Rise of the All-Digital Actor

Regardless of whether your experiences with the actors you’ve been writing for and otherwise working have been good, bad, or indifferent, the following post about a future where electronic media – which are pretty much everything we watch today except for stage plays and live concerts – is fascinating.

NOTE FROM LB: Admission – my knee jerk first reaction to an actorless future was, “Yes! No more ridiculous actor demands to deal with!” But I immediately thought of all the times great performances have resonated with me as a viewer and saved my butt as a producer and realized that no matter how great the technology may get, human performers always will be irreplaceable.

by Carolyn Giardina

On July 23, Will Smith gave reporters an early preview of his upcoming thriller Gemini Man, in which the star fights with a younger clone of himself. The 50-year-old actor noted that, with advances in visual effects, he could sit back and let a digital double do all the work. “There’s a completely digital 20-year-old version of myself that can make movies now,” he quipped. While the comment got a laugh, it wasn’t too far off from Hollywood’s new reality: Actors can now play a character at any age — regardless of their own.

New VFX techniques could be used to tell stories that studios might not have attempted just a few years ago. It’s not too difficult to imagine in the near future, say, a digital likeness of an Avengers star appearing in Marvel Studios’ ever-expanding big-screen universe in perpetuity, even if the actor has long moved on from the role. And who profits from these digital copies of actors will likely spark union debates as usage grows more common.

This fall, two prestige tentpoles will test the waters for this new paradigm. In Paramount’s Ang Lee-helmed Gemini Man (Oct. 11), “Junior” Smith involved creating a fully digital character that looks and acts like Smith did around 1996 when he starred in Independence Day. The character was created by VFX house Weta Digital to use in some of the most complex scenes where “Junior” has to act alongside Smith.

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s period drama The Irishman stars Robert De Niro, 75, as Frank Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hit man for the Bufalino crime family, and Al Pacino, 79, as union activist Jimmy Hoffa. Both actors (and others) will appear at different ages spanning decades, which is accomplished with VFX and makeup.

But it’s the digital de-aging work, which is being handled by Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic, that has been the focus of much curiosity, though specifics of the techniques used haven’t been revealed. It’s become common for an actor to have their face and body scanned at the start of a project if VFX might be needed (for instance, in action films for a digital stunt double)….

Read it all at hollywoodreporter.com

Cord Cutting Q & A

Cord Cutters New answers the most frequently asked questions of the last week. This TVWriter™ minion admits it. I !@#$ing love this site.

You can find Cord Cutters at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CordCuttersNews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CordCuttersNews
Site: http://cordcuttersnews.com

10 Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – August 12, 2019

Happy Monday morning everybody!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend. Time now for TVWriter™’s latest look at our most popular blog posts and resource pages during the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Writing the Dreaded Outline

Corporal Punishment and Primetime TV

How To Write The Perfect TV Series Review To Captivate Your Readers

Herbie J Pilato’s Classic TV Dream

8 Tips for Writing for Children’s TV Shows

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Contest

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

What is Audio Drama Anyway?

Big thanks to everybody for helping us have another terrific week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Herbie J Pilato’s Classic TV Dream

It may look like we’re writing a lot about our Contributing Editor Emeritus Herbie J Pilato lately, and we are. The TV gods have been smiling at him lately (we’d be more effusive in our praise but don’t want to jinx anything), and not only is his new show Then Again with Herbie J Pilato doing big “box office,” our article about it was the most viewed article on TVWriter™ last week.

And if that ain’t winning, hey, what is?

Here’s the latest on him from another website to which he’s been a popular contributor, good ole Emmys.Com.

If you’re a true classic TV fan, you know this is Herbie J as the iconic Barnabas Collins.

by Larry Nemecek

Authoring 11 books on beloved TV subjects from Samantha Stephens to Steve Austin might have been enough for the most dedicated of any small-screen buffs.

But now thanks to Shout! Factory TV, lifelong-TV-fan-turned-authority Herbie J Pilato is taking that passion to the next level —and he’s still pinching himself.

Starting July 1, Pilato began talking about retro TV…one-to-one with his heroes … right on that same small screen with Then Again with Herbie J Pilato, his own half-hour streaming series themed to beloved classics like Batman, Dark Shadows, My Three Sons, The Wild Wild West, and the classics of producer Garry Marshall.

On the day we caught him wrangling the ever-gregarious Ed Asner about The Mary Tyler Moore Show and beyond, Pilato, whose new celebrity biography, Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Story, was recently published by Jacobs Brown, was clearly still on cloud nine about what had become of his passion, at this stage of his career.

“It sounds corny, but it’s true: I get to sit down and be the voice and the face for the classic TV world—it’s a responsibility!” he beams. “So I want to be successful for everybody on the crew. We all love classic TV, and we’re bringing that spirit to the show. It’s a dream come true.”

But why that dream? The Rochester, NY native known to everyone as “Herbie J” turns reflective: “Everything that I’ve done has brought me to this moment,” he says.

“I grew up in the inner city, which was rough, and I was bullied and picked on a lot,” he says. “And I gravitated, like many of us in the ’60s, to escapism television. Like Bewitched and Star Trek and I Dream of Jeannie and all the rest—all the great shows of the ’60s….”

Read it all at emmys.com

10 Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – August 5, 2019

Happy Monday morning everybody!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend. Time now for TVWriter™’s latest look at our most popular blog posts and resource pages during the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

“Then Again with Herbie J Pilato” Gets a Second Season – and a New SPINOFF Series

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Writing the Dreaded Outline

How To Write The Perfect TV Series Review To Captivate Your Readers

Corporal Punishment and Primetime TV

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Contest

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

The Outline/Story

Congratulations to Herbie J Pilato on the renewal of his series and big thanks to everybody for helping us have another terrific week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!