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  • Artificial actors and musicians are on the horizon
  • Artificial actors and musicians are on the horizon
    Do512, Creative Commons (2017) ©

Are people ready for CGI superstars?

Special effects animators estimate that we’re less than ten years away from creating computer-generated characters that are almost indistinguishable from their human counterparts. As CGI and AI edge closer to replicating human likeness and behaviour, will being ‘real’ matter to future audiences?

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In 2016, Star Wars: Rogue One achieved a cinematic milestone by digitally resurrecting deceased actor Peter Cushing’s character Grand Moff Tarkin and reverse-ageing Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia. [1] Utilising motion capture technology and computer-generated imagery, visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic was able to reconstruct Cushing’s vintage performance by combining original footage from 1977’s Star Wars with on-set performances by contemporary stand-in actors. While the feat had a mixed response by fans, film critics began to question the implications of such technology. Now that we can create near-photorealistic avatars, would computer animation soon make ...



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    Scoop: VIP screenings from your sofa

    Hollywood studios have been using preview screenings to test movies in front of audiences for decades. Streaming platform Scoop is now letting people watch upcoming flicks from the comfort of their own sofa, while helping producers and film-makers gain feedback from a targeted, global audience.

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    Sunspring: a sci-fi film written by an algorithm

    Silicon Valley experts predict that 75% of human work will be done by robots by the end of the century, while it's thought that automation has removed 800,000 UK jobs since 2001. Now, with the release of Sunspring – a short film created by an algorithm – are creative pursuits at risk from AI too?

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    Monster Hunt: China's beastly summer blockbuster

    While Jurassic World dominated screens in the US, a very different beast was making its mark in Chinese cinemas. Monster Hunt, the story of Wuba, a cute, adorable ‘monster’ born to be king, became the highest grossing Chinese movie of all time. What’s driving people to cinemas? And could the domestic industry ever rival Hollywood?

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    Fast and Furious: driving diversity in the cinema

    Eleven years after its debut, the Fast and Furious franchise is more lucrative than ever. The latest is the third film ever to break $1 billion in the box office. But is its success down to cars, girls and explosions? Or does it offer something no other franchise does – a cast as diverse as its audience?