don't think I've seen either of those commercials LOL I feel a little left out.

    I'm not against digitizing actors and such though, nor 'bringing actors back from the dead' in this way--so long as it's clear that it's a representation of that person, not the person themselves. If you know what I mean. Like if the commercial is like 'If she were alive today Audrey Hepburn would use our soap' as opposed to 'I'm Audrey Hepburn and I use this soap'.

    Though even then, that's kind of dodgy, isn't it? Because the actor can't consent. Hmm...

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  53. Oh wow I never knew that. Amazing what technology can do. Found your blog from Corinne's blog Everyday Gyaan.

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  54. I don't understand why use real actors to morph into past legends for commercials. The commercials would work just as well with the actors as they are. But, then I'm not in marketing.

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